Friday, March 11, 2011

Dad's Potato Cheese Soup

1 stick butter
2 medium onions, chopped (I used one MASSIVE sweet onion)
4 cloves garlic, chopped (I used crushed garlic from a jar)
1 tbsp fresh Rosemary, chopped (this made the house smell SO good when sauteed in with the butter)
1 lb favorite link sausage, thinly sliced (I used Farmer John smoked sausage)
4 lb peeled and diced russet potatoes (I used about 5 lbs, and chopped them really small so they would cook fast)
24 oz. Deluxe American Cheese (I used the whole block of 32 oz Velveeta Cheese since I used more potatoes)
16-32 oz Milk (This is such a huge gap! I used 16 oz)
Salt and Pepper to taste

*The recipe calls for water, but I used a box of Chicken Broth instead.

In a 6-8 quart pan, melt butter on medium-low heat with onions until translucent.
Add garlic and Rosemary and saute for 2 minutes.
Add sausage and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add potatoes and cover with chicken broth (The chicken broth covered most of the potatoes, I just needed about 1 cup of water to top it off).
Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil.
After potatoes become very tender, reduce heat to low and add cheese a little at a time until all melted.
Add milk*, salt and pepper, and cover for 15 minutes.

     *This step is tricky... I burnt the soup a little at this point when I added the milk. I'm not positive that it was the milk, but I have a pretty good feeling that it was indeed the milk. I've heated milk up on the stove for hot chocolate before, and had the same filmy, burnt smell come from that as well. And it wasn't until this point that the soup began to smell kinda burnt. I would maybe turn the heat down a little sooner so that it begins to cool off a bit so that when you add the milk it doesn't burn. Course, I also used a crappy pot that pretty much burns all things you put into it, so that didn't help, I'm sure.

     I found this recipe at Food Network, and it looked so good... I love potato cheese soup.... the thought of adding sausage only made me giggle with joy! I LOVE sausage, it's my favorite food group! So this was perfect for me! It was really good! Everyone else that tried it at Game Night at church said it was really good too. I had some from the top so I couldn't taste any of the burnt part. Next time I'll be more careful. It really thickened up by the time we made it to church too, so it was really thick and creamy! I coulda dealt with more cheese too, cause I'm just a crazy cheese lover!

     There isn't a picture for this one... I didn't whip out my camera at Game Night, sorry! I was too interested in eating all the good food I was stuffing my face with. Speaking of, I ate this one concoction that I wasn't sure what it was... there were scalloped potatoes, macaroni, and lasagna in it so it seemed. When I asked the chef, he said that yes, in fact, that's exactly what it was. He had some leftover lasagna, made some scalloped potatoes, and macaroni, and mixed it all together and baked it... It was one of the tastiest things ever! Who knew!

     Anywho, enjoy this sausage-y, cheesy, potato-y soup! It's yummy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dumpling Soup

     I found this recipe in my Food Network magazine and made it on a whim a few months ago, not expecting much, and crazily enough, it has become G's new favorite meal! He asks for it ALL the time! Once, sometimes, twice a month! I've made a few additions to the soup based on our own tastes; nothing drastic, just adding more yumminess, who can argue with that!

     What's great about this dish is it's pretty healthy for you, and we've found that it's actually quite filling! Also, it's super easy to make and takes practically no time! If you like dumpling or wonton soup, then I think you'll really dig this soup!

-4 C low-sodium chicken broth (We like more broth, so I usually up this to 5 or 6 cups, you'll probably agree)
-1/4 lb thick-sliced ham, diced (I get the Farmer John brand from the meat section in the market)
-2 tbsp dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
-1 tbsp sugar
-1 1-in piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (I just add 1 or 2 tsp of grated ginger from a jar)
-4 3-in strips orange zest (Again, I just zest 1/2 an orange)
-Kosher salt and ground pepper
-2 scallions (green onions), sliced, white and green parts separated
-1 C sliced button mushrooms
-2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (I've diced my own carrots, and used frozen, which worked out great as well)
-2-3 Napa Cabbage leaves, thinly sliced (I really like the cabbage, so I usually use a few more leaves. Also, notice this isn't your normal cabbage, which I've also used and it tasted great as well, but it's Napa Cabbage which is also green, but is more delicate than normal cabbage)
-24 frozen chicken or vegetable dumplings or pot stickers (I use the brand Ling Ling, which comes in a yellow bag in the frozen section. They're actually chicken and vegetable dumplings, and they have proven to have the best taste, really hearty)
-Soy sauce for drizzling (optional, but really tasty)

*I add some fresh or frozen shrimp to the dish as well just because!
*I also make some white rice to serve with the soup (I used boil-in-a-bag rice and stuck it right in the soup while it was simmering, and took it out when I added the dumplings, it was perfect)

     Combine 2 cups of water with the chicken broth, ham, sherry, sugar, ginger, orange zest, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper in a large pot.
     Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the scallion whites, mushrooms, and carrots. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
     Add the cabbage, dumplings, and scallion greens (*This is where I add the shrimp). Cover and cook until the dumplings are soft and heated through 4-5 minutes. {The dumplings really don't take any longer than this, so if you're planning on letting the soup simmer any longer b/c you're not going to eat for a while, wait to add the dumplings. I've made the mistake of letting them cook for too long and they were falling apart}
     Divide the dumplings and soup among bowls. Drizzle with soy sauce, if desired.
     *I put a 1/4-1/3 cup rice in the bottom of each bowl and scoop the soup on top. It's spectacular!

Prep time: 15 minutes (If you get frozen carrots, it will take no prep time, I start the soup simmering, and do the rest as I go, so even better!)
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4-5
Cal 256; Fat 9; Chol 56; Sod, way too much; Carb 24; Fib 3; Pro 18