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Ham and Potato Soup

IMG_6841My husband loved this soup! He pretty much wanted me to make another batch right away. My kids were not as thrilled with it, and I thought it was pretty good too, but not enough to rave about it to the extent that my husband did.  I used a recipe from all recipes as base and made a few changes.  I added carrots since I had some to use up instead of celery which I was out of… I sautéed the onions, carrots in pancetta (bacon would be a good substitute too), drained any fat and then followed the recipe pretty closely.  I did also add some bay leaf and dried thyme to the soup for added flavor.

Ham and Potato Soup

Serves 6

adapted from allrecipes (Delicious Ham and Potato Soup)

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz pancetta (or bacon)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 3/4 cup ham, diced small (remove fatty pieces)
  • 3 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules (originally 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the pancetta bacon, carrots, and diced onions to the stock pot.  Sauté  the vegetables in the bacon until the onions are softened and the fat in the bacon has fully rendered.  Pour off any excess fat.
  2. To the cooked vegetables, add the diced potatoes,  ham, water, chicken bouillon, bay leaf, dried thyme or basil, salt, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking about 15 minutes or until the potatoes test done, stirring occasionally.  When the potatoes are tender, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer while you finish off the soup.
  3. In a separate sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk into the butter until it is well combined, then cook for about 1 minute.  Heat the milk in the microwave.  Slowly add the milk, whisking as you add it until it is smooth.  Continue cooking the milk mixture until it is thickened, about 4 or 5 minutes.  Add the thickened milk mixture to the soup and stir to combine.
  4. Heat through and serve immediately with crusty French bread.

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Autumn Squash Soup

IMG_6418I love the Autumn Squash Soup they serve at Panera.  I love it so much in fact, that I had to see if there was a good copy of it on the internet that I could adapt and use at home.  I did! The copy comes from here.  I think they did a really nice job of it.  I omitted the sugar as I thought the apple cider and honey added plenty of good sweetness to the soup.  I also increased the chicken broth to make it less thick.

Autumn Squash Soup

a Panera Bread copy cat recipe adapted from blog.chron.com

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 (11 oz- 14 oz) package of frozen butternut squash, thawed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

Heat a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and cook the minced onion until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.

If the butternut squash is not completely thawed, place it in a microwavable bowl with a little water and microwave on high for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the squash, pumpkin puree, cider, chicken broth, curry, honey, and salt to the sauce pan and heat through to boiling.  Blend the soup mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Add the heavy cream to the blended soup and stir to combine.  Serve.

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Pumpkin Soup

IMG_6359I recently had oral surgery to remove, what was believed to be a tumor, and have been limited to soft foods for the past 3 weeks.  Thankfully is was not a tumor.  It was scar tissue from the last time I had oral surgery to remove the tumor I had 14 years ago.  The first time my pain levels were through the roof.  This time, despite it being a bone graft and fairly invasive, it was minimal in comparison.  I even ran my first 5 k in my recovery period.  I digress.  I  made a few amazing soups.  Pumpkin Soup being one of them.  I found this gem of a recipe on Pioneer Woman’s website.  I have followed her blog for several years, and am glad she now has a spot on the food network line up. I increased the broth because that was the size of the broth I bought.

You can find her original recipe here (link)

Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6 adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

  • 2 small pumpkins (the ones used for cooking- I use Sugar pumpkins)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Maple syrup
  • 1/2 a nutmeg grated
  • salt to taste
  • extra cream for serving

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the pumpkins tops off.  Scoop out the guts.  Save the seeds for roasting if desired, but you do not need them for this recipe.  Cut the pumpkins into quarters and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (unless you are roasting them for pie).  Place the pumpkin pieces on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender when you piece it with a fork.  Allow to cool some.  Scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skin using a large serving spoon and set aside for the soup.

Combine the pumpkin flesh, chicken broth, and maple syrup in a large stock pot.  Season with salt and nutmeg.  When it is heated through, blend the soup either in a blender or with an immersion blender (my favorite kitchen tool).  Add the cream and stir through.  Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Ladle the soup in individual bowls and drizzle additional cream in each bowl if desired.  Enjoy!

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Wild Mushroom Soup

IMG_3767Here is another wonderful recipe that I have made that Ina Garten has in one of her cookbooks as well as on Food Network.  I am a sucker for mushrooms and so far all of Ina’s recipes that I have tried have been winners.  Mushrooms are matter of taste however, not everyone in my family loves them, but if you do, make this Cream of mushroom soup!  It is quite good!

Wild Mushroom Soup

adapted from Ina Garten

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cream-of-wild-mushroom-soup-recipe/index.html

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh Portabella mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp fresh thyme, divided use
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 leeks, chopped, dark leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

Clean the mushrooms and trim the stems and remove any parts that have gone bad.  Separate the stems from the caps.  Coarsely chop the stems.  Place the chopped stems in a stock pot.  Slice the mushroom caps and reserve for later usage.

To make the soup base: heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter in a large pot with the stems.  Add the onions, carrot, sprig of thyme and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.  Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and summer for 30 minutes.  Strain the broth, reserving the soup base.  Discard the vegetables.  If you do not have 4 1/2 cups of soup base, add some water.

In the meantime, heat a large cast iron skillet and melt the remaining butter. Cook the leeks over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the leeks begin to brown.  Add the mushroom slices and cook them until they are golden brown for another 10 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute whisking constantly.  Add the white wine, stirring continuously to loosen any remains from the bottom of your skillet.  Add the soup base, minced thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the half and half and cream, parsley, season with salt and pepper and heat the soup through over low, but do not boil  Serve with crusty French bread.

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Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I love Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup.  Every time I go to Olive Garden I end up ordering it now.  Their Gnocchi are so tender and the soup is so creamy and flavorful.  I went on a quest to find a good copy cat version and I did at Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen Forum.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup-adapted from Tasty Kitchen

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked And Diced
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Diced
  • 1 Carrot, Shredded
  • 1/2 Onion, Diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Spinach, Chopped (I used 1/2 cup defrosted frozen chopped spinach)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 16 Ounces Potato Gnocchi
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon, to enhance the taste at the end (optional and my addition)

Directions:

  1. Cook the onion, garlic, and carrot in oil over medium heat until onion is tender and translucent.
  2. Add the chopped chicken, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and thyme. Heat to boiling, then add gnocchi (homemade would be even better, but all I had was packaged on hand). Gently boil for 4 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.  I did use defrosted frozen chopped spinach and only added about 1/2 cup to the soup as I did not have fresh spinach on hand.

Recipe Notes
Source:
http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/soups/chicken-and-gnocchi-soup/
Added by Calamity Anne on July 31, 2009 in Creamy Soups, Soups
5.00 Mitt(s) | 3 Rating(s)

Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings 6

Becky’s notes:

I made this version and was very happy with the results. I did add a little bouillon at the end and used defrosted, chopped spinach instead of fresh and it turned out fine.  Will make again and again.  My children are not fans of gnocchi, but they don’t get much say in my house. They can eat it or not eat.

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Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

One of my favorite web-sites for recipes is allrecipes.com.  I had saved this recipe for my “to make sometime file”.  Last night, I finally made it.  It was quite good.  I followed other reviewers’ advice and doubled the recipe.  Since it only served four and we are a family of 5 and love to have left over soup.  I did change it up a bit – because that is what I do.  It did not call for the onions to be cooked, and I’m sorry- but raw onions just don’t cut it for me.  I didn’t have celery, but I added a chopped yellow bell pepper for extra texture and it was good.  My 6 year old son avoided the potatoes, my 13 year old daughter avoided the ham, my 10 year old daughter didn’t like it at all.. but we adults liked it and that is what matters to me!  Picky eaters don’t get a vote, they just get an opportunity to expand their taste buds! 🙂  I had some left over prosciutto ham that I cut up into small pieces and added to the soup along with the regular ham, and bacon would have made a lovely addition to it as well.  I felt the recipe lacked anything green.  Some topped their soup with the greens of scallions, I added about a Tablespoon of freeze dried chives that I had in my spice pantry.  It was a good soup.  Be careful adding salt, as this can be pretty salty with the ham.  I would make it again if my kids had loved it, but as it turns out they didn’t.  Boohoo!

Source:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Delicious-Ham-and-Potato-Soup/Detail.aspx

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

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Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Chicken Soup

Strange name I know, it’s Greek and is a wonderful Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup.  I went to a ladies night out and a friend brought this soup to the event.  I went back for thirds and then took some home with me to share with my husband.  Delicious!  My kids all love it too and it is a frequent request now.  I make it about every other week now.  The recipe is from Cat Cora on the Food Network.  I made a few changes to suit my family’s tastes.

Just today my daughter announced that every Restaurant should have this recipe and serve it because she would order it every time!  It really is that good.  Do try it!

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cat-cora/avgolemono-chicken-soup-with-egg-lemon-sauce-recipe/index.html

Avgolemono: Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce – Cat Cora

  • 1 (3 pound) free range chicken
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 leek, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 2/3 cup Aborio rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

Place the chicken in a large pot with 2 quarts cold water, enough to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, skimming when necessary.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions. Sweat the onions until clear. Set aside.

When chicken is cooked through, remove from the broth. Let the chicken cool and pull the meat from the bones. Dice into large cubes. Set aside.

Add the onion, bay leaves, leek, and carrot to the broth and simmer for 1 hour. When finished, remove the carrot and leek from the broth and add the rice. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium high to simmer until the rice is cooked to al dente, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken back into the broth. Add more water if needed.

In a small bowl beat the eggs and lemon juice together. Pour 2 cups of broth slowly into the bowl of egg and lemon, whisking continuously. Once all the broth is incorporated, add the mixture into the pot of chicken soup and stir to blend well throughout. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Prep     10 min

Cook    3 hr 10 min

Total:     3 hr 20 min

Serves 8-10

Becky’s NOTES:

After I remove the carrots and leeks I chop the carrots into small pieces (last time I even squeezed them through my potato ricer) I add the carrots back into the soup with the chicken.  I do not add onions, my kids don’t care for the texture, but I do let them simmer in the broth with the leeks and carrots, but do not add them to the final product.  Very very yummy and fairly easy to make!  Do go out and buy some Aborio rice, it is perfect for this soup.

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