Pork Posole and Corn on Steroids

Pork Posole

If you’ve never tried this  … you need to.  I love this hearty soup.  I never had hominy until I made this soup … hominy is like corn on steroids!  Actually, hominy tastes like a corn tortilla and it makes the soup.  Corn muffins go great with this soup.  A fantastic corn muffin recipe will be coming next.  ENJOY!

Pork Posole

  •  2 large onions, divided
  • 7 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons ancho chile powder, divided
  • 1 6-to 6 1/2-pound bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4- to 5-inch pieces, some meat left on bone
  • 5 cups (or more) chicken stock or broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 15-ounce cans golden hominy, drained  (hominy is found in the canned vegetable section)
  • 3 cans enchilada sauce (mild or medium according to taste)
  • 4 limes, each cut into 4 wedges
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Radishes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thinly slice 1 onion. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions to pot and sauté until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder; stir to coat. Add pork to pot. Add 5 cups broth and 5 cups water. Bring to boil. Cover and transfer to oven.

Braise pork until tender enough to shred easily, about 2 hours. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to large bowl. Pour juices into another large bowl. Refrigerate separately uncovered until cool, then cover and keep chilled overnight.

Discard fat from top of chilled juices. Cut pork into large cubes, discarding excess fat. Thinly slice remaining onion. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder, garlic, and cumin; stir 30 seconds. Add pork, reserved juices, enchilada sauce and hominy. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer a couple of hours to allow flavors to blend, adding more broth to thin, if desired.

Ladle posole into bowls. Garnish with lime wedges, add sliced radish and cilantro to the soup and ENJOY!

Adapted from:  epicurious.com

Pork Posole

Super Delicious Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Tuscana Soup

I had posted this recipe over a year ago.  It needed updated photos and a re-post because this soup is super delicious!  It’s getting to be that time of year when the temperatures are dipping and soup tastes extra good when it’s chilly and cold outside.  I love this soup for it’s simplicity and great flavors.  An added benefit is the boost of nutrition with super-food Kale.  Kale holds up well in soup, much better than spinach.  One can never get enough Kale!  ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth (home-made chicken broth is even better)
  • 6 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, tough stems removed

Directions

  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the Kale into the soup just before serving.

Slightly adapted from:  Allrecipes

Zuppa Tuscana Soup

Lemon Chicken Soup With Orzo

Lemon Chicken Soup with OrzoThe Calendar says “Spring” the weather says winter as I’m looking outside at freshly fallen snow covering the ground and trees.  I’ve had enough of winter, although I confess it is quite beautiful with the snow clinging to the trees creating a beautiful winter wonderland canvas.  The weather has been crazy here in Northeast Ohio as in other parts of the country as well.  A few weeks back we had 68 degrees one day and then this past week it was only 17 degrees.  My tulips are up and have already been eaten by deer and my daffodils are up and anxiously awaiting to bloom.

I make soup mostly in the winter and was perusing the web for a new soup and saw this recipe which I though would be quite delicious.  Turns out I was right.  It is a refreshing take on chicken soup with lemon giving it a nice burst of taste.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 tsp. Olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
3 – 4 med carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 – 32 oz. boxes of fat free, low sodium chicken stock (I used home-made chicken stock)
8 oz. cooked and chopped chicken breast (I cooked a whole chicken, used the chicken for the soup and made stock)
8 oz. orzo pasta, parboiled in salted water for half the time called for on the package and drained (Just add this to the soup, it does not need to be pre-cooked)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice ( about 2 lemons)
zest from one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. organic baby spinach
lemon slices and Parmesan cheese for garnish ( optional )
1.  In a large stock pot or dutch oven heat oil on med heat.  Add the onion, carrots and celery.  Cook until vegetables begin to soften and onion starts to become translucent.  Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add in the bay leaf, thyme, oregano and some salt and pepper.  ( as much as you like on the salt and pepper)  Cook for another 30 seconds or so, and add in all the broth.  Bring to a boil and then partially cover and turn down to a simmer.  Cook until the vegetables are just soft.
2.  Add in the parboiled orzo, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Stir.  Add in the cooked chicken.  Allow to heat through.  ( Pasta will continue to cook at this point)  Before serving, stir in baby spinach and allow to get wilted in hot broth.  Check for salt and pepper and add as needed and remove bay leaf.  Check pasta to see if it is soft enough.  Spoon into bowls and garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Adapted slightly from:  My Kitchen Adventures

Lemon Chicken Soup With Orzo

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Have you ever had something that you liked so much that you thought about it the next day and the day after that?  I did!  My girlfriend and I went to Panera for lunch and I usually order a sandwich, but that day I ordered soup and a salad.  I had never tried Panera’s soup and ordered the Broccoli Cheese Soup – WOW – It was love at first taste!  I never imagined that broccoli cheese soup would taste so good. I was determined to replicate that soup at home and searched the internet until I found a recipe that sounded perfect … and it didn’t disappoint.  It is every bit as good as Panera’s – try it for yourself and see.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated nutmeg)
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (mix white and yellow extra sharp cheddar)
salt and pepper

Directions:

Sauté onion in butter. Add the rest of the butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. Puree in a blender. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Source:  Food.com

Italian Wedding Soup

I never heard of Wedding Soup until I moved to Ohio. When I first heard of it I thought what a crazy name for a soup and how in the world did it get named Wedding Soup?  I did some “googling” and came up this:

  • “Italian wedding soup got its name from the Italian phrase si sposono bene, meaning that two things are well married. The marriage of the greens and meat in clear broth is such a delightful combination that it was widely described as si sposono bene, hence the English name “Italian wedding soup.”

Marriage got me thinking about my parent’s marriage and how they are “well married” for each other.  My parents have been married for over 60 years – what a wonderful tribute to the “institution” of marriage they are.  They have loved each other through the years truly embracing the old vows of to have and to hold through sickness and in health, for better or worse, richer or poorer …  In my early years of growing up I have happy memories of them teasing each other and laughing – there was always laughter in our home and if they ever disagreed we never knew it.  They treated each other with kindness, respect, thoughtfulness and love – everything a marriage should be.  And now in their later years they have seen each other through it all and their love remains, strong and grounded.  A marriage such as theirs is something to cherish and is the true meaning of two people who are si sposono bene “well married”.

Wedding Soup is love at first sip and this is one soup not to pass up.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 8 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus 1 cup
  • 2 medium heads escarole, cleaned and chopped
In a separate pot over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. In a separate large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, chopped garlic, 2 eggs, bread crumbs, basil, parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Mix well and form into bite-size balls. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree approximately 30 minutes.  Drain on paper towels to absorb extra fat.  Drop the balls into the broth. Add escarole into broth. When escarole is wilted it is done. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1 egg with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Pour this mixture into the soup, stirring continuously, until the egg is cooked.  I also add cooked chicken pieces to the soup.

Beef Barley Soup – It’s Snowing and It’s Cold Out There!

It’s a snowy day in Northeast Ohio with more snow predicted over the weekend.  I have a confession; I detest, despise, and dislike winter immensely!  It wasn’t always that way.  Growing up in Vermont I can remember spending the entire day outside sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling or skiing.  I’d come in from the cold to thaw out, my cheeks rosy, my mother would have some hot chocolate for me to warm me up and homemade cookies.  My feet would be so cold I could barely feel my toes, but still I spent the entire day outside having fun!  The sun was shining and the snow sparkled like diamonds covering the pine trees.  The most beautiful sight to behold was when I was skiing, riding the chairlift to the top of the mountain, where at the top all the trees were covered in snow and glistening in the sun, truly creating a winter wonderland.  It was breathtakingly beautiful! 

When did my disdain for winter materialize?  Hmmmm …. Many, many years later.  I lived in Syracuse, New York for 12 years.  Syracuse is synonymous with snow and lots of it!  As I was looking out at the snow falling this morning I was reminded of the biggest snow storm of my life – the Blizzard of 1993 in Syracuse, NY.  I was working that day and because of the projected storm we were let out of work early.  It took me over 4 hours to get home when normally it would take 20 minutes!  Snow was coming down so fast that the road crews could not keep up with it and as I was driving the snow was literally up to the window of my car.  It was pure white out conditions and as I think back now I had to be crazy to even attempt to get home!  I made it home safely, frazzled and stressed to the max.  I collapsed on the couch and put on some relaxing music and sat there for quite a while thankful to be home and safe!  That snow storm produced 42.9 inches of snow within 48 hours and Syracuse was dubbed “Snow King” in the newspaper headlines!  Winters were difficult in Syracuse, with icy roads, lots of snow and not a lot of sunshine.

Despite my dislike of winter I ended up moving to Northeast Ohio and winters are still hard to take!  We don’t get much snow, just enough to make driving slippery at times.  But the hardest part of living in Northeast Ohio is the lack of sunshine during the winter.  We can go days and sometimes weeks without seeing the sun and then wake up one morning to a bright blue sky and sunshine and feel so thankful for the sun!  What a difference the sun can make in our attitudes and outlook – everything is brighter and even the cold is bearable!

As much as I dislike winter I have found some redeeming things I love about winter!  I love sitting by the fireplace, looking at the fire, toasty and warm.  I love snuggling on the couch with a soft blanket.  I love the fresh fallen snow on the trees – it is so beautiful!  I love looking at icicles hanging from the houses.  I love winter because it makes me appreciate Spring and Summer so much more!  I love watching the dogs (my boyz) run and play in the snow.  I love seeing the bright red of cardinals at the bird feeders against the white backdrop of snow.  I love making snowballs and snow people.  Yes, snow people …. not just snowmen.  I love finally seeing sunshine and feeling its warmth.  I love the contrast of the bright blue sky against the white snow.  I love staying in on a weekend when it’s snowing and making a big batch of soup.   So … maybe I don’t quite dislike winter as much as I thought!

If you’re living in a cold climate this is a wonderful hearty soup to make that will warm you down to your toes!  Enjoy and stay warm!

Below are the ingredients I use – I usually adjust the measurements for the beef, broth, water and carrots upwards to make a larger quantity so that I can freeze the soup as well as enjoy it the day I make it!  Ahhh … the soup that keeps on giving!  What more could you want!

Instead of using canned stock I make this soup with homemade beef stock.  I have also made it with canned beef stock and it is good that way as well.

Homemade Beef Stock:

Ingredients

  • 2 -4 lbs beef, bones
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only,sliced
  • 4 -6 carrots, scraped and sliced
  • 2 -3 celery ribs, washed and chopped
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley stems
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • thyme, to taste
  • rosemary, to taste
  • 3 quarts water

Directions

Roast the beef bones at 350° Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

Saute the onions, carrots, and celery in a little oil until they are all turning brown.

Combine all remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for at least 6 hours

After 3 hours, taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Continue cooking on low heat, if desired – the longer you cook, the stronger the flavor will be.

Strain stock. Allow to cool, and skim off any fat

Ingredients for Beef Barley Soup:

  •  1 package mushrooms
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. thinly sliced beef round, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cans (13 3/4 oz. each) reduced sodium beef broth (or homemade beef stock would be best!)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup barley

Directions:

Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium-low heat until tender but not browned, 5 minutes.  Increase heat.  Add beef, brown on all sides.

Add beef stock, water, carrot, celery, marjoram, pepper and bay leaf.  Bring to boiling, lower heat, cover and simmer 1-2 hours.  Add barley and sliced mushrooms and continue to cook 20 minutes until barley is tender.

Mix a couple of tablespoons cornstarch in with water to form a paste and add, stirring to the soup to thicken.  Add more of this mixture as necessary to desired consistency.

Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love food blogs!  I have found so many great new recipes through bloggers.  This soup kept popping up in many blogger’s sites so I thought I’d better give it a try.  It is delicious, and even better on the 2nd day. 

Source:  MyLifeAsAMrs.com  – Chicken Tortilla Soup (Her site is wonderful – take a look!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yield: 8 hearty servings

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

Total Time: 55-75 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Soup:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne (we used 1/2)
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced (seeds and ribs removed)
1 green bell pepper, diced (seeds and ribs removed)
4 cloves garlic, grated
4 tablespoons tomato paste
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
3 cups hot water
1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons cornmeal
5 corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips

Garnishes:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Avocado, diced
Tomato, diced
Red Onion, diced
Cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix together the spice mix: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil evenly on the chicken breasts, and place them onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of the spice mix on both sides of the chicken breast (Reserve the rest of the spice mix for later). Bake chicken for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Shred chicken by pulling them apart using two forks and set aside until ready to use.

While the chicken is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions, red pepper, and green pepper. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until veggies have begun to soften. Add in the grated garlic and stir for another minute or two.

Next, stir in the remaining spice mix and then add the shredded chicken and stir until combined. Stir in the tomato paste and then add the rotel, chicken broth, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil (stirring often) and then reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Mix the cornmeal with a splash of water and pour into the soup. Allow soup to continue to simmer for an additional 15-30 minutes. Taste to check seasonings, adding more salt or cayenne if needed. Turn off heat and add the tortilla strips to the soup. Ladel up and serve hot. Don’t forget to add a good amount of your favorite toppings!