Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

Taco Soup


Difficulty: Easy

It can’t get any easier than taco soup. A pantry meal at it’s finest! Top this quick concoction with fresh ingredients like creamy avocado, cool sour cream and fresh cilantro and you will soon take it to the next level. Hearty with 3 kinds of beans, tender chicken, corn, sharp cheddar cheese and the crunch of tortilla chips. Satisfaction in a bowl. Definitely a family favorite in our home. This recipe will feed a crowd (approximately 10 or so) or you will have leftovers, which is never a bad thing. Phil and I can stretch this for a few days and have happy lunches.

1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cans corn
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cans chicken breast
1 taco seasoning packet
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
3/4 tsp onion powder
Salt & Pepper

Sour cream
Corn tortilla chips
Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 avocados, diced
Limes, cut into wedges for serving

Directions: Dump all canned goods into a large pot, do not drain anything. Add 2 cans water. Add taco seasoning packet and remaining spices, stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, finishing with salt and pepper to taste. The additional seasonings are approximate, add more or less according to your taste.

To serve crush a handful of tortilla chips in bowl, top with cheese and the taco soup. Serve with a healthy dollop of sour cream, a good sprinkling of cilantro, avocado and lime. Dig in!


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Minestrone Soup


Difficulty: Moderate

Wonderful, warm and hearty soup stock full of vegetables and goodness. Fresh and relatively quick and easy, the moderate rating is due to prep work. Serve with fresh and warm bread sticks or make it a nice meal with grilled sammies.

6 cups chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 TBS olive oil
4 pieces Bacon, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Directions: In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook for 5 minutes. Drain all but 1 TBS fat. Add onion, carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes and then add garlic. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaves. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook for 15 minutes. Add cooked pasta and heat through, stir in basil and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.

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Tomato Soup

Difficulty: Moderate (Not as easy as opening a can but waaay better!)

Serves 6-8

It is getting closer to fall here in Arizona and I can’t wait! I was craving one of my favorite childhood meals, tomato soup and grilled cheese sammies for dipping. Who didn’t love that? This soup is really easy to pull together, I only put it as moderate since you are making it from scratch! And it is relatively healthy, no cream for your hips or to dampen the bright tomato flavor, but you still get that thick creamy mouth feel, the secret is bread. Read on!

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
1 TBS brown sugar
3 slices white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 can chicken broth
S & P

Directions: Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently until translucent and just starting to brown. Add tomatoes and their juice, using a potato masher, mash until broken down but still chunky. Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to boil and let simmer about 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Transfer half of soup to blender or food processor bowl. Process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Dunk your favorite grilled cheese and go for it! (I used Muenster cheese and honey ham on whole wheat. Delish!)

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