Friday, January 29, 2010

Turkey Bean Soup

You know what I both LOVE and HATE about making soup?
You can work without really having a recipe.
I love it because you can clean out your fridge/cupboards with whatever you have on hand.
I hate it because it's often difficult to duplicate a masterpiece.
I love it because it's never the same, and therefore not boring.
I hate it because it might not be as good as last time.

Good thing my husband LOVES soup, and it's difficult to screw up. :-)

Today's soup was modified from a soup I found a Recipe Shoebox.
Turkey Bean Soup
Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 1/4 cup dried, minced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 can cooked turkey (or 2 cups cooked turkey)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 drops of Tabasco
  • Salt, to taste

Turkey Bean Soup
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until hot and veggies are tender.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brown Sugar Oat Muffins with Strawberries

I found this recipe in my Taste of Home cookbook. The original recipe did not call for any strawberries, but I had some in my freezer. I thought it sounded like it might be a good combination.
Brown Sugar Oat Muffins with Strawberries
Yield: 1 dozen

Click here for Printable Recipe
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk (I reconstituted some dry milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 frozen strawberries

In a small bowl, combine oats, flours, baking powder and salt.
In another small bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, milk, oil, and vanilla.
Stir into the dry ingredients until moistened.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. If desired, place one frozen strawberry in middle of muffin tin.
Bake at 400°F for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Brown Sugar Oat Muffins with Strawberries
Ok. I'll admit it. These did not turn out as tasty as I'd envisioned in my head. The ones without the strawberries were a little bland. The ones with strawberries were done, but still wet inside near the strawberry.
If you have any suggestions on how to make these better, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Homemade Tomato Soup

A couple weeks ago, we had a "Soup and Swap" for a church activity. It's always so fun to gather together and share some delicious soup and browse through *new* treasures. This is one of my favorite activities each year. I signed up to bring a soup. I was really hankering for some tomato soup, so I found this recipe at and decided to try it out.  My husband loved it, and I got so many compliments and requests for the recipe. :-) A couple people did their very best to clean the serving spoon and crockpot - not one drop to be missed!
Homemade Tomato Soup this picture of the finished product doesn't really do it justice, but trust me, this is the BEST tomato soup recipe!!

Click here for Printable Recipe

  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices. I used Hunt's® Diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano.
Spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil (I actually ran out of olive oil with the tomatoes, so I used canola oil) over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add basil and cream, if using. (I left out the cream. The basil I used was some I had frozen last summer.)
Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.
I, of course, don't have an immersion blender or a full-size blender, so I had to blend it in batches in my Magic Bullet®.

Voila! Super, yummy tomato soup!

Homemade Tomato Soup
Homemade Tomato Soup
Sorry about the poor final product pictures. :-(


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