As some of the regular readers might have realized, we’ve become enamored of the selection of soups and soup-bases at Trader Joe’s. So on our last store trip (an hour each way, but still worth it) we picked up a container of their sweet potato bisque.
I emptied it into our small crock pot, thinned it with water a bit (it was still quite thick), added a few spices, and let it cook while I started making the homemade tortellini. I just wanted to make the noodles, no filling. (Sorry no ‘in progress’ photos – I was covered in flour and very focused – LOL!). I let the soup ‘crock’ for a number of hours. About two hours before we were going to eat, I tossed in the small tortellinis – it took them a while to cook, but they did fine. When we served it, we added a dollup (I’ve always wanted to use the word dollup) of sour cream in the middle, and a sprinkling of nutmeg.
It came out very tasty! And although the bisque has a lovely flavor, it IS rather mild – the sour cream sort of finished it out with a nice tang.
[Tags: food, soup, bisque, cooking, sweet potato]
This isn’t a ‘cooking from scratch’ sort of thing, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious!
We cooked up half a pound of mini-raviolis (Trader Joe’s brand) and then added them to the carton of Creamy Tomato Soup (also Trader Joe’s brand) that was already in our small crock pot. I also added more water and a good amount of black pepper and some finely grated parmesan too. It simmered on low for hours and hours. About 45 minutes to an hour before we were going to eat, I chopped up a bunch (as much as you like, as it tends to shrink up and disappear somewhat, just don’t overdo it) of organic baby spinach leaves and added them to the soup.
It was fantastic and very hearty!
We also had some leftover French bread and so I made buttery garlic bread to go with it, which was a fantastic match up.
A funny aside: We have limited counter space so I keep putting the crock pot away in its box when we’re done with it, but I keep having to pull it out again every other day since we’re having so much fun making stuff in it!
Also, we have a recipe for a completely from scratch Tomato Soup Florentine recipe in our archives for those that want to go for broke.
[Tags: food, soup, tomato soup florentine, recipe, spinach]
We made chicken soup from scratch the other day – first time ever – and it was, if I may say so, fantastic!! We already had leftover cooked chicken and chicken stock. We shredded the chicken and put that in the crock pot with the broth. Then, we chopped onions, carrots, and celery and saute’d them in a frying pan. I took a picture of the raw carrots and celery because it looked so neat…
Then, we added the veggies to the crock pot and set that to cooking. A few hours before we were going to eat, I made some homemade noodles with our hand-crank pasta machine and the wavy wheel cutter. Here’s a photo of the noodles drying out a bit on a rack.
About an hour or so before we were going to eat I added the noodles. Not surprisingly, the noodles plumped up a LOT more than I expected – LOL – and so we had a LOT of noodle content in there. Just before we were going to eat, we chopped some green onions and added them to the soup and WAH-LAH! Best homemade chicken noodle soup ever!!
[Tags: food, soup, chicken noodle soup, homemade]
I was cleaning out the fridge and realized I had half a bag of spinach leaves that needed to be used very soon. I decided on Tomato Florentine Soup, which I was already familiar with from work.
At work, I’ve always used frozen spinach, which is more bitter than the fresh leaves and made flavoring the soup more of a challenge. The fresh leaves were a pleasure and the soup had a wonderfully sweet taste.
One thing I did notice was that the pasta seemed to absorb the salt, and I found myself adding a lot more to flavor it. I never noticed this at work, but I had to be light on the salt anyway, since many of our residents were on low sodium diets.
Speaking of work, my full time job as a cook often kept me too busy to post here. As of last Monday, that’s no longer an issue, I am no longer employed. Ironically, now I will have more time to cook and write up recipes for the site.
I’ve learned a great deal as a professional cook; however, its a very demanding job, often unnecessarily so because of poor management policies and corporate downsizing. Cooking at home is far more enjoyable, even with no counter space and less equipment. Its far better to learn the tips and techniques from television (and blogs like this one!) and practice them on your own.
Given the choice, I’d choose the soup anyway. But probably not canned – LOL – John’s getting really good at homemade soups! Oh, John…….! *grin*
I just added two soup recipes to the collection: Chicken Noodle soup, and Split Pea Soup
These are basic soup recipes,although the addition of soy sauce to the Chicken Noodle soup is a trick of my own. The Pea Soup recipe is one I learned from my mother and grew up eating. It’s one of my favorites, although there were times we substituted hot dogs for ham in the recipe, and sometimes I find myself missing them.
The key to giving most soups real flavor (so they don’t just taste like water or broth) is properly sauteing the onions, celery and carrots for about ten minutes until they’re really soft and slightly wet looking. This is commonly known as “sweating down” the vegetables. Most soups begin with this combination, except for cream soups where you wouldn’t add the carrots in until later or they might add an orange tint to your soup.