Beef Bourguignon Soup

Hello all– Larry and I arrived last night for a week in Wisconsin with our kids here.  And guess what!!  This afternoon it snowed!!  Not a lot, just a few minutes of flakes coming down and it was magical!  I’m hoping for more snow before our week here is over.

Which brings me to this rich and hearty soup.  On a snowy (or maybe not so snowy) winter day I think you’d love a bowl of Beef Bourguignon Soup, with a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread– just right!

BEEF BOURGUIGNON SOUP
6 slices of bacon
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 pounds sirloin steak
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 tab. tomato paste
2 cups red wine
6 cups beef broth
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. brown sugar
6 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1 pound baby yellow potatoes, Cut to bite sized pieces*
2 tab. butter
8 oz brown mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
garnish: parsley

Cut the bacon into bits and cook it in a large soup pot until is it crispy, but not too browned.  Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.

Mix together the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in mixing bowl.  Cut the sirloin into smallish pieces.  Coat half of the sirloin in the flour mixture.  Shake off the excess flour and brown the beef (about 3 minutes, stirring a bit to coat all sides) in the hot bacon fat.  Remove that beef with a slotted spoon and do the same with the second half of the sirloin.  Take the second round of beef from the pot when it’s browned and set all the beef aside.

In the same soup pot, cook the chopped onion on high for about 3 minutes (add a bit of olive oil if the pan looks dry).  Then add in the garlic and cook a minute more.  Next pour in the wine and tomato paste and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the browned sirloin, the beef broth, thyme, bay leaf and brown sugar into the pot and bring it to a low simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the beef is tender.

Then add in the carrots and potatoes and cook 25 minutes more until the veggies are cooked but firm.

While they are cooking, melted the butter in a sauce pan.  Add in the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook the mushrooms 8 to 10 minutes until they are tender.  When the carrots and potatoes are done, add in the cooked mushrooms and the bacon.  Serve the soup up hot with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.

*The recipe I worked from called for 2 large Russet potatoes cut to bit, but I had these smaller golden potatoes in the fridge, so that’s what I used.  If you use big Russets, then peel them before you cut them up.  Golden potatoes don’t need to be peeled.

Potato Ham Chowder

Hi there–  Heading out this afternoon to spend a week in San Francisco to hangout with our kids and those SF grand-kids.  Can’t wait!  So I’ve been trying to amass a pile of leftovers in the fridge to leave behind for Larry— including this potato soup.

Hearty and hot from the soup pot, it’s chock full of tender potatoes, corn, carrots and those little bits of ham.  Serve it up with a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread– dinner!

POTATO HAM CHOWDER
2 tab. butter
2 tab. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. chicken broth
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 cups milk
1 tsp. thyme leaves
2 cups ham, cut to bits
2 cups corn, fresh, frozen or canned
2 tab. cornstarch
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
garnish: cheddar & green onions

Heat the butter and olive oil in a soup pot.  The drop in the cut carrots and onion and cook for 5 minutes until they are tender.  Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

Then add in the chicken broth and cubed potatoes.  Bring the simmer back up to a low boil and let it cook for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Add the milk, thyme, ham and corn and bring the soup back up to a simmer.  In a container with a tight fitting lid shake the cornstarch with 1/2 cup water.  Pour it into the soup, stirring until the soup thickens (about 3 or 4 minutes)  Taste it — and add salt & pepper until it’s just right!

Zucchini Corn Chowder


Hey there– OK, I’m ready– to have a new start after Christmas.  Tree down- check!  Decorations boxed up- check check!  Fudge all eaten– double check!  House in order again- mostly checkity check (close enough)!

Here’s a flavorful bowl of soup– warm and filling.  If you want to be a bit more healthy, change out the bacon for olive oil (we just had a bit of bacon leftover in the freezer, calling to be used!).  With a big chunk of study bread, just right for a winter’s evening.

ZUCCHINI  CORN CHOWDER
1 tab. butter
4 strips of bacon, cut to small bits (or substitute 3 tab. olive oil)
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, but to small bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
2 smallish zucchini, cut to small pieces
1 cup half & half or whole milk
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish: chopped parsley or grated cheddar

In a soup pot, cook the butter and bacon until the bacon starts to crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside, leaving the fat/butter in the pot.

Add in the cut onion and carrots and cook until they are tender (about 5 minutes), stirring now & then.  Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Pour in the water along with the bay leaf and dried basil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the corn and zucchini and simmer 5 minutes more until the zucchini is tender.

Take 2 cups of the mixture out of the pot to a blender (or with a stick blender) and puree it to thicken the soup.  Add the puree and half & half to the pot.  Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the bacon back into the pot.

Bring it back to a simmer jut to heat it all through and serve with a sprinkle of grated cheddar or chopped parsley (or both!).

 

Beef Barley Soup

Hey there– Soup!!  Glorious soup!  It’s finally cooled down enough here to put on a big bubbling pot of soup (although I’m still waiting for a chilly night to make a fire in the fireplace).  This soup’s rich and hearty and with a spot of salad and a chunk of wheaty bread, it makes fine fall supper (with leftovers for lunches!).

BEEF BARLEY SOUP
2 tab. olive oil
1 pound beef chuck steak (or stew meat)*
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tab. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried basil
4 cups water
2  14 oz. cans beef broth
3/4 cup barley
2 tab. cornstarch (optional)

Salt & pepper the beef and cut it into smallish pieces.  Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Put the 1/4 cup flour in a plastic bag and add the meat.  Shake until the meat is coated and then drop it into the hot soup pot.  Cook until the beef’s browned all all sides.  Take it out of the pot and set aside.

In the same sop pot, drop in the onion and carrots (add a little more oil if the pan looks dry).  Cook for 5 minutes until the onion and carrots start to get tender.

Then add in the garlic, tomato paste and basil.  Stir it up.  Next pour in the water and beef broth and then return the meat to the pot.  Bring to a low simmer and cook 45 minutes until the beef is tender.

Add in the barely and simmer 45 minutes more until the barley is soft and yummy.

If you like your broth thicker (I do!), you can combine 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it until it is thoroughly blended and stir it into the bubbling soup until it thickens– 2 or 3 minutes.  Enjoy!

*I used chuck steak because it was on sale at the market.  The recipe I worked from used stew meat & it may take a little longer to cook before the meat is tender.

Golden Chicken Tortellini Soup

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Hello all–  Tucked in the house tonight.  It’s been raining–again!!  Do I keep talking about the rain??  Well, after years of drought, we’re just all soaking it up here!  My yard is so happy!

And here’s a good chilly weather supper– just add a sturdy loaf of bread and a bright green salad.  Warming, savory, noodle-y soup.

GOLDEN CHICKEN TORTELLINI SOUP
2 tab. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled & sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tab. fresh thyme leaves)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. cheese tortellini (about 3 cups dried)
1/3 cup cream (or half & half)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 cup baby spinach leaves, stems removed, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Stir in the onions until they have wilted.  Add the carrots and garlic and cook 2 minutes more.

Cut each chicken breast in 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the pot along with the chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper .  Let it simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cut to small bite size pieces.

Put the cut chicken and the tortellini into the pot and simmer according to the directions on the tortellini package (my tortellini from Trader Joe’s said to cook it 15-17 minutes).

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir in the cream, bell pepper and spinach.  Let it simmer a couple more minutes to heat through and it’s ready to serve!

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Carrot & Parsnip Red Lentil Soup

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Hello there– How are you doing– eating healthier after all the Christmas food splurge??   This big pot of soup was an attempt at a hearty veggie dinner –until I decided to chop up the end of the Christmas ham and add it to the pot.  With or without ham, it’s a warming winter meal– best eaten by the fireplace with a big chunk of wheaty bread.

CARROT & PARSNIP RED LENTIL SOUP
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped to bits
2 cloves garlic
2 large parsnips, peeled & grated
2 more large parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 carrot, peeled & grated
3 more carrots, peeled & chopped
3 pints chicken broth (48 oz.)
1 cup water
1 tsp. cumin
1 cup red lentils
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup ham, chopped to bits (optional!!)

Heat the oil in a soup pot.  Throw in the onion bits and cook a couple minutes until it turns translucent.  Then add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Add the chopped parsnip and carrots and cook 3 or 4 minutes until they start to soften.

Then stir in the grated parsnips and carrots, the chicken broth, water, cumin and red lentils.  Stir it now and then so the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Put on the lid and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to a low simmer and let the soup cook 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the soup thickens.  Stir in the ham and season to taste with salt & pepper. Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Apple Cider Soup

 

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Hey there–Been wanting to make this soup every since my stay with Ani and Brian, when she made a pot of this for our dinner there (thanks Ani!).  It has a couple secret ingredients that make it rich and flavorful– beer and apple cider!  With a simple salad, a warming winter meal.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH APPLE CIDER SOUP
2 tab. butter
5 cups butternut squash, peeled & cut in cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. bottle pale ale
1 cup apple cider
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup cheddar
garnish: sour cream, pumpkin seeds, black pepper, marjoram leaves

Melt the butter in a soup pot.  Then drop in the squash, garlic, onion and salt.  Saute 7 or 8 minutes until the squash is slightly softened.

Pour in the ale, cider and chicken broth. Simmer on medium low for 10 minutes until the squash is softened.  Transfer the soup to a blender -or use a stick blender to puree until it is smooth.

In the soup pot, stir the cheddar into the soup until it melts.  And serve it up hot and steamy.

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