Soups and Stews

Soups and stews can make a perfect meal for cold fall and winter days.  Here you’ll find some favorite recipes of the TuckerCravings bloggers.

Indonesian Bakso by Laurie Little

The classic condiment used to flavor bakso is sambal, a thin paste made from ground chilies, vinegar and salt.  It is widely available in the ethnic aisles of large grocers.

Start to finish: 1 hour;
Servings: 4

For the meatballs:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon diced shallot
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely chopped
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 crushed ice
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 quarts chicken broth

For the soup:
14-ounce package egg noodles
1 head bok choy, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped celery
4 hard-boiled eggs
chopped
Sambal, to taste

To make the meatballs, in a small skillet over medium, heat the oil.  Add the garlic and shallot and saute until golden and aromatic.  Transfer to a food processor, then add the chicken, egg white and sugar.  Process until well ground, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Transfer the chilled mixture to a cutting board.  Add the crushed ice and cornstarch, then knead the mixture for 5 minutes.
 Using 2 spoons or an ice cream scoop, form the mixture into 20 tablespoon-size balls.  Set aside.
 In a large saucepan, heat the chicken broth.  Add the meatballs, working in batches if necessary.  Cook until the meatballs are firm and read 165 F at the center, about 5 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to a bowl.  Cover to keep warm.  Keep the broth warm over low heat.

To make the soup, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Add the egg noodles and cook until al dente according to package directions.  Drain, then cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a second saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the bok choy and blanch until just tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate.

Cover and set aside.
 Use a mortar and pestle or a knife to mash the garlic and ginger to a paste.
 In a medium skillet over medium-high, heat the oil.  Add the garlic-ginger paste and saute until aromatic, about 1 minute.  Add the chicken and soy sauce, then saute until cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt.

Divide the noodles between the serving bowls, topping them with some of the bok choy and sauteed chicken.  Ladle hot chicken broth into each bowl, then divide the meatballs among the bowls.

Garnish with celery, hard-boiled eggs and sambal.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup by Laurie Little

Red lentils cook up quickly and make a thick soup. They can be found in a health food store or specialty food store.  Serves 6.

1 cup red lentils
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 minced cloves of fresh garlic
1 (15 oz) can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 small jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place lentils, salt and 5 cups of water in a large saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and continue to cook partially covered (as they foam up and boil over easily) for about 25 minutes until tender.  Turn off pot and continue with other ingredients. 
Puree tomatoes and ginger in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.  Then add tomato mixture, coconut milk, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and jalapeno pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 Stir in the lentils and simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls with fresh cilantro for garnish.

Senate Bean Soup by Lori Mullenax

2 cans bean and bacon soup
15-1/8 oz. can Great Northern beans
15 oz. can navy beans
16 oz. can pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1-1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 lb. Polish sausage, thinly sliced or ham chunks
1-3/4 C. water

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Simmer over low heat for one hour.  Note: also is easily prepared in a slow cooker. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Taco Soup by Lori Mullenax

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cans chili beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1-1/2 C. water

Brown beef with onion, drain. Add all remaining ingredients; stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Doritos or corn chips.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup by Laurie Little (My mom, Jeanette, gave me this recipe. Wild rice gives it an excellent flavor and texture. LKL)

2 Tbs. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup onion, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. thyme
2 cups cooked wild rice
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
3 Tbs. sherry
Salt and pepper

In a soup pot over medium high heat, sauté garlic, onion, and mushrooms in butter in a soup pot. Cook until the onion starts to brown; this makes a flavorful broth for soup. Add milk, cream, and chicken broth and reduce to medium low heat. Add thyme, wild rice, chicken and sherry. Simmer until soup starts to thicken. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper. Add more broth if needed. Enjoy on a cold day with warm bread. Serves 3-4.

Beef Stew by Mimi Kibler

2 pounds of boneless chuck
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound of carrots
2 large onions
garlic
4 stalks celery
3 medium russet potatoes
5 rounded Tbsp. flour
5 bay leaves
1 Tbsp whole thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock (could be beef or vegetable stock)
2 1/2 cups inexpensive dry red wine
1 quart water (could be more stock or wine)
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

Cut meat into 1″ chunks after trimming fat. Use your tall stew pot, and you’ll have less splattering grease, and accomplish the meal in one cooking pot. Warm a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and add several pieces of meat. Make sure to leave some space between them so you get searing without the release of the juices. The pan should stay hot and oiled. Try to adjust the heat so the pieces brown readily without producing too much burnt materials on the bottom of the pan. This is important since it will become part of the flavor base for the stock.

Turn each piece when it releases from the pan. As pieces are browned, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add more meat gradually until you’ve browned all the chunks. While the meat is browning, you may have time to coarsely chop onions, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. Mushrooms would also be good.

When all the meat is browned and set aside, add the prepared vegetables to the same pan. Save peas until later.

Stir and cook for a while over medium heat till softened– about 10 minutes.

Now add flour to the vegetables (about 1 rounded tablespoon per pint of liquid you plan to add) and continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes to make sure the flour is well-distributed.

Return the meat to the pot. Add broth, stock, some dry red wine, and some water to cover the contents.  Add herbs.  I used thyme and bay leaves.  If you add salt and pepper now, be careful because you may still reduce the volume, and you don’t want it to be too salty.  Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and adjust heat to simmer for a couple of hours.

When it’s well-cooked and the meat is very tender, see if you want it thicker.  If so, reduce by simmering uncovered, or add a little more flour stirred into a small amount of cold water.  Adjust the salt and pepper, add peas, and cook briefly before serving.  I served it with garlic toasts (Toast bread, then rub with a peeled garlic clove and brush with olive oil).  Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup by Lori Mullenax

1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can green beans
1 can carrots with juice
1 can sliced potatoes with juice
1 (28 oz.)can crushed tomatoes
1 package beef w/ onion soup mix (I use Lipton Beefy Onion)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all in crockpot, stir to combine. Cook on low for at least 6 hours. Add water if necessary.

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