Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vegetable Beef and Noodle Soup

Soups are the indicated food option for a chilly winter night. I know, whining here but to us in So Cal the 50's are a chilly day its just how we are wired. Regardless of your definition of "Chilly" this soup hits the right spot when you want a light but fulfilling comfort food dinner. Add in a salad or bread and its complete.

Also, this soup is a great way to sneak in some of the less used vegetables, like rutabaga into the family diet. Sneak as in its got a mild but distinctive flavor that adds that little something extra to the soup but you don't have to tell them you did it. Do a nice small dice and no one is the wiser that it isn't a bit of some other veg that they actually do it. Its a Machiavellian approach to cooking, tell them only what they need to know and let the rest just happen. Works for me as I rarely get busted for sneaking something new in on them while getting to eat a veg I happen to like like the oft maligned rutabaga.
Vegetable Beef and Noodle Soup
  • 1 lb sirloin or top round - sliced into small bite sized strips
  • 1 large white onion - diced
  • 2 carrots - sliced
  • 2 stalks celery-sliced
  • 1 rutabaga - fine diced
  • 8 oz button mushroom, sliced
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 28 oz cans beef broth
  • 3 c wide egg noodles
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Prep all the meat and vegetables. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large stock pot. Heat over medium high heat and add beef. Stir fry until well browned. Add vegetables and cook until onion is translucent. Add dried herbs and broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 15-20 minutes until carrots and rutabaga are tender crisp. Add egg noodles and cook 8-10 minutes until soft. Serve hot with fresh cracked pepper or a dash of hot sauce.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup

Sometimes I just have to cook and come up with something that his healthy and comforting that suit my tastes at the moment. Kids can fend for themselves if they can't get into what I was yearning for. That's what left overs are for.

I picked up a trick from Ina Garten on a show she did last week using lentils. Pour boiling water on them and just let them soak for a half hour to soften them up. Doing that you don't have to simmer your soup that long and turn the veggies and stuff into mush along with softening the lentils.

This soup is similar to one I did a week ago except I stepped up the heat and spices a bit by using spicy Italian sausage along with red pepper flakes. Just enough to make it a different soup, of course adding in Kale gets you tons of beta carotene, vitamin K and some powerful antioxidants into your system making a basic soup extra healthy. That's a good thing and a postive step towards living healthy.

Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch kale -coarse chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 28 oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup lentils -pre-soaked 30 min in boiling water.
  • 1 onion -coarse chopped
  • 2 carrots -sliced
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T parsley
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove sausage from casing and fry until well browned. Add onion and carrot. Reduce heat and saute until onion are clear. Scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan.

Add spices, lentils and canned broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until carrots are tender crisp. Add kale, cook 5 minutes until wilted with the ribs still tender crisp. Serve with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Foodies and Followers

You can't start the New Year off without wishing everyone the joy, prosperity and peace for the New Year, and in this Decade, so there you go my wish for you.

My house it includes a nice brunch and watching the Rose Parade, often going down to check out the floats after it is all done and over with (parade end is about 5 miles from where I sit at the moment). This year isn't much different, 'cept I've been lazy and instead of float viewing up close and personal it will be about taking down Christmas.

For those of you who haven't tried mimosa's yet, I'd strongly suggest you do so. Its a 50/50 mix of orange juice and champagne. Forget the champagne and go for Proseco the Italian version. A much better sparkling wine in my book than traditional champagne. Not as dry and mixes better with the orange juice or peach nectar than the champagne does. Something to do with the soil and climate makes it a bit sweeter and blendable with the juices. Just a little fyi...and it is cheaper than traditional champagne by a lot.
Happy New Year all!