Archive for the ‘Chilis and Soups’ Category
So yes I know it’s almost summer. Yes I know this is soup. And yes I know I should be posting stuff about cook outs and bbqs but seriously this soup is so flippin’ amazing that you won’t care if it’s a bajillion degrees (okay maybe then you would care if you had something hot to eat) or negative-freeze-my-butt-off cold out. Think of this soup as a cross between my Tuscan Bean Soup and Pasta e Fagioli. Now this soup came out of a need. A need to clean out my fridge that is. LOL I mean we’ve all been there – we buy a big package of chicken only to use part of it up. We rush to get it cooked up while the remainder stays in the fridge to be eaten another day. 1 or 2 lone carrots lie at the bottom of my bin, sobbing because they feel unloved. And kale… trendy green goes unnoticed next to the arugula. Sorry kale but in my house arugula trumps you every single time. It’s not you; it’s me.
See I had all of these ingredients in the fridge. There wasn’t enough of any one item to make a full meal out of it itself so when it doubt, soup it out! Hey.. that’s a pretty cool line. Maybe I could copyright that. lol Yeah my luck someone already did and wants paid for using it.
This soup… oh this soup! Now Chicken & gnocchi soup is not new. I’m sure we’ve all either heard of it, had it at the chain restaurant that first made it famous or found some pseudo attempt copycat recipe on the internet. This is none of them. Why? It’s BETTER than that chain restaurant. Yes, I’ve thrown the gauntlet down. Don’t get me wrong, I like that soup but it’s inconsistent when I order it. Either it’s thick as mud, it never has chicken in it, it only has a single gnocchi or it’s thin as water. Occasionally it’s on the money and I love it but it doesn’t always happen that way sadly. Sorry I like you but when it comes to food, it’s about quality AND consistency here folks. But I have to give mad props for your salad and breadsticks. AWESOME!
When it was butt cold out here in Pittsburgh all I wanted was soup but after a while you get tired of the same ol’ soup. Sure I’ve give you tons of soup and chili recipes on here but I really was craving this soup. Now one of the things I pride myself on is having a very distinguishable palate. I can pick apart ingredients in a recipe fairly easily even the most obscure ones. To date there has only been one ingredient I couldn’t figure out from this one Chinese restaurant. They made these house rolls with a funky ‘twinge’ to it. I asked what it was but unfortunately there was language barrier issues. Now I didn’t want to remake their recipe as it sucked (sorry to be blunt but it was pretty nasty… even Mr. Fantabulous wouldn’t finish his and that man would eat rocks covered in sauce) but it bothered me that I could never pinpoint that one spice.
Thankfully I had all the ingredients on hand (bonus) and a very empty belly (double bonus!). This soup is truly super simple to make though it does require a bit of your attention when you add in the flour and whisk it in. Another thing is when you pour the milk/cream in is to do it SLOWLY and not just dump it all in. If you dump it all in you run the high risk of flour lumps and your soup not being creamy. Take your time and slowly pour while whisking the whole time. It takes some coordination but you’ll get it. If you don’t have coordination (like yours truly) have someone help you. It’s awesome to cook with someone!
I have been craving my Tuscan White Bean & Sausage Spinach Soup forever but for one reason or another I just didn’t make it. Well it wasn’t until I was at Sam’s club the one weekend did it dawn on me to buy the stuff to make it. See they were giving away free samples of food which mean every person on the planet HAD to get that piece of cheese or slice of meat. HAD to I tell ya <insert sarcasm here – this bothers me as it’s an annoyance how people flock to the stuff>. It’s like “OMG my day is now complete if hold up the aisles for those that are there to just shop so they can get that free sample of 1/8th of a quarter slice of a muffin”! And then god forbid you say “Excuse me, I’m just trying to get through here.” You think you just told them that their baby was ugly and their mother walked the streets for the looks you get. Trust me, if there is such a thing as shopping cart rage I could definitely have it.
Any way as I was trying to make my way up towards the front of the store to check out they had free samples of chicken sausage that they had on sale. Once I saw it this soup came to mind. That was all I need. In my buggy (remember I’m from Pittsburgh we call shopping carts ‘buggies’… go with it *wink*. And because I was annoyed I immediately turned around and had to go back through the hungry cows to pick up spinach and kale plus pecorino cheese. And to be a total witch, I turned around again and went back through the same hungry cows to check out. Yeah I’m pretty sure if they could have shot daggers out of their eyes at me they would have. LOL I’m horrible, I know.
Once I got home, out came the big soup pot and I got to prepping to make this. This soup is super easy to make and is done pretty fast. I make this with both spinach and kale – either together or separate. If you use kale cook it for about an additional 10 minutes or until the kale is tender.
At least once a month growing up Dad made his famous Red Beef Soup. In the wintertime this was made every week. It made a TON, it was inexpensive and it was just damn good. It took me years to figure out how to replicate this as like most in my generation our parents and grandparents wrote nothing down recipe-wise. And the stuff that was written down usually called for “a hint of this” or “a smidge of that”. Or my mom would write “carrots, onions, meat and can goods” and that was the ENTIRE recipe. Wait, what?
So while I was home sick for those 6 weeks I wanted comfort food. Even though my parents have been gone well over 20+ years I wanted them here. I had sent Mr. Fantabulous off to the store with a list of stuff to make this soup. The thing is I had to go from taste memory as like I said, nothing was written down. Over the years I tried countless times to replicate his soup but was never quite there. It was always missing something.
As I stood there assembling it I tasted the cold broth (pre-cooking it) and it still was missing that one thing. It wasn’t until I added the Worcestershire (you know that word I can’t say and can’t spell without the help of Google or Word!) that it came together. Now I made this in the crock pot but you could most certainly make it in a large covered soup pot on the stove top for a good 2-3 hours or until the meat was done. But I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to rest so the crockpot won out.
Fess up, without spellcheck or help, can you spell Worcestershire?
So remember my telling you the story how Mr. Fantabulous locked me in the car AND set the alarm while I was still under quarantine when he went into the grocery store on the way home from my dr’s appt? Yeah, I’m so going to get him back for that one of these days! Anyway, remember my telling him how to buy a butternut squash and drawing a picture of one? And remember my telling you how ginormous this thing was? How I actually ended up making 2 dishes out of one? I made the Butternut squash gratin (which is amazing!) and this soup.
This soup was kind of a pot luck I-think-all-these-ingredients-go-together recipe. I really had no clue what to do with the rest of the butternut squash. And since pumpkin is a type of squash (isn’t it?) I figured I could turn it into a soup. Fall is all about soup. Just like it’s pumpkin season, it’s Soup Season in my house. I could eat soup every day. There’s just something comforting about soup.
I can remember growing up we only had 3, maybe 4 types of soup in our house. Chicken Noodle (which was incredible!), beef soup, tomato soup and potato/ham/cabbage/bean soup. Mom would make vegetable soup but I wasn’t having anything to do with that as well it was all veggies and that’s just icky. Wha? I was a very picky child! But I grew up…sorta. I mean I’ll always be a big kid. I giggle at the most inappropriate things. I think the word ‘poop’ is the funniest thing ever (yeah I know, great word for a FOOD blog Lor!). I still say ‘Nuh uh!’ in an argument from time to time. I become 8 years old when Ruldoph comes on TV. I still love to color. Seriously there isn’t anything more awesome than lying on a big pillow on the floor, feet up the air (crossed) coloring in a big coloring book with a brand new box of crayons.
Let’s not grow up and get old, k?