Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Hot Chile for Cold Days

Photo: Rene's Beef and Chorizo Chile

With a snowstorm arriving in Reno last weekend, my thoughts turned to warm comfort food. Weather like this calls for at least stew, soup, or chile. I went with the latter. Usually, I make my Tex-Mex chile, the variety that uses all meat chunks and carries a ton of heat. But I decided to try something a little different, so here’s my take on a meat and bean chile done low carb.

First, I added medium-hot chorizo in for a zap of spice and a different flavor, then mixed in ground beef. I chose black beans because they are a bit lower in carbohydrates than either pinto or red beans. The result is fabulous, tasty, and warming. Like many stews, soups, and curries, the longer the pot sits, the more flavorful it becomes. So if you want to make it a day ahead, you can cover it and put it in the ‘fridge for a day or so. Nonetheless, it is delicious on the first day.

Rene’s Beef and Chorizo Chile

1 Onion, diced
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 pound Chorizo Sausage
1 can diced Green Peppers
1 packet Taco Seasoning or 2 tablespoons Spicy Seasoning
1 15-oz can Stewed Tomatoes, chopped
1 15-oz can Tomatoes with Chiles
1 can Black Beans, with juice
1 cup Pumpkin puree

In a 10 to 12 cup heavy pot, heat a teaspoon oil and add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for about five minutes until the onions are sweating. Add ground beef and chorizo, breaking it up as you stir it around. Cook until the meat is lightly browned.

Add green peppers, seasoning, and both cans of tomatoes. Add about a half-cup to each tomato can and swish them around to get the rest of the juice in the can, then add to the chile pot. Stir it together, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for an hour.

Taste the sauce to check the seasoning and adjust it if you want it spicier. Add the black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir well and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes until the chile thickens.

Serve in bowls with cheddar jack or Mexican cheese and sour cream if you wish.

Makes 8 to 10 servings, about 1 cup each.

Tip: You can make an excellent chile cheese omelet with this chile. Just add 1 cup of warmed chile in the middle of the partially cooked omelet and top with cheese. Fold the omelet over or cook the top in a broiler until the cheese is melted.

Warming Broccoli with Irish Cheddar Soup

Photo Broccoli Cheese Soup

Switching on a dime, the temperatures in Reno went from spring-like mid-50s to snowing today. Perfect time for delicious and warming soup. I ran across a recipe for broccoli cheese soup and made a couple of small changes to make this scrumptiously rich-tasting version using sharp Irish cheddar cheese.

Broccoli Soup with Irish Sharp Cheddar Cheese

3 tablespoon Butter, melted
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons All Purpose Low Carb Flour
1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Chicken Stock
2 1/2 to 3 cups Broccoli, chopped
1 Carrot, peeled and chopped
2 Celery stalk, cleaned and diced
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Spicy Seasoning
7 oz. Kerry Gold Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir to make a paste. Add the chicken stock and stir or whisk to blend the flour in, then add the cream and water. Stir together over medium heat.

Add the vegetables and stir together. Add the spicy seasoning and stir, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Add cheese, reserving about 1/4 cup for topping, then stir until it melts. Add the nutmeg, if desired.

Serve in one cup bowls and top with a pinch of reserved cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings depending on appetite.

Image: Nutrition Information Broccoli with Irish Cheddar Soup

Thai Coconut Soup Bring the Flavor

Photo: Thai Coconut Soup

This week’s “Meatless Monday” recipe isn’t entirely without “meat,” but as I understand it, seafood isn’t included in the ban. I’m using shrimp in this tasty and slightly-spiced soup, but if you’re vegetarian or don’t want to eat seafood, then you can leave it out or replace it with cubes of firm tofu.

The base recipe came from the Atkins web site; however, I added more to it to make it a heartier soup. While it is delicious, it isn’t completely filling, so maybe you can add a salad and/or a low carb roll or even make a grilled cheese sandwich to accompany. Although the recipe makes six one-cup servings, it is low enough in carbs that you can make four servings and gain another half cup of yum. You can also increase the amount of shrimp in it.

Thai Coconut Soup

3 cups Chicken Broth
13.5-ounce can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 piece fresh Ginger, 1-inch, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1/2 cup Spinach or Bok Choy, chopped
2 tablespoons Fish Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce
1 Jalapeño Pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated Lime Zest
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 pound medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces Mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup Daikon Radish, cubed
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice

Peel and chop or slice all the vegetables before you begin to cook. Cut the daikon into  small cubes so it will cook quicker.

In an eight cup pot, add the chicken broth, coconut milk, ginger, jalapeño, fish or Worcester Sauce, lime zest, and sugar substitute. Cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring a few times, then reduce the heat to low, partly cover the top, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Add the daikon and cook another 10 minutes to soften the daikon.

Add shrimp, mushrooms, and bok choy or spinach, Stir well and cook until shrimp are cooked, about four minutes. Stir in the green onions, cilantro if using, and the lime juice.

Spoon into bowls and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Info: Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp

Nutrition Info for Thai Coconut Soup

 

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