Category Archives: soup

Easy sweet potato carrot soup

Today is a soup day. It’s rainy, grey and I just want to stay inside. Plus, after recently having major surgery, I’m on a limited diet of soft foods. When I noticed I had a couple of sweet potatoes in my pantry I decided to use them to make a blended, flavorful soup.

I’m not much of a soup chef. I have my minestrone, but that takes a lot of chopping. When a friend brought me some butternut squash soup last week she said all she did was roast everything and put it in a blender with some stock. Easy peasy.

This soup is sweet, savory and slightly creamy. Perfect for a day like today.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Easy sweet potato carrot soup

Serves 5

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (or cream cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the carrots. Place the carrots and the whole sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for one hour. Remove the carrots and place the whole, peeled garlic cloves in the pan. Roast another 15 minutes or until garlic is golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a pan and sauté the onions until translucent, about 7 minutes. Roughly tear up the sage and place in the pan. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

After the sweet potatoes have cooled slightly it should be easy to remove the skins. Chop them into rough pieces and place in a blender with the carrots, garlic, onions and sage. Add 2 cups of stock and blend for a few minutes, scraping down the sides if necessary.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Put contents in a soup pot and add remaining cup of stock. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

A few minutes before serving stir in the cream cheese until melted and well combined. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

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White Chili – a simple weeknight meal

I’ll never stop promoting Costco rotisserie chicken. It’s only $5 and not only is it delicious hot off the shelf (I sometimes don’t even bother with a plate or silverware), but the leftovers can be used for myriad dishes such as pesto lasagna roll ups,  quick matzo ball soup and homemade chicken stock.

Tonight on the menu is white chili. My friend Danielle introduced me to the notion of non-tomato chili about eight years ago and when I thought of the dish for tonight I was surprised I hadn’t blogged about it yet.

This one-pot wonder has similar flavors to traditional chili. With the addition of salsa verde and sour cream you give chili night a new twist.

White Chili | A simple weeknight dish from Alaskaknitnat.com

White chili with chicken

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • leftover rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
  • 1, 16-oz. jar salsa verde
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans great white northern beans, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream

White Chili | A simple weeknight dish from Alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

Heat oil in a dutch oven. Sauté the onions and peppers till onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the chiles, chicken, salsa, stock and spices. Bring to a simmer, turn to low and simmer one hour.

Add the beans and cook another 10 minutes. Add the sour cream just before serving. Top with cilantro sprigs and shredded cheddar cheese.

White Chili | A simple weeknight dish from Alaskaknitnat.com

Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage

I haven’t ever been much of a soup fan, but tonight I may have changed my mind. I threw together a minestrone-esque stew that was bursting with flavor and vegetables.

This is a flexible recipe. Use whatever veggies you like; you can’t really go wrong.

Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage | A hearty soup recipe from Alaska Knit Nat

Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage

Serves 6

Ingredients;
2 oz. pancetta, or three slices of bacon

1 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped red cabbage

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1, 14-oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (optional)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. herbes de Provence (optional)

3 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed

1 zucchini, diced

1 cup fresh green beans, chopped

1 can of white beans, drained

1 can of cannellini beans, drained

Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Continue reading Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage

Quick Vegetable Soup

I’m home sick today. During my two-hour pity party in bed this morning, I lamented over the fact that no one can bring me soup and my cabinets were bereft of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle.

It is a scientific fact that chicken soup is good for colds; but I’m not well enough to drive to the store and buy some, so I rolled my sick self out of bed, I took what I had on hand and made some delicious vegetable bean soup with a chicken broth base. Way better than store bought. And guess what? I’m feeling slightly better. Up from 61% to 68%. Not bad!

Quick Homemade Vegetable Soup | Alaska Knit Nat

Cast of Characters:

Quick Homemade Vegetable Soup | Alaska Knit Nat

1 Tbs. olive oil

3 Tbs. finely chopped onion

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 celery stalk, chopped

3 crimini mushrooms (or one giant baby portobello mushroom) sliced

1 sprig fresh thyme

4 cups chicken stock

1 can white beans, drained

salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, mushroom, salt and pepper and sauté until most of the liquid evaporates, about five minutes. Add the thyme and stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until carrots are tender. Add the beans and bring back to a simmer. Simmer another five minutes or so until beans are heated through.

The fresh veggies add more depth to the chicken stock so it doesn’t taste bland. The mushrooms create a wonderful richness and depth to the broth.

Enjoy!

Quick Homemade Vegetable Soup | Alaska Knit Nat

Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini and Sausage

Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini and Sausage

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 button mushrooms, sliced (optional)

2 tbs. flour

1 bay leaf

2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes

2 Tbs. tomato paste

1.5 cans chicken stock

2 cans condensed tomato soup

1 tsp. dried porcini powder (optional)

2 Tbs. dried basil

2 tsp. dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 package frozen tortellini

1 lb. Italian sausage

3/4 cup whole milk or half and half

grated parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

 

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high flame. Add the onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook till onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook another couple of minutes. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, tomato soup and seasonings and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

 

Meanwhile, cook your sausages and brown them all over. Slice into rounds and brown those too. Add the sausage and tortellini to the soup. When tortellini is cooked, stir in the milk. Remove bay leaf. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and slices of buttered rustic bread.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini and Sausage

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Making your own chicken stock is actually pretty easy and far more delicious than store bought stock.

I like to make the most of a Costco rotisserie chicken. I can stretch it for three meals.

1. Chicken with stuffing and glazed carrots

2. Chicken pesto lasagna roll-ups

3. Chicken noodle soup

The secret to tasty chicken stock is in the bones. By crushing the chicken bones you release all the marrow and yummy goodness into the stock. You know you have a good stock when it’s like Jell-o in the fridge — that means the bones really got into the stock. I do cheat a little bit by adding a can of store bought stock just to boost the flavor, but it’s not necessary.

Whenever I’m done with a Costco chicken, I’ll take apart the carcass, crush the bones and freeze them until I have enough to make stock with. Then just follow the recipe below, no need to thaw the bones first.

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Ingredients:
2-3 leftover rotisserie chickens
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
handful of fresh parsley
2 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6+ cups water
1 can chicken stock (optional)
salt and pepper

Directions:
Remove all the edible meat left on the chicken and store in the fridge (in case you’d like to use it for chicken noodle soup later).
Using a mallet or a big pair of pliers, crush that carcass so that all the bones are broken up.

Heat the oil over medium high in a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook for about five minutes. Add the chicken, parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf and cook till onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add pepper to taste. Fill the pot with water, cover and simmer for three-eight hours. Salt to taste.

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large liquid measuring cup and carefully strain the stock to remove bones, veggies and other flavor enhancers. You may need to do this in batches. Toss the solid ingredients. Store stock in jars. You can freeze the jars but make sure not to fill them all the way to the top to allow stock to expand when freezing (science!)

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

If you’re making chicken noodle soup, add the chicken meat back to the stock. Add egg noodles to boiling soup and cook till al dente. Yum!

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Leftover Hambone Soup

“If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins most? I’d say Flippy, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong though. It’s Hambone.”

-Jack Handey

That said, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my leftover Christmas ham. The bone seemed too good to just throw away. I did a few recipe searches and I found this one, and it sounded really good.

I didn’t follow it exactly, so I thought I should write out my version here. I cooked this soup all day. It is a perfect Sunday soup if you plan on spending the whole day at home. It was totally worth the wait. This was the best soup I have made in a long time.

Leftover Hambone Soup

Ingredients:

1 meaty hambone

1/2 lb. dried navy beans

chicken stock

beef stock

1 onion, finely chopped, reserve 2 Tbs.

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

freshly ground pepper

1 bay leaf

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. Wondra flour, or regular flour

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbs. parsley

sour cream

Leftover Hambone Soup

Directions:

Pour the dried beans into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, cover and let sit on the stove for an hour. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, pepper and hambone. Fill the pot with equal parts beef and chicken stock until the liquid is two inches above the beans. The hambone will probably stick out a bit. Partially cover and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for two hours or so, adding water or chicken stock every once in a while so it still looks soupy.

Remove the hambone and take off most of the meat. My hambone was actually two pieces of bone. I discarded the really solid bone and placed the hollow bone back into the soup. Let the meat cool and break it up into bite-sized pieces. Place the meat back into the pot. Taste your soup. If it’s too salty add more water. Let it simmer partially covered for another two hours, stirring occasionally and adding liquid whenever it’s looking too thick.

About 10 minutes before serving, heat the butter in a small saute pan. Add the reserved chopped onion and cook till onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, parsley and paprika and stir into a paste. Cook for two minutes. Add several ladles of hot soup to the pan and whisk till thick and smooth. Add this roux to the soup. Cook soup another 7 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a little water.

Serve in large soup bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a piece of rustic bread.