First before I get into today’s post I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Ashton at Something Swanky!! I am sure you have already noticed the amazing transformation that the blog has undergone! This adorable look and all the pretty buttons are all due to her hard work. On this Last day of November the month of Thankfulness I am eternally grateful! You have to visit her blog!
I make this soup every winter for my husband. This is his absolute favorite soup that I make. He never ever eats leftovers, except for this and one other soup I make. That is the best endorsement I could ever hope to get! I wish that I could get him to eat more left overs of everything I make. He is really weird when it comes to food. No one knows why? I have asked his Mom and his Sisters and they all say he is just like that and they are glad that it is my problem now and not theirs. He can’t even tell why he won’t eat them he just won’t. I guess of all the weird habits a person can have that one isn’t too terribly bad. He has some Amazing Qualities that outweigh the weird food issues. Like he never cares how much money I spend and he wants me to have a good time whenever we go anywhere, he might not remember special dates and times but he can remember every silly little aside I have done. He really is my Best Friend and I don’t know what I would do without him. That’s my Stevie! So when he says that he is in the mood for his favorite soup I jump right to it and make it for him!
This year I made 2 changes and he said that they worked for him. Hallelujah! I usually use Russet Potatoes and this time I switched it out for White Navy Beans and I added a can of tomato paste. No reason for the change just felt like it. The tomato paste really did add a nice acidity and richness to it. I will be adding this in from now on. I use Kale because that is my green of choice. It is healthy and really holds up to the heat of boiling. To retain the bright green color you can blanch it first before adding it to the soup. I think Kale works better than bitter Mustard Greens and it doesn’t get slimy like Collard Greens. I might have been raised in South, but I was born in Chicago. As much as I love Nashville and the whole State of Tennessee, I can not eat true Southern Food like Collard Greens and Gibblet Gravy, and please keep Okra as far from me as possible! So Kale it is! Kale is also a “Super Food” So yippee for me on that one!
This is perfect when you need to warm up on a cold winter night. It has plenty of protein and complex carbs for sustained energy and feeling all full and happy in your tummy! Just look at all the yummy things in this soup: White Navy Beans, Italian Sausage, Kale, and spices galore!
Have this soup and a nice crusty roll and build your self a nice roaring fire in the fireplace, well that sounds like you have the perfect winter night planned!
Hearty Winter White Bean and Kale Soup
For an even thicker soup omit the beans and use cubed russet potatoes with the skins left on. This is my own personal recipe that I created for my Family
- 1 lb Italian sausage links
- 1/2 white onion chopped
- 1 bunch of kale washed and trimmed
- 32 oz of Chicken Broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 14 oz cans of White Navy (Canellini) Beans
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbs of marjoram
- 1 tsp of each white pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- In a dutch oven or stock pot cook the sausage links till done and no pink remains
- remove and let cool a little (enough to handle to slice)
- over med high heat
- in the oil that the links left behind saute the onion till soft and translucent
- add the kale and toss around in the onions for 30 sec
- add the chicken broth and water
- add all remaining ingredients (go light on your salt. You can taste and adjust later if needed)
- bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer
- slice the sausage into 1/8' slices and add to the pot
- cover and let simmer for at least 30 min but an hour is better
- taste during this time and adjust your seasoning as you see fit
- Serve and Enjoy
The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen 2012
You know that day when everything seems to have been working against you. That you swear the Cosmos must be laughing down at you while it wreaks havoc in your life. Every car in front of you is an idiot, every line you get in is the slowest, your bank account is way lower than you thought it was, the store has every size available but yours, you can’t find your favorite socks and your are wearing the ones that keep bunching up at the toes driving you insane, that day. That is the kind of day I was having. I just wanted to go back to bed and pretend that it never happened. Not even a do-over, just a never have happened. Seeing as the day that this post goes live it will be Black Friday and I am in Retail I bet I will be having that kind of day again…… On days like this you really need good old fashioned comfort food! Seriously stick to your insides and make you all warm and happy inside comfort food! Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Mac and Cheese and Chicken Noodle Soup all fit the bill. This dish takes Mac and Cheese to a whole new level! When I say that this is Dressed Up, I am not fooling around. This is heavy duty comfort food with intense get the job done flavors. So when the day is all shot and you need that warmth and stick to your ribs comfort, dish up a bowl of this:
After a bowl of this you won’t even remember the color of that stupid car, what it was you were waiting in line for, you don’t even like that item that they don’t have your size in, if you had more money in your account you would just spend it, kick off the shoes and go barefoot it’s better that way anyway. So whip up a batch and serve it to the whole family and I guarantee you won’t have a grumpy grouse for 2 or 3 days!
Dressed Up Mac and Cheese Soup
This is a thick and heart warming Soup. Really it is has more of a Stew Quality. I found this in a Light & Delish Magazine
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup onion dices
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 14 oz can chicken broth
- 1 can condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 1 1/2 cups elbow pasta
- 1 1/2 c Cheddar Cheese
- (I added a touch of yellow food coloring to help boost the color for the photos)
- brown and drain the ground beef (I always salt and pepper my meat while it is cooking for a layering of flavors)
- In a stock pot saute the onions in 2 tbs olive oils for approx 5 min add the beef in
- add the chili powder and the cumin
- pour in the milk and add the Cheddar Cheese Soup
- mix in the pasta and bring to a boil stirring frequently
- reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid
- cook approx 5-7 min until pasta is tender but not done
- mix in the Cheddar Cheese and cook approx 5 min more till all is melted and combined and the pasta is cooked.
- Garnish with the greens of scallions or chives. A dollop of salsa would be good also
The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen 2012
After 2 months of over indulgence, late night noshing, cramming whole pieces of cake and calling it dinner….. It is time to get some real food in mine and my families bellies!!! On Christmas Eve we had a Honey Baked Ham and I froze the bone and the remaining meat on it just for this dish! My Grandma made the best and this is as close as I can get to her recipe. Now I must warn you don’t eat this meal and then go to a crucial work meeting or sit very close to anyone that you don’t love or know very very very well. The main ingredient is the magical fruit after all…..
1lb of dried navy bean soaked in water overnight or for 8 hrs and drained and rinsed
1 large onion diced
3 carrot stalks peeled and sliced
4 celery stalks diced
1 ham hock trimmed of fat and large portions of ham, dice large portions of meat
64 oz of good vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and coriander
1 tbs of marjoram
In a stock pot heat 2 tbs olive oil over med high heat and add onions, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. This will help sweat the onions faster and add a depth of flavor layering. Sautee till vegetables are soft.
Add the ham hock to the stock pot and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 2-3 hours. At about 1 and 1/2 hours I do a taste test for seasoning and liquid adjustment. If you like a thicker soup don’t add any additional liquid if you like it thinner you can add 1 cup water at this point. At 2 hours remove the bone and the remaining meat will just fall off the bone. Add the diced ham in at this time. I hope that you will enjoy this healthy and hearty soup as much as we do! I serve it with a nice green salad on the side. Oh a dose of Beano might not be a bad idea.
I realize that Halloween was on Monday and that we have all moved on to Thanksgiving and Christmas baking, but please indulge me. I have this one last post from the Halloween Birthday Party!! This was a big hit and can be served anytime. No scary holiday needed…. I named it Ghost Chili for the party. This has a great southwest flavor to it. I used styrofoam cups that I painted themed words on with puffy paint. The styrofoam not only helped to keep the chili warm but it was a super easy clean up for after the party!
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 cups water
14 oz chicken stock
salt and pepper
2 tsp cumin, chili powder
1 tsp marjoram
4 cans drained and rinsed white beans
1 16 oz package of frozen corn
2 cans green chiles
juice of one lime
Salt and pepper the chicken breast and cook in a saute pan approx 5 min on each side. Remove from pan and let cool. In a dutch oven heat 1 tbs olive oil and saute the onion and garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients except the lime juice. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Shred the chicken breast with 2 forks and add to the pot. Simmer for 1 -2 hrs. Just before serving add the lime juice to brighten the flavors.
With the days getting cooler and the nights are actually cold now, a glass of a rich red wine and a hot cheesy soup just seem perfect for dinner! I make this soup every fall and sometimes in late winter. The rich beef stock and sweet onions and creamy cheese are just perfect!
4 sweet onions diced
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbs flour
salt and pepper
1 tbs fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine such as Cabernet or Merlot
4 cups Beef Stock
slices of stale french bread
slices of Swiss cheese
Melt the half stick of butter in a dutch oven and add the diced onions and a pinch of salt to help release the juices in the onions. Cook for approx 30 min stirring every now and then. Half way through the cooking add the 2 tbs flour and cook thoroughly through. This will thicken the onions and ultimately the whole soup. When done they will look like this.
Nice and caramelized! Add the cup of wine and bring to a boil for 5 min. Then add the beef stock, salt and pepper and thyme and bay leaves.
Cover and reduce to a simmer for 1 hr. If you really want a great punch of flavor chill overnight and serve the next day. Just like spaghetti this soup taste better the next day after all the flavors have really blended together.
Toast the stale french bread slices in the oven. They need to be nice and crisp so they do not turn to mush in the soup. If you have chilled the soup over night place back on the stove and heat back up.
ladle the soup into oven proof bowls. Float a slice of cheese on top and then layer the Swiss cheese so it drapes over both sides a bit.
Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler till the cheese is melted and bubbly!
After a week of super ridiculous easy recipes I thought it was time for something with a bit more substance. This dish is by no means hard, I don’t do hard, but it does have quite a few steps. Don’t be intimidated though, this is worth every bit! I am talking show stopping you will want everyone you know to taste it! I adapted this from Light and Delish. As the summer winds down and we are quickly approaching cooler weather it is time to grab up the last of summers bounty! Corn and Hatch Chile’s are the main ingredients in this dish. If you read my How to Roast Hatch Chile’s post you will know how much I love these!
8 cups fresh or frozen corn (I have to confess I used frozen. 8 cups of corn is an awful lot of ears to strip)
1 roasted and diced Hatch Chile see this link on how to roast How to Roast Hatch Chiles
if you can not get your hands on these chiles 2 4oz cans of drained green chiles will work
1 cup onion diced
1/2 tsp each of Cumin, Mexican Oregano, Marjoram, Salt and Pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups Chicken broth
1/2 c half and half
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes well drained and 1/4 cup cilantro minced (not pictured because, well I forgot)
In a dutch oven drizzle olive oil to coat bottom of pan and cook corn, chile, onion, garlic, and seasonings for 8 min on med high.
Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and cook for 15 min. Stir in a large pinch of the diced cilantro. If you have an immersion blender you can blend till creamy. If like me you don’t then transfer to a blender and puree till creamy. Hey Steve here is another good Christmas gift idea!
Return the soup back to the dutch oven and add the 1/2 cup half and half and another large pinch of cilantro. Cook over low for 5-8 minutes. At this point I do a tasting and add any seasonings it may need.
In a mixing bowl stir the fire roasted tomatoes and the remaining cilantro with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate up the chowder and garnish with the tomato mixture. I promise that you will love it and this will become a family favorite!