Category Archives: Soups, Stews, and Chili

Tomato Carrot Soup with Basil

Soup is such a great thing to eat on a cold winter day. Like this Tomato Carrot Soup with Basil. Although, I have to admit, it’s also good in the summer made with fresh tomatoes. But during the winter you can use canned diced tomatoes and I think it tastes just as good.

I’ve been having lots of soup lately, because it is cold and because I’ve been getting over a nasty bout of bronchitis, which I had over most of the holidays. I was disappointed at not being able to post more holiday recipes, but just didn’t have much energy to cook or do much else!

So I thought this would be a good time to post a soup recipe–most people love a good bowl of soup in the winter and this is so good for you. It has a good variety of veggies in it–carrots, celery and onion–all blended to a smooth consistency. Garlic and basil also add to the flavor. It makes a great meal with some crusty bread. Or serve it before a main course for dinner.

TOMATO CARROT SOUP WITH BASIL by NancyC

Makes about 4 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  •  2 pounds fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced (or 2 [14.5-ounce] cans diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 Tablespoons dried basil, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

In large saucepan, cook carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, in olive oil, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half of the tomatoes and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture, in 2 batches, to a blender or food processor and add 1/2 cup water to each batch. Cover and blend until smooth, then return mixture to saucepan.

Stir in the salt, half of the basil, and the remaining tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil and balsamic vinegar and heat an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

If you are a fan of tomato soup, you’ll want to try this sometime! I love trying out new versions of tomato soup. Do you have a favorite tomato soup recipe?

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Creamy Navy Bean Soup

Creamy Navy Bean Soup @ NancyCRosemary is one of my favorite herbs. Unfortunately, my big outdoor rosemary plant did not make it through the winter, so I have a new small one growing inside right now. I’ll put it outside soon, hoping it will grow into another big plant! I used some of the rosemary from this little plant in this Creamy Navy Bean Soup recipe.

I made this soup several weeks ago on a chilly day. Even though the weather has warmed up, this is still a great recipe for any time of year if you are a soup-lover! Creamy soups usually call for heavy cream as an ingredient, but I used plain Greek yogurt in this soup–I thought the tangy yogurt would give the soup a nice flavor, and it really did! The rosemary gives it a great flavor, too. You’ll want to use fresh rosemary if you have it, but dried rosemary also works.

CREAMY NAVY BEAN SOUP by NancyC

Makes about four servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Additional fresh or dried rosemary for garnish

In a  4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and onions; cook until onions start to get tender and a little translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add in the broth and beans, heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let soup cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place half of the soup mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large bowl, then blend the remaining soup mixture and add to the large bowl.

Stir the plain Greek yogurt into the pureed soup mixture, blending well (if the yogurt is lumpy, use a hand better or immersion blender to smooth the mixture). Pour the soup mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5 additional minutes.

Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with a garnish of fresh or dried rosemary, if desired, and serve.

In addition to rosemary, I also like to grow basil in a pot every summer–that’s another favorite herb of mine. Do you grow your own herbs, too, and what are your favorites?

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Zucchini Vegetable Soup

Zucchini Vegetable Soup @ NancyCSoup is a favorite winter meal of mine–a big hot bowl of soup on a cold day is just so warm and comforting! This winter has actually been on the milder side where I live, but we’ve had some chilly days and I’ve been making homemade soup every so often.

anysharpIf you like veggies, this Zucchini Vegetable Soup is a good one to try. In addition to zucchini, it’s also made with green beans, chopped onion, and sliced carrots, all cooked until tender in a tomato–vegetable broth (or you can also substitute chicken broth if you like).

So there’s some chopping and slicing involved, but it’s worth it! And it gave me a chance to try my new complimentary AnySharp  knife sharpener that I received in the mail. It’s safe and easy to use and comes in a convenient small size for easy storage. It really helps make chopping and slicing veggies so much easier! You can visit AnySharp.com to learn more about it.

You can seed your zucchini before slicing it if you want, but if you don’t mind having some seeds in your soup, you can just slice it without seeding like I did.

ZUCCHINI VEGETABLE SOUP by NancyC

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 6 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)–cut slices into halves or fourths
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) green beans, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 2 cups sliced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Tablespoon Italian seasoning, depending on how seasoned you want it
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • additional salt and pepper to taste

In large pot, over medium heat, stir together the broth and tomato paste. Add the zucchini, green beans, onions, carrots, salt, dried parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Heat mixture to boiling, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired, then serve.

The Italian seasoning adds a great flavor to this soup, along with the garlic and onion. If you’re trying to get more veggies in your diet, this is a great recipe to try! What kinds of soup have you been making this winter?

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Easy Lasagna Soup

Easy Lasagna Soup @ NancyC

If you’re craving lasagna but don’t have the time to make it, this soup just might be the next best thing. Not only is it easy to make, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time. And it really does have that delicious lasagna flavor! It’s so hearty and thick, too, with ground beef, chopped green bell pepper, chopped onion, and lots of rotini noodles. Oh, and don’t forget the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top–you really must have that!

EASY LASAGNA SOUP by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes about 8 servings

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 2/3 cups uncooked rotini (corkscrew pasta)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese, for sprinkling on top

In large saucepan, cook beef, green pepper, and onion over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain excess grease.

Stir in tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in uncooked pasta and return to a boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with 1/2 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese and 1 Tablespoon Mozzarella cheese, then serve.

Comfort food in a bowl, that’s what this lasagna soup is! This has become one of my new favorite winter soups! What’s yours?

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Retro Beef Stew

Retro Beef Stew @ NancyC

I found a beef stew recipe in a vintage promotional cookbook that was published in 1961, the Cutco Cook Book. I found the Cutcocookbook at a flea market for $1.00, so I couldn’t pass it up! I love the vintage illustrations in these old cookbooks and it’s always fun to try recipes from them.

I first made this stew about four years ago, and this is actually a repost of the recipe–my original photo was really bad–this one’s a little better! I made a few more tiny changes to the recipe, too–I used light olive oil instead of vegetable oil (you can also use canola oil), used a little less water, and added a little more peas. The new amounts are updated in the recipe below.

Winter is the perfect time to eat a hot bowl of stew and I made this on one of the coldest days we’ve had so far this season! It’s a very chunky stew, so if you’re wanting to make something hearty, you’ll have to try this. The cookbook says the recipe serves four, but I think it’s more like six–it makes a big potful of stew! If you like your food well–seasoned, you’ll probably want to add additional salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning to taste; otherwise you may find this stew a little bland.

I made the stew in my cast iron Dutch Oven, but you can use whatever kind of pot with a lid that you like–just make sure it’s a large one! 🙂

RETRO BEEF STEW by NancyC, adapted from the 1961 Cutco Cook Book

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds stew beef (or chuck or round beef, cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 (1-lb.) bag baby carrots that are peeled and ready to use–slice each baby carrot in thirds OR use 8 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ thick slices
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired

If you are cutting your own chunks of meat, trim excess fat from meat first, then cut into chunks.

Combine flour, pepper, and salt in a large ziploc bag; add chunks of meat; shake until pieces are coated.

Add oil to Dutch Oven over medium heat; add meat chunks and brown on all sides.

Add diced onion and garlic, then boiling water, canned tomatoes, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well to combine ingredients.

Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas, and simmer for another hour or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired.

Stew is just the thing to warm you up on a cold day! Have you made any good stews this winter season? What ingredients do you like to use to add more flavor to them?

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