Hearty Hodgepodge Soup

We are clinging onto Winter.  Therefore, we welcome a couple more soups to add to the menu.  At my house, we call this the rotation.  The rotation of things that will warm our bones.   I love so many things about this soup.  The simplicity, the heartiness, the rich flavor.  I also love my friend, Jessica that shared this with me.  There are many ways to make this soup depending on your time and taste buds. 

 

1 cup chopped onions ( I use onion soup mix instead)

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped bell pepper

1 can Rotel tomatoes (I used plain canned diced tomatoes)

2 cans Minestrone soup

2 cans ranch style beans with jalapeno ( I use beans without jalapeno), undrained

1 can mushrooms, drained  ( if you use fresh mushrooms, saute’ with the meat)

2 pounds stew meat (cut in bite size pieces) or hamburger browned and seasoned  ( I used Tony’s for the seasoning)

Brown the stew meat in a skillet with a little oil.  I seasoned with a dash of Tony’s seasoning and the Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Halfway through the browning of the meat, I added the celery and bell pepper.

Mix the tomatoes, Minestrone soup, and beans into a crock pot.  Next. add the meat and veggies and simmer in a crock pot.

Can be served either over rice or with cornbread,

Easily modified to fit taste.  You can use Rotel with green chilies, or not.  Ranch Style Beans with jalapeno, or not.  Canned mushrooms or fresh.  Fresh onion or Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  You are the boss of this soup.  Enjoy.

Can add beef broth for extra liquid if needed.

Superbowl Sausage Spinach Dip

Move over regular queso, there is a new game in town.  Looking for something different for a weekend of football?   No matter who your favorite team is, this will be the clear winner.  Thanks to Jessica for something new to add to your Superbowl menu.  

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat on stovetop, brown sausage; drain.

Add spinach, cream cheese, and sour cream.

Cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally to keep from burning on bottom.

Add tomatoes and cheddar cheese and continue to cook, keeping the temperature at medium heat.

When cheese is melted, add garlic.

Add scallions.

Turn heat down to low, to keep warm, until ready to serve.  You may also opt to transfer to a crock pot and keep on low.

Don’t forget your crock pot liner for easy clean up.   A little trick to keep from burning is to add 1/4 cup of water in the crock pot and place liner on top of the water.

Serve with chips.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

My friend Judi and I walk and talk… then talk and walk.  Our talks always lead to food (shocker), the newest restaurants (big news in our small town), and the latest recipes that we have tried.  We are still waiting for Jack Frost in Texas, but when he finally gets here…..we will be ready for something good to warm our bones.  This is crockpot (from Crockin Girls)  friendly and a treat.

  • 4 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 3 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Cup Celery, diced
  • 1 Cup Carrots, diced
  • 2 Chicken bouillon cube
  • 10 Ounces Can of Biscuits, but you can make your own (yeah right)
  1. Step One

    EXCLUDING THE BISCUITS put all ingredients in the crockpot and cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

  2. Step Two

    About an hour (give or take) before serving, remove chicken and pull into pieces and return to the soup mixture.

  3. Step Three

    Place the torn biscuit dough in and cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

Crockpot Green Enchilada Soup

It’s rare that a friend (thanks, Kerry) sends out a recipe that I follow exactly.   The minute I laid eyes on this recipe, I made it within 24 hours. It is a great soup to warm your bones.  The spice is perfect, the consistency is perfectly creamy, and the end result is memorable.  Using mild green enchilada sauce is genius, as it is not spicy.  Enjoy this mix of chicken, rice, cheeses, corn, and spices.  I believe that all the food groups are represented.  Wink!

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans mild green enchilada sauce
  • 2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 TB cumin
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2/3 cup corn (if frozen, thaw out)
  • 2/3 cup instant rice
  • 1 – 8 oz. bar cream cheese (cubed)
  • salt and pepper
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Note:  I use a crockpot liner.  If you haven’t tried the, you must!  Easy clean-up.

Instructions

  1. Place chicken broth, enchilada sauce, green chiles, water, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic podwer and shredded chicken in crock pot on HIGH. Cook for 3.5 hours.
  2. After cooking for 3.5 hours add corn, rice and cubed cream cheese. Stir and cook for half hour.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and top with Monterrey Jack Cheese. Serves 4-6.

Easy Crockpot Chuck Roast

RoastLooking for some comfort food?  I am a 40 something year old that has never made a roast.  Never say never.  I made this last week and shared with family.  A huge hit and so easy that it is ALMOST embarrassing.  Almost…..  The flavor is perfect. Enjoy this wonderful recipe shared by a friend.  Bring on Winter! 

1 chuck roast (2- 3 pounds)

1/2 package of dry Ranch dressing mix

1 package of Au Jus Gravy mix (I use McCormicks found by the brown gravy)

1/4 cup of water

4-5 peperoncini peppers (full of non-spicy flavors, located near the pickles)

1/4 cup of peperoncini juice from the jar

1/2 stick of butter, pats

fresh baby carrots and mushrooms (optional)

cream of mushroom soup (optional)

Put the water in the bottom of the crockpot, Add the thawed chuck roast.  Sprinkle the ranch dressing mix and the Au Jus Gravy mix on top of the roast.  Next add the butter pats on top of the roast.  Finally add the peperoncini peppers and juice.

Cook for 8 hours on low heat in the crock pot.  The final two hours I did add fresh mushrooms and carrots. Once the roast is done, I ladled a cup of the juice (from the bottom of the crockpot) and cooked on the stove with a 1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup.  I used a whisk to mix until well heated over medium heat.  Gravy perfection!

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Growing up in Southwest Missouri, they had a claim to fame that the original Cashew Chicken came from our area.  A friend from my hometown of Branson recently posted this recipe and I had to try it.  Winner!  Perfect amount of spice for the perfect taste.

Ingredients

2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken tenders

1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. black pepper
1 T. canola oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. grated fresh ginger (I used 1/4 t. of dried ginger)
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. cashews

Combine flour and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken and shake to coat with flour mixture.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Once browned, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken in slow cooker.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in a small bowl and pour over chicken.
Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice.
Note: If you prefer more sauce, I would double the sauce ingredients.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This weather is soup weather. Soup’s on! I have been given two Chicken Tortilla Soup recipes in the past week. Both are great finds. The next one that I post has Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup in it. The recipe below started in Trisha Yearwood’s kitchen, then to Food Network, then in the hands of my soup/crockpot friend, Patti. Sweet Patti (along with her husband Bob) has a showroom at the Dallas Market and wows her customers with her “soup luncheon.” Her husband, Bob, only takes credit for soups with meat! Meat lovers, stay tuned for one of his. I have indulged in many of Patti’s soups, but this one is my fave. 

 

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Three 14-ounce cans chicken broth

4 cups half-and-half

One 10.75-ounce can cream of chicken soup

1 cup prepared salsa, mild or spicy

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled, drained and shredded

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained

One 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

2 teaspoon ground cumin

One 1.27-ounce packet fajita seasoning

One 16-ounce bag tortilla chips

8 ounces Monterey Jack, grated

8 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated

1/2 cup sour cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and saute until softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the cream of chicken soup, salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and fajita seasoning. Continue to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. 

Crumble the tortilla chips into individual bowls and top with a ladle of soup. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and add a dollop of sour cream.

*If you want to do this in the crockpot or make ahead.  Cook soup according to directions, however, do not add cheese/sour cream. Let the soup cool completely and put in Ziploc freezer bags and freeze.   When ready to enjoy, thaw.  Empty the contents into a crockpot.  Cook on low 2-3 hours.   Sprinkle cheese and a tablespoon of sour cream on top of each bowl of soup. 

Refried Beans Without the Refry

My sister Tracy made this for us, and it was shocking how good they were, especially without meat! I’m going to be real honest and say that sometimes I don’t even puree them. They are great just as beans over rice, etc. This recipe is from AllRecipes.com, which Tracy loves for great recipes.

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water

Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.