Monday, December 1, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We spent time with family, put up all of the Christmas decorations, and enjoyed a little R&R (thus why it's Monday and I'm writing this post).  Sunday rolled around and not feeling up to braving the cold, we scrounged up what we could find in our cupboards and fridge to make this week's soup - Loaded Baked Potato.  Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

6 medium russet potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
1 pound thick cut bacon
8 oz cheddar cheese
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups skim milk
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp season-all
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Add potatoes and chicken stock to a large stock pot and simmer covered for half an hour, or until potatoes start to become soft. Uncover and turn town the heat to medium low. While the potatoes are simmering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the bacon for about 25 minutes. This should get you extra crispy bacon that won't get mushy in the soup. Baking is the only way I cook bacon any more. Finely chop the onion and saute with garlic and butter until the onion becomes soft. Add the milk, sauteed onion, and garlic to the soup. Once the bacon has cooled crumble into 1/2 inch pieces. Slowly stir the cheese into the soup. Once all of the cheese has melted add the bacon, season-all, and pepper. Heat and stir for 10 minutes, then enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup

This was a busy, but productive Sunday for us. We got the house cleaned and partially decorated for Christmas. All of our chores that had been piling up are finally taken care of. Our credit cards are hot and Amazon stock is up. We're trying to do 100% of our Christmas shopping online this year so we don't have to fight the crowds. With all of this we still managed to come up with a tasty and incredibly simple soup. In searching for recipes we found that people seem to think tomato soup needs carrots, onions, and twenty other things. So we came up with our own recipe, paired it with grilled cheese, and had a great dinner.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp basil
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Blend one can of tomatoes and 3/4 cup whipping cream until tomatoes are broken down and no chunks are left. Pour the mixture into a large stock pot and repeat for the other can of tomatoes and remaining whipping cream. Stir in seasonings and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with grilled cheese.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

Winter reared it's ugly head this week in Minnesota!  We got a few inches of snow and ice, and it sounds like the cold temps will be sticking around for a while.  Growing up, my mom always made homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on days like today, so we tried our hand at this classic.  My favorite part about this soup are the homemade egg noodles.  My advice - take a few extra minutes and make your own noodles, you won't regret it.  Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

Chicken Noodle Soup

4 chicken breasts
10 cups chicken broth
6 medium carrots
3 large stalks celery
1/2 tsp pepper
Homemade Egg Noodles (click here for our recipe or if you are in a hurry you can find Egg Noodles in the freezer section)

Bake the chicken, let cool, then shred.  Coarsely chop peeled carrots and celery. Add 10 cups of chicken broth to a large stock pot and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, carrots, celery, and pepper and simmer for 3 hours or until carrots and celery are cooked through. With 15 minutes to go, add the egg noodles and return to a simmer. Serve hot.

Homemade Egg Noodles

I remember my mom would make her Chicken Noodle Soup in huge batches, enough to feed an army (or our family of 6 for a week), and this meant there would be egg noodles drying on every flat surface in the house.  I thought my mom slaved over these noodles, but then I found a recipe and tried it for myself.  I couldn't believe how easy these were to make.  Nothing makes Chicken Noodle Soup like homemade Egg Noodles!  It may add an extra 15-20 minutes to your prep, but it is totally worth it.

Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg Noodles

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg
6 T cold water
2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk eggs until well mixed. Beat in water and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon until combined . Once combined, separate into two balls.  Roll each ball out thin and cut into thins strips using a pizza cutter.  Allow noodles to dry on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a clean cheese cloth).


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mom's Classic Chili

With temps dropping and a big winter storm moving in tonight, it was time to break out Mom's Chili recipe.  I know it's not technically "soup," but we were looking for something hearty for dinner and to have for lunch tomorrow.  This is my go to recipe for a classic chili.  In fact, I still use the original recipe my mom e-mailed me while I was in college.  Don't forget the Fritos Scoops, cheddar cheese and sour cream to make this dish!  Enjoy!

Mom's Classic Chili
Mom's Classic Chili Recipe

2 pounds hamburger
2 cans chili beans
1 can light kidney beans
1 29 oz and 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Brown the hamburger and drain. Add browned hamburger, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to a large pot over medium heat. Add all spices and simmer for 3 hours. Add chili beans and kidney beans. Simmer for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Hubby here. Wifey was not home today, so it was on me to make an edible dinner for us. We've been trying to spend less on food, waste less, and eat a bit healthier, so we've started meal planning. And continuing the healthy trend, today's soup is a bit lighter, but still delicious. We were both skeptical at first about a cauliflower soup, but I think it turned out great and we are glad we tried it. We started with this recipe and added a few of our own touches to get the flavor just right.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1/2 head of cauliflower
1 large potato
1 medium carrot
1 stalk of celery
1/2 medium onion
3 cups milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Begin by peeling and chopping the potato into half inch cubes. Peel the carrot and chop into eight inch slices. Break down the half head of cauliflower into half to one inch pieces. Add the chopped veggies to a medium pot of hot water and bring to a boil and continue to heat for 10 minutes. Finely chop the celery and onion and pulse a few times in a food processor. In a large stock pot melt the butter and add the celery and onion. Cook over medium heat until the veggies become soft. Add milk and chicken stock to the pot and then whisk in the flour and spices. Add the boiled veggies and simmer over medium low heat. Stir in the cheese and continue to cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until soup thickens. Serve with cheese flavored croutons.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

It was such a beautiful fall day in Minnesota that as much as we wanted to grill tonight, we decided to hold true to our Soup Sundays.   So this week's soup is inspired by our favorite food from the grill - Burgers.  I was a bit skeptical, but this soup tastes just like biting into a delicious cheeseburger!  Yes, those are pickles.  If you are going to have a cheeseburger, you have to have pickles.  I personally think they make the soup by helping to cut some of the richness of the cheese.  Enjoy!

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup                    
1 lb ground beef
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 cups potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
Sliced Dill Pickles

Begin by browning the hamburger and drain if necessary. Finely chop a medium onion and saute over medium heat with butter in a large stock pot. Peel and cut two medium potatoes into half inch cubes. Coarsely grate two medium carrots. Once the onion has turned translucent and begins to brown, add chicken broth, ground beef, potatoes, carrots, bacon, cream cheese, garlic, and all spices to pot. Simmer on medium heat for an hour and a half, or until the potatoes become soft. Add milk and whisk in flour. Then slowly stir in the cheese. Continue to heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with sliced dill pickles as garnish. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Soup - Chili's Copycat Recipe

I am not going to lie, both the Hubby and I were sick this week, so we didn't do too much advance planning for tonight's soup.  As I was combing through recipes today, I ran across a copycat recipe for Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup.  It's my favorite thing to order off of their menu (okay, well that and their margaritas), so I knew we just had to try it tonight.  Ours ended up being a little heartier than Chili's as we added corn and black beans, but it tasted just like the real thing.  Enjoy!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 pound of chicken
3 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 10 oz can of red enchilada sauce
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 can of black beans
1 can of sweet corn
1 small can of diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
sour cream and tortilla strips for toppings

Start by fully cooking the chicken and shredding it. Once you've got a good start on that, begin heating the oil in a large pot. Finely chop the onion and saute until it is clear. Then add the garlic and saute until you get a hint of brown. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add flour, corn starch, and chicken stock to the pot and whisk everything together. As this is heating up, add the black beans, corn, green chilies and dry seasonings. Stir everything together well and bring to a simmer. Slowly add in the cheese while stirring. Heat for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with sour cream and tortilla strips.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

The Hubby was on his own to find a soup recipe today, as I was out helping my grandparents all Chicken Wild Rice it is! I will give him the credit and let him tell you all about today's recipe:

The Wifey was away today so I went golfing with one of my friends this morning and then out to lunch. This ate up most of the day, so I had to find something easy for a late dinner. What could be easier than chicken, vegetables, and rice? So, I quick ran to the store and picked up some fresh veggies and wild rice and began prepping for dinner. Some of my best dishes happen when I don't look at what others have done and just cook. That's what happened tonight and I think it turned out great!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Chicken Wild Rice Soup

5 cups chicken stock
3 cups half and half
3 large carrots
1 medium onion
4 stalks celery
1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts
1 cup wild rice
4 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Bake the chicken until it is fully cooked, allow it to cool, shred it, and set aside. While the chicken is baking, boil 3 cups of water and a half tablespoon of salt in a medium pot. Add one cup of wild rice and cook covered for 50 minutes. When the rice is done, drain and set aside Once you've got the rice on, finely chop the onion and saute with 4 tablespoons of butter in the large pot the soup will end up in. Peel the carrots and then coarsely chop the carrots and celery. Add five cups chicken stock, carrots, and celery to the large pot and simmer until both the carrots and celery start to become soft. This can take about an hour depending on how soft you like your veggies. When the veggies are just about ready, add the chicken, wild rice, and half and half. Mix and heat the soup through and you are ready to serve.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beer Cheese Soup Made with a Pumpkin Porter

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, home to one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the Midwest.  Seeing my college friends posting all of their photos from last weekend's festivities left me craving beer, brats, and cheese!  So this week's soup pays homage to my Wisconsin roots.  We decided to add a little taste of fall using Alaskan's Pumpkin Porter.  This definitely gave the soup a very dark color and smokey flavor.  If you prefer a more subtle flavor, I would recommend using a lighter beer like a Lager or Pilsner (or whatever you might have on hand).  To be honest, this wasn't our favorite soup. If we had to do this one over we would probably skip the veggies.  That said, we didn't think it was too bad the way we made it.  Enjoy!

Beer Cheese Soup made with a Pumpkin Porter

Beer Cheese Soup

1 Onion
1 Carrot
2 Stalks Celery
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Cup Half and Half
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Can/Bottle of Beer
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
8 oz Sharp Cheddar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Popcorn to Garnish

Chop the onion, celery, and carrot finely. (We pulsed the carrot and celery a few times in our Ninja to get a finer chop.) Melt the butter in a pot and saute the vegetables until they become soft. Add chicken stock, half and half, beer, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk thoroughly as the mixture heats up to prevent it from separating. Add flour, salt, and pepper and continue to simmer and whisk over medium low heat until the soup begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir while it melts into the mixture. Simmer for a few more minutes so that everything is heated through. Serve and garnish with popcorn.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Tonight was a special Soup Sunday, as we shared it with the Hubby's family.  Wanting to impress, we decided to pull out the big guns and try a copycat version of Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup, with homemade Gnocchi.  I was a little leery as to how our Gnocchi would turn out, seeing as it was our first time, but to my surprise they turned out great!  Our modified recipe and Gnocchi making instructions are below.  Happy Eating!

Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
16 oz chicken broth
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded (substitute rotisserie chicken if preferred)
1 lb Gnocchi, cooked (We made ours from scratch, but you can find them pre-packaged at the grocery store) 
1 cup of fresh spinach coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large stock pot saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes soft. Add the half and half.  When the soup reaches a simmer, add carrots, seasoning, and chicken.  Once the mixture becomes thick, add chicken broth and spices and allow to thicken again.  Then add the cooked gnocchi and spinach and let simmer until soup is heated through.   Season to taste with additional salt and/or chicken bouillon cubes.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Homemade Potato Gnocchi
I was first introduced to Gnocchi in Mexico while on a vacation with the Hubby's family.  (I know what you are thinking.  Yes, Mexico - we were staying at an all-inclusive resort with a fantastic Italian restaurant.) It has now become a favorite dish.  The pre-package Gnocchi works just fine, but homemade is always better in my opinion.  If you have the time, it is easy to make and takes just a few ingredients.

4 Medium-Large Russet Potatoes
2 cups flour (Approx. 1 1/2 for dough and more for kneading and rolling)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt

Peel and slice raw potatoes.  Add to a large pot of boiling water and cook until soft.  Drain and let potatoes cool.  Mash cooled potatoes.  In a large bowl mix flour and salt.  Add mashed potatoes into flour mixture.  Then knead egg into mixture.  

Roll dough into long ropes approximately 3/4" thick and slice into 3/4" pieces using a sharp knife.  


Roll Gnocchi down the back of a fork to create the ridges.  (Note: We found that once cooked, the ridges didn't keep their shape, so save yourself time and skip this step.)  Boil Gnocchi 1-2 minutes or until they float.  Drain and add to soup or toss with desired sauce. (Note: We tossed our Gnocchi in olive oil to prevent them from sticking together while we waited for our soup to thicken.)

We are by no means experts when it comes to Gnocchi.  Some recipes say to bake the potatoes and skip the egg to keep the moisture content down.  Other recipes suggest using a ricer if you have one.  I truly think Gnocchi is an art form and it may take a few times to get your recipe right. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

I've been seeing recipes for Tortellini soup all over Pinterest lately.  So when I ran across this recipe for creamy tomato, I just couldn't help myself.  We paired the soup with a salad, french bread and a white wine.  Our adjusted recipe can be found below.  Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 10 oz cans tomato soup
  • 9 oz package cheese filled tortellini
  • 3 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Pour the heavy whipping cream, chicken stock, and tomato soup into a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the sun dried tomato paste, italian seasoning, minced garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk all ingredients together and bring the soup to a simmer. Next add the tortellini and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve the soup with a tablespoon or two of parmesan cheese per bowl.

In the beginning there was SOUP!

Fall is our household's favorite season of the year!  Football, pumpkin anything, apples, a change in temperature and the beautiful changing leaves.  The Hubby and I decided we were going to try something new this year - Soup Sundays!  Nothing is better on a chilly fall or winter day in Minnesota than a hot, hearty bowl of soup.  Plus we figured leftovers would provide the perfect thing to pack for lunches during the week.

We started last week off with a traditional, creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  The original recipe was a "Copycat" Panera recipe, but The Hubby has modified the recipe to his liking.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup paired with Alaskan's Pumpkin Porter

The Hubby's Famous Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • 1 bunch of fresh broccoli
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream or half and half
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 tbsp butter
Pour the chicken stock, heavy whipping cream, and 4 tbsp butter into a large pot over medium-low heat. Chop the onion into 1/8-1/4 inch chunks and then saute in 1 tbsp of butter. Cut the broccoli into small florets and julienne the carrot. Add the broccoli, carrot, and sauteed onion to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Whisk in the sharp cheddar and continue to simmer. Once the cheese has all melted, add flour to thicken the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Hubby is a Beer Connoisseur and paired this soup with Alaskan's Pumpkin Porter.  Delish!