Lasagna Soup

Lasagna soup

Our weather has been flip-flopping between warm and chilly.  For a while there, the days and nights were really beginning to feel like proper fall.  I even had to break out the down comforters for the beds, because I was getting cold at night.  The air was smelling so crisp and clear.  Sigh… I love Fall.

But, now, we are back to late summer temperatures again.  Muggy, and somewhat warm.  Thank you New England!  Be as it may, I still am craving soups.  I thought that a great way to kick-off soup season would be with this killer looking lasagna soup.  I mean really.  Tomatoes, noodles, hamburger and cheese?  You can’t go wrong!

Lasagna soup

My husband thoroughly dislikes ricotta cheese, so I opted not to put in the cheesy mixture.  Instead, I did a mixture of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, served along side a hunk of crusty bread.  It was fabulous.  The kids loved it, we loved it.  It was a great, hearty dish for a chilly evening.  I look forward to making this again this winter.

Lasagna Soup

Yield: 8-10 servings

For the soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons. dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cup chicken stock
  • 8 oz.  fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Cheese topping
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add hamburger, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 8 minutes.  Stir in onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes.  Then, stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir until hamburger is coated.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns slightly brown.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente.  Stir in the fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the bay leaves, and serve in individual bowls, and top with a sprinkling of each cheese.

Source: Adapted from 300 Sensational Soups, via A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

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Lentil and Black Bean Soup

Lentil and Black Bean Soup This winter has been really weird this year. The temperature can’t seem to make up its mind! Two days ago it was 9º when I woke up in the morning. Yesterday it was 46º. Weird. Up north has been getting a lot of snow, while we just get dismal rain. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a white Christmas! Speaking of which, we still need to get our tree. The nice thing about living in the middle of nowhere, is the fact that there are plenty of Christmas trees in our back yard we can just go out and chop down. Buying a tree is totally foreign to me. Even though the temperatures are flip-flopping, I am still digging the comfort food. And the holiday sweets. (I have many up-coming treats to share with you.) Soup is my go-to comfort. I love this soup because it is healthy and filling. Black beans are becoming a big favorite of mine. My kids wouldn’t necessarily agree with me, but I try to sneak them in things all the time. This soup would be great to make a big batch and freeze a bunch for later. And most of the ingredients are things you most likely have on hand to whip up a quick dinner last minute. Win! Lentil and Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 3-4 large stalks celery, diced
  • 3-4 large carrots, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable, or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine, water or broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can (14 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 6-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic, garlic powder, paprika and bay leaves and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes, lentils, half of the black beans, the chicken broth and the water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, about 35 minutes Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until mostly puréed. Or, transfer half of the soup to a food processor and process until mostly puréed. Add mixture back to pot, along with remaining black beans. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium heat for another 10-15 minutes until the lentils are fully cooked through. Stir in parsley and serve.   Source: Adapted from Smells Like Home, originally from Cookin’ Canuck

Beef and Barley Stew

Beef and Barley Stew

As soon as the colder weather hits, I am all about the comfort food. Soup and bread are my go to’s. I usually have soup on the menu at least once a week. I love to make a big ol’ pot that makes enough for left overs. Soup almost always gets better the next day, so it works our perfectly. There is nothing like coming in from the cold outdoors to a nice big bowl of hot soup. With bread to dip, of course.

When we pre-order our meat in the Spring from a local organic farm, I always make sure to order plenty of stew meat so I can make the beloved braised beef, and this soup. They are major favorites in our household!

This soup is hearty, filling and delicious. The stew meat becomes irresistible melt-in-your-mouth tasting. Then there is a delicious mixture of fresh vegetables, and the healthy addition of barley. The perfect soup in my book! This is great to make an extra large batch to feed a crowd, or to throw in your freezer for those nights you don’t feel like cooking.

Beef and Barley Stew

  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound stew meat, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

Directions

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the stew meat and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just beginning to caramelize, adding more oil if needed. Stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in everything except the tomatoes. Stir well, making sure to scrape up any burnt pieces on the bottom. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Then, turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the soup becomes too thick, add more water.

Taste the soup after 2 hours, adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for another hour. Remove the bay leaf and dish into individual bowls. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Source: Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

Last week, my husband was feeling a little under the weather. And the nights have become much cooler. It was 42º when I got up this morning! Fall is definitely here. So, to remedy a tired, not-feeling-so-great husband, and cooler evenings, I decided to make a soup. What is more comforting than chicken and rice soup? Maybe only having delicious homemade sourdough bread to dip into it. (I promise to share that recipe soon. And trust me, you don’t want to miss it!)

This is a hearty, belly-filling soup. This is the perfect comfort food for those chilly days. And it will surely put a smile on anyone feeling under the weather.

Chicken and Rice Soup

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 3 1/2 Tablespoons dried
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • a pinch of thyme
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the onion, carrots and celery in the pot. Cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and chicken. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the rice is tender, about 35-45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Source: Lily’s Cafe Cookbook, Revised Edition by Kyra Alex

End of Summer Herby Chicken Chili

End of Summer Herby Chicken Chili

What is it about a big pot of fresh veggies that is so appealing? When I saw this recipe, I knew that I needed to make it immediately. It worked out perfectly because I had several squash sitting in my fridge needing to be used up. I love the idea of basically throwing a bunch of vegetables into a pot then letting it cook until delicious. All the flavors blend together while cooking, but you can still taste the individual vegetables in each bite.  It makes a pretty large pot too, which is perfect in my opinion. I gave a bowlful to my dad for him to have for dinner, and we still had enough leftovers for the next night! I served the chili with honey cornbread muffins and shredded cheddar cheese. (The muffins were okay, but a little too sweet in my opinion.)

End of Summer Herby Chicken Chili

End of Summer Herby Chicken Chili

Yield: 8-10 servings

  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper sprinkled on both sides
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • corn kernels cut from 4 large ears of fresh uncooked corn
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz. chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I used parsley because that’s what I had the most of)

Directions

In a large heavy duty soup pot or French oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sauté until golden. Turn the chicken over and sauté the other side until golden. Then turn heat down to medium, cover the pan with the lid, and cook just until chicken is no longer pink inside, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and set aside.

Return the pot to the stovetop and heat to medium-high. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, peppers, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and yellow squash and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Stir to combine. Heat until bubbling and then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken breasts and add to the pot, followed by the fresh lime juice and zest. Right before serving, stir in the fresh herbs. Adjust to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with shredded cheese and cornbread, if desired.

Source: Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Curried Lentil Soup

curried lentil soup

Now that some of the days are growing cooler, I am looking forward to soup making again. It is my favorite thing to eat when it’s cold out. Especially when it’s winter! But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves now.

This soup is a wonderful, hearty meal. It is super filling, healthy and bursting with flavor. It’s incredibly easy to make. You basically throw everything into the pot and let it simmer for an hour. Easy peasy! And it smells amazing to boot. A great way to feed hungry mouths.

Curried Lentil Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 1/2 lb. dried green lentils
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 cups chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Place all the ingredients, except the salt, pepper and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Source: Lily’s Café Cookbook Revised Edition by Kyra Alex

Fresh Corn Soup with Basil

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I know, I know, who is thinking of soup this time of year!? I had to share this recipe though. It is one of my favorites. I wait until corn is in season every year to make this soup. This is one time you can’t get away with frozen corn. This soup is perfect for a day that is a little cooler (we get those frequently with living on an island!). Served with a hunk of bread, it makes the perfect lunch or light dinner. Chock full of fresh flavors that makes summer come running. It is really simple to throw together for last minute guests.

Fresh Corn Soup with Basil

Yield: about 4-5 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups uncooked corn kernels (from about 6 ears of corn)
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and chicken or veggie broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.

Stir in the basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the soup as is, or you can purée part of the soup with an immersion blender, or by transferring to a blender or food processor. Serve hot.

Source: Adapted from Cooking in the Moment by Kyra Alex