Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

I realize I haven’t posted since the last time I won my office chili cookoff, which has been a few years.  Yikes!

But, I won again!  I pretty much used the recipe I did before but I had a few tweaks.  I also thought I had a jar of jalapenos but I didn’t.  So I tossed in a can of chipotle peppers w/adobo sauce which added a nice smokiness.  I want to do this version and add a bit of carrot along with the onion and green pepper to up the veggies and add to the flavor – but I didn’t have carrots at home and didn’t want to run out just for carrots.  So, this version is sans carrot.


Not a super picture – but it’s what I was able to snap at work before my hungry coworkers descended.



  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion (I used frozen diced onion)
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage
  • 1 lb beef sirloin (small cubes)
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 12 – 24 fl oz of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 (15-oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 1 (15-oz) cans dark red kidney beans


  1. Drain the canned beans and rinse them well.
  2. Brown meat, onions and bell pepper.
  3. Add tomatoes, coffee, broth and tomato paste.
  4. Add spices, beans and canned peppers.
  5. Simmer for 2 hours (or longer on low in a crock pot – my preferred method).

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I love the autumn.  I love the colors and the cooler temperatures.  I love the foods associated with autumn: apples and pumpkin, turkey and potatoes and the warm spices cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.  I love comfort foods and this time of year is just perfect since you just want to curl up with a big bowl of yumminess and then hibernate.

Last night I tried out a new soup recipe and was very happy with it.  I probably needed to add a bit more salt and pepper but that is easily remedied.  The original recipe came from http://www.pillsbury.com.  I didn’t add the celery called for in the original recipe because 1) I didn’t have celery on hand and I didn’t want to buy a bunch only to use 1 stalk and 2) I’m not a huge celery fan anyways.  I used a blend of cheddar and colby jack instead of cheddar/american as called for in the original.  I also didn’t saute the onions in bacon fat because I already had some pre-cooked bacon and I was lazy and didn’t want to dirty a pan just to saute the onions so I just put the diced onions in the crock pot.  Sauteing the onions in bacon fat would increase the flavor but it was good skipping this step as well.

Cheesy Potato Soup (see original recipe here)


  • 4 slices of bacon (I used more – because bacon is awesome, but this is optional if you don’t eat bacon)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 5 cups diced, peeled potatoes
  • 32 oz chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (you might want to increase if you are using lower sodium broth)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (I recommend increasing this amount)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar


  1. Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Remove and drain and refrigerate.
  2. Using reserved bacon fat, saute the onions until tender.
  3. Add cooked onions, potato, broth, salt & pepper to crock pot.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the half & half and flour.  Add to crock pot.  Cook on high for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in cheeses until melted.
  6. Garnish soup with crumbled cooked bacon.

This is a lovely warm soup to eat on a chilly evening.  I baked up a batch of rolls to eat along with it so the carb-loading qualities of this meal were complete.  😉

I also love crock pot meals.  I love the simplicity of dumping a bunch of ingredients in a pot and having a dinner made later without a whole lot of fuss.  So, enjoy!

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Since it’s been chilly around here I think it’s time to try out some new soup recipes!

Monday night in preparation for the Ice-pocolypse that was going to hit the south, I decided to try Thai Chicken Soup.

I left the cilantro out of the original recipe since my husband does not like cilantro.  I also thought I had fish sauce in my pantry – but it turned out to be Oyster sauce.  I used that anyways.  I know it’s not the same thing, but I had it.  And it tasted just fine.  I also added more rice noodles than the recipe called for because I didn’t want to deal with a partial package of rice noodles (it wouldn’t go back in the original packaging – at least not well) and I really like noodles anyway.

Other than that, I pretty much followed the original recipe from the Food Network.

Thai Chicken Soup from the Food Network Magazine


1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp green curry paste

6 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 (15oz) can coconut milk ( I used the lite coconut milk)

1 Tbsp fish sauce

2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced

4 oz thin rice noodles, broken into pieces (I ended up using the whole package)

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, very thinly sliced crosswise

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup freshly chopped cilantro (I omitted this and added parsley instead)


1) Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; cover and bring to a boil.

2) Add the bell peppers and noodles and simmer, uncovered, until the noodles are al dente, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until just cooked through, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Add more fish sauce and lime juice, if desired.

But, this was definitely a fun twist on a normal run-of-the-mill chicken noodle soup.  I think next time I have a cold, I’m going to be making this soup.

Last night I made a Roasted Garlic Soup which was also very good.  My husband thought it would be better as a sauce.  I think I might do that with the leftovers, just thicken it up with some pasta and chicken.  Mmmmm…  But I also liked it in soup form.  We definitely kept the vampires at bay because it has a lot of garlic in it.

I based my recipe on the Poached Garlic Soup recipe from foodnetwork.com; however I changed it around from the original recipe and I think it turned out quite well.

Roasted Garlic Soup


6 heads of garlic

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 c. diced onion

1 c. diced leek (white part only)

1 bay leaf

1 c. peeled, diced potatoes

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

4 c. chopped swiss chard

1 c. heavy cream

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

salt & pepper to taste


1) Roast the garlic at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the garlic is soft.  Squeeze softened garlic from the peels (I suggest to let the garlic cool a bit before doing this).

2) Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion, leek, bay leaf and a little salt.  Cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, but not brown, around 10 minutes.

3) Add the potatoes, roasted garlic, Italian seasoning and chicken stock.   Bring to a boil then reduce the heat cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4) Add swiss chard and heavy cream and cook an additional minute until the greens wilt.

5) Blend in a blender until smooth.  Be careful to only fill the blender about halfway as the hot liquid will expand when blending

I served this soup with some ham & cheese melts that are basically home-made hot pockets.  I just wrapped some ham deli meat and cheddar cheese in crescent roll dough and baked.

These soups have definitely hit the spot with the weather being cold and nasty.  And I have a whole list of other soups I want to try!

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