Tag Archives: soup

Use those Thanksgiving leftovers-and a great soup recipe

The day after Thanksgiving brings the same conundrum every year: what to do with all the leftovers.

My family goes overboard and we have enough food to last five or six days. In the past, I have embraced this tradition, but this year I am trying to shy away from the onslaught of calories and carbs that continues after Turkey Day. I’ve shed nearly 15 pounds since July and my goal is not to gain any weight through the holidays. So this soup recipe is a lower carb option- although I have plenty of suggestions on how to use leftovers for people who are not watching their weight.

First, let’s get to the suggestions.

Last year, my good friend and I had a “leftover” party the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Three friends brought leftovers and dishes we had repurposed using leftovers (like casseroles and soup).  We drank wine, talked and then split up the dishes which was great because we all had new food.  Even though I went home with more dressing, it wasn’t my traditional dressing recipe so it broke up the monotony of the meal. I highly recommend it.

One dish my family always makes too much of is mashed potatoes. If you can’t use all the potatoes now, freeze them. When you warm the potatoes up, you will need to revive them with a little milk and butter. The best way to defrost mashed potatoes is in the refrigerator overnight.

Mashed potatoes are also an excellent thickening agent in soups. You can take a classic soup that calls for sliced potatoes- like potato leek soup, or sausage kale potato soup—and use mashed potatoes instead. The texture is different but the flavor is great.

I’ve used leftover mashed potatoes in dishes that usually use rice. For example, instead of serving gumbo or chili on rice, we’ve served it on mashed potatoes which mellows out any heat.

You can use mashed potatoes to make potato bread or as a binding agent in recipes.

Shepherd’s pie is one of the classic ways to use a lot of mashed potatoes.  I make an incredibly easy version: First, I sauté 1 pound of ground beef and mix it with a can of Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce. Then I layer the meat in a 9- inch by 9-inch baking dish, top it with green beans, peas, mashed potatoes, about 1 cup of shredded cheese and bake it at 400 degrees until the cheese melts (about 20 minutes). This dish is comforting, delicious and a good way to use up leftover green beans and peas, too.

If you have leftover dressing use it to make a crust on a casserole; sprinkle it on top of stuffed mushrooms before you bake those; or if the dressing is dry enough, you can put it in the food processor and transform it into breadcrumbs to use in meatloaf or meatballs. You can also use dressing in an overnight sausage breakfast casserole supplementing some of the bread in the recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for 6 cups of sliced bread, use 2 cups of dressing and 4 cups of bread and proceed as usual.

Leftover cranberry sauce makes a great glaze for pork chops. I mix 1 ½ cups of cranberry sauce with ½ cup of orange juice and 2 garlic cloves and then use that as a simmering sauce for pork chops (after first browning the chops).

Other ways to use cranberry sauce is to stir it into plain yogurt or smoothies. Mix cranberry sauce and cream cheese and stuff that into refrigerated crescent rolls before you roll them up and bake them. When the rolls are done, sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar. You can serve a smear of cranberry sauce on a turkey sandwich or a ham sandwich with extra sharp cheddar cheese.

The turkey is the easiest thing to use because you can substitute turkey for chicken in many recipes and then you can always make a variety of turkey soups.  Soups and casseroles are particularly good uses of turkey is the bird has dried out.

Now for my lower carb recipes: I made an incredibly easy Sausage, Artichoke and Turkey Soup in the slow cooker that has tomatoes, artichokes and oregano. It’s delicious .Give it a try.

sausage artichoke turkey soup

Sausage Artichoke and Turkey Soup

Serves 5-6

1 pound hot Italian sausage (or sage if you don’t like spicy things)

1 extra large white onion

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained

1 (6-ounce) jar of artichoke hearts in oil, drained

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in its liquid

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups chopped leftover turkey

In a skillet, sauté onion and sausage together at the same time. Add the oregano and Italian seasoning when the mixture has cooked about halfway.

When the sausage is done, transfer the meat mixture (and the rendered fat) to a slow cooker and add all the other ingredients except the turkey. Set the slow cooker on the 4 hour setting and after 3 hours, add turkey. Cook one more hour, stir and serve.

 

sausage artichoke chicken soup

 

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Pumpkin Chili

This dish combines some of my favorite fall foods: pumpkin and chili.

I write a weekly column for The Joplin Globe, Claremore Daily Progress, and Ottumwa Courier and this week’s theme was pumpkins.

I love everything pumpkin. From pumpkin patches to carving them to eating the orange globes.

That is why I came up with these pumpkin chili, which is filling and delicious.

pumpkin chili crock

My pumpkin chili is a hearty stew that gets a boost of fiber and Vitamin A from the pumpkin. Pumpkin is very healthy and ½ cup contains 50 calories, 3 gram of fiber and 280 percent of your daily Vitamin A needs. You can’t really taste the pumpkin in my recipe, but it bulks it up and gives it a velvety texture. I add a little cinnamon to compliment the pumpkin this dish.

I love using bison instead of beef in this recipe, but it’s more expensive and not as readily available. Bison is healthier than beef and we are big bison fans.

punpkin c

Fall is my favorite time of year and I feast on pumpkin. I actually bought six cans last week. In my recipes, I usually use canned instead of real pumpkin because most people don’t have time to roast and puree a whole pumpkin.

I hope you enjoy it.

Pumpkin Chili

Serves 6-8

2 cups chopped red onion

1 pound ground sirloin or some lean ground beef

2 heaping tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon cumin seed

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to taste)

1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste

1 ½ cups water or chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes

1 ¼ cups salsa

2 cloves chopped garlic or 1 tablespoon dehydrated garlic

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 (15-ounce) can chili beans

*1 (4-ounce) can green chilies (optional)

Shredded cheese, chopped onion, cilantro to garnish

*The green chilies make this dish spicy, so I skip those when serving my family.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and when hot, add onions and beef.  Cook for 3 minutes. Then add chili powder, cumin, garlic salt and cinnamon and cook until ground beef is cooked. If necessary, drain beef before going on (if you use lean beef you won’t have to drain it).

Next, add tomato paste and water and cook for 2 minutes until the paste dissolves into the water. Then add salsa, garlic, pumpkin, cilantro and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes (the longer you simmer, the better the flavor). Add beans and cook 10 minutes before serving.

This chili is even better the next day, but some of the cinnamon flavor will fade because of the strong flavors of garlic, cumin and tomatoes. To combat this, I sprinkle plain cinnamon on a bowl just before serving for more emphasis on the cinnamon (you could also just double it in the recipe, but try the ½ teaspoon first because you don’t want to overwhelm the dish with cinnamon).

White Chili

White chili seems to be one of those divisive soups: people love it or hate it.  Some feel like any chili that doesn’t contain beef isn’t really chili.

I enjoy white chili because I love the pronounced flavors of cumin and sour cream. There are so many versions of white chili, but I add corn to mine.

I like to top it with cheese or avocados. Tortilla chips are a good topping, too.  This makes a good size batch, enough for six people.

White Chili

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup chopped yellow onion

2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 teaspoons ground cumin powder

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

1 yellow bell pepper

32 ounces of chicken broth, plus 2 cups

1 cup water

1 teaspoon chopped garlic or dried garlic

1 cup half and half

3/4 cup sour cream

4 ounces chopped green chilies (canned)

¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

2 can cannellini beans

1 can corn, drained

4 cups chopped rotisserie chicken

This has a lot of ingredients, but it’s still an easy dish.

Chop onion, yellow bell pepper and chicken and set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion, cumin seed, cumin and chili powder. Cook 5 minutes and then add yellow bell pepper and saute another 3 minutes. Then add the next nine ingredients (everything but the chicken) and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Once you add the sour cream, you don’t want to let the soup boil because it could curdle, so keep the heat at medium.

Add chicken and cook 5 more minutes. Serve.

Chicken Tortilla Soup: Healthy, Easy, Delicious

Woo Hoo, I did it! Revamped my delicious chicken tortilla soup and transformed it into a wonderful Rotisserie Chicken Queen soup. From start to finish, it took me 25 minutes!

My old version took about an hour and a half and this new version is spectacular! It has more ingredients than most of my recipes but it’s still easy.

If you enjoy the flavors or cumin, cilantro and corn, you should love this.

And it freezes beautifully, so if you are single or travel a lot, you can easily freeze it.  There’s about six servings in a pot and I ran the ingredients through one of those calorie calculations, and it has 311 calories a bowl. It was rated B+, which is awesome, so it’s nutritious as well as delicious.

It has 12 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron, 48 percent vitamin C, and 20 percent vitamin A.

If you made my Mexican Lasagna, you probably have left over corn tortillas, so you can use them in this. For future reference, corn tortillas freeze well, too.

You’ll notice, I give directions as if I am there with you in the kitchen because I know where the pauses are in my recipe and it helps you move faster. You don’t have to de-bone the chicken before you start the soup. If you do, you will add a little extra time to the 25 minutes I said it takes. I try to be as efficient as possible with whatever I make. “Efficient” is a commonly used word in my home and is usually greeted with a mental eye-roll from my husband. I don’t blame him. I strive to be more efficient with everything I do.

This is one efficient, yummy venture. I hope you enjoy it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 large yellow onion

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon cumin seed

1 large red bell pepper

*1 garlic clove or dash of dehydrated garlic (see my note)

32-ounces reduced sodium chicken broth (one of those boxes of broth)

1 can of corn, drained

½ a bunch of cilantro

4 corn tortillas

1 tablespoon cornmeal (if you don’t have any, just add 2 more tortillas)

1 ½ cups chunky salsa (your favorite brand)

Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken

Avocado to garnish (optional)

*If you want to save time and you’re not cooking with dehydrated garlic, you need to buy some. It’s awesome! I tried it when I visited the New Orleans School of Cooking and I was skeptical, but instantly won over. Now I only use fresh garlic if I am making a dressing or something that must have it. Dehydrated garlic saves me time, effort and I don’t have stinky hands. You can order it online, but I recently bought some from Big Lots, of all places.  It was inexpensive, too. I’d call your local store before heading over.

Directions:

First, chop onion and red bell pepper and set aside (use a food processor, if you have it).

Split a head of cilantro in half and cut the stems off one half. Then bunch up the leaves and slice those and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion, cumin, chili powder and cumin seed. Stir occasionally while it cooks for about 7 minutes. While that cooks, do the next steps but be sure to stir the onion so it doesn’t burn.

Pile tortillas on top of each other, slice them and then cut into small squares and set aside.

Tear the meat off your chicken. Discard the skin or save it for another use. Coarsely chop the chicken and set aside (if you have time; if not, you will get to that in a second).

When onion is tender, add all the ingredients from the bell pepper through the salsa. You do not want to add the chicken yet because it’s already cooked. Bring soup to a soft boil and cook 10 minutes.

  torti-making
is is what it looks like before it boils

Finish chopping your chicken, if you haven’t already

When soup has cooked 10 minutes, drop chicken in and turn off the heat. The soup is piping hot and will quickly heat the meat. See how creamy the soup looks now? Transformed in 10 minutes.

torti2
Optional: Serve with a slice of avocado, crumbled up tortilla chips, cheese or plain. The calories calculated were plain. Stir the soup and serve.

Nutritional Analysis

Good points

High in niacin

High in selenium

High in vitamin B6

High in vitamin C

Bad points

High in sodium

torti3

Creamy, Chicken and Dumpling Soup (SUPER EASY)

I wish I could take credit for this brilliant, delicious Creamy, Chicken and Dumpling Soup, but I can’t. My husband’s cousin’s wife made a version of this a few years ago. I don’t remember the original recipe. but she used flour tortillas to make the dumplings, which I thought was brilliant. That soup served as the inspiration for this one/

I normally hate Chicken and Dumpling Soup, but this is creamy and absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s SUPER EASY.  It’s perfect for a cold winter day. Your family will love it.

Creamy, Chicken and Dumpling Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion

2 stalks celery

2 bay leaves

1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 soup can filled with water

1 1/ 3 cups mixed frozen peas and carrot

2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken

3 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Chop onion and celery. Set aside.

Place tortillas on top of each other and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into ½ inch rectangles or squares. Set aside.

Heat oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. When hot, add onions, celery, bay leaves and cook 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add chicken stock, soup and then fill the soup can with water and add to pot. Toss in frozen peas and carrots and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce to strong simmer and add chicken and tortillas. The tortillas serve as dumplings. Cook 5  minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and then serve. Serve with a roll because you will want to sop up all the deliciousness that is this soup.

This easy version of Chicken and Dumpling Soup is pure comfort food

This easy version of Chicken and Dumpling Soup is pure comfort food

Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup

It’s bleak outside, which puts me in the mood for soup. And I’ve shared a couple of decadent dishes lately, so I thought I’d post a delicious, healthy soup today:  Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup.

I love this soup because it’s packed with vegetables and feels nourishing.

There are a couple ways you can shave a little prep time off. Buy a bag of cole slaw mix instead of chopping your cabbage; buy pre-cut mushrooms; precut carrots; and use dehydrated garlic instead of fresh.

This soup has a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that deter you from trying it. It’s a simple soup that on the table in 30 minutes and it’s healthy so you can feel good about feeding it to your family.  It’s packed with vegetables and we know we all need more vegetables. The barley adds bulk and fiber and helps thicken the soup.  It’s important to use quick cooking variety of barley because it only cook 15 minutes before you serve it.

The Italian seasoning and rosemary season this beautifully.

The chicken goes in at the very end, so again to save yourself prep time, chop the chicken while the soup is boiling. The same apples to the zucchini. While the first four ingredients cook down, then you can chop the zucchini.  Ok,let’s get started.

Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup

1 large yellow onion

2 carrots

1 ½ cups chopped white cabbage

2 stalks celery

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

1 pint sliced baby portobella mushrooms

1 zucchini

2 bay leaves

1 garlic clove, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

7 cups chicken stock

2/3 cup quick cooking barley

2 ½ cups chopped, skinless rotisserie chicken

Directions:

Chop saute onion, cabbage, carrots and celery and set aside. Cut zucchini into fourths horizontally, and then slice those pieces. Slice mushrooms and set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, cabbage, carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add Italian seasoning and rosemary, mushrooms, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add bay leaves, garlic, stock and barley and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook 12-15 minutes. While the soup cooks, chop your chicken.

Drop in chopped chicken and heat through. Serve.

Quick Posole

If you have 15 minutes, then you can have dinner on the table. That’s right, from start to finish, this soup will only take you 15 minutes.  Here’s another piece of good news: this flavorful soup boasts only 220 calories a bowl.

Posole is a stew popular in Columbia and Mexico that is slow cooked and contains hominy. While Posole is traditionally slow cooked, I don’t have time for that so I came up with this snappy version. It’s actually inspired by a slow cooker pork posole one of my girlfriend’s makes.

It’s flavored with broth, green enchilada sauce, cilantro, cumin, salsa and then a squeeze of lime. The shredded chicken is so tender in this dish.

It’s not my best soup, but it’s very good, especially when you consider how quick it comes together.  So pop a beer and dinner will be done before you can even finish your brew (well, I guess that depends on what type of day you’ve had).

I assume everyone has a food processor, but if you don’t, then add a couple extra minutes to the cooking time (and then go buy yourself one). I have a cheap one that I paid $10 for at Walgreens or Walmart in 2000. I am not kidding. So there’s no need to save up for a good one; this has served me well. I always use it to chop onions. You only need to chop an onion and cilantro for this dish, so there’ s not a lot of chopping anyway.

Quick Posole

Makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 yellow onion

1 bunch cilantro

½ teaspoon cumin seed

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

1 (15-ounce) can reduced sodium chicken broth

1 (10-ounce) can green enchilada sauce

2 cups water

1 can yellow hominy

2/3 cup salsa (red or green will work; I prefer red)

2 cups skinless, shredded rotisserie chicken

1 lime for serving

Chop onion and cilantro set aside. When chopping cilantro, I just keep it as a bunch, chop the stems off where the leaves end and then chop that part, including stems. Some people take the time to pick off leaves, but not me. That takes forever. Stems are fine in the soup.

In a medium pot, heat oil and add onion and cumin and cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add cilantro, broth, enchilada sauce, water, hominy, salsa and cook 5 minutes. While that cooks, shred your chicken and then add it to the pot and cook 5 more minutes.

Note: the easiest way to shred is pull of the skin, pull the chicken off the bone and shred it by hand. I always save the skin and bones for stock. You can freeze that if you won’t have time to make it this week. I find two birds boiled together makes a better stock anyway.

Serve with a lime wedge. If you want add more vegetables, you can serve this with chopped avocado and tomatoes.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 220; 24 g protein; 19 carbs; 1,175 ml sodium