I have to tell you guys that I’m pretty excited to move on from Thanksgiving related recipes. I had planned on one more post highlighting an idea or 2 for leftover turkey but… uhhh, there is no leftover turkey. You guys have that problem too? My husband is a turkey fiend which works out nicely because when it comes to leftovers, he takes care of the turkey and leaves all the yummy sides for me!
So because I have no turkey left, I made you some soup!
I wandered into Whole Foods last week because Pam had told me that her Whole Foods has butternut squash breakfast sausage. I bee-lined it to the butcher and asked about the sausage and, of course, our store doesn’t sell it but the butcher pointed me in the direction of their butternut squash and crab bisque. Being the polite girl that I am, I snagged a sample even though I don’t like butternut squash or crab. And omg, it was the best soup ever.
I was googling recipes on my phone at every stoplight on the way home, and within days I had all the ingredients in my fridge. It turned out just like the Whole Foods version – kind of sweet from the squash but just the right amount of “meatiness” from the crab. And the ingredients are so simple and wholesome. It is seriously delicious!
My husband has been gone for a couple weeks now and while I’m the first to admit that it pretty much sucks, there are some good points to being alone.
My grocery bill is less than half of what it is with him home! I knew he ate a lot but holy cow.
I can get up at 4 am and no one yells at me!
To go with the above, I can sleep on the couch so that I can get up at 4 am without my children hearing and no one yells at me!
I can read all 3 books of The Hunger Games (again) without anyone asking me why I’m reading books meant for teenagers (again).
Real Housewives marathons. Enough said.
Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches are officially considered dinner.
I can make instant coffee and not feel guilty because I know he won’t ask for espresso unless he sees me prepping the machine.
There are no PTs to wash every night!
I can cook whatever I want, whenever I want! (!!)
And that last one is the reason I made this soup.
I don’t generally like soup as a meal. I mean, I like soup but soup by itself? That’s not a meal! It’s a side dish that needs a sandwich next to it. My husband is the same way so we very rarely ever have soup. But with him gone I decided to take a chance on a soup that I’ve heard such great things about.
Oh my goodness y’all. This is the best soup I’ve ever had! It’s got sausage, beans, and pasta which makes it so hearty and served alongside a roll or 2, this was the perfect meal for a cold night. And the best part is that overnight the pasta absorbed just about all the liquid and it became more of a pasta dish than a soup. Not gonna lie, I had 2 bowls for breakfast.
1 lb hot Italian sausage (casings removed if necessary)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 -2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 – 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 can cannellini beans
1 cup ditalini (or other small pasta)
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it just begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for another 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the sausage to the pot, crumbling as it cooks. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Stir in Italian seasoning and red pepper. Stir in tomatoes and stock.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Stir in the beans and ditalini. (Add an extra cup of stock or water at this point if it’s boiled down too much.) Simmer for 6- 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Serve piping hot with Parmesan cheese. (I really liked the sharpness of the green onions with this as well.)
If you haven’t bought your Guinness yet, you may just be out of luck! Yesterday morning I ran to Target for ingredients for this soup and they had one package of Guinness left! One! I really had no idea that so many people celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day. And by “celebrate” I obviously mean “eat corned beef and drink Guinness”.
If you already have some Guinness in your fridge, you need to set aside a can for this soup! It is the best onion soup ever and that’s saying a lot because I’m very picky about my onion soup. Most of the time it tends to be too onion-y or too beefy for me or not onion-y enough or not beefy enough. This one is just the right amount of onion, beef, thyme, and garlic with an extra layer of flavor from the Guinness. I’m very mad at myself for only making half a batch!
I had some people on Twitter tell me that they’re scared of how involved onion soup seems but let me tell you, it’s really not. Yes, it does take awhile but most of the time is spent waiting for onions to caramelize or waiting for the broth to boil. It’s not difficult and all, I promise.
Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton
from Food Network
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1½ cups Guinness Draught (not Stout)
6 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
Country bread loaf, cut into six ½-inch thick slices, then toasted
½ lb Irish Cheddar, thinly sliced
Heat the olive oil in a 6 quart Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute the onions for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are a deep amber color.
Add the thyme, vinegar and beer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, then add the beef stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and set out individual oven-proof soup bowls. Discard the bay leaf, then use a ladle to transfer the soup to the individual bowls. Top with toasted bread slices, then 3-4 slices of the cheddar cheese. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve piping hot.
It’s cold. Like, really cold. Yesterday morning I got up early to go to the grocery store and my car doors were frozen shut. Then I sat in the car for 15 minutes wishing I had the spatula that I used to keep in my Camaro to scrape ice off the windshield. Ice scraper? Who needs one.
Chili is always my go-to when it’s cold and luckily it doesn’t get this cold often down here or else we’d probably be really sick of chili. So yesterday after our very frozen grocery outing, chili was the obvious choice. I put a big (crock)pot on and got to smell it’s deliciousness all day.
This turned out fantastic. It was flavorful but not too spicy and oh so warming. What I love about chili, though, is how adaptable it is. I can’t handle a lot of heat so I just used the canned green chilies but if you like it super spicy, some fresh jalapenos would be perfect. Not into the slow cooker thing? Make it on your stove! Just cook the chicken beforehand and you’ll be able to throw the chili together in no time!
Baked potato soup… otherwise known as the best soup ever. We aren’t generally soup people, I tend to think that I only like French onion and my husband has to have a really meaty one to be happy. This soup, however, was perfect for both of us. It was so rich and creamy and I like just enough potato chunks for them to be obvious.
The soup was beyond easy. Four ingredients, that’s it. Potatoes, chicken broth, evaporated milk, and seasoning salt. I use Lawry’s seasoning salt because I have a deep love for the stuff and find that it makes everything better but use any combination of spices that you enjoy.
cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions (as garnish)
Peel and cube potatoes. Place them in slow cooker and cover with chicken broth, evaporated milk, and Lawry’s. Cook on low for about 6 hours or until potatoes are fork tender. Use a slotted spoon to scoop most of the potato chunks out and place in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork. Transfer back to slow cooker and stir to combine everything. Serve with cheddar, bacon, and green onions if desired.