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Hurry Up Chicken Noodle Soup

16 Oct

I was feeling a bit under the weather and didn’t have much energy to prepare anything involved. This soup came together easily, quickly, and with minimal effort and it certainly hit the spot.

Time: 30 minutes                   Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • broccoli stalks, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or water with bouillon/concentrate)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • Mrs. Dash original, to taste
  • 1/2 cup small pasta (I used stelline – stars)

How to make it


  • Heat oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, garlic and broccoli stalks. Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, chicken, bay leave, salt, and Mrs. Dash. Bring to a boil. Turn to simmer.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add pasta and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and remove bay leaves before serving.
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Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Soup

7 Mar

This recipe is based on one from delish.com with slight variations. This was my first successful soup attempt, almost two years ago, and it’s so delicious!

Time: 30 minutes             Serves: 6-8

Ingredients


  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken (original recipe called for thighs but I was only able to buy breasts)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 zucchinis (medium), quartered lengthwise & cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 4 cups chicken stock (canned or homemade)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans a.k.a chickpeas, drained

How to make it


  • In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase heat to moderately high. Add the chicken, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the sweet potato, zucchini, tomato puree, water and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the couscous to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garbanzo beans, stir and cook for another minute. Remove pot from heat and let soup stand, covered for 2 minutes. Add parsley & serve.

Creamy Tomato Soup

29 Feb

I found the idea for this recipe on Food Network’s website in a feature called “50 Ways to Use Pasta Sauce” and since I’ve started making my own sauce it was perfect for using the stock pile of store bought sauce I had. Of course, I tweaked it to our tastes and it turned out so well – flavorful, hearty and so quick and easy! What’s not to love? Serve with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich & you’re in business.

Time: 10 minutes             Serves: 2-4

Ingredients


  • 1 32oz. jar pasta sauce (I used Classico tomato basil)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • pinch nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste

How to make it


  • Combine all ingredients in a pot and mix well. Heat just to boiling, stir, and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Delicious as is or you can serve with a sprinkle of cheese, some fresh basil, crusty bread, or your favorite crackers. Of course grilled cheese is always a great accompaniment.

Beef Vegetable Soup

22 Feb

Hearty, flavorful and fresh. A great way to use up those odds & ends in your vegetable bin – change it up to suit your needs.

Time: 45 minutes           Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (I used sirloin)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs, divided (I used basil, oregano and Italian parsley)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked small pasta (I used stars)
  • grated Parmesan for garnish

How to make it


  • Heat olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add ground beef and brown, stirring occasionally to break up. Add carrots, celery, and half of herbs. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until tender crisp.
  • Add beef stock, water, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Bring to boil. Turn to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Cook pasta until al dente & drain.
  • Meanwhile, add broccoli to pot. About 5 minutes later, add corn and spinach. Mix to combine and remove from heat. Stir in remaining herbs, reserving a couple pinches for garnish.
  • To serve, stir in some cooked pasta. Top with a pinch of herbs and grated Parmesan.

White Bean Chicken Chili

15 Feb

Chilly weather calls for chili! Sorry, couldn’t resist…

Time: 15 min prep, 45 min cook            Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • Chili


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock* (see note)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
  • juice from one lime (at least 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 tsp oregano (Mexican)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • 1/4 tsp Sriracha (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • 2 15 oz cans great northern beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 2 4 oz cans green chilies (mild)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts shredded or cubed* (see note)
  • *Note: I cooked my chicken breast in my slow cooker with 1 cup of chicken stock on high for about 2 hours. Then I added the stock to another 1 1/2 cups to reach the total needed.
  • Cilantro Cream


  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped

How to make it


  • Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken stock and following ingredients and turn heat up to high until boiling. Stir well, cover, and turn down to simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes. To serve, top with a dollop of Cilantro Cream and shredded cheese of your choice. Enjoy!
  • You may also make this in your crock pot by putting all chili ingredients into crock, cover and cook 8-12 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Sirloin with Teriyaki Broth

12 Feb

A recipe inspired by one from Food Network Magazine, adjusted to our tastes and what was locally in season at the time.

Time: 10 min prep, 20 min cook               Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • Teriyaki Broth


  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 medium daikon radish, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1lb total), peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved and sliced
  • Sirloin


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless sirloin steak cut into thin slices
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • vegetable oil
  • For serving


  • 2 cups cooked rice (I used Basmati)
  • sesame oil
  • Sriracha sauce, if desired (spicy!)

How to make it


  • Teriyaki Broth


  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce to a simmer. Add remaining ingredients and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and radish are tender.
  • Sirloin


  • Coat skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high. Meanwhile, combine sauces with ginger & pepper and mix well. Spread evenly over steak pieces. Add steak to skillet and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Depending on the size of your skillet this may need to be done in two batches.
  • For serving


  • Divide vegetables, broth, and steak into shallow bowls. Add a scoop of rice. Drizzle with sesame oil. Bring the Sriracha to the table and allow people to add according to taste.

Rustic White Bean Soup

8 Feb

I’m pleased to share this hearty bowl of goodness with you.

Time: 30min prep, 3hr cook              Serves: 6+

Ingredients


  • 1 pound (2 cups) dry white beans – I used Great Northern
  • 2 tsp thyme (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp sage (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp oregano (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp basil (dried), divided
  • 2 tsp rosemary (dried) broken up, divided
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp bacon grease/olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed, halved, and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper sauteing veggies and added same amount to soup pot)
  • 5 cups chicken stock/water + bouillon
  • 1/4 cup cooked crumbled bacon (optional)
  • shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • *Note: If you choose to use canned beans, you’ll need 3 15 oz cans, drained and rinsed. In this case, your cook time will be lessened greatly and you’ll skip the first series of directions. I suggest using dry b/c they absorb more flavor as they cook and are less expensive.
  • *Note: This can easily be adapted into a vegetarian recipe by substituting the chicken stock with vegetable stock and opting for olive oil. If you still want to achieve smoky flavor, add a few drops of liquid smoke to mixture (start with a bit, you can always add more).

How to make it


  • Soak beans overnight in 3 quarts of water. Drain. Rinse and pick through, removing any stones, discolored or shriveled beans.
  • Place beans in a medium stock pot and cover with the 2 quarts fresh cold water. Add 1 quart of water plus 1 tsp each: thyme, sage, oregano, basil, and rosemary and all bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; reduce heat to simmer, cover with vented lid, and cook for 2 hours or until beans are tender, adding more water as needed.
  • Once beans are cooked to desired tenderness, heat bacon grease or oil in a large skillet. Add vegetables, season with salt & pepper, and saute for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add stock and vegetables to beans in stock pot. Season with remaining thyme, sage, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Stir in or top with any or all of optional ingredients to serve.
  • *Note: Serves 6 about 1 1/2 cup entree portions or 10 1 cup appetizer portions.