Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup


Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup
Packed-Out Turkey Noodle Soup

If there is one thing I know for sure about Daniel East, it's the fact that he can pack out a soup better than anyone. There is no such thing as a "soupy" soup with this guy. If you recall The Soup that I posted a couple years ago, that was Dan's creation as well, so I know this one will be just as awesome.

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup
Soup Before Reducing

Almost everyone has leftovers this time of year and this is one of the tastiest ways I can think of to use them up. What I really like about this is that the noodles are cooked and set aside and the soup is ladled over them. Brilliant! No more mushy over-cooked noodles.

I love that I get these recipes ready-to-go and all typed up for me - with photos to boot! Give this a try and see what you think!

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup

1 lb egg noodles
1 gallon turkey stock
1 quart water
1 lb cut white meat turkey
1/2 lb cut dark meat turkey
2 cups chopped carrots
2 large white potatoes (washed, skin on cubed)
2 sweet white onions rough chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped okra
1 c sweet peas
1 c sweet corn cut from cob
1 c chopped string beans
1 c organic barley
1c sliced button mushrooms - optional 
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp Stevia in the Raw or Sugar in the Raw (Not Truvia!)
1/4 c sea salt
1/4 c black pepper
2 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp fresh or dry dill weed
1 tbsp fresh or dry basil

Cook noodles separately and set aside. 

Combine everything else but herbs and corn starch. Bring to a boil stirring often. 

Reduce heat to strong simmer to cook barley and reduce mixture for approx 90 min stirring often until barley expands and all veggies are tender. 

Fork mix/whisk corn starch in 1/4 c water until dissolved and add to soup. Stir mixture well throughout soup. Add herbs. Continue at low simmer for 30 min. 

Place noodles in serving bowl and pour soup over them. Serve with torn rustic bread or baguette.


Copyright ©2013 Daniel M. East. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
http://www.danieleast.net

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Salmon Chowder

Salmon Chowder
Salmon Chowder

One of my coworkers absolutely does not like salmon. This is foreign to me as salmon is my favorite fish. So, when a friend of hers brought her a bag full of fresh salmon, she happily passed it on to me. It has been one of the most lovely batches of salmon I have ever eaten. Fatty and nearly melting in your mouth, yet still firm, I'm sad to see that last of it go.

I took the last pound and stretched it with this beautifully simple chowder using ingredients I had on-hand. It was ready in a mere 25 minutes and consumed just as quickly. I may share, I may not.

Salmon Chowder

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

4 slices bacon - diced
1 large shallot - chopped fine
1 clove garlic
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes - scrubbed and diced (again, about 1/2 an inch)
1/2 cup red bell pepper - chopped
4 cups seafood or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried chervil
1 pound fresh salmon filet - cubed (about 1/2 an inch)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

1. Heat a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add bacon and render fat.
2. Add in peppers, shallot, garlic and potatoes and cook briefly.
3. Pour in stock, cream and chervil and cook until potatoes are tender - about 15 minutes.
4. Add in salmon and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper (this will depend on how salty your stock was to start). Serve hot.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup
Slow Cooker beef Ravioli Soup

Most really good soups are an all-day affair with some babysitting here and there. This one cooks for 6 hours all by itself before it needs any tending. It's hearty enough for a full meal on its own and uses frozen ravioli, one of the most versatile ingredients in a busy family's pantry.

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 7 hours and 30 minutes
Serves: 8


Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic - minced
1 pound lean ground beef
8 cups beef stock
2 cups baby carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound frozen meat-filled ravioli
2 cups frozen cut green beans
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Brown beef and onion together in oil, adding garlic at the end and stirring well. Drain well and pour into the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker.
2. Pour in stock and carrots and cook over LOW heat for 6 hours. Check carrots for tenderness.
3. Add ravioli, green beans, bay leaf and thyme. Switch heat setting to HIGH and cook for 1 hour.
4. Stir in tomato sauce and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and heat for another half hour over HIGH heat.
5. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
It is with great personal injury that I bring you one of my all-time favorite soups. French Onion. When I was in culinary school it was my task one day to make the French Onion soup. When making soup for a restaurant you don't simply make a gallon, you make many gallons.

I remember cutting up pound after pound of onions and nearly losing my eyesight during the process. I adore onions, but in their raw state I seem to have issues. I don't just tear up, I have full-blown tears streaming down my face eyes swelling up moments - and that's with just one or two onions.

I would get through a couple onions and then race out of the kitchen to the girls' locker room and blow my nose, wipe my eyes, flush my face with water, sanitize my hands and then run back to the kitchen, sanitize hands again just inside the door and do it all again. I think I made the trip 5 or 6 times before I was done. 

Yesterday was a little easier as I was only cutting up 5 onions, but I still had to stop and deal with things before finishing.

French Onion Soup

No matter, this lovely soup is more than worth it. I like to use several different types of onion for my soup, though you can use all one kind if you wish. Whatever you do, make sure the onions are well caramelized before moving along with soup for the best flavor.

I did this in two ways, as well. In a large dish (ala Julia Child) and in individual bowls. Both ways are wonderful. I also like to use several different cheeses. This time it was Provolone, Parmesan and a bit of Mozzarella though I really love a good Swiss or Gruyere here, too. A perfectly stringy, gooey cheese experience to top this masterpiece.

French Onion Soup for Three

French Onion Soup
Serves: 6
Ready In: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
5 large onions (I used Vidalia, Spanish and Red here along with 3 shallots)
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup wine - something you like to drink - dry preferred 
2 quarts beef stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme - crushed
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
6 thick slices of French baguette - about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
8 ounces shredded cheeses 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Peel and slice onions thinly. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add olive oil, onions, garlic, sugar and half the salt.
2. Cook onions until well caramelized - this can take 20 minutes.
3. Place baguette slices in the oven while onions are caramelizing. They should be toasty in about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
4. Add wine to onions and stir well. 
5. Pour in stock and add thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Remove bay leaf and ladle soup into 6 individual crocks or one large oven-proof bowl (3 quart would be best.)
7. Top with bread and sprinkle cheeses atop each slice.
8. Place into oven and bake for 30 minutes. 
9. Turn broiler on and allow cheese to brown and bubble. Serve carefully!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone


I can't for the life of me figure out why I haven't yet posted this soup. It's honestly one of the classics and one I'm very fond of. I do have a recipe with Disney at both Family.com and Spoonful.com, but that was created with super-busy parents with basic cooking skills in mind. I dug it out and revamped it to better suit my own tastes and that of my family.

Minestrone uses just about any vegetable, bean and pasta you have on-hand. It's so forgiving and yet so delicious. You can make it exactly the same each time, or change it up slightly and still have a delicious and hearty soup. Try this recipe and tweak it as you like to fit your own needs.

Minestrone Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery - diced
1/2 small cabbage, shredded
2 leeks-white part only-cleaned and sliced
2 small carrots - peeled and diced
8 cups water or chicken stock
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 cups fresh green beans - cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 - 15 ounce can cannellini beans
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes - undrained
1 15-ounce can tomato puree
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 small zucchini- diced
1 cup dry pasta - such as ditalini or little shells
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery, cabbage and leeks and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until onions become translucent.
2. Pour in water or stock and stir in potatoes, green beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, tomatoes and puree, bay leaf, thyme, basil and oregano and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to a simmer immediately and cook for 15 minutes until veggies are tender.
4. Add pasta and parsley and cook until pasta is tender - another 10 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan.




Monday, September 9, 2013

Real Beef Soup

Beef Vegetable Soup
Beef Vegetable Soup

When I was a child I honestly don't recall many soups being served that didn't come from a red and white can. There were navy beans and cornbread (not really soup) and mom's split pea with ham (still a favorite today), but other than that we were soup-less unless it was prepackaged.

I do remember one phase that mom went through which was making soups from canisters of "Homemade Soup Starter". Even as a kid I detected an "off" taste to each and none was my favorite. For some reason the one that stands out the most is the beef soup.

It was a small cardboard canister filled with dehydrated veggies, powdered soup stock and small pasta shells. The only thing the consumer was to do was to "Add 1 lb. of beef cubes" and the requisite amounts of water and stew away.

It worked, but it honestly didn't work well. I still haven't come across a soup from a package that I truly love. Here, then is my fresh version of that canister of soup.

Beef Vegetable Soup
Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours 20 minutes

1 1/2 pounds beef cubes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 medium onion - chopped
2 medium carrots - peeled and diced
2 stalks celery - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
3 medium potatoes - peeled and diced
1 cup finely diced tomatoes
8 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh Thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 cup small shell pasta
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup fresh or frozen cut green beans

1 Combine beef cubes, salt and pepper and stir.
2. In a large heavy bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add beef. Brown on all sides.
3. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are translucent.
4. Pour in stock. Stir and add potatoes and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours until veggies and beef are very tender.
5. Add bay leaf and thyme. Add remaining veggies and pasta and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
6. Remove bay leaf and taste for seasoning before serving.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pork Cider Stew

Pork Cider Stew
Pork Cider Stew. Dish: Aaron Sanchez , Napkin: Pier 1 Imports, Spoon: Washington Forge

It's no secret that Autumn is my favorite time of year. The harvest is brought in, the days turn cooler and the sky is never bluer. Many of the vegetables and fruits harvested at this time of year are my favorites, as well. Squashes, pumpkins and apples to name a few.

This stew has it all, tender pork, chunks of creamy acorn squash, sweet potatoes and crisp tart apple. It is a bit on the sweet side, so you can substitute all white potato for the squash and sweet potatoes if you like. My children and I thought it was perfect as is.


It doesn't need a huge amount of cooking time for the pork to get tender making this a little faster than you may think.

Pork Cider Stew
Serves: 8
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 20 minutes

1 1/2 pounds pork cubes - 1 to 1 1/2 inches
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots - peeled and cubed
1 medium onion - diced
1 stalk celery - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 springs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 cups  apple cider
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Granny Smith apple -  chopped
1 cup sweet potato - peeled and cubed
1 cup white potatoes - peeled and cubed
1 cup acorn squash - peeled and cubed

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper and stir. Coat the meat cubes with the flour mixture and shake off excess.
2. In a large heavy bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add pork. Brown on all sides.
3. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are translucent.
4. Pour in cider and vinegar. Stir and add remaining vegetables, apple thyme and chicken stock.
5. Stir well and turn to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring every so often, for an hour or until meat and vegetables are tender.
6. Thicken if needed and serve.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Soup

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Soup

Leftovers aren't usually very copious in this house, but once in a while they happen. Last night was such a night. We had a favorite here and across the U.S.; meatloaf, mashed potatoes and buttered corn. Somehow I had quite a bit of each leftover and decided they would make a lovely soup. I was right.

You can leave out the corn or use a different vegetable and this will be just as good. I started with a basic mirepoix for flavor and went from there, layering ingredients until it was just right. You need to have a leftover meatloaf and pre-made mashed potatoes on hand for this. If you have gravy on-hand, replace beef stock with whatever amount you have for added flavor.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Soup
Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 large stalk celery - diced
1 medium carrot - diced
1 medium red onion - diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
6 cups beef stock
4 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup corn kernels
4 thick slices (1/2-inch) leftover meatloaf - cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add stock and lower to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
3. Stir in mashed potatoes and corn until potatoes are broken up and smooth. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add meatloaf cubes and heat through - about 10 minutes.
5. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

LobsterAnywhere.com Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder from LobsterAnywhere.com
Let me preface this post by saying I've had a lot of clam chowder in my lifetime. New England, Manhattan, you name it. They've all been good, but none truly worth sharing until now.

I had the chance to try the New England Clam Chowder from LobsterAnywhere.com and boy, oh boy is that stuff gold. No grit, no chewy clams, just smooth a smooth buttery creamy base chock full of perfectly cooked potatoes and clams.

I'm not completely sure what's in there, but I think they have bag of magic dust they're sprinkling in as it cooks. Even the kids loved it, and my boyfriend, who has never had clam chowder (I know! I was shocked, too) loved it. No wonder its been a Boston Chowdafest Champion THREE times!

Not only is this product perfection, the way it was shipped was perfect, as well. Carefully ladled into Cryovac bags, it's then shipped in a cooler with dry ice by next-day air, ensuring a truly fresh and safe product. This also comes with bags of Westminster Bakers Co. Oyster Crackers. A very nice touch.

I can't attest to the lobster products, but I can tell you this; if the rest is anything like this chowder, you're good to go and I'd trust this company for all my lobster needs! Check out LobsterAnywhere.com at the following web locations:

Website: LobsterAnywhere.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LobsterAnywhere
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lobsteranywhere
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/lobsteranywhere

Disclosure* This chowder was supplied to me free of charge. Any and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Strawberry Soup

Strawberry Soup
Strawberry Soup
Tis the season for hotter temps and cooler soups. I learned to make this one in culinary school. We served it as a choice for the soups course but it really could be a dessert. It's sweet, but not too sweet, and just a bit thinner than a mousse or pudding. Put your freshly picked strawberries to good use and try this one out.

Strawberry Soup
Serves 4 as an appetizer 

Ready In: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe

1 to 1 1/2 qts fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled
1 whole clove
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 c triple sec OR orange juice
1 cup finely granulated sugar such as caster
cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream 1/2 liquid and 1/2 whipped

Combine strawberries, clove, cinnamon, sugar and liquor or juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Thicken if needed with cornstarch. Cool.

Once the strawberry mixture is cooled, remove the clove and cinnamon stick. Mash well or puree, if desired, some like this soup chunky and others prefer it smooth. Add the liquid cream and then fold in the whipped cream. Chill for several hours before serving.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Black Bean and Ham Soup



Black Bean and Ham Soup


This is one of the simplest soups to make and a great way to use up leftover ham. The flavor is mild and savory and you can add almost anything to the top as a garnish. Dinner is ready in 35 minutes and a simple salad and good bread make it complete.

Black Bean and Ham Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup green pepper - diced small
1 small yellow onion - diced small
1 clove garlic - minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups leftover ham diced small
sour cream
chopped cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Saute green pepper and onion with garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add stock, beans, bay leaf, cumin, oregano and ham. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf and serve topped with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup
Cauliflower and Watercress Soup

When I first had to change my diet to be more aware of the carbohydrates I was eating (I'm hypoglycemic) I struggled to find foods I really liked that weren't also full of fat and cholesterol. One quick Google search for low fat and low carb will lead you to very few real solutions; it's difficult to have both at once.

This soup was a savior. It's low in carbohydrate, calories AND fat. In fact, the fat in this is so low it barely registers. The best thing is, there's no way you'll miss it. I had already made Cauliflower Leek Soup but I was unwilling to add in half and half and skim milk would be pointless and just extra calories.

The real star to this is the cauliflower. Once cooked and pureed, it's got a velvety smooth texture that tricks your taste buds into believing there's a lot of fat there. You can easily switch out the watercress for another green like spinach and feel free to add in whatever herbs you like. This is the bare-bones recipe and I like it just fine this way.

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds) broken into small pieces

1 bunch watercress, large stems removed
4 cups fat free vegetable stock
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine stock, cauliflower and watercress in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Lid well and cook until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Puree in batches until smooth and return to pot or use a stick blender directly in the cooking pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, check for seasoning and serve.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Leftover Ham and Potato Soup


Leftovers are not usually something I have a lot of here. All these kids can really decimate a meal and leave nothing behind, but for Easter, the day they gets a lot of candy early in the day, I always have leftovers.

This year we had a lot of ham and mashed potatoes left behind so I tossed them together for a warm and tasty soup. If you didn't have ham, use a little bacon for flavor as the mashed potatoes really can stand on their own here.

Leftover Ham and Potato Soup
Printable Recipe
Serves 6
Hands On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes


Ingredients:

1 small onion - chopped small
1 clove garlic - minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced leftover ham
1 quart chicken stock or broth
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 4 quart soup pot.
2. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently - until translucent.
3. Add ham and cook until heated through.
4. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce immediately to a simmer and stir in potatoes and thyme.
5. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure potatoes are smooth.
6. Stir in cheese and serve.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Simple Beef Stew

Simple Beef Stew
Simple Beef Stew

The first time I made beef stew I was 17 and I caught sight of a recipe in a magazine; Seventeen, to be exact.     I followed the recipe to the letter and was pleased with the results. Now that I'm older and have studied and experienced  food quite a bit more I still love a simple beef stew, with a little extra flavor thrown in.

This is the recipe I use most often, usually minus the peas and mushrooms because the kids detest both, but when I make it for me, they're throw in. Herbs can be to your liking, but I never make meat stews without fresh thyme. I just really like the flavor and I always have some on-hand.

Simple Beef Stew
Printable Recipe
Serves 8
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

2 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 1" cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine or dark beer
3 cups beef stock
2 cloves garlic - minced
4 ounces tomato paste
1 medium onion cut into eighths and separated
2 pounds small new potatoes - cut in half if larger than a golf ball
1 pound peeled baby carrots
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
8 ounces fresh baby button mushrooms
1 - 10 ounce package frozen peas

Directions:


1. Coat beef cubes in 1/4 c flour and shake off excess. Salt and pepper well.
2. Heat oil in a heavy stock or soup pot. Brown meat in oil.
3. Add wine or beer, stock, garlic, tomato paste and onion.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour until meat is tender.
5. Add carrots, potatoes, thyme, rosemary and mushrooms. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until vegetables are tender.
6. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes. Serve.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beef Nacho Soup


In their most basic form, nachos are simply corn tortilla chips and melted cheese. This soup takes the seasoned beef, cheese, tortillas, tomatoes and chili peppers and combines them in a bowl of steaming yumminess. That is too a word.

Anyway, there is one version of beef nacho soup that seems prolific across the web. Everyone posts it and it seems that everyone "owns" it, but it's exactly the same recipe. Beef, taco seasoning, cheese soup, diced tomatoes with green chilies and milk.

I have an aversion to canned soups in recipes. I've done it. I mean, I have 7 kids, of course I use shortcuts! But, when it comes to a soup blog, I can't conscionably tell you to use a canned soup in the preparation of another soup. That even sounds weird.

So, rather than use a highly processed can of soup, I used a highly processed block of cheese. Yep, I used Velveeta. I often use Velveeta for macaroni and cheese (it's killer - trust me) and it ads the right creaminess without separation like real cheddar.

Here's the recipe, with baked tortilla chips on top - because I had to assuage the Velveeta guilt somehow -  and fresh cilantro, sour cream and black olives as well, although you can top this soup however you top your nachos.

Beef Nacho Soup
Printable Recipe
Serves 6
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound ground beef
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic - minced
3 cups beef stock
1 can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
8 ounces Velveeta - cubed
Salt to taste
6 ounces tortilla chips
Garnishes such as: sour cream, black olives, fresh Cilantro, salsa, shredded cheese or sliced jalapeƱos.

1. Brown ground beef in a medium soup pot and drain off fat. Add spices and stir well.
2. Pour in stock and tomatoes. Heat over medium-low heat for 20 minutes so flavors can meld.
3. Add Velveeta and stir until melted and smooth. Salt to your liking.
4. Serve in bowls with toppings.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Michigan Chicken, Bean and Sausage Stew


I've had this recipe floating around in my stores for a very long time. It's even written down in my family cookbook, but with no real directions, just ingredients and amounts. So, today I took the challenge of getting this together in a deliciously edible form to share.

I haven't the faintest idea why it's titled "Michigan", but it sure is good. Canned beans are fine, but I really prefer dry to start with. I almost always forget to soak overnight so I end up doing the fast soak method and the beans turn out just fine.

Any type of sausage will do, I prefer a good country-style sausage, but Italian is tasty and a smoky kielbasa would be great as well. The original recipe calls for salt pork to start, and I'll put that in the recipe, but I started with olive oil for a bit of a healthier alternative. I also added lemon juice to brighten it up and add some contrast.

Michigan Chicken, Bean and Sausage Stew
Printable Recipe
Serves 8

1 pound navy beans, sorted, soaked and cooked until tender OR 4 - 15 ounce cans of beans, drained)
4 ounces salt pork - diced fine OR 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onion
2 pounds cooked chicken (any cut) diced into cubes
1 1/2 pounds sausage, cooked and sliced thickly - about 1/2"
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 - 15 ounce can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add olive oil or salt pork. If adding salt pork, render for several minutes. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, do not brown.
2. Add chicken and sausage and stir well. Pour in beans and stock and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes - uncovered.
3. Put in bay leaves, thyme and tomato sauce. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes - uncovered until thick. Remove bay leaves, add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and serve.