Dinners: Soups

Corn Chowder


I started with the recipe from Mimi's Cafe, and changed it slightly to make it healthier, and I think better. I also doubled the recipe to make a whole pot. It freezes great in individual servings!

Ingredients

1 stick butter
6 tablespoons flour

1 medium-large chopped onion
2 stalks diced celery (optional)

4-6 cups cubed peeled yukon gold potatoes (small dice, slightly bigger than the corn kernels)
4 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cans creamed corn (14 oz)
4 tablespoons sugar
several dashes of white pepper (optional)

6 c. water (enough to cover, 1 tsp. bouillon or 1 bouillon cube per cup of water)
6 tsp. chicken bouillon or 6 bouillon cubes

1 cup half and half cream or 1/2 c. heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add in the flour and whisk until smooth and a roux forms (2 minutes).
  3. Add onions and celery and sautée 5 minutes until soft but not brown.
  4. Add water, potatoes, corn kernels, creamed corn, sugar, bouillon, and pepper. Using a wire whisk, whisk until smooth.
  5. Cover and simmer until potatoes are barely tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Add half and half and simmer uncovered until soup has thickened to a creamy consistency, about 15 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.


Lentil Soup


I love Carabbas lentil soup. After eating it once I went home looking for a recipe. I found one online that I liked and after making it a few times I changed it slightly. This makes a large pot of soup. The leftovers freeze very well. Add more or less red pepper flakes for your family's heat preference.

Ingredients

1 lb. ground Italian sausage
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 large carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 lb. dry lentils
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 Tlb. Italian Seasoning
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, can be more or less)
fresh grated Parmesan for garnish

Instructions

In a large dutch oven, crumble and cook Italian sausage until cooked through. Add onions, celery, carrots & zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Have water or tomatoes ready. Add minced garlic and stir. As soon as you smell the garlic, add in the tomatoes or some of the water and stir.

Add in salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and lentils. If you haven't yet added the tomatoes, do so now. Add enough water to cover by an inch.

Bring to a boil. Turn to low, cover, and let simmer for about an hour until tender. Check the soup often and add more water if necessary.

When lentils are cooked, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve topped with grated fresh Parmesan.



Potato Leek Soup


After trying several recipes and listening to my family's preferences, I created this version of the soup. It is delicious on a cold day and freezes very well.

Ingredients

About 5 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
1 bunch of leeks, as white as you can find them
4 Tlb. butter
6 tsp. chicken bouillon or 6 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4-1/2 heavy cream or 1 c. or so half and half
 2 bay leaves
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Garnish:
croutons
cheddar cheese
bacon bits

Instructions


Cut leeks lengthwise. Wash really well getting all of the dirt out of the layers. Cut in to 1/2" or 1" chunks depending on how big you want your finished leeks to be. I prefer 1/2" pieces. Discard the dark green parts (unless you want a green soup).
 
Melt butter in the bottom of a large dutch oven pot. Add leeks and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

 While leeks are cooking, wash and dice potatoes into bite sized pieces.

When leeks are softened, add potatoes, bay leaves, and enough water to cover. Measure the water and add 1 bouillon cube or 1 tsp. chicken bouillon per cup of water. Add about 2 tsp. salt. Stir.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer about 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost soft. Add heavy cream or half and half and stir. Re-cover and cook another 5 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

While the soup is cooking prepare the garnishes.

For homemade croutons:
Dice about 6 pieces of bread. Add about 2 Tlb. olive oil and toss to coat. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until starting to brown. Optional: sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan before cooking. Stir halfway through cooking.

For bacon bits:
Use about 12 - 16 oz. bacon slices or bacon ends and pieces. Dice. Cook in a saute pan over medium to medium high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

When potatoes are softened, use an immersion blender to blend some of the soup in the pot. Or alternately blend some of the soup in a blender, a few cups at a time until the soup is creamy but also has some potato pieces in it.

Serve topped with cheese, bacon & croutons.


Meatball Stew


Ingredients

6-10 Russet Potatoes
2 Tlb. oil
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1-2 lb. carrots
2 stalks celery (optional)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 Tlb. Italian Seasoning (approximate)
beef bouillon cubes or powder
frozen meatballs (or canned beef chunks)

Instructions

  1. Dice onion. Peel and dice potatoes into small bite sized pieces. Peel and dice carrots into bite sized pieces. If using celery cut into a small dice.
  2. In large dutch oven heat 2 Tlb. oil. Add diced onion and sprinkle with a little salt. Add carrots & celery and stir. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes or until softened. 
  3. Add 1 Tlb. Italian Seasoning and minced garlic. Cook for approximately 30 seconds or until you smell the garlic. Add in tomatoes and stir. Add potatoes. Add enough water to barely cover. Measure the water as you put it in and add 1 tsp. bouillon or 1 bouillon cube per cup of water.
  4. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low and cook for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Serve hot.


Taco Soup

 Very easy to throw together last minute, especially if you keep sausage in your freezer pre-cooked. Simply microwave to defrost and throw in the soup.

Ingredients

1 lb. italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
4-6 cans of beans, your choice (I like 2 kidney, 1 black, 1 garbanzo, 1 white)
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 c. frozen corn (more or less as you like)
taco seasoning

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven pot, crumble and cook the sausage until cooked through. Drain sausage and return to pan. 
  2. Add in drained and rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, and enough water to cover. Add in taco seasoning. Start with 1 packet or 1/4. c. and stir.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until soup is heated through. Try the soup and add more taco seasoning if you wish.
Serve with:
shredded cheese
sour cream
diced green onions
tortilla chips or strips


Tuscan White Bean Soup


 I like this one best made in a crockpot. It makes the house smell wonderful! Alternately you can cook it on the stove top as well using diced ham.

Ingredients

2 lb. white beans, rinsed and soaked overnight in crockpot
In the morning, drain, rinse, and add:
1 large can diced tomatoes
4 carrots, diced
1 ham bone
6 chicken bouillon cubes or 6 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 sprig of rosemary
1 chunk parmesan rind (optional)

Instructions

Cook for 6+ hours on low or until beans are almost tender.  Remove rosemary sprig and ham bone. Discard rosemary. Cut ham off of bone and dice. Return to the soup. Look in soup for large chunks of ham. Remove and dice and return.

When beans are tender, use an immersion blender to blend part of the soup leaving some whole beans and carrots. Alternately you can carefully blend 1-2 cups of soup at a time in your blender and return to the pot.

Stir and serve hot.

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