Soup, Bread and a Giveaway!!

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This post was supposed to be “Last Minute Holiday Recipes” according to the Holiday Blog Hop, but at this point in the season, I’m pretty much done. Truth be told, I never got into high gear this year. We have had the best December ever (well, except for last night, ahem . . . ) and I don’t know if this is a correlation of any kind. Anyway, I have decided to look toward those lazy, cold days after the holidays and offer up some easy comfort food. (Check out the links at the very bottom of this post for a few festive recipes from fellow Blog Hoppers!)

Soup and bread constitute the majority of our meals in the winter. The boys and I can eat the same soup for lunch and dinner for days on end. One of our new favorites is this tomato soup. Oh my goodness. It is so, so good. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and it is divine. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich and you will be a happy camper. Usually, we don’t get that fancy and just settle for toast on the side. I have an old post about baking bread here. The tone makes me cringe (those early blogging days are not pretty) and you can find most of my bread recipes here. The soup recipes (some new, some old) are below.

Now for the giveaway: I have a brand new copy of my favorite bread baking book of all time The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Rick Curry. It is a wonderful book of both basic and not-so-basic breads. If you would like to be entered into the drawing, please leave a comment below. I will announce the winner on January 3, 2014. Good luck.

***

Chickarina with Rice

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 can whole tomatoes with liquid
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of ground beef

Add all ingredients – except ground beef – to a big soup pot and cook until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile mix granulated garlic, dried parsley, oregano, salt and pepper with ground beef. Shape into tiny meatballs (less than an inch in diameter.) Cook these in a separate pot of boiling water until done. After soup has cooked for about an hour, it should be nice and thick from the rice. Add cooked meatballs and serve with crusty bread.

Feel Better Chicken Soup

  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme (or 3 T fresh if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (or 3 T fresh if you have it)

Dice veggies. Cut garlic into slivers. Add all ingredients to liquids and simmer for about an hour. This soup gets better the next day.

Butternut Squash Soup 
(This one is for Mama.)
  • 3-4 pounds butternut squash, roasted in the oven and scooped out of skin
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, with liquid
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Brown onion in butter until almost caramelized. Mix in with remaining ingredients. Puree with hand blender.

Sausage and Kale Soup

  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 potatoes, diced
  • 1 can white beans
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 package roasted garlic chicken sausages, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • salt, pepper, thyme to taste

Saute onion in about 4 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add carrot, celery, garlic and potatoes. Fill pot with water and add white beans and spices. Simmer until veggies are soft. (I made this part early in the day and then just let it sit.) About an hour before serving, add the sausage. About 15 minutes before serving, add the kale. Serve with crusty bread on a cold night. (Like all soups, this one improves with age.)

New England Clam Chowder This recipe is adapted from The Joy of Cooking – or “The Joy” as my mom calls it.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup bacon grease
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cans chopped clams, with liquid
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups hot milk

Lightly brown onion in bacon grease. Add flour. Whisk until incorporated. Add 3 cups water and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add clams, butter and milk. Simmer, but do not let chowder come to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes.

***

And more soup:

*Tom reminded me of a soup we used to make when we were first married. It was called Dutch Farmer’s Soup. Saute a large onion in 3 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a large soup pot. Cut a cauliflower, 3 medium potatoes and 4 large carrots into chunks. Add vegetables and 8 cups of chicken stock to pot and cook until vegetables are tender. Serve with thick slices of sourdough bread topped with melted, smoked gouda cheese.

* My cure-all elixir has made its seasonal debut. It is great for whatever ails you, even if you just have a chill you can’t shake. Fill a mug with chicken stock, crush in half a garlic clove, add a liberal spoonful of coconut milk and a nice pinch of sea salt. When we are sick I also add crushed red pepper (for respiratory ailments), ginger (for stomach stuff) or lemon (for sore throats).

* Butternut squash soup is a fall staple here. I just had a wonderful version at a friend’s house: pureed butternut squash, roasted red peppers and coconut milk. She served it with brown rice, garnished with chopped nori. Oh it was good!

* I haven’t tried this one yet, but I hope to soon: Green Soup. It looks so yummy.

***

Check out these recipes from other folks participating in the blog hop:

20 thoughts on “Soup, Bread and a Giveaway!!

  1. Soup is such a good, hearty and comforting meal(along with chili) I would love to win the giveaway! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  2. I made soup last night. Papa doesn’t like soup — on principle, I suspect. What that principle is, I couldn’t tell you. He said that his two buddies on the ship are always “pushing the soup on me” — one is Romanian, so buddies on the ship stories are always made exponentially funnier because Pops does a very good “Romanian, just learned English” accent and I love the buddy he talks about. Anyhow, he ate 3 bowls of The Soup, which he doesn’t like. I wonder how many of the Sausage and Kale bowls he’ll eat while telling us all how much he doesn’t like to eat soup. I’m looking forward to it.

    Merry Nearly Christmas my friend xoxo

    PS. I thought you sounded nice as ever in your early bread baking blog post xo

    • First the salmon, then the talapia, NOW SOUP!! ??That guy is unbelievable. Good thing he walks old people to their cars, otherwise . . .

      So much to ask you, but will save it for an email.

      Hope all is well!
      Sheila

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  4. We too eat soup and bread many nights this time of year. We’ve embraced anew the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese, so I can’t wait to try the Chickarina (if just for the name!) My next endeavor will be gluten-free, yeasted bread and King Arthur has a GF bread mix! I’ll go add these yummy recipes to my Plan to Eat menu for the week. xoxo

    • Ok, are you in love with that little bookmarklet “Save Recipe” as much as I am?? Oh, my, stars! I love that thing. I haven’t not progressed enough to actually make a menu yet, but I just love, love, love the service and potential of it all.

      BTW Cultures for Health has a gf sourdough starter. Don’t know if you are interested, but thought I would mention it.

      The chickarina is Tom’s grandmother’s recipe. I can remember her making it. It reminds me of her every time I make it.

  5. Oh, I love your recipes, especially your encouragement with bread. Sourdough scares the heck out of me, for some reason. (I think you are too hard on yourself — your early posts were delightful. Hey, I started following you based on those!)

    Anyway, count me in for the book, please! I need all the help I can get.

    • Tracie,
      You are kind. I think old blog posts are like old pictures (except time is more compressed). You know when you look at photos of yourself from another decade? You thought you looked so cool in your neo-Edwardian ensemble from the early 1990s, when really, looking back, you looked ridiculous. Well, maybe old blog posts aren’t that dramatic, but you get the gist.

      Here is the thing about sourdough. I have been baking with it for about 3 years now, and I don’t know what I’m doing!!! LOL I just discovered Cultures for Health and their ebook on sourdough is so informative. Turns out I have been doing everything “wrong” but yet, making delicious bread. Go figure. And really, it’s only flour and water. No reason to fear.

      Happy Holidays to you, my friend!
      Sheila

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  7. Sheila,
    I’m so inspired to make some yummy soup AND bread (loved that old post)! It might have to wait until after Christmas, but I’m starving right now and that Chickarina and butternut squash soups sound especially delicious. And I need to start saving my bacon fat! (don’t know why I throw it out…)
    My love to you and your family…Aloha, Lori

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  9. Merry Christmas to you all, Sheila! Wishing you a New Year full of health, wealth and happiness. xox Cathy (in Aotearoa where I am obsessively checking the weather forecast several times a day to see if we will be able to eat our roast turkey and all the trimmings outside on our deck as is our tradition……it could go either way……such is life in the “Land of the Long White Cloud”)

  10. I am not entering the giveaway, (bc the book is the only bread book I use also!) but wanted to say that I love the sausage kale soup I made your recipe a couple of months back. Am going to be making that tomato soup for sure. Xoxo.

  11. We also love soup. It’s the first thing I suggest when parents say that their kids won’t eat vegetables, are fussy eaters, etc. I like making soup too, there is something very soothing about the process. I make bread too, but not consistently. Sometimes I get in the habit and it really doesn’t take that much time and effort, but other times I slack off and buy it.

    • Hey Miriam,
      I agree completely about the soup theory. My kids will eat anything I put in soup that they might not eat otherwise. Kinda crazy, but there you have it.
      Have a wonderful holiday and happy new year.
      Sheila

  12. These recipes all look great. I may try the sausage & kale soup first. You have such a generous heart! Thank you for all that you share that is nourishing to the body mind and spirit
    Xo

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