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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

I went through my garden to harvest what was ready or needed to be thinned. After a quick run through,  I took a look at my pickings.

Swiss chard, baby gray zucchini, and green beans.  Hmmmmm.  Since it was overcast, soup pops into mind.  And minestrone fits the bill.  Now, I’m not a huge fan of tomato based soups, but I can make an exception if the veggies are from my garden, or if it is this particular minestrone soup.  And since I can have both, well there you go!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced in 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds
  • 3-4 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • 4 large swiss chard or bok choy stalks,  separate the stalks from the leaves,and then chop all of it (you can substitute 3 cups of fresh spinach as well!)
  • 1-1/2 cups of fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (optional, but yummy!)
  • 1 14oz can of cannellini or kidney beans (I used light red in this recipe)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I’ve even used a tablespoon of basil pesto as a substitution!)
  • 2 zucchini, halved and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups of slightly undercooked pasta (I would recommend a mini penne, mini elbow, or something unique. No flat noodles!  I used a campanelle for this batch)
  • Shredded parmesan or Italian cheese blend for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot on medium high, heat the olive oil until it’s shimmering.  Stir in the carrots, onion, and celery and sautee until they just start to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute.

Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (juice included), green beans and chard stems, and give a good stir.

Next add in the kidney beans, beef broth, and wine if you’re using it.

Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Stir in the chard leaves (or spinach), oregano and basil

then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Next,  stir in your semi-cooked pasta and zucchini.

Again cover with a lid and simmer for another 15-25 minutes until the pasta is cooked to “al dente” or still has a little tooth to it.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve sprinkled with shredded parmesan. Yet another recipe that gets even better the next day!!!!!

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Smokey, thick and chock full of veggies…nothing like a bowl of split pea soup on a gray day. Pass me a bowl please.  My Mom has eaten this cold.  It really is that tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 smoked ham shanks, or 2 ham bones, or 1 of each
  • 3 bay leaves
  • water
  • 2 lbs dried split peas
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2  inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by putting the ham shanks in a pot with the bay leaves and pour in approximately 12-14 cups of water.

It should cover the shanks and then some like this-

I know, there’s a shank and a ham bone in there. I said you could mix it up! We’re making a broth people!

Bring it to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and pulls from the bone easily.

While waiting for the broth to cook, heat up the oil in another pan and saute the onion, celery, and carrots until they are starting to brown, then add butter and garlic

and continue to cook until the garlic is cooked, but not brown, approximately 3-4 minutes more.

After 2-3 hours pull the shanks  out of the pot to cool down. Turn the heat up to medium low and add the split peas, veggies and thyme to the pot. Cook for 20 minutes. The shanks should be cool enough to separate the meat from the bone and anything else that you don’t want to put into the pot. Cut into medium size pieces

Then add the meat and the potatoes to the pot.

Cook until the peas have mostly broken down and the potatoes are starting to fall,  approximately 30 minutes. Then stir in the sugar.

Season with salt and pepper and serve!!

This recipe makes a large pot of soup,  but it can easily be halved for a smaller group. And for my vegetarian friends,  you can make a broth out of veggie stock, 2 tablespoon of smoked paprika, bay leaves and a tablespoon of salt. Bring it to a boil, and add the peas and sauteed veggies and potatoes all at once.  Then lower to a simmer. Be prepared for a split pea soup that’s has an orange color, but is still tasty!

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I love the smell of fresh majoram. I have a thriving patch of it outside. It’s one of the herbs that I brush when I walk by just to smell it on my hands. I recently noticed that my one of my kiddo’s broccoli plants was ready to be harvested, and knew exactly what I was going to do with it. Not that she wasn’t telling me exactly what she wanted me to make with it anyway.  Yep, ordered around by a two-year old. That’s me!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups broccoli, chopped (you can include stems and leaves, I do!)
  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (chop those leaves in too!!)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh majoram or 1-1/2 tsp dried majoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth (beef if you’d like a richer flavor or veggie for my vegetarian friends)
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan or shredded Italian cheese blend OR
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1-2/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • pepper to taste

Put chopped broccoli and cauliflower into steamer basket, put it in a pot, and steam until soft but not overdone, about 10-12 minutes. The broccoli should be about this color:

I would normally chop the broccoli and cauliflower up smaller, but I had a kiddo bugging me about soup.

Pull out the steamer basket and set it aside, then pour out the liquid in the bottom. Or use it in the soup, just set it aside.  I have.  It’s good stuff.  Use the same pot to cook your soup in, which equals less dishes, which in turn equals me happy.

Melt your butter in the pot,

I’m sure I didn’t need to include this picture, but I am a dairy addict, and look how pretty that melted butter looks!

Now add in your onion and celery

and cook until soft but not browned, about 7 minutes.

Add the broccoli, cauliflower, and flour to the celery mixture and stir well to make sure the flour is well blended. Then add majoram (If using fresh, strip the leaves from the stem), bay leaf, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pot.

and give another good stir.  Pour in the broth, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pull out the bay leaf and puree the soup in a food processor, blender or with a hand-held blender (mine went kaput a few months back), using whatever is easiest for you.

Then pour puree back into the pot, and make sure your stove heat is set on low. The soup should look something like this:

Notice it still has texture? YUM!

Pour in the cream and the cheese,

and stir until the cheese is melted. Then eat up!! I don’t think I could ever eat a plain broccoli soup again. The majoram enhances the soup flavor so well.  Feel free to omit the cauliflower and use only broccoli.  It’s just as delicious!!!

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