How could a spoon give one so much joy? When it's in a bowl filled with one of my delicious soups; that's how.
Four years ago, when I innocently started blogging about food and posting my own stories and recipes, I wasn't much of a soup aficionado. Like most of you, I assumed it was a difficult process even though everyone said it was easy. I heard the words mire poix, and layering flavors and began to panic.And when I was twelve, I worried that my first kiss would be a disaster.
I was wrong on all accounts.
Few things are easier, as versatile, or provide the opportunity for so much creativity than soups or stews. Warm, slurpable, spicy or mild, chunky or smooth; they're all part of my most favorite moments in the kitchen. It helps me transition from warm months to cold by allowing one to hunker over a stoneware bowl with intention and love, and begin to long for the hearth, instead of the beach.
Here I share FOUR new creations. All of them easy, all tested by my panel of happy tasters, (which is everyone so far...) All here for you:
1. Cajun Apple Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Stew
Serves 8 - 10 / Click here for printable version.
Cajun seasonings and pre-cooked apple chicken sausage set the stage for a quick stew that's ready almost as soon as the pan heats up! Taking advantage of lots of kitchen staples, and my favorite seasoning blend, we amped up the satisfaction quotient by serving it over jasmine rice.
Chop and prep all ingredients. In a large stew pot heat the oil to medium high. Add the onion and celery, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato and sauté for about 4 minutes. Deglaze with the orange juice and stir in well, letting it simmer for a minute or so. Add about 1 t of salt and pepper and blend. Add the Cajun seasoning, being generous with measurements. Stir. Then add the stock and stir. Let come to low boil. Stir in the brown sugar, nestle in the whole stalks of thyme, and then add a bay leaf. Let simmer on low, but still bubbling, for about 40 minutes. Remove lid and stir in sausage, let bubble for about another 10 minutes. I add the sausage last so it doesn’t shrivel up and get too cooked. While stew is cooking, make the rice. You can make more if you’d like. When the stew is done, remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls over the rice, or serve without rice if preferred.
2. Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup
Serves 6 / Click here for printable version.
Inspired by a MyRecipes.com soup recipe that thickens the broth to silken perfection by adding a beaten egg and lemon juice into the soup at the last minute, this was a definite winner. Oh. My. Goodness. I was crazy about anything lemony. Now I'm truly bonkers over it.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 medium carrots, finely sliced
1 large leek, finely sliced
5 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/3 cup dry jasmine rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon +/- finely chopped fresh dill
3 cups loosely packed spinach, stems removed
2 C shredded rotisserie chicken
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Cracked black pepper, for serving (optional)
1 t Horlacher’s seasoning
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots, and leek to pan; cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are aromatic. Add chicken stock to vegetables and increase heat to medium-high; bring to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is nearly done, about 20 minutes.
Whisk together lemon juice and eggs in medium bowl. Slowly pour in a ladle of hot broth into egg mixture, adding another 3 or 4 ladles, whisking constantly. Then pour egg mixture back into pan, stirring with whisk. Add dill, spinach, chicken, and salt; allow spinach to wilt and soup to heat back up, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired. Serve.
3. Mediterranean Curry Beef
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.