Showing posts with label Soups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soups. Show all posts

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pasta and Bean Soup

Wow, I can't believe it's October already and Fall weather is upon us. Actually, it's one of my favorite times of the year.  It has cooled down at night and the days are usually very comfortable.  We have a little wind blowing through our trees but that is just enough reminder that soon those trees will be bare and ready for winter.  In my kitchen it is time to get out those soup and comfort food recipes.  When we can make it over to Olive Garden, John and I both really like their Pasta Fagioli (Pasta and Bean) soup.  This is my version of this really comforting and filling soup.

                                                  Pasta and Bean Soup

1 lb. lean Ground Beef
2 teaspoons Canola Oil
1 small Onion, chopped fine
1 large Carrot, chopped
1 stalk Celery, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
28 oz. canned Diced Tomatoes
16 oz. canned Tomato Sauce
3 cups Beef Broth (I use Better Than Bouillon brand)
1 15 oz. can White Beans, drained
1 15 oz. can Red Kidney Beans, drained
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 small fresh Zucchini, chopped small (optional)
1/4 cup uncooked small Elbow Pasta (or any shape small pasta)

Bring a large pot to medium heat with the Oil in it.  Break up the Ground Beef and season it with salt and pepper, cook it in the oil until it all turns brown.  Drain off any excess oil.  Add the Onion, Carrot, Celery and Garlic and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add in the Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Beef Broth, White Beans and Kidney Beans.  Season with Salt, Oregano, Basil, Thyme and Black Pepper.  Cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Add the chopped Zucchini to the soup and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.   

In a separate saucepan, bring salted water to boil and cook the Pasta until it is just al dente (barely cooked).  Saving the cooking water, add the Pasta to the soup and cook for another 10 minutes. You can add some of the saved cooking water to thin the soup if you like it thinner.  Serve with crusty French Bread. 

Makes 8 - 10 servings

Notes:  If you want more broth, add extra Beef Broth
             Add more broth each time you reheat leftovers
            This Soup keeps well in the fridge and also freezes well

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lentil Soup

When I was growing up we had split pea soup, potato soup and chicken noodle soup.  I never heard of lentil soup until I was grown and gone from home.  I shied away from it because I was afraid it might be something nasty.  Well, nobody told me it was bean soup! Goodness, think of all those years I missed out on a yummy soup.  We had this a couple of nights ago and then finished it off for lunch today.  It is one of those soups that just gets better as it sits, so make it in the morning and reheat it for dinner.  I really am glad it's gone, enough is enough, but it sure was tasty while it lasted.  I keep my lentil soup pretty simple so feel free to add what you like.  I don't put tomatoes, spinach, kale or potatoes in it but you could. This one has chicken broth in it and I had a Kielbasa Sausage in the fridge so, in it went.  I have made it using vegetable broth and that's good too.  I really am not as picky as I used to be, thank goodness.

                                    Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium yellow or white Onion, chopped
3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of Celery, strings removed and chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1 pound dry Lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup dry White Wine - optional
4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
6 cups Water
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
juice from 1 Lime
Cilantro or Parsley to garnish

Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until they are tender - about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the lentils, wine, broth, water, thyme, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender - about 40 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and season to your taste with a little more salt and pepper if you like.  (I tend to under salt things, that’s just me... )  Garnish your bowls of soup with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with toasted French bread.  

If you like your soup thicker, cook it a little longer without a lid. To thin it, add a little more water.  If you want to add meat, like the Kielbasa Sausage shown here, I slice it and brown it slightly in the olive oil before I start adding soup ingredients to the pot, take sausage out and then add it to the soup for about the last 10 minutes of cooking.    

6 servings

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hot and Sour Soup

Last week we were trying to think of something that sounded good for dinner.  Now isn't that the question of the day!  Well, I said I would like something like Hot and Sour Soup.  John said that sounded good.  Well, I didn't really want to go to the store and there were several things I didn't have in the pantry or fridge.  So, I thought about what it was that I wanted.  I'm creative and I can come up with something.  So, I wanted something hot and something sour - like Hot and Sour Soup!  OK, let's see what we can do!  It's not very authentic but it is Hot and Sour and it is Soup.  I put in some frozen Pot Stickers and so it was a meal.  Not bad, and I want to share this version of Grammy's Hot and Sour Soup.  It really was pretty darned good, if I say so myself.


                            Hot and Sour Soup
                        with Pot Stickers or Tofu

5 cups Beef or Vegetable Broth (I use Better Than Bouillon brand)
1 cup of Mushrooms, sliced (white button or crimini)
2 tablespoons dry White Wine (good but optional)
1 8 ounce can Bamboo Shoots, cut in thin strips

3 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar (the sour)
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper (the hot)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Salt to taste
10 - 12 frozen Pot Stickers (or 4 ounces cubed Tofu)
1 cup frozen Petite (or small) Peas
2 Green Onions cut in 1/2 inch diagonal slices (greens and whites) 

In a large pot, combine Beef Broth, Mushrooms, Wine (if using), and Bamboo Shoots.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add Vinegar, Soy Sauce, White Pepper and Sesame Oil. Simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together Cornstarch and the 1/4 cup water.  Slowly add mixture to soup, stirring until slightly thickened. Add in Salt to taste and Pot Stickers (or Tofu). Cook for about 3 minutes, or until Pot Stickers are done.  Add Peas and cook for 2 more minutes.  Use slices of green onion to garnish each bowl of soup.

Makes about 4 servings