French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite soups. January just happens to be National Soup Month. This is one delicious and easy recipe. The most difficult part of making it is caramelizing the onions and that isn’t difficult, just time consuming. I am including my recipe for easy homemade croutons. I actually prefer croutons over a slice of bread in my soup. Either is fine, croutons are easier to eat from a soup bowl.

Let the caramelizing begin!

Ingredients:

5-6 pounds of sweet onions, sliced thin

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup oil

Salt and pepper

6 cans 10.5 ounce Condensed Beef Consommé, I used Campbell’s

1 32 ounce box of Beef Stock

2/3 cups flour

2 cups or more from 1 bottle of wine, I used (red) Cabernet Sauvignon, you can use white, just use a dry white wine

6 sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves removed for soup, stems tossed) more if you like

3 bay leaves

Gruyère cheese for top

Croutons (recipe below) or bread for each bowl

Perfect caramelized onions
Slurry of flour and stock
Adding slurry to stockpot
Ready to top with croutons and cheese

In a large skillet, melt butter with oil. Add sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. The best way to caramelize onions is low and slow. It will take awhile, I spent 2 hours caramelizing onions. Stirring every so often, once they burn, they are bitter so take it slow. In a large stockpot, add consommé, stock (reserve 2 cups of stock), add thyme leaves and bay leaves. In a separate container, add the stock and flour. I used my immersion blender to blend the flour and stock. Once combined, add to stockpot. The Gruyère cheese I bought had a rind on it so I cut the rind off the cheese and added that to the soup liquid. Don’t forget to add your wine, you will have some leftover for a glass or two after adding it to the soup. Once onions are caramelized, add to the soup. I simmered my soup for two hours after I added the onions. I recommend at least an hour. Pull out bay leaves and cheese rind if you added them to your stockpot before serving.

Waiting for cheese
Ready for the broiler. Make sure your bowl is oven safe.

Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

1 day old loaf of crostini bread sliced, cut into fourths

1/4 cup olive oil

Garlic salt, Lawry’s is my favorite

Place cut bread in a large bowl. Drizzle oil over bread pieces and season with garlic salt or kosher salt. Toss and distribute oil and seasoning. Spread on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. They should keep for about two weeks. Great on salads too.

Assembling your soup. Ladle soup in an oven safe bowl. Add croutons or bread. Top with Gruyère cheese over croutons. Place on a sheet pan and place under the broiler until cheese is hot and melty. Heaven! Enjoy!

Heaven! Dig in!

Cheeseburger Chowder

I have been making this recipe since I had kids living at home. This is a very simple recipe that quickly comes together and is easy to make. My oldest son Jeff and wife Danielle loved this chowder. I even had a special sous chef helping me in the kitchen today, my Princes, Willow.

Ingredients:

1 large carrot grated, at least 1/2 cup (grated)

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

3 cups beef broth

1 can Rotel, I used mild

2 cups cooked white rice, I used Uncle Bens boil in a bag

1 pound hamburger, seasoned with garlic salt and pepper, drain fat

1 pound Velveeta cheese, torn in small pieces

1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup, I used Campbell’s

2 soup cans of whole milk

1 cup of sour cream

1 bunch of chives, cut into pieces

Fried onions if desired

Vegetables simmering in broth.

In a frying pan. brown beef and drain fat. In a separate pan cook rice according to package directions. Set both aside when done. In a stockpot, add carrots, celery and onion. Add broth and simmer 10 minutes after it comes to a boil. This this soften the vegetables. Add rice and burger to the beef broth mixture. Add Rotel. I tore the Velveeta in torn pieces so it will melt faster. Add cheddar cheese soup and 2 soup cans of milk. Stir well and do not let the soup boil. Just before serving, add the sour cream and a bunch of cut chives. Garnish with fried onions on top if desired. Enjoy! 😋

Crockpot Summer Harvest Vegetable Soup

Living in Florida sometimes makes it hard to enjoy soup all year. My tip is to turn the air conditioning  down and enjoy!  I know many of you have summer gardens so I made this recipe for you and for my Dad!  This soup has a very light broth showcasing great summer vegetables from the garden.  

  
Ingredients:
2 cans vegetable broth
2 cans diced tomatoes, not drained, I used petite diced
2 cans chickpeas, drained*
1/2 pound green beans, stems removed, cut into pieces
4 medium summer squash, cut in slices
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
2 -3 carrots, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Salt and pepper to taste, I used Lawry’s Garluc Salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 heaping teaspoon of cumin

  
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Place all ingredients into the crockpot and give it a gentle stir to blend. *If you are not a fan of chickpeas, use your favorite bean like kidney, black or whatever you like. Cook on high for 5 hours or 8 hours on low. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. 

  

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

I love tomato soup. It’s my go to comfort soup.  I have created a semi homemade recipe that is absolutely delicious. Quick and easy to prepare, it can be prepared and served within minutes. 

  
Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2  large cloves of garlic, minced, I grated mine on my microplane

16 ounces of vegetable broth

2 cans of condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 ounce)

16 ounces of heavy cream (you can substitute half and half)

1 1/2 cups whole milk

4 Tablespoons tomato paste (I used the kind in the tube)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

9 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini (I used 3 cheese)

Shaved Parmesan for garnish, optional

In a stock pot, heat olive oil and sauté garlic until golden. This will take about a minute, be careful not to burn the garlic. Add broth, tomato soup, heavy cream, heavy cream, milk and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, add tortellini and simmer about 8 or 9 minutes until soup is hot and tortellini is heated through. Serve with shaved Parmesan if desired. Enjoy!
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen. 


Cheddar Broccoli Cheese Soup 

I am delighted to present another Food Blogger of the Month recipe from Amy Driskell.  She has submitted recipes before and I love to showcase her recipes because they are good and 100% gluten free.  I made this soup and it is easy to make and delicious. Amy is the first of two March Food Bloggers of the Month.  



Amy

Ingredients:
1 stick of butter

1/2 bag of shredded carrots

1/2 teaspoon of chopped garlic

1 Head of broccoli cut into bite size pieces

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 pound of velvetta

4 cans of chicken broth

2/3 corn starch

1 cup water

2 cups milk

1/2 bag shredded carrots

3/4 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Melt stick of butter in the bottom of a heavy stock pot. Add onion, carrots and garlic. Let this cook for about 2-3 minutes until tender. Add 4 cans of chicken broth and broccoli at this time and let the mixture come to a boil. While soup is coming to a boil, cut the Velveeta into cubes. Boil for 15 minutes, add the cheese and let this melt.Turn the heat down at this point to low. Add the 2 cups of milk. Mix the cornstarch and water together and add to the pot.  Once combined, add the heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Let thicken about 10 minutes and serve hot. Enjoy. 


Chicken and Squash Soup

I am very pleased to present another fantastic Food Blogger of the Month Recipe. This delicious soup recipe was sent to me from Lorrie Shaw. This soup is delicious and very filling. Lots of vegetables, chicken and one surprise ingredient that makes this soup a winner.

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Lorrie and her daughter.

Ingredients for soup stock:
1 chicken, cut up
8 cups of water
2 onions, quartered with skins intact
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Season Salt
1 stick of butter

In a large stew pot, add the above ingredients. Boil chicken until it’s falling off of the bones. Skim all of the onions and bay leaves out of the stock. Debone chicken and cut into pieces, set aside.

Ingredients for Soup:
1 onion, about a cup chopped
3 cups of squash, chopped (about 8 yellow)
1 16 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 16 ounce can of chopped tomatoes, do not drain
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of frozen green beans
Chicken, the chopped pieces that made the stock
3 cups of chopped apples (do not use golden delicious or Granny Smith)
1 cup of small shelled pasta

Add chopped onion, squash, tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes to the chicken broth. Stir and add corn, green beans and chicken. Cook on low for 3 – 4 hours until squash is tender. Add chopped apples (I used Braeburn) and pasta and cook for another hour and a half. I made this delicious soup and I did add a little more salt and pepper after it cooked. Everyone’s palate is different so follow the original recipe before adding more. I loved this soup and will make it again! Makes 8 – 10 servings. Enjoy!

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Crockpot Chicken and Rice Soup

I love to make soup in my crockpot where I can just throw the ingredients in and in a few hours have a delicious meal. This is a healthy, but very satisfying bowl of soup. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
4 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded, I used lemon pepper flavor
1 bag of sliced frozen crinkled cut carrots
1 cup of celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 box of Uncle Bens Brown Rice and Garlic
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons of cumin
1 jalapeño, diced small, optional
Tortilla strips that you use on salads, optional

This is a clear, low calorie but tasty soup. Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours or let it simmer all day on low for 7 hours.

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Chili 101

This is my basic chili starter recipe. Once you make this recipe, you can add anything to it to make it your own recipe. Some people add chocolate, some must have hot peppers or bell peppers in their chili. Some leave out the beans. This basic recipe makes about quart. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. I know when I was raising my boys and they all lived at home, I was quadrupling this recipe. Make it, but try to plan on leftovers, it’s even better the next day!

Ingredients:
1-1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck
1 medium to large onion, chopped medium dice
Salt and pepper to taste, I always use Lawry’s garlic salt to season
1 can of dark red kidney beans, do not drain
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 14 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, do not drain
1 Tablespoon of chili powder, start with that and taste to add more (I used 3)
Cayenne pepper, optional, or to taste

Toppings:
Grated cheese, optional
Sour cream, optional
Onions or scallions, optional
Fritos or corn chips crushed, optional
Jalapeño peppers, optional

Brown meat and onion in a skillet. Season the meat. In a large pot on the stove, combine beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, the can of whole peeled tomatoes (I remove them from the can and using my hands, I squeeze them into pieces, making sure the juice from the tomatoes goes into the pot.) When beef/onion is cooked, drain all fat and add to your chili pot. Stir to combine and start seasoning your chili with chili powder and/or cayenne pepper. Simmer on the stove for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally or place in a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This recipe is easy to prepare and it makes very good chili. Feel free to add other ingredients to customize it to your liking. Enjoy!

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Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is an easy go to meal. Nothing about this soup is homemade but you will think it is when you make it. This is a great stand alone meal or it makes a wonderful addition to what you are serving for dinner.

Ingredients:
1 26 ounce can of Chicken with Rice Soup, I used Campbell’s
24 ounces of water
1 can of Rotel Tomatoes, I used original
1 can of Texas Beans, do not drain
1 Rotisserie Chicken, torn in bite size pieces
8 ounces of your favorite cheese, shredded, I used Mexican Blend
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, optional
Tortilla Chips, broken in pieces
Sour Cream, optional
Sliced Avocado, optional
Sliced Jalapeno, optional
Sliced Scallions, optional

Combine soup, water, beans, tomatoes and chicken in a pot and heat thoroughly. Break up tortilla chip and place in the bottom of your soup bowl. Add cheese after you have added soup to your bowl. Garnish with optional toppings as desired.

Recipe adapted from Georgia Kirbo.

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Crockpot Taco Soup

I love soup. I love anything Mexican to eat. This is an easy recipe to make and leftovers are so wonderful the day or two after. I have frozen this and it freezes and reheats well. This is one of my favorite crockpot meals.


1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, diced
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package of hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 can of beef broth (15 oz)
1 can of corn, undrained
1 can of beans, do not drain, use any kind of beans, black, kidney, spicy chili beans, whatever you like (I used dark red kidney beans)
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 can Rotel with green chilis, I used original, use hot if you like spicy soup
Garlic salt and pepper to season ground chuck, to taste
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves chopped, optional, more for garnish if desired
Avocado, optional for garnish
Sour cream, optional for garnish
Green onion, optional for garnish
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated, optional for garnish
Crushed tortilla chips or Fritos, optional for garnish
Any taco topping you like can go on top of this soup


Season ground chuck with garlic salt and pepper. Add onion. Cook until meat is no longer pink and drain.

In the crockpot, add beef broth, taco and ranch dressing mix, cumin and whisk together to blend. Add ground chuck, corn, beans, red pepper, Rotel, and cilantro if you are using. Stir the pot! Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I always double this recipe, leftover is better the next day. Enjoy!

*I own a 7 quart crockpot and I have plenty of room to double this recipe.

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