Tag Archives: soup

Louise’s Creamy Chipotle Carrot Soup (and Cauliflower Steaks)

We have such great friends.  Friends who welcome us into their house even if they’re not there.  Friends who adjust dinner menus according to our newly vegan ways.  This amazing creamyspicysmokyhearty soup pleased everyone at the table.  A perfect soup for chilly weather.  And actually, pretty tasty chilled.  And, as most complexly-flavored foods are, better the next day.  Mmmmmm….yummy!

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Run out to the garden or the produce section to gather up what you need:

soup ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of carrots, peeled and diced (about 6 large-ish carrots)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce), minced
  • 1 TBSP adobo sauce (from the can)
  • 2 cups No Chicken broth , plus more to saute veggies
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced scallions to garnish

In a large, deep pot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in 2-3 TBSP of the broth.  Cook until starting to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes–adding additional broth as needed to prevent sticking.

saute onions and garlic

Add the carrots, potatoes and chipotle.  Cook for 5 more minutes.

add carrots potatoes and chipotle

Add 2 cups broth and adobo sauce.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

add broth and adobo

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender.

remove from heat and blend

Keep blending until smooth.

blend until smooth

Return to low heat and add the non-dairy milk and season to taste.

add soy milk and season

Serve garnished with chopped scallions and roasted cauliflower steaks.  (Recipe below.)

serve with cauliflower steaks

The Roasted Cauliflower Steaks couldn’t be simpler!  All you need is:

ingredients for cauliflower steaks

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchement paper, silicon mats or cooking spray.

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and cut the stem off so it will sit flat.

remove leaves

Cut the cauliflower in half, then make two 1/2-inch slices from each side, through the stem so the pieces hold together.  Save the rest for a salad or something….

slice in half then into steaks

Place the steaks on the prepared baking sheet.  Spray lightly with cooking spray, add salt and pepper.  Flip the steaks over and do the same to the other side.

place steaks on prepared pans and season

Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, carefully flipping about halfway through the cooking time.  Serve along side the soup for a perfect pairing.  Yum!  Roasted cauliflower is so sweet and tender.  Yummy on it’s own, alternating bites with the soup, or even dipped into the soup.

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I love, love, love the balance of smoky-spicey from the chipotle, sweet from the carrots, and hearty from the potatoes in this soup.  Perfect as an appetizer or with the cauliflower steaks as a meal!  Yummy vegan-wonderfulness!

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Filed under appetizer, comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, side dish, Vegetarian

Vegan Posole-Posole

Oh how I love posole.  The rich and spicy broth, the succulent shredded pork, the hominy, the yummy toppers….mmmmmm.  I came across this vegan version, and with high hopes of a posole-posole, I gathered up ingredients, chopped, opened cans, took pictures (doesn’t everybody?!), adjusted for my personal taste and pantry, and simmered away.  The verdict?  Oh.  Yeah.  It’s Posole-Posole!

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This is another soup that comes together quickly enough for a weeknight, and perfect for that big football party you’re planning.

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (I had about a cup leftover from making enchiladas a couple days ago.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups No Chicken Broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted are fabulous in this recipe)
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans hominy drained and rinsed  (color of your choice–I like yellow for the happy color it adds)
  • juice of two limes

Heat 1/4 cup of the broth in a large pot over medium heat and add onion and garlic.  Saute until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.

saute onion and garlic

Add oregano, salt, tomatoes and broth.  Stir and bring to a simmer.

add oregano salt tomatoes and broth

Add pinto beans and hominy.  Bring back to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.

add beans and hominy

Add enchilada sauce and lime juice.  Stir, taste and add additional sauce, lime juice or salt if needed. Simmer for another 10 minutes for flavors to marry.

add lime juice and enchilada sauce

Serve with a variety of toppings.  I used cilantro and chopped scallions, with baked corn chips on the side.  Have whatever sounds yummy though: avocado, sour cream, cheese, limes, extra hominy, tortillas,…..

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This soup is definitely going into a regular cool weather rotation.  Hearty, healthy, easy-peasy and yummy.  Just what you need.  🙂

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Louise’s Black Bean Soup

I’m so lucky!  We have friends we stay with fairly often on the Front Range, whether they’re home or not!  We like it best of course, if they’re there.  We dedicate our visits to what we call “chill and swill;” essentially hanging out, eating, visiting galleries, wineries, and breweries, laughing, and generally enjoying each others’ company.  Louise ALWAYS makes yummy meals for us, and now that we’re vegan, she planned a vegan feast that included this yum-yum-yummy soup from Busy Cooks.  What a great friend, right?!

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Chop a few things, open a few cans and you have soup….pretty much, anyway!  🙂

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup veggie broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 0z) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped  (The recipe sez green, Louise likes red, so pick whichever color you like!)
  • 14 oz (1 3/4 cup) No Chicken Broth (or veggie broth or real chicken broth if you’re not vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained  (I like the extra flavor you get from “fire-roasted” tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Saute onion and garlic in veggie broth  in a large pot until onions are translucent, about 2-4 minutes.

saute onion and garlic

Open one can of beans, drain and rinse and then mash until they’re the consistency of refried beans.

mash beans

Scoop them into the pot along with the other (drained and rinsed) can of beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, bell pepper and seasonings.

add all to the pot

Stir,  cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 10 minutes.

boil then simmer

Remove the bay leaf and serve with whatever toppings you like.  I topped with cilantro and a pinch of red pepper flake.  Avocado, green onions, sour cream, cheese and crumbled tortilla chips come to mind.

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Add a couple pieces of bread or a tortilla or two and you’ve got dinner!  We opened a bottle of Tempranillo to pair with the soup–perfect.  A brown ale would be yummy, too.

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This low-fat, vegan soup comes together quickly enough for a weeknight, and is hearty enough to satisfy the carnivores in your house.  Louise also served up an exquisite carrot-chipotle soup.  The weather has me in a soup mood, so I’m thinking it won’t be long for that soup to be blogged as well!

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, lunch, Potluck, recipe, side dish, Vegetarian

The Best Ham and Potato Soup Ever!

I don’t know what got me thinking about potato soup.  It’s not something I make all the time, and not usually something I make especially well.  In fact, Mr17’s Dad is the potato soup master.  He doesn’t measure or anything, just throws things in and it turns into the perfect cold-weather comfort meal.  Well! (Stands proudly, hands on hips, much like Yul Brynner in the King and I.)  I think I have him beat.   (Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.)

Oooohhhh yeaaaahhh.  I have a new favorite ingredient and a combination of stove-top and crock pot that brings it over the top!

  • 1 package smoked ham shanks
  • 6-7 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 celery heart, chopped, leaves too
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 TBSP butter
  • 5 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups milk

Ham shanks are my new favorite ingredient for soups that usually have ham in them.  Cook them in with the soup, bones and fat and all.  You will be rewarded with bigger pieces of super-tender ham along with a richer broth.

Place the ham shanks and chicken broth in a 6 quart pot over medium heat. 

Meanwhile, mince the garlic, chop the celery, onion and carrots and add them to the pot.

Then chop the potatoes and add them to the pot.

Season with black pepper to taste and add water to cover the ingredients if needed. 

Cover and cook for half an hour, then transfer everything to a crock pot.  Cook on high for an additional four hours, while you go see a movie.  I recommend The Decendants.  With George Clooney.  In Hawai’i.  (Really, really good movie, plus it takes place in places I’ve been so it seemed like a vacation!)

Come out of the theater into the greyness of a typical January afternoon, drive home, open the door and rejoice in the amazing aroma of the best ham and potato soup that is almost ready!

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.

Stir in the flour to create a roux.  Cook until it bubbles.

Then add the milk, 1 cup at a time.  Use a whisk if lumps start to happen.  Remove from heat when thick and smooth.

Remove the ham shanks from the crock pot and separate the meat from the fat and bones.  Shred the meat with a fork.

Add the milk mixture to the crock pot, and then the ham meat.  Stir to combine.

Ladle up a nice big bowl-full and garnish with a bit of shredded cheese and fresh chopped chives.  Maybe toast and butter a couple pieces of a nice crusty bread.  Now there ya go.

Maybe if you get close enough to your monitor you can smell the wonderful creamy, smoky, comfort-food yumminess of this soup. 

Maybe you’ll just have to take my word for it, until you make some for yourself.  And then—shhhhh don’t let your family hear—hide any leftovers in the fridge for YOUR lunch.  Mmmmmm, yummy!

This soup got an “Oh. My. Gosh!” from Mr17 on his way to get his second bowl.  I couldn’t get him to commit on whether my soup is better than his Dad’s.  Well played on his part, even though mine IS yummier!

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Lentil Soup and Corn Bread (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free!)

Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free….but most of all, a warm, hearty and seriously yummy winter comfort food dinner.  I have good friends, who between them, have these food requirements.  I love to have friends over for dinner, and these two really challenged my usual repertoire.  Advice from a  few gluten-free cookbooks and a search of recipes I usually make, resulted in this really wonderful combination!

The soup couldn’t be easier, and the corn bread is adapted from my cooking bible, The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

For the Lentil Soup:

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water (to start–you will probably add more water later to adjust the thickness of the soup)
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 1-16oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup rice (I used a wild rice mix.  My original recipe calls for 1 cup barley–a product with gluten.  If you can have gluten and prefer barley, by all means use that instead! I was also thinking quinoa might be yummy…)
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 large or 1 1/2 medium onions)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (1 celery “heart”)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4-5 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola.)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2 packages frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed.

NOTE: Check all packaged ingredients to be sure they are gluten-free.

Place everything EXCEPT the spinach in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 50 minutes to an hour.  Leave the spinach packages sit on the counter to start thawing.

After the 50-60 minutes, add the spinach.

Stir to combine, cover and continue to simmer until lentils are tender and rice (or barley) is cooked through; an additional 10-20 minutes.  At this point, you can let the soup sit at a low simmer or in a crock pot until you’re ready to eat it.  How easy-peasy is that?!

For the Corn bread:

  • 1 cup rice flour blend (recipe below, after the slideshow)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 tsp powdered xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unflavored almond or soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease a 9x9x2″ pan with a vegetable shortening.

Stir rice flour blend, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum together in a medium bowl.

Add corn meal, stir to combine.

Add eggs, almond milk and grapeseed oil; stir until just smooth–do not over-beat, or your corn bread will be tough.

Pour batter into the pan. 

 Bake 20-25 minutes–until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cut into slices and serve with the Lentil Soup!  Yummy!

I ended up adding an additional 4 cups of water to my soup, and it was still thick and hearty.  The corn bread–my first attempt at making it gluten-free–turned out crispy on the top, with a light, tender texture inside.  It was way yummy, and tasted just like corn bread with regular wheat flour! 

This meal would be delicious with just the fam, but was extra yummy spiced with conversation, laughter and good friends.  ❤

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Rice Flour Blend:

  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 2/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour

Mix all the ingredients thouroughly and store in an air-tight container.

All of these ingredients, and the xanthan gum, can be found at health food stores and larger supermarkets.

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Filed under comfort food, crock pot, dairy-free, dinner, Gluten-free, lunch, Potluck, recipe, Vegetarian

Quick and Easy Tortilla Soup

Winter weather warning….winter weather advisory…..freeze warning….windy….. chance of rain, 90%.  Quoted from the current weather and forecast for Western Colorado and the surrounding high country this week–Ack!  What to do when Fall decides to be Winter?  Soup!  Here’s a quick, easy and yummy soup perfect for the first chill of Fall (and also uses up some of the summer squash sitting on your counter).

 Mmmmm!  Hot, flavor-y and spicy.  Gather up a few staples; you’ll have soup in under an hour!

For the soup:

  • 1-1 1/2 pounds chicken (thighs, breasts or combination)
  • 2 boxes chicken stock
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes
  • approximately 1 pound EACH zucchini and yellow squash, sliced into half-moons or quarter moons
  • 4-5 tomatillos, chopped

Garnishes:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado, chopped
  • green onions, chopped
  • shredded cheese–I like a Mexican Blend
  • sour cream
  • red or green salsa
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • squeeze of fresh lime

In a large pot, poach the chicken in chicken stock and Rotel tomatoes until completely cooked and tender.

While chicken cooks, chop the squash and tomatillos. 

When chicken is cooked, remove from broth and shred, using two forks to pull the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Add chicken back to broth, along with squash and tomatillos.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Set up garnishes so each person can jazz up their soup to their own taste.  I like ALL of them!

How easy was that?!  Change into somethin’ comfortable while the soup simmers, serve yourself a bowl with your favorite garnishes and watch the chilly weather stay on the otherside of the window.  Inside, it will be warm, toasty and yummy!

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Hearty and Spicy Spinach, Sausage and Potato Soup

Around Western Colorado, Winter has decided it’s not quite ready to be pushed out by Spring. So, the other night I decided to make this yummy and super easy-peasy soup full of the flavors of winter and a hint of spring spinach.  Friends Carol and Scott joined us, bringing along a yummy growler of vanilla orange blossom beer and a loaf of Dakota bread–both perfect with this soup.

Gather a few ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped into a large dice  (I leave skins on, but peel them if you want!)
  • 1 pound pre-cooked sausage  cut into 1/4 inch half-moons  (I like this Fire Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausage–spicy, smoky, yummy!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed using a garlic press or minced
  • 2 (32 oz) boxes chicken broth
  • 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained  (Any white bean will be fine.)
  • 1 box fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
  • 1 bay leaf  (fresh or dried)
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg  (Yes!  Nutmeg!  So yummy with sausage–trust me!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated pecorino romano to garnish  (Any grated hard cheese is yummy!)

If you use a milder sausage, you may want to add 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or set them on the table and add to the soup after it’s cooked.

Set a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat.  Add chicken broth.

Peel and chop an onion, chop potatoes into a large dice, and chop sausage into 1/4 inch half-moons.  Even though this sausage is pre-cooked, I like to use a cutting board that can be washed in the dishwasher.

Place the onions, potatoes, sausage, garlic, and bay leaf into the pot, and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Your kitchen will be smelling yummy in just a couple of minutes!

While potatoes are cooking, rough chop the spinach.

When potatoes are tender, add cannellini beans, spinach and nutmeg.

Let this simmer for at least 10-15 minutes for all the flavors to come together.  The potatoes and beans will create a nice starchy thickness.  Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.  Remove the bay leaf, ladle into bowls, top with grated pecorino romano and serve!

I must confess, that after smelling this soup cook, I dug right into it.  After I’d eaten about a third of it, Carol asked if I had taken a picture.  Arggghhh!  No!  So I added a bit more cheese–definitely a good thing–for the photo and here it is.  The grainy-seedy Dakota bread was a perfect accompaniment, as was the beer! Leftovers, like for most soups, are even better than the first time around.  Yummy!

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