Tag Archives: soup

creole bouillabaise

Creole Bouillabaisse

This is one of those recipes that brings me straight back to my childhood. My mother got the recipe from one of my father’s cousins while we lived in Arkansas, and nothing tastes or smells like it. As soon as I smell it I think, “Ah! Arkansas!” (And, yes, that’s a good thing!)

For some reason I always forget about this recipe, though. It’s not something I make often…though I don’t know why. Both of my kids love it, and even my fish-hating husband likes it! I think I need to get it into the rotation more often!

It’s also one of the simplest meals I make. It’s ready in half an hour, but tastes sophisticated enough to serve to company. So it’s a definite keeper of a recipe!

Bouillabaisse is the French name for fish stew – and that’s basically what this is. But if you don’t like fish, fear not. If even my husband – who detests fish in all forms – likes it, then anyone will. The buttery, winey, garlicky base to the broth is what really shines through in this!

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Chicken Corn Chowder

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

One of the culinary staples in certain areas of Pennsylvania – especially in Penna Dutch country – is Chicken Corn Chowder. During sweet corn season, it’s pretty much ubiquitous, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love it. I mean, sweet corn and chicken in a creamy, slightly spicy broth? There’s nothing not to love about that!

This is NOT sweet corn season, as it’s only January, but that didn’t stop me when I came across this fabulous recipe by Pioneer Woman.  I had immediate cravings for this soup that would not be silenced! So, instead of using fresh corn like she does in her recipe, I just went out and got some cans of organic sweet corn. Of course, since I can never leave well enough alone, I had to change it up just a little bit and add chicken and garlic to it, and obviously I had to make it anti-inflammation-friendly by changing the flour from all purpose white flour to whole grain spelt flour. Besides that, though, it’s pretty much just like the original. You can go on over to the Pioneer Woman’s site for the original, but I’ll also write down the recipe with my changes here.

So, I made it, and – Oh My Gosh…it’s so, I mean SOOO good. The Pioneer Woman never disappoints, after all! This version has bacon and colorful peppers and Pepper Jack cheese. Oh goodness. You’ll love it.

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chicken broth

Everlasting Chicken Broth

In case you haven’t heard, there’s this flu epidemic thing going around. Everyone’s sick. And I’m determined not to be, so I’m doing all the immune-boosting things. Drinking lots of water, getting plenty of sleep, eating lots of fruits and veggies, taking Vitamin C, being strict about staying away from the list of “no-nos” on this diet. And, of course, chicken broth.

chicken broth

I don’t mean chicken broth from a box or a can. I mean boiling a chicken in a big pot of water with onions, garlic, and spices for hours until it’s a powerhouse of nutrients that helps support your body’s systems – including the immune system. If you are actually getting sick, this chicken broth soothes the throat like nothing else and makes you feel good and warm and cozy inside. Who doesn’t want to feel good and warm and cozy inside?

And…AND!…added bonus! Chicken broth has been found to be highly anti-inflammatory! That, and the collagen, proline, glycine all the other great joint-supporting elements from the chicken bones seep into the broth to make your bones happy. If you’re on this diet for joint reasons, this is an excellent thing to start drinking. Bone broth also is extremely healing and soothing to the digestive tract, and is a key component in gut-healing diets. So, there are lots of reasons to drink this on a regular basis, but especially through cold-and-flu-season.

For this, you really want to use the best quality chicken you can find. You’re ingesting the very essence of the animal, so you want that essence to be healthy and wholesome. That won’t be found in a factory-bred chicken. This is the time to invest in a chicken that is preferably pastured, but at the least organic. My CSA slaughters their chickens that are no longer laying eggs and sells them as stewing chickens for a good price, and that’s what I use.

This is all you have to do: take your chicken and put it in a large stock pot filled with water. Put in about 5 whole peppercorns and 5 whole allspice berries, half of an onion, one clove of garlic cut in half, and a bay leaf. Simmer for most of the day – at LEAST 5 hours.

chicken broth

Drink it as it is, or turn it into a recipe. Use the broth in soup, or creamed chicken and mashed potatoes, or chicken and spelt dumplings.

I simply drink it from a mug. Delicious and soothing!

broth

If you’re wanting to drink the broth regularly over the course of a week – whether for general health reasons or to feel better over the course of sickness – I saw this idea at Kitchen Stewardship. This is where the “Everlasting” part of Everlasting Chicken Broth comes in. Put the broth, including chicken and all the other things in it, in a covered crock pot. If you’ve already used the meat in a recipe, just put the bones in. Let it cook on low all week, taking out mug-fulls of it as necessary. Replace the removed broth with water as you use it, and let it continue to cook. By the end of the week, the bones will be very soft, as all the minerals and nutrients in them have cooked out into the liquid – and are being used by your body! Pretty nifty idea.

chicken broth

Everlasting Chicken Broth

  • 1 whole chicken – preferably pastured, but at least organic
  • Filtered water
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, filled with water until it’s full. Simmer over low heat all day, or at least 5 hours. Taste and add salt if necessary. (I find that a lot of salt really adds to the flavor.) To keep the broth over the course of a week, put all the ingredients in a large crock pot and cook, covered, over low or warm continuously for a week, drinking the broth daily and replacing what you use with water along the way. Use the meat in any recipe, or just eat it as is.

cabbage soup

Beefy Cabbage Soup

At our CSA pickup this Thursday I got these.

And this.

And I thought, what can I do with a bunch of root vegetables and a head of cabbage? The immediate answer, of course, was soup, and I recalled a beefy cabbage soup that someone had brought me while I was recovering from having my son.  If I hadn’t eaten that soup, I never would put the words “cabbage soup” and “yummy” in the same sentence, but I knew from that experience that it was really, really good. I’d never tried to duplicate it before, but now seemed to be the time!

What resulted was rich and bursting with flavor and really, really good – just like I remembered!

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Potatoes and Capers

I saw this soup on a food blog I follow, How Sweet It Is. It’s not an anti-inflammation friendly blog in general, but she makes great food, and sometimes the recipes are things that I can eat. When I saw this, I knew I had to make it! My version of the soup is almost exactly like the original, with just a couple additions.

I know…cauliflower is less than inspiring to most people. My husband hates it cooked. But don’t let that turn you off; even he LOVED this soup when it was finished, and I promise you will too. It’s creamy and flavorful and really hardly tastes like cauliflower at all. The chives and chunks of potatoes in there set it off just right, and the sautéed capers on top? Oh, my goodness. They’re perfect – crispy and salty and just right with the creaminess of the soup. 

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cooked stew

Hurricane Hungarian Beef Stew

In case no one’s heard yet, there’s a bit of weather coming our way. A little thing everyone’s calling “Frankenstorm.” The predictions are that, a) it will all pass us by and we’ll hardly notice a thing, or b) it will strike like the hammer of Thor and plummet the entire state into a week without power.

The number one worry on my mind? Not fallen branches, or flooding, or any of the things most people would worry about: I worry about my freezer. I have a ton of food in my chest freezer, and I would just cry if I lost it all. So, thinking ahead, I decided I should use up some of my frozen meat yesterday, just in case the “hammer of Thor” option is the one that’s coming.

I had some stew meat in the freezer, so I immediately thought about my mother’s Hungarian Goulash. Only that’s served over noodles, and I can’t have noodles. I could do brown rice, maybe, but I wasn’t in the mood. I did have some gorgeous red new potatoes from our CSA share, though, so decided to incorporate them. And add some red wine. And other things. So, the end result was something between Hungarian Goulash, and my Irish Beef Stew. If those two got together and had a baby, this is what it would be. It’s richly flavorful with tastes of paprika and red wine and meat that simply falls apart.

Pure deliciousness.

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butternut squash soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Is this the perfect Autumn soup or what? I saw a recipe for a soup similar to this on a vegan food blog I followPeas and Thank You, and decided it looked good and that I should try it out. (The fact that I had 2 butternut squashes from my CSA pick-up just begging to have SOMETHING done to them other than sit on the kitchen table for 3 weeks had a lot to do with this decision.)

But, being me, I couldn’t just leave the recipe as it was. It started simply, with just subbing in homemade chicken stock for the vegetable broth. Then I thought that it could use a little sweetness, so added a little maple syrup. And apple cider. And then I decided that a little cream would really finish up the soup nicely. And maybe also some red pepper for a little more kick.

Really, I just started tossing things in from around my kitchen. Sometimes, this is a dangerous thing. But this time, it turned out great!

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