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Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts from the ‘soups / stew’ category

If you’re in the mood for comfort food, this is the dinner for you!  Serve with a toasted baguette on the side.  Note: I used a bit less garlic and I prefer to use fresh cooked white beans (any kind) over canned.

Chorizo and white bean stew

Recipe from Bon Appétit.

Chorizo and White Bean Stew

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage links
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 10 cups)
  • Smoked paprika (optional)

Preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook, crushing a few beans with the back of a spoon to thicken sauce, until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Slice chorizo and fold into stew; add water to thin, if desired. Divide stew among bowls; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

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I had been in search of the perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe for a while, so was so excited when my mother-in-law Patsy  told me about this one that she found.  It’s straightforward but is a little time consuming, so I would call this a “weekend” or “special occasion” soup – not one I’d whip up all the time during the week.  It’s a hit with kids and always fun for people to add their own toppings.  This is the perfect soup to keep you warm during the cold winter months.  Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

Recipe slightly adapted from the one on food site Chow.com, which was adapted from the Neiman Marcus Cookbook.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Total cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 8-12 people

“There are a lot of ingredients in this soup, but each one plays a part in its big flavor. To make it, first soften vegetables including onion, carrot, and bell pepper in a pot, then add dry spices to bring out their flavors. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and tortillas, then let the mixture simmer until everything melds and the tortillas disintegrate to make a thick and hearty soup. Finally, throw in shredded chicken and garnish with fried tortilla strips, or if you want to skip frying the strips, just use regular crushed-up tortilla chips.

For a thicker soup, use 10 corn tortillas rather than 8.”

INGREDIENTS

For the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium celery stalk, medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you want a spicy soup!)
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 8 to 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the tortilla strips:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To finish:

  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 16 ounces) (Note: I use chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken to save time!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or more if you want a richer soup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnishes:

  • Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Sour cream
INSTRUCTIONS
For the soup:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, water, tomatoes, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add the tortillas, and stir to combine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tortillas have disintegrated and the soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the tortilla strips.

For the tortilla strips:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (about 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer), about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stack the tortillas on a cutting board. Cut the stack in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.
  3. When the oil is ready, add a handful of the tortilla strips and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips; set aside.

To finish:

  1. When the soup is ready, add the chicken and cream and stir to combine. Simmer until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Serve the soup topped with the tortilla strips, passing any desired garnishes on the side.
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This is one of my favorite, easy soups that I make regularly.  You could easily double the recipe and freeze extra into gallon ziplock freezer bags for future dinners.  This is a great vegetarian dinner (since you get protein from the lentils) served with a toasted baguette or rice.  My whole family loves this!

Lentil Kale Soup

Recipe inspired by one that I saw on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Mother’s Group.

Lentil and Kale Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, finely sliced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry lentils (I prefer red)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 bunches of kale (or spinach), chopped roughly

Directions:

In a large pot, sauté the onions and carrot in the oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until onions turn clear.  Add the garlic and sauté.  Add the lentils and brown for 5 minutes (be careful not to burn the onions and garlic).  Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and salt.

Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes (less for red lentils). Remove bay leaves.  Throw in kale (or spinach), cover and simmer until greens are soft (about 10 more minutes).  Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and purée in blender before serving.

Great for the whole family.  Add more salt for adults when serving.

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My friend Leanne introduced me to her favorite lentil soup from this Canadian cookbook.  I’ve tweaked it and it has become one of our family’s favorites.  The bright lemony taste balances well with the earthy, starchy taste of the lentils.  I could eat this once a week!  Sometimes I make twice the recipe and freeze the extra in gallon ziplock freezer bags.

Lemon Lentil Soup

Recipe adapted from Canadian cookbook Company’s Coming (May 16, 2008).

Lemon Lentil Soup

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cups chopped onion

2 cups chopped carrots

2 ½ teaspoons oregano

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

12 cups chicken stock

3 cups dried red split lentils

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in Le Creuset on medium-high. Add onion and carrots. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until onion starts to brown.

Add oregano, garlic, rosemary, salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add chicken stock and lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very soft.

Discard bay leaves. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top individual bowls of soup with fresh parsley, if desired.

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