Lentil and Potato Soup

     A quick, and hearty Soup that everyone is sure to love.  If you want to add Meat, feel free.  Lentils are very inexpensive and so healthy; high in fiber, low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, and a great vegetarian protein.  There is no soaking involved, and cook quickly.  I’m sure there are a bazillion recipes for Lentil Soup.  Here is my version:

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 4 servings

2-3 TBSP Olive Oil

1/2 cup Onion, chopped

1/4 cup Celery, chopped

1 large Carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 clove Garlic

¼” Fresh Ginger root, minced

2 TBSP Tomato Paste

1 tsp Salt

¼ cup Water

1 ½ cups Dried Lentils, rinsed and sorted

1 large Tomato, peeled and seeded

2 cans chicken broth (or veggie broth)

¼ tsp dried Coriander

¼ tsp dried Cumin

1/8 tsp Thyme

Black Pepper to taste

1 cup Potato, chunked (I don’t peel them)

OPTIONAL:  When serving, you can give everyone a slice of fresh Lemon to squeeze on their soup.

PREPARATION:

     Drizzle Olive Oil in the bottom of a 4-quart pot.  Place Onion, Celery, Carrot, Garlic, Ginger Root, Tomato Paste, Salt, and Water in the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.

     Meanwhile, cut through the skin of a large fresh Tomato in quarters.  (No need to cut into the fruit, just pierce the skin.  Remove the core.  Place upside down on a paper plate and microwave on high for 90 seconds.  Let cool a bit, and then peel the skin right off.  Discard the skin and seeds. 

     Add the drained Lentils, Tomato, and Broth to the pot.  Bring to a simmer and add the seasonings.

     Simmer covered for 20 minutes.  While simmering, if it looks like it needs a little more liquid, go ahead and add a little more Broth. Add chunked Potatoes, cover, and cook until tender, another 12-15 min.  If you want to, you can use a potato masher and squish up some of the Lentils.  -OR- put a little of the soup in an electric food chopper and then add back to the pan.

     Serve with a loaf of homemade Bread and a slice of Lemon.  You could also serve with Rice or Pita Bread.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee

     If you’ve visited Louisiana, hopefully you tasted Etouffee.  In French, the word “étouffée” (borrowed into English as “stuffed” or “stifled”) literally means “smothered” or “suffocated”, from the verb “étouffer“.[1] 

     Étouffée is similar to Gumbo, but it is more a stew than a soup, and is typically cooked with Cajun seasonings, and served over rice.  History has it that Crawfish Etouffee was a staple of the Cajuns in the bayous of Louisiana, and didn’t become popular in restaurants until the 1980s.  The traditional way is to make it with Crawfish, but Shrimp is also delicious.  We always serve it with a big crusty loaf of French Bread. 

     You can be sure that there are a lot of variations to making the perfect Etouffee.  Here is Bob’s recipe:

 Ingredients

Two –12 Oz packages shrimp peeled and deveined (60-80 count)

1 cup oil

1 cup flour

1 large onion finely chopped

2 large stalks celery finely chopped

1 medium green pepper finely chopped

1 medium red pepper finely chopped

3-4 Tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup butter

6 ounce tomato paste

*1 –  2 teaspoons fish sauce – Optional

Two 15 ounce cans chicken broth

1 cup plain water

2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes

* 1 teaspoon salt (eliminate if using fish sauce)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika (smoked if available)

1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning

Directions:

In a dutch oven make a ROUX stirring the oil and flour together and brown to the color of peanut butter. Do not brown too dark in color as you would with gumbo. 

Add onions, celery, garlic and green pepper, sauté until tender.

Mix melted butter and add tomato paste, blend until smooth.  Add to the ROUX. Stir until completely incorporated.

Pour in water with melted bouillon cubes, add chicken broth, and all seasonings. Add fish sauce.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve over rice with a loaf of crusty French Bread on the side.

Serves 6-8.

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Golden French Onion Soup

     We love Onion Soup.  The rich Broth, Caramelized Onions, French Bread slices, and lots of Cheese.  There’s nothing better.  This is my newest French Onion Soup recipe. The addition of Chicken Stock gives it a milder flavored Broth.  Let me know how you like it!  I serve it with Country-Style French Bread.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb Sweet onions, sliced (3 ½ -4 cups)

2 TBSP Olive Oil

2 tsp Butter

Pinch of Sugar

Salt and Pepper

½ tsp dried Thyme or 2 small sprigs fresh Thyme

1 can Chicken Broth

2 cans Beef Broth

2 TBSP Red Wine

Grated Gruyere or Swiss Cheese

PREPARATION:   YIELDS ABOUT 2 QUARTS

     Drizzle Olive Oil in the bottom of a 4 quart pot.  You want the bottom to be covered so the Onions don’t dry out.  Add Onions, Butter, Sugar, Salt, Pepper, and Thyme.  Over medium/low heat, cook stirring frequently until Onions are soft.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until Onions have Caramelized.  It can take up to 30 minutes, depending on heat.  Stir every few minutes so they don’t burn.

     Add Chicken and Beef Broths, Red Wine, and a touch more Salt and Pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

     Place sliced French Bread in the bottom of an oven-safe soup mug (a coffee mug will work great as long as it’s oven safe).  Add Soup, but leave room for the Cheese.  Leave about 1” space.  Add more Bread, place Cheese on top and place mugs on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 ° F for about 30 minutes, or until Cheese is browned.  Serve. 

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The Best Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs bone-in chicken breasts

8 cans chicken broth

1 onion, chopped and divided

3 ribs celery, divided

4 carrots, divided

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp parsley

½ tsp tarragon

1 whole clove (Flavors the broth tremendously.  Don’t forget to remove it before serving.  It will float)

1 bay leaf  (Remove before serving.  It will float, so will be easy to find.

PREPARATION:

     Rip that fatty skin right off the chicken and discard. (It makes the soup greasy).  In an 8 quart saucepan, simmer chicken for two hours with ½ of a chopped onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery which you’re going to break into three or four pieces.  Cover the pan, but leave cover askew.  You want the broth to cook down.

     Remove chicken from pan.  I always tear the bones off and throw them back in the pot while I’m peeling and chopping vegetables.  Put chicken in the fridge. Before adding carrots, celery, garlic and reserved onion to the pan, strain the broth to remove the bones and vegetables.  

      To strain the broth, use a large pan or bowl to catch the broth.  Line the bottom of a colander with cheesecloth. (In a pinch you can use a new Wet Wipe and/or some paper toweling.  I’m such a fraidy cat about chemicals, so if I have to use a Wet Wipe, I wash it in dish water and rinse it well before I strain my broth).  Slowly pour the broth over the cheesecloth and it will filter out any small pieces of fat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.  Let it drain well so you don’t lose a drop of that liquid gold.

     Now it’s time to add 2 ribs of celery, and 3 carrots, which you will chop, dice, or roll cut.  I always do a diagonal cut because I think it’s pretty.  Starting at the tapered end of the carrot or celery, make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.  Turn the carrot a quarter of a turn and cut again, moving up the carrot as you go.  This cut gives you a pretty uniform size.  Simmer for another hour with cover askew.  Add some of the chicken to the pan.  This recipe makes a lot and I use the extra chicken for other meals.  i.e. chicken pot pie, chicken and biscuits, chicken chimichangas, chicken burritos, chicken and dumplings, Buffalo chicken dip, etc. About fifteen minutes before serving, add the seasonings.

     You will note that I have not added any noodles to the recipe ingredients, although there is ditalini in the photo.  Here’s why.  Noodles do NOT hold up after they’ve been cooked and frozen.  Since we normally don’t eat this as a meal, (the main reason I make my soup is for when people are feeling sicky).  I always have containers of it in the freezer and everyone knows it.  This is why they all want the recipe since I’m not in NY any more to give them what I’ve made.  Ha ha.  OK, so you have a few choices.  Add rice and let it simmer in the soup.  Rice freezes great.  Or add your noodles when you’re heating up the soup.  If you add a sturdier pasta such as ditalini or farfalle, and you won’t have the problem.

     At this point you can eat some soup and freeze the rest, or save some of the broth, and leftover chicken to make other meals. (Which I most always do.  It saves a lot of work later and you know how we love our Westover’s Leftovers).

      Feel free to add a can of tomatoes or some fresh tomatoes if you want to.

Why this soup is so good:

     Starting out with chicken broth instead of water gives instant flavor and you’ll end up with a fabulously flavorful soup. 

     Using bone-in chicken enriches the broth even more and is incredibly healthy.

     Adding a little poultry seasoning, 1 whole clove, 1 bay leaf, and tarragon gives the soup another layer of flavor.  Remove the clove and bay leaf before serving.  They’ll be easy to find because they’ll float.

     If you’re making this for sickies, freeze small batches in quart freezer bags.  You know when you’re sick you don’t want a lot of solids, so don’t put too much chicken or vegetables in it.  The broth is the ticket. If you’re freezing containers for future meals, load it up with chicken and vegetables.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

     It’s that time of year again.  We’re doing less grilling and more inside cooking.  Since Bob is wonderful on the grill, I always miss it, but he still fires up the grill in the winter because we’ve just got to have it!  He shovels the snow out of the way, and goes for it.  Our neighbors are either very jealous when the aromas waft their way or they think we’re nuts. 

     I do miss my kitchen, and lately I’ve been in there messing it up again.  It does my heart good.  Dinner tonight was my Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  We had forgotten how hearty and delicious it is. 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 4 SERVINGS

5 cups fresh Broccoli.  Florets cut into 1” pieces.  Stems peeled and cut in ¼” strips

2 – 2 ½ TBSP Butter

¾ cup Onion, chopped

2-3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Shallot, chopped

½ cup Carrot, grated

2 quick dashes Cayenne Powder

2 quick dashes Nutmeg

2 cups (1 can) Chicken Broth

1 TBSP AP Flour

1 + cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (or ½ cup Sharp Cheddar, ¼ cup Monterey Jack and ¼ cup American is nice too)

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Pepper

PREPARATION:

          Preheat a large heavy pot.  Melt 2 TBSP Butter.  Add Onions and Shallots, and cook for 2 minutes until soft.  Add Broccoli, Carrots, and Garlic.  Add 2 quick dashes Cayenne powder.  Cook over low heat for 7-8 min, stirring frequently. If it loses all the liquid, add the other ½ TBSP Butter.

     Add 2 cups Chicken Broth, and Flour.  Cover.  Let simmer about 20 minutes or until Broccoli is very tender.     

     Add Half and Half, 2 dashes Nutmeg, a generous sprinkle of Pepper, and start slowly adding the Cheeses, stirring constantly.  As the Cheese melts, add more. 

     Using a food processor (preferred) or a blender, and process until the desired consistency is reached.  Return to the pan and taste.  You may want to add more Cheese.  It’s a matter of preference.  Serve with sprinkled grated Cheese on top.

     A nice garden Salad and a loaf of crusty Bread or Corn Bread will give you a healthy and delicious meal that the whole family will love.

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Vegan or Not, Spicy Noodle Soup

This noodle soup was outstanding.  It’s been changed more times than my socks. 

Replacing half of the water with chicken broth adds another layer of flavor.  We ate it as it’s written below the first day.  Leftovers were reheated with leftover chicken.  Excellent!!  We’ll try pork another time.  I’m sure that will be awesome also!

Featured in: Inspired By Stone Soup, But More Delicious. Altered by  Alison Roman, and finally by Gail Westover for Chew Wanna Eat?

INGREDIENTS

8 oz Thai Kitchen Brown Rice Noodles or Spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

8- 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

 Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as maitake, oyster, cremini or shiitake, torn into bite-size pieces

½ Serrano hot pepper, thinly sliced (or 3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes)

½ cup low-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste

¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more to taste

2 cups total of Greens, Cabbage, and/or Snow Peas (just a bit for color and extra nutrition),

4 cups Water and 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth (or 8 cups water for Vegans)

Optional 4 Scallions, sliced

1 – 1 ½ cups leftover shredded chicken or pork (omit if cooking Vegan)

Optional 1-2 total cups herbs such as Cilantro, Mint, Chives, Parsley or a mixture of all

 Sesame seeds for serving (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots start to turn a nice golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and half the Serrano, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, released much of their water and turned a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (A browned mushroom will have infinitely more flavor than an unbrowned mushroom, because the water inside it evaporates and the flavor concentrates. So do not skip this step.)
  3. Add 1/2 cup Low Sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup Rice Wine vinegar and 8 cups of water (I like 4 cups Water, 4 cups chicken broth). Bring to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper. Add Scallions and Chicken.  Continue to simmer until the flavors have melded, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  4. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. (The timing will depend on the type and brand of noodles, so consult the package.) Add the noodles to the pot with the broth, and let them finish cooking and soak up all the flavors.
  5. To serve, use tongs to divide the noodles and mushrooms among bowls, then ladle the hot broth over the top. Top each bowl with herbs, sesame seeds, extra sliced scallions or extra sliced hot peppers.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Split Pea and Ham Soup

     Talk about winter comfort food.  This is it.  Just look at those chunks of Ham and Carrots.  I’ve tweaked my recipe, so it tastes even better. Pair it with a Salad and/or Cornbread for a wholesome, delicious meal.  Give it a try!  It freezes wonderfully, so make extra.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups dried Split Peas

2 quarts Chicken Broth (64 oz) (5 cans = 70 oz)

1 ½ lbs ham bone (or leftover diced ham)

½ cup Diced Celery

1 chopped Onion

1 clove garlic

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp thyme

1/8 tsp marjoram

1 potato, trimmed and cubed (If you plan on freezing, omit the taters)

Start with 2 carrots, add a few more later.   Original ones will break down

OPTIONAL: ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

PREPARATION:

     There is two ways to prepare dried Peas.  Sort and rinse the Peas before you do anything.  Then either soak them overnight in cold water, or the quicker way is to simmer them for 5 minutes, and remove from heat.  Let them soak for 60 to 90 minutes.

     In a large pot (minimum 6 quart), add Ham Bone, soaked Peas, Chicken Broth, Celery, Garlic, and Onion.  (Even though they will get blended later, I add a chopped Carrot or two now because they will add extra flavor to the Soup.) Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until Peas are tender.  It will take at least 90 minutes.  NOTE:  If you’re using leftover diced Ham, don’t add it until the Peas have been blended.

     Once the Peas are tender, remove the Ham Bone and set aside.  You can either use a food processor or an immersible blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency.  Add diced Carrots and cook until tender.  Add diced Ham.  Add seasonings and cook for 5 more minutes.  Serve.

Chicken and Rice Soup

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs bone-in chicken breasts

8 cans chicken broth

1 onion, chopped and divided

3 ribs celery, divided

4 carrots, divided

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp parsley

½ tsp tarragon

PREPARATION:

     Rip that fatty skin right off the chicken and discard. (It makes the soup greasy).  In an 8 quart saucepan, simmer chicken for two hours with ½ of a chopped onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery which you’re going to break into three or four pieces.  Cover the pan, but leave cover askew.  You want the broth to cook down.

     Remove chicken from pan.  I always tear the bones off and throw them back in the pot while I’m peeling and chopping vegetables.  Put chicken in the fridge. Before adding carrots, celery, garlic and reserved onion to the pan, strain the broth to remove the bones and vegetables.  

      To strain the broth, use a large pan or bowl to catch the broth.  Line the bottom of a colander with cheesecloth. (In a pinch you can use a new Wet Wipe and/or some paper toweling.  I’m such a fraidy cat about chemicals, so if I have to use a Wet Wipe, I wash it in dish water and rinse it well before I strain my broth).  Slowly pour the broth over the cheesecloth and it will filter out any small pieces of fat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.  Let it drain well so you don’t lose a drop of that liquid gold.

     Now it’s time to add 2 ribs of celery, and 3 carrots, which you will chop, dice, or roll cut.  I always do a diagonal cut because I think it’s pretty.  Starting at the tapered end of the carrot or celery, make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.  Turn the carrot a quarter of a turn and cut again, moving up the carrot as you go.  This cut gives you a pretty uniform size.  Simmer for another hour with cover askew.  Add some of the chicken to the pan.  This recipe makes a lot and I use the extra chicken for other meals.  i.e. chicken pot pie, chicken and biscuits, chicken chimichangas, chicken burritos, chicken and dumplings, Buffalo chicken dip, etc. About fifteen minutes before serving, add the seasonings.

     You will note that I have not added any noodles to the recipe ingredients, although there is ditalini in the photo.  Here’s why.  Noodles do NOT hold up after they’ve been cooked and frozen.  Since we normally don’t eat this as a meal, (the main reason I make my soup is for when people are feeling sicky).  I always have containers of it in the freezer and everyone knows it.  This is why they all want the recipe since I’m not in NY any more to give them mine.  Ha ha.  OK, so you have a few choices.  Add rice and let it simmer in the soup.  Rice freezes great.  Or add your noodles when you’re heating up the soup.  If you add a sturdier pasta such as ditalini or farfalle, and you won’t have the problem.

     At this point you can eat some soup and freeze the rest, or save some of the broth, and leftover chicken to make other meals. (Which I most always do.  It saves a lot of work later and you know how we love our Westover’s Leftovers).

      Feel free to add a can of tomatoes or some fresh tomatoes if you want to.

Why this soup is so good:

     Starting out with chicken broth instead of water gives instant flavor and you’ll end up with a fabulously flavorful soup. 

     Using bone-in chicken enriches the broth even more and is incredibly healthy.

     Adding a little poultry seasoning and tarragon gives the soup another layer of flavor

     If you’re making this for sickies, freeze small batches in quart freezer bags.  You know when you’re sick you don’t want a lot of solids, so don’t put too much chicken or vegetables in it.  The broth is the ticket. If you’re freezing containers for future meals, load it up with chicken and vegetables.

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great original recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

French Onion Soup Gratinee

French Onion Soup Gratinee (2)20180505_145442

French Onion Soup Gratinee

French Onion Soup Gratinee (2)

 

     French Onion Soup Gratinee is so easy, and so flavorful.  You’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before.  Impress family and/or guests with this authentic Gratinee.  If the weather is too warm feel free to make the soup during the cool morning or evening and heat it up for dinner.

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP Butter

1 TBSP Olive Oil
6 onions (about 3 pounds), sliced
2 TBSP garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Dry Sherry or Chardonnay

1 can Chicken Broth

3 cans Beef Broth

1 large Bay Leaf

½ tsp dried Thyme

French, Sourdough bread, Baguettes, sliced and toasted or Croutons
Swiss cheese or Gruyere, Grated or sliced
PREPARATION: 

Melt Butter and Olive Oil in heavy large saucepan over low/medium heat. Add Onions and Garlic. Sauté until very tender and brown, about 45 minutes.

Add Sherry or Chardonnay and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add wine and simmer until reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes.

Add Bay Leaf, Thyme, Chicken and Beef Broth. Simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into broiler-safe bowls. Top each with slice of toast and cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Ham and Bean Stew

Ham and Bean Stew (3)

     There is almost nothing heartier than a big bowl of ham and bean soup.  I decided to make mine a little thicker, hence the name stew.  It’s rib stickin’ good!

INGREDIENTS: 

1 lb of dried Great Northern, Cannellini, or Navy Beans

1 medium Onion, diced

2-3 Cloves Garlic, chopped

3 cans Chicken broth

1 can Water

1 or 2 Bay Leaves

2 cups Leftover Cooked Ham

2 -3 Carrots, sliced or diced

1 Rib Celery, chopped

1 Sweet Potato, cut into bite size pieces (Optional)

1 TBSP Brown Sugar

Optional:  ½ tsp Sriracha Sauce

Parsley, Thyme, Pepper, scant 1/8 tsp Nutmeg, ¼ tsp Dry Mustard (Don’t add any salt until you taste it)

NOTE:  If you have a Ham Bone, or Ham Hock, add that when you add the Chicken Broth.

PREPARATION:

Rinse beans, toss any that look shriveled.  Add 4 – 5 cups cold water, cover and let stand at least 6 hours.

Drain and rinse beans.  Return to pot.  Add Onion, Garlic, Chicken Broth, Water, and Bay Leaves.  Cover and simmer for 60 minutes or until beans are beginning to get tender.  If you remove mash some of the beans with a potato masher while they’re still in the pot, you’ll end up with a creamier, thicker end product.  Add ham, Carrots, Celery, and Sweet Potato.  Cover and let simmer until Carrots are tender.  Add Brown Sugar, Sriracha, and Seasonings.  (Taste before adding Salt). Remove Bay Leaf.  Let simmer another few minutes.

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Ham and Bean Stew

20180404_211729

Ham and Bean Stew (2)

Ham and Bean Stew (3)