This Fuller Life

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Category: Soup/Stew (page 1 of 2)

Chili

I am planning on posting tonight about what we ate yesterday and today. However, I had a few minutes before leaving for class and I wanted to post my Mom’s chili recipe. I always make chili when I do freezer cooking and it is Chris’ favorite meal. He could probably eat it for dinner every day for 3 weeks straight before getting tired of it. Since I feature us eating chili quite often on this blog I figured it was high time I posted the recipe :).

Chili
makes 10 servings 
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
29 oz tomato sauce
29 oz crushed tomatoes
29 oz kidney beans with liquid*
29 oz pinto beans with liquid*
2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cups water

Cook ground beef and set aside. Cook onion and jalapeño and garlic until soft. Add all other ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Cook stirring frequently for 2 hours, or cook on low in a crock pot while you are work.
Serve with chips and cheese, or goat cheese, or American cheese and saltines (Chris’ favorite).

*I always soak and cook dry beans when I make chili. I found a nice conversion table here. But, you will need 1/2 lb of each, or 1 cup each of dry kidney and pinto beans to equal the amount in the recipe. To soak, I put beans in a crockpot with plenty of water and apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 24-48 hours. Then I drain and rinse the beans. Depending on my timetable I will either put them back in the crockpot and cook on low while I am at work or I will put them in a pot on the stove which will cook a lot faster.

If you feel like you have been cooking your beans forever and they won’t soften up, then add a teaspoon of baking soda to the pan of beans while they are cooking. That one trick cut my cooking time in half the last time I made beans! Then when they are done cooking you can add your beans and cooking water to the chili and proceed with the recipe as usual.

Beef Neck-bone Stew

For those of you that read this blog, you know that I get my beef from a local farmer. More specifically,  from Indian Creek Angus (click on the link to see their Facebook page!), based out of Carnesville. If anyone is looking for a source for pasture raised beef, theirs is wonderful!!

In one of my orders I had a few packages of beef necks and I had NO clue what to do with them. Based on cooking stew meat, I knew enough that they should be seared and simmered in liquid on medium to low heat for several hours.

It just so happens that my Mom got me a RED 6 qt enameled dutch oven for christmas! I knew that I wanted to christen my new pot by cooking up beef neck-bone stew and do a little kitchen experimenting :).

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the process. But here is what I did…

I defrosted the package, which contained 3 neck bones with a good bit of meat. I seared them on a cast iron skillet (I was afraid to do the heavy searing in my new pot, but I am sure I will work up to it), then I added onions to the skillet while the neck-bones finished searing and waited until everything got good and stuck :). Then I deglazed the pan with a cup of red wine and poured all of that into dutch oven.

Then I added rosemary, turkey broth, and some tomato paste, and let it simmer for 3 hours. Then I removed the meat from the bones, and added butternut squash and carrots. I let that simmer and finally I threw in some frozen peas and broccoli and added seasonings at the end.

It was REALLY good. This is all we had left in the bottom of the pot as Chris and I both ate 2 bowls. Even as I am writing this post, Chris leaned over and said, “The flavor of the soup was just so good, the most memorable flavored soup I have ever had”. Coming from him that is high praise indeed! He wanted to eat the rest of the pot but I told him that we needed to save it so he could eat it for lunch tomorrow :). I am so happy with how this turned out and I am so happy with my new dutch oven!

The neck-bones still had some meat and a lot of cartilage that I don’t want to miss out on, so I put them in a crockpot with water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (to get the calcium out of the bones) to simmer for the new two days. Then I will give the spent bones to our dog, who loves to gobble them up. Beef neck-bones are cheap and you can get many uses out of them. I encourage everyone to try them!

Here is the recipe :).

Beef Neck-Bone Stew

1 lb beef neck-bones

1 onion, diced

1 cup red wine

2 TBS tomato paste

4 cups turkey/beef/chicken broth

2 sprigs rosemary

2 cups cubed butternut squash

3 carrots, sliced into rounds

½ bag frozen peas

½ bag frozen broccoli

1 tsp oregano or 1 TBS fresh oregano, chopped

Salt

Pepper

Red pepper flakes

-Sear all sides of the neck-bone in a heavy bottomed pot, on medium high heat. Halfway through add diced onion and stir around. It is okay if some pieces of onion get stuck to pan. It will add lots of flavor. Once the onions are soft and the meat is seared, add 1 cup red wine to deglaze the pan, and scrape around the bottom to loosen up all the stuck on pieces.

-Add broth, tomato paste, and rosemary sprigs, turn heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove neck-bones from pot, remove the meat from the bones (set the bones aside for making broth), chop the meat and return to the pot. Add butternut squash and carrots to pot and simmer until vegetables are tender.

-Finally, add in frozen broccoli, peas and spices and heat just until the stew comes back to a slow simmer. Taste, and add more seasoning as needed.

-Serve immediately.

Beef and Kale Vegetable Soup

 
 
I had no clue what I was going to make for lunch on Sunday. I hadn’t been grocery shopping in over two weeks and the empty shelves in my fridge were there to prove it.  I had a few old potatoes, some leftover sausage from making pizza a few nights ago, some frozen peas I had packed in my lunch the day before and never ate, 1 small zucchini, and some beef broth I made a couple days ago. 
 
The remnants of my bare refrigerator aligned perfectly. I was going to make soup! So, I made soup and it was delicious. While we were eating it, Chris kept saying how good it was and that the seasoning was perfect. That was a big deal because he doesn’t even like soup! I thought it was delicious as well. We ate the soup for 3 meals and I was sad when it was gone. I definitely need to make this again soon.
 
When I made it, I just threw a bunch of stuff into the pot and tasted as I went. I tried to remember everything and give approximate measurements to write down a recipe. The best thing about this type of soup is that you can tailor it to whatever you have in your fridge.  
 
Beef and Kale Vegetable Soup
1 Tbsp of olive oil 
1 onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
4 potatoes, diced
1 bunch kale, chopped
4 cups beef broth
2 cups water (I don’t remember how much water I added, you can add more or less depending on how much broth you want)
6 oz. tomato paste
4-8 oz. browned ground beef, sausage, or turkey sausage
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 cup frozen green peas
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
 
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in onions, carrots, and beef and saute until vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked. Add potatoes and kale and cook for a few minutes longer. Turn down the heat to medium and add  the beef broth, water, and tomato paste and let simmer until potatoes are tender. 
Add in remaining vegetables, herbs, and seasonings and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Serve immediately.

 

Dandelion Green Chicken Broth

I recently read that dandelion greens are very nutritious. As luck would have it, we have lots of them in our yard. What else was I to do but harvest some and see what they tasted like? 


Dandelion greens are a wonderful tonic. They support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat viruses. This sunflower relative boasts potent medicinal properties with laxative and diuretic properties. Sounds too good to be true from a weed in your front yard, right? 


Like I said we have lots in our yard and I happily harvested a big bunch of them, and planned to use them in chicken stock.


 I simply cleaned off the greens and placed them in a crockpot with chicken bones from 4 bone in chicken breasts, 2 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, and spices. Then I filled the crockpot to the top with filtered water. 


It cooked for a day and produced a beautiful and flavorful chicken broth. I ended up drinking most of it by itself, and it was extremely delicious. Hooray for free nutritious weeds :). 

Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger: Hearty Lentil Soup

Here is another recipe from Jenn at  The Whole Kitchen. I said in my last post that I adopted her for the Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger challenge. Sea at the Book of Yum has kept this going each month and it is a great way to meet other bloggers and try new recipes. 
I would strongly recommend checking out Jenn’s blog. She creates amazing recipes, and I hope to one day be able to create the depth and richness of flavor that she does in her food. Even after this challenge is over I plan to try many more recipes from her site!
We already know that her Thai Red Curry Pumpkin Soup is amazing. Last night, I decided to try her Hearty Lentil Soup. We have a lot of lentils to use up. My parents generously gave Chris and I a 20 lb. box of lentils a few weeks ago. Yes, I just checked on the box to make sure. It is definitely 20 lbs. My goal is to make a lentil dish once a week. Yet, even for someone who doesn’t have that many just lying around your house, it is a very inexpensive dinner option with lots of possibilities and variety. 
I was looking through Jenn’s recipes trying to decide which ones to make, Chris looked over and suggested we try the lentil soup. I am willing to try any new lentil recipe, and the best part was that Chris suggested it! 

 I thought this soup was great. My only change was omitting the turkey thigh. I am sure it would have added even more flavor, but I didn’t have it, and wasn’t about to go to the store to get one. It still turned out great. If any of you know any lentil haters I promise this soup will make them a convert. It starts off with your basic sauteed carrot, onion, celery, and garlic. After that you add your lentils, chicken broth, water, bay leaves, and tomato sauce. But then, she throws a twist in by bringing in white wine, red wine vinegar, thyme, and sriracha sauce. You would never put all of that together, but it works so well.

I wasn’t very hungry and only got half a bowl. But when I tasted it, and finished my first serving, I went back and get another bowl. It is was that good. It has got a little kick with the sriracha, but I liked it even better when I added an extra spoonful of my homemade cayenne hot sauce.

It made a bunch and I am excited to freeze some for another week and still have plenty for lunches in the next few days. Thank you Jenn for another great recipe!
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