French onion and mushroom soup

Over the years, I have made French onion soups or mushroom soups, but never the two have been combined.  This recipe, inspired by Rachel Ray, is a true classic.  It comes together quite fast and is not one of those many hour French onion soups.  Surprisingly, it has a great flavor and is super tasty.  I certainly would recommend this one, even for beginner home cooks.

Gather these ingredients:  1 red onion, 2 white onions, 1 small box white mushrooms, sliced and cleaned, dried thyme, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup red wine and shredded Swiss cheese.

Saute the sliced onions with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. I used my Staub pot for another one-pot meal.  Once the onions are slightly browned, add the sliced mushrooms.  Brown and add 4 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup red wine and continue to heat. Simmer on low until ready to serve.  Freezes well too.

Serve with crusty bread topped with melted Swiss cheese under the broiler, or just top the bowls with some shredded cheese, or just serve with crusty bread.  A side salad would also be delicious.  Easy to make, serve and enjoy !

 

Shrimp Chowder

Spring weather fluctuates in Michigan. We have many chilly April days. So, making a pot of soup is not out of the question in my kitchen.  I was inspired by a recipe I found in Cooking Light magazine and prepared this delicious chowder in my Staub pot.

This chowder is not a thick soup, like I have made in the past.  But, it was equally delicious.  Gather these ingredients.  2 cups vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, black pepper, 2 Tablespoons margarine, 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup chopped white onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 2 tablespoons flour, 3/4 bag of cooked shrimp, 1 cup half and half, 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Prepare the broth.  Combine broth, thyme, pepper.

In the cooking pot, saute carrots, onion, and celery. Add flour and cook out for 1 minute.  Add shrimp, and then the broth.  Heat to simmer.  Add half and half and continue to cook until the chowder is hot. Season with parsley flakes when serving.

Serve with a side salad or crusty bread.

Noodle bowl

Noodle bowls are very easy to make at home. And, they are often one pot meals, making them very easy for a weeknight dinner when schedules are hectic. I modified a recipe that I found last year in Real Simple magazine, and came up with a great dish. Here are the ingredients needed for this dish:

1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 10 white mushrooms-cleaned and sliced, 1/3 bag of small carrots, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 6 green onions, 4 cups chicken broth and 3 cups hot water, lo mein noodles, 2 small bok choy-chopped, 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

I used my Staub cast iron pot and with the sesame oil, added the mushrooms, carrots, ginger and scallion whites only, cooking for about 3 minutes until just starting to soften.

Next, add the chicken broth and water, bringing the soup up to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Next add the desired amount of noodles and the bok choy and cook for up to 4 minutes maximum.  Stir in the vinegar and scallion greens at the end just prior to serving.

 

This cooking pot is wonderful, as it operates like a rain forest. By keeping the moisture and flavors within the pot, it makes any soup or stew just delicious. This noodle bowl can also include shrimp or cooked chicken breast.

 

Pumpkin Popovers

So, I found this recipe back in October for pumpkin popovers, and boy are they delicious. Just the perfect blend of the pumpkin taste with the ever popular popover experience. I have to admit that popovers are my all-time favorite item from the bread basket. Somehow, I always hope since they are hollow in the middle, that they really don’t count for a full bread exchange.  And, these just use the ever popular pumpkin pie spice–not what you might have first thought–ugh, not that canned pumpkin again.

So, here is a great recipe that started me thinking about just adding different spices to this popover recipe–so stay tuned for other ideas.  From the pages of Good Housekeeping, October 2016, comes this recipe, with my modifications.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees along with a popover pan.  When heated, melt a bit of margarine in each cup and swirl around to coat the pan. Meanwhile, mix 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 3 Tbsp melted butter together in a bowl.  Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Blend well, and divide into 6 large popover cups until each is 2/3 full.

    

Bake 50-60 minutes until browned.  Remove from the oven and tap to hear the hollow sound that the classic popover will make, signifying that the center is fully cooked.

If possible, serve warm, but they are tasty when cooled as well.  These can be dusted with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve popovers with soup, salad, or any breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner entree.  A great alternative to a roll, biscuit, or other types of bread choices.  This recipe makes six large popovers.

 

 

Easy tortellini soup

We have had a few chilly days here in Michigan, and it doesn’t take much for me to bring out a soup recipe.  I have so many favorites and always welcome leftovers.  This recipe makes around 8 medium-sized soup bowl servings.

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I love the zesty flavor based on the type of diced tomatoes used for cooking. I use chili ready tomatoes, which includes a nice profile of spice.  Actually, that profile is perfect for this soup.  I have tried it with other variations of tomatoes as well, and if you are a tomato fan, you will like this recipe no matter which canned product is selected.

To begin the soup recipe:  Use about 2 tablespoons margarine to saute 4 cloves of fresh chopped garlic.  When softened, add 4 cups of chicken broth and boil.  Add 1/2 bag of slightly thawed frozen cheese tortellini to the mixture on the stovetop.  CooSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESk 3 minutes and then add one can of diced tomatoes.   Bring back up to a boil and cook another 2-3 minutes.

To finish the soup, I used fresh basil from my garden, chopped in thin strips, and added some chopped dark green romaine lettuce to the pot.  I continued to lightly boil the soup for another minute or so.  Serve with shredded or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

A great way to warm up on a chilly day.

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Pizza soup with Pepperoni

With weather reports this past week coming in for our area, I was questioning if Spring was ever really going to take hold in Michigan.  I am still wearing a sweater, and yes, still eating soup.  My husband has learned over the years that I only offer certain foods, menus or dishes during appropriate months of the year.  He knows not to ask for mashed potatoes in July.  But, it took a few years for him to fully understand how I classify foods by season. Mostly, I focus on fresh vegetables of the season and look for the protein that best matches with those offerings.

However, that being said, and heading into May, I am still serving soup. In other years, with warmer temperatures, hot soup would be off the menu in March, and only replaced with a chilled soup offering until September.

I found this recipe for pizza soup prepared in a slow cooker from Taste of Home.  It is another recipe that calls for assembling the ingredients, and walking away for 7 1/2 hours. I modified the recipe to include frozen tortellini, instead of cheese ravioli, and feel that my version is super tasty. Try this recipe year round and  let it become one of your favorites. It freezes well, and makes about 6-8 servings from this recipe.

Assemble these ingredients:  2 cans of stewed tomatoes/14.5 ounces, 3 1/2 cups beef broth, 1 white medium onion, 1 small green pepper, 1 small package sliced mushrooms, 1/2 package sliced pepperoni, dried oregano, 3/4 package of frozen cheese tortellini, shredded Parmesan cheese and sliced black olives

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Add the first seven ingredients to a slow cooker and place on low for 7 1/2 hours. Add the tortellini and increase to high, cooking for another 1/2 hour. Serve with shredded cheese and sliced olives as desired. A great offering with a side salad and crusty bread.

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Won-Ton soup

One of our favorite Winter meals is soup.  Soup and salad or soup and crusty bread or even soup and sandwich come together in a matter of minutes and can be super delicious on a cold night.  This is one of my all-time favorite soups.  No need to get take-out as this soup recipe is better than take-out.

Assemble these ingredients and combine in a large stock pot on the stove:  8 cups of chicken broth, sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced water chestnuts, about 6 green onions including the green stems, cooked shrimp, pork or chicken slices (could be leftover from another meal), fresh romaine lettuce pieces, and won-ton noodles.  I slice my won-ton noodles into thin strips and use them in the soup.  I do not take the time to make filled won-tons.  Only slice as many noodles from the package as you will need for the soup, probably not even 1/3 of the package. The last time I used 10 noodles cut into thirds.

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Boil the stock and add the above ingredients except the greens. Stir in the noodles and cook to heat. Add the greens just before serving the soup.  If this soup will be served for a planned Asian themed party, serve with egg rolls or any classic Asian dish. I have many posts on this blog for Asian entrees, egg rolls and spring rolls. Use the search tool and input Asian or shrimp to find quite a few recipes very quickly. Or scan the recipe categories to search more efficiently for exact names of dishes.

This soup can also be served on a buffet.  Use an attractive soup tureen and it will be the star of the meal.

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