Category Archives: soup

Winter Veggie Soup with Barley and Turkey Sausage (optional)

photo 1 (29)photo 3 (17)photo 5 (14)It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter here in the Northeast. What better way to warm up then with a bowl of soup? Helps warm the body and soul. I  went totally crazy with the vegetables and I cut up everything that was in my fridge and what I bought in the supermarket. I realize that this is a lot of vegetables and a lot of cleaning and chopping but so worthwhile. I added spicy turkey sausage but if you would like you can keep this totally vegetarian, and vegan if you leave out the cheese rinds. The magic ingredient in this soup is the “cheese rind” it adds another dimension to this soup for sure. I just cut off the end (rind) of the parmesan cheese hunk of cheese! Amazing flavor!!!!

I used vegetable broth because I had it, you can use chicken broth as well.

This is what I did.

Don’t be put off by the shopping list and the chopping. You, your family and friends will be forever grateful.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 sweet or spicy turkey sausages ( large ones)

1 cup pearled barley

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into app. 1/2″ thick rounds, cut however you like, I just like to taste a piece of carrot in my soup

2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds as well

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch slices , leave the skin on

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced ( don’t omit this , it adds amazing flavor)

1 medium leek, thinly sliced and washed well

One bunch of Swiss Chard, remove the center stem and chop leaves

1 Parmesan Cheese rind, optional

1 dried bay leaf

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped chives , I didn’t have fresh which I recommend but I used dried, it’s really OK if you omit , just adds one more layer of flavor to the soup.

Directions:

In a large stockpot ( Le Creuset), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, I like to brown the sausage, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the barley and stir constantly until it is lightly browned, app. 3 – 4 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, parsnips, zucchini, fennel, leeks, chard , bay leaf and cheese rind. About 1 teaspoon kosher salt and about 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. You will taste for salt and pepper again at the end. Bring the whole thing to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered until the barley is tender . I cooked for about an hour.

Remove the rind and bay leaf and discard after the first hour. Season the soup with remaining S & P if desired. You may also want to add a little liquid if it’s too thick, you can add more broth or just some water will work as well.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked sausage and chopped chives.

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Balls

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Balls

this is one of my absolute favorite recipes–one of my top ten.  It is a soup , which is also a full meal. It is hearty and pretty healthy.  It is one of my staples from September through April. It freezes well and you can just take it out of the freezer the night before, and you’ll have a wonderful meal the next evening. When you defrost it you will probably want to add broth/water to it. add a little at a time till you get the consisitency you like. Enjoy:)

Ingredients: chicken balls

1 lb. ground chicken

1/2 lb chicken sausage, casings removed

3 slices whole wheat bread for bread crumbs ( I put into food proccesor with steel blade for crumbs) i remove crusts . should be app. 1 cup of bread crumbs

2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 2 – 3 cloves)

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano ( fresh is best) but whatever you have will do

1/4 cup grated Parmesan ( again nothing beats fresh) but whatever you have will do here as well

3 tablespoons milk

1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soup Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small -medium yellow onion minced

1 cup diced carrots ( 3 )

1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)

10 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine( use whatever you have open)

1 cup small pasta tubetini, ditalini, stars, etc.

5 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed

*fresh dill ( I love the flavor) add at your own discretion about 1/4 cup minced fresh dill.

Directions:

preheat the oven to 350 degrees  put parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

for the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage,bread crumbs, garlic, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, salt and pepper  all in a bowl and mix well with a fork.  I use a teaspoon, and make 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. you should have about 30 to 40 small balls. bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. set them aside. (I made about 30 balls, they were a little larger this time out)

For the Soup:

 heat the olive oil over medium – low heat in a large heavy bottomed soup pot ( Le Creuset type pot) Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes, don’t brown. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil, at this point I let soup cook a while to soften the vegetables, app. 1 hour. ( a low simmer) if you’re in a hurry you can probably do the whole soup in 1/2 hour , veggies will be soft enough to eat. if some of the liquid evaporates you can always add a little more broth.

chicken balls out of the ovenItalian Wedding Soup cooking

 Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook another 6 – 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the meatballs and simmer for another minute or so. taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for another minute or so, the spinach will just wilt. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Corn and Tomato Soup – no cream

DSCN0358DSCN0382DSCN0381The corn is so delicious right now that I had to make this soup. I was going to save this recipe for the Fall but I used the fresh Olathe corn at the market now and couldn’t wait to share. When the corn is not as fresh and sweet you can definitely use frozen . I used fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and fresh Olathe corn ( local in Colorado) but I happen to know Long Island has particularly good sweet local corn. So while the getting is good and you can get fresh vegetables please do so. Farm to Table here we go again.

I made this soup for dinner as an appetizer. I think it would be good cold but I prefer it warm.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots , coarsely chopped or 1 large one

1 teaspoon kosher salt ( more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( more to taste)

3 1/4 cups corn, or 1 lb. bag of frozen corn thawed it’s approximately 5 – 6 ears of fresh corn

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian

2 beautiful medium size tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces*

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

Directions:

In a large dutch oven ( Le Creuset) type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally until shallots are soft, app. 5 minutes. While this is going on cook up the corn as follows.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and just cook corn till it turns yellow for 1-2 minutes, then I throw into an ice bath to stop the cooking. When corn is cooled down cut kernels off cobs.

Place the cooked shallots, corn and chicken stock into the blender.

Pour the corn mixture back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer , cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil, let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve!

*to seed the tomatoes, cut them in 1/2 horizontally and using a small dessert spoon, scoop out the seed and discard. The seeds make the soup too watery.

Homemade Chicken Soup – anytime and with not so homemade matzo balls

IMG_4514This is my homemade chicken soup recipe which is already posted on my blog as Homemade Chicken Soup which is great to have anytime and is what I add my not so homemade matzo balls to during Passover. I couldn’t re-blog it again so I decided to just re-write it. I would recommend making this at least a day ahead of using, and you can certainly make ahead and freeze till you’ll want to use it.

If you put Passover into Search Box this and other Holiday recipes should come up.

Ingredients:

For Chicken Stock:

1 5 lb. organic roasting chicken ( I don’t use the insides)

1 package of chicken wings ( this was suggested to me a long time ago by my BFF Karyn and she was oh so right. It will add some fat, which translates into a whole lotta flavor , and you will skim off the fat anyway.  Thanks again Karyn.

1 large, yellow Spanish onion, unpeeled and quartered

a big bunch of fresh dill

4 celery stalks with leaves and cut into thirds

4 carrots, unpeeled and halved

a bunch of flat-leaf parsley

a bunch of fresh thyme

1 head of garlic, cut in half cross-wise ( skin and all)

2 tbsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. whole black peppercorns

Directions for Soup:

I place the chicken , chicken wings, onion, carrots, celery, all the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper in as large a stockpot as I can find, I actually have a 16-20 qt. stockpot that I use. Add cold water to cover chicken by at least 2″ above the chicken but not to the top of the pot because it will boil over (very messy) . Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered for about 3 hours. I skim the soup for the first 1/2 hour or so after that you shouldn’t have much more. I remove the chicken from the broth after an hour or so, because it is cooked and it will taste like a rubber chicken if you plan on eating it. Sometimes I like to shred it and return it to the soup. If you are not using the chicken ( a waste of a good chicken ) you can just leave it in the water for as long as you’d like, it will fall apart in there. I leave the wings in and discard them after about 3 hours. After letting soup simmer on stove top for about 3 hours all together, I let it cool down significantly first, strain all of the soup in a large colander, discard all remnants, fill my containers and put in the fridge. The next day, I skim off any noticeable fat that has risen to the top and make my matzo balls. (see recipe below)

*you can also make chicken salad from this chicken , go to my curry chicken salad recipe on cookingwithcandi.comPicture 001Picture 005

Matzo Balls:

This has always been my little secret to great matzo balls. I own it, after years of making matzo balls from scratch, my Mother ( yes, my Mother the cook) turned me on to Manischewitz boxed matzo ball mix! It just wasn’t worth the time spent, the balls weren’t as consistent as I would have liked, whereas these are always perfection every time! Light and fluffy and everyone always loves them, and asks for recipe . No sinkers here!

I follow the directions on the box carefully. They sell just the mix in a box. You will need vegetable oil and 2 eggs per box. I do add a little piece of dill inside each ball, but that’s it! Now my secret is out, sometimes this is really the only way to roll. It saves time and ingredients, and they are really good. No MSG or trans-fats either, so make the homemade soup, cheat with the balls and enjoy. There is no substitute for homemade chicken soup , though.

*when not observing Passover, this soup is delicious with noodles

Green Pea Soup from Bergdorf Goodman – Happy St. Patricks Day

IMG_7457IMG_7459IMG_7455 IMG_7466 IMG_7469Let’s celebrate St. Patricks Day with this delicious green soup! The first time I had this soup was downstairs in BG and I thought to myself I must re-create this delicious light soup. Low and behold along came *The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook which included this delicious recipe.   My two favorite items to order on the BG menu are the Gotham Salad and  the Green Pea Soup and they are both right there in this wonderful little cookbook. There are many other delightful recipes in the book as well which make it a worthwhile purchase. The shocking part of this delicious soup was the addition of a sweet potato and soy sauce. I didn’t see that coming, I would have made it without either of those two items. The soy sauce adds an intense layer of flavor and the potato gives it some real texture. Blend well. I used my high-speed blender for this .

*The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook by Laura Silverman–available through Amazon or Bergdorf Goodman

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 whole sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, if you have white pepper use it but I didn’t so I used black

3 3/4 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 lb. fresh or frozen , thawed green peas. I used one whole bag of frozen green peas.

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat and sauté the onion, celery, carrots, sweet potato, garlic, salt and pepper until the vegetables are tender but not brown. I let it cook down for about 1/2 hour.

Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas and just blanch them for a minute.

Turn off the heat. Cool slightly, then add the parsley ( don’t omit the fresh parsley, please) Taste for Salt but I found it was just right with the 1 teaspoon.

In a blender or food processor, do it in batches ( I did it in 3) , puree all the ingredients until smooth. Serve warm!

Love the taste and enjoy all the healthy benefits!!!

*can be made vegan with vegetable stock

Veggie Soup with Rotisserie Chicken – Perfect Winter Soup

Winter '13 colorado 002Winter '13 colorado 003Winter '13 colorado 006This is a soup, and a little like a stew, and I think Rachael Ray calls it a stoup, because it’s a little bit stew and a little bit soup. I combined a lot of different recipes for this one, and used a lot of ingredients from the pantry as well. I served alongside a toasted baguette with goat cheese. A perfect ending to a chilly day and just in time for soup season!  And did I say filling? it is a meal in itself. There are a lot of ingredients, but it really did make this soup wonderful. I enjoyed the prep, it’s very therapeutic and it’s not difficult at all.   I find it is very very important to read through a whole recipe before starting to cook, because you don’t want any surprises 1/2 way through and I always set out all of my ingredients before I start cooking, don’t want to be running around looking for an ingredient. You can also substitute wherever you’d like in this recipe using ingredients you would prefer. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 whole Rotisserie Chicken ( skin and bones removed and shred meat) (store bought is perfect here) unless you are in the mood to roast a chicken.

Olive Oil

1 4 oz. package of diced pancetta– I thought it added a delightful layer of deliciousness but not if you are opposed to using it

1 medium yellow onion ( diced)

3 carrots , peeled and diced

3 stalks of celery , diced

2 1/2 cups of diced peeled butternut squash

4 cloves garlic  minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 15oz. can cannellini beans , drained and rinsed

1/2 cup dry white wine

baby spinach leaves ( I only used a little bit, but feel free to use whole 8 ounces) Kale would also work beautifully here

1 cup small pasta , like ditalini. I used small elbows because that is what I had on hand.

2 Tablespoons Pesto , I happen to have some frozen, but buy the store bought one if you don’t happen to have this on hand.

1 baguette or crusty type bread

6 cups of chicken broth, hold on to the extra 2 cups because you may need them

2 bay leaves

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*freshly grated Parmesan Cheese ( optional) for serving

Directions:

Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large heavy pot ( Le Creuset) or any Dutch type Oven. Add the pancetta and cook for about 6 – 8 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally , until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic and thyme, and cook over medium heat. I cooked for about 12 minutes till everything started to break down and soften.

Add the can of tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaves, I added 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt and about 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. You can taste later and add if you need more. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for app. 45 minutes to an hour.

I cooked pasta separately till al dente.

Discard bay leaves, add pasta , beans and shredded chicken to soup. Heat through. Soup should be quite thick and if it’s too thick add some more chicken stock or some water.  Just before serving if you’re using it add in the spinach a little at a time, I used very little because Joel really doesn’t care for it, use as much as you’d like, keep stirring. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Check for salt and pepper.

Serve in nice large shallow bowls, with bread on the side. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you’d like.

I sliced a baguette on the diagonal and brushed olive oil on both sides, Baked in the oven at 425 degrees, turning bread once , total cooking time about 8 minutes, took bread out and spread some goat cheese on each slice and put back in the oven for about 4 minutes. Delicious!

 

Pasta e Fagioli ( Pasta and Bean Soup)

019I have been making this soup forever,  This is really just a tomato base soup with beans and pasta. How bad can that be? unless you hate beans and pasta that is. I usually have ingredients in the pantry and it is a wonderful warm experience, with a nice salad this is a perfect meal. I did use dried beans so I needed to soak overnight, if you want to cheat you can just use canned beans , I must admit this makes it a whole lot easier  and honestly no one knows the difference! It is a wonderful hearty soup halfway between a soup and a pasta no matter how you do the beans!

Enjoy this amazingly delicious comforting soup.

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes ( San Marzano)

10 – 12 fresh basil leaves

red pepper flakes

handful of italian parsley, chopped

5 – 6 cups cooked beans and their liquid ( I use cannellini beans usually) any type of bean will work I use Cannellini or Red Kidney beans and a combination of both is beautiful.* feel free to use canned if you don’t have time to cook the beans. ( 2 cans rinsed and drained) the canned beans work out perfectly and it’s a very quick and easy way to go. You can easily use 2 cans of cannellini beans here or red kidney beans. Just drain and rinse and add them in –this makes it a whole lot easier

5 cups water

app. 1 cup pasta, elbows, tubetti, ditalini, or broken spaghetti

salt and freshly ground black pepper ( I probably used about 1Tablespoon of Kosher Salt but you’ll have to taste for yourself , start with a Tablespoon and use more as needed) Pepper I just add in a few grinds of the pepper mill ( about 12) and taste , taste , taste!

Directions:

In a large , heavy stockpot ( Le Creuset) saute onion in olive oil. When onion is golden and transparent, add garlic. Cook for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and herbs. Cook until the tomatoes begin to thicken and reduce, about 10 minutes.  Taste for salt.

Add the beans and their cooking liquid. (* see notes on cooking beans) Add the water. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes – until the beans begin to break down and the soup begins to thicken. Lower heat to a slow simmer, as low as you can.  Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking and burning bottom of the pot. Taste for salt and pepper again.  I always like it to simmer for a long time, an hour would probably do it, but if I have the time I let it sit for as long as I can.  Sometimes after it’s been simmering for a while ,  I turn off the heat and right before serving just bring to a boil and add pasta. Just be careful not to let it burn, stir frequently . If you need more liquid add water a little at a time, I showed a picture of my pot filler which is the greatest thing to have in a kitchen, makes it super easy to fill a pot.

When you’re ready to serve, right before add the pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, about 5 – 10 minutes depending on type of pasta you’re using. I used ditalini.

Serve immediately in large soup bowls.

Guests can drizzle some good olive oil and grate some Parmesan Cheese over.  Should serve 8 – 10 depending on appetites. I froze remainder for another time.

*Cooking dried Beans:

Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water – about 2″ – 3″ above the beans. Soak overnight.

Rinse and drain the beans, remove any stones, foreign matter, or beans that have not expanded.

Place the beans in a heavy pot and cover with water – about 2″ above the beans.

Bring the beans to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and cook at a very low simmer. Do not allow beans to boil hard. The beans should retain their shape. Cook until beans are tender. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of beans and how fresh they are. Plan on cooking for 2 to 3 hours.

The beans will now be ready to be used for any recipe calling for cooked beans.

If you don’t have time to soak or you just forgot, you can place beans in the pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, cover and let stand for 1 hour, and then proceed with the rest of the directions.

Kitchen Sink Soup with Hamburger

FullSizeRender (3) FullSizeRender (4) FullSizeRender (5) FullSizeRender (6) FullSizeRender (7) FullSizeRender (9) FullSizeRender (10) FullSizeRender (12) FullSizeRender (13) FullSizeRender (14) FullSizeRender (15) FullSizeRender (17)I had  about a pound of hamburger (ground chuck) which was 80/20(lean) and I had a bunch of awesome veggies so why not? You’ll need some Beef Stock, some tomato paste, some garlic and a few other ingredients and you get this warming wonderful soup for the cold days ahead. I also made awesome little parmesan crisps to serve with soup. It’s hearty enough to eat as a meal and very enjoyable. I love soup as a meal and when it contains protein and vegetables it’s a truly hearty enjoyable meal.

I used orange, red and yellow peppers but green peppers are perfectly fine. I really did use what I had in the house so you should try to do the same. Red Potatoes were perfect because they are thin-skinned and hold their texture and shape well.

Parmesan Crisps are just delicious and pure perfection and all you need is some Parmesan Cheese and I used Silpat but you can use parchment paper which is important in the execution of this recipe. So either Silpat or Parchment.

Ingredients: for Soup

1 – 1 1/2 lbs. of ground chuck, I used the 80/20 mixture because I needed a little of the fat. 90/10 gives you very little fat and since I wasn’t using any other fats I figured it would have better flavor. You can always pour off after browning meat if there is too much fat.

1 small-medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can diced tomatoes , 28 oz.

4 cups Beef Stock, and you may need to add more liquid but you can use water

1 whole yellow pepper, seeded and diced

1 whole red pepper, seeded and diced

1 whole orange pepper, seeded and diced . Again I used what was in my house you can use any color peppers you like. Green is perfectly suitable and will give it a nice flavor

3 whole carrots, peeled and I sliced on the diagonal

4 whole red potatoes, depending on their size you may only use 3. I used 4 smallish ones. Cut into chunks

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Kosher Salt to taste, I used app. 1 teaspoon at the beginning and added as needed

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste as well, I started out with app. 1/2 teaspoon and added more as needed

1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, more to individual taste

Directions:

In a large Dutch Oven kind of pot ( Le Creuset once again) over medium-high heat, brown up the meat along with the onion, celery, and garlic. When meat is finished cooking and vegetables are soft, drain off as much as the fat as you can. I honestly had almost none. If you do which will depend on the fat content of your meat you will discard the fat . I used 80/20 if you use 90/10 you’ll have even less fat and the meat is a bit dryer. I prefer 80/20 and I had no fat.

Return the pot to the heat and add all of the other ingredients. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover the pot and simmer the soup for a while, you’ll want potatoes to be tender to the fork but not mushy.

I made it in the afternoon, let it simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. I then refrigerated it till the night we were eating it.

Soup was rather thick, and I wanted it a little bit soupier so I added a mixture of extra beef broth and hot water and I heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking, adding more salt if you need it.

Serve with Parmesan Crisps or sprinkle ground Parmesan into soup.

Parmesan Crisps:

these are as easy as 1 2 3. One ingredient. Wow!! you will just need a rimmed baking tray and I used silpat sheets but parchment paper will work just fine.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

add 1 heaping teaspoon of grated parmesan onto a silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pat down a little bit and space at least 1/2 ” apart. ( see picture)

Bake for 3-5 minutes till golden and crisp.

Allow to cool for a few minutes.

 

 

Veggie Soup with Rotisserie Chicken – Perfect Winter Soup

Winter '13 colorado 002Winter '13 colorado 003Winter '13 colorado 006This is a soup, and a little like a stew, and I think Rachael Ray calls it a stoup, because it’s a little bit stew and a little bit soup. I combined a lot of different recipes for this one, and used a lot of ingredients from the pantry as well. I served alongside a toasted baguette with goat cheese. A perfect ending to a chilly day and just in time for soup season!  And did I say filling? it is a meal in itself. There are a lot of ingredients, but it really did make this soup wonderful. I enjoyed the prep, it’s very therapeutic and it’s not difficult at all.   I find it is very very important to read through a whole recipe before starting to cook, because you don’t want any surprises 1/2 way through and I always set out all of my ingredients before I start cooking, don’t want to be running around looking for an ingredient. You can also substitute wherever you’d like in this recipe using ingredients you would prefer. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 whole Rotisserie Chicken ( skin and bones removed and shred meat) (store bought is perfect here) unless you are in the mood to roast a chicken.

Olive Oil

1 4 oz. package of diced pancetta

1 medium yellow onion ( diced)

3 carrots , peeled and diced

3 stalks of celery , diced

2 1/2 cups of diced peeled butternut squash

4 cloves garlic  minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 15oz. can cannellini beans , drained and rinsed

1/2 cup dry white wine

baby spinach leaves ( I only used a little bit, but feel free to use whole 8 ounces) Kale would also work beautifully here

1 cup small pasta , like ditalini. I used small elbows because that is what I had on hand.

2 Tablespoons Pesto , I happen to have some frozen, but buy the store bought one if you don’t happen to have this on hand.

1 baguette or crusty type bread

6 cups of chicken broth, hold on to the extra 2 cups because you may need them

2 bay leaves

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*freshly grated Parmesan Cheese ( optional) for serving

Directions:

Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large heavy pot ( Le Creuset) or any Dutch type Oven. Add the pancetta and cook for about 6 – 8 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally , until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic and thyme, and cook over medium heat. I cooked for about 12 minutes till everything started to break down and soften.

Add the can of tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaves, I added 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt and about 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. You can taste later and add if you need more. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for app. 45 minutes to an hour.

I cooked pasta separately till al dente.

Discard bay leaves, add pasta , beans and shredded chicken to soup. Heat through. Soup should be quite thick and if it’s too thick add some more chicken stock or some water.  Just before serving if you’re using it add in the spinach a little at a time, I used very little because Joel really doesn’t care for it, use as much as you’d like, keep stirring. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Check for salt and pepper.

Serve in nice large shallow bowls, with bread on the side. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you’d like.

I sliced a baguette on the diagonal and brushed olive oil on both sides, Baked in the oven at 425 degrees, turning bread once , total cooking time about 8 minutes, took bread out and spread some goat cheese on each slice and put back in the oven for about 4 minutes. Delicious!

Sausage and White Bean Soup

IMG_0575

Soup Season is officially upon us even though today is a particularly warm day in New York. It’s still the time of year that you like to hunker down with a cozy delicious meal.

This was an absolutely delicious dinner soup I made the other night. I like my soups to simmer for a while on the stove top, I made this soup about 2 hours before we were going to eat it. This soup can be made rather quickly or you can allow it to simmer for a few hours. It’s even better the next day. If serving the next day you will most likely need to add liquid, I added a little bit of water or you can add stock. Just add a little at a time.

There is a little effort involved here but mostly chopping and prepping.

I used my mini-processor for chopping carrots because I wanted them finely chopped.

The fresh herbs tasted wonderful and I wouldn’t omit.

You can use turkey or chicken sausage or any kind of sausage you would prefer.

I served alongside a crusty bread,  manchego cheese and a beautiful red wine.

*this soup can easily be frozen

*will serve 6-8 easily

Enjoy this !

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 pound spicy turkey sausage, Italian sausage (casings removed) chicken sausage, whatever you prefer, chopped.

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped– to obtain this chop I used my mini processor

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons finely chopped sage

1 Tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt –which was enough

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes–clearly this is optional but it adds a little kick

4 cups Chicken / Vegetable Stock –low sodium or regular it’s you’re call

1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes

3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

app. 1/2 lb. baby spinach–or any greens you’d like. You can eyeball it to see how much you’d like to use. You could use heartier greens, like kale or collard greens–just be certain to cook them in the soup for at least 5 minutes prior to serving. You want them to wilt and break down a bit.

Directions:

In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium-heat.

Cook Sausage, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces as it cooks. Cook until browned, app. 10 minutes or so. Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to another plate.

Add onions, carrots, and garlic to pot and cook in the oil from sausage. Stir frequently, until onions are tender. App. another 10 minutes.

Add sage, rosemary, salt , pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes and their juices, and reserved sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded together, at least 15 minutes. I let it sit and simmer for about 2 hours on a very low simmer, stirring occasionally.

Before you’re ready to serve you will do this next step: this will add 15 minutes more of cooking time, you can always simmer longer.

Coarsely mash beans from 1 can of rinsed , drained beans. You can use a fork for this or a potato masher. Then add this mash to soup. Stir in the almond milk and remaining 2 cans of rinsed, drained beans. Let simmer for another 15 minutes at least. Taste for salt and pepper at this point. I didn’t need to add any.

I added the spinach a few minutes before serving, just eyeball out about 1/2 cup of baby spinach or whatever greens you are using. The heartier greens like kale will take a little longer to break down.

You can top soup with freshly grated parmesan if you’d like.