Friday, March 12, 2010

Spicy Cheeseburger Soup

Total and complete comfort food! Frugal too. It helps that my family loves this soup!

When I find ground beef on sale, I buy as much as my freezer can take. I bring it home, season it liberally with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and cook it until all the pink is gone. I freeze it in 1 pound (precooked weight) bags. So many dinners at my fingertips with frozen cooked ground beef!

This favorite comes together in no time!

Spicy Cheeseburger Soup

Adapted from Taste of Home

4 cups water
2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
4 small carrots, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
3 cups milk,
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 T butter or margarine
2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

In a Dutch oven, combine the first nine ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Stir in beef

Melt butter in another pan. Add four and stir for a minute or two. Add milk and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add cayenne if desired.
Top with bacon just before serving.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

We joke around here that I can turn anything into a soup. My girls (15 & 17) have been bugging me to make a spaghetti and meatball soup and here it is!

This one not only looks good but it tastes good. After dinner tonight they were fighting over whether or not it belongs in the top three of my soup creations!

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

3 T vegetable oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 - 1 t hot pepper flakes
6 c beef broth
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 c red wine, dry (I used Marsala)
1 lg. green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 c green beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-sized pieces
3-4 carrots, sliced
1 t oregano, dried
1 T basil, dried
frozen meatballs, cooked (no time to make my own today!)
1/4 lb spaghetti, broken into bite-sized pieces
Parmesan cheese, shredded

In Dutch oven, cook onion with red pepper flakes in hot oil until softened. Add crushed garlic and cook until fragrant. Add next 8 ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are softened.

About 10 minutes before serving, add cooked meatballs and pasta. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Enchilada Soup

Not the most appetizing looking soups but I guarantee it's good!

We travel a LOT! When I'm driving to various destinations, I really don't have much of an appetite (sad I know) so I tend to stick to soup and salad on the road. I love to experiment with soups I've discovered on the road and adapt them to my family's tastes. This one is a winner with everyone!

Enchilada Soup

Adapted from Chili's Copycat Recipe

1 T vegetable oil
2 c diced or shredded cooked chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
4 c chicken broth
1 c masa harina
2 c water
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 1/4 oz can corn
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t thyme, dried
16 oz Velvetta cheese, cubed
handful of fresh chopped cilantro

In Dutch oven, soften onion in oil, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chicken broth.

Combine masa harina with water and whisk until blended. Add to Dutch oven.

Add chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chipotle peppers, and seasonings. Simmer about 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Add cheese and stir until melted. Add cilantro and serve.

Optional garnishes:

Crushed tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Pico De Gallo

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cream Cheese Chicken Soup

I've had a terrible, no good, rotten cold for the last few days. What better comfort is there when not feeling well than a bowl of chicken soup?

Cream Cheese Chicken Soup

Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1 large onion, finely diced
1-2 Tablespoons butter
4-5 reg carrots, diced
5-6 cups chicken broth
4-5 potatoes, finely diced
1 t marjoram, dried
1 t basil, dried
1/2 - 1 t garlic powder
1/2 - 1 t cayenne pepper (or to taste)
4 T margarine or butter
4 T flour
2 cups milk
12 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature

Saute onion in 1-2 T butter. Put onion in Dutch oven and add chicken broth, carrots, and potatoes. Add more broth if needed to cover vegetables. Add seasonings and bring to a boil, then simmer until veggies are tender (about ten minutes). Add cooked chicken.

Melt 4 T butter with flour. Stir for one to two minutes. Add milk all at once. Stir until thick and bubbly. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add cheese sauce to soup pot and stir until fully incorporated.

Season with salt and pepper.

Viola! Perfect comfort food!