Black Bean and Cilantro Soup

This is another one of those easy to prep Crockpot meals. It can be vegetarian or you can add chicken if desired.

Ingredients :

2 cans black beans drained or about 1/2 bag (of 1 pound bag) cooked from dry beans

1/2 onion, diced

1 jalape√Īo, seeded and diced

1 garlic clove, minced

8 oz tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt or more

2 chicken thighs, cooked and shredded (may be omitted or more may be used)

6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1/2 cup cilantro

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients except cilantro in Crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Add in cilantro about 10 minutes before serving.

 

Beef and sweet potato stew

Here is a recipe I have really enjoyed over the past two years. I finally got around to taking a picture. Normally I do add the carrots and celery but I forgot to get them at the store this time. If you don’t see them in the photo, that’s why ūüėČ. Enjoy this soup and how easy it is!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed

2 cups beef broth

2 large sweet potatoes cut into cubes

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can of whole tomatoes large

3 carrots sliced

4 celery ribs sliced

2 bay leaves

5 sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions :

Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until the beef shreds easily and the vegetables are tender.

Original recipe :

Sweet Potato and Beef Stew {Crock Pot, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo}

Chickpea and Kale Curry

We grew a garden this year and our kale has been doing really well. ¬†Now we are faced with the problem of how in the world to use it all…

 

This is a nice and easy vegetarian meal if you like yellow curry and you have kale you need/want to use. ¬†ūüôā

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1 T plus 1/2 tsp curry powder

1 c. onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 c. kale, stems removed and chopped

1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained (you may use just one can if you prefer- I actually cooked mine from dry beans in the crockpot the day before but cans work just fine)

1/2 c. tomato sauce

1 tsp sugar

dash salt

4 tsp lemon juice

Rice for serving

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a skillet on medium/medium high.  Add curry powder and cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.  Add onions, garlic and kale and cook until onions are clear (about 2-3 minutes).  After that, add the coconut milk, garbanzo beans, tomato sauce, salt, and sugar.    Stir it all together and then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes or so.  I served mine over brown rice.

 

Original recipe:  http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2015/12/29/chickpea-curry-with-kale

Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

This soup was really good! ¬†We were sad when all the leftovers were finished. ¬†I made a really bad soup the other day that is NOT making the blog. ¬†This soup, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. ¬†It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it may even be good for you!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Jimmy Dean regular sausage

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 c. chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 pound red potatoes, diced with skins on

3 cups spinach (I used frozen spinach-can also use kale)

2 T. fresh basil

2 T. fresh oregano

Thickening agent: 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. chicken broth

 

Crockpot Directions:

Cook sausage and slice potatoes, onion, and garlic. Put all ingredients except spinach in Crockpot and turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Add spinach in the last hour if on low and 30 minutes if on high. I skipped the cornstarch.

Stove top Directions:

Brown sausage in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Drain fat if needed.  Add garlic, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.  Cook while stirring until onions are clear, about 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaf.  Turn up the heat and let the soup begin to boil.  Add the potatoes and continue to boil the soup until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.  At this point, I actually had to walk away from the soup, so I turned off the heat, put the lid on my dutch oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  When I came back, the potatoes were great!

Add in spinach and fresh herbs and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to droop.  Combine corn starch with chicken broth in a small bowl and then add to soup and stir.  I used this in place of 1/4 c. heavy cream.  If you can do the cream, go for it!

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup/

 

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used Earthbalance)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp yellow curry powder

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use HEB or Swanson’s) or vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

small handful of pumpkin seeds

 

Directions:

Heat butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds.  Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds (or blend it in a blender).  Serve in bowls or soup cups and sprinkle in pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.justataste.com/thai-coconut-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Pasta Fagioli

One of my friends gave me a copy of this recipe a long time ago and I finally tried it. ¬†I don’t think I’ve actually tried this at Olive Garden and I couldn’t now, but it was a nice and easy soup that warmed us up on cold days. ¬†You have the option of using canned or dried beans. ¬†I couldn’t find navy beans in a can and I have two crockpots, so I used dried beans. ¬† I hope you take time to enjoy this recipe!

 

Ingredients:

3/4 c. dry kidney beans (or 1 can, drained)

3/4 c. dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained)

2 lbs ground beef, cooked- leave out beef if you want it to be vegetarian

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

32 oz beef broth (I used a carton of HEB Beef Broth but you could also use Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

3 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp pepper

5 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a 24-oz can of Del Monte Traditional)

8-12 oz pasta (I used HEB gluten free)

 

Directions:

If making beans from scratch, soak overnight and then drain and cover with water again in a crockpot. ¬†Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until soft. ¬†You may add them to the soup whenever they are soft enough. ¬† Pre-cook the ground beef. ¬†Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the pasta. ¬†Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours. ¬†The original recipe says you can add pasta straight to the crockpot 30 minutes before you want to serve it, but I was nervous the gluten free pasta wouldn’t cook well that way. ¬†Instead, I cooked it separately as per the package directions and then added it to the soup right before serving.

Note: I had two crockpots going at once- one for the beans and one for the soup.  When the beans were cooked, I added them to the soup.  If you only have one crockpot, you could cook the beans overnight and then use the same crockpot to do the soup during the day.

Original recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/pasta-fagioli-in-the-crockpot-just-like-olive-garden-52984961

Bean Soup

We had people over the other night to help us pass out candy on Halloween. ¬†I decided last minute that I wanted to serve food to our guests, but I didn’t really have time to cook or to go to the grocery store. ¬†I started looking through our pantry wandering if there was anything I could whip up and I re-discovered a package of mixed beans that I hadn’t used yet. ¬†This is a great soup for serving to a large crowd. ¬†It’s also easy to keep the ingredients on hand in your pantry as a backup. Turns out I was having so much fun with our company that I forgot to take a picture….sorry. ¬†You’ll just have to imagine it for now :-).

 

Ingredients:

3/4 bag of Hurst’s HamBeens brand 15 bean soup*

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1/2 tsp chili powder

1-2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1- 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 packet ham seasoning (included in Hurst’s Hambeen’s soup mix and it’s gluten free!)- leave out to make it vegetarian. ¬†I’m not sure it actually has ham in it…

Cooked rice for serving

 

Directions:

Soak beans overnight (rinse and then cover with at least 1 extra inch of water- they will swell.  Leave in the fridge overnight.  Drain water in the morning.)

Put beans in a crockpot and cover the beans with at least 1 extra inch of water. ¬†Cook on low all day (maybe 6-7 hours). ¬†After beans are soft, you may scoop off some of the water from the top of the beans so your soup won’t be as watery. ¬†I just take out water until I can see the beans poking through the water. ¬†Add all the other ingredients and allow to cook for 30 min-1 hour or more. ¬†Serve over cooked rice.

 

*Texas friends- this is available at HEB. ¬†Really, any bean soup mix would work. ¬†If you can’t find a bag of mixed beans, you could make your own and you could mix and match the beans it contains. ¬†This bag includes the following beans: northern, pinto, large lima, yelloweye (what in the world is that?), garbanzo, baby lima, green split pea, kidney, cranberry bean, small white, pink bean, small red bean, yellow split pea, lentil, navy, white kidney, black bean.

Vegetable Beef Soup

We received a dutch oven for our wedding and I finally initiated it with this dish! ¬†I have been wanting to make vegetable soup for awhile, but in my mind it was this super long and hard task, so I avoided it. ¬†I finally broke down and made it, and much to my surprise, it wasn’t that hard at all. I hope you find a nice new dish for your repertoire in this soup. ¬†It filled my dutch oven to the brim, so make sure you are using a large pot!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 c. chopped onions

2 c. peeled and chopped carrots

1 1/4 c. chopped celery

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 cans chicken broth (I think I used Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

2 cans diced tomatoes with juice

3 cups diced potatoes (1/2 in, skins on)

1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 c. frozen green beans

1 1/4 c. frozen corn

1 c. frozen peas

2 c. cooked ground beef (optional)- omit for vegetarian

Optional: add cooked noodles (I added Schar Bonta d’Italia gluten free anellini)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven.  Add onions, celery and carrots and cook for about 3-4 minutes, add garlic, and cook for another minute.  Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Allow it to begin to boil and then add green beans.  Reduce heat and cook on medium-low for 30 minutes or  until potatoes are soft.  Add beef and frozen vegetables.  Cook 5-10 minutes or until beef and vegetables are heated through.  Add cooked noodles if desired.  For best yumminess, serve on a cold night :-).

 

Original recipe:

Vegetable Soup

Lentil Stew

My neighbors came over on a rainy day to play board games. ¬†I tossed this in the crockpot and served it over rice. ¬†Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture…

 

Ingredients:

7 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)

1 bag of lentils (about 2.5 cups)

2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 c. carrots, chopped

4-6 garlic cloves

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

 

 

 

Adapted from the recipe on the back of the HEB bag of lentils.

Roasted Butternut Apple Soup

This is one of my favorite fall soups. ¬†It’s kind of a froo-froo soup, but I love it! ¬†Since I was on a soft diet at the time I made this batch, I don’t show the pecans on top. ¬†You will just have to imagine it or make it yourself. ¬†I don’t remember where I got this recipe from, but the original author suggested drizzling hazelnut oil on top. ¬†I have never bothered finding it in a store, so I have no idea if that would make it better or not. ¬†Most likely the answer is yes. ¬†If you try it, let me know if it’s worth it!

 

Ingredients:

4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

4 large sweet-tart apples (Empire, Braeburn, Cameo, or Pink Ladies), unpeeled and cut in fourths

1/4 c. olive oil

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 T. fresh sage or 1 tsp dried

6 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you want it to be vegetarian)

1/3 c. pecans, chopped and toasted (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine butternut squash, apples, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Spread onto an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once.  Bake until squash and apples are very tender.  Place 1/3 in blender along with 2 c. chicken broth.  Blend and then place in sauce pan. Continue with the rest of the apple mixture and chicken broth.  Cook blended soup in saucepan for at least 6 minutes, stirring frequently.  May top with pecans and a drizzle of hazelnut oil if desired.