What is it about these rainy January days that serves to chill you right to the bone? My goodness, everything in my body feels like it’s frozen and it’s dreary out but I can’t drink any more coffee if I want to sleep sometime in the next decade, you know?
Thankfully, Sylvi has inherited my love of soup. Although, she may have been influenced by the alphabet soup in I Stink. Anyone on Facebook knows that my daughter is obsessed with the story… so much so that the entire family and most people who spend time in our presence has the entire thing memorized. This tiny little girl is completely enthralled by garbage trucks and it just makes me laugh.
Anyway, back to the soup. I love potato soup, but I will say that I feel like it’s a lot of work and then I have to stay in the kitchen while the potatoes cook and all the stirring… yeah. Anyway, this is a relatively quick prep meal and can cook slowly all day in a crock pot. The only part that needs to be cooked separately are the onions. If you don’t cook them before adding them to the potatoes, they really, REALLY taste like onions. Otherwise, this is low maintenance and your house will smell so comforting.
I like my soup to be thick enough that it doesn’t immediately drip off the spoon, so I put the least amount of broth in, but you could totally make it thinner. Also, you can adjust the seasonings, the type of broth, even substitute the dairy sour cream for a non-dairy one. This soup can be what you need it to be taste or nutritionally, but it will always be just a simple soup to warm you up on a cold, dreary, Winter’s day.
Crock-pot Potato Soup
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 quarts, chicken broth (plus an additional quart if you want a thinner soup)
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- garlic salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. butter
Chop the onion and saute in a large pan with the butter. Cook the onions slowly so that they retain their inherent sweetness. While they are cooking, peel the potatoes and chop them roughly. Add the potatoes, the broth, the seasonings and the onions to the crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours. When the potatoes are done cooking, use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add in the sour cream and any additional broth to make it the consistency you desire. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and fresh parsley on top.
I’m a huge fan of soup. I’m not always very good at making the soup though. I was spending a lot of money on soup from Panera and Pacific foods up until about a month ago when I got tired of a tiny little Sylvi downing my entire $5 cup of soup before I even got back to the table. She and I had discovered the broccoli cheese soup and I was reduced to eating it either in secret or after she went to bed at night. On one such night, I realized I had a laughable problem: why was I behaving like this when I could just learn to make my own soup for a fraction of the cost?
I did a good deal of reading online before I set forth. I wanted a creamy soup and I must tell you that the answer I’d been looking for came in the form of an immersion blender. I had no idea how awesome that tool was when I bought it on a whim 3 years ago. My little red Cuisinart immersion blender had spent a lot of time in the kitchen drawer until I started making soup and realized how valuable it is. You could always make this in a regular blender, but let’s be honest: it’s way more fun with an immersion blender
Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- half a stick of butter, melted
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 2 cups chicken stock (I did try this with vegetable broth and while it was very good… the chicken makes it the most like Panera’s soup.)
- 2 large carrots, coarsely shredded
- 1/2 pound finely chopped broccoli
- 1 cup shredded Monterary Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
Saute the onion until soft in a soup pot. Whisk together the melted butter and flour in the soup pot. Add the garlic and onion powder, whisk well and then stream in the stock. Add the milk, carrots and broccoli and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and then reduce to a simmer. When the carrots and broccoli are tender, remove 2 cups worth of the vegetables and take the pot off the heat. Puree the remaining vegetables with an immersion blender and stir in the cheeses. Return the carrots and broccoli to the soup, mix through. Serve with crusty bread and revel in how much money you saved making it at home!
*** Are you looking for more soup recipes? I made this Red Bell Corn Chowder
from the fabulous Whitney Ingram last week. It’s from her original blog, Rookie Cookie
and I’m so excited to find it her cook book that she’s working on right now! Follow the progress and drool-worthy updates here
For some reason, when I first started cooking, I was just desprate to figure out a fantastic recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup. And then, I got scared, but I only sort of like Chicken Noodle soup so I quit trying for a while. I’m going to be honest here and tell you that while I was looking for a reliable recipe, I was also looking for a result that looked appealing. I’ve seen a lot of tortilla soups in my search and not one of them, no matter how yummy it sounded, it didn’t look good to me.
As the weather here chills, I find myself wanting to spend my afternoons curled up with the kids, instead of in the kitchen cooking. This recipe is something quick and easy and makes your home smell comforting. I will warn you though, my kids don’t eat soup (I suspect the texture wierds them out a bit in addition to the fact that it takes an awful lot of coordination to get a spoon of liquid from a bowl to your mouth…). Therefore, this is more of a date night or dinner guests sort of meal for us. I made my own tortilla chips from whole wheat tortillas, but they did not keep well at all. Oh well, at least we tried!
Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
- 1 quart tomato puree
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups black beans (optional)
- 1 cup corn (optional)
Put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and set it on low for 4-6 hours. When the chicken is tender, remove it from the pot and shred. Set it aside. Remove the bay leaf. I did not add the black beans and corn, so at this point, I used my immersion blender to carefully puree the onions and peppers into the brother. (You could still do this step if you waited until the very end to add the black beans and corn if you like as well.) Add the chicken back into the pot and stir to mix it through. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
*Note: This soup is good for up to 1 week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. If you choose to freeze the soup, leave adaquate headspace or it will expand and blow the top off your container. It’s messy.
Well, hello! It’s Monday and in this house, it’s laundry day for our diapers. I don’t have many to wash and I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end of 2 kiddos in diapers. We’ve already had a potty victory today and also a defeat. Oh well. Sometimes, the learning curve is just that: a curve. Do you have any potty learning advice for me?
I wrote this post today about how our life is changing. Parenting was something I always wanted to do. I love being a parent and I really love having a little boy, but life doesn’t always fit into the neat little cubbies we plan for the moments. In light of that, it’s going to be an interesting journey to see what we learn along the way.
In between countless trips to the potty today, I made these banana cream cheese muffins. Wow. Just Wow. I am using all my willpower right now to not go back into the kitchen and eat… more. This week, I think I’m going to make this Chicken Florentine Pasta from The Pioneer Woman. Haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since I saw it this afternoon. Yum.
Supper tonight was Taco soup. Our house shook from the strong winds blowing all day today and soup was all we needed! Taco soup is one of the easiest meals I make. 1 pound of ground beef, 1 pint of my home canned corn, 1 pint of my home canned diced tomatoes, 1 quart of my home canned tomato puree and 1 recipe of taco spice.
Homemade Taco Seasoning:
- 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
Even though it’s only a pound of meat, one pot of soup stretches very nicely for the week. And, it freezes great! I’ve been slacking on my freezer cooking lately, so it’s nice to have something extra on hand again. I made a double batch of the banana cupcakes with the plan to freeze half… although the number to freeze is dwindling. :)
Today is the first day we really had seasonal weather. It’s cold, rainy and generally dreary out. I just wanted to stay inside all day and have been craving hot chocolate since about 9 this morning. I did brave the elements to make a quick trip to the butcher’s so I could have some chicken for this soup. I’m glad I did. This soup was comforting enough to warm us up at supper, but bright enough to cheer us up for the evening’s play time. I served it with a baguette of multigrain bread and a warm cheese dip. The Christmas music in the background only made it all the cozier!
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 1lb bone-less, skin-less chicken breast (If you are using legs/thighs, use about 6 total.)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4-6 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
Begin with a stockpot heated to medium heat and add in either a splash of olive oil or a pat of butter. Add the onions and celery and saute until tender. Season the chicken on both sides and then place in the pan with the onions and celery. Sear the chicken on both sides and then add the lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute to let the juice flash flavor the chicken before adding 4 cups of water. Cook until the chicken is done through. Then, remove the chicken and shred or dice it. Return the chicken to the soup and add the orzo and peas. When the orzo is done, you may need to add more water depending on how puffy your orzo got. Do a taste test for flavor and adjust accordingly. Sprinkle with the parsley right before serving.
I made this cheese dip by making a quick roux out of butter, flour and milk. Then, I added 2 cups of freshly shredded mozzarella and provolone. I seasoned it quickly with pepper and smoked paprika. There are some leftovers, so I’m excited to use it tomorrow on cheese toasts to go with tomato soup!