Tag Archives: Soup

Hearty Pork Soup

Hello all! I am back! It’s been awhile and I have so many recipes I need to get posted! I have no excuse really. I’m out of work again and should have no problem posting more often. But as we all know the plans we have in our heads don’t always mesh with reality. But here we go with a new recipe. I adapted it from a recipe on the Betty Crocker site. If you want the original check out Southwestern Pork Soup.

This soup came about because about a month or so ago I had bought this really inexpensive Boston Pork Butt Roast. It was a pretty big roast to begin with, I think 5 or 6 pounds. And with only two people in my house we had lots of leftovers. (I will post the recipe for that in the near future also) We ate the pork a couple of times the same week, then I decided to freeze the rest before it was lost forever. I think we got about 5 or 6 uses out of it! Well this week I decided I wanted to use up the rest of what I had in the freezer so I searched for any recipe with leftover pork. I would say 90% of the recipes I found were some kind of pulled pork. Not a fan. So I kept looking till I found the soup recipe. And voilà! I created my own version of a delicious hearty soup! I put kale in this soup also. That is another story! Let’s just say trying to make ‘kale chips’ didn’t work out so well and when you put leftover chips in a container, they don’t stay so crisp. So I just chopped them up and added to the soup. I was originally going to add spinach but the kale was there! It was perfect for the soup!

This recipe originally said it made 5 servings. My husband and I have had it twice this week so far, yes it’s only Tuesday! We had it as a meal for dinner and each had two bowls the first night. Second night we weren’t as hungry so only had one bowl each. There is at least another two bowls left! Yummmm…. It thickens up a little the second time around so if you like a little thinner soup, add more broth or water!

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound or so, of pork leftovers, cubed into bite size pieces

4 medium green onions, sliced

1 small jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped (I used the jar jalapeño)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped red onion

4-6 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth too if you wish)

1 can (15-16 oz.) white beans (cannellini or great northern)

1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans

1 cup cooked brown rice

3-4 leaves of basil chopped/sliced

1 cup dried kale (you can use it fresh also)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon dried cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 3 quart nonstick saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the pork and cook for 3-5 minutes until it starts getting a little browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the onions, chili and garlic and stir well. Cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to become translucent.
  3. Add about 4 cups of the broth, beans, and kale. (I added another cup or so of the broth after I added other ingredients as it needed more liquid. It’s your choice) Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Add the rice, basil, thyme and cilantro. Stir well and heat through. 

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Cheesy Zucchini Soup

Last night I made a wonderful delicious soup for the first time. I want to thank fellow blogger Reeni for the inspiration. She posted the original recipe on her blog Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and I just had to make it myself. I did change it a bit because I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand. It still came out incredibly delicious. I was sweating like crazy making this last night, it is Florida and still 80 degrees or so right now, but I kept at it. The recipe is pretty easy, but it does take time cutting up all the stuff. Oh how I wish I had a sous chef of my own to do all that for me!

The original recipe I had called for vegetable broth. I had chicken broth and beef broth. I used chicken broth. It also called for a carrot. Didn’t have any, so didn’t use it. The recipe also called for ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese OR 1 cup of shredded cheddar, swiss or pepper jack. I couldn’t decide so I used ½ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ cup shredded cheddar! Same thing with the herbs. It originally called for 1 teaspoon dried thyme or basil. I used ½ teaspoon of each. And the one final change or should I say suggestion that I left out was adding ½ cup of half-and-half or heavy cream. The soup didn’t need it and I didn’t need the extra calories! I’d say the recipe makes about 6 nice servings. I had two bowls and my husband had three! There is even enough for another bowl left over! So it’s a keeper! Please check out the original recipe on Reeni’s blog at  Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice! Mangia!

INGREDIENTS:

Olive Oil, about 3 tablespoons

1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, diced (I used Vidalia)

1 large carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

4-6 cloves garlic, (I used at least 6

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

2 large zucchini (I used 1 large and 2 small)

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup shredded cheddar, swiss, pepper jack or any other cheese of your choice

½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes. (I cooked it for 10 minutes) Stir often. Add the garlic and sauté until you smell its wonderful aroma.

  2. Add the thyme and basil. Season well with salt and pepper.

  3. Meanwhile peel and dice 1½ of the zucchini (I used 2½). It should be about 5 coups. Shred the rest of the zucchini on the large holes of a grater and set aside.

  4. Add the diced zucchini to the pan and mix well, cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.

  5. Turn off the heat and purée the soup using an immersion blender. Careful of hot splatters with this! If you don’t have one carefully transfer the soup in batches to a blender and purée in batches. Return to pan if you used this method.

  6. Once the soup is pureed add the shredded zucchini and the cheese. (You can add the half-and-half here if you wish) Stir well.

  7. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 4-6 servings

She-Crab Soup

Keeping with the Charleston recipes today’s is She-Crab Soup. I have had this soup here in Florida and it was delicious. So creamy and rich and just plain scrumptious! It is not a low-calorie soup but you can lighten it up a bit by substituting some ingredients with their lighter counterparts. But for now I’m leaving the recipe as is. I won’t put in the calories I found on this either. No need. We know it’s high and we’ll leave it at that. Now what is a “she-crab” and why is it in a soup?

The soup is a regional specialty from the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is considered to be the signature dish of Charleston, SC and is featured on the menus of many of the city’s restaurants.

The soup is named for the “She-Crab”, or female crab, originally a gravid crab, heavy with the flavorful orange crab roe that is typically a main ingredient in traditional she-crab soup. You can leave the roe out of this recipe if you wish, nobody will know! I definitely plan on having this while on our little visit and I will be making a lighter version of my own when I get home. I looked through many recipes and formed my own version for this recipe.

If you want to learn a little more on the history of  She-Crab Soup, just click on the link for more information and another version of the recipe. I will add my substitutions after some ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

5 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 small sweet onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts half-and-half (or fat-free half-and-half)

1 pint heavy cream (or light cream)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth (fat-free)

1 pound lump crabmeat

3 tablespoons crab roe (optional)

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (my husband would want more I am sure!)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh dill (2 tsp. dried)

2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

½ cup sherry wine

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot/dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste (a roux) and cook for about 3 minutes, making sure you stir constantly! Stir in the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring for about 4 more minutes.

2. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half making sure no lumps form. Stir in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring this to a simmer and pour in half of the sherry. Add the dill, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the soup has reduced by a third. Add the crabmeat (and roe if you decide to use it), stir carefully. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Serve the soup and top each bowl off with a splash of the rest of the sherry and a sprinkle of the scallions!

Serves 8 (cut the recipe in half if this will be too much for your family)


Escarole and Beans

Such a delicious hearty peasant dish. Love it on a cold fall day or anytime for that matter. It’s a cross between a soup and a stew. You can even add some cooked ditalini macaroni to this if you want to stretch it. Any small pasta will do. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d run out to the store right now and buy some escarole and make this tonight. Maybe tomorrow night. This is such an easy dish to make and so good for you as well. Escarole is overlooked at times, people are afraid of it. It is actually part of the endive family but is less bitter. With the right spices and sauce it is just heavenly. Mangia!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 head escarole, washed very well and cut into pieces

1 carrot, sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1 15-16oz. can cannellini beans

grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil in a saucepan until translucent. Add the escarole, carrot and broth, bring to a boil. Once it boils simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Add the beans but do not stir them in. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir gently to mix, then serve with grated cheese and if you like, a nice hot loaf of crusty Italian bread.

Serves 4

Delicious Creole Gumbo

On May 4, 2009 the world became a lot less funny. Comedic genius and actor Dom DeLuise passed away at the age of 75. I don’t know of anyone who can’t name at least one favorite Dom  DeLuise movie. One of my faves is “Fatso”. The food in this movie was incredible and you got hungry just watching it. Especially the scene with the huge pot of sauce and meatballs. He dunks a little Italian bread into to taste it and it’s all down hill from there. Funny. He was one of my favorite actors and you always smiled when you watched him. Smiled or laughed hysterically.

Dom was not a skinny man by any means but over the years he realized he had to do something. I bought his first cookbook “Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better!” back in 1988. It was full of funny and wonderful stories of his family and friends. It was and still is an awesome cookbook. When I got married my father wouldn’t let me leave the house with the copy I had so I had to go and buy another one to take with me! The book is full of his mother’s Italian home cooking as well as recipes from his family and friends. It’s actually my “go to” Italian cookbook.  As the years went on and Dom got larger and larger he decided to start eating better and came out with a second book in 1997. Another hit. This one is called “Eat This Too!”. It’s a low-fat cookbook of all his favorites along with more pics and stories of his family and friends. I will never part with either cookbook. All of the recipes are delicious.

Dom & Julia on Good Morning America in 1984

Today’s recipe is from “Eat This Too!” Gumbo can be very fattening but his version is loaded with vegetables and a seafood. Serve it over brown rice instead of the usual white rice.  Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients either. It’s not too scary, really! It will take longer to cut up and prep all of the veggies (where’s that private sous chef when you need one?) than to cook so be brave! You won’t be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds shrimp/scallops, lobster, or other seafood, shelled, cleaned

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz can tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

10 mushrooms, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

12 fresh okra, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 tablespoons flour mixed with ½ cup cold water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until flavors intermingle, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp/scallops or other seafood. Cook just a few minutes until seafood is just done. Serve while still tender.

Serves 8-12

Southwestern Five-Bean Soup

Even though the temperatures are pretty high right now it’s always a good time for soup. Soup can be lunch with sandwich or salad or a meal on its own. Either way it’s a good, hearty meal with lots of fiber and vitamins! This soup is great on its own but you can also add rice or small pasta to it. I love soup because it is usually very easy to make and I only need to use one pot for the most part! Less to clean up is a good thing! Using canned beans is a fast way to a hearty dinner or lunch. With all of us so busy these days it’s nice to have a shortcut to dinner.

For illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained

1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained

1 can (15 oz.) chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained

1 can (15 oz.) red beans, drained

1 can (15 oz.) white beans, drained

1 can (14-15 oz.) chopped tomatoes (I like fire roasted)

1 can (14 oz.) chicken broth

3/4 cup chunky salsa

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder


DIRECTIONS:

1. Puree the black beans in a blender or food processor.

2. In a large pot, stir together all the remaining beans, tomatoes, broth, salsa, cumin, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

3. Stir in the pureed black beans. Simmer for 10 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally.

Makes 8 servings

Quick & Easy Minestrone Soup

No matter where you have minestrone soup it probably won’t be the same twice. It’s one of those soups that have little variations. This version is a quick and easy version. If you’re running late or just want a quick soup to warm up this is it. It’s semi-homemade. It uses a can of vegetable soup. I like Progresso soups but you can use whichever you prefer. The can size is approximate also. Whatever is closest if you can’t find the exact size will work.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup orzo or other small pasta

salt

1 can of Progresso Vegetable Soup (19 oz. can)

1 can Canellini (white) or Red Kidney Beans (15 oz. can)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the orzo and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender (al dente). Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water.

2. In the meantime, heat the soup and beans to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

3. Stir in the cooked pasta. Add a little of the reserved cooking water if the soup is too thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.

Serve immediately

Serves 2

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