Nor’easter Lentil Stew

 

Here’s a yummy stick to your ribs kinda soup recipe for this cold stormy spring day.  Last time I posted it…was for a blizzard; today a Nor’easter.  Make a big pot so  you have leftovers for tomorrow…starting mine as soon as I finish posting this. Lentils are good for you and hearty in stew for chilly days. I took a basic Italian lentil soup and kicked it up a bit with some changes and additions.  My daughter and I love the Italian sausage in it and I especially enjoy adding shredded kale to the mix.  Kale is still very trendy these days but I have been using it for years; this is one of my favorite recipes to make with kale.  It increases the nutritional value and the flavor of a soup.  I also like how easily it goes together.  If you hate kale leave it out; spinach is really tasty too in it.  I prefer fresh kale, don’t forget to cut off the tough stems.  In this batch I used a mixture of sweet Italian sausage and hot spicy sausage.  Lots of extra flavor that way!

This stew could be made vegetarian; use vegetable broth and leave out the sausage.  I don’t always have the parm cheese on it but it is very tasty with it.

 

 

 

Lentil, Kale and Sausage Soup

Ingredients

¼ cup EVOL

1 cup diced yellow onion

2 large carrots, diced

1 garlic clove if desired; minced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp. tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup water

2 cups dried brown lentils, washed after measuring

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

1-2 quarts chicken broth,  If you don’t have that much broth just use water for part of it.

1 lb Italian sausage (sometimes I use a mix package of mild and spicy links)

1 lb fresh or frozen kale.  Fresh is best; chop it up but frozen will do

½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional (for topping)

2 tbsp chopped parsley; can leave out if adding kale.

Directions:

Sauté the onion and carrots in the olive oil in a big heavy bottomed soup pot.  I use a heavy bottom as your soup will be less likely to burn.  Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sausage; push the onions to the pan’s walls so they don’t burn.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Add garlic and tomatoes and stir up well, add the tomato paste in water and cook 10 minutes.  Add broth and season with salt and pepper; remove sausage to a plate to cool. Bring the soup back to a boil and then add lentils.  Cook about 25 minutes, add the potatoes and cook 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are done to your taste, add the potatoes 20 minutes into the cooking time.  Stir pot occasionally so it doesn’t stick.  Add the kale and cook 5-7 minutes.  While the lentils are cooking you should cut up the sausage into rounds and add back to the lentil stew when they are done.    Let the soup stand at least 15-20 minutes once it is done.  Serve in a wide soup bowl with a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese on top.  Perfect on a cold winter night to warm you up from  your tummy to your toes!

sausage lentil stew

Originally posted February 2016.

Italian Seafood Stew 2.0

I am a true lover of seafood and enjoy a good soup. So, combining these two loves is a natural. Years ago I used to make French Bouillabaisse, a light seafood chowder served over garlic bread.  The other day I was craving something warm and cozy like a bowl of soup. I had a can of artichoke bottoms someone gave to me.  I had some seafood… I used to make a Portuguese seafood stew but I am kinda tired of that; so upon more thought I decided it would be far more interesting to make an Italian version of Bouillabaisse that could use the ingredients I had on hand including that can of artichoke bottoms. I had everything but the cod.

It turned out pretty tasty. You can be flexible with the veggie amounts: I tend to use a lot of veggies in my recipes.  I am positive you could use artichoke hearts, either canned or frozen in stead of the pricier bottoms. If you hate artichokes; leave them out. Their flavor is not a strong component but if you don’t want it….  A cup of thinly chopped fennel would make a good substitution.  I got my saffron at Valley Farm Market in Bethlehem, cheapest around. Seems of good quality.

Use what ever seafood you have or enjoy. I think it is more interesting if you use at least two sorts besides one white firm fleshed fish. Leave the clam or mussel shells in and ditto for the shrimp shells: they add real flavor and look very authentic, just let folks pick them out. Do not use large clams or big hunks of fish; no bigger than one inch square.  Only cook it until shells open, shrimp curl and fish gets opaque.

Angie’s Italian Fish Stew

2 Tbsp. EVOL (good olive oil)

1 stalk of celery diced

1 medium onion diced

1 large carrot diced

4 garlic cloves minced

¼ tsp. saffron, crushed

1 15 ounce can of finely diced tomatoes

1 large red potato cut in small (1/3 inch dice)

2-3 Tbsp white wine or vermouth

1 ½ cups water or whey leftover from straining yogurt

2 cups chicken broth

1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (your discretion)

1 bay leaf

½-3/4 cup cooked chickpeas.

½ lb mixed seafood like mussels, clams, squid, shrimp

½ lb cod fillet

1Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley

1 can artichoke bottoms or hearts, drained and diced; I used all but one bottom

Garlic bread rounds, gluten free french bread

Directions:

Heat EVOL in large heavy bottomed 2-3 qt sauce pan.  Add celery, onion and carrots, cook about 5 minutes until softened, add garlic, cook another minute, add saffron, cook a minute.  Add wine, water/whey and broth. Let heat a minute and add the potato cubes, bay leaf and red pepper flakes.  Cook 15 minutes until potatoes are nearly done. Add cod which you have diced in large cubes and sprinkled with the lemon juice and mixed seafood. Cook about 5-8 minutes until seafood is just barely cooked.

Serve over thick slices of French bread heated, smeared with butter and sprinkled with garlic powder. I used two per bowl. You can heat them in the oven or in a toaster; do not butter and put in toaster; If you use the toaster method you will have to butter and garlic after it is done. I tried it both ways and it is superior baked in oven but fine done quick in the toaster. I used leftover French bread I had made the other day, gluten free of course and it made great garlic bread. The garlic granules work well but if you feel compelled to use fresh garlic…. You pour the stew over the bread and let it get soft from the broth. Alternately you can just eat it as bread with your stew. Enjoy!

seafood stew 3

Notes: I used chick peas I had cooked myself but canned are fine. If you don’t like chick peas use cannelloni beans or navy beans. I bet fava beans would be great in this! I used the whey remaining after I made Greek yogurt the day before. I never tasted it before; it is a touch salty and slightly tangy and very pleasant. I believe it is full of nutrients and a great addition to a soup.

Stormy Day Bean Soup

Another stormy day!  It’s time for another hearty one pot meal.  This one is my multi-bean soup with Italian sausage.  I started with a 1 lb 4 oz bag of 15 bean mix   If you have celiac most 16 or 15 bean mixtures for soups contain barley which we are hugely allergic to.  I found Hurts’s HamBeens 15 Bean Soup mix at Giant grocery store that was marked gf.  I did not use the seasoning packet that came with it.  Same brand I used last time.

My soup has Italian sausage but you can leave that out if you want a vegetarian version. I personally love sausage in a bean stew. Gives you lots of meaty flavor and a healthy dose of protein. I am guessing you could use other things like smoky ham chunks or maybe a ham hock?

I enjoyed a hot bowl of this pottage with a slice of toasted multigrain gf bread.  It made a full meal without anything else being necessary.   A fresh crunchy salad would go well if you want to round your dining experience out with some greens!

Fifteen Bean Soup with Sausage

Soak 1 pound 4 oz (typical bag size) of dried mixed beans in filtered water to cover.  Soak it for an hour or try the overnight treatment.  Bring to a boil and let stand an hour or just let stand in the cold water overnight.  I did the quick version.  Be sure to drain them well and rinse with sink sprayer before returning the swollen legumes to the carefully rinsed out  pot.  Cover with fresh filtered water and add a bay leaf.  Cook 2 hours, pour in more water as needed and stir so it doesn’t stick or burn, cook another hour until the beans are nearly tender.  It is hard to say when beans get done, depends on a number of factors, taste often to check for tenderness. And stir that pot! As they approach that almost done spot start the rest of the dish, get everything chopped up and ready to toss in when the beans have reached the two hour mark.

Chop into dice:

3 sizable carrots

1 large onion

Mince: 2 big garlic cloves

Add the veggies to the pot, stir and cook 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add water if needed.  I like the soup thick but it can’t be solid so add water.

As that cooks, start the sausage.  Sauté one lb Italian sausage: brown in a Teflon pan with a touch of olive oil until top and bottom are browned and sausage is mostly done. Let cool a bit and slice into rounds or chunks, set aside.

Add the following to the soup:

½ a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

½ tsp. dried oregano

Sprinkle dried basil

¼ tsp smoked paprika

½ bunch of kale leaves cut into big shreds; I cut off the bigger stems as they can be tough.

1-2 tsp sea salt

Some fresh ground black pepper

Cook ten minutes, add more water if it gets too thick. Stir occasionally.  Taste and add more spice if you think the soup needs more. Add the sliced sausage and cook five – ten minutes more.  A total cooking time could be from 2.5-3 hours, depending on your beans.  If they have been sitting in the pantry for many months they take longer to cook to a tender texture.

Taste and add more salt/pepper as you see necessary.  Let stand 5-10 minutes before ladling out.  Now that is comfort food that is good for you too!

Originally posted February 2015

Blizzard Lentil Stew

Here’s a yummy stick to your ribs kinda soup recipe for this cold stormy winter day.  Make a big pot so  you have leftovers for tomorrow… Lentils are good for you and hearty in stew for chilly days. I took a basic Italian lentil soup and kicked it up a bit with some changes and additions.  My daughter loves the Italian sausage in it and I love the kale added to the mix.  Kale is very trendy these days but I have been using it for years; this is one of my favorite recipes to make with kale.  It increases the nutritional value and the flavor of a soup.  I also like how easily it goes together.  If you hate kale leave it out; spinach is really tasty too in it.  I prefer fresh kale, don’t forget to cut off any tough stems.  In this batch I used a mixture of sweet Italian sausage and hot spicy sausage.  Lots of extra flavor that way!

This stew could be made vegetarian; use vegetable broth and leave out the sausage.  I don’t always have the parm cheese on it but it is very tasty with it.

 

lentil stew 001

Lentil and Sausage Soup

Ingredients

¼ cup EVOL

1 cup diced yellow onion

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp. tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup water

2 cups dried brown lentils, washed after measuring

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

1-2 quarts chicken broth, I prefer Kitchen Basics.  If you don’t have that much broth just use water for part of it.

1 lb Italian sausage (sometimes I use a mix package of mild and spicy links)

1 lb fresh or frozen kale.  Fresh is best; chop it up but frozen will do

½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional (for topping)

2 tbsp chopped parsley; can leave out if adding kale.

Directions:

Sauté the onion in the olive oil in a big heavy bottomed soup pot.  I use a heavy bottom as your soup will be less likely to burn.  Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sausage; push the onions to the pan’s walls so they don’t burn.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Add tomatoes and stir up well, add the tomato paste in water and cook 10 minutes.  Add broth and season with salt and pepper; remove sausage to a plate to cool. Bring the soup back to a boil and then add lentils.  Cook about 45 minutes to 50 until lentils are done to your taste, add the potatoes 20 minutes into the cooking time.  Stir pot occasionally so it doesn’t stick.  Add the kale and cook 5-7 minutes.  While the lentils are cooking you should cut up the sausage into rounds and add back to the lentil stew when they are done.    Let the soup stand at least 15-20 minutes once it is done.  Serve in a wide soup bowl with a good sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese on top.  Perfect on a cold winter night to warm you up from  your tummy to your toes!

Winter Tummy Warmer: Italian Lentil Stew

Okay, I have one more yummy soup recipe for these cold winter days.  I took a basic Italian lentil soup and kicked it up a bit with some changes and additions.  My daughter loves the Italian sausage in it and I love kale added to the mix.  Increases the nutritional value and the flavor.  I also like how easily it goes together.  Lentils are very earthy and very good for you. I have to say that my daughter loves this recipe; I made it because she was talking about it last week. Perfect to enjoy during this frigid weather.

If you hate kale leave it out; fresh baby spinach might be tasty too in it.  I like my kale fresh when making stews and I usually cut off any tough stems.  This recipe is naturally gluten free.  Do be careful about the broth you use.  Make sure it is labeled gluten free.

 

It could be made vegetarian; use vegetable broth and leave out the sausage.  I don’t always have the parm cheese on it but it is very tasty with it.

Lentil and Sausage Soup

Ingredients

¼ cup EVOL

1 cup diced yellow onion

2 large carrots diced

1-2 garlic cloves minced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp. tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup water

2 cups dried brown lentils, washed after measuring

1-2 quarts chicken broth, I prefer Kitchen Basics

1 lb Italian sausage

1 lb fresh or frozen kale.  Fresh is best; chop it up but frozen will do

½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, optional (for topping)

2 tbsp chopped parsley; can leave out if adding kale.

 

Directions:

Sauté the onion and carrots in the olive oil in a big heavy bottomed soup pot.  I use a heavy bottom as your soup will be less likely to burn.  Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sausage; push the onions to the pan’s walls so they don’t burn.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Add the garlic as you are turning or stirring .

yogurt and apple crisp 019

Add tomatoes and stir up well, add the tomato paste in water and cook 10 minutes.  Add broth and season with salt and pepper; remove sausage to a plate to cool. Bring the soup back to a boil and then add lentils.

yogurt and apple crisp 021 Cook about 45 minutes to 50 until lentils are done to your taste.  Stir it occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

Add the kale and cook 5-7 minutes then add back the sausage.  While the lentils are cooking you should cut up the sausage into rounds and add them to the stew when the lentils are done.    Let the soup stand at least 15-20 minutes once it is done.

Serve in a wide soup bowl with a good sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese on top.  Perfect on a cold winter night to warm you up from  your tummy to your toes!

I only made a half batch this time as that was all the lentils in the house. We ate it all up before realizing I had forgotten to take a picture of a bowl of hot soup, ready to dive my spoon into it’s tasty depths.  Next batch!

Turkey Posole, A Savory Mexican Stew

I am betting you have some roast turkey in the fridge or freezer, maybe a pint of gravy too?  Well, I have just the recipe for you, courtesy of foodnetwork.com.  It is nothing like most traditional turkey leftover recipes.  It is a Mexican stew.  Posole stew can easily be gluten free. Just use care choosing your chicken broth and your tortilla chips that accompany this savory soup.

I have been making it every fall after Thanksgiving and always look forward to a few bowls of it.  Spicy, crunchy, tangy; unlike any other soup I make.  It is called turkey posole. It can be made with roasted pork and I have done so.  I like it far better with roast turkey.  I have served this stew to many people and it is always well received and enjoyed, even by my elderly mother.  I haven’t made my 2014 batch but it is coming next week to my dinner table.  Can’t wait!

posole stew

Ingredients

2 tbsp mild olive oil or canola oil

2 medium onions chopped

4 cloves garlic chopped fine

1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine –use two if you like it spicy

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 GF beer (can use 1 cup water if you want but it gives more flavor)

Coarse salt and pepper

12-16 tomatillos; about 2 lbs, take off the paper cover and chop up.  Can coarsely chop in food processor

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme; chop it up off the stems.

1 15-17 ounce can hominy

1 qt chicken stock (can be part gravy)

1 ½ to 2 lbs chopped turkey meat; can be mixture of light and dark

1 lime juiced

Chopped cilantro leaves to garnish

Tortilla chips; the ones with lime go particularly well with this.

tortilla chips

Cook first six ingredients about 5 min in a large stock pot.  Add beer, cook one minute.  Add chopped tomatillos and cook 5-6 minutes until softened.  Add hominy, thyme and stock and cook 15 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper.  Add lime juice, stir well.  I never use cilantro; something I just don’t like, but feel free to add it as the original recipe uses a bunch of it.

We ladle the posole into bowls and serve lots of white tortilla chips to crunch over the top of the hot soup.  As the soup disappears from my bowl I like to add more chips to keep the crunch going.

Notes:

tomatillos

tomatillos

The more jalapeno pepper you add the hotter it will be. I have tried canned tomatillos and they are not really a good substitute.  You can get them fresh (found near the fresh tomatoes) in many stores including Giant and Bottom Dollar.  They are used in Hispanic and Mexican cooking and add a lot of flavor and tartness to the soup. hominy

Hominy is a corn product; whole kernels soaked in lye to swell and soften.  The kernels have a mild corn flavor plus they soak up other flavors quickly and add a certain texture and body to the stew.

The wild turkey is native to North America and another turkey species is originally from Mexico.  So turkey is a natural component in this stew.  The Aztecs revered corn and liked to cook it with meat.  Tomatillos are native to Mexico, related to cape gooseberries.  They are used in salsa verde and other Mexican dishes. So this compilation of turkey, corn, tomatillos and lime is a natural combination that will be easy to make and fun to eat. Go on, be adventurous and enjoy a steaming hot bowl of delicious posole and use up that turkey in a totally different way!

Spicy Baby Eggplant and Pasta Stew

This post is for my friend Diane, the queen of eggplants!  We have been friends for a couple of years and share garden space at the church garden.  She really knows how to grow eggplants, dozens on a single plant both years!

baby eggplants

This recipe is for dealing with those small eggplants you find yourself with when the frost strikes and all delicate plants die in the frosty fall air.  I pick them no matter how small and this is how we use them!  Yes, the eggplant recipe fest continues!

This stew is very suitable for the slow cooker although you could do it on the stove top, I used to cook them in a big pot and watch over it until the eggplants are tender but I really love being able to put it all in my crock pot and walk away for four hours.  No worries on burnt bottom of the pot syndrome when you use the slow cooker.

If you don’t have baby eggplants I think you could use Japanese eggplants cut into workable lengths.

I used to make it rather bland but I really enjoy this spicy version!

Spicy Baby Eggplants and Pasta Stew

Ingredients

7-12 small eggplants from tiny up to about six inches long

1-2 ounces hard parmesan cheese

1 32 oz can of tomato sauce

½ cup baby carrots

1 medium carrot diced

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less to your personal taste)

½ tsp. sea salt

1 large garlic clove, smashed

½ cup oil cured black olives

1-2 tbsp. capers

Directions:

Cut the Parmesan cheese into tiny wedges.  Trim off the top cap of the eggplant.  Cut 3-4 slashes in the side of each eggplant going in the direction from the cap to the bottom.

Put a wedge of cheese into each deep slash.  I only put 2 slashes in tiny eggplants, 3 in bigger ones and 4 in the largest eggplants.  Put the eggplants into your slow cooker. Top with the chopped onion and carrots.  I cut my carrots in half as they were kinda large. Top with the herbs/spices. Pour the tomato sauce over it all. I used a quart of homemade tomato sauce out of my freezer. If you use a can of plain tomato sauce you might want to add 1 tsp. dried basil and same amount of oregano.  Top with the garlic, olives, and capers.  Cover and cook in your slow cooker on high for 4 hours.

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Cook gluten free ziti, enough for how many people you are serving, and drain it one minute before the package directions say it will be done. Put it back in the now empty pot and add the eggplant mixture out of your crock pot.  Cook a minute stirring it all around the pot.  This allows the ziti to soak up some of the sauce and get a great authentic flavor.

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Serve in a low wide soup bowl with a good grating of Parmesan cheese on top.  If you have some gluten free rolls or fresh bread – heaven with this stew!

I like this stew leftover for lunch served over a microwaved baked potato. I use a knife to coarsely chop up the baby eggplants before heating them and pouring over the hot potato.

Note I used olives with pits but if you can find them pitted, all the better! If you are an olive hater, leave them out but they really add to the flavor.  Add more salt if you leave them out.