Sub-zero winter temps never fail to make me crave rich, creamy comforting soups. You know the type… those soups that coat the spoon just right and envelop your whole body in warmth and childhood nostalgia. For me, creamy chicken wild rice soup does just that. […]
After this past weekend’s indulgences, I’m in need of a little detox. This white bean stracciatella soup is the perfect remedy. Stracciatella is a simple vegetarian soup that begins with a broth. With the addition of white beans and kale, this soup is nutritiously hearty and […]
One of my favorite soups from when I was a kid was a vegetable beef and barley soup… from a can of condensed soup, of course, as that was the trend. This version is packed full of wholesome ingredients, and none of the bad, making it a hearty healthy meal.
Vegetable beef and barley soup is easy on the budget as you can use the less ideal cuts of beef (like round steak) diced into bite size morsels or stew meat. Since these cuts of meat tend to be more tough, I put them in a slow cooker with the vegetables for a few hours to soften into tender melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Then, I add the remaining ingredients and continue to slow cook another few hours until all the ingredients have melded together and the barley and vegetables are tender. The resulting taste is a perfect blend of earthy and nutty goodness in a comforting bowl of bliss. Barley is a gluten containing grain (less so than wheat) so if you need to stay gluten-free, you can substitute Asian barley (also called Job’s tears) or arborio rice for a similar taste and texture.
- 1-2 pounds stew meat or other beef (or venison) cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup turnips, parsnips or potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1-2 cups celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste if needed)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup peas
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½-1 cup tomato sauce
- ½ cup barley, Asian barley or Arborio rice
- 4 cups beef or vegetable broth
- water if needed to achieve desired consistency
- Place beef, turnips, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and salt in a slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook on low about 4-5 hours until meat is fully cooked and begins to become tender.
- Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking 2-4 hours until barley is tender.
- The barley will make the soup much thicker as it cooks so if you need to add water, do so as it's cooking until you reach your desired consistency.
With the temps dipping back into the single digits after three days of snow, a soft sumptuous soup like creamy broccoli soup is just what I need. There’s something uniquely wonderful about a soup that’s creamy, hearty and totally good for you. I can indulge and still […]
Guess what?!?!? I have baby chicks! Yes, for real. Live, adorable, fluffy baby chicks! These fluffy little ladies are the start of my backyard egg layers that will provide entertainment, enjoyment, and nutritious delicious eggs for my family. The breeds are a variety of mostly brown egg […]
Oh man, do I have spring FEVER!!! I’m dying to get my garden planted though I can’t plant anything in ground here until mother’s day. I found a cute little inexpensive five shelf greenhouse last week so I’ll start some seedlings in the next few weeks. With any luck, I’ll have beautiful baby plants in eight weeks that I can successfully transplant into my garden for fresh veggies to be garnished all summer long! But, before cozy soup season completely leaves us behind for the advent of Spring, I want to give you this white bean chicken chili.
Most chicken chili recipes have shredded chicken but I think that gives it a somewhat odd mushy-stringy consistency at times so I used diced grilled chicken instead. This isn’t an extraordinary revelation, of course, but this chili is perfectly comforting, creamy without having dairy and spiced just right. Topped with a little corn and cilantro and you’ve got yourself a soulful white bean chicken chili soup fit for a chilly almost spring day.
- 3 cans white beans (I use a combo of northern white and cannellini beans)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3-4 cups diced grilled chicken (about 3 grilled chicken breasts)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 jalapeño or red fresno peppers, seeded and finely diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½-1 teaspoon salt (to taste - smoked salt is awesome in this if you have it)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- In a blender, puree half of the beans with half of the broth.
- Add this puree plus all other ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high 3 (or more) hours to incorporate the flavors.
- Alternately, place ingredients in a stockpot and simmer 30 minutes.
- Serve hot with additional corn and cilantro as a garnish.
I get excited for soup weather. Just the thought of snuggling up in cozy sweaters and having a nice big bowl of hearty delicious soup just warms the soul. I mean, I get downright giddy. Bonus points if the soup is healthy and homemade like this Tuscan kale and potato soup. I know you’ll love it so I’m taking a break from my massive fall cleaning and de-cluttering efforts (not fun) to bring you this super tasty Tuscan kale and potato soup (way more fun!). So let’s get started with some browned Italian sausage, and add to it lots of tasty veg like kale, garlic, onions and some sliced potatoes and make up some magic in a bowl.
You’ll notice the recipe calls for something called coconut milk kefir. This is a super healthy probiotic beverage that’s a little like yogurt. I use it in place of heavy creams and sour cream quite often so I can avoid dairy. You can find the recipe here and it’s way easy. No worries, you can totally use straight up coconut milk or regular dairy cream. Now, I know you’ll all notice I mentioned avoiding dairy but you’ll see the photo below has grated cheese. It’s a bit of finely shredded manchego cheese, which, while it is still dairy, it’s made from sheep’s milk so those of you with any dairy sensitivities will most likely be able to handle manchego. Since it’s an aged cheese, it has nearly no lactose in it and because it’s from sheep’s milk, it has only the A2 casein protein. In my experience, those sensitive to casein, are usually sensitive to the A1 type which is what you usually find in dairy cows here in the U.S. (and causes many issues for many people) unless you source directly from a farmer. I also like to add a little bit of gelatin for some added thickness as well as great health benefits. Gelatin is a superfood for your joints, skin and is a great source of dietary collagen. Now how ’bout some soup!
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 cups sliced potatoes (I used fingerlings for cute little circles)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups kale, chopped
- ½ cup coconut milk kefir (or coconut milk, or dairy cream)
- 1 tablespoon gelatin (optional)
- salt to taste
- manchego (or parmesan) cheese, grated for topping (optional)
- In a frying pan, brown the sausage with the onion and garlic.
- While sausage is browning, place broth, potatoes, oregano and pepper flakes in saucepan and heat to boiling.
- Once sausage is browned, add it to the saucepan and boil until potatoes are tender.
- Add kale, coconut kefir (or cream) and gelatin (if using).
- Spoon into bowls and top with cheese if desired.