Archive for Soups

Pasta, Power Greens and Bean Soup

Pasta, Power Greens and White Bean Soup

Pasta, power greens and bean soup sounds incredibly healthy doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is. I like to think that the health benefits of the power greens cancel out the bacon that is in there. I have never cooked with bacon in my soup since I tend to prefer the “healthier” varieties. However, the bacon really does make this soup a complete bowl full of deliciousness.  

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30-40 minutes

Ingredients (enough for several meals and to share):

6 slices of bacon, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

6 baby carrots, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T. tomato paste

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt and pepper

12 c. chicken broth 

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese (divided)

2 1/2 c. small pasta

2 15 oz. cans of white beans, drained and rinsed

3 c. fresh power greens, chopped

Preparing Pasta, Power Greens and Bean Soup:

Cook the bacon pieces in a large pot over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp (about 4-6 minutes). Add the onions and cook about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add carrots, garlic, tomato paste and thyme. Stir well. Add 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes, or until carrots soften. Add chicken broth and turn the temperature up to high. Cover and bring to a boil. 

Add the pasta and beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the power greens. Simmer, uncovered until the soup thickens slightly, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in half of the parmesan cheese. Ladle soup in the bowls and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 

Got Leftovers?:

This soup heats up nicely for leftovers. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add some more chicken broth or water. 

 

Bacon Soup Shooters

No, Bacon Soup Shooters do not have alcohol in them. Let me just say that right off the bat. I can’t say how many people asked that at the party!

They are, however, full of yumminess and are such a unique dish to serve at a party. Due to the richness of the soup, I would probably keep this to a shooter size as opposed to having a whole bowl of it. Not sure the arteries can take it!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30 min. 

Ingredients for 16:

12 pieces of thick cut bacon

4 T. butter

2 leeks, chopped

2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped. 

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups heavy cream

2 T. fresh dill, snipped

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Blender

16 shot glasses

Preparing Bacon Soup Shooters:

Cook 4 pieces of bacon in a large saucepan until cooked. When I did this, I followed the original recipe and wasn’t a fan of the shriveled up bacon. I needed the bacon drippings so I cooked the rest of the bacon (8 pieces) in a 375 Degree oven for about 30 minutes. Make sure it’s cooked and a bit crispy. This is not the time for limp bacon. You can cook the 8 pieces of bacon whenever you like. Just make sure you drain it on a paper towel and then break each piece in half and reserve the drippings (aka rendered fat, grease, liquid yumminess). 

After you have cooked the bacon in the saucepan, discard the bacon only. Keep the drippings in the pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leek and potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and cream. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. In batches, puree in a blender. Return to saucepan to keep warm. 

To serve: Using a ladle, pour the soup into individual shot glasses. Top with a few sprigs of dill and a bacon slice. 

Bacon Soup Shooters

Heavy?! That soup ain’t heavy…it’s just right…it has bacon in it! ~Melissa

Simple French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

I had some onions I wanted to use up and thought I’d make some onion soup. I normally use beef consommé but this time I used mostly beef broth with just two cans of beef consommé. It’s all part of my well stocked kitchen experiment so I had to use what I already had! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 1 1/2 – 2 hours

Ingredients:

4 sweet onions, sliced

4 T. salted butter

1 T. fresh thyme

1 tsp. EACH salt and pepper

1 T. sugar

64 oz. beef broth

2 10 oz. cans beef consommé

3/4 cup port wine

4 slices baguette (lightly toasted)

4 slices Swiss cheese

Preparing Simple French Onion Soup:

Sauté onions in butter and thyme for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over onions and mix well.

French Onion Soup

Add salt and pepper. Add beef broth and beef consommé. Stir well. Cover and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add port wine. 

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Spoon soup into serving bowl. Add baguette and top with one slice of cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven CAREFULLY and enjoy!!

French Onion Soup

Important Tips:

Don’t rush the onions. Let them cook and take their time!

but sugar is cheating….low, slow, caramelization – Melissa

I wasn’t going for caramelized, just wanted to sweeten them a bit. – Denise

Variations:

Gruyere cheese is traditional but Swiss is what I had on hand.  

Chicken Soup from Leftovers

The other day, I was freezing and wanted a bowl of chicken soup. I realized I had some leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge, as well as some rice from Chinese takeout. I looked around and found some celery, carrots, onion and tomatoes I could also use. Chicken soup from leftovers, coming right up! I chopped, sautéed and simmered and the soup was ready in no time. It warmed me from the inside out!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min

Ingredients:

1/2 onion, chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 T. olive oil

Rotisserie Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

3 Celery stalks, sliced thin

4 Carrots, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 c. Cooked Rice

Chicken Broth (enough to cover the ingredients…probably 3-4 cups)

Jalapeños (optional)

Preparing Chicken Soup from Leftovers:

Saute garlic and onion together in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook until vegetables are tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-5 for more minutes. Add rice, chicken and chicken broth. Cook on medium until soup is heated through, about 5-8 minutes. Add jalapeños if desired.

What to do with leftover chicken?

Variations:

You really can add any vegetables you want and adjust the quantities to your liking.  You can also switch up the rice and put in noodles.

McNack’s Soups

This week, we brought you 4 new soups we had not published before. We posted both of our chili recipes, as well as two healthy chicken soup recipes. We thought it would be a good idea to make one post of all of McNack’s Soups so they would be easy for you to find throughout the fall and winter. Don’t worry, we will add more. I think Soup Week Part 2 is in our future!

Beer Cheese Soup

Artichoke Soup

Melissa’s Super Secret Chili

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Spinach Tortellini Soup

Denise’s Chili

Roasted Garlic Soup

Melissa’s Sopa de Pollo

Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve had people ask me for ideas of what to serve with these soups. The majority of McNack’s Soups are pretty hearty and can stand alone. However, there’s nothing like a good piece of cornbread to go with chili or a light arugula salad to complete a chicken soup. These are just a few of our recipes that will go well with most of our soups.

Chi Chi’s Cornbread

Arugula and Parmesan Salad

Open Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwich

sopa de pollo

Fabulous Chili

My family didn’t really start eating chili until about two years ago. That might have something to do with the fact that I didn’t eat it until about two years ago and never made it, but I’m not really sure. Just a guess. Anyway, chili is really pretty awesome when it’s cold, you’re feeding lots of people on a budget, you’re pressed for time, watching football, or need comfort food. In other words, it should be a staple in anyone’s household in the fall and winter months!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10min; Cook Time – 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped

6 gloves of garlic, minced

3 T. olive oil

5 lbs. ground chuck

4 oz. green chilies with liquid

3 10 oz. cans beef consommé

2 cans Rotel Chili Fixin’s

4 oz. can tomato paste

3 tsp. oregano

4 tsp. cumin

3-5 tsp. chili powder

2 cans kidney beans with liquid

Toppings:

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour Cream

Diced Onions

Fritos

Preparing Fabulous Chili:

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add meat and cook until no longer pink. Add chiles, beef consomme, Rotel, tomato paste, oregano, cumin and 3 tsp. of chili powder. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 1/2- 2 hours. Add beans and stir to blend. Add more chili powder, if desired. Ladle into a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings.

Fabulous Chili

Important Tips:

You can’t rush chili. What makes it delicious is letting the flavors blend after cooking it for a long period of time. More times than not, I will make it the day before I want to serve it so the spices and ingredients really have time to come together to form a perfect union that will cause a dance party in your mouth!

Variations:

Substitute pinto beans for the kidney beans, or ground turkey for ground beef!

Got Leftovers?:

Chili freezes well. Just make sure you double bag it to prevent freezer burn.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I absolutely love chicken tortilla soup. It has always been one of my favorites and is delicious on a cold winter day. I have combed through several recipes for chicken tortilla soup over the years and combined them with a few ideas I have gotten from local Mexican restaurants to come up with, in my opinion…the perfect chicken tortilla soup!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 1 hr; Cook Time – 1 hr.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 T. olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

1 carrot, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 chicken breasts, poached and shredded

1 c. uncooked brown rice

4 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 4 oz. can green chiles

3 pickled jalapeños, sliced

2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. black pepper

8 c. chicken broth

1/2 c. cilantro, washed and chopped

2-3 T. fresh lime juice

1 avocado, chopped into bite sized pieces (optional)

Tortilla Strips

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Dutch Oven

Preparing Chicken Tortilla Soup:

Saute onion, carrots and garlic together in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender, approximately 8 minutes. Stir in chicken, rice, tomatoes, chiles, jalapeños, cumin, pepper and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cover 45 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Top with avocado and tortilla strips.

Mexican Chicken Soup