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Recipe: Taco Soup

16 Jan
This soup is so delicious on cold winter nights.  It has been downright cold and rainy here in Texas this past week.  While we didn’t have all the snow that most in the South got, we did have cold winter days and nights.  I made this soup on one of those nights and it warmed us all up.  I don’t make mine very spicy so this is a perfect soup to serve to kids as well. 
The great thing about this soup is it can really be a pantry meal.  If you don’t have pinto beans, use ranch or black beans.  Or use all kidney beans.  Whatever hearty bean you have.  If you don’t have stewed tomatoes, use all diced.  You can also throw it in the crock pot and let it simmer on low and have a great meal to come home to.  Just brown your meat first and then add it to the crock pot. 
It really is a great easy “throw together” soup.
Taco Soup
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 can diced tomatoes (I use fire roasted)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
3 cans water
2 cans pinto beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can corn, drained
1 can green chilies, diced
Brown beef with onion and bell pepper.  Put all ingredients in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips.


Linked To:
 * Mommy’s Kitchen:  Potluck Sunday
 * I Heart Naptime:  Sunday Scoop
 * 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Heaven:  Homemaker Monday
 * All the Small Stuff:  Tuesdays at the Table


Recipe Review: Cheddar Chicken Chowder

9 Jan

When I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, a little lovely, I knew that my family would love this.  I have raised a bunch of corn eaters and let’s be for real…what could be better than soup with corn in it?  And of course, I was right!  My family yummed this all up leaving only one bowl for leftovers the next day.  I made a few changes but for the most part it followed the original recipe.

Cheddar Corn Chowder
adapted from the recipe by a little lovely

4 sliced bacon
1 pound chicken breasts, diced
1 cup onion, diced
4 cup chicken broth
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cans corn, drained
1/2 cup AP flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in dutch oven until crisp.  Remove bacon from pot, crumble and set aside.  Add chicken and onion to drippings in pot; saute 5 minutes.  Add broth and potato; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is tender.  Add corn.  Place flour in a bowl.  Add milk to flour and whisk until blended.  Add to soup.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to medium heat and simmer 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and crumbled bacon.


Linked To:
  *  Mommy’s Kitchen:  Potluck Sunday
  *  11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven:  Homemaker Monday
  *  Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
  * At the Well:  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Countdown to 2011: Soups

29 Dec

I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen in the Countdown to 2011!  Here are some soup recipes that we tried and loved.


Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Soup

17 Dec

It was actually cold enough last week for us to have not one, but TWO nights of soups.  Can you believe it?  There was much excitement in our house…lol!  This recipe is a favorite.  Who doesn’t love cheese and more cheese?  Certainly not us.  This is a quick and easy soup that comes together in a cinch.  It takes more time to grate the cheese than it does to make the soup.  And it is smooth as velvet and has the most delicious cheese flavor.  Bonus:  No need for Velveeta!  This makes a small pot so I always double the recipe because my family eats it up.


Creamy Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 onion, finely diced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp AP flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup green onions, optional
crumbled bacon, optional
In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Blend in flour.  Add stock and cream, whisking to break up any flour lumps.  Cook until thick.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add garnish such as green onions and bacon.
Serves 4.


Linked To:
  * Remodelaholic:  Recipe Swap Sunday
  * Designs by Gollum:  Foodie Friday
  * Sister Sister Sunday
  * My Sweet and Savory:  Let’s Do Brunch

Recipe: Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

9 Dec

Yum….soup!  Who doesn’t love a big bowl of yummy good soup on a cold winter’s night?  Especially one that is filled with gnocchi and creamy goodness!

I have seen several different versions of this recipe floating around.  I played around with a couple of them and this is my version of heaven in a bowl.  Serve with warm crusty bread and prepare thine self for the warmth that is about to ensue.  I had just a little bit leftover and put it in my girls lunch the next day and they were happy children and I am THE best mom, at least for the next 2 hours.


Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
4 tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely shredded
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 tsp chicken base (or use 1-14 oz can chicken broth and omit the water)
2 cups water (I used the water that I cooked the gnocchi in)
1 lb gnocchi
1 bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside, reserving the cooking water.  Saute the onion and celery in the butter and olive oil.  When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the flour  to make a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about one minute.  Add the cream and milk mixing well.  Add the carrots and chicken.  Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken base and reserved cooking water or chicken broth.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach and salt to taste.  Serve with grated Parmesan on top.


Linked To:
  * Designs by Gollum:  Foodie Friday
  * Mommy’s Kitchen:  Potluck Sunday
  * Life as Mom:  Ultimate Recipe Swap

Leftover Redo: Chicken with Four Pepper Sauce = Southwest Chicken and Rice Soup

18 Sep

Don’t you just love a good meal?  And doesn’t it taste so much better when you have stretched one meal into two and saved money?  LOVE it!

I had some leftover white rice and Chicken with Four Pepper Sauce that I made the other day.  I could have froze the meal and pulled it out for another day, but I decided I wanted to use it instead.  My oldest daughter is a HUGE soup lover so I thought it would be a nice treat for her, so I made my leftovers into a soup.  It is still in the upper 90’s here in Central Texas…not exactly soup weather, but I love my baby.

I am not sure how much chicken and sauce I had leftover, so my recipe isn’t exact.  You could use it as guideline and make yours to your family’s liking and with ingredients you already have.  You could easily add corn or black beans…whatever you have.  Or instead of the diced tomatoes maybe some salsa instead.  This is one of those recipes that you really can’t mess up.  Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken and Rice Soup

Leftover Chicken with Four Pepper Sauce
Leftover white rice
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup water (add as much or as little as you like for your liking)
2 tsp chicken base
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients back into the crock pot.  Cook on low for 2 – 4.  Serve with a dallop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese.

Recipe: Mom’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

29 Oct
My mom makes the most awesome chicken tortilla soup.  She doesn’t have a written recipe…just throws things together.  That is a talent that I don’t always have.  She gave me her basic recipe and I adapted it to what my family would like.  Her recipe is more creamy than some of the tortilla soups that I have had at restaurants, it is not a typical broth like soup.  So, here goes…..
3 chicken breast, cubed
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp cumin
6 – 8 cups chicken broth, depending on how thick you like your soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup

1 can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
1 cup salsa, I used tequila lime salsa
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese
sour cream

  1. Brown chicken cubes and onion in dutch oven with a little oil.
  2. After chicken has browned and onions are translucent, stir in cumin, coating chicken well. 
  3. Add six cups of chicken broth. 
  4. Add both cans of cheddar cheese soup, stirring well. 
  5. Add can of diced tomatoes, with juice.
  6. Add salsa, stirring well. 
  7. Once all ingredients are stirred and mixed, add crushed chips. 
  8. Simmer with lid on for about 30 minutes.  If soup is too thick, add a little broth until it reaches the consistancy you like.  We like ours thick, so six cups of broth worked for us. 
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. To serve, add crushed chips in the bottom of the bowl and garnish with cheese and sour cream.
There are so many variations on this recipe.  My mom sometimes uses the cheese sauce sold in the pasta sauce aisle.  She also will use the salsa with corn and black beans. 
This soup was perfect for our cold snowy evening after the kids came in from playing in the snow.
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