Sunday, November 28, 2010

creamy turkey and wild rice soup

Need to do something interesting with those turkey leftovers??
I do.
And I'm just sick of turkey pot pie.
I love turkey hash and I love turkey noodle soup but I stumbled across this recipe and I had to try it!
I made a few adjustments and voila!
A perfect way to use up some leftovers plus it's actually healthy for you.
Read that again.

Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Serves 4-6.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced onions, shallots, or leeks
1/4 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups home-made chicken stock (or turkey, if you've got it!)
1 cup quick-cooking or instant wild rice
3 cups shredded cooked turkey
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
Add stock and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in turkey, sour cream and parsley and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tortellini soup

This soup literally couldn't be easier.
4 ingredients + pepper.
As long as it takes for water (or chicken stock) to boil.
And for some reason, it's crazy tasty.

Tortellini Soup
Serves 4.
4-6 cups homemade chicken stock
Several sprigs of thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
2 9-ounce packages of refrigerated cheese tortellini (I used one plain and one spinach)
Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Pour the broth and the thyme into a heavy large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Season the broth with pepper, to taste. Add the tortellini. Simmer over medium heat until al dente, about 7 minutes.
Ladle the broth and tortellini into soup bowls. Top with Parmesan and enjoy!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

tortilla soup

One of my favorite soups.
Just try it.

Tortilla Soup
Serves 4-6.
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 can (8 ounces) of tomato sauce
1 can (14 ounces) of diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, diced avocados and chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste and spices and toast lightly, about 30 seconds.  Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with their juices and stock and bring to a boil.  Add corn and beans, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Garnish with toppings and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GD cooking class - homemade stock

Okay, so I always talk about how homemade stock is sooooo much better than store-bought right?
About time I showed you how to make it, yes?

It's really super easy as it is and I'm going to share a trick with you to make it that much easier.
Let's get started!

Homemade Stock
Makes about 2 quarts

....okay, so not really a recipe here, per say....

What do you do with this?

Or this?

Or this?

Well, as I cook, on a normal day, I save all the ends and bits of all the veggies in a large ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer.  I also throw it all the bones (chicken, steak, shrimp shells, etc) that I cook with - but don't mix them.  Keep separate bags for chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, etc.  Once I get a full bag's worth, I make stock!
*Examples of what I like to freeze:  onion ends, carrot tops, tough parts of celery, bell pepper cores, garlic ends, herb stems, etc...*
*Examples of what I do not like to freeze: broccoli and asparagus - too strong.  Potato skins or tomatoes - not enough flavor.*

Combine all of your freezer bag stuff in a large pot.

Cover with water.  (about 8 or 9 cups)

Add a few peppercorns.

And some salt.  (a handful....)

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let reduce for about an hour or two.

It should be a nice, rich color.
(Golden for chicken and dark brown for beef or seafood)

Strain into a freezable container and use when necessary!

Friday, November 12, 2010

chickpea tomato barley soup

One thing that I love about soups is that you can fill them with healthful ingredients and still feel like you are having a rich and decadent feast! 
a)  Soup is probably one of the most healthy things that you can whip up in your kitchen.
b)  Soup is one of the cheapest dishes you can make.
c)  Soup uses all of those leftover odds and ends of those veggies that you don't want to use in your fridge's crisper.

Need more convincing?  Try this one and you will be!

Chickpea Tomato Barley Soup
Serves 4-6.
Adapted from Buff Chickpea (don't you just love that name?!)
3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil if you want to go even heathlier!)
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups chicken stock
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup barley, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish, optional

*Have you figured this part out yet??*
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, bay and spices and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add stock and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Add chickpeas and barley, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until barley is tender.  Serve with cilantro, if using, and enjoy!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

white bean and sausage soup

Getting bored of soup yet??
I think not!
So easy and so tasty!

And this one is no different.....creamy white beans, sausage, and fresh spinach floating around in there....what's more to love?

White Bean and Sausage Soup
Serves 4-6.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 links smoked sausage, diced into half moons (any sausage you like will work....I went with a turkey sausage here....)
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (any kind you like....I almost always use Italian cannelloni beans)
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
6 cups chicken stock
3-4 handfuls fresh spinach, cleaned and torn into bite size pieces

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.  Add sausage and saute until the sausage starts to caramelize.  Add the beans, bay leaves, thyme and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Add spinach and let wilt, about a minute, and serve before the spinach gets gushy :)  Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

oyster chowder

Day #2 here in Soup Month and I thought I'd go with something a little un-traditional.  My dad brought us about 50 pounds of freshly shucked oysters (not really 50 but it felt like it.  And honestly what all can you do with oysters?  Fried oysters, oyster dressing.....and?) and, while I was immediately at a loss of what to do with such (delicious but...) disgusting looking shellfish, I came up with chowder.
Who doesn't like a chowder? 
Rich, creamy, filled with potatoes and corn and cream, you really can't go wrong.
Just try it!

Oyster Chowder
Serves 8.
3 tablespoons butter
1 huge onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups frozen corn, thawed a bit
2 cups diced white potatoes
1 cup half and half
2 pounds oysters, shucked and in their liquid
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the spices and the bay leaves and saute for another minute.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour turns toasty.  Slowly add in the stock, stirring all the while.  Bring to a boil, add corn and potatoes and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes until starting to get thick.  Add half and half, oysters, and sauces and simmer for another couple minutes, until the oysters start to curl.  Season to taste and serve!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Welcome to Soup Month, here at the GD kitchen. 
I know, I know.  We just got finished with another themed month but bear with me.  I have an infant and I'm looking for lots of easy recipes that I can prep quickly!
Sooooo, this month is a whole month of soups.  When I thought about doing this before the baby came, I doubted whether or not I could fill a whole month with new soup recipes. 
I was mistaken.
This is just a glimpse into the soup world so stand by for more soups and stews later on this year!

Serves a ton!
Now, again, I like my food spicy, so I would say this is medium-high on the spicy out!

2 pounds ground beef
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chili powder
1+ tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon salt
1+ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
2+ tablespoons masa

Brown the beef in a deep Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes.
Add all spices and sugar and toast lightly, about a minute.
Add tomato sauce, 2 cups water and beans, if using.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, until thick.
Add 1/4 cup hot water to the masa; stir and add to the chili.  Simmer an additional 15 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
Serve with Fritos and Mexican-style shredded cheese....enjoy!!
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