Category Archives: celery

Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp

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By now you know about my obsession errr love for soup. You also know that my dear boyfriend does not share this love with me. In fact it has gotten to the point that I don’t even mention I am making soup until the last minute. That way he can’t try to figure out something else to make for dinner! This little dilemma has led me to try to compromise a bit here and there. There either needs to be meat in the soup or I need to make something else on the side. 
Once I let this idea sink in (and stopped pouting because I wanted things to just go my way), I realized this wasn’t such a bad idea. I have been asked for more sandwich recipes, and soup and sandwiches is a nice casual dinner or lunch idea right? I mean I love going out and getting the soup and sandwich combos. So I started writing ideas and looking online and through my books/magazines for even more. Gumbo just popped into my head as a great place to start. I have been wanting to make it for one, and there is a ton of meat in it. I mean how could he argue with a meal that has chicken, sausage, and shrimp in it? Right, he can’t!

I found a recipe in Saveur (I love them) for a basic Gumbo, but I knew there were things I wanted to add. Mine might not be a “traditional” Gumbo, but it packed full of flavors with that little zing that we both love. I added shrimp and jalapeno, as well as some Franks Red Hot to boost the flavors. I already had andouille sausage and chicken thighs in the freezer so it was on!!

When Kevin came home from work the first thing he said when he walked through the door was “What smells so good?” YES….chalk one up for me!! Wow do I sound like a little kid or what? Oh well, I don’t care, I like winning hehehe!

Sorry for the awful pictures, this was taken right when we first moved and there were boxes everywhere and no place but the dimly lit kitchen to take the pic. 
Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp
adapted from a recipe in Saveur Magazine
½ cup canola oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz. andouille sausage, cut into ½” pieces
4 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces
1 cup flour
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp. cayenne
1 28-ounce whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained and crushed by hand
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
10 oz. bag of frozen sliced okra
4 cups chicken stock + more stock if needed to thin soup (can use water)
Several dashes of hot sauce to taste (I used Franks Red Hot)
Cooked white rice, for serving



Heat ¼ cup oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, season chicken with salt and pepper, and add chicken to pot; cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add sausage and bacon, and cook, stirring, until their fat renders and bacon is browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. 


Add remaining oil, and reduce heat to medium-low, stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until this mixture is reddish caramel, about 8 minutes. Add celery, onion, and pepper, jalapeno, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne, tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf, and cook for 3 minutes. Return chicken, sausage, and bacon to pot along with okra and stock, and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, okra is tender, and gumbo is thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove and shred meat, and stir meat back into gumbo. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, and add shrimp. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink through. Serve with white rice on the side. 

Serves 4 to 6

ENJOY!!!

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

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I know today is supposed to be Tinsel Tuesday, but I had several of my Facebook followers ask for this recipe when they found out I was making it yesterday. This year I am trying to get as many things done ahead of time so I am not in a time crunch on Thanksgiving day. I am entertaining my son’s girlfriend’s family, so there will be anywhere from 10 to 15 people here at the house. Small kitchen + lots of people = I need to try to de-stress as much as possible! I have a 26 pound bird to cook so that has me stressed out enough!
The whole time I was cooking up this gravy Kevin kept saying “Wow it smells good in here” and it did. It smelled like Thanksgiving in my kitchen! Talk about  making you hungry? I wanted my turkey right then and there. That is the downside of make ahead gravy. This recipe takes a bit of time but creates such a rich flavorful gravy it is worth it!! Kevin and I were dipping bread in the remnants at the bottom of the pot!! I think we could have easily made that dinner had there been much more in the pan (the gravy in the rubbermaid container was off limits!).

The recipe I use makes about 8 cups of gravy total. You could cut it in half, but I seriously doubt you will have to worry about leftovers!!
Make Ahead Gravy
4 pounds turkey wings (can substitute chicken wings)
2 onions, quartered
6 carrots, cut in large chunks
6 stalks of celery, cut in large chunks
1 bottle dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)
2 quarts chicken stock (plus more if needed)
10 fresh sage leaves
9 cups water
3/4 cup corn starch
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the wings, onion, carrots, and celery in a roasting pan and roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the wings are a deep golden brown. Remove the wings and veggies from the roaster and place them in a large soup pot   or dutch oven (8 quarts or  more) along with 2 quart of stock, 8 cups of water, and the sage leaves. 
Place the roasting pan on the stove top and heat over high heat. Add the wine and using a wooden spoon scrap up any browned bits that are on the bottom. Continue cooking until the wine cooks down to 1 cup of liquid. Add the wine to the pot with the wings. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours uncovered.
Strain the broth into a large bowl, discard solids and skim any fat from the top. If broth is less than 8 cups add enough stock to bring it up to 8 cups. If it is more than 8 cups, return to soup pot and heat until reduced to 8 cups.
Bring the broth to a boil. Meanwhile whisk corn starch into the last cup of water. Whisk into boiling broth. Cook until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool and store in plastic container. You should have approx 7 cups of gravy. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
On the day you want to serve the gravy. Add the gravy to a large pot to reheat it. Add the strained drippings from the turkey and additional stock if needed to thin the gravy.  
ENJOY!!

Leftover Turkey Soup for What to do with #Thanksgiving #Leftovers #SundaySupper

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I love the holidays. All of the food, family, and fun. One of the things I especially love though is leftovers! I like to take the next few days and use them in tons of different ways. Leftover turkey sandwiches, Turkey Croquets, Turkey Casseroles, etc. But one of the families all time favorites is for me to make my turkey soup.

I love curling up with a big bowl of this soup the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone is still pretty full and I am tired from all of the cooking, so it usually ends up a family movie night, and more often than not the movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We all love that movie and it just kicks off Christmas for us. I give everyone a day off on Friday but I will have them out slaving away on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations LOL I mean I did feed them right? 

I do go a little overboard on the decorations sometimes, I will admit. When the kids were young we actually would have people bring their kids to see our house. The last few years we have toned it down, but since we moved into the new place Kevin has informed me that we are going to “light the whole place up”. Alrighty then, this could get interesting!!

This year I am also very happy to be able to share my recipe with the #SundaySupper crew.  If you haven’t heard about #SundaySupper yet let me explain. It is the baby of a wonderful woman and mentor Isabel from Family Foodie. It has been her mission to bring the family back around the supper table together. I am so proud and honored to participate in this with her and the many other fabulous bloggers who’s posts for this weeks theme of What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers are linked at the bottom of this page.




Leftover Turkey Soup

Broth:
1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups water
1 carrot, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, halved
bay leaf

Soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 (16-ounce) package of noodles (Recommended Grandma’s Fresh Frozen Homemade Style wide egg noodles)
2 cups cubed turkey meat
1 to 2 cups leftover gravy if available
Salt and pepper
Fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

To make the  broth: 
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Add water if the level drops below the carcass. Remove turkey carcass from pot and discard.  Strain both with a colander into another stock pot.  Discard remains in colander.  

Make the Soup: 
In stock pot the broth cooked in, melt butter.  Add minced onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. If using, add gravy and mix well until gravy is heated through
Add onion mixture and 4 to 6 cups of stock to stock pot and bring to a boil.  Thaw noodles according to package directions.  Add pasta and boil for time required on package. Add turkey and simmer for 30 minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and or pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a little fresh parsley if desired.
If any soup is left over, it will thicken up after refrigeration.  Just add a little water (or leftover broth) when reheating to thin it back down.

ENJOY!!


Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Wine Pairings for the Recipes Featured

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper today,  November 18, 2012.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.
Thanks for visiting this week!

Sausage and White Bean Soup

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Yesterday was a cold, drizzly, windy day here in Western Washington. I know you are thinking “cold, drizzly, and windy in Washington? NO WAY!” But yes dear friends, it was miserable. On top of mother nature bringing me down, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I wanted to curl up under the covers in my jammies, I wanted to watch cheesy 80’s movies,I wanted my Mommy! But my jammies were in the laundry, and there were no 80’s movies on TV so I knew I would have to settle with something warm and yummy in my tummy. I took up the challenge and I ransacked my pantry. I was very happy with what I found.

Ahhh soup, glorious soup. As you all know I am a lover of all things “soupish”. Stews, Chowders, even Chili’s make me such a happy camper during the cold dreary months here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way last pretty much from October to July so I have tons of soup days!
I know I have mentioned that Kevin does not share this love of mine. In fact it is quite the opposite. He looks at soup as maybe and appetizer? He is looking for the real meal that goes with it. Many a time he has to walk away disappointed, or with a grilled cheese sandwich to supplement his meal experience. 
This evening though was much different though my friends. On this evening he was not only perfectly content with the idea of this soup as the main meal, he went back for seconds and thirds!! I was afraid to get between him and the pot for fear of being stabbed with his spoon!!! I have to agree though, this really is one of my favorite soups. You have the meatiness of the sausage, the creamy white beans, and just enough heat to make your mouth warm and tingly but it doesn’t blow the top off of your head. 
When a soup warms me, fills me up, and makes me want to curl up on the couch and purr with contentment, well I am just a happy happy camper!!
Sausage and White Bean Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
4 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce cans cannellini beans 
1 quart chicken stock
In a deep soup pot heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and  brown well, breaking it up into little bits. Remove sausage from pot and reserve.

To the pot add the remaining olive oil, onions, garlic, chili peppers, celery, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the white wine, scrapping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits there might be. Return the sausage to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 30 mins stirring occasionally.

ENJOY!!!


Italian Style Skillet Pie

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The other day I was watching Symon’s Suppers on The Cooking Channel. I adore Michael Symon! I love his sense of humor, his talent, how energetic and caring he is. WOW am I gushing? Ya, I think he is pretty sexy too, but that might just be a foodie thing.
Anyway, I love watching his show. I am always finding things I want to make as soon as possible. He always seems to mix up flavors and give you little surprises here and there. When I saw this dish on his show I liked the sound of it. I had made the potato/cauliflower mash he used for the topping of the pie before and loved it.  I loved the idea of cooking in my cast iron skillet, something I have been wanting to try more and more, and I also loved that it was a “One Pot” meal so I wouldn’t have a ton of dishes to do after dinner. Also, it is a bit of a twist on Shepherds Pie, which is a favorite here.

I have been trying to lighten things up a bit where I can. In this dish I try by using turkey sausage in place of ground beef. The potato/cauliflower mashed topping already did that for me, but if you wanted to sub all cauliflower for the mix of potato and cauliflower you could and that would save more carbs for you. I just prefer the mix as we aren’t big fans of the strong cauliflower taste. I do use butter in this but you just can’t sub anything else in my mind.
It was a fun dish to make for me. I was kind of winging it a bit and when it came out so good, and got Kevin’s stamp of approval, I was a happy camper. He even took it for lunch the next day and I ate the last of it yesterday for lunch, so no waste with this meal at all! 
Italian Style Skillet Pie
Adapted from Michael Symon’s Cast-Iron Ground Beef Pie
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 package Italian style ground turkey sausage (usually come in 1 1/3 package)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head cauliflower, core removed and quartered
1 cup chopped celery, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (some reserved for topping if wanted)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with cold water and add the potatoes, cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

Pour the olive oil into a preheated 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Press the meat into the pan and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, and then flip and caramelize the other side.

When the sausage is caramelized, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the celery, celery leaves and onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Return the cooked sausage to the pan and stir in the parsley. Add a red wine. Remove from the heat and set aside. Adjust seasoning if needed.

When the potatoes and cauliflower are done cooking, drain and mash well. Stir in the Parmesan and butter until thoroughly combined.

Spread the potato mixture over the beef mixture in the pan, and smooth the top to seal in the sausage mixture.

Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Top with chopped parsley leaves if desired. 

ENJOY!


Shared at the Lady 8 Home

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings for Soul Warming #SundaySupper

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I love the fact that this is one of the recipes I make that when my kids hear what I am making I hear a resounding YAY!!! They refer to it as my “Famous” Chicken and Dumplings. Gotta say that makes me feel good. I have been chomping at the bit for Fall weather to arrive just to make this meal! So you know when I found out this weeks Sunday Supper theme was “Soul Warming Dishes” I jumped ALL over it!! This truly is a soul warming meal. It is the perfect comfort food to me. There is never a time (OK maybe if it is 80’s degrees outside) that this doesn’t sound good to me, and I know the family feels the same.

This is one of the fist recipes that I came up with and have the recipe in my head. It has become more “a little bit of this and ……. oh ya, some more of that……ok lets add this too vs a strict recipe. So you can imagine when I got down to the business of cooking I though “Hhhmmmm I had better pay attention to what I do so I can actually “write” a recipe. I was glad I caught myself from the beginning so I didn’t have to back track and guess. I am sure you all wouldn’t appreciate a recipe that was a “guess” more than an actual recipe. Nobody wants to cook an experiment when they are hoping for a good meal!

If you are trying to eat healthier you can leave the dumplings off but they are OH so good, it would be hard for me to do that. I have made them from scratch but have used a little help from my friend Bisquick at times too, so if you want to make the dumpling and still be a bit “healthier” they have reduced fat Bisquick now and that can be an option as well.

Either way I am sure you will love this one!!

Chicken and Herbed Dumplings

For the soup
1 rotiserie chicken, shredded with skin and bones removed
2 large carrots, diced
3 stalk celery (with leaves on), diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine 
5 cups chicken stock
For the dumplings
2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick mix
2/3 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and poultry seasoning to the pot and stir well. Cover the pot and continue to cook the  veggies over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and add the flour, stir to combine well and cook for about 1 minutes to cook away the raw flour taste. Add the white wine, and stock (If you do not use wine add 6 cups of chicken stock). Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer soup for 30 minutes, until sauce has thickened and the vegetables are soft. Adjust seasoning if needed and add the shredded chicken.
In a medium bowl mix Bisquick, milk, and parsley. Stir until combined and drop by spoonfuls into soup. Cook the dumplings uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and turn off heat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Soup will be HOT!
ENJOY!
We have over 50 contributors this week, bringing you their best warm you up dishes.  We have everything from stews, soups, main entrees and even some hot drinks and desserts. 
Just look at the list below that is coming to the #SundaySupper table this week!
Main Entrees: 
Chili/Stews:
Soups:
Desserts/Beverages:
Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. 
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

Also share at Under the Big Oak Tree’s Soups On Party

Ham and Bean Soup

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Again, as I wander through old picture files, I find a picture for a recipe that I never posted. It is like a game now for me, hide and go seek with pictures! I can’t believe I didn’t post this soup before. It is one of my favorite soups. This just screams cool fall evening, or winter night curled up by the fire. It really is a soup that puts my tummy in a happy place. Maybe it is because it is one of the first things I ever learned to cook from scratch, I don’t know. I know I used to love having the soup simmering for a few hours, it made me feel like a real cook. I do know I love it and so does my family!!
I use dried beans for this #1 because that is the way my Ex’s Mom showed me how to make soup, and #2 because I think it just gives the soup much more time to develop flavors. But you can easily use canned beans if you want to speed up the meal. You could also do this in a slow cooker. Just add the soaked beans with the other ingredients and set it on low if you need it to cook all days while you are at work.

I am so glad that it is soup weather again!! The stews, the chowders…mmmmm so many possibilities. That is the good thing about living in the Pacific Northwest. I have plenty of soup weather here! Although I am having a tough time teaching Kevin that it is OK to have soup for dinner. 
Kevin – What’s for dinner?
Me – (whatever kind it is) soup.
Kevin – What else?
Me – That’s it.
Kevin – You’re joking right?
Me – (looking in pot) Nope, I am pretty sure I am making soup.
Kevin – (looking in pot) Where’s the meat?
Me – In the fridge.
Kevin – (blank stare)
Me – You can have a ham sandwich or something to go with the soup.
Kevin – (shaking head and walking away mumbling) How can you have a meal without meat?
My poor carnivore, I feel bad for him…..not really…..well maybe just a little. 
Ham and Bean Soup
8 cups of *chicken stock, plus a bit extra to thin soup if needed (can sub water)
1 pound great northern beans (soaked overnight and drained)
1 large ham steak, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock and beans to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour, to overnight (I prefer overnight if possible).
Stir in ham, onion, bay leaf, carrot, celery, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, (skimming foam from top as needed), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are tender. If soup is too thick, add a more chicken stock. If you like your soup “creamy” use a potato masher to mash up a few f the beans.

Serve with fresh baked corn bread.

ENJOY!!
* Link is for a tutorial on how to make homemade chicken stock if you prefer homemade.

Crab Salad Sammies

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What a glorious summer this is turning out to be in Western Washington. We have had two weeks of gorgeous weather! It is funny, I complain about the rain, coming from San Diego I am not used to it I don’t care how long I have lived here, but in the summertime is when I realize how green and beautiful it is here. I still miss California. However, days like these make me forget it.
With all of these fantastically sunny days all I have wanted to do it be outside so I don’t miss a minute of them. So it only seems natural to me that I serve almost every meal I make on the patio. The sun, the trees, and good food just seem to all work together. On this particular day we had about 3 pounds of fresh crab meat I wanted to serve up. I knew one of the first things I wanted to make was crab salad. Nice cool, creamy crab salad with juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, and a nice soft bun? Heaven!

I also did a crab stuffed mushroom “throw down” between Paula Deen’s crab stuffed mushrooms and my healthier version. I will post that for you tomorrow and I can tell you…it was a close one!! Seth and his girlfriend Heather sat on the patio with us as I spread out the platters of stuffed mushrooms and plates of sandwiches. There were oohs and ahhhs (which I love) followed by a mad dive for the food. I just stepped back and let them have at it. After that all I heard was “Mmmmm” and “Wow this is so good” as they ate. 

I need to send a thank you note to the person that dropped the crab off at Kevin’s work, this meal was not only fun it was full of crabby goodness that only comes from sweet fresh crab. If you are looking for a fantastic summer sandwich for lunch or dinner, look no farther, you have found it!


Crab Salad Sammies
1 pound cooked crab, picked clean of shells
3/4 cup low fat mayo
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (a palm full) of seafood seasoning (I used Old Bay)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large vine ripened tomatoes, sliced 
Green leaf lettuce 
4 soft rolls, cut in half (I used Bolo Rolls)
Combine the crab, mayo, lemon juice, celery, green onion, and seafood seasoning in a medium bowl. Stir just enough to combine all of the ingredients but don’t break the crab up too much. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir to combine well.
Place a couple of leaves of lettuce on the bottom half of the rolls, then top with two thick slices of tomato. Top them with a large scoop of the crab salad and the top of the roll.
ENJOY!!!
This post was shared on 
Tuesday Talent Show with Chef in Training

Bobbi on a Budget – Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

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I know I haven’t posted a budget meal in a while but it has been a bit difficult for me to make meals for 4 when I never know how many I am going to have here. At any given time it could be 2 or 6 with no warning *sigh* the joys of kids right? This was a meal that I knew could be made and if it wasn’t all eaten I could freeze the rest. Yes, I love soup!!

I actually chose to make this because I was thinking about my Dad. I miss his little comments “What experiment are we having tonight” “I love being a guinea pig” “Can we please have something besides chicken I am going to sprout feathers and cluck” My Dad was a crack up! One of the things I knew I could make any time and he would be happy about it was split pea soup. He LOVED it. I haven’t made it since he passed away last year so this one was for my Daddy.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
  • 8 to 10 parsley stems
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Tie the parsley stems and thyme together with kitchen string and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the split peas, leek, celery, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Add 4 cups chicken stock and 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low until the split peas are tender 6 hours. Add the cubed ham and cook on low an additional 2 hours.
Discard the herb bundle. Vigorously stir the soup to break up the peas and make the soup smoother. Thin with water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the thawed peas. Serve with bread, if desired.

Food Star Friday – Chicken Noodle Soup

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Food Star Friday here at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen. I know, it is about time right? I can’t remember when the last FSF was. I really hate it when life gets in the way of my cooking and blogging! I would much rather be here with you all instead of deal with all of these pesky issues I have had to deal with!!

Yesterday I was bouncing around the grocery store picking up all of the items I needed for this meal. I was just so excited to be doing another FSF I couldn’t contain myself!!! Unfortunately the other shoppers and store employees did not share my enthusiasm. I was dancing in the produce isles and singing little tunes to myself. I was waiting for someone to say “straight jacket on isle 5” but hey, that is who I am. I admit I am a bit ummmm quirky. It is all part of my charm (at least it sounds good when I say that right?). Oops, I was supposed to talk about the recipe right? Ok I will get back to business.

This is a Tyler Florence recipe from the episode Ultimate Rainy Day Menu. Every single thing he made looked so scrumptious and with it raining here (of course it was raining I live in Washington!) I thought yesssss what a fabulous idea for Food Star Friday! I loved that it had the twist of cheese tortellini for the noodles and meatballs instead of chunks of chicken.

This recipe was fairly easy to put together. I usually follow the recipes on Food Star Friday word for word because it is about reporting my feelings on a Food Star’s recipe. I have to admit that I subbed a cup of white wine for one of the cups of chicken stock. I just add white wine to all of my chicken soups so I couldn’t help myself. Other than that I stuck strictly to the recipe.

Now, how did we feel about this soup? It was met with mixed reviews. Everyone loved the broth and thought the cheese tortellini was a nice twist. As for the meatballs….hmmmmmm. OK 1 vote was 100% loved them, another was about 80%. Kevin and I? Two thumbs down. We did not like them at all. As I was making them I was thinking in my head “this is not going to work” but I watched Tyler make them the very same way on the show so……I did it his way.

I will tell you why I feel they didn’t work and how I will do them different the next time (Yes there will be a next time because the rest of it was terrific). The recipe called for you to add 6 links of chicken/apple sausage to a food processor with the other ingredients for the meatballs. I just kept thinking “this is going to make the meatballs mealy and grainy” and my dear friends, I was right. Awful texture and they just fell apart. The next time I will just get the Jenny-O turkey sausage that is ground in a package, and mix my meatballs the regular way, adding a little bit of bread crumbs to help bind them. I would also bake them at 350 F for about 40 to 45 minutes VS frying them. Just my preference to save on fat. Also, keep the wine in there. Everyone LOVED the broth.

So in conclusion, I love Tyler Florence and this recipe is a jumping of point for me. But I will do it my way next time.

Chicken Noodle Soup

For the soup:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 parsley stems, plus 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for 
    • garnish
    • 4 black peppercorns
    • Kosher salt
    • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

    For the meatballs:

    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • Olive oil
    • 6 links organic chicken-apple sausage meat
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • 2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini, store bought
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    For the soup:
    Set a large stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, half the garlic, carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf, and thyme and gently saute until fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, add parsley stems, black peppercorns and salt, to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer while you work on meatballs and tortellini.
    For the meatballs:
    Caramelize the diced onion in a saute pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, egg, onion, thyme, parsley, remaining garlic, and cheese to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they all come together. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil until just smoking. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop meatballs onto skillet. Cook, turning, until golden brown.
    Drop tortellini straight from freezer into soup. Cook until they float. Once meatballs are browned, add to pot of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Give soup a final seasoning and serve in shallow bowls with a small shower of Parmesan, olive oil, and parsley.