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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Pozole

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Hi there– I haven’t posted rerun recipes here yet.  But a couple weeks ago a made of pot of this for my “under-the weather, busy mom with 4 great kids & an awesome husband, neighbor” and it smelled so good that a couple days later I made a big potful for us.  It’s my favorite soup, hands down.

So even though I posted the recipe 3 years ago, I’m thinking by now, it’s time to bring it up again.  I’d like to invite you over for a big hot bowl of this stuff.  But the best I can do is to send you all a recipe rerun and hope you give it a try.  It’s really that delicious.  And it’s fast, and mostly beans and veggies.  Have I talked you into trying it yet???

POZOLE
1 onion chopped
Splash of olive oil
2  14 oz. cans yellow hominy, drained & rinsed
14 oz. can of chili beans, drained  rinsed
14 oz. can of small canelini beans, drained & rinsed
2  14 oz. cans of chicken broth
7 oz. can of salsa verde (I like Hedrez brand)
1 tsp.cumin
1/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)
2 tab. cornstarch
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine

garnish (optional)– sour cream, avocado, grated cheddar, cilantro, chopped red pepper

In your soup pot, cook the chopped onion in the olive oil til it starts to brown.  Then add in the hominy, chili beans, canelini beans, chicken broth, salsa verde and cumin.  Let it simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Shake together the cornstarch and milk in a container with a tight fitting lid until it’s all blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup for a few minutes until it thickens.  Stir in the chopped cilantro.

Serve up the soup pipping hot with a side of cornbread.  Homey good.

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Pasta e Fagioli

IMG_3793Hi friends– here’s a steamy chunky soup that I had for dinner last weekend and leftovers for lunch all week.  That’s a big pot of soup!  With a sturdy loaf of bread and a bright salad slathered with balsamic vinegar, you can pretend you’re eating in an Italian village (or just sitting in the teacher’s lunchroom at school).

PASTA E PAGIOLI
1 cup macaroni*
1 pound milk Italian sausage
2 tab. olive oil
1 onion, cut fine
2 carrots, cut to small bits
3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 cup water
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 can cannellini beans (small while beans)
garnish: basil (or marjoram)** and parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in your soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Then crumble and cook the Italian sausage til it’s well browned.

Remove the cooked sausage from the pot and drop in the onions and carrots.  Cook 3 minutes, until they soften a bit and add in the garlic.

Next stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, water and basil.  Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.  Then add in the white beans, pasta and roasted pepper and cook just a couple minutes more to heat it all through.  Serve it up hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and some shredded basil or  marjoram.

*The recipe I worked from called for digitali pasta– but I used the smaller version, macaroni salad pasta because I had it in the cupboard.
**I used marjoram, because it grows like a week in the side yard.

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White Chicken Chili with Garbanzos & Cannellini Beans

IMG_3617Hi there– Soup’s here!!  After weeks, of crazy hot weather this fall, it’s finally cooled down!   I wore sweaters to school every day this week.  And switched over to my cozy winter pajamas.  We haven’t touched the air conditioning.  And soup!  Glorious soup!

I made a ample pot of this stuff and took soup lunches to school with me all week.  And it was delish–  all those chewy beans along with the tender chicken and slightly spicy broth.  So glad to be back to wonderful warming soup days!

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI WITH GARBANZOS & CANNELLINI BEANS
1 serrano chile
1 medium onion, cut to bits
2 tab. olive oil
4 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tab. flour
1 tsp. adobo sauce
1 chipotle chili, seeds removed, minced fine**
2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
1 roasted chicken, boned and cut to nice bites
2 11 oz. cans white corn kernels, drained & rinsed
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 7 oz. can salsa verde*
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup half & half (or whole milk)
3 tab. cornstarch
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste
garnish: sour cream, avocado, corn kernels (saved from the recipe), cilantro

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Then toss in the cut up onion and the Serrano chile, cut lengthwise and the seeds removed.  Cook 4 or 5 minutes until the onion starts to brown.
Remove the Serrano and discard (unless you like your soup way spicier than I do!)

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, adobo sauce, minced chipotle chili and 1 can of the cannellini beans that have been drained and rinsed.  With a stick blender whirl it all into a thick paste.  Or remove the mixture to a blender and blend it all up together and return to the pot.

To that mixture, add the rest of the chicken stock, garlic and basil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then put in the chicken, corn, the 2nd can of cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and salsa verde.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes more.

Jus before serving, shake together the half & half and the cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup for a few minutes, until it thickens a bit.  Then add in the lime juice and cilantro.  Simmer just a minute more.

Serve it up hot and garnish with sour cream, avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro and reserved corn kernels.  I hope you like it as much as we did!

*I like the Hedrez salsa verde.
**You can more chipotle, if you love more heat.

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