Broccoli Soup

There are a lot of Broccoli Soup recipes out there and many of there are delicious. I’ve made a number of variations myself over the years. Here’s one I made today that went over well.

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (I used frozen and the amount is pretty much a guesstimate)

    broccoli-soup

    Broccoli Soup

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup half and half or cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (Parmesan would work well too)
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz. can of white beans, drained and well rinsed (just about any kind work or use a couple cups of freshly cooked beans).
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Put it Together

  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot and then saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
  • Add the broccoli, red pepper flakes, and chicken stock. Heat til just boiling and simmer until broccoli is done (6-8 minutes)
  • Add the white beans and heat a few more minutes. Remove from burner and let cool a few minutes.
  • With an immersion blender, puree the soup. You can also puree in a regular blender and work in batches.
  • Add the cheese and cream. Heat a couple more minutes and then serve with crackers, crusty bread or toasted garlic bread. A salad on the side can complete the meal or serve as a side with a main dish.
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Kale Quinoa Salad

The original inspiration for this salad came from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve had to make several changes to accommodate the availability of ingredients in our rural area. The end result was a hit with the family and I’ve made it several times since.

Kale Quinoa Salad

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

    Kale Quinoa Salad

    Kale Quinoa Salad

  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of kale (I’ve used both the curly kale and the dinosaur (aka Lacinator) kale.
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced part ways up into the green stalk.
  • 5 oz bag dried tart cherries (my daughter used cranberries instead)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted until light brown and cool.
  • Feta Cheese – crumbled
  • Lemon zest gratings

Put it All Together

  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups boiling water and a 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Rinse quinoa well in cold water and drain. Set aside.
  2. Rinse and dry the kale. Remove the leaves from the stalks, discarding the stalks. Finely chop the kale and put in a large bowl.  (Do make sure it is chopped finely. )
  3. Add the quinoa, scallions, cherries, almonds and mix well.
  4. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over the dressing. Grate some lemon zest over the salad. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Add the Feta cheese to the individual servings.
  6. This servers 3-4 as a meal or several smaller servings if used as a side.

Surprisingly, this salad will keep well in the refrigerator for a day.

Easy Cabbage Soup

Not much to say about this soup except that it is TOTALLY awesome. I had posted a link to the recipe on Simply Recipes on Facebook awhile back and it generated a lot of comments. This soup is incredibly easy to make, healthy, and tastes great. I tweaked a few ingredients from the original. The spices are essential to this soup, so please don’t skip them!

Easy Cabbage Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds (grind them in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder used for spices)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

    cabbage soup

    Cabbage Soup

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-7 cups packed of sliced cabbage (I make slices around a quarter inch)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups water (depends on desired thickness of soup)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Put it All Together

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat in a soup pot (8 qt).  Add the garlic, onions, and spices. Cook until onions are softened, 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage to the onions, stirring to mix. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
  3. Add the tomatoes and juices to the onions, again stirring.
  4. Add the chicken broth. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes or until cabbage is thoroughly cooked.
  5. If soup is too thick, add additional water or broth.

This is a light soup. I have sautéed some sliced Andouille sausage for users to add to the soup at their discretion. My husband likes this addition.

Buckwheat Pancakes

I love Sunday morning breakfast. Church is later in the morning, and it’s fun to make a special meal when I have time to spare. Buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage, and fresh fruit is one we really enjoy. I got the original recipe from Simply Recipes and made it our own. Buckwheat has an earthy flavor and Simply Recipes says you can substitute the wheat flour for all buckwheat (which is gluten free). I haven’t tried that.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour ( use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (again, Bob’s Red Mill)

    buckwheat pancakes

    Buckwheat Pancakes with Sausage and Blackberries

  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 rounded tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk

Put it All Together

  1. Heat a griddle or non-stick pan to medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients and start mixing.
  4. Add the slightly beaten egg to the buttermilk. Slowly add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients until you get the desired consistency for the pancakes. You may need to add or not use all buttermilk.
  5. Put a small amount of vegetable oil or spray on the heated pan/griddle.
  6. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on top (3.4 minutes). Turn for an additional 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned.
  7. Serve with warmed REAL maple syrup, the fresh fruit of your choice (we use a variety of fresh berries), and sausage or bacon if desired.

Scrambled Eggs – All Dressed Up

I’m not a huge egg fan by any stretch of the imagination, as my family will attest, but today seemed like a good day to make them for a brunch. Our church service was at 0900 instead of later in the morning this week, so we went before breakfast and ate afterwards.

If I’m going to eat eggs, they need to be amped up a bit so I don’t taste the egg too much. I add lots of veggies and cheese and then serve with toast and some fruit. (Today the fruit was clementines).

Scrambled Eggs – All Dressed Up

Ingredients

  • 7 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

    eggs

    Scrambled Eggs All Dressed Up

  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4-6 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced (I like to use baby Portobella mushrooms, but pic what you like)
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (Usually use the white)
  • 1 tsp. tarragon, dried
  • 1/4 tsp. truffle oil
  • Olive oil and/or butter

Put It All Together

  1. Prepare the garlic, pepper, mushrooms, and cheese. Set aside for the moment.
  2. Crack the  eggs into a medium bowl and add a 1/4 cup water. Mix thoroughly. An immersion blender works wonderful!
  3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until a drop of water spatters. Add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil and/or butter and heat again. Add garlic, pepper, mushrooms and tarragon. Sauté until soft – about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs to the pan and then top with the cheese. Let eggs cook for a half minute. Then with a rubber or wooden spatula, gently push the eggs from the side to the center of the pan. Continue until there is no liquid left. (I find the eggs get fluffier when I add the cheese at the start of cooking).
  5. Sprinkle the truffle oil over the top of the eggs. This is optional, but it does give a delicious umami/earthy flavor to the eggs that I absolutely adore.
  6. Serve with toasted whole wheat bread and fruit.

My New Favorite Chicken Soup

I published a chicken soup recipe awhile back here that I’ve made for years. These past few months I’ve found a new way of making chicken soup that is much faster to put together and tastes pretty darn good!

My son has been “into” brining poultry after we brined a turkey for Thanksgiving last year. He uses a recipe where uses equal amounts of kosher salt and sugar boiled to completely dissolve and then cool. He then puts two chickens in a large container with the brine and refrigerates over night. The next day he rinses the chickens in cold water, applies an herb run and roasts them. This is absolutely delicious and there is leftover chicken for salads, sandwiches and soups for a week for three of us. Maybe I’ll get more details later and publish a full blog on Brined Chicken! You can use any type of chicken you have available for this soup, however.

chicken soup

Fast Homemade Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup – Fast to Make

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cut up roasted chicken
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I use 2 – 32 oz. boxes of broth – or make your own broth as noted in my original chicken soup recipe).
  • 2-4 cups hot water – depending on how much liquid you want in your soup
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp (generous) of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (10 oz) – I’ve also used fresh chopped bok choy or baby spinach. Leave the spinach out for a couple hours to thaw if possible, but not necessary.
  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or equivalent dried parsley)

Put it Together

  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Add thyme, red pepper flakes, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until just tender – 7-10 minutes.
  2. While veggies are sautéing, warm the chicken broth in another pan until almost boiling. Add this to the original soup pan and bring mixture to a low boil. Add bay leaves.
  3. Rinse the barley in warm water for a minute or two. Add this to the broth mixture. Bring soup back to low boil and simmer until barley is done. This usually takes 35-30 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until it is thawed or add the fresh spinach or bok choy.
  5. Add chicken and parsley. Cook until hot. Let simmer a few more minutes to meld flavors.
  6. Serve with bread, crackers and/or a simple lettuce salad. Enjoy.

Apple, Cranberry, Sausage Stuffing

I haven’t posted anything for a long time. Doesn’t mean I’m ignoring my blog cuz I use it to lookup my recipes frequently. Work and family seem to have left less time to write. But with Thanksgiving coming, I decided to put down the stuffing recipe I got from my daughter and edited to what we had on hand. This stuffing goes over very well with our guests and it’s open to any tweaking or changes the cook wants to make!

Apple, Cranberry, Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 loaves of 100% whole wheat or multi-grain bread.
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs pork sausage (you could substitute turkey sausage if desired)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, cored & chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dried sage
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley. Substitute dried if not available.
  • 4-5 cups liquid – mixture of chicken/turkey broth and water – use proportions as you wish.

Put it Together:

  1. Cube the bread in desired size. (My hubby did an awesome job of making nice small cubes of the bread and it made a difference in the outcome). Put the bread in a couple of cake pans and toast in oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Check on this frequently and stir as needed as the bread isn’t in a single layer. Remove when it’s at your desired “toastiness” 🙂 and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Brown the sausage in skillet. When almost done, add the onions and garlic. Stir until onions done and sausage is nicely browned… probably another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the celery, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Stir a few more minutes to meld flavors.
  4. Pour sausage mixture over dried bread cubes. Add apple, cranberries, melted butter and parsley. Mix.
  5. Add broth, stirring until desired consistency is reached. The last time I made this, I used 4 1/2 cups broth. The dryness of the bread and how moist you want it if you stuff the turkey will dictate the amount of liquid used.
  6. You may either stuff the turkey or bake the stuffing in the oven. I have baked it at 350 for 45 minutes or so. I also like to put it in a crockpot on low for a couple hours.