Lasagna Soup



I admit it.

I.hate.beets.

I know.

I know.

Beets are all healthy for you.

All the crunchies love them.

I really WANT to love them.

But ick.

They are all beety, and they dye your hands pink, and they taste like sour dirt, and the tops taste even worse.

Well... this past week... at the farmers' market... as we were walking to the car... in the rain... my hands full of peaches, apples, and grass fed beef... my precious, farmschool, 4 year old said ,"MOM!!"

"Can we please stop here and get some radishes?!" (another vegetable I despise) 

"Sure honey, grab the bunch you want and give this money to the lady."

"Oooooo they have beets too!!! Can we please have some beets?!  Please!!!"

"Sure." 

And there it was.  I had to make a recipe to disguise those gross roots.

I'm here to neutralize them for you too :) 

One of my favorite soups of the fall, winter, and spring... is Lasagna Soup.  It's versatile because you can put pretty much any veggie you want in it - and for some reason... it really does taste like lasagna.  The beets in this version give a broth that's a deep red color and are totally delicious, just like every other part of it.

I am also going to include a quick crouton recipe because... well... because bread is delicious, especially dipped in a savory egg mixture and fried.

Lastly, as always I am going to give you the gluten free version for those of you who want it! I can't promise it will make your children beg for beets at the farmers' market, but our lack of gluten has made our house a happy happy place.


Lasagna Soup
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
1 lb Italian, sweet, bulk sausage

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup (about 4oz.) diced pancetta, bacon, or prosciutto

Lots of garlic cloves, at least 5

5 large carrots
5 large celery ribs
1 onion
3 beets and tops
Handful of fresh oregano and basil

10 skinned tomatoes (you could use canned whole tomatoes… or fresh – score skin, blanch, shock in cold water and peel… that’s what I did!)

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup of wine (I used red but white would be fine too)

6 cups of chicken stock
6 cups of water

2 cups of dried pasta*
3 cups of fresh spinach

*Gluten freers – I chopped up 6 skinned red potatoes, put them in a separate pot, fried them in a bit of olive oil and then dumped the finished soup on top.  It got RAVE reviews J

In a big soup pot, brown sausage in a bit of oil on medium heat.  Use a little caution if you’re using organic sausage or sausage from a farm – it is typically lower in fat and will therefore need a bit of oil when frying.  Conventional sausage has more fat and might not need any oil.

Chop veggies in equal pieces so they cook evenly and dice garlic.

Add in pancetta, garlic, fresh herbs, and chopped veggies.

Chop tomatoes.

When other veggies have cooked until they are a bit softer add in chopped, skinned tomatoes, dried herbs, and tomato paste.  Saute all together for a bit.

De-glaze pan with wine.  Scrape around the bottom of the pan and get up all the fried brown bits… YUM!

Add in stock and water and bring it all to a boil.

At this point the longer you cook it the better, but it is ready for pasta, rice, cooked potatoes… or your starch of choice.*

I toss the fresh spinach and beet tops in when I put the starch in – it wilts down and is barely noticeable within the soup.

I serve it garnished with mozzarella (in chunks underneath the soup and on top), pecorino Romano cheese, and BIG croutons!

*If you are going to have left overs boil it again the following day and add fresh pasta – the pasta that sits in the soup in the fridge overnight gets swollen and gross – no longer al dente and delicious J
  

Gee Gee’s Croutons
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
Crusty bread* (we make our own OR get the organic rosemary olive oil sourdough bread from Weggies – either will do!)

1/4 cup water

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried garlic powder
1 tsp dried onion powder

Your frying oil of choice (make an informed one!)

*Gluten free?!  I used an Udi’s hot dog roll – and chopped it up into chunks.  I dipped and fried it first before all the gluten filled bread J

Chop bread up in big chunks.

Scramble eggs with water and spices.

Heat up oil in a frying pan.

BRIEFLY dip bread in egg mixture. 

Fry until golden on all sides.

Put in the oven on a rack on a cookie sheet on warm until soup is ready.

Serve warm… if there are any left from testing how they are… you’ve been warned.



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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Fall Flavors, Protein Packed, Chicken Soup


Sometimes you just need soup.

It's getting chilly out, the nights are cold, and the air isn't humid anymore.  

These are the days when soup is perfect!

I always plan to have soup the day after I make my Whole Crockpot Chicken.  I let the stock (chicken bones, onion, a few carrots, a few celery ribs... and if things get crazy and apple or two and a good amount of salt) simmer overnight in the crockpot, and during the day the following day.  When I get home from work, the soup comes together quickly since the stock is already hot.  Any excess stock is cooled and frozen in freezer bags, lying flat, so that they are easily stacked and don't take up much room in the freezer... which is packed with summer berries :) 

I made a portion of this with noodles, and a portion gluten free for the kiddos.  We served it up alongside gluten free corn muffins that were delicious.



The soup was satisfying, delicious, and full of great protein thanks to our farm fresh chicken and eggs.  D described it as "SO tasty mom!"  E enjoyed spooning it out onto the table and eating 10 muffins :) 


Fall Flavors, Protein Packed…
Chicken Soup
We use home grown, organic, fair trade, and or locally farmed ingredients
2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken

4 carrots
4 ribs of celery
1 small butternut squash

3 tbs butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbs fresh thyme
2 tbs chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs

6 cups of chicken stock
6 cups of water

A starch of your choice (rice, pasta, noodles, barley, quinoa, potatoes, etc)  
In a big pot melt butter.

Peel and chop carrots and squash.  Chop celery.  I chop everything about the same size (small) – so it takes the same amount of time to cook.
  

Sautee veggies with spices in butter until they are soft.   

 Add in stock* and water (you can use all water or all stock if you prefer… mine is pretty flavorful so I use half and half).  Bring everything to a boil. 

When soup is boiling add in your starch.  When starch is about 10 minutes from being cooked proceed to the next step (if it’s pasta you can put the pasta/noodles in and then proceed immediately to the next step… if it is rice or potatoes it will take longer).

Crack and whisk eggs.  Transfer into a freezer bag. 

Add in cooked, shredded, chicken.

Snip a small hole in the corner of the freezer bag and drizzle egg into BOILING water SLOWLY.  Egg should cook immediately and fluff up. 

When starch is finished – so is your soup!  Serve as is or topped with pecorino Romano cheese.  We serve alongside gluten free corn muffins or popovers.

*If you're gluten free and using BOXED/CANNED stock make sure to check the ingredients - some of them have wheat ingredients.  The safest thing to do is make it from scratch - it's SO easy in the crock :)


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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

EASY Guac

I hate cilantro.

Sorry.

I really hate it.

So if you're asking yourself why it's not in this recipe... that's why.  Add it if you want to... but you'll proly ruin it.  This is delicious without it, I promise!


EASY Guac
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
6 avocados
½ of a red onion
½ cup sour cream
½ of a lime (juice)
The zest of 1 lime
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Dash (or 5-10) of hot  sauce

Chop onion in small (even smaller than you think) pieces.  No one wants to eat a big chunk of raw onion.

Cut avocados in half, remove pit, and scoop out fruit.

Zest the lime over the top and then juice half of it.

Mix (I use a potato masher) with the rest of the ingredients

Enjoy with chips or a spoon J  

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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

EASY Crockpot Applesauce

Fall.

In New England.

You can't beat it.

Apples, pumpkins, hayrides, pretty leaves, surround you.

I.love.it.

We apple picked for the first time this season this week.  It was glorious - we literally stood at 1 tree and picked 30 lbs of apples.  I can't wait to go back next week!

15 of the apples this week - got made into applesauce.  I thought I would share my easy recipe.  I have no patience for a sieve, skinning, or anything of the like.  This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prep and 2 minutes to blend.  The crockpot cooking takes the longest... but you don't have to stick around for that.  

*Note - I don't do sugar in my sauce.  I know some people do... I don't.  I love the tart, sweet, apple with fall spices alone.  Feel free to add in your fave fall spices and some sugar if it suits your fancy.




EASY Crockpot Applesauce
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
15 Apples of your choice – I used about half gala and half macintosh  

2 cups(ish) of water (I “measured” in a coffee cup… it needs to cover the bottom of the crockpot)

3 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
Cut and core your apples.  I cut them in half, in half again, and then on an angle cut out the core of each quarter.  Then cut each quarter in a few pieces.  I leave the skins on because they are delicious and they get nice and soft in the crockpot.

Cover the bottom of your crockpot with about 1/2 to 1 inch of water and put on high (or low, depending on how long you want it to take).   Put apples on top of the water.  The more water you put in the thinner and smoother your puree will be at the end. 

Add spices and mix up.

Cook.

Cook longer.

How long the apples cook depends on your crockpot.  No matter how I set mine, anything I cook, including a whole chicken, takes no more than 4 hours… I doubt this is the case with your, higher quality crockpot J

When apples are soft – use your immersion blender to puree.  This makes a very smooth puree – if you don’t like it like that – feel free to mash, sieve, etc… this is just faster and I like applesauce smooth.

I then jarred and canned the applesauce in 5 - 1.5 cup jars. It was the perfect amount (with a small bowl for me to eat on the side).




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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Homemade Carpet Deodorizer






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I'm over at day2dayjoys making some homemade, non-toxic, yummy smelling, carpet deodorizer today! Check it out! 






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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3











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