Tortellini Soup

I love soup, especially in the winter and with a large piece of good bread.  I still eat soup during spring, especially on rainy days.   I like this soup because it is good in the winter but also nice in the spring as I don’t think of it as a “heavy” winter soup.  This soup is simple to make and tastes great.  I recently made it for two friends who just had babies.  I took it over with a yummy loaf of bread and caramel brownies.  This recipe makes a large amount so I was able to make one batch for two families.  This soup would probably not freeze well since it has the tortellini in it.  You could keep all the ingredients on hand though (you could freeze tortellini) and throw this together quickly on a weeknight.

Tortellini Soup
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Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini (about 6-8 inches), chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
64 ounces vegetable stock
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 cups water
24 ounces cheese tortellini, uncooked
Salt to taste

Directions
1.  In a large stock pot heat oil and add zucchini, onion, and garlic.  Cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes.
2.  Add basil, oregano, and salt, stir to coat vegetables.
3.  Add vegetable stock and water, cover and bring to a boil.
4.  Add tortellini and follow instructions on the package on how long to cook.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Lindsay Lou Original

Curried Lentil Soup

Raise your hand if you love lentils….okay I can’t see you but I know there are some hands up in the air 😉  I have been on a re-organizing kick in our kitchen and part of that was cleaning out the cabinets.  I can never see what is in the back of the cabinets thus leading to the decision to reorganize so precious ingredients wouldn’t be lost – like my lentils.  As I was cleaning out one of the cabinets I came across lentils that I had no idea I had.  I immediately thought curried lentil soup, though I don’t think I have ever had it in my life. It was yummy and I have made it many times since but had yet to post it on the blog. You may want to add more salt at the end, it depends on what stock you use (if it has salt) or if you use broth (usually has salt). Be very careful with the curry – it will stain your clothing (I speak form experience).

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons curry
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups lentils
32 ounces (4 cups) vegetable stock
2 cups water

1.  Rinse lentils in water, drain and pick out any debris or shriveled lentils. 
2. Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat, add onion, garlic, carrots, salt, and celery, cover with a lid.  Cook 5 minutes then add curry, covering with a lid again.  Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
3.  Add lentils, stock, and water.  Cover with a lid and bring to a boil
4.   Turn down heat to low and simmer for an hour or until lentils are tender.
5.  Optional:  Puree 2 cups of soup in a blender (carefully) and add back to the soup. You could also use an immersion blender in the entire soup.  This will make the soup a little creamy but is totally optional. 

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Lindsay Lou

Roasted Vegetable Soup


When it gets cold I crave soup especially my mom’s garbanzo bean soup ;). I wanted to make vegetable soup (inspired by Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup) but wanted to add more flavor by roasting the vegetables first. If there are vegetables listed that you or your family won’t eat, leave them out or substitute others in. I added a dash of hot sauce when I had some of the leftover soup for lunch and it was delicious!

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots (about 1 cup), peeled, and chopped
2 stalks of celery (about 1 cup), chopped
1 small head of green cabbage (about 1 pound), chopped
1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz), drained, reserve liquid
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3-4 sprigs (about 4 inches) fresh rosemary
6 sprigs (about 3-4 inches long) fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon course sea salt
4 cups (32 ounces) stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Mix zucchini, carrots, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil and sea salt in a roasting pan. Roast for 50 minutes, stirring about ever 15 minutes.
3. Remove sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
4. Transfer vegetables to stock pot and add water, stock, and reserved tomato juice.
5. Remove garlic if you prefer.

Mangia!
Lindsay

Source: Inspired by Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup

Chicken Taco Stew


This stew is a hearty meal and a popular recipe in our house. I like to serve it with sour cream or plain yogurt and a little cheese. Sometimes I add avocado slices, guacamole, or salsa to the top and serve it with tortillas or tortilla chips. I like this dish a lot because it freezes well so it is a nice emergency meal for us (you know, the late nights you come home from work and don’t feel like cooking). I would highly encourage you to make your own taco seasoning (recipe included) as it is simple and you probably have the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients

Chicken Taco Stew:
1 onion, chopped
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears of corn, rinsed and cut off the cob OR 1 can corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (no salt added)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes with chilies
4-5 sweet peppers (smaller than bell peppers), chopped (if you can’t find sweet peppers use 2-3 bell peppers (any color).
1 1.25 oz packet of taco seasoning or see below for quick recipe
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Taco Seasoning:
(makes about 1 package of taco seasoning)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients for the taco seasoning together in a small bowl.
2. Mix all ingredients for the taco stew (except the chicken) in the slow cooker (this does include the taco seasoning).
3. Lay chicken on top of the ingredients.
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4. (I cook for 6 hours on low. Cooking time will depend on your slow cooker so you should check frequently after 6 hours if cooking on low or after 3 hours if cooking on high – it is done when the chicken shreds easily).
5. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir.

Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt, tortillas, salsa, guacamole or avocado.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Taco Seasoning: Bill Echols from Allrecipes
Chicken Taco Stew adapted from Gingerfish on SparkPeople

Homemade Croutons


I am on a salad and soup kick, I can’t help it – this cold rainy weather makes me want soup. What goes great with soup and salad? Homemade croutons! I have never made homemade croutons, but I love them. A restaurant I used to go to in Bloomington, IN had homemade croutons and they were just scrumptious. I was inspired, okay determined not to let 2 loaves of homemade bread go to waste when I realized they just didn’t taste very good. You could also do this with bread that tastes just fine too 😉 With the 2 loaves of bread I had about 11 cups of bread chunks. This is a recipe that you could alter easily: if you have less bread – use less oil, you just want the bread to be coated in olive oil not drenched. Want to use different spices – go right ahead you could use red pepper flakes and make them spicy or add oregano and basil. Be inventive and inspired! These are best day of, I stored mine in the cupboard in a plastic bag and they were not as good 2-3 days later.

Ingredients
11 cups bread, cubed into about 1-inch squares
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons course salt

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Toss bread with olive oil, to coat in a large bowl.
3. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to coat bread.
4. Spread coated bread cubes on a pan in a single layer
5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until desired crispness.

Serve with salad (try this Caesar dressing) or Chicken and Orzo Soup.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Lindsay Lou original

Chicken and Orzo Soup (Sarah’s Soul-Warming Soup)


Hello! Wow, it has been 2 weeks?!?! Sorry for my absence – it has been an interesting two weeks. I had to finish studying for school-wide prelim exam and everything else was put to the side as my exam date closed in. The week and half after my exam…well I have been trying to catch up on everything from housework (it is amazing the amount of laundry that can pile up in a week) to work. The good thing though I can start on my dissertation now and will be able to post more recipes, more often..YAY!

I am in the process of finding the perfect whole wheat sandwich bread and tweaking a couple of recipes I have tried a few different ways. All of which I will share soon.

Today though, I share one of my all-time favorite soups. Why? 1) It is fall, time for soup and homemade bread and 2) It is raining here today (which just made me think of the Counting Crows song “Raining in Baltimore” which now I have to go play before I finish this post)and by raining I mean pouring down rain which is supposed to go on all day. So I see this as a good day to get a lot of work done, inside that is 😉

This soup literally warms my soul. I could sit over the bowl of soup and inhale all day, there is something about the smell that is calming. This could be 1) the ingredients in it or 2) one of my dear friends, Sarah introduced me to this recipe last year when I was staying with her. We made this soup together and it always makes me think of her.

I have made this soup a lot over the past year, thinking I would freeze some but it never makes it to the freezer – we eat it all up. I have varied the ingredients and it is a very flexible recipe. So make this for your family, for a friend who needs a little soul-warming, or for you on a cold, rainy autumn day.

Sarah’s Soul-Warming Soup aka Chicken and Orzo Soup

Ingredients
2 32-ounce containers of chicken-stock or broth (8 cups)
4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders or breasts cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh time
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
1/2 pound mushroom caps, quartered
Salt and pepper
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups arugula or spinach (fresh), chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Grated parmesan cheese

Instructions
1. In a large stock pot add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Add chicken and cook stirring until browned (About 5 minutes)
3. Add thyme and bay leaf, then stir in onion, carrot, and mushroom caps.
4. Season with salt and pepper (remember you can add more later)
5. Cover the pan and cook, until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes)
6. Add stock/broth and water; bring to a boil.
7. Stir in the orzo and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes)
8. Discard the bay leaf
9. Remove from heat, add arugula/spinach and basil to wilt.
10. Add lemon peel, season with salt and pepper.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Mangia!

Lindsay Lou

Source: Adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray