Friday, December 30, 2011

Ham and Bean Soup

I finally wrote down and measured everything I do for this ham and bean soup so I don't forget the recipe! It is SO good. I made it for the full-time missionaries from my church, and they said it was one of the best soups they have had. Which, to me, is a compliment because there are a lot of good cooks in my church.

Ham and Bean Soup 1 lb. white beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 ham hock
2 c. frozen corn
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
6 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
4 dashes Tabasco sauce

Throw it all in the crock pot, and cook on low for 6 hours. About 30 mins. before serving, take the ham hock out and let cool a little. Separate the meat from the bone. Throw out the bone, and put in the meat. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

We have an annual soup night with all of our ASL friends after finals in December. For the last two years one of our friends has been bringing this too.die.for cauliflower soup. Problem? No recipe. He just knows the ingredients. So, I finally got a list of his ingredients, and added some of mine and came up with this. Of course, it is not his soup, but it is really good, and was perfect for the cauliflower in my fridge that was getting those icky brown spots on it. My husband said it was a little more chunky then his (probably because I added potatoes), but the flavor is there. Anyway... give it a go. You wont regret it!

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, crumbled (I used Hormel's Real Crumbled Bacon, but I would have used real bacon if I had it!)
3 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 c. chicken broth (or water with 4 bouillon cubes)
1 head cauliflower
2 c. half and half
1/4 c. butter or margerine
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 c. cheese, or to taste (use whatever cheese you have. I used a blend of provolone, mozzarella, and cheddar.)

In a dutch oven, cook onion in oil on medium heat, about 2 mins. Add crumbled bacon. (Note: if you are using raw bacon, no need to cook it beforehand then crumble it. Just chop it up in small pieces and add it here. Cook until the bacon is done, then continue.) Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil over hi heat. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are al dente, or give just a little pressure when poked with a fork. Add the cauliflower. Bring to a boil again. Turn temp to med heat, and simmer for another 5 mins or until cauliflower is cooked through.

Meanwhile (while the soup is simmering), in a separate sauce pan, over med-hi heat melt butter. Add flour and whisk (like crazy) to combine. Add the milk small amounts at a time so that you can maintain a smooth consistency. Boil until nice and thick.

With a potato masher, give a few good mashes to the soup, (if you like a chunkier soup, only a few, if you like a smoother soup you will need to mash it quite a bit) Add half and half and salt and pepper to the soup. Bring back to a boil. Add roux to the soup (the butter, flour, milk mixture). Bring back to a boil and let simmer until soup has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir well to combine. Serve.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cranberry Orange Relish

I love this fresh, yummy relish. Forget about canned cranberry sauce (who likes it anyway?), and make this instead!

Cranberry Orange Relish

1 pkg. cranberries
1 lg. orange, pealed and quartered
orange zest
1/2 -3/4 c. sugar

Add cranberries and orange slices to the food processor or blender. Blend until slightly chunky (like the photo above) Add zest from the orange and 1/2 -3/4 c. of sugar. Blend again. Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

I don't know where I got this recipe. I think it may have been in a local magazine. Either way, this chili is awesome! We had it for Halloween night. It definitely hit the spot. I did make some changes, so here is my rendition.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1-3 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on personal heat tolerance)
2 cans of black beans (or make your own and put them in. I actually used pinto the first time, and black the second.)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 small butternut squash (about 3 cups), peeled, seeded, and chopped into bite size pieces.
Salt and pepper

Throw it all in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.

Let me tell you a secret: The leftovers are pretty much better than the fresh. Just sayin'...