Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wintertime is Soup Time...

If you've known me for very long, you probably know I'm not much of a cook. I'm attempting to change that, but overall it just doesn't thrill me. I'd rather be cleaning and organizing the kitchen than actually getting my hands dirty. Chuck deserves a lot of pity for this, since that man LOVES good home-cooked food. Thankfully, he also enjoys cooking, and tells me that if I liked it as much as he does, we might be fighting over who gets to cook. But during the week, the cooking duties are mine. And since everyone is posting Thanksgiving recipes, I thought I'd do something out of the norm: soups! The weather is supposed to go from sunny and 80 degrees to VERY cold tomorrow (which means like, in the 40s for us Central Texans), so why not make some soup?! I know, it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, but maybe once you get thru all your leftovers...

I've definitely been on a bit of a soup kick lately. And because I'm not much of a cook, ya know it's gonna be simple...


Tortilla Soup

First of all, ya need some chicken, either shred up some from a rotisserie chicken, or my personal favorite: buy the premarinated HEB brand chicken fajitas and grill'em up! I usually make fajitas with the soup, and use it for quesadillas.

Here are the rest of your supplies:
2 cans of black beans, rinsed
4 cans of chicken broth
1 pkg of frozen corn (I prefer the white corn, but you could use sweet)
2 cans of rotel (you can go as spicy or mild as you want!)
1 small can of tomato paste

1 bunch of cilantro, destemmed and chopped up, for garnish
shredded cheese (cheddar, colby jack, whatever) for garnish

I told you this was easy... Just throw everything into a pot and let it simmer for awhile. Then add the cilantro and cheese, and even avocado if you wanted. You can half this portion for one meal, although I like to make a large portion and either share with a friend, or just to have leftovers. The boys love it for lunches, with tortilla chips to dip into it.


Tomato Basil Soup

I found this recipe thru a friend at church who was once a caterer. I didn't even know I liked tomato soup until I had this! How can it not be good, with heavy cream in it? I didn't say it was healthy, hehe! It's great, and the boys love to have grilled cheese sandwiches to dip in it. The boys love to dip anything, can you tell?

Here's what you need:
1 can of 12 oz tomato juice (comes in a "coke" can on the fruit juices aisle, near the V8)
2 can of 14 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can of 8 oz tomato sauce
4+ garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp butter
fresh basil (you can use dry basil if you need to, just add it in earlier)
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan, combine tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and garlie. Simmer for 30 minutes, until it reduces down by about 1/4. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick. Add in the heavy cream, butter and chopped basil. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and croutons.


Cuban Black Bean Soup

Sometimes it looks too good to eat

This one is a crock pot recipe that Chuck loves. I can't believe I found it in a magazine! First you'll need 2 ham hocks...I think you can by them in the meat section, although I usually buy two hams, cook'em, slice them up for lunch meat, and save the hocks (bones) with some meat still on, for this recipe.

Here's what you need:

1 1/3 cups chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic (you could also add in 1 Tbsp chopped ginger, yum!)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (don't worry, it won't be spicy)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and thyme
1/4 tsp pepper

2 ham hocks (1.5 pounds total)
4 cans of black beans, rinsed
2 cans of chicken broth
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

You can garnish with a chopped hard-cooked eggs. And corn bread is always a good complement to this soup.

Mix the onions, garlic, jalapeno, and seasonings in the crock pot. Top with ham hocks and beans. Add broth.
Cover and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours (This will make your house smell delicious, and bring your family to the table hungry!)
Take out the ham hocks, take the meat off the bones and add back into the soup (discard the rest, or make your dog happy with the bones). Stir in lemon juice and garnish with egg (optional).


All of these soups work well as leftovers, and can even be frozen for a later date. Translation: when you're only 6 months pregnant but already nesting, this is a great way to get ready for that baby coming. ;)

1 comment:

Angie said...

Comment from Stacia:

You are the best! Thanks for sharing these recipes. I love to cook but for the past couple of months have been out of the kitchen and am ready to get back to it. I love soups but don't really have any good recipes so I'm thrilled to have some good soup recipes.

By the way, I've been the worst blogger friend. Sorry, I haven't even been checking blogs to leave comments. Glad to be back though and catch up on what all of you have been doing. Hadley said Charlie was in Bible Class today but I didn't see you. Hopefully, I'll get to see you tomorrow night....