Tag Archives: soup

Remember that one time we forgot to blog for almost a year?

So, it turns out that grad school, part-time employment and composition for J and full-time employment, tutoring, and applying for grad school for myself means that we forget to blog. Oops. So, rather than say “let’s make a goal to blog once a week” as a New Year’s Resolution, let’s start now!

This week is a big week full of concerts, work, and cleaning the house for weekend guests. Sundays have traditionally been cooking days for me, where I try and get lunches prepared for the week (portioned out for J and I to reheat at work/grad school), as well as make ahead breakfasts and maybe even dinner for Sunday night. Today is no different. Today I spent time making a “lasagna” soup. It includes sweet sausage, tomatoes, bow tie pasta, and heaps of ricotta and parmesan at the end. It transports well in lunches, warms you up in the cool of early December, and is souper delicious. Yep, I went there.

We made this soup back in 2012, but never posted the full recipe for it. I also changed the recipe a bit because the first time I made it we made buckets full since I wasn’t paying too close attention to how much we were putting in the pot… so here it goes:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. pasta (I like to use bowtie pasta because they are cute)
  • olive oil (I never measure this…not gonna lie)
  • about a pound of sweet Italian sausage ( I usually buy bulk, but I accidentally bought links, so I had to take the casings off. Ew.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some oregano (again, I never measure)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 big spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • Salz und Pfeffer
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided into 1 cup amounts)
  • dried basil
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta (indulge a little)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm
  • frozen peas (optional)

What to do:

  1. Cook the pasta to al dente, as it may cook a little more once it hits the soup and you don’t want mush. While this is cooking, brown the sausage in a big soup pot.

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2. Once the sausage is browned, add the onions, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes until onions are soft. Stir  in tomato paste and combine everything together.

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3. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. I like to use a whisk to stir this in to make sure all of the tomato paste gets evenly distributed- no one wants chunks of tomato paste in their soup.

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4. Add a little s and p, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to simmer without lid for about 30 minutes (stir every once and a while to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom).

5. While the soup is simmering, I like to mix together the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, the Parm, salt and pepper, and a little more basil.

6. Right at the end I like to put in some frozen peas for a little veg, but it is up to you. I also add the other cup of mozzarella directly to the soup at this point.

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  1. To serve (or in our case, to prep for lunches), I put a scoop of pasta (you decide how much), a ladle or two of the soup, and a healthy dollop of the ricotta stuff.

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*Note: You can also make this in the crockpot, as we have done as well. All you do is brown the sausage, dump everything else into the crockpot (cheese stuff not included) and cook on high for 2-3 hours. The pasta I usually put in after an hour, and the peas typically go in with about 30 minutes to go).

 

 

I hope you enjoy this reconstructed lasagna soup as much as we do- I probably make it a couple of times each winter.

Enjoy!

-L (and Bingley who stayed nearby throughout the cooking process)

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French Onion Soup and attempting to get back into this whole blogging thing…

So…we have a good reason for not blogging in a while- I have been busy turning our blog into a cookbook! We are only distributing free copies to friends and family, but it has been pretty cool. It originally was a present for J for Christmas, but now family members are requesting copies of their own- yay!

So, in order to make a second volume, we should probably get back in the swing of things. First step, French Onion Soup.

Now, I have never made French Onion Soup, so I was a little leery about making it. However, it turned out to be quite tasty.

Photo on 12-30-14 at 1.21 PM

You’ll need:

*5 onions (I used regular ol’ yellow onions)- thinly sliced
*s & p
*4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
*beef broth (1/2 cup)
*chicken stock (7 cups)
*1 tsp. sugar
*1 tsp salt
*2 tbsp. butter
*2 tbsp. olive oil
*red wine (1/2 cup- I used my favorite merlot)
*2 tbsp. flour

Directions:
1. Melt butter into oil in stock pot- toss onions in and cook on low (uncovered) for about 15 minutes. I stirred them for the first few minutes to make sure all the onions were coated, and then I stirred once every 4 3 minutes or so (I was actively cleaning the house at the time, so I would make the bed, go stir the onions, fold up blankets, go stir the onions, put away clothes, go stir the onions, etc.)

2. Turn heat up to medium, toss in the 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of sugar and garlic, and stir again. This time, put the lid on it and let it go for about 30 minutes (mine was done at 25, but my stove runs really hot). Again, I did the chore, stir, chore, stir, chore, stir, etc. method. Every time you go back to the pot the onions should get more golden brown and delicious.

3. Skip this step if you can- I couldn’t: Turn off smoke alarm because you let the pot get too hot while you are trying to rescue your cat who has burrowed herself inside your couch upon discovery of all of the milk rings she has hidden under the couch for the last six months.

4. Rescue the pot by adding flour for a roux, then pouring in the wine, beef broth, and chicken stock.

5. Bring to a boil, skim the milk fat from the butter off of the top, and then drop the heat to a simmer, covering and cooking for 40 minutes…while this is cooking…

**I now made the cheese crouton-y bits.
I took a small baguette and cut it in half. I cut the half into four chunks, rubbed 1/2 a garlic clove on the chunks and put a slice of havarti on top. I also took the other half of the baguette, split it in half, and placed a piece of American cheese on half. Put all of the cheese covered bread under the broiler for a couple of minutes until bubbly and slightly golden. I also made some tuna salad.

6. Serve soup in bowl with a cheesy crouton-y bit. I also filled the other half of the baguette (with cheese melted on one side) with tuna salad for a nice tuna melt. A pretty good lunch!

Happy (almost) new year! We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for the coming year in food!

-L (and Bingley who is now safely out from under the couch).

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FALL…

…is here.

We have been waiting for fall…cool weather, decorations, all things pumpkin and apple cider related. Yum.

To welcome the season that shall arrive quickly, we made a wreath on our door this afternoon.

Photo on 9-14-13 at 5.01 PM

How we made this:

*one foam wreath

*roll of burlap (ours was about 3 in. wide)

*bunch of fake flowers (whatever you like- we liked the size and color of these)

*a wooden letter (and perhaps some paint, if you like the chevron look we made)

*wide ribbon (again, whatever you like- we chose orange wire ribbon with gold polka dots and and brown/white patterned ribbon)

….we also made some warm, hearty foods. Well, food…but made in TWO ways.

FOOD(s) 1:

Ratatouille over Baked Potatoes

Photo on 9-7-13 at 1.16 PM

You will need:

*2 baby eggplant

*2 baby zucchini

*a red and a yellow bell pepper

*2 onions

*can of diced tomatoes

*2-3 stalks celery

*olive oil

*salt and pepper

*oregano, parsley and basil

*potatoes (baked in the oven)

1. Chop all the vegetables into about the same size pieces (diced-ish)

2. Drizzle olive oil into crock pot.

3. Dump in everything else, with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

4. Go to the farmers’ market for 5 hours while this cooks on high.

5. Serve over baked potato (we paired a lovely red wine with this for lunch).

FOOD(s) 2:

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Photo on 9-8-13 at 6.52 PM

You’ll Need:

*leftover ratatouille (no potatoes necessary)

*chicken stock (1 cup)

*provolone cheese (or whatever type you may want on top)

1. Purée ingredients 1 and 2 in a blender.

2. Heat in pan.

3. Serve with cheese on top.

We enjoyed both of these this weekend, and they were each great in their own way!

 

-j and l

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Cheese……c-…cookies?

As it turns out, I’m kind of bad at baking. I don’t really know how this happened, I used to be AWESOME at baking. I’d be in my fraternity house kitchen, at like 9 pm, and it would go something like this:

Cultured, Handsome Fraternity Brother: Hey J- whatcha doin?

Cultured, Handsome Me: Making brownies for us and the neighbors!

Cultured, Handsome Frat Bros: Cool!

Neighbors: WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO

 

This simply doesn’t happen any more. Recently, I’ve started making daft mistakes, such as forgetting the second cup of flour in a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (they were still pretty good- they just kind of congeal together and you have to sort of paw at them a little bit to get one in your mouth.) This time, I was attempting to make cheddar bay biscuits, like the amazing ones at Red Lobster that you find you’ve eaten the entire basket of before you even order your food.

Meh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time, I didn’t quite appropriate the dough such that it might match the recommended yield of 12 biscuits. I made nine. NINE BIGGUNS. They were done after I left them in the oven a few extra minutes, but they had flattened under their own weight and turned into what was more of a large-diameter cheesy cookie. We dipped them into L’s perfectly cooked soup.

-J

HOW TO MAKE PERFECTLY COOKED SOUP

yumz

  1. Saute (fancy French word meaning “cook on the stove”) two chicken breasts in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Let that cool, and then chop it into cubes.
  3. In a big pot that looks like you could put soup in it, put in:
  4. a tablespoon of olive oil
  5. two cloves of garlic
  6. one onion, chopped
  7. saute all o’ that. WHILE THAT’S HAPPENING:
  8. clean and chop some celery and carrots.
  9. add them to the pot, saute for five-ish minutes.
  10. add the chicken,
  11. one bay leaf,
  12. some oregano,
  13. some thyme,
  14. some black pepper,
  15. 1 cup of rice, and
  16. 6 cups of water.
  17. BOIL’ER UP.
  18. turn down the heat, simmer for a half-hour.
  19. In a liquid measuring cup (the glass one), add two tablespoons of flour, two tablespoons of olive oil, and one cup of milk.
  20. Stir it up.
  21. Pour it in the pot of soup.
  22. Stir it.
  23. Eat it.
-L

 

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