We’re approaching week two of our “Forty Days of Soup” adventure.  Thus far, I’ve received nothing but thumbs up!  My favorite soup this week:  Seuppe ou Piat…served on Ash Wednesday…very satisfying, yet meatless and light.  The rest of the family really enjoyed My Big Fat Greek Lentil soup…though I did add a pound of rigatoni as hubby forgot to pick up an extra bag of lentils.   The Mexican Pork and Sweet Potato Soup was a big hit, as well, considering that my dear husband really doesn’t like sweet potatoes, but still proclaimed it a success.

So, we journey onward with another week’s menu and recipes:

Lenten Menu – Week 2

Wednesday

Kimberly’s Loaded Potato Soup

Homemade bread

Sliced Apples

Thursday (Happy Feast of St. Patrick!)

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew served in bread bowls

Peach cobbler

Friday

Minestrone – Olive Garden copycat recipe

Homemade breadsticks

Caesar salad

Saturday

Ribollita

Homemade Foccacia

Sliced Cantaloupe

Sunday  (Feast!)

BBQ Ribs

Baked Beans

Buttered Corn

Salad and fruit

Monday

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Strips and condiments

Tuesday

The Lady and Sons Vegetable Beef Soup

Touch of Grace Biscuits

Fruit Salad

Wednesday

NO SOUP FOR YOU ! NEXT ! – Mulligatawny Soup (yes…the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” recipe!)

Chapati (Indian Flatbread)

Salad

Here are the recipes…double as you need to…that’s what I do!

 Kimberly’s Loaded Potato Soup

1 stick of butter
3 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme
3/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
4 chicken bouillon cubes (You may substitute water and bouillon with an equal amount of broth or chicken stock, my personal preference!)
7 cups water
10 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 qt. half and half or milk (I prefer the h&h)
1/2 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup cold water (for thickening)

Toppings:

crumbled bacon (leave out for days of abstinence)
chopped green onions
chopped chives
sour cream
shredded cheese

Or serve as the Soup of Suffering…no yummy toppings, just soup! ;-D

In a large stock pot, melt butter and sauté carrots, onions, celery and garlic until translucent. Quickly add the water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes, thyme, parsley, and pepper. Cook until tender. Add half and half/milk (as much as you prefer…I use it all.) Using a potato masher, mash with 5 or 6 quick strokes. Bring soup to a boil and slowly begin adding cornstarch mixture until soup is desired consistency. Ladle into bowls, add your favorite toppings and serve with your finest loaf of home-made bread.

Bon Appetit!

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew
As per most recipes, we double this and serve in bread bowls!

Ingredients:

2 pounds lean beef stew meat
3 tbs vegetable oil, divided
2 tbs all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 cups Guinness stout beer (or other Irish Stout)
2 cups carrot, cut into chunks

1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Directions:

Trim the meat of any fat, cut into 2 inch cubes, and toss them in a bowl with 1 tbs of the vegetable oil. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Toss the meat in the mixture to coat.

Heat the remaining oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and brown on all sides. Add the onions and crushed garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water (to dilute); pour into the pan, stir to blend, cover and cook gently (reduce heat if necessary) for about 5 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan, and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This adds a lot of flavor to the broth. Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the carrots and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Here is the “bread bowl” recipe:

Ingredients
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

7 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

Directions
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.

Yields: Six to Eight Servings

Minestrone – Olive Garden copycat recipe!

Just in time for winter, this soup is sure to warm your soul with it’s savory flavor and wonderful aroma. I’ve asked many an Olive Garden waiter for this recipe, but none gave it to me in detail. One waiter told me the secret ingredient was to add a little red wine to the stock, but I’ll leave that up to you to try.” Todd Wilbur

Ingredients

o 3 tablespoons olive oil
o 1 cup minced white onions ( about 1 small onion)
o 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
o 1/2 cup frozen cut italian green beans
o 1/4 cup minced celery ( about 1/2 stalk)
o 4 teaspoons minced garlic ( about 4 cloves)
o 4 cups vegetable broth ( Swanson is good *note: Do not use chicken broth!*)
o 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
o 2 (15 ounce) cans small white beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained
o 1 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
o 1/2 cup carrots, julienned or shredded
o 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
o 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
o 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
o 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
o 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
o 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
o 3 cups hot water
o 4 cups fresh baby spinach
o 1/2 cup small shell pasta

Directions

1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.
4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
6. Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.

Ribollita

*This lovely recipe is an absolute original twist on a traditional Tuscan peasant soup. My family loves this one…though my husband has, with his wry sense of humor, dubbed it “Catch-all Soup.” Anything goes, with ribollita…whatever is hanging out in your vegetable crisper!

4 cans cannellini beans (you may soak your own if so desired, but this is quicker!)
¼ cup olive oil or 1 stick of butter or margarine (olive oil is preferred)
4 ribs of celery, including their tops – chopped
5 -6 lg. carrots – chopped
1 lg. onion – chopped
8 cloves of garlic – minced
2 heaping T. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. oregano, dried
3 T. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
3 roma tomatoes chopped (or petite diced tomatoes in the can)
¼ cup parmesan cheese
12 – 15 cups chicken stock (equivalent vegetable stock or chicken bouillon with water may be used – amount depends upon how “soupy” you want your soup)
1 cup roughly torn spinach (you may omit – a lovely addition in the spring when spinach is fresh)
*2 cups of chopped ham, sausage or roast pork (only on those “non-fast” days!)
2 cups bread crumbs, Italian or plain (you may substitute stale, crumbled Italian bread or seasoned stuffing mix)

In the bottom of a large stock pot, sauté celery, onions, carrots and garlic in oil or butter, until onion is translucent. Add stock. Bring to a boil. Add beans, basil, oregano, parsley, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Simmer, covered, for at least an hour. Uncover and gently mash (using a potato masher) with five or six quick strokes. Add torn spinach and bread crumbs. Allow to simmer for at least another 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite crusty Italian bread and just a small drizzle of good olive oil. Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth 1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions

Directions
In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.

The Lady and Sons Vegetable Beef Soup

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (if using chuck roast)
2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef short ribs or 2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless chuck roast*
4 quarts cold water
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced green beans, fresh or canned
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas
1 cup frozen butter beans
1 cup cut okra, fresh or frozen
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or canned
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (I will omit…potatoes are enough carbs!)
Chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions
If using chuck roast, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the roast in the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the roast from the skillet and cut it into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes; discard the fat. Place the beef cubes in a large stockpot. (If using short ribs, you can put them right in the pot with no preparation).

Add the water, tomatoes, onions, dried parsley, beef bouillon, dried Italian seasoning, House Seasoning, seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, garlic powder, black pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot; reduce the heat so that the liquid simmers, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. If using short ribs, remove them from the pot and cut the meat from the bones, discard the bones and fat, and return the meat to the pot. Add the remaining vegetables and the macaroni and return the soup to a boil, stirring to distribute the ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Just before serving, season with salt and pepper and add fresh chopped parsley. To remove excess fat from the surface of the soup, swirl a lettuce leaf around the surface—it will pick up a lot of the fat.

*The chuck roast will yield more meat, but the bones from the short ribs give the soup an incredible flavor.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

NO SOUP FOR YOU ! NEXT ! – Mulligatawny Soup

You’ll Need:

16 Cups Water
6 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Potatoes, Peeled & Sliced
2 Stalks Celery, With Tops
2 Cups Peeled & Diced Eggplant (About 1/2 Of An Eggplant)
1 Onion (Medium), Chopped
1 Cup Frozen Corn
2/3 Cup Canned Roasted Red Pepper, Diced
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Shelled Pistachios
1/2 Cup Roasted Cashews
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Butter
3 Tbls Sugar
1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/4 Tsp Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
Dash Marjoram
Dash Nutmeg

Let’s Get Started

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over high heat.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 to 3 hours or until soup has reduced and the consistency is thick and brownish in color. It should have the consistency of chili.
Stir occasionally for the first few hours, but stir often in the last hour. The edges of the potatoes should become more rounded, and the nuts will soften.

Your (Soup Nazi’s) Mulligatawny Soup is ready to be enjoyed piping hot.

Chapati:  Indian Flatbread

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup hot water or as needed

Directions
In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough that is elastic but not sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Divide into 10 parts, or less if you want bigger breads. Roll each piece into a ball. Let rest for a few minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot, and grease lightly. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the balls of dough until very thin like a tortilla. When the pan starts smoking, put a chapati on it. Cook until the underside has brown spots, about 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Continue with remaining dough.

And that’s that…at least for the coming week.  Hope you enjoy your Lenten journey this week…be sure to give a couple of these recipes a try!

Blessings,