Tag Archives: soup

Potato and Bacon Soup

11 Feb

When it’s like this outside:

You should have this on the inside:

It has been snowing here now for two days; and five days before that, it snowed for two days. We have on the ground here in Baltimore a grand total of 65 inches, give or take a few inches.   So with that said, let’s make some soup.

Creamy Potato and Bacon Soup

3 slices bacon

2 tbl. olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

2 tbl. chopped fresh garlic

3 tbl. all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken stock or broth

4 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced ( 4 cups)

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 cup heavy cream ( optional)

2 tbl. chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat, heat up olive oil and add bacon to pan. In a seperate pot, warm up the chicken stock to simmer.  saute bacon in olive oil and allow bacon to get crispy.

Remove bacon from pan and add onions, celery and garlic and saute until soft, being careful not to brown.

Add flour to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly until flour mixture is tan ( blond) in color. Do not brown.

Add stock , potatoes,bay leaf, thyme to pot and simmer. Skim off any foam that appears on the surface.

While soup is simmering, chop the bacon. When the soup has finished  simmering and potatoes are tender ( 30-45 minutes), take a potato masher and mash the potatoes in soup pot to thicken soup and provide a rustic texture.

Remove thyme sprig and bay leaf,  add bacon, chopped parsley and cream. Stir into soup and serve immediately with a slice of crusty bread.

Enjoy!

Vegan Black Bean Soup

12 May

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Hey Kids!

Here is a great recipe for a Black Bean Soup. This is a soup for a rainy day or it  can be used in making nachos. Add some ground beef or chicken, and you  have a great black bean chili. Use what you want as a garnish. here, I’ve added diced red onion, tomatoes, hummus ( a great non-dairy alternative to sour cream), and fresh basil. You of course, can tart up your black bean soup anyway you choose ( cheese, sour cream, meat, and/ or  Doritos © ).

No animals were used in making this soup, but I did murder a mess of vegetables if that makes the meat lover in you  happy!

Ingredients

2 c. onions, diced

1 c. carrots, diced

1/2  c. celery, diced

1/2  c.  bell peppers, diced

2 T.  chopped fresh garlic ( Less or more if you like)

1/2  c. jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)

1/2  t.  coarse grind black pepper

1/4  c.  olive oil

1 lb. dried black beans*

1 ea. 14-15 oz. can  flavored diced tomatoes ( Rotel brand w/ chilies, or any kind flavored with basil and/or garlic

2 T. tomato paste

3/4  t.  chili powder

3/4  t.  ground cumin

1 t. dried basil

1/2   t.  dried oregano

1/2  t. smoked paprika

2 ea. bay leaves

10 c. vegetable broth

1 cup prepared salsa

salt to taste

Garnish of your choice

Prepare all vegetables,  measure out all spices and liquids; set aside. In a large pot ( 2  1/2 gallon capacity), heat up olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic and saute until onions are clear and aromatic, about 6-10 minutes. Add black beans and stir for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, bay leaves and broth. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer. Skim off any foam that accumulates on top with a slotted spoon. Cook beans on simmer, stirring ocasionally for 2-3 hours or until beans are very tender.

Take 4 cups of the bean soup and puree in a food processor or hand blender until smooth and stir back into the  soup. Add salsa to soup, and serve.

* It is not necessary to soak any beans before using them, but do it if it makes you feel better. Reduce the cooking time if you do so.

A note to carnivores- Start this recipe with your meat of choice. Brown meat in the olive oil, then remove from pot and drain off all but 1/4 cup of fat. Then proceed with the recipe.

Hey, $25 gift card contest extended!!!!

6 May
Hey, win a gift card!

Hey, win a gift card!

Due to the ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING RESPONSE ( zero), I’m extending the contest dates to Midnight, May 24th. You have until then to tell me how you make your meals a gourmet experience in thee hard economic times. There will be two winners, each receiving a $25 Shop-Rite gift card.

Contest Rules:

1) No substitutions will be given in lieu of gift cards.

2) Shop-Rite gift cards can only be used at Shop-Rite stores.

3) Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 24.   The winners  will be announced on May 27, 2009.

4) All posts must be limited to 50 words or less.

5) All entries must have a valid e-mail address

6) Only one entry per valid e-mail address

7) Please refrain from using racist, sexist or pornographic comments. Entries which contain theses elements will be disqualified.

Have Fun!

Win a $25 gift card from Shop-Rite

24 Apr

shopritelogo Culinary Chick and the kind folks from Shop-Rite grocery stores are giving away $25  Shop-Rite gift cards to two lucky readers of this blog. All you have to do is post an answer to this question:

In these lean times, how do you maintain a gourmet touch in the meals you prepare for yourself, or your family?

A gourmet touch could be anything from using a simple garnish like a parsley sprig,  to breaking out that extra virgin olive oil, to splurging on seafood or a special cut of meat. I will choose the  best five entries; and you, the readers will choose the best two.  The two winners will receive the $25 gift card, courtesy of Shop-Rite.

Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 10.  Voting will end on midnight, May 17. The winner will be announced on May 19, 2009.

Contest Rules:

1) No substitutions will be given in lieu of gift cards.

2) Shop-Rite gift cards can only be used at Shop-Rite stores.

3) Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 10.  Voting will end on midnight, May 17. The winner will be announced on May 19, 2009.

4) All posts must be limited to 50 words or less.

5) All entries must have a valid e-mail address

6) Only one entry per valid e-mail address

7) Please refrain from using racist, sexist or pornographic comments. Entries which contain theses elements will be disqualified.

Have Fun!

Adventures in Breadmaking: My first loaf

5 Mar
Ain't it cute, ya'll!!

Ain't it cute, ya'll!!

Well, folks; this is my first attempt at baking bread. This is a loaf of  honey-oatmeal bread. It is supposed to be light and fluffy. Instead, it is dense and cake-like.  I asked the  person who baked this bread why it turned out this way, and she said it did the same thing to her.

The dough was so stiff, that it almost broke the hook on my Kitchen-Aid mixer.  But, boy does it taste good! Too dense for sandwiches, this is perfect for breakfast ( bread is slightly sweet), or erved with soup. I’m going to play with this recipe a few times with the help of a dear friend ( master baker).  As soon as I get the permission from the owner of the recipe, I’ll post it!

CC

Minestrone for whatever ails you

20 Feb

Well, what do you do when you want a vegetable soup, but not just any vegetable soup? You make minestrone, the king of vegetable soups. The good thing about this recipe is that with the omission of the meat,  this becomes vegetarian; and with the omission of the cheese, it becomes vegan.

Ingredients

3 Tbl. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped bacon, ham or smoked turkey meat ( omit for meat free option)

1 cup onion, peeled and diced

1/2 cup  chopped celery, diced

1/2 cup green or red bell peppers, diced

3/4 cup chopped carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup zucchini, diced

2 tbl. chopped garlic (  add more if you like)

15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 bay leaf

2 cups packed chopped fresh escarole or chopped raw spinach

1 5 oz. can  drained and rinsed cannellini beans, or 1 cup cooked pasta ( bowtie, elbows, penne)

2 tbl.  chopped fresh parsley

Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Directions

Prepare all vegetables and meats, and measure out all liquids and seasonings before preparing soup. In a 3 gallon heavy bottomed stock pot, heat up the olive oil over medium heat.  ( If going meatless, skip the following step, and go to the next step) Saute bacon until crispy, or ham until browned slightly; being careful not to allow to burn, about 10 minutes. At this time, a brown substance may form on the bottom of the pot. This is called fond, and is valuable for flavoring soup. Do not allow fond to burn.

Add carrots, onions, celery, peppers, garlic and zucchini to the pot. Add I cup of the broth, and cook vegetables until wilted, about five minutes.  Add the rest of the broth, seasonings, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any accumulated fat off of the surface  with a spoon.

Add the spinach or escarole, and the beans or pasta and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until greens are tender. Serve in bowls with generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

Enjoy!

Turkey Minestrone

27 Nov

My, My, My!

What to do with all of that turkey after Thanksgiving? Well, I’ll tell you. Make some of this delicious soup. I can cure what ails you. If your not into the meat aspect of this soup, then leave it out, and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. chopped bacon ( opt.)

1/4 c. olive oil

1 1/2 c. diced celery

1 c.  diced carrots

2 c. diced onions

8 c. turkey stock

1 c. green beans ( fresh, frozen or canned ok)

1/2 c. diced roasted peppers

15 0z. can diced tomatoes in juice

15 oz. can cannellini, kidney or chick peas; rinsed and drained

1 c. dried bowtie pasta, penne, or macaroni

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

1/2 t. cracked black pepper

2 T. chopped garlic

5 c. diced turkey ( can be all white meat, all dark or mixture of both

1/2 c. frozen chopped spinach

1/2 c. parmesan cheese ( powdered kind, not the gourmet kind)

In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat up the olive oil until hot, then add bacon and saute carefully over meduim heat until crisp . Remove bacon frompan and set aside. Add carrots, onions, garlic and celery to pan and saute until tender, about six to eight minutes. Add stock, vegetables, bay leaf and seasonings to pan. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes over low heat.  Add beans and pasta and cook for another 15 minutes. Add frozen spinach and diced turkey and cook another five minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese until dissolved and serve with warm crusty bread and a drizzle of olive oil on top, cooked bacon and extra parmesan cheese.