Feb 252013
 

Third weekend in a row of snow (not nearly as much, but still annoying) and yet another pot of soup.  This time, I tried Bobby Deen’s Lighter ‘Tastes like Lasagna’ Soup.  I am happy to report it really lived up to the name!

I made this soup even lighter by reducing the amount of sausage and adding mushrooms for more bulk.  You still get all the flavor from the sausage, I promise.  And I mixed in both mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, just like lasagna.

Thanks to Tuttorosso for the tomato sauce which they generously provided to me.  You can’t have lasagna without tomato sauce, and it was great to have this can in my pantry.  It gives this soup a rich red color and fresh tomato taste.

 

Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna Soup

3 links mild Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 t minced garlic
1 (16 oz.) package mushrooms, sliced
4 c. vegetable broth
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 t Italian seasoning
4 whole grain lasagna noodles (such as Ronzoni’s Healthy Harvest), broken into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large pot on medium heat, begin to brown sausage meat.  As it cooks, add onion and garlic. When meat is almost browned, add mushrooms and saute until tender.

Add broth and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.  Add Italian seasoning.  Add noodle pieces, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cheeses.

-Lightly adapted from Bobby Deen

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Feb 192013
 

It snowed (again!) and I made a big pot of soup (again!)  I found the original recipe through Pinterest, but changed quite a few things. First, I haven’t had sweet potatoes in a while and missed them.  I cut the potatoes into 1″ chunks to make this recipe go faster.  The recipe also called for some fantastic fresh herbs, but those were nowhere to be found around here.  You can use either fresh or dried rosemary, sage, and/or thyme, but I decided to use my Penzey’s Mural of Flavor spice.

The lighting is not great in this picture, but it was so nice to see the bright orange sweet potatoes and green kale.  This soup has a simple flavor that I really enjoyed.  It kept me warm during the weekend and made lunches for the week.

 

 

Kale, White Bean, and Sweet Potato Soup

1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1/2 c. chopped onion, fresh or frozen
10 baby carrots, diced
6 celery stalks, diced
4 c. vegetable broth
2 t Mural of Flavor
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 oz.) package frozen kale  (or 1/2 of a 16 oz. bag)

Heat oil in a large pot.  Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery.  Saute for 10-15 minutes, until lightly brown.  Add broth, seasoning, sweet potatoes, beans, and kale.  Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

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Feb 122013
 

Big snowstorm = Big pot of soup.

This week, I decided to try Pepperoni Minestrone, loosely based on this recipe from Eating Well.  I normally make vegetarian soups, so this was a nice change of pace.  The (turkey) pepperoni is really just an accent, but it does add flavor.

I thought I didn’t have any pasta left in the house after my Tuna Noodle Casserole, but I had some leftover lasagna noodles from the Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna project.  I broke them up, and while they weren’t as pretty as elbow pasta, they worked.

Even using low sodium broth, this soup was just a bit salty for my taste.  Of course, I could also blame that on the pepperoni!  But it was still a good bowl of warm soup, and will make lunches for the week.

 

 

 

Pepperoni Minestrone

1 T olive oil
1 c. chopped onion (fresh or frozen)
4 c. low sodium fat free beef broth
1 t thyme
3 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
1 (16 oz.) package frozen zucchini
1 (12 oz.) package frozen peas, carrots, and green beans
1 (28 oz.) can plum tomatoes in juice, tomatoes coarsely chopped
2 oz. diced turkey pepperoni
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, and saute until tender and lightly brown.  Add broth and thyme and heat until boiling.  Add pasta pieces, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add vegetables, tomatoes with juice, pepperoni, and beans and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.

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Feb 052013
 

I was headed to a Superbowl party this year, and asked to make a meaty chili. I had to try a new recipe of course, and I used this Hearty Halftime Chili as a springboard.  I also wanted to use my Penzey’s Chili 3000!

The chili was served as part of a mashed potato bar at the party, which was a really fun idea! There were mashed potatoes, both meaty and vegetarian chili, and tons of other toppings. This was just my first bowl.

 

 

This chili came out pretty well – it was nice and thick which was perfect to use as a topping.  You could definitely stretch out the number of servings by adding some tomato sauce to the pot.  The chili also had a nice kick from the chili powder and cayenne, and the Italian sausage of course.  The goal was a chili that would please a crowd of Superbowl watchers. Since I took home an empty serving bowl, I think it was a success.

 

Meaty Superbowl Chili

1 lb. ground chicken
1 lb. ground Italian sausage (mild)
2 small onions, chopped
1 T minced garlic
2 T Chili 3000
1 t cumin
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
28 oz. diced tomatoes in juice
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) can beans, rinsed and drained

Place the chicken, sausage, onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin in a large pot.  Cook until meat is well browned.  Drain any excess fat.  Add remaining spices and tomatoes, and heat until the chili simmers.  Add beans, cover, and cook on low heat for 30-60 minutes.

 

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Jan 232013
 

It seems there are a lot of people coughing and sneezing these days.  I certainly hope that all of you stay healthy, but if you are unlucky enough to get a bad cold, this is the soup that will clear your head.  And your slow cooker can make the soup while you lounge on the couch catching up on bad TV.

This is a very basic version of the traditional Asian hot and sour soup.  If I were serving this to company, I’d add some shiitake mushrooms and use baby bok choy instead of spinach.  This is also a very mild version; I added quite a bit of vinegar and cayenne to each bowl to really bring out the hot and the sour flavors.  If you think your crowd can handle it, go ahead and double the amounts of each below.

I really enjoyed this soup, especially after I adjusted it to taste.  It’s filling, but not quite hearty enough for a main dish.  It would be perfect though with a side of homemade fried rice or maybe a cold noodle salad.

 

 

 

Crockpot Hot and Sour Soup

1 (16 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 (16 oz.) package frozen leaf spinach
1 (8 oz.) can bamboo shoots, drained
1 T minced garlic
1 (14 oz.) package lite firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
1 T fresh minced ginger
2 c. vegetable broth
4 c. water
2 T soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
2 dashes cayenne pepper, plus more for serving
2 T rice vinegar, plus more for serving

Add all ingredients to crockpot.  Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.  Add more pepper and/or vinegar to each bowl just prior to serving, depending on your tastes.

-Inspired by Fat Free Vegan’s Slow-Cooker Hot and Sour Soup

 

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