Category Archives: Soup

Sweet And Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Sweet and Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Fall weather is officially taken a turn and come to land in Portland for the next few months. I know this to be true because at 3 am when I heard a ticking sound, I thought to myself how something horrible was about to happen. But in all reality, that horrific sound that scared me still as could be was only our rain gutters. They finally failed to keep up with the rain that was quickly filling to the brim. The amount of rain these past few days had been impossible to keep up with. Needless to say, my evening scare was fulfilled with something entirely meaningless which allowed me to peacefully fall back to sleep.

I do love the cool crisp mornings, but I must say, I truly do not enjoy the rain for extended periods of time. A little here and there but not torrential downpour for days. There’s something about a rainy day that is comforting but not a hurricane taking over my life. I may be protesting a bit because my son loves outside no matter the weather. Tornadoes and hurricanes mixed with a little snow and ice and my son wouldn’t know the difference as long as he was outside playing. I on the other hand, can handle being outside if it’s not too nor too cold. Hmmm we shall see how this will play out the remainder of winter. I’m a little snow bird who loves to bundle up by the fire with socks, jammies (aka pj’s), blankets and a hot cup of tea or coffee. God changed my life when he brought not only a baby to my life, but a boy.

Enough of my complaining about the rain, I have many months I can continue this banter on rain as it is just beginning. ;)

Anyway, Michael’s step dad was coming over for pumpkin carving and dinner. I always enjoy a cozy meal on a beautiful fall day. This meal was perfect and allowed me to spend time carving pumpkins rather then slaving away in the kitchen.

Here’s what to do:

First- have a rainy day (check)
Second- have pumpkins (check)
Third- have a crockpot and LOVE to use it (check)

VIOLA, watch the magic happen!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • I lb Stew Meat
  • 1 cups baby carrots (as is)
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 6 Red Potatoes, chopped
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp beef Bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour

In a crockpot add stew meat, carrots, celery, onion and potatoes.

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Add in water and beef bouillon and stir.

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Top off with rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, pepper and parsley. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours on low heat.

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20 minutes before serving, take a cup of broth and add flour. Mix together until no lumps are present. Pour into the stew and give it a good stir. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with fresh garlic toast and a fresh cut green salad.

While the crockpot was cooking, I was enjoying watching my son try and drill holes into his pumpkin.

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“Cheez” my boys scooping out the guts…

Yes that’s right, Cooper has scissors in his hands.

pumpkin carvings

The pumpkins are coming to life…or maybe that’s just us.

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Marlin, Michael’s step-dad getting in on the magic as well.

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Helping daddy cut some eyes out.

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And here is masterpiece in action. 
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Carving pumpkins is never really “my thang,” but I do it for the simple joy it brings my son to watch things transform and get goop all over his hands. It was fun and we had a great time together with good food and good conversation.

Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

When I woke up this morning there was a cold wind whistle, yes Autumn is near. We came from a super hot 90 degree weekend and wound up in the 60’s today. Gloomy days are perfect cozy days. I woke up to snuggle on the couch with my blanket and work on my bible study and read for awhile. And of course I had my cup o’ coffee and it was absolutely glorious.

Opting for a warm soup and fresh bread for dinner, I put my crock pot to work; lentil stew.

I took Cooper to the park this morning to get his wiggles released before nap time. Upon our return home, the house smelt of something so yummy waiting to be eaten this evening. I love walking into a house that smells of yummy food or fresh baked goods. There is something so delightful in that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup navy beans
  • 1 1/2 cup lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Clean your beans and lentils thoroughly before placing in the crock pot

Combine all ingredients together and give a good stir.

Let simmer for 8 hours.

Lentil Stew 1

Serve with Garlic Buttered Bread and toast.

Split Pea Soup

 Split Pea Soup

Split pea

I love soup and I love split pea. I made this recently on a morning that was chilly and gave a good excuse to have soup even while it’s still summer out.

Autumn meals are the best. Crock pots smelling the home, soups, stews, casseroles and stroganoff. You can’t get much better than some delicious comfort food. The battle of your mind shouldn’t be the calories they hold, but rather the fact that winter is coming and we must store our chipmunk weight up for the winter. And behold, Fall is a great way to get that started. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 hamhock
  • 1 lb diced ham
  • 2-3 cups split peas (I prefer my soup thicker)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6-8 cups water

In a crock pot add everything together and give a good stir.

How easy is that? That’s why I LOVE crock pots. They are simple, delicious and seriously can’t get any easier than dumping everything together!

Let it all simmer for 6-8 hours. Your house will smell wonderful and you will be ecstatic that dinner is already made!

Split peas
Mixing quinoa, rice or couscous in with the soup for protein and to thicken it up, was the cure to getting him to eat soup.

sweetieHe’s all fueled up from the Pea and off to play he goes! :) 

SweetsYummy!

Split Pea Soup

Ham and Split Pea soup! Yummy yum yum! Great for a day such as today when the weather cools down, a soft mist of rain comes through and you just want something comforting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of split peas
  • 1 ham bone
  • ½ diced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken broth

In a crockpot add all ingredients and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours.

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You can’t go wrong with split pea soup especially when served with my English Muffin Bread toasted.

Thanks to startcooking.com

Thanks to startcooking.com

Enjoy!

Crockpot Tomato Bisque

Friday night I had been feeling as though I was coming down with something. Cooper had been sick with a cold the last couple days and I really, really was struggling with dinner that night. I absolutely love soup and could eat soup every day of the week. My husband on the other hand loves the soups and stews I make, but if given the option of soup or steak he will choose steak. (They are a good combination together as well) So, tonight I planned on making homemade bread and my tomato bisque soup. I began the bread the previous night as it has to rise overnight. I had a really bad feeling it wasn’t going to turn out once it was fully mixed. Something about the texture made me question this bread from the beginning. I didn’t throw it out as I gave it a shot to see if it would still rise properly. The following day I went to form my loaves and it was simply not the right texture. I decided to bake it anyways and see if it was still good. Bad idea. Let me tell you, something so terribly wrong happened that I wouldn’t even try a piece once baked. It was bad, I threw it away instantly and was so bummed that now we didn’t have homemade bread for this dinner. Oh well, life happens.

What happened to the bread was I used brown rice flour verses my usual white flour. This is the ONLY thing I did different and it turned out so wrong that I must note not to use any flour other than white flour or bread flour. Who-would-a-thought. I’ve made this bread many a times without fail and it has always been a winner. NO brown rice flour next time. :)

I had hoagies on hand and lightly buttered them with garlic salt and broiled them for a few minutes. It worked in a pinch.

Crockpot Ingredients:

  • 2 can’s diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 cup diced red potatoes
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup flour

For the cream mixture:

  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups half and half, warmed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a crockpot add chopped carrots, onions and potatoes.

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Add diced tomatoes, oregano and bay leaf.

imageAdd chicken broth…

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Let simmer for 4-6 hours on med-low heat.

30 minutes before serving, melt butter in a sauce pan.
imageAdd flour…
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Whisk for 5-7 minutes until thickened. Slowly add 1 cup of soup broth to the flour mixture to avoid lumps.
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Whisk well and add to Crockpot.
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Stir well and add parmesan cheese and warmed half and half. Let simmer for 30 minutes to allow soup to thicken up.

Serve with my English-Muffin-Bread and a side salad.

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On Sunday we went to church and came home and had leftovers. We had this delicious soup and made grilled cheese to dip into the bisque. It was so tasty and makes great leftovers.

Sausage and Lentil Stew

It has been SO cold in the mornings lately that I would rather lay snuggled in bed for hours. Unfortunately mommy duty calls and that luxury doesn’t happen.

My crockpot has been my best friend and always will be during the winter season. Makes meal time so easy and provides great dinners.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups water (Chicken Broth)
  • 2 tbsp Chicken Better than Bullion (omit if using chicken broth)
  • 2 cups Red Lentils
  • 1 lb Kielbasa Sausage
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2-3 tsp Garlic salt
  • 2 tsp Chili Pepper

Directions:

Chop onion, carrots, pepper and sausage. Add to crockpot. Dump in water, better than bullion and red lentils. Stir well and add seasonings. Viola! That easy!

Leave on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.

Serve with Bread, pasta, soup, or by itself.

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Sweet Creamy Carrot Soup

Sweet Creamy Carrot Soup

I took a friend out to lunch the other day for her birthday. We went to Bridgeport; it is a large outside shopping center that has a lot of yummy restaurants. We were going to go to Pastini’s which I love, but as we were driving through the parking lot we saw a new restaurant Called Twig. From the outside it looked very intriguing that we decided to test it out. They had only been open for four days.

Their burgers looked delicious so I decided to get one; I am easily pleased with a big burger. This gorgonzola garlic burger came with a side of sweet carrot soup. My girlfriend got a fajita salad that actually was very tasty and had good size chunks of steak on it.

My soup came out first and was honestly the best thing I have had in a long time. This carrot soup was so sweet and had caramel drizzle on top. I gave some to Cooper and he absolutely loved it. I was raving about this soup, it was amazing, honestly amazing. Every Thursday they make this soup so I made a large mental note of that. My burger was absolutely amazing as well. It had full chunks of grilled garlic, a bbq spicy aioli and big chunks of gorgonzola. I was thoroughly impressed by this new restaurant and their prices were incredible for their taste. It was soooooo good. I will be taking my husband there and making sure it happens on a Thursday to make sure I get their carrot soup again. :)

After eating I still couldn’t forget about the soup. I decided to embark on this task since both Cooper and I loved it. I ran to Trader Joes on my way home and got some fresh carrots. I have never made carrot soup before but thought it couldn’t be that hard. Tonight was the night.

My husband got home and said it smelt so good in the house and asked what it was. I simply said “dinner” without emphasizing what kind of soup I had made. I dished him up a bowl and made him some toast to dip it in. He took one bite and was raving about it, literally! He asked what it was and finally I told him it was creamy carrot soup. He was utterly surprised but loved it and asked where I got the recipe. I explained my lunch date and how I was attempting to make it myself. He was very complimentary about my cooking (sweet man) and told me he doesn’t know how I do it; creating a recipe from scratch but loved it.

This recipe is super easy and quick. The only time restriction is chopping the carrots, celery and potatoes. You can chop them large because they will cook down. This is a great meal when you are busy and don’t have a lot of time.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb peeled carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 6 large red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil (EVOO works great too)
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprkia
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 2 Sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp Salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Chicken Bouillon, scoop 2 tbsp or 3-4 cubes (I use Costco Better than Bouillon so it’s more of a paste)
  • 1 tbsp Honey

In a large pot drizzle a little Oil and add carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic and 2 cups water. Add in cumin, paprika and oregano stir well and top with Rosemary. Cook covered on low heat for 1-2 hours

Carrot Soup

Once vegetables are softened and cooked, transfer to a food processor.
Carrot Soup 1
Puree until fully smooth and transfer back to your large pot. Add in salt, pepper and garlic salt.

Carrot Soup 2

Add evaporated milk, ½ & ½, Chicken bouillon, and honey. Heat through and taste test to see if you have reached the desired sweetness you are looking for. :)

Carrot Soup 3

Serve with warm bread and enjoy.

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Husbands Chili

Yes we all know my husband has a couple meals he rocks, this is one of them. We had friends for dinner and my husband decided to be the chef for the evening. I LOVED it! I enjoy cooking but sometimes I absolutely get tired and unmotivated. It’s so refreshing when he steps in and takes it off my hands for the night.

He made the chili and I made the bread.

Husbands Recipe:

  • 2 pounds Italian sausage (1/3 sweet, 1/3 spicy, 1/3 mild)
  • Sautéed mushrooms (season to taste w/garlic)
  • Sautéed onions (season to taste)
  • 12oz kidney beans
  • 12oz garbanzo beans
  • 12oz tomato’s preferably diced
  • 8oz tomato sauce
  • Fresh basil (to taste)
  • Fresh rosemary (to taste)
  • 1 packet schillings chili mixture (or we can come up with our own for authenticity)
  • Chili powder (add depending on spicy or non-spicy)
  • Oregano to taste

Cook sausage until brown (keep drippings and excess liquid)

Sautee mushrooms with garlic and sea salt until brown

Sautee onions until slightly brown

Add tomato ingredients (diced tomatoes and sauce), along with kidney, garbanzo beans and include oregano, fresh basil, fresh rosemary and chili mixture. This becomes the chili.

Add sausage to chili.

Add sautéed mushrooms and onions to chili.

Add additional chili mixture or powder to chili for desired spiciness.

 

Simmer for 3-4 hours for the best flavor of the chili.

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Sweet Potato Stew

I made this last night for dinner. It was pouring rain the last couple of days and definitely chilly out. We’ve officially turned on the heat in the house this last week and of course Cooper’s room gets the coldest as it is the only room with wood floor. He has a rug in there, so I am on the hunt this week for shaggy rug to help fill his room with more fluff. Precious baby kicks his little blankets off while sleeping so I have to dress him very warm, although every morning his little fingers are still cold. We’ve discussed getting a space heater for his room but my husband puts his foot down, “no accidents” he says. We aren’t traveling down that road. I must say it’s hard to argue that, as much as I want to make his room a furnace in the dead of winter, a space heater is not the route.

Here is last night’s dinner from scratch; no fuss meal, quick and easy.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cubed steak
  • Dry Kidney beans
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • Diced onion
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • 8 oz water

Toss everything in a pot and let simmer for 3 hours until thickened and sweet potato is fully cooked.
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Had this with my left over quick no yeast oat bread.

 

Spicy Sausage Stew with Eggs

This recipe may be more like 30 minutes rather then 15, but definitely a quick meal.

I saw this recipe today and it looked very good. A perfect meal for a cloudy day. I always like making soup and stews but my husband gets sick of them come fall; this is a great twist on stew.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb Italian sausage
  • Onion, chopped
  • Minced garlic
  • Serrano pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Egg

 

Cook meat in a saucepan and add onion, garlic, peppers, 1 can black beans and seasonings.

Puree remaining can of black beans and chicken broth; this will make the base for the stew. Add to sauce pan and heat through.

 

Toppings: (you can add anything you like or have on hand)

  • Tortilla chips
  • Cheese (any kind you like)
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
  • Fresh Lime

(Adapted from Rachael Ray)

 

Fill soup bowl with tortilla chips, add stew, and top with cheese, avocado, green onions, cilantro, tomato, fresh lime juice and top with fried or poached egg.

 

Super simple yet super delicious. You can make is more spicy or less depending on the likes of the family.