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Archive for the ‘Soups & Stews’ Category

Wow!  What a great food week (and it is only Tuesday)!  I had some leftover whole wheat pitas I made and I though, pita chips!  So here I am with fresh baked pita chips wanting something to dip them in.  Kidney and black beans take too long for my immediate need!  Therefore, I turned to red lentils – quick cooking and delicious!  This was a happy accident and really, it turned out so yummy!

  • 1 c red lentils (you can use green lentils but not quite as pretty)
  • 2 1/4 c water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Rinse the lentils well.  Add lentils, garlic and water to a medium pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender.  Add a little water if needed.

Then add:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Simmer for 15 minutes.  Pour into a blender and add:

  • 1/2 c fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

Puree` until smooth.  Adjust for what you want to use this for.  At first, I thought, this is a great soup!  Then I reduced it a little and found it to be a fabulous dip for my pita chips.  After that, I had it as a topping/condiment for a Greek meatball (Keftedes) sandwich!  It is a little like a curry but, mild and just so good.  I cannot find the words to describe how yummy this turned out (except YUMMY!).

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First, sorry for the delay.  I would absolutely like to thank Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I am extremely flattered because, as you all know, I am pretty new at this.  I am still getting the hang of food blogging, especially the photo part (not the  best yet…).  I don’t have a lot of natural light and I think that is reflected in my photos.  I really cannot wait until Spring so I can get outside and get in the sunshine!


There are literally hundreds of versions of green chile stew.  As a tribute to Ann, I am sharing my version of Green Chile Stew.   That is because, had it not been for Ann, I would probably never have tasted this exceptional type of dish – chock full roasted green chiles, garlic, onions and potatoes.  Yes, these are some of my favorite things!  I dug through my freezer until I found the last of my fresh frozen roasted green chiles.  That being the case, I am hoping for a very good chile pepper gardening year this summer.  Either Mother Nature cooperates with my garden this year, or, I will have to get to New Mexico (of course there is always mail order…)!

I understand that I am to nominate five other bloggers when I receive this honor.   I, again, remind you that I still pretty new at this and I am still discovering new blogs.  So, picking five blogs is kind of difficult for me.  Therefore, I am nominating bloggers who I have found interesting in their prose, topics, recipes or photos.  Again, Ann, thank you very much for your tips and support.  And thank you to everyone who has visited my blog.

1.  adelaidefood

2.  drizzleanddip

3. savorymomentsblog

4. digginfood

5. gardenofeatingblog

On with the stew…

  • 1 lb ground venison (or beef, pork, chicken, turkey, whatever you like)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 c potatoes, diced (about4 medium, I like to leave the skin on ~ I used red skin potatoes)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c green chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
  •  black pepper
  • salt
  • 5 c water (approximate)
  • 3 TB canola oil

Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Add 1 TB oil.  Crumble ground meat into oil, season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  When meat is browned, remove to a bowl and reserve.

Add remaining 2 TB oil to the same pot.  Add chopped onions and diced potatoes.  Season with 1 tsp salt.  Cook, stirring frequently until onions are translucent and the the vegetables are just starting to brown a little.  Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Add green chiles and another 1 tsp black pepper.  Stir well.  Return browned meat to the pot.  Cover the vegetables and meat with water.  Mine took 5 cups of water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Simmer until the potatoes are just starting to fall apart.

At this point, feel free to serve up the stew with fresh warmed flour tortillas.   I actually served mine with quesadillas filled with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh chopped cilantro.

 

The stew is even better the next day!  As an added bonus, the stew is a wonderful gravy for breakfast burritos ~ wheat flour tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs and cheese.  Oh so good!

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There are some things at the grocery store, that in my opinion, are fabulous deals!  Frozen spinach is one (do you know how much spinach fits into one of those little frozen boxes?).  The other is the rotisserie chickens that almost all grocers carry these days.  They often go on sale for around $5.00, which when you think about it, you get a whole chicken, seasoned, cooked and hot.  If you buy a whole raw chicken, it is usually about that price but then you have to season and cook the chicken.  The savings in time is incredible!  Also, in my house, we usually get at least two meals (often three meals) from one of those rotisserie chicken – the initial chicken dinner, then either chicken salad, chicken quesadillas or something like that, then the inevitable chicken soup!

I just happened to pick a rotisserie chicken up while shopping on Saturday.  So here we are on “soup day”.  It is still cold, windy and snowy so a comforting steamy bowl of soup is just the thing to warm you up!

  • 1 carcass from a rotisserie chicken (or if you roasted your own chicken, that is fine too!)
  • 8 c water
  • 1 bay leaf

In a stock pot, place the chicken carcass and cover with 6 to 8 cups of water.  Add bay lea.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Strain over a bowl, reserving the broth and the carcass.  Be sure to remove the bay leaf from the broth.  Let the chicken carcass cool until you can handle it then pick all the meat off and add it to the reserved broth.

  • 2 TB olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 c chopped celery
  • 1 c chopped onion, preferably yellow or white
  • 1 c chopped carrot
  • 1 c peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 2 TB fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (I did not have any but if I did, it would be in the pot!)

Heat oil in stock pot over medium low heat.  Add the carrots, onion and celery. Saute` until onion is translucent and carrots are almost tender.  Add garlic and cook about a minute longer.

Add reserved chicken stock (and picked chicken from carcass).  Add thyme and pepper.  Simmer until carrots and celery are tender.

Add salt to taste.  Then add peas (and/or zucchini) and simmer for 5 additional minutes.  Stir in parsley.  At this point, the soup is ready to eat.  Or you can add noodles (simmer until noodles are tender) or dumplings (see below), whatever your heart desires.  LOL ~ the peas float!

And then… I made dumplings, because they are so comforting and because we love them in this home!  I got this dumpling recipe from Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition.  It is a  wonderful basic dumpling recipe ~ fluffy, buttery and oh, so delicious!  I did cut the recipe in half here.  I have experimented in the past with whole wheat flour, adding cheeses and/or fresh chopped herbs. Below are the original ingredients because it is the best starting point.  By cutting it in half, the recipe yields about 9-10 dumplings which is plenty for this pot of soup.

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp plus a pinch salt
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 1/2 TB butter

Mix dry ingredients together.  Heat butter and milk to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Add to dry ingredients and stir well with a fork.  Drop by spoonfuls into simmering soup.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.   Serve immediately.

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So the winter bug is going around.  Everyone at my house is feeling a little under the weather today ~ sore throat, achy.  You know the feeling.  So we were looking for something warm and comforting.  This is the result.  Enjoy!  We did.   Made us all feel a little better…

1 lb beef, diced into bite size pieces

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c diced sweet bell pepper (I used red)

2 TB olive oil

2 tsp bouquet garni herb blend

4 c beef broth

28 oz can diced tomatoes with liquid

8 to 11 oz rinsed lentils, depending on how think you want your soup (I used red but any will do)

2 TB fresh parsley, minced

  • Heat oil in heavy pot.  Add beef and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each).  Brown beef, remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add carrots, celery, onions, bell pepper, bouquet garni and garlic.  Saute` until the onions are translucent.
  • Return beef to the pot, add tomatoes, beef broth and lentils.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until lentils and vegetables are tender ~ about an hour or so.
  • Stir in fresh parsley.  Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve.  I topped mine with a little diced Havarti cheese.

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Okay. So it is the day after Thanksgiving (ok, a few days), and you have to do something with all the leftover turkey. You are absolutely done with cold turkey sandwiches!  What to do?  Turkey Noodle Soup!  At least that is what we did at our home! Simple soup is pretty basic, really.  A few spices, herbs, stock, veggies, etc.  You can make basic soup with a lot of leftovers ~ ham, poultry, beef .  I will share my basic soup recipe at a later date and I want to share the stock recipes as well.  But, it will be a long cold winter of comforting, steamy soup.  There is plenty of time!  Therefore, I am sharing my turkey soup recipe.  I was fortunate that we roasted a wild (not domestic turkey).  At this point, I would like to make a brief comment on the difference.

I am a believer that once you eat a wild turkey, your never want to eat a domestic turkey again!  Domestic turkeys are white and flavorless. You have to baste and baste and baste to make them have an inkling of flavor!  However, a wild turkey has flavor.  You do have to cook it low and slow.  Beer and bacon are always a great flavor enhancer!

Please note ~ I have a tendency to “overcook”, meaning I cook way too much food for two people!  Anyway, here goes!

Turkey Soup with Homemade Noodles

The Noodles:

3 Eggs

1 TB and 1 tsp butter

1 1/2 to 2 cups flour

Salt, a pinch (if you are using unsalted butter, use a tsp of salt)

1 to 2 TB water

  • Cut the cold butter into 1 1/2 cups flour until well blended.  Fingers work great!
  • Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and gradually mix the eggs into the flour.
  • Add a bit of water if needed to gather dough into a ball.  Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  • When you are ready to roll out the dough, take it out of the fridge and place on a floured surface.  Dust with flour and roll out to about an 8th inch.  Cut noodles to preferred size.  I use a pizza cutter.

The Soup:

1 cup onion, diced

2 cups carrots, diced

1 1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup sweet bell pepper, diced

2 TB olive oil

2 tsp dried thyme (1 tsp fresh)

1 bay leaf (2 if they are small)

2 TB fresh parsley (minced)

6 cups fresh turkey stock (or you can use chicken or vegetable stock)

4 cups leftover turkey, diced or shredded

  • Heat a saute’ pan to medium low or so.  Add 2 TB olive.
  • Add onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper.  Once onions are translucent, add stock, bay leaf, thyme and turkey.
  • Simmer until carrots are tender.
  • Add homemade noodles and cook for additional 10 minutes until tender.
  • Add minced parsley and serve.

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