Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Soup 2

It’s finally getting chilly around here. Soup is my favorite “go to” meal when the weather gets colder. This soup is really decadent since it’s creamy and full of vegetables.  Don’t be deceived by my picture, there is wild rice in this soup. For my strictly vegetarian friends, substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. And for my friends who want an even heartier soup, feel free to add diced, cooked chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken (OPTIONAL)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, oil and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes in butter until vegetables are almost tender. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth and undrained rice.
  3. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat; stir in the cream, rosemary and poultry seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste. If adding in chicken, do so the last 5 minutes to warm through.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup 1

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Slow Cooker Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Crockpot Lentil and Vegetable Soup

What’s that? I’m posting a vegetarian dish? Yes, believe it or not, I actually like a lot of vegetarian dishes. It’s just hard to find a vegetarian dish that my picky “meat and potatoes” son will enjoy as well. So I have to take baby steps with him and made a vegetarian soup. And slow cooker recipes are the best. Just prep your ingredients, put into your slow cooker and let it do all the work! Hopefully, my friend, Sue T. will approve. This recipe makes 6-8 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (green or red)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients but the baby spinach, in your slow cooker. And pour in the vegetable stock.
  2. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. Stir a few times throughout the cooking.
  4. Add the baby spinach during the last 10 minutes of cooking cycle.
  5. If you like a more brothy soup, add in 1-2 cups additional stock.
  6. If you like a more creamy soup, carefully ladle out 1/3 of the soup into your blender and puree. Add back blended soup to slow cooker and mix well.
  7. Salt to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.

Crockpot Lentil and Vegetable Soup 2

Mexican Vegetable Soup

Mexican Vegetable Soup 1

If you took a quick glance at my most recent posts, you might think I’m all about sweets and chicken. While I’m not going to confirm or deny that may be true, I do make other recipes as well. You might even say somewhat healthy ones every once in a while too.  So for my vegetarian friends out there, I have not forsaken you. (Yes, I’m looking at you Sue T.!)

This soup recipe can be altered to whichever vegetables you have or that are in season. It is called vegetable soup afterall. I used what I had on hand. The flavor of the soup was reminiscent of a chicken tortilla soup without the chicken or tortillas. And be forewarned, this recipe makes a lot of servings (6-8) for you to share on a cold winter’s day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers, diced (I used 1/2  each of an orange, red and yellow bell peppers)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons  ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups diced roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen or 1 can of corn)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can (4 ounce) diced green chile peppers
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1-2 zucchinis,  sliced

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • avocado slices
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges or lime juice
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Add bell peppers, carrots and onions to pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add in minced garlic, cumin and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute.
  4. Add in tomatoes, corn, black beans, diced green chiles and vegetable stock.
  5. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add in zucchini.
  8. Re-cover and simmer for another 10 more minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
  9. Serve immediately with optional toppings. Mexican Vegetable Soup 2

Zucchini and Corn Chowder

zucchini-and-corn-chowderIt’s another gray and cloudy day here. So I decided to make  some zucchini and corn chowder to warm up my belly. I also needed something to blog this week, so two birds, one stone kind of deal. For my vegetarian friends out there, substitute vegetable broth and omit the bacon pieces.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for garnish
  • Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. About 6-8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the same stockpot and add onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. Cook until tender about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in dried thyme, basil, and rosemary cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in flour until lightly browned. About 1 minute.
  5. Add in chicken stock, milk bay leaf, zucchini and corn.
  6. Cook stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer.
  8. Simmer for about 7-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
  9. Remove the bay leaf. If the chowder is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk to thin out.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with bacon pieces, grated Parmesan cheese and parsley leaves.

Spiced Lentil Soup With Bacon

lentil-soupI made this soup on a rainy and windy day. And boy, can I tell you that it hit the spot! Nothing like a hot bowl of soup with just a little kick of curry to warm your tummy. For my vegetarian friends, use vegetable broth and skip the bacon and add 1 cup of chopped kale or collard greens instead.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into thin slices or cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley or celery leaves for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fry the bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.  About 4-5 minutes. Drain the fat.
  2. Add the olive oil, onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, garlic, curry powder and thyme, stirring constantly and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add in the diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring often.
  5. Pour in the lentils and the chicken stock. Season generously with fresh ground black pepper.
  6. Raise heat and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  8. Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender. Protect your hand from the steam with a kitchen towel placed over lid and purée the soup until smooth.
  9. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  10. If you are making this vegetarian style, now is the time to add 1 cup chopped kale or collard greens and cook for 5 minutes more or until your greens are tender.
  11. Serve with chopped parsley or celery leaves.

lentil-soup-pot

Chicken Zoodle Soup

chicken-zoodle-soupHere in Northern California, our September weather has been exceptionally warm. We were in the low 90’s the last few weeks. But today we were only in the 70’s. And being the typical weather spoiled Californian, it felt cold to me. I wanted soup. Actually, it gave me an excuse to try out my new vegetable spiralizer and make zucchini noodle soup. Or “zoodles” as the foodies call them. For my vegetarian friends, like Sue T., omit the chicken breasts and substitute with vegetable stock.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • handful of baby carrots (about 6-8) sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized into noodle shapes and cut into desired length
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add olive oil to large pot over medium high heat. When oil begins to ripple, add onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir for 2-3 minutes until vegetables soften.
  2. Add minced garlic to vegetables. Stir for 1 minute, until garlic become fragrant.
  3. Next add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning and most of the chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
  4. Add chicken breasts. Once liquid begins to boil, lower heat to simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  5. Remove chicken and carefully shred into bite sized pieces. Return shredded chicken to pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini. Cut into smaller noodle lengths, unless you want extra long noodles.
  7. Turn heat back up to medium high.  Add zucchini noodles (zoodles) to soup. Stir and let zoodles cook for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Serve with reserved parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

chicken-zoodle-soup-pot

One Pot Lasagna Soup

Lasagna SoupHappy New Year everyone! I wish you a year of health, happiness and tasty food!

It’s been mighty chilly here in Northern California. We are having a week of much needed on and off rain showers. So today felt like a hearty soup kind of day. I know, lasagna soup doesn’t sound like the healthiest way to start your year. But eat in moderation and you should be fine. Right?!

Okay, will it make you feel better knowing I added spinach and mushroom to the recipe and used low fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta to make this soup a little healthier and lighter?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium size red or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 ounces of white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32 ounces) box chicken stock
  • 2 (14.5 ounces) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • low fat cottage cheese (1 tablespoon per serving)
  • chiffonade of basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Turn heat to medium high. Add olive oil to Dutch oven or heavy bottom large pot.
  2. When oil ripples, add ground beef and Italian sausage to pot and stir occasionally until meat is browned.  Add onions, mushrooms and garlic. Mix and continue to cook until onions become translucent.
  3. Drain any excess fat from pot.
  4. Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce,Italian seasoning, sugar, kosher salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and lasagna noodles. Mix well.
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. During last 5 minutes of cook time, add spinach to soup and stir.
  7. Serve soup with a tablespoon of cottage cheese and basil for garnish.

Lasagna Soup 2