Archive for the ‘soups’ Category

Quick Church Supper Black Bean Soup

March 27, 2010

I found out last minute that I needed a soup to bring to a church supper, so here’s what I came up with:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2-1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed (depending on size)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 cups cooked beans
1 tsp coarse sea salt
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
1 can chopped green chiles (can substitute with 1 small jalapeno, diced)
14 oz. canned tomatoes with juice

In a soup pot, saute carrots, garlic, and onions in olive oil. Sprinkle cumin on top while sauteeing. When vegetables begin to be soft, add remaining ingredients, and heat over medium-low heat until peppers have softened and soup is hot.

If not using homemade chicken stock and home cooked, unsalted beans, you may want to omit the salt.

French Onion Soup

January 14, 2010

The key to this soup is homemade beef stock. Toasting the bread before broiling the soup also prevents from having soggy bread. This soup is very simple, very inexpensive, very quick to make, yet it tastes like something you would get in a good restaurant.

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Turkey Vegetable Soup

December 10, 2009

This is based on a recipe in Eating Better for Less, an old cookbook from the 70’s. A lot of information in there is outdated (looking at example prices is crazy), but there are some good basic recipes as well as tips on preserving and other home economic tips.

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White Turkey Chili

December 3, 2009

This is a great way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey, plus the broth that you got from the turkey carcass! It is a very cheap meal, assuming you are using leftovers. If you make this, it won’t feel like yet another day of boring Thanksgiving leftovers. (You can also make it with chicken and chicken stock at another time of the year).

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Oxtail Soup

November 22, 2009

The other week when I was shopping, I noticed that oxtails were pretty cheap. When I came home, I asked my husband, “Do you know anything good to do with oxtails?” He said “I used to have oxtail soup from a package growing up.” So I picked up some oxtails and decided to try making oxtail soup. One thing that I learned was oxtails are very fatty. My husband really doesn’t like the texture of fat and fatty meat, so we decided to strain the meat and fat out of the soup before serving. Next time I make this, I think I will make it in two passes.

If you buy a whole (half/quarter) cow, then you’ll need something to do with the oxtails. They make a very rich broth.

3 lbs. oxtail
2 onions
2-3 cloves garlic
4-5 carrots
1-2 stalks celery
olive oil
8 cups water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf bundled together
OR 2-3 tsp dried thyme, 2 tsp parsley, 1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Brown oxtails in a little olive oil, so they are brown on all sides. Remove from pot. Add onions, and cook for a few minutes, then add garlic, celery, and carrots. If you are making in a pot, add meat back, spice with salt, pepper, and paprika. Otherwise, transfer meat and vegetables to crockpot and deglaze pan with a little water, then pour that into the crockpot too, and then spice. Add tomato paste, water, and bouquet garni (or dried herbs).

Simmer 4 hours or cook on low in crockpot for 10 hours. Here’s where I would stop and wait until the next day, if you don’t like the fattiness of the soup. Refrigerate the soup overnight. Skim off the layer of fat on the top (I decided to give it to the dog). It will be very gelatinous; heat so that it is liquid again. Strain out meat and bones, reserving carrots and celery, and return to soup. (Optionally, you could make the soup with just a few carrots and then add new carrots and celery after straining and just cook until the vegetables are soft).

You can get about 5-6 decent servings of soup.

Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Walnuts

November 9, 2009

This is based on a recipe in Jacques Pépin’s Fast Food My Way. It is a great quick meal. We always have chicken stock and cooked pumpkin in the freezer (in the autumn I buy pumpkins and roast them and save the pulp in the freezer). Tonight I was able to throw together dinner in around a half hour after getting home from an event at church, even with the stock and the pumpkin still being in the freezer (they just take a little longer to cook).

If you have crispy walnuts, then use them. In a pinch (less healthy), you can toast walnuts with a little salt and cayenne in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.

1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked pumpkin (15 oz can)
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
(pinch saffron, if you have it and want to splurge. We didn’t do this, but after tasting the soup, we thought it would be excellent in there)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil

Cook celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for about 6-8 minutes, then add the pumpkin. Bring to a boil again and boil for 5 minutes (if pumpkin is frozen, wait until it’s thawed and cook for 5 additional minutes). Puree soup in a blender or food processor and return to heat. Add butter or coconut oil and heat until melted and incorporated. Top with the crispy walnuts (about 5 per bowl).

Chicken Tortilla Soup

July 7, 2009

Tortillas were on sale, so I threw together this soup; it’s really good.

6 cups chicken stock
1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup cooked black beans, drained
kernels from 1 ear of corn, or 1 cup frozen corn
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin (whole or ground)
1 tsp paprika
1/2-1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 lime
fresh cilantro
5 corn tortillas

Mix together broth, beans, chicken, corn, tomatoes, and spices. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 moniutes. Meanwhile, cut tortillas into strips and deep fry until crisp; drain on a paper towel.

Squeeze the juice from the lime into the soup, and chop about 2-3 Tbsp of cilantro. Serve soup in bowls, topped with fresh cilantro and the tortilla strips.

Serves 4-6.

Miso Soup

June 18, 2009

This is my older son’s favorite soup. Miso is high in zinc and protein, tofu is high in calcium, iron, and protein, and wakame (seaweed) is high in magnesium, iron, calcium, folate, and potassium. All in all, this is a great postpartum or pregnancy food, as well as a healthy food in general.

Broth:
4 inch long piece of dried kombu (kelp)
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried bonito shavings

Wipe kombu clean with damp cloth, make several slashes in it. Place it in the water and let stand one hour. Bring to boil over medium heat, remove kombu and add bonito shavings. Boil 45 seconds and turn off heat. Let settle and then strain through cheesecloth.

4 tablespoons red or white miso paste (or combination of the two)
1/4 cup wakame (another dried seaweed)
1/3 cake tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 chopped scallion

Bring broth to a boil. Add miso paste, being careful not to let boil. Add other ingredients, stirring until wakame is re-hydrated. Remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 servings.