Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer! Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal. This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!
We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work. As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.
Spring it starting to make it’s appearance, and with that soup season is slowly coming to an end. We had a chilly blast this past weekend so I decided to do up a batch of minestrone – which is about as simple as it gets. The ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand, if anything just have to buy the tomato juice. Which makes it perfect for the “it came from a can” challenge over that /52weeksofcooking. Instead of using frozen vegetables, just use a can of each: peas, corn, carrots, lima beans, etc – the point of this soup is to show that simple can be tasty.
Nothing like a dish that comes together in record time and only requires one pot. I know that some people aren’t a fan of cooking pasta in soups but I love how doing so gives the pasta some extra flavor. Plus the smaller pasta holds it shape better than the larger guys and don’t get as mushy. However, for those who want more of an al dente taste – cooking the pasta per instructions and then place in the bottom of a bowl before pouring the soup over top. For a real protein punch, add some garbanzo or great northern beans when adding the pasta or use lentils in place of the pasta.
Thai Corn Soup
Welcome to my first of five posts for #FreshTastyValentine! I’m starting things off with a simple and delicious soup that’s delicious hot or cold, so perfect for the insane weather that has been happening here on the East Coast. This soup also works well with my New Years resolution to keep things quick and simple as it comes together super quick – partially because of the fantastic herb pastes from Gourmet Gardens. Inspired by a vegan soup I made years ago from a cookbook Joe had, one that apparently did not make the move to Baltimore, I knew that that lemongrass paste would be the perfect addition. I also used the Thai Seasoning paste in place of the curry seasoning (tho I think the original original recipe called for paste) – always better to go organic and natural!
As a bonus, this soup is super easy to clean up from as the pastes mean no cutting board and the soup is made in one bowl. Perfect recipe for a crazy weekday (or weekend) night. I love that with these pastes all I have to do is unscrew the lid – one less step is always welcome. Huge THANK YOU to Gourmet Gardens for sending me such incredible items. For your chance to win the Gourmet Gardens herb package (or one of the many other prizes) be sure to check out my intro post to Fresh Tasty Valentine!
Quick note that the Gourmet Garden pastes do contain whey so they aren’t vegan but they are gluten free. However, their dried herb are just that making them vegan, gluten free, and perfect.
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Welcome to Group A’s October edition of the Secret Recipe Club!!! Regardless of how sick/tired/pregnant I’ve been over the past few months, this is the one challenge I keep signing up for because I LOVE all the recipes I’m exposed to. This month was no different, as I got to explore Baking and Creating with Avril which is stuffed with delicious treats. Apparently I was having an apple craving when I first checked out her blog as three of the top five recipes featured apples! This included her Apple Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese, Apple Pie Cheesecake (nom!!!), and her easy applesauce muffins which I plan on making this week to go with some pumpkin chili. In the end I decided to go savory instead of sweet and also embrace the fall season by making her incredible Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup. I also enjoyed the reading the history of this recipe, as it originally came from a friend of hers. I wound up making one change to the recipe and totally blaming it on pregnancy brain. When I wrote down my shopping list I had one can of pumpkin puree and two cans of black beans. It wasn’t until later in the week when I went to make the soup that I realized I had transposed the numbers. While I debated waiting until the following week to make the soup, I wanted to give it a go anyway – figuring if it was a total wreck I could still make it again. I also adjusted the cooking method for the spice, when using curry powder I prefer to add it at the beginning and “toast” it per a tip I found in an Indian cookbook. I’m not sure if it does anything, but it’s become a habit!
In the end, I think it worked best for my family that I only used one can. While you could still taste the pumpkin it wasn’t PUMPKIN which is a good thing to me. I do want to make this again the “right” way and since this comes together so quickly this is easily a recipe that can work post-baby!
Smokey Loaded Potato Soup
This is most certainly the season for snow, considering there is snow on the ground with more forecasted for tomorrow afternoon – fun times! However this means lots of time at home messing around in the kitchen – which is perfect considering the awesome blog event I’m taking part of starting Feb. 2nd! As part of this I got lots of goodies, one of which I already mentioned, and a few more that I’ll be talking about over the next week or so. One of the more interesting items that arrived was a container of mixed spices thanks to VooDoo Chef – I knew that testing it would be a bit difficult as a single whiff indicated that this stuff was good and POTENT. I had been toying with the idea of a loaded potato soup for a few days at this point, and decided that this package of Red goodness would be a great way to add a smokey taste to my potatoes – allowing me to skip the roasting step.
Perfection! The spice had the perfect balance of smokey and cheesy without any one ingredient being too overpowering. This soup also gave me an idea for another dish that I’ll be sharing next week during TripleSBites. By the way, this blog challenge will also include my first (!!!) giveaway! More details coming Monday February 2nd so be sure to check back!
Note: I received VooDoo Chef’s Red Spices as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which starts February 2nd. I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.
Fava Bean Soup
I don’t willingly watch horror movies – this is a fact long established and reinforced after various events during my college years. So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a horror movie for an inspiration, I thought about “cheating” by making some gory dessert thing and saying I was inspired by The Saw or I Know What you did Last Summer or some other horror flick thing. Then I decided to get serious and consider the various “thriller” style movies that I do enjoy, such as Cabin in the Woods and Silence of the Lambs. From there I was between doing a red wine dish (CitW) or something with fava beans, and in the end fava beans won out. There is something so iconic about that moment in SotL and while liver will never appear on this blog, fava beans are certainly welcome! I wanted to have a nod to the Chianti as well as the general feel of the movie, so I decided a chunky red tomato stew would be perfect.
This is one of those dishes that really benefits from being cooked for a long time, in fact it’s generally best at lunch the following day. It can also be converted for the slow cooker, cooking on low for 8 hours before turning to high for 30 minutes. For the ultimate results serve with some crusty bread that can help soak up all the tomato goodness
Soup and Stew Round Up
Another month has ended – and with that another round up! This time I’m focusing on soups and stews, which are starting to become a weekly feature. I know that as winter continues to approach, more and more hearty soups are going to be appearing on our weekly menu. So with that in mind I have a few of my favorite soup and stew recipes, some from my blog and others from blogging friends of mine! Unless indicated all recipes are gluten free, while others are divided vegan vs. vegetarian vs swap the broth – all assuming labels are checked for hidden ingredients. A few of these are also great transition recipes, for those days that start out just above freezing but wind up closer to mid-70s.
Corn Bisque with Avocado
Curry Cauliflower Soup
Five Bean Chili
Hot and Sour Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
Sweet Potato Corn Stew
Thai Eggplant Posole
Three Bean Chili
Butternut Squash Soup
Celery Root – Apple Soup
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup (easy to transition to vegan!)
Chilled Cucumber Soup (easy to transition to vegan!)
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Gazpacho with Cornbread Croutons
Tortellini and Cannelini Minestrone with Spinach
Swap the Broth
Black Bean Soup
Busia’s Cheese Soup
Cream of Celery Soup
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Sweet Potato & Chickpea Soup
I had a fun time pulling this together – visiting old blog posts and checking out some new-to-me recipes from my blogging friends! I’m not a winter person, but I can certainly get on board with the food.