Category Archives: SOUP AND STEW RECIPES

HUNGARIAN GROUND BEEF SOUP

As you can see, I am still on my ground beef kick. And why you might ask. Well – lean ground beef is versatile, relatively inexpensive, relatively low in fat, a good protein source, and tasty. (Really, what more can you ask from a simple, easy to obtain food product?) And when combined with other healthy ingredients, ground beef is the base for many quick and easy dishes including this wonderful soup. (I call ground beef “wonder meat” because it is the perfect meat for all the working mothers and fathers (can’t forget all those guys out there who are the family cooks) who rush home from work and are greeted with those 3 little words all parents hear upon entering their home. And no, it’s not “I love you”. It’s “what’s for dinner”?) So this is yet another recipe to help you prepare an easy, healthy dish that is on the table before your kidlets have time to declare that they are about to expire from hunger. As if?? (And yes, this recipe is great for seniors too. Healthy, easy to prepare, and basically a one dish meal.)

So yesterday when I was deciding what to do with the pound of ground beef I had taken out of the freezer, I decided to search for a goulash style soup that featured ground beef. (I love Hungarian food, so I often start a search with the word “Hungarian”.)

This soup recipe is out of the Food and Wine magazine. (I did use noodles instead of potatoes, added some sour cream, and used less salt than originally called for, but the rest is straight off the Food and Wine magazine web site. Great recipe site BTW!)

So do yourself a favor and make this soup next time you want to use ground beef in a less than traditional way. And I know, spaghetti, tacos, chili, and hamburgers are delicious too. But often, a new dish is as welcome to your family as fixing a new recipe is for the cook. And always remember, it’s all about you – the cook. If you’re happy in the kitchen, your family are going to reap the benefits. And since the kitchen is the heart of any home, who knows, you might even hear “I love you” more often. Stranger things have happened in the name of good eating.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 T. Hungarian paprika (sweet, not smoked or hot)
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1¼ tsp. caraway seeds (don’t even think about leaving them out!)
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (small amount)
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 3 c. beef broth  
  • 3 c. water
  • 1½ – 2 c. egg noodles
  • ½ c. sour cream, plus more for the table

In a heavy covered soup pan, lightly brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the paprika, cayenne, marjoram, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, tomato paste, broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the noodles and cook just until al dente. Stir in the sour cream, adjust seasoning, and serve with additional sour cream if desired.

 

NAVY BEAN AND SMOKED HAM HOCK SOUP

And yes I know I recently posted a recipe for Navy Bean Soup. I’m not getting forgetful, but I really wanted Navy bean soup for dinner last evening, but I wanted a slightly different flavor for the broth. So I concocted this recipe based on my original recipe. (Life is never dull in the Carr household!) I also wanted to use up some kale I had in the fridge.

Having used kale in other bean soup recipes, I felt no reluctance to add it to this recipe. In fact I am using kale so much these days, that if a dish doesn’t contain kale, Mr. C. starts to get worried! (Always like to keep him on his toes!)

So if you crave a bean soup with a kind of new flavor sensation, give this recipe a try. The addition of a bit of tomato paste, some smoked paprika, and kale gives this wonderful old standard a lift up into the 21st century. It’s like changing a song from a waltz to a bossa nova. Or plain scrambled eggs into an omelet. Nothing wrong with the original, but the change is more than welcome too. Enjoy!

  • 1 qt. chicken stock
  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 c. navy beans, washed and drained*
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into fairly small pieces
  • 1 c. chopped celery, including the leaves
  • ¼ c. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. finely chopped massaged curly kale

Combine all ingredients except the kale in a heavy covered pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot, and cook until the beans are very tender, about 2 hours. After 90 minutes, remove the ham hock, let cool, and separate the meat from the bone and fatty tissue. Chop or shred the meat and add it back to the pot along with the chopped kale. Remove bay leaves and adjust the seasoning. Simmer soup for about 15 minutes or until the kale is wilted and tender. Great served with a good hearty bread or crusty baguette.   

*For this recipe, beans do not need to be pre-soaked.

MULLIGATAWNY (INDIAN CHICKEN CURRY SOUP)

This recipe came to me via an Epicurious request from a reader. When I saw the recipe I nearly hit my head on the ceiling jumping for joy. Because this was (and still is) my favorite chicken curry soup. And the reason I was so excited? Because, now at long last, I could make my favorite Indian restaurant’s soup anytime my little old heart desired. And that restaurant is Shamiana Restaurant in Houghton (Kirkland) Washington. If you live in the Seattle area and have not had the pleasure of dining at this wonderful restaurant, I suggest you give it a try in the near future. But back to the soup.

This soup is not only easy to make, but once you acquire the spices, fairly economical to prepare. And as I have preached in the preface to many of my recipes, even the spices are economical if you buy them in bulk. And yes, I know – those darling little glass spice jars look so becoming in your kitchen cabinet. But dear readers, once you start using herbs and spices with shear abandon, which incidentally is what I hope you do, you will find that those little jars don’t really hold very much. And unless you are a descendant of the late John D. Rockefeller, and therefore have money to burn, that’s exactly what you are doing when you remove one of those tiny spice jars from the grocery store shelf and place it in your cart. You might as well take a $20 bill out of your wallet and set fire to it right there in the grocery store! But again, back to the soup.

I served this soup, along with three others, at the before concert meal for a recent JazzVox concert. But while I was considering this soup to be one of the available options, I frankly was concerned that Mulligatawny might be just a little bit too exotic for some people’s taste. Well after all these years, I should have known better! By and large, the people who attend our in-home concerts have as great an appetite for unfamiliar and different food as they do for fabulous vocal jazz. So needless to say, despite my uneasiness regarding serving this soup, it was very popular.

So next time you experience a burning desire for chicken soup, but want to challenge the arbitrary boundaries you have set on what constitutes said dish, make a pot of this delicious soup. You will soon learn that there is more to chicken soup than you ever imagined!  

Oh, and BTW – if you do decide to burn your money in a grocery store, please do not tell the authorities that is was because of my suggestion. I greatly appreciate your lack of candor in this regard. Thank you very much.

  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, finely diced and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a small amount of turmeric
  • 3 c. chopped onion
  • 1 lg. or 2 small carrots, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 T. garam masala
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ c. dried red lentils, washed
  • 8 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2-3 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 c. cooked basmati rice, opt.*
  • lemon wedges

Heat oil in a heavy large covered soup pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté until just done. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onions, carrot, and celery; cook until onion is a light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. (You want the onions slightly caramelized.) Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, bay leaves, salt, and pepper; stir for 1 minute. Add lentils; stir until coated. Add chicken broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and add coconut milk, fresh lemon juice, and reserved chicken. Cook for about a minute or until all the ingredients are hot. Adjust seasoning.

If you like rice in your soup, place a small amount in the bottom of a soup bowl. Ladle soup over and squeeze some fresh lemon over top.

*I wrote cooked rice as an optional ingredient, because in our house only one of us likes rice in his Mulligatawny. I prefer my soup without rice. Vive la différence!

Thanks Shamiana for this delightful recipe. And please pardon the changes.  

 

 

NAVY BEAN SOUP

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First of all, if you don’t like a really good navy bean soup, then read no further! But if you happen to love navy  bean soup, then this is the navy bean soup of your dreams. It’s easy to prepare, economical to make, and it tastes like nothing you are going to find in a can. (And yes, I am a little bit prejudiced about this soup since I started making it about a hundred years ago.)  

When my 4 children – Good God Almighty, 4? were young, I used to make soup almost every weekend. (Hey, my former husband and I weren’t poor, but we weren’t up there with the Rockefeller’s either. And soup was a delicious and healthy way to fill the little darling’s tummies.) Plus ham hocks were cheap, dried beans were cheap, and soups were both nutritious and filling. What more could a mommy ask from a simple to prepare dish?  

Then my life changed dramatically. I became single, my kids grew up and went away to college, but my love for soup remained. So I continued to make soup, including this one. Why you ask, when I could have just purchased a can of soup? Well, I was single, not brain dead! I still knew that homemade soup was always going to be better tasting and better for me, so I persisted in my passion for delicious and nutritious homemade soup. Eventually Mr. C. came along, (thank God), and he too loved homemade soup. So almost every winter weekend while we were both still working, I would build us some kind of soup on weekends. Now that we are both retired, weekends last 7 days a week. And I can prepare soup any old time I please!

(I highly recommend retirement, BTW. It is not overrated!)

So if you too want to fill your home with wonderful smells, feed your family a healthy and nutritious meal, and save money in the process, then homemade soup is the answer. And this soup is a good way to start. Serve this soup in a big old bowl surrounded by slices of a wonderful homemade or bakery bread, and you have an irresistible combination.

  • 1 qt. chicken stock
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 c. navy beans, washed and drained*
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into fairly small pieces
  • 1 c. chopped celery, including the leaves
  • ¼ c. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a heavy covered pot. Cook until beans are very tender, about 2 hours. Remove ham hock, let cool, and separate the meat from the bone and fatty tissue. Chop or shred the meat and add it back to the pot. Remove bay leaf and adjust the seasoning. Great served with a good hearty bread or crusty baguette. 

*For this recipe, beans do not need to be pre-soaked.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (Good for what ails you!)

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And why a recipe for old fashioned chicken noodle soup you might ask? Because I believe that periodically everyone needs and deserves a taste of love. And if homemade chicken noodle soup doesn’t taste like love, I don’t know what does! As my grandfather used to say, “chicken noodle soup is good for what ails you!” Grandpa never defined what “what ails you” meant, but as I’ve gotten older, I think I know. What ails you – anything from stiff joints, a bad cold, a rotten day at work, teenagers, an invitation to the wedding of the daughter or son of a person you work with, whom incidentally you have never met. (The child that is!) And of course at this point, please feel free to add your own definition of the things you classify as “what ails you”.

Now I know, I love new-fangled variations of chicken soup as much as the next gal. But when what I need is a soothing, not spicy, healthy, like my grandma used to make kind of soup, I follow this recipe. (And yes, I do follow my own recipes. That way I don’t have to think. The older I get, the more I have begun to appreciate not always having to think! Sometimes I just like to let the auto-pilot function in my brain take over. So using my own recipes is my equivalent of putting my mind on auto-pilot or cruise control. But don’t fear. I get a lot of thinking done while I am working on new recipes!)

So next time you feel a cold coming on, or your teenagers are driving you to distraction, distract yourself by making a big old batch of this soup. After all, even if chicken noodle soup doesn’t solve the world’s problems, it does make them easier to take. (At least for a little while.)

  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 split fryer, cut into sections (or any other pieces of bone-in chicken)*
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, including leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, thoroughly washed, chopped (all the white and part of the green) or 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 qt. chicken stock
  • 2 c. dry egg noodles (the wider and thicker the better), cooked al dente
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 4-6 green onions, thinly sliced

Pour the olive oil into a large covered soup pot.

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Liberally sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and fry the chicken until the skin is golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the carrots, celery, and leek; sauté for about 5 minutes. Do not let any of the veggies start to brown. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, a small amount of salt, pepper, chicken stock, and browned chicken. Bring the soup to just under a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. (Do not overcook the chicken!) Remove the chicken pieces and set aside to cool. Meanwhile continue to let the soup burble away. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces. Return to the pot and add the cooked noodles and parsley. Bring just to a boil and adjust seasoning. Remove bay leaf and serve in individual bowls topped with green onions.

*If you prefer, add 2 cups of boneless, skinless chicken cut into cubes (raw or previously cooked). If using raw chicken, add when the carrots are tender. Cook the chicken just until it is done. Add cooked noodles and parsley. Bring to a boil and adjust seasoning. Serve topped with green onions.

If you are using already cooked chicken, add it along with the cooked noodles and parsley.

 

 

CARIBBEAN PORK STEW

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We recently were invited to our good friends Tim and Susie’s home for an “after gig” dinner party. And Susie fixed just an amazing Caribbean dinner for us. And the main dish she served was a pork stew. So based on the gist of the recipe Susie gave me that evening, I immediately went on line and found (I’m pretty sure) the recipe she used. (Sometimes I get tired of bugging my friends for their recipes, so I just wing it.)

Anyway, the recipe below adapted from Cooking Light magazine, Valerie’s Kitchen blog, and brought to life by Susie is so melt in your mouth good as to be worthy of a literary mention, in say, a modern romance novel. And because I have an active imagination and sometimes (sometimes?!?!) can’t help myself, the first couple of paragraphs in this fictitious novel might read something like this:

“Kathryn could not have known on that late summer afternoon how the delicious smell of her Caribbean pork stew would completely turn her life around. As the stew quietly bubbled away in the slow cooker on the counter under her open kitchen window, she was completely unaware that a change in her life was in the wind. And even though the late afternoon was hot, quiet, and heavy with languor, tiny whiffs of the stew’s delicious aroma somehow found their way through her new neighbor Jeffrey’s open den window.

Jeffrey, who had lost his wife to his best friend a couple of years before, had only lived in his new home for a month. He had moved because everything in his old neighborhood had reminded him of how he had been deceived by the two people he had trusted most in life. He had needed to put his former life far behind. He had seen Kathryn come and go from her house and of course had noticed how beautiful she was. He also knew that she had been recently widowed. His realtor had been eager to share that tidbit of information when he was showing Jeffrey the house. But Jeffrey wasn’t looking for love. In fact he had no desire to ever again become involved with a gorgeous woman. But that afternoon, as he sat at his desk putting the final touches on the article he was writing, he sensed that there was something different in the air. He couldn’t quite define what it was that had awakened his senses. But he knew for a fact, that whatever it was, it was emanating from his neighbor’s home.”

So if you too want to awaken the senses of your family and friends, prepare this dish for them. It has a bit of heat to it, but it’s not overpowering. Just delicious. And thanks again Tim and Susie for another wonderful meal at your home and of course, your friendship.

(And lest you worry, I have no intention of becoming a romance novel writer.)

  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. lean pork, cut into bite sized pieces (a boneless pork roast is perfect)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (lots)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 lg. red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 T. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. lower-sodium GF Tamari or regular soy sauce
  • juice of one large, soft lime
  • 2 T. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • basmati rice, cooked according to package directions or follow the recipe below
  • lime wedges

Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add pork, salt, and pepper and sauté until the cubes are dark brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Place browned pork and garlic, red bell pepper, and green onions in an electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.

Combine hoisin sauce, Tamari, lime juice, peanut butter, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and chicken broth in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the pork and stir well to combine.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW, and cook for 90 minutes or until pork is fork tender. (Check after about an hour.)

Serve over rice with lime wedges.

BASMATI RICE

  • 2 c. basmati rice
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 3 1/3 c. water
  • 34/ tsp. kosher salt

Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well. Melt butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat; add rice and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Scoop into your rice cooker. Add water and salt. Turn rice cooker on “go”. When rice cooker turns off, rice is done. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork.

No rice cooker?  Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well. Melt butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat; add rice and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork.

 

SOUPA AVGOLEMONO (GREEK EGG AND LEMON SOUP)

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The name of this classic Greek soup comes from its two main ingredients: egg (avgo) and lemon (lemoni).

I first began making this delicious soup just after Mr. C and I started dating. He had taken me to his favorite Greek restaurant and honestly, he practically had to force me to try the Avgolemono. Even the thought of a lemon flavored rice soup (I usually hate rice in soups) made me instantly apprehensive. But we were new at this dating thing, so I thought I would go along with his wishes because I already felt this new relationship might be worth a concession here and there. And boy was I right about the relationship! The concession part, well we’ve both gotten quite good at it over the years, especially Mr. C.! But back to this simple soup recipe.

As you might surmise, I instantly fell in love. (I know with the soup, and maybe even the man!) I thought the soup was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted. Later on in that same meal, Mr. C. introduced me to yet another fantastic dish – hummus. (Be still my heart.)

Well, by now, I’m sure you have no uncertainties about why I married this amazing man! (And they think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.) That may well be true. But I am living proof that women are as susceptible as men when it comes to falling for someone who appreciates good food. Even if that person’s only contribution involves never ending trips to grocery stores or learning how to punch in the number of your favorite restaurant! Or as in my case, always being willing to try a never ending string of new dishes. For this and other reasons too numerous to list, thank you my love.

Mr. C. and I both hope you enjoy this amazingly simple to prepare and delicious Greek soup.

Oh, BTW – I did marry Mr. C for reasons other than his love of fine food. Those of you who know him, already know the reasons. Those of you who don’t know him – well you wouldn’t care anyway!

  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c. uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of 2 lemons, or more to taste
  • crumbled feta cheese, opt, garnish

Bring chicken broth, salt, and pepper to a boil in a covered medium sized saucepan. Add the rice, stir, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is soft. Remove from heat. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and lemon juice together. Slowly ladle about a cup of the hot chicken broth into the egg mixture whisking as fast as possible so the eggs don’t curdle. Pour this mixture back into the remaining broth and rice stirring as you pour. Return to heat and bring soup just to boil. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat and add more lemon juice and salt as necessary. (The soup should be good and lemony.) Serve immediately. Offer feta cheese as garnish.

HAM, KALE, AND CANNELLINI BEAN SOUP

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I know, I know! I already have several smoked piggy, greens, and dried bean soup recipes on my blog. Can you guess why? Got it in one. I LOVE BEAN SOUP! And if the soup is reasonably inexpensive to prepare, is low in fat, contains nutritious veggies, some sort of meat as well as the dried beans, I am well on my way to nirvana. Add a couple 3 toasted baguette slices and dinner is ready! (Which is another compelling reason to prepare and serve soup. It’s really a complete meal unto itself when accompanied by some form of cracker or bread.)  

So yesterday morning when I was up to my elbows in dill pickle brine and German chocolate cake batter, (not the same recipe you realize), I got to thinking about what to fix for dinner. And calling to me from the refrigerator was a small hunk of ham and some kale that dearly needed to be eaten. Soon the cannellini beans in the pantry were offering their two bits to the conversation. So not being one to ignore what three of my favorite ingredients have to say, I jumped at the chance to write a new recipe. And the simplest preparation I could think of which included these three darling ingredients was soup.

So what you have below is the result. And considering that I was very busy in the kitchen all day yesterday working mainly with ingredients that have no relationship to a bean soup, you are darn lucky the recipe doesn’t include cucumbers or melted chocolate! Enjoy  

  • 2 c. dried cannellini, small Navy, or Great Northern beans OR 3 (15-oz.) cans cannellini or white beans, rinsed and drained (see recipe variation)
  • 8 c. water
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ c. diced ham
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 T. fresh minced sage or 1-2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 c. (2 qt.) chicken broth
  • 6 c. chopped kale

In a covered sauce pan, add the dry beans and water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours. Or cover the beans with water and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. In both cases, drain and rinse the beans before adding to the soup.

Heat the olive oil in a large covered pan over medium-high heat. Add the ham, onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onion is translucent. And the garlic, sage, bay leaf, salt, and pepper; cook for 1 minute, or until the sage and garlic are fragrant. Add the chicken broth and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 1½ hours or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally. Add kale and cook for about 3 minutes or until the kale is wilted. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with crusty baguette slices that have been toasted. (I like to drizzle the baguette slices with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with finely ground Parmesan cheese before placing in the oven to toast at 425 degrees for about 7 minutes.)

Variation using canned beans:

Heat oil in a large covered pan over medium-high heat. Add ham, onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onion is translucent. And the garlic, sage, bay leaf, salt, and pepper; cook for 1 minute, or until the sage and garlic are fragrant. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add the beans and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add kale and cook for about 3 minutes or until the kale is wilted. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with crusty baguette slices that have been toasted. (I like to drizzle the baguette slices with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with finely ground Parmesan cheese before placing in the oven to toast at 425 degrees for about 7 minutes.)

 

EAST INDIAN OR THAI CURRIED CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

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East Indian Curried Chicken Noodle Soup

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Thai Curried Chicken Noodle Soup

I first started making the East Indian version of this soup over 20 years ago using regular old fashioned, available in every grocery store curry powder.  So when Mr. C invited the other 2 members of the Tim-E3 Jazz trio to rehearse at our place on Sunday, I offered to make lunch for the guys since they would be here from 11:00 am till about 3:00 pm. I decided to use Tim and Todd, along with Mr. C of course, as my taste testers (aka Guinea Pigs) to see if using red curry paste would work to create a Thai variation of this soup. So I served the guys a bowl of each and had them decide which they liked better or even if they liked the soups at all? Well, all three of the guys decided both were keepers. So I decided to post both recipes and let you decide which version better suited your taste.

The base ingredients are exactly the same in both soups. But what makes the difference is the curry used. And for people like Mr. C and myself, who BTW are curry “nuts”, we probably like the East Indian curry better. Only because that’s the curry flavor we grew up with. OK, I didn’t actually experience curry until after I was out of my parent’s home. In fact, I doubt either of my parents even knew what curry was until the latter part of their lives. But I started making curry in my early 20s. And since I don’t really feel I achieved adulthood until I was about 28 (some would say I’m still not there!), I feel comfortable saying that I grew up loving curry. But enough about my latent development!

Both soups are very easy to prepare and don’t have to be simmered for hours to achieve a lovely blended flavor. And truly, both are really delicious! Both exotic and down home at the same time. Each would make a really delightful first coarse soup to either an Indian or Thai meal.

So is you too love soup and would like to prepare one, or in this case two, that are both different, easy, and fairly quick to prepare, give either one of these a try. Kripyā bhojan kā ānnaṅd lijīyai (please enjoy your meal) in Hindi and taan hâi a-ròi in Thai.

East Indian:

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil or canola oil
  • 2 c. bite-sized pieces of uncooked chicken
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. regular curry powder (like McCormick)
  • 2½ c. chicken stock
  • 1 can light (reduced fat) coconut milk
  • 4 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
  • juice of ½ lime or more to taste
  • 6-8 oz. cooked egg noodles (I use Rose brand Chinese Egg Noodles)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, garnish
  • 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro, garnish
  • lime wedges, garnish

Heat the coconut oil in a medium large covered soup pot. Add the chicken, salt, and pepper. Sauté the chicken just until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and curry powder to pan; cook for about one minute. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and Tamari. Bring to just under a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the reserved chicken and cook for 1 minute or until the chicken pieces are hot. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lime juice and cooked noodles. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot garnished with green onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Thai:

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil or canola oil
  • 2 c. bite-sized pieces of uncooked chicken
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. Red Curry Paste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2½ c. chicken stock
  • 1 can light (reduced fat) coconut milk
  • 2-3 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
  • juice of ½ lime or more to taste
  • 6-8 oz. cooked egg noodles (I use Rose brand Chinese Egg Noodles)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, garnish
  • 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro, garnish

Heat the coconut oil in a medium large covered soup pot. Add the chicken, salt, and pepper. Sauté the chicken just until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, curry paste, and turmeric to pan; cook for about one minute. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce, and Tamari. Bring to just under a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the reserved chicken and cook for 1 minute or until the chicken pieces are hot. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lime juice and cooked noodles. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot garnished with green onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.

 

 

GROUND BEEF AND VEGETABLE SOUP

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This recipe is an adaptation of a soup that appeared in the first cookbook I ever owned. In 1964 I received the gift of my still loved, but terribly battered first edition, third printing 1961 Betty Crocker cookbook from my Aunt Ruth. Along with several metal baking dishes, some of which I still use today. And one of the first recipes I tried from my new cookbook, was the bones of this recipe for a very simple, economical, savory, and healthy soup.

Of course in those days I wasn’t as much interested in healthy as I was in simply filling my new husband’s and my tummies at a price two full time college students could afford! (And no, there was no red wine in the original recipe, nor was there any red wine in our household.) We were basically eating anything that didn’t eat us first. And the likes of beer and wine were simply not in our budget. (Mores the pity!) 

But over the years I have added ingredients to the original recipe to make it my own. And today, when healthy counts more for us than the price of a dish, this soup is just as welled loved as it was in the 60s. It simply bursts with flavor, even though the ingredients are healthy and economical.

So if you too love a hearty soup that is easy to prepare, contains healthy ingredients, and is economical – give this recipe a try. (And no, you don’t have to be a starving student to enjoy this soup. But if you are a starving student, add more potatoes. That’s what I used to do.)

  • 2 tsp. oil (olive, vegetable, avocado, etc.)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ c. red wine
  • 2 c. beef stock
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ c. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed
  • 2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley, opt.

Heat oil in a medium sized covered pan. Add the meat and cook until browned. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the red wine and cook until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Add the beef stock, pepper, bay leaf, basil, ketchup, Kitchen Bouquet, Worcestershire sauce, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir periodically. (Add water if the soup starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.) Add the potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning, add parsley, and serve piping hot.