Organic pea soup.

Okay pea soup.  I’ve never, EVER, been a fan.  I love peas and can eat them all day long but pea soup… eh!  Well my youngest daughter asked me to make it tonight.  I was quite shocked but had to indulge her request, as I always do when my skinny minnie asks for a special dinner.  It was super easy to make and quite yummy.  Healthy.  Tasty. Paleo-friendly (minus the cheese she topped the “display” soup with.  I’ll definitely make it again.

Ingredients:

Olive oil for the pan
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
3.5 c of low sodium, organic chicken broth
3 lbs of organic frozen or fresh peas (I used Cascadian Farms frozen)
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

Directions:

Add a drizzle of olive oil to your Dutch oven over a medium flame.  Once hot, add the diced onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent.  Then add the remaining ingredients and turn up the flame until the broth boils.  Once that occurs, turn down the flame to low and simmer the soup for 10-12 minutes.

If you have a hand immersion blender, puree the soup in the Dutch oven.  If not, ladle small batches into your blender and puree. Continue working in batches until all of the soup has been pureed.  Pour the soup back into the Dutch oven and simmer until served.

We topped our soup with shaved parmesan and served it with breadsticks and whole wheat seeded crackers.

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Carrot ginger soup. Vegan.

Wow!  It’s pretty  much all I can say.  Vegan.  Perfect for a cool evening.  Comforting.  Low fat.  You get the picture.  A must try!

Ingredients:

1 tbl of olive oil
2 lbs of organic carrots, washed and chopped
5 tsp of grated ginger
1/4 of a larger size yellow onion, diced
4 c of vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of coriander
1/2 tsp of white pepper
1/4 tsp of cinnamon

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.  Add the ginger and cook for 4 minutes.  Then add the carrots, broth & spices.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer.  I then ran my hand immersion blender through the soup to puree.  If you don’t have a hand blender, carefully ladle batches into your blender.    Then return to the Dutch oven.  I cooked this for about 3 hours over a very low flame.  Can be served in about 1 hour or simmer for up to 4.  Keep an eye on the broth level and add if you need additional.  Optional:  Garnish with green onions.

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Roasted tomato soup.

Okay it clearly isn’t tomato season yet but I’ve been craving roasted tomato soup.  What to do, what to do?  Roast them!  Roasting tomatoes will take even the most horrid, hard, normally tasteless tomatoes and make them pure perfection!  Here’s how…

Set your oven for 275 degrees.  On a large cookie sheet take 6-8 larger tomatoes and quarter them.  Make sure your cookie sheet has sides to avoid dripping.  Drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then add 6-8 smashed garlic cloves.  Place in the oven and let roast for 4-6 hours.  If you don’t have that kind of time on your hands or are more impatient, bump the temp up to 325 for about 3 hours.  You’re house will smell incredible while roasting!!!  It is the most intoxicating smell :)

Once you’ve removed the tomatoes from the oven, simply set aside.

Soup ingredients & directions:

Roasted tomatoes (about 3-4 lbs)
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl sea salt
Ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbl butter
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 c of chopped fresh basil
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of Rosemary
1 qt of chicken stock or vegetable stock (vegetarian option)

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven, pour 2 tbl of olive oil & butter in the pan.  Let this heat up and then add the onions and garlic.  Cook until translucent over medium flame.  Add the remaining ingredients.  With a stick blender, blend the soup until completely pureed.  You can also use a food mill or work in batches with your blender.  Season to taste.  To serve, top with Asiago shavings.  Enjoy!

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Mexican Chicken Soup.

With lots of taco leftovers from last night & chicken for tonight’s dinner… I thought why not!  I was really in a soup kind of mood with it raining cats and dogs all day long (not complaining it could be snow).  I threw it all together and it worked quite nicely.

Ingredients:

1.5 chicken (I did have it marinating in an Adobo sauce but you can plain chicken)
42 oz of chicken stock or broth
3 ribs of celery, sliced into pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can of black beans, washed and drained
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 tbl cumin
1 tsp of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch Oven, I add the broth and chicken.  Over medium heat, cook this for about 45 minutes.  Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove and shred with two forks.  I also run a strainer through the broth to collect any residue that the chicken marinade may have left behind.  Add the meat back to the liquid.  Then add all of the other ingredients.  Cover and turn the flame down to low.  Adjust the seasonings per your taste.  I cook this for several hours (3-5) and serve.  I garnish with guacamole, sliced avocados, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese or whatever my crew wishes to have on it :)

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Chicken noodle soup.

My teenage daughter is sick & requested chicken noodle soup.  I was all over it because I haven’t made it in so long – it’s just one of those comforting foods that you can’t wait to eat.  I also made some baguettes to accompany the soup and it was just what she needed.  Warms your from the inside out.   And perfect on a cold winter day.

Ingredients:

2-3 pound roaster chicken
2.5 quarts of water
3.5 tsp of salt
3 tsp of chicken bouillion or granules
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp of marjoram
1/2 tsp of rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon, juice
6 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
Whatever pasta you would like to use – cook according to package directions.

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, place the chicken roaster.  I cook this for about 2 hours and then remove.  I debone the chicken and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.  I skim any fat that has risen to the surface and then return the chicken back to the broth as well as every other ingredient except for the pasta.  I cook the pasta separately and store it that way as well.   Before serving, remove the bay leaf and sample to ensure the seasoning blend is correct.  Adjust according to your taste.

Enjoy!

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Vegetable Minestrone.

My dear friend Regina bought me Todd English’s Cooking in Everyday English cookbook for my 40th birthday.  This recipe is adapted from his Fava Bean Minestrone.  I served this in sourdough bread bowls and it was fabulous!  Kids & adults enjoyed it & I love that it’s veggie-packed!  Great winter meal :)

1 c of diced carrots
1 c of chopped onion
1 c of chopped celery
1/4 c of olive oil
4 oz of pancetta (to make this vegetarian, omit this ingredient)
8 c of chicken stock
3 tbl of Italian Parsley
1 tsp of fresh Rosemary
2 tbl of chicken Better than Bouillon
2 c frozen lima beans
2 c of peas
1 c of baby spinach
2 – 16oz cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas
Salt – 1 tsp
1 tsp ground black pepper

Sauté the first three ingredients in a Dutch oven in olive oil over medium heat for 8 minutes.  Add pancetta; sauté for 7 minutes or until crisp.  Add chicken stock and next three ingredients.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered.  I let this simmer for 4 hours.    A half hour before serving, add lima beans, peas, spinach, chickpeas, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust spices.

The spoon was made by a very talented friend Carrie.  Click the link below for her website.

http://www.etsy.com/people/pumpernickelandwry

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Mexican soup.

Rainy afternoon here in Pennsylvania which makes me immediately think of making soup.  I was going to be busy with appointments later in the day and this is a great recipe to make and just let simmer until dinnertime.

Ingredients:
2 tsp of olive oil
1 lb of lean ground turkey
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, diced
1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 c of chicken broth
1/2 c of water
1 can of red beans, with liquid
1 c of corn, frozen or drained from a can
2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In you large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the ground turkey, onion and peppers.  Breaking the meat apart and stirring until no longer pink, about 10-12 minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover. Serve with chopped red onions, sliced jalapeños, cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

The fun spoon is available through a wonderful artist on Etsy.  Click the link below to access her work.

 http://www.etsy.com/people/pumpernickelandwry

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Minestrone ~ Vegetarian Style.

This is the perfect soup for a cold winter day when you crave warmth.  The aroma is intoxicating & the unique flavor will satisfy the carnivores in your family.  Although this soup is not vegan, it is vegetarian.  It can be adapted by opting not to simmer the soup with the Parmesan rind or adding the cheese.

Ingredients:

3 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
5 c of chicken stock
4 carrots, sliced on a diagonal
1 Parmesan rind + 2 tbl of grated cheese
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
1/2 c of frozen green peas, or fresh if you have them
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and washed
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 bag of small pasta (shells, twists, orzo etc.)

Directions:
In your Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over a medium flame.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook for one minute.  Then add the diced tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the broth, carrots & Parmesan rind and grated cheese.  Cook this for about 30 minutes.  Remove the rind carefully after that.  I simmer this on the stove all afternoon, covered.  20 minutes prior to serving, I add the zucchini, peas, washed chickpeas and spinach.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate pot, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking the pasta.  Drain and add to the bowl.  Pour the minestrone over top & enjoy!

 

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