Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Delicious Turkey Ragout feeds the soul

Photo: Turkey & Vegetables Ragout

A rainy night or two ago, I pulled a package of frozen turkey from the freezer and pondered what I could throw together with it that suited this chilly night. I had canned tomatoes, an eggplant that needed to be used, and some of the mini-peppers in my fridge. So I threw this saucy dish together. It’s not quite a ragu nor is it a ragout exactly, but it’s closer to the latter, so that’s what I decided to call it. It’s a lovely combination of meat, vegetables, and sauce with Italian seasonings.

For my seasoning salt, I used Emeril’s Essence, but any seasoning salt will work. I also used red onion, which brings a bit more sweetness than a white or yellow onion, but any of them will work. In fact, this is a versatile recipe, so if you don’t care for eggplant, substitute in another vegetable, such as summer squash or mushrooms. Of course, you can also use ground beef in place of the turkey. For a vegetarian option, omit the meat and add in more vegetables, like the aforementioned mushrooms or chopped kohlrabi. Be aware that replacing the turkey with additional vegetables will increase the carb count a little.

Turkey and Vegetable Ragout

1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 15-oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Onion, chopped
1 cup Eggplant, cubed
3 Mini-Peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Water or White Wine
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Pepper

In a large saucepan, brown the ground turkey, chopping into small pieces as it cooks. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.

Add the eggplant and peppers and continue to cook another few minutes, stirring a few times, then add the canned tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water (or white wine). Add all the seasonings and stir the whole pan together.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for about 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid is reduced to a delicious sauce and the vegetables are tender. Taste the sauce and adjust any seasonings.

Serve with cooked zucchini noodles. You can either buy these in the frozen food section or make your own with a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler. Or you can do a wide shred with a food grater.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Info for Turkey Vegetable Ragout

Warm Up with Bean and Ham Soup

Photo: White Bean & Ham Soup

As a child, I grew up eating beans a lot. My grandmother would make a huge pot of pinto beans. We’d get bolillo (oval long bread rolls) from Mexico, and I loved to hollow the bread out and fill it with beans cooked with hamburger. But since I am trying to stay low carb these days, beans aren’t something I eat very often. Nonetheless, I’ll share this recipe for white beans with ham soup. This isn’t as low as I like most of my recipes to be, but it is still within reason for most people to enjoy on a low carb plan. The real trick is to add more ingredients to the pot to spread out the beans, so you don’t eat as many in one sitting. With that in mind, I added onions, carrots, and turnips to the pot with the ham and bean.

Generally, I use a ham hock to flavor the pot and add seasonings to round out the flavor. I also use a little of Better Than Bullion Chicken in it to add more flavor. If you want a heartier dinner, then cook up a sausage or a chicken breast to eat alongside the soup. These won’t add extra carbs and will help to fill you up with the smaller serving of soup.

White Beans and Ham Soup

1-1/4 cup Small White Beans (dry)
1 cup, diced Ham
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Carrots, sliced
3/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic Seasoning
3/4 cup Red Ripe Tomatoes, chopped or sliced or peeled and canned tomatoes
1 cup Turnips, cubed
1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken

In a large pot, pre-cook beans as directed on the package. Rinse, then add fresh water, salt, and pepper. Cook the beans from 2-3 hours until they are done. I usually put a ham hock or bacon in them to add flavor as they cook. Once they are done, add about 2 cups of water to the pot, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the carrots and turnips are tender. Add water as needed to keep the soup consistency. When done, you should have about 3 to 4 cups of delicious soup.

Makes about eight 2/3 cup servings.

Nutrition Information

Warm Up Your Meal with Pumpkin Soup

photo: pumpkin soup in a bowl

As the days grow cooler, I begin thinking about soups and stews more. I love all the various warming dishes. I also love pumpkin, and I’m always discovering new ways to use it in my cooking. For a long time, I associated pumpkin with desserts like pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin cookies. But pumpkin also has a savory side and can be used in many dishes. Interesting, it has a lovely thickening property, so it’s a great way to thicken stews and other sauces.

This recipe is an absolutely delicious pumpkin soup that would be a perfect starter for your Thanksgiving meal or just a warming soup with a slice of low carb soda bread for lunch. I plan to make this often this winter. If you want to make a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use the vegetable broth version.

photo: pumpkin soup in pot
Did I mention I love my copper clad square pot?

Hearty Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
2 medium Carrots, sliced
2 stalks Celery, sliced
1-1/4 cups Pumpkin puree
3/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
28 oz. Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
1 teaspoon ground Thyme
1 cup Kohlrabi, cubed
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
8 slices thick Bacon, cooked and broken into pieces

In a large pot, melt the butter then add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Precook the kohlrabi in a covered bowl in the microwave for about two minutes to give it a head start on cooking.

Add broth, pumpkin, and kohlrabi to the pot and stir to mix. Add seasoning and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir in the bacon and cream and cook over low heat until it is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 228 Fat: 19.4 g Net Carbs: 6.3 g Protein: 4.9 g

Warming Butternut Minestrone Soup

It’s a fluctuating Fall in Reno — one day is cold and the next is warm, but the nights are always chilly. It’s a great time for a tasty soup.

This is a recipe I found at Grateful Grazer and adapted for low carb. adding in chicken because I like having some meat with my meal. You can make it without the chicken and it is a great vegetarian soup. I also swapped out some of the higher carb’d vegetables, like corn and beans, for lower carb’d ones and eliminated the pasta in it.

Butternut Minestrone Soup

Adapted for low carb by Rene Averett

2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
3 stalks Celery, chopped
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups crushed Tomatoes with Basil
2 teaspoons ground Oregano or to taste
1 teaspoon Dried Hot Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground Sage
1/2 teaspoon ground Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 cups Butternut Squash,cubed
1 cup Green Beans
2 cups Cauliflower, cut into florets
8 ounces Chicken, cooked
1 cup Brussels Sprouts, cut in half (optional)

Cut all the vegetables up before you start so you’re ready to add them in as you come to them. It’s easiest to cook the butternut squash, either microwaving or roasting, until tender, then let cool and cut it out of the rind and cube it. You can use frozen vegetables for this.

In a large soup pot, add the coconut oil and heat, then add the minced garlic, cooking until it is fragrant. Add in the onions, ginger paste, carrots, and celery and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, seasoning, and cooked chicken. Stir to mix it all in. Then add in the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Lower to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

Serve in bowls with low carb bread or tortillas. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 135 Fat: 4.5 g Net Carbs: 11.6 g Protein: 9.0 g

Celebrate Spring with a Tasty Asparagus Soup

If you like asparagus, you will love this tasty, fresh soup made with asparagus and leeks. Of course, I added bacon, because everything’s better with bacon, isn’t it? But it is optional in this recipe if you’d like to keep it pure. The recipe also calls for white wine, which is also optional. It adds a slightly different flavor and sophistication to the soup, but it works equally well without it.

The recipe yields four 1 cup servings, which makes it nice entry course for dinner. If you combine it with a salad and a slice of low carb bread, then you have a lovely lunch.

Asparagus, Leek, & Bacon Cream Soup

1 Leek, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons White Wine (optional)
2 slices thick Bacon, cut into pieces and fried until crisp
1/2 lb Asparagus, chopped in 1-inch pieces
3 cups Chicken Broth
Pinch White Pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2/3 cup Cream

Clean and thinly slice the leek until the green leaves are too tough to use. Put into a colander and thoroughly wash to make sure any dirt is removed. Heat the butter in a medium pot and sauté the leeks for about 2 minutes. Add white wine (if using) or 2 tablespoons of chicken stock to keep the leeks moist.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the chopped asparagus, then add the rest to the pot with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Add seasonings, stir until mixed, then simmer for about 30 minutes.
Season with pepper.

Scoop 1 cup of the mixture and puree in a blender, then repeat with the rest of the soup mixture. Put back in the pot and add the remaining stock. Stir in the cream, bacon and reserved asparagus and heat over medium heat until hot. Serve.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 188.5 Fat: 16 g Net Carbs: 6.2 g Protein: 4.1 g