Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Single digits on the thermometer outside means steaming bowls of rich, satisfying soup inside. Using the slow cooker for this recipe gets you out of the kitchen fast, and the reward is a deep rich broth with smoky caramelized onions. A big bowl of this soup topped with a quick toast of some bread, and creamy Gruyere cheese will warm you from the inside out and chase those bitter temperatures away.
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Zucchini Bisque

zucchini-bisque

My daughter wasn’t one of those kids to liked soup while she was growing up, however, whenever I make this bisque, she’s all over it! It’s crazy! It’s one of our family favorites and I can whip up a batch in less than thirty minutes.

Keeping the ratio of more zucchini than stock helps make the bisque thick and hearty, and the half and half adds a silky richness without the heaviness of cream.

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Chicken Wontons in Shitake Broth

chicken-wontons-in-shitake-broth

I’ve always loved wontons and Chinese dumplings, but I thought they were really difficult to make. Then I made them for this soup, and I discovered something about myself. I LOVE making wontons! They tasted just like authentic Chinese wontons, except I used a small amount of minced habanero pepper (I know, shocker!), so they had a little kick. The broth was silky and flavored with a wonderful shitake mushroom umami, perfectly balancing the heat.

The trick to getting the wontons to cook without falling apart is to have the broth just beyond a simmer, but not quite a boil so the wontons ‘dance’ in the broth as they cook.

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Heat-Jacked Chicken Tortilla Soup

Heat-Jacked Chicken Tortilla Soup

One more soup recipe for the season before the spring weather arrives and we all start thinking about salads and grilled meat. That and I’ve been having serious cravings for hot spicy food lately.

I decided to switch the heat source this week to jalapeño peppers since my family has mentioned several times they’re concerned about my supposed Sriracha “addiction.” (This is not a cry for help, by the way. No way am I giving up my Sriracha!)

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Pho

Pho

As winter approaches and the temperature drops in Missouri, usually around early to mid-November, our weekly menu almost always includes soup. I’ve shared several of my favorite soup recipes in earlier posts, and this week I’m adding a new one.

Yep. This mid-west gal who is a blend of Hungarian, German, Swedish and French, decided to try her hand at Vietnamese cuisine. And it was really good!

My version of this recipe for Pho, also commonly called Vietnamese Noodle Soup, evolved as I researched traditional Vietnamese recipes. I added the thinly sliced carrots and radishes because they added beautiful color and a little crunch to the dish, and the chili-head in me had to include sliced jalapenos!

I was a little hesitant making the broth, mainly because I hadn’t had a lot of experience using star anise and cardamom, however once I tasted complex layers of the spices and how well they complimented the other ingredients, any remaining hesitation quickly disappeared. I’m giving myself a ‘Dang Girl’ on this one!

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Fire-Spiced Tomato Bisque

Fire-Spiced Tomato Bisque

One of my family’s favorite weekend lunches is old-school grilled cheese sandwiches alongside a bowl of steaming hot tomato soup.  Most of the time, canned tomato soup is fine, especially when we’re short on time, but the flavor in canned soups just don’t come anywhere close to making it yourself.

So today, I took advantage of having a few hours of free time, picked up some fire-roasted tomatoes and colorful bell peppers and came up with this deliciously rich, spicy, and hearty bisque.  A little trick when making a thick soup like this is to use cooked rice.  It will add the luscious texture you’re looking for without adding the calories found in heavy cream.

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Chicken and Brown Rice

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Chicken and Brown Rice

This recipe is another great use for the roasted red peppers I mentioned in my blog post on September 6th. It’s also the perfect opportunity to use some of that leftover rotisserie chicken in your fridge and a quick, healthy, lunch on a cold day.

The primary ingredients are already prepared so all you have to do is incorporate them together into a soup pot, heat them up and it’s ready!

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Tuscan Chicken with Orzo Soup

Tuscan Chicken Soup

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the open refrigerator, scanning the contents of your shelves, rejecting the lunchmeat and the salad, wishing you had something substantial enough to satisfying your craving for a lunch that’s both tasty and healthy?  If you just said yes, here’s your answer.  And the reason that I can say that is because I’ve found myself doing the exact same thing!

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Fire-Roasted Poblano and Red Pepper Bisque

 

Fire Roasted Poblano and Red Pepper Bisque

Think about a big steaming bowl of soup and then wait a moment as your mind begins to wander.  Are you having happy, comforting thoughts?  Maybe memories of being sick as a child and either your mother or grand-mother serving your favorite soup with a towering stack of saltine crackers?

Soup can be warm and comforting on a cold day, chilled and soothing on a hot day, the cure for the common cold or even good for the soul.  And it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make a really flavorful soup.  In fact, last weekend, I think I may have created my favorite soup ever.  While I was at the grocery store, I passed by a display of the most gorgeous, fresh poblano peppers I had ever seen. I couldn’t help myself.  Soon my cart was filled with poblanos, red bell peppers, fresh cilantro, carrots, onions and all the remaining ingredients to make my own version of fire-roasted poblano and red pepper bisque.

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Pork Meatballs in Parmesan Broth

 

Pork Meatballs in Parmesan Broth_finishedYesterday was one of those days where I just didn’t feel like leaving the house.  My primary goal was to publish my third book and get caught up on the house-work.  Then it started to snow about mid-afternoon, my husband lit a fire in the fireplace and that pretty much did it for me.  I successfully published my book – the house-work?  Yeah, that could wait! The combination of the beautiful snow, falling gracefully outside my window and the warm, crackling fire, set the mood for a hearty soup for dinner.  So I headed for the kitchen and started to cook.

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