Creamy Chicken Soup

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This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.This is the time of year I love to cook big meals. Gone are the days of endless fresh and local produce choices. Winter time in the Pacific Northwest is a time when most everything stops growing and we have to rely on what I consider the basics for my fruit and vegetables. That is why I’m especially fond of hearty soups. Not only do they incorporate lots of fresh veggies, but they are so comforting and satisfying, its easy to forget that we still have many cold and wet months ahead of us before the local produce makes its way back.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.This time of year I love stocking my freezer with prepared meals. I don’t know if it has to do with the possible threat of getting stuck at home because of that once a year snow storm, but it just makes me so happy to cook meals in big batches and store them for another day. This soup is a perfect freezer meal because you can double or triple the batch and then just freeze what you don’t plan on eating that night for another day. Not all soups, especially ones with pasta, freeze that well. This soup, however, does.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.I prefer to use chicken thighs because the meat is so flavorful and it shreds really well. Even though I add a bit of olive oil to my pan, the chicken almost always sticks. Have no fear… the part that sticks to the bottom is the best part!  I use a little white wine to release all of that wonderful flavor and I can definitely taste it in the final soup. I prefer to chop all of my veggies by pulsing them in the food processor. Not only does that save me time, but I think having a wide variety of sizes, from minced to chopped, not only enhances the texture of the soup but also the taste.  I also continue to use the same pot to cook the chicken, then the vegetables, then the roux which turns into a cream gravy and then eventually the soup. By keeping all the ingredients going in the same pot, you don’t lose any of those wonderful flavors along the way.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Chicken Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 T butter, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 T flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom dutch oven over medium high heat, cook chicken thighs in olive oil for about 15 minutes, flipping once. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly on a plate. The chicken likely stuck to the pan. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine over low heat and scraping the bottom of the pan until all of the cooked bits have been loosened. Transfer the cooked chicken bits in white wine to a separate cup.
  2. Add one tablespoon of the butter to the dutch oven and and set heat to high. Add onions, celery and carrot and allow to cook until slightly golden brown while stirring only occasionally for a total of about 10 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, shred chicken meat. When vegetables have finished cooking, remove them from the dutch oven and set them on the same plate as the chicken.
  3. Return the pan to the stove and melt the remaining 4T of butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic and allow to cook for about a minute, then add the flour and stir to combine to make a roux. Allow to cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the milk and heavy cream to the roux and whisk constantly until thoroughly mixed. Allow to cook while constantly whisking until thickened. Whisk in the chicken broth. Add shredded chicken and cooked vegetables to the broth and stir. Add salt, to taste, and pepper, as desired.
  5. Serve with a warm crusty bread or some rosemary crackers.

This rich and Creamy Chicken Soup, loaded with veggies, is a healthy and easy to make meal that your entire family will love.
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Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup

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When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

Baby, I don’t know about where you live, but it’s cold outside. At least, its been cold for the last week or so here in Portland. Allow me to use this opportunity to explain what happens when the weather goes bad in this fantastic city of mine. Don’t let the sarcasm fool you – I probably couldn’t love Portland more. But the weather + city’s reaction thing simply blows. my. mind.  Here we are last Wednesday evening. The forecast was saying that we were going to get between 1″ and 3″ of snow on Thursday. It takes me 20 minutes to gas up my car and 45 minutes to pick up my kids (normally a 15 minute drive). This is all because everyone is worried about the pending “snowpocalypse“. They even canceled school based on the forecast. The forecast, people! It finally did begin to snow at noon on the dot on Thursday, but seriously? Anyway, before I started my rant, the point was that the weather was cold. And when the weather is cold, all I want is soup. Not so much a brothy healthy soup. No. I want a creamy healthy but kinda naughty comforting soup. This one fits the bill. Healthy? Leek, onion, broth – check. Naughty? Potatoes, bacon, heavy cream – CHECK!

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

Now, if you ever tell me to make a soup with bacon and then proceed to tell me to add the cooked bacon to the soup and simmer I just might take that dirty spoon you’ve been stirring said soup with and knock you right upside the head. I cannot stand soup with bacon floating in it. Do you know why? Its because when you take perfectly crisp cooked bacon and soak it in hot liquid, not-so-good things happen. That wonderful chewy fat gets all white and floppy. Gross. No, the only time I ever put bacon IN my soup is when I plan to blend it up like I did with this soup. Then, the rest of that wonderful bacon gets sprinkled on top at the end. Don’t soak your bacon, friends.

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

I have to tell you, every time I tell my kids what I’m making for dinner I get an astounding and whiny “Nooooooo, grossssss!”. Then they eat it. And they love it. This soup was one of those recipes. I love cooking meals in my electric pressure cooker. Whether you have an instapot or one like mine, its a lifesaver on busy weeknights and is quickly kicking the old crockpot to the curb (in my house anyway). Enjoy!

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

I used bacon ends and pieces for this soup. Check out the most perfect way to cook these little morsels below:

 

3.0 from 1 reviews
Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup
 
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When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.
Author:
Recipe type: soup, main dish
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 very large leek, white portion only, sliced and washed well
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom pot, cook the bacon starting over high heat and then gradually reducing to low as it browns. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard excess grease but do not wash pot out.
  2. Add the oil to the pressure cooker and heat on your sautee or browning setting. Add the leeks and onion, and stir for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Close and lock the lid. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Release pressure using the quick release method - be careful, there will be a lot of steam.
  4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Place into the pot where you cooked the bacon. Add the cream and herbs and then season with salt and pepper. It will need a fair amount of salt, but taste as you go.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and then top with a handful of crisp bacon pieces.

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.
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Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup

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This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

In 40 minutes, your electric pressure cooker can transform frozen smoked ham hocks and dried split peas into the most delicious and healthy PRESSURE COOKER SPLIT PEA SOUP!

In 40 minutes, your electric pressure cooker can transform frozen smoked ham hocks and dried split peas into the most delicious and healthy PRESSURE COOKER SPLIT PEA SOUP!

Do you have an electric pressure cooker yet? They’re all the rage now. I got mine about a year ago and was super scared and intimidated to try using it. First of all, the thought of high pressure scares me. I kept envisioning the lid blowing up during the cooking process. I consider pressure cooking very similar to canning – people have been doing it for years and its a tried and true method of preparing food. I have a Cuisinart pressure cooker but the Instapot seems to be everyone’s favorite.

… 

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Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

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Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

We are a family of pasta lovers. If dinner is made with pasta and a good sauce, chances are my entire family will devour it. We also love a good lasagna, but sometimes traditional lasagna is a heavy meal. I’m always looking for delicious meals I can toss in the slow cooker to have ready for all of us when we walk in the door after a long day of school and work. You can say that my slow cooker dinners have become somewhat of a tradition in our family. The four of us have always prized quality dinner time together, but I also feel like I get bonus points if I can prep something before I leave in the morning and have very little to do when we all get home before we sit around the table and talk about each others day.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.This recipe starts with some ground pork, lots of seasonings, red onion, and mushroom. If you have a favorite spicy Italian sausage you like to use, you can certainly use that in lieu of the pork and the seasonings. You can also lighten this meal up by using ground turkey. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

You brown the meat with the onions and mushrooms on the stove and then transfer it to your slow cooker. You don’t want to lose all of that wonderful flavor in the pan, so add some chicken broth and heat it up to release every spec of flavor from that pan. Now you’re ready to transfer that super flavorful chicken broth on over to the slow cooker. Now all you need is a delicious chunky pasta sauce to add before you can head out of the house to start your day. Just pour the entire bottle into the slow cooker and let all of those flavors combine while you go out and enjoy the day.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.About a half an hour before you’re ready to eat, make sure the heat is set to high and add a big handful of spinach, broken up lasagna noodles, and a bit of heavy cream. Doesn’t it look amazing?

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.Top that soup with some fresh mozzarella and now the family can sit around the table and enjoy your time honored tradition of giving each other your undivided attention at the dinner table. Not your family tradition? Well, its never too late to start!

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (23 ounce) jar Pasta Sauce
  • handful raw spinach
  • 3-5 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
top with:
  • freshly grated mozzarella (whole milk recommended) and minced basil or parsley
Instructions
  1. In large saute pan, brown pork with spices over medium high heat. After it just begins to brown, add onion, stir, and allow to cook for several minutes. Add the mushrooms, stir, and allow to brown. When the sausage is nicely brown, crumbles, and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, transfer everything to your slow cooker.
  2. Add chicken broth to saute pan and heat on high to release all that goodness that stuck to the pan. Transfer this to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the entire jar of pasta sauce.
  4. Cook soup on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 1-3 hours.
  5. minutes before serving, add spinach, lasagna noodle pieces, and heavy cream. Allow to cook until the noodles are al dente. To serve, top with mozzarella and minced herbs.

Enjoy all the comfort of lasagna in this light and easy to make sausage, mushroom, spinach Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
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30 Recipes Perfect for Spring

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Spring is a time for cooking delicious food using ingredients like spring vegetables and citrus, so you will love these 30 Recipes Perfect for Spring.

Spring is a time for cooking delicious food using ingredients like spring vegetables and citrus, so you will love these 30 Recipes Perfect for Spring.

Spring is a time for cooking delicious food using ingredients like spring vegetables and citrus, so you will love these 30 Recipes Perfect for Spring.

I love cooking, and I love the changes in food each season brings. Summer is a time that’s filled with grilling, fresh salads, no bake desserts, and preserving that wonderful produce for later times. Fall is all-about-apples and then quickly turns into all-about-pumpkin. Of course you can’t forget the greatest cooking holiday of all – Thanksgiving.  Winter cooking has a split personality – it starts off with nothing but naughty sweets like cookies and fudge and in an instant turns into crazy healthy with the occasional game day appetizer thrown in. Finally, we end up right where we are now – at the beginning of spring.  Yes, there are all sorts of fun things to make this time of year from naughty treats made with girl scout cookies to specialties served on St. Paddy’s Day to anything and everything made with spring vegetables and citrus. No matter what time of year it is, there are always wonderful things to make in the kitchen, and below you’ll find tons of great ideas to keep you busy until summer!

Grilled Veggie French Onion Flatbreads

Grilled French Onion Flat Breads

Creamy Spring Gnocchi

Creamy Spring Gnocchi

Berry Feta Spinach Salad

Berry Feta Spinach Salad

French Onion Potato Salad

French Onion Potato Salad

Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles

Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles

Quinoa Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts

Quinoa Salad with Feta, Asparagus, and Pine Nuts

English Pea and Mint Soup

English pea and mint soup

Fresh Vegetable Salad

Fresh Vegetable Salad

Pea Salad with Cashews and Bacon

Pea Salad with Cashews & Bacon

Spring Vegetable Goat Cheese Frittata

Spring Vegetable Goat Cheese Frittata

Vanilla Cake Donuts with Strawberry Glaze

Vanilla Cake Donuts with Fresh Strawberry Glaze

Almond Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese

Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

Egg Salad Sandwich

Easy Egg Salad

Fresh Strawberry Tartlets

Fresh Strawberry Tartlets

MarshmallowvEastervBars

Marshmallow Easter Bars

Sugar Cookie Nests

Sugar Cookie Nests

Asparagus Quiche

Asparagus Quiche

Creamy Asparagus and Watercress Spring Pea Soup

Creamy Asparagus and Watercress Spring Pea Soup

Lemon Coconut Truffles

Lemon Coconut Truffles

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Lemon Ricotta Poundcake

New York Style Blueberry Cheesecake

New York Style Blueberry Cheesecake

spinach artichoke quiche

Spinach Artichoke Quiche

Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade Bars

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Parfaits

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Parfaits

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Bunnies

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Bunnies

Fruit Rainbow with Lemon Dip

Fruit Rainbow with Lemon Dip

Hummingbird Monkey Bread

Hummingbird Monkey Bread

Three Ingredient Lemon Cake Batter Dip

Three Ingredient Lemon Cake Batter Dip

Lemon Chicken Egg Rolls

Lemon Chicken Egg Rolls

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10 Best Soup Recipes

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Winter ain’t quite over yet, so I’ve rounded up 10 of the Best Soup Recipes to keep your family warm, well fed, and happy with the best known comfort food.

Winter ain't quite over yet, so I've rounded up 10 of the Best Soup Recipes to keep your family warm, well fed, and happy with the best known comfort food.

Can you believe its March already? I can’t. Not one bit. Some of you know I blog for fun and I have a full time bread & butter (get it? food reference?) career that has nothing to do with food blogging. Well, it turns out February is the busiest month out of the entire year at my real job. I won’t go into too much detail about what I do for a living because I tend to keep some things rather private because, of course, all the crazies out there look at soup recipe round up blog posts for personal information that they can use in all sorts of creepy ways, right? My point being that if you’re going to have a single month be crazy busy and stressful at work, February is pretty much ideal. I mean, its not summer time where I’d rather be outside grilling, at the park, on a hike, on a bike, at the coast, (and this list could go on and on and on).  Its not fall where we’re getting the kids settled into a new school year and I’m not in full blog mode which so happens to be early fall all the way through Christmas because that’s when everyone, myself included, likes to put on our comfy clothes and create masterpieces in the kitchen. Lastly, its not spring, when the days start to get longer, the flowers start to bloom, and I start to come out of my seasonal depression funk and remember that life ain’t so bad after all. No – if I could pick a single month that would be crazy hard and stressful at work, it would definitely be February, which is probably reason #43 why I love my full time career so much.

Now that you have all the background on how stressful my life was last month, you may 1) forgive me for the lack on new content on my site and 2) explore all these yummy soup recipes. Soup is what kept my family full with homecooked meals this past month when I was too tired and stressed out to think of anything new. I just took out the frozen turkey broth I had made after Thanksgiving and made my leftover turkey and wild rice soup.  I also used up some frozen beef stock that was in the freezer and made my favorite winter minestrone. Twice. Bottom line: soup is good food.

Winter ain't quite over yet, so I've rounded up 10 of the Best Soup Recipes to keep your family warm, well fed, and happy with the best known comfort food.

sicilian-chicken-souSicilian Chicken Soup, A Dash of Sanity

Chicken Posole - Love BakesSlow Cooker Chicken Posole, Love Bakes Good Cakes

Chicken Tortilla - Self ProclaimedChicken Tortilla Soup, Self Proclaimed Foodie

Roasted Parsnip - FoodnessRoasted Parsnip Soup, Foodness Gracious

Chicken Enchilada - Tried and TastyCopycat Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup, Tried and Tasty

Slow Cooker Meatball - Mommy HatesSlow Cooker Meatball Soup, Mommy Hates Cooking

Barley Soup - Val's KitchenSlow Cooker Vegetable Beef Barley Soup, From Valerie’s Kitchen

Lasagna Soup - EazyPeazyLasagna Soup, EazyPeazyMealz

New England Clam Chowder - Wine and GlueNew England Clam Chowder, Wine and Glue

Tomato Noodle Soup - Around My FamTomato Noodle Soup, Around My Family Table

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New Mexican Posolé

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This New Mexican Posolé is a spicy, hearty, filling low carb stew filled with fiber and protein that tastes great and will make you feel fantastic.

This New Mexican Posolé is a spicy, hearty, filling low carb stew filled with fiber and protein that tastes great and will make you feel fantastic.

I lived in New Mexico for a few years in my late teens and early 20s. I didn’t appreciate all that the state had to offer when I lived there. I loved the hot air balloons and the fact that you could watch multiple thunderstorms over a horizon that appeared to never end, but I didn’t fully appreciate the food or the culture until I moved away.

This New Mexican Posolé is a spicy, hearty, filling low carb stew filled with fiber and protein that tastes great and will make you feel fantastic.

I actually wasn’t a fan of spicy food until I got pregnant with my oldest. I’m not sure what those pregnancy hormones did to my brain or my taste buds, but something happened during that pregnancy that triggered not only a love for spicy foods, but for everything-pickled as well. Almost a year ago, a co-worker of mine brought back a giant bag of red New Mexican dried chiles. They’ve been sitting in my pantry just waiting to be transformed into something wonderful. I make the chile sauce separately and add just enough to make the posole mild so that my kids can eat it, then I add extra sauce for the husband and I to take it to a level where our foreheads begin to sweat when we eat it. So far I’ve made some homemade enchilada sauce (recipe to come) and this posole which I thought was outstanding. Posole is basically a soup or a stew that is made with pork and hominy and its flavored with chili sauce. I found a great Huffington Post article that will explain it to you titled: What the Hell is Hominy, Anyway? If you don’t know what hominy is, read the article.

Posole is about as traditional New Mexican as you can get. This savory New Mexican stew is almost always served on Saint’s Day feasts at the pueblos and at Christmas and New Year’s gatherings of families and friends. I love to top mine with avocado and a ton of shredded cheese (not pictured). If its wrong to put cheese on posole, then I don’t want to be right.

This New Mexican Posolé is a spicy, hearty, filling low carb stew filled with fiber and protein that tastes great and will make you feel fantastic.

3.0 from 1 reviews
New Mexican Posolé
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This New Mexican Posolé is a spicy, hearty, filling low carb stew filled with fiber and protein that tastes great and will make you feel fantastic.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 dried New Mexican red chile pods, stemmed and seeded
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 pound pork roast (shoulder or loin, trimmed of surface fat and cut in bite-sized cubes)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans posole (hominy), drained
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Boil about 2 cups of water. Add your dried chiles that have had the stems and seeds removed to a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and weigh down with another plate to ensure they are fully submerged. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer softened chiles along with 1 1/2 cups of the soaking water and the chopped garlic to a blender. Process until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, cook the onion and pork on high heat, turning only once, for a total of about 8 minutes to brown. Transfer onion and pork to a slow cooker.
  4. Add chicken broth, hominy, salt, and 3/4 cup of the chile sauce to the slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred pork, if desired, before serving.
  5. To serve, top with fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, and additional chile sauce for extra spice.

This New Mexican Posolé is a spicy, hearty, filling low carb stew filled with fiber and protein that tastes great and will make you feel fantastic.
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Easy Bean and Bacon Soup

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If you’re looking for a hot, hearty, comforting meal, this Easy Bean and Bacon Soup is sure to satisfy.

If you're looking for a hot, hearty, comforting meal, this Easy Bean and Bacon Soup is sure to satisfy.

I love a good hot soup, especially during the cold and wet winter months. I always have some homemade roasted beef broth stored away in my freezer for when I want to make an easy soup like this one. You can certainly use a store bought beef broth, but if you have your own homemade liquid gold, the result will be that much more amazing. I’m not much one for a real chunky soup, however. I’m the same way with chili. I prefer a thicker broth, which is why I get my potato masher out and squish everything up real nice before serving. Its still soupy, just not as chunky.

If you're looking for a hot, hearty, comforting meal, this Easy Bean and Bacon Soup is sure to satisfy.

Did you notice my Harry & David cup? Its my most favorite mug and I have my morning cup of coffee in it almost every day. Turns out it works quite well with a comforting serving of a hearty soup too! I absolutely love bacon in soups, but I can’t stand it when the bacon gets all floppy and gross. For this particular soup, I hold off on adding the crisp bacon until the very end so that it stays crisp, but you still get that delicious bacon flavor because you cook your veggies in the bacon grease. YUM!

If you're looking for a hot, hearty, comforting meal, this Easy Bean and Bacon Soup is sure to satisfy.

Easy Bean and Bacon Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces bacon ends and pieces, cooked
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used Trader Joe's Cuban Black Beans)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can plum tomatoes, with juice (I used half of a 28 ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, as desired
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon according to post instructions. Set cooked bacon aside on a paper towel to drain and reserve a tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
  2. Saute the onion, celery, and carrot in the bacon grease over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly brown, 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except for the bacon. Cook over medium heat 20-30 minutes until the veggies are nice and tender.
  4. Use a potato masher to mash the soup. This will thicken it up and make it more stew-like.
  5. Top with bacon.

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

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My version of Butternut Squash Soup combines creamy roasted butternut squash with the fresh fall flavor of honeycrisp apple creating a healthy autumn soup.

My version of Butternut Squash Soup combines creamy roasted butternut squash with the fresh fall flavor of honeycrisp apple creating a healthy autumn soup.

If there are two things every person should enjoy in the fall, its squash and soup. I love it when the seasons change and the produce at the farmers markets changes from berries to apples to squash and pumpkins. We spend our weekends at various pumpkin patches watched the kids run through corn mazes and riding the cow train. The changing fall colors and cool nights inevitably mean soup. I had picked up a butternut squash at the farmers market, roasted it, and then had no idea what I was going to do with it. I ended up using half for a pasta and half for this soup.

My version of Butternut Squash Soup combines creamy roasted butternut squash with the fresh fall flavor of honeycrisp apple creating a healthy autumn soup.

I knew I wanted it to be creamy, healthy, delicious, and taste like fall so I did the only reasonable thing and added some honeycrisp apple. Oh yes. Served up hot with a grilled cheese, we had a hearty and savory fall dinner!

My version of Butternut Squash Soup combines creamy roasted butternut squash with the fresh fall flavor of honeycrisp apple creating a healthy autumn soup.

Butternut Squash Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
My version of Butternut Squash Soup combines creamy roasted butternut squash with the fresh fall flavor of honeycrisp apple creating a healthy autumn soup.
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups butternut squash, roasted and mashed
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onion, stirring occasionally, until brown. Add garlic and apple and stir for 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and squash and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Process soup through a blender until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

My version of Butternut Squash Soup combines creamy roasted butternut squash with the fresh fall flavor of honeycrisp apple creating a healthy autumn soup.
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Pumpkin Beer Chili

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I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty damn confident that I have perfected my chili making techniques and would put money on winning the next chili competition I enter. Yeah, its that good. There are a few good tricks, in my opinion to damn good chili. For this particular version, I wanted something fall inspired. I had heard of pumpkin chili before, and it just sounded weird to me. If you’re doubtful like I was, have no fear – the end result does not taste like pumpkin pie. It tastes like fall. There’s really no other way to describe it other than spicy savory delicious fall chili.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

I normally stick with red and white kidney beans, but for this version I swapped out the red kidney beans for black beans. Not just any black beans, but Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Black Beans because they’re really tasty. I started putting beer in my chili quite some time ago, but instead of a traditional amber ale, I used pumpkin ale. And, you guessed it, I added that entire can of pumpkin puree. I also through in a teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon to really bring out the fall flavor. Everything cooks on low in your slow cooker for six to ten hours, so its the perfect meal to make on a busy weekday morning before rushing everyone off to work and school, and its also perfect tailgating food because you can make it the night before, let it slow cook while you sleep, and then you reheat it before the game starts.

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

Besides the beer, my trick to making this chili really quite wonderful is to mash it up with a potato masher before serving. I don’t know about you, but there are only so many whole kidney beans I like to eat in one sitting. By mashing half of them up, you not only thicken up your chili, but all that wonderful fall flavor mixes in so much better. Enjoy!

I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Beer Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I transformed my popular beer chili by adding the best fall has to offer and created Pumpkin Beer Chili, made with pumpkin ale, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.
Author:
Recipe type: dinner, main dish
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground meat (I use grass fed/finished)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle pumpkin ale
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, unsalted
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (more if you want your chili spicier than mild)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In large skillet over medium high heat, brown ground beef with chopped onion and bell pepper until meat is slightly browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic, stir, and cook for a couple more minutes. Add pumpkin ale to meat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to allow any browned bits at the bottom of the pan to release. Add mixture to large slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to crockpot. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. Before serving, use a potato masher to mash up some of the beans and continue to mash until your chili is as thick as you like. Garnish with freshly grated sharp cheddar and cornbread.

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