Easter Bean & Ham Bone Soup

When I was growing up, Easter usually meant a ham dinner. Of course, I love the memories of my mother’s cooking and being with my family. I must admit most of the time when I was older and cooked Easter dinner for family, I bought a spiral sliced ham. If you are having ham on Easter or any other occasion, don’t just throw away the bone from your ham. It’s great for soup and ham broth. It’s also wonderful to add to a pot of collard greens or cabbage. You can keep the ham bone in the fridge for 5 days or freeze it for at least a few months.

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Crock Pot Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew

I love lentils: They’re packed with protein, very filling and a good source of iron. Woodsy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are natural partners to the lentil’s earthy flavor, so any of them (or any combination of them) can go into the crock pot for Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew. Adding mushrooms adds more earthy flavors and in conjunction with barley makes a satisfying comfort food. You can serve with garlic bread alone or over mash potatoes. There is an optional garnish of fresh parsley or vegan grated cheese.

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Easy Cold Cucumber Soup

Summer heat and humidity makes it hard to turn on the stove and heat up the house. Today’s recipe is perfect for hot August days but is easy and tasty enough for any day. Cold cucumber soup is a quick-to-make, refreshing, and flavorful cold soup. and it helps use all those fresh cucumbers from the garden. Perfect to serve as an appetizer, side dish, or for a light, healthy main dish. I’m using Greek yogurt low fat but you can certainly use regular Greek yogurt too. Add lemon juice, minced shallots and fresh herbs and blend. Refrigerate at least 4 hours up to overnight for a wonderful mouthful of cold goodness.

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Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

We’re in the depths of winter, and it’s time for some serious comfort food.  My first thought is soups and stews.  One of the easiest and heartiest meals, Beef Barley Soup with vegetables is even better when made in a crock pot. It’s filled with tender beef, hearty vegertables, and plump barley. You spend so little time for such a wonderful filling meal.   Put it on and leave it alone while you do something else.  Add crusty bread or rolls and dinner is served.

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Easy Gazpacho

Gazpacho or Gaspacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. It originated in the southern regions of the Iberian peninsula and spread into other areas. During hot summer days, it is a cool and refreshing meal.  I remember the first time I made it with my sister one hot July day.  I love vegetables, and the soup was so tasty with the flavor of my garden favorites.  One nice thing about gazpacho is how easy it is to make and to modify.  Hate the taste of raw onion? Diminish or eliminate the amount added.

 

 

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Savoy Cabbage Soup

If you’ve read my food posts before, you probably noticed I like real food. I believe in eating clean, whole food that is prepared with real ingredients and fresh produce. Today we’ll talk about real food in a fresh bowl of soup full of vegetables.  Rich in vitamins A, C and K, but also in minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, savoy cabbage is definitely a wonderful ingredient for many typical winter recipes. What is one of the best recipes? Savoy cabbage soup! It’s very easy to prepare and with so many different variations, you can make it your way. If you find any recipe is too spicy or bland, make your own adjustments. This is what cooking is all about. It might not be the “classic” result, but it’s yours. The soup is made with bright green Savoy cabbage with carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes.  I like to make it with chicken stock and even have put left over baked chicken in it.  It is equally good made with a good vegetable stock for a meatless meal. Then I would add mushrooms and white beans for protein and fiber.  With a hearty bread, you have a meal in a pot. If you can’t find Savoy cabbage, green cabbage will work, but don’t use red cabbage. It has a sharper flavor. If you want to add leftover meat like baked chicken, pork roast, or beef, add at the end and heat for 5 mintues. 

 

 

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Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

Several years ago, I shared a recipe for whole roasted cauliflower.   It is a spicy dish that  is a perfect side to most meals.  Today we’ll take a plain roasted cauliflower and make a delicious soup for cold winter days.  Roasting carmelizes the cauliflower to add depth to the flavor.  Sauté onions, celery, and carrot in olive oil.  Add garlic and broth.  You can use chicken broth or a vegetable broth for a meatless meal.  Cook, blend, and add whole milk.  A luscious bowl of curried cauliflower soup is ready to eat with garlic toast.  Adjust the spices for your family’s taste to make it stronger or milder. It’s even better the next day – try serving it over rice.

 

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