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March 18, 2009

Barley and Beef Soup

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:20 pm

I saw this recipe in my latest issue of Cooking Light and knew I had to give it a try.  I’ve made Barley and Beef soup but it was in the crock pot.  I found this recipe to be really easy after the prep of chopping the vegetables.  I think that I liked this recipe better than the crock pot one but I do think that this one needs a bit more spices.  I definitely will be making this soup again.  Fair warning because it does make a lot.  I put half of it in the refrigerator for dinner next month.


Barley and Beef Soup

source: Cooking Light


  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 1  pound  chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped peeled carrot (about 4)
  • 1  cup  chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 5  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  cup  uncooked pearl barley
  • 5  cups  fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 2  cups  water
  • 1/2  cup  no-salt-added tomato puree
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  bay leaves


1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and beef to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender and beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Add chopped carrot and chopped celery to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in barley and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until the barley is done and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves.


February 17, 2009

Parker’s Split Pea Soup

Filed under: Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 6:45 am

Another successful Barefoot Contessa recipe!  As soon as I saw this recipe in my new cookbook I knew I would have to try it.  My husband and I both love Split Pea soup.  There is often a race in our house to see who can take a can of it to work for lunch first!  This soup turned out delicious.   I will warn you that the recipe that I made out of the cookbook does make a lot. We put a large amount in the freezer for dinner  later on in the month or even next month.  I also put this into sevearl containers for us to take to work for lunches and for dinners.  I did make a few changes and didn’t add as much pepper as it calls for and I also pureed the soup because we like our smooth.

I will spare you a picture because I will assume that you know what Split Pea Soup looks like and I will also assume that you know it doesn’t photograph nicely!


Parker’s Split Pea Soup

source: Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Food Network


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water


In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

January 30, 2009

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

Filed under: Main Dish, Mexican, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:45 am

I saw this recipe in my new issue of Eveyday Food and thought it sounded good.  Turns out I was right!  I made this soup for dinner tonight and honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was to put together.  It feels strange to say but all I had to do was open 5 cans, and it wasn’t even stuff that is bad for you!  I was quite surprised how quickly this came together, I was reading the directions as I cooked and was amazed that I had put all the ingredients in and all I had to do was bring the soup to a boil!  I can handle that!  I’m hoping that my husband will like this soup.  He isn’t the biggest fan of diced tomatoes.

Even though I enjoyed this soup without meat I think it would be good with some chicken pieces or even some ground beef or even shredded beef.  I was also impressed with how quickly the soup thickened up when I added the crushed tortilla chips.



Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

source: Everyday Food


Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Cook garlic and chili powder until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes (with juice), beans, broth, corn, and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add tortilla chips; cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve soup with lime wedges and, if desired, more chips.

November 20, 2008

Lentil Soup with Beef

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 6:06 am

About a year ago I was watching Everyday Italian with Giada and saw her making this soup. It looked so easy and so tasty. I knew I had to try it! I was right it was easy and tasty. I also loved that the ingredients are pretty much items that you’ll have around the house or things that are easy to find in the grocery store! This was the second time that I’ve made this soup. This soup is very filling and makes enough for leftovers and also enough to freeze for a busy week in the future. I will admit that this soup does take some time to cook so it is more of a weekend soup that you might like to make when you’re doing things around the house. Next time I would like to serve this soup with a slice of French Bread.



Lentil Soup with Beef

source: Everyday Italian


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 6 (14-ounce) cans beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cups (about 11 ounces) lentils, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Add half of the beef and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, and oregano to the pot. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juices from the bowl to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meat is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add the lentils. Cover and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

October 30, 2008

Golden Potato Leek Soup with Cheese Toasts

Filed under: Bread, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:22 am

I love this soup and to me it says Fall. I went to the Farmer’s Market in town for it’s last weekend until it starts again in May. It was so relaxing to stroll around the market with my Caramel Apple Cider, thank you Starbucks, on a sunny crisp afternoon. So many of the vendors were having great specials on their fruits and vegetables. I think it was because of all the produce they had that they needed to get rid of quick. One farmer had bunches of leeks that were $2 so I had to take advantage. I ended up buying 2 bunches at that price. I’m giving one to my mom in a few days.

I love the simplicity of this recipe as well as how quick the soup is ready as opposed to slaving away in the kitchen all day over the stove! This is the second time I have made this recipe. I did make a few changes in the recipe but it still turned out fine. I used red potatoes and dried Thyme instead of sprigs of it. I also used chicken stock instead of vegetable broth and I used about 2 cans and a half instead of just 2 cans. This recipe also freezes well too.

I found this recipe at my favorite website, Cooking Light. I really need to get a subscription of my own to the magazine instead of waiting for my mom to give me her leftovers!! Hint hint!! Nudge Nudge!!


Golden Potato-Leek Soup with Cheddar Toasts

source: Cooking Light


8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup soup and 1 toast)


  • Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups thinly sliced leek (about 3 medium)
  • 6 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • Cheddar Toasts:
  • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut sourdough French bread baguette
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Thyme sprigs (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare soup, melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally (do not brown).

Add potatoes, water, salt, broth, and 2 thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

To prepare cheddar toasts, place baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 7 minutes or until toasted. Turn slices over; coat with cooking spray, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese over each slice. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with red pepper.

Remove pan from heat; discard thyme sprigs. Partially mash potatoes with a potato masher; stir in cream. Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with cheddar toasts. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

September 26, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:26 am

I woke up with a sore throat yesterday and today it appears to be worse. I really can’t get sick, especially as a substitute teacher, I’m supposed to be there when others get sick! So in an attempt to ward off the cold I’ve been resting when I can and taking Advil Cold and Sinus on a regular basis. This morning I made the decision to scrap what was on the menu for tonight and make Chicken Noodle Soup instead. I’ve only made the soup without my mom’s help a few times and if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty well! Here is my recipe, which is probably a combination of my mom and Grandma’s recipes.

Chicken Noodle Soup


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 carrots, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3 Chicken bullion cubes

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1 TB dried Parsley

1 cup dried egg noodles


Place whole chicken breasts in large pot of water. Boil until chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes, skimming foam that forms on surface. Add carrots, onion, celery, chicken bullion, garlic and onion powder to broth. Remove chicken and cut into small bite-size pieces. Add chicken back to pot. Add parsley and egg noodles. Boil until egg noodles are done, 10 minutes or so. Taste and add additional seasonings as necessary.

September 3, 2008

Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon

Filed under: Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:48 pm

Yet another great recipe from Everyday Food that will be made again. I put this recipe on our menu for the week because I was thinking that it was going to cold today, but it turned out to be in the low 70’s. Well, I’ll make it again when the weather cools off even more. Nate loved this chowder even though he was apprehensive about the broccoli. He worked in a store that had a cafe that sold broccoli soup and the smell was a bit too much for him. The broccoli is put in at the end of the recipe so it doesn’t have time to get too smelly! Ohh! How appealing! Nate also loved the bacon in the soup. Anything is better with bacon!


Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon

source: Everyday Food


Serves 4

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 head broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. In a large pot, cook bacon over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Increase heat to medium. Cook onion, stirring, until it begins to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, corn, thyme, and milk. Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with bacon.

June 13, 2008

Southwestern Corn Chowder

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: , , — bettylou79 @ 5:15 am

I grew up in a valley that is a plentiful farming community. I sometimes call myself a produce snob. Some fruits and vegetables I just refuse to buy in the grocery store either because of the price or I know that it is no where close to local produce. When corn is in season in the valley it is wonderful. I always take advantage of the deals the farmers have going on, such as 10 ears for a dollar! You can really only eat corn on the cob for so long. I cut the kernels off of the cob, measured it and then froze it in a Ziplock bag. This recipe helped me use some of that delightful frozen corn. My husband loved this soup and asked for it again shortly after we had it.

Source: Everyday Food Magazine


Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add white part of scallion, carrot, chili powder, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until scallion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add potato, corn, ,chicken, broth, and milk.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until potato is easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in green part of scallion, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 day.

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