Can we talk about how excited I am for cold weather? Now, I am not good in cold weather. If I have to stand outside in the cold? I’m done. I will whine and complain and probably steal your jacket. But when I’m inside and only have to go outside to check the mail? I love it. And that’s exactly how it was this past weekend. I only opened the door to let the dog out and the cold was fantastic for those 30 seconds.
Having a good soup on the stove really helps with the cold enjoyment too. I made this because I had some collards that needed to be used and didn’t plan on blogging it, but I ended up loving it so much that I had to share.
This is my favorite kind of soup. I love pea/bean soups that get thick and creamy just from the peas/beans breaking down. This one is especially good because it has a ton of cumin, which is my favorite spice, and a bit of cinnamon, which was unexpected but really worked. Right before serving, you stir in some fresh lemon juice and that just takes it over the top.
I typically hate leftovers but I ate this 4 times and could’ve kept going if I didn’t run out of soup!
1 bunch collard greens, rinsed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup lemon juice
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stir in onion, garlic and salt; cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in lentils, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in water, then bring to a boil over high heat; lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add collard greens, and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. When the lentils are tender, stir in the collard greens and season with cumin, cinnamon, and garlic; simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in lemon juice before serving.
I’ve gotten into quite a habit of choosing a savory recipe when it’s my turn to choose for Project Pastry Queen and this time is no different. It hasn’t really been soup weather around here lately but as I was flipping through The Pastry Queen this Texas Tortilla Soup jumped out at me and I knew it was the one.
I don’t love tortilla/taco/whatever soups but this one excited me because it was brothy instead of creamy. A nice, light soup sounded absolutely perfect to me! It’s a very simple soup that I threw together in no time after I got my chicken cooked (I did a whole chicken so I could knock out the meat and the stock in one go).
We really loved this! My husband stirred a ton of sour cream and cheese into his and then used it as a dip for tortilla chips which was pretty genius. It would be a fun way to change up the leftovers. If you have any, of course! Garnish as you wish – I used a really sharp cheddar instead of Monterey Jack and it was delicious melted on top.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet or pizza pan and arrange the tomatoes on top, skin side up. Drizzle the tomatoes with another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 25 – 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and ancho chile. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, decrease the heat, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the ancho chile softens. Remove the chile from the soup and pull off and discard the stem. Cut the chile in half and discard the seeds, if desired. (Leaving the seeds in makes for a spicier soup.) Place the softened chile, the canned tomatoes with their juices, and the roasted tomatoes (including as much of the juices and the browned tomato bits as possible) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the chile-tomato mixture about 1 minute. Transfer the chile-tomato mixture to the soup and continue simmering, about 1 hour. Add salt nd pepper to taste, along with the cooked chicken. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cobs, add the corn to the soup, and simmer for 5 minutes.
To garnish the soup:
Ladle the soup into medium bowls. Lean 3 to 4 slices of avocado against the edge of each bowl, partially sticking out of the soup. Arrange the tortilla chips or strips in a similar way. Sprinkle each bowl with a handful of diced tomatoes, some cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream. Serve immediately.
You know how when you don’t grow up eating something, you just don’t like it? It’s not the taste that you don’t like, it’s just the fact that your mom didn’t make it? That’s me with chicken and dumplings. My mom may have made it a few times (I can’t remember… sorry mom) but it definitely wasn’t something that frequented our table. And therefore, I don’t like it.
My husband, however, grew up eating it so of course, it’s one of his favorites.
You guys might remember that I made a cheater version last month when my husband was out of town and the snow was falling on us – and I liked it fine but I really wanted to try a real version now that the husband is home.
It turned out really good! The dumplings were soft and doughy, and the sauce was thick and amazing! I think I could’ve eaten a bowl of just the sauce and called it dinner. (Is it even sauce? Is it soup? I don’t know…) It’s still not my favorite but I won’t roll my eyes in disgust the next time my husband requests it. Progress, my friends, progress.
1 large fryer chicken (4-5 lbs.), neck and gizzards removed
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
3 carrots, cut into large pieces
3 stalks of celery, cut into large pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
For the dumplings
3 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
Place the chicken, onions, carrots, and celery in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so water maintains a gentle simmer. Cook chicken for 1 hour or until cooked through (about 165 degrees).
Once chicken is done, remove from the broth and let cool. Remove chicken from the bone and shred into medium-sized pieces, discarding bones and skin.
Pour the chicken broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth, discarding vegetables. Reserve 6 cups of the broth for the dumplings. (You can refrigerate or freeze the rest to use in for another recipe.)
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles small peas.
Add milk — ¼ cup at a time, you may not need a full cup — and stir until a ball of dough just begins to form, being careful not to over-mix.
Roll out the dough onto floured surface. Roll about ¼ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into rectangles about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long. Place strips on wax paper and allow to harden up a bit, about 30 minutes.
In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat, bring broth to a gentle simmer and drop in dumplings. Cover and allow to cook for 6-7 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add chicken. Allow to cook until thickened, approximately 15-20 minutes, or longer. Season generously with salt and pepper.
I made pretzels again! Only this time I made bowls out of them and stuffed them full of the things pretzels go best with: cheese and beer! Yeah I did.
Let’s talk pretzels first.
Soft pretzels are actually really easy. If you can knead bread dough, you can make pretzels. Or if you have a stand mixer or bread machine that will do the work for you, even better! The only difference is that the dough is boiled with some baking soda before it goes in the oven. The baking soda is what causes the browned crust and makes it a pretzel instead of just regular bread.
The soup. Oh my goodness, the soup. Is there anything better than a cheese soup?! And this one starts with bacon which makes it that much better! And uhh, beer. The beer is not super noticeable in the final product but make sure you use a beer that you’d enjoy drinking and not the Natural Light that your husband’s friends left in your fridge 3 months ago.
The two put together were incredible! The cheesy soup seeped down into the pretzel and eating the bowl once I was done was the highlight of my day.
Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and water in large bowl (or stand mixer) and stir until dough comes together in a ball. Put on floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
Flour baking sheet. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 2 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet; cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 1 bowl and cook 30 seconds before flipping over and cooking for another 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer bowl to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining bowl.
Brush bowl with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool until you can handle them. Use a sharp serrated knife to remove the tops of the bowls and hollow them out.
To make the soup:
In a 4½-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots and celery, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ale and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth (or use a regular blender and do it in batches).
Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the cheese by the handful, stirring constantly; do not allow the soup to boil. Taste to see if you need salt and pepper – remember that your pretzel bowls are heavily salted so go light on the salt in the soup. Ladle into pretzel bowls and top with extra bacon, if desired.
I really love potato soups but I don’t like how they kind of turn into mashed potatoes once they sit overnight in the fridge. This soup, which uses gnocchi, solves that problem! The soup stays soupy but you still get the potato-ness that you love. It’s so tasty and comforting! Perfect with a slice of crusty bread.
I plan on making this a lot over the next few months but I’ll probably leave out the chicken from now on. The chicken was nice to make it feel like a “real” meal but I think the soup itself is heavy enough to not need it. To make it completely veggie, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add onion and saute until the onion just begins to become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, saute the mixture for another 2 – 3 minutes until both are tender. Add garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the flour. Stir to make sure all veggies are coated and continue to stir while the flour cooks. Slowly stir in half and half, milk, and chicken broth. Raise the heat to high and allow to bubble. The mixture will thicken slowly.
Once it’s thickened, add chicken and gnocchi. The gnocchi only requires about 3 minutes of cooking and will float to the top when it’s done. Once it floats, add the spinach – it will wilt almost immediately. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Serve piping hot with Parmesan and green onions on top.