HearthBeats: Recipes from a Kitchen Witch

Soups, Stoups, Stews and Casseroles…

Merry Meet  and welcome …

Grab a cuppa tea and lets look for some filling easy recipes. This time of year you are either looking for a nice think warming soup or stoup(really thick soup… like a cross between a stew and a soup.. a stoup.) or a quick and filling meal for when you are running around your yard and garden.. so lets look at some that I have here…

Some of you may have farmers markets and farm stands now(in the summery south) or have a good place to get the staple veggies… so have a blast.. set the stuff in a crock pot and run out and play. Whether in the snow or in the summer sun.. have a blast and know that a great filling meal awaits you at home.

Best Ever Vegetable Beef Soup

1 lb ground beef

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup thinly sliced carrots

6 cups water

3 tbsps beef bouillon powder

1 ½ – 2 lbs finely chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned

8 oz tomato sauce

½ cup pasta stars or alphabets

2 bay leaves

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp basil

1 tsp salt

dash pepper

2 pounds green beans, steamed and drained

Brown ground beef in a large heavy saucepan.  Drain off excess fat.

Add onion, celery and carrot.  Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.  Add all

remaining ingredients, except green beans.  Bring to a boil, then

reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.  Add green beans

and cook until beans are heated through and pasta and vegetables

are tender.  Remove and discard bay leaves.

Serves 6-8.

Tortellini soup

3- 10 oz cans of chicken broth

1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (here you can remove from casing and cook up crumbled…or like I do brown up small meatball shapes. or slice into coins)

1 handful of fresh spinach or escarole julienned

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 package tortellini (plain or tri colored)

1/8 tsp oregano(or more to taste)

Red pepper flakes to taste

1. Bring broth to a boil

2. Add tortellini…boiling until cooked

3. Add spinach, sausage, diced tomatoes

4. Add oregano and red pepper

5. Bring to a boil and heat thru…

6. You can add other veggies to this….

7. garnish with  parmesan cheese

Spicy Chicken Soup


2 teaspoons olive oil

3 cups chopped onions

2 cloves minced garlic

5 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

1 pound bone-in chicken breasts

2 chopped celery stalks

1/2 cup chopped  fresh parsley

1 can diced Italian style tomatoes (16 ounces), undrained

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. crushed dried oregano

1 tsp. crushed dried thyme

1/2 tsp. crushed dried rosemary

dash of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup brown rice

Using a large soup pot add oil, onion, garlic, and 3 tablespoons of chicken stock.

Stir over a medium heat until the onions are transparent.

Add the remaining chicken stock, water, chicken, celery, parsley, tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cayenne, and black pepper.

Mix well.

Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for one hour till chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from soup and separate from the ones.

Remove bay leaves. Skim fat from the surface.

Bring soup back to a boil and add rice.

Reduce heat and simmer for another 45 minutes until rice is tender.

Return chicken meat to the soup and heat for several minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Notes: You can use white rice and it will take less time–20 minutes or so.

Summer Vegetable Casserole

1/3 cup uncooked rice

4 small summer squash, sliced

2 medium onions, sliced

1 bell pepper, sliced

4 medium tomatoes, cut in sections

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter, slices thin

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, arrange vegetables in layers. Between layers of vegetables make 2 layers of rice. Make sure when layering everything that the rice does not end up as a top layer; a tomato layer would be best. Salt and pepper to taste and place butter slices over the top. Bake cover for 1 1/2 hours.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Vegetable or corn oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons — 2 turns

of the pot in a slow stream

3 ears corn on the cob or 2 ears fresh-frozen cobs, defrosted

1 red bell pepper, split and seeded

1 pound chicken breast tenders

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full

1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palm full

Salt and pepper

1 small to medium zucchini, small dice

1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 to 2 chipotle in adobo peppers (medium to hot heat level),

chopped — available in small cans in Mexican and Spanish food

section of market

1 can stewed tomatoes, 28 ounces

1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces

3 cups chicken stock, available in re-sealable paper containers on

soup aisle

4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, broken up into large pieces

1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

Heat a grill pan to high and a soup pot to medium high.

Drizzle oil on corn and place on grill.

Add red pepper to grill with corn.

Char vegetables 10 minutes, total, turning occasionally.

Remove to cool, 5 minutes.

Remove charred skin from the pepper.

While vegetables cook, dice chicken.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot soup pot.

Add chicken to pot.

Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper.

Lightly brown chicken on each side.

Add zucchini, onions and garlic and chipotle peppers.

Cook vegetables with chicken

5 to 7 minutes to soften.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock.

Bring soup to a bubble, reduce heat to medium low.

Scrape corn off cob and add to soup.

Chop grilled red pepper and stir into soup.

Add chips to soup in handfuls and fold in.

Serve soup immediately with scatter of shredded cheese and a dollop of

sour cream.

Top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.

Beef Barley Soup

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

1      lg            parsnip diced

1/4  cup           chopped parsley

3      pound         beef shin-(or more)

1 3/4  quart         water.

2                    carrots diced

1      16 ounce can  peeled tomatoes – crush

2      stalks        celery diced

2                    onions chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2      cloves        garlic crushed

1      cup           pearl barley

1                    white turnip diced

Place all ingredients, except barley, in a large pot.

Bring to a boil.

Lower to simmer and cook 2 1/2 hours.

Add barley and cook until tender,

Check package of barley for approximate timing.

The meat can be served as a side dish to the soup with a dressing of mayonnaise and horseradish.

Serve a crusty bread also.

Makes a great one dish meal.

French Market Soup

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

Assorted dried beans and peas

Ham Hock

1      can           tomatoes — (28 oz.)

2                    Onions — chopped

4      stalks        celery — chopped

2      cloves        garlic — minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Bay leaves



1      pound         sausage — sliced

2                 boneless Chicken breast

1/2  cup           red wine

1/2  cup           chopped parsley

Wash beans, cover with water and soak overnight.

Drain beans, and add 3 quarts water, ham hock, bay leaves, thyme, and

Basil and simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Add tomatoes, onion, celery, salt, pepper and simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Add sausage, chicken and simmer 30 to 40 minutes.

Before serving add wine and parsley.

NOTE:  If refrigerated for at least a day before serving the flavor is enhanced.

Brunswick Stew #1

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

1      pound         chicken

3      quarts        water

1      large         onion

1/2  pound         ham — lean, in small piece

2      pints         tomatoes

1      pint          lima beans

4      large        white potatoes — diced

1      pint          corn off the cob

1      tablespoon    salt

¼   teaspoon      pepper

1    teaspoon                red pepper

3      ounces        butter

Cut up a pound of Chicken and put it in a large pan with three quarts of

water, one large onion, one half pound of lean ham cut into small pieces

and simmer gently for two hours.  Add three pints of tomatoes, one pint of

lima beans, four large Irish potatoes diced, one pint of grated corn, one

tablespoon of salt, one fourth teaspoon pepper, a small pod of red pepper.

Cover and simmer gently for one more hour stirring frequently to prevent

scorching.  Add three ounces of butter and serve hot. Note: —– This

makes a lot of stew.  You will probably want to half or even quarter it,

if want to try it before serving it to a group.

Citrus Seafood Stew

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

8      ounces        red snapper fillets — skinless

4      ounces        medium shrimp — peeled and deveined

4      ounces        small bay scallops

14 1/2  ounces        stewed tomatoes — canned

14 1/2  ounces        chicken broth — canned

1/2  cup           long-grain rice

2      teaspoons     chili powder

2      cloves        garlic — minced

3/4  cup           frozen orange juice concentrate

2      cups          frozen pepper stir-fry vegetables

Thaw fish and shrimp, if frozen.  Rinse fish and shrimp.  Cut fish into

1-inch pieces.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan combine undrained tomatoes and chicken broth.  Bring

to boiling.  Add uncooked rice, chilli powder, and garlic.  Return to

boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until rice is

tender, stirring occasionally.

Add fish, shrimp, concentrate, and frozen pepper mixture.  Return to

boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer gently for  3 to 5 minutes or

until fish flakes easily and shrimp turn pink.  Garnish with Florida

orange slices and sprigs of fresh oregano, if desired.

Irish Stew

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

1      pound         lean mutton pieces

1      pound         carrots

1      pound         onions

1      pound         potatoes

salt & pepper

1      pinch         thyme

Place mutton with thyme in sauce pan and add cold water to cover.  Bring

slowly to the boil and simmer for one hour.  Add onions, potatoes,

carrots, and peeled and roughly chopped.  Season.  Continue cooking until

vegetables are tender.  Adjust seasoning.  May be served alone or with

cooked green cabbage or salad.

Spicy Kale And Chick-Pea Stew

1 ½   cups          chickpeas — dried

10      cups          water

2      large         onions — chopped coarse

3      large         garlic cloves — minced

¼   cup           olive oil

2                    green bell peppers — chopped coarse

1 ½   pounds        kale — stems removed, leave

2      cans          plum tomatoes — chopped, undrained

6      ounce         tomato paste

2 ½   tablespoon    chile powder

1      teaspoon      dried thyme

1      teaspoon      dried oregano

1      teaspoon      dried hot red pepper flakes

1      teaspoon      ground cumin

1      teaspoon      sugar

1                    bay leaf

steamed couscous or rice as an accompaniment

Chickpeas should be soaked overnight in enough water to cover them by 4

inches, drained, and rinsed.  In a large saucepan simmer the chickpeas in

the water, covered partially, for 1 1/2 hours, or until they are tender.

In a heavy kettle cook the onions and the garlic in the oil over moderate

heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden, add the bell

peppers, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 10 minutes.  Add the

chick-peas with the cooking liquid, the kale, the tomatoes with the juice,

the tomato paste, the chili powder, the thyme, the oregano, the red pepper

flakes, the cumin, the sugar, and the bay leaf, bring the liquid to a

boil, and simmer the stew, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.  Discard the

bay leaf, season the stew with salt, and serve the stew on the couscous or

rice.  Makes about 14 cups, serving 8 to 10.

Spicy, Tomato-Based Vegetable Stew

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

2                    onions — chopped

2      cloves        garlic

1/2                hot chili pepper

3      pounds        carrots — in chunks

3      pounds        turnips — in chunks

3      pounds        parsnips — in chunks (proportionate to other root veggies)

2      pounds        mushrooms — quartered

3      pints         chicken stock

6      ounce         tomato paste

Saute the following in ‘enough’ vegetable oil adding the ingredients in

the order specified: 2        onions (chopped) 2+       cloves garlic 1/2

hot chilli pepper  (don’t go overboard!) 3-4 lbs  carrots, turnips,

parsnips in chunks (proportion according to taste) 1-2 lbs  mushrooms

(quartered) Once the veg are done, add enough of the following stock to

cover them with a little room to spare: 3 pts    chicken/chicken flavor

stock 1 small  can of tomato paste Season with oregano, basil, and

whatever you feel like. The important thing with this recipe is to taste

regularly and go with your gut as to what is best. Serve the ‘sauce’ over

a bed of couscous.

Note: To this you can add anything from meatballs to spicy sausages to …

nothing.  It freezes really well, so I make it in very large batches.

Winter Vegetable Stew/Pie

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–


1/2  cup           dried vegetable soup mix

3      cup           slightly aged chopped white mushrooms

3      cup           water


1/2                rutabaga — halved then thinly s

1      cup           white mushrooms — slightly aged, halve

6      small         shitake — coarsely chopped

1      tablespoon    olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

5                    garlic cloves — finely chopped

1/2  cup           dry sherry

1     medium        yellow onion — cut into large piece

1      medium        carrot — peeled, 1/2″ slices

2      medium        russet potatoes — in 1/2 of 1/2″ slice

1      medium        fennel bulb — quartered, in 1/2″ s

2      tablespoon    fresh thyme — chopped or 2 tsp dri

2      tablespoon    fresh marjoram — chopped or 2 tsp dri

2      tablespoon    fresh parsley — chopped or 2 tsp dri

This began last night as an effort to make the Winter Vegetable Pie recipe

in the _Fields of Greens_ cookbook just acquired (and thanks to those who

sent advice on the book last month).  As usual, however, we varied a great

deal, so the result is greatly different from the book’s–but was

wonderful. We realized that the recipe started with “Mushroom stock,”

which would take 3 hours to make.  Since it was already 7 in the evening,

that was out.  The celery root we thought was in the vegetable bin was a

rutabaga; we had six shitake to use up.  So we improvised: Stock:  Gently

simmer, until reduced to about 2 cups liquid.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet; add the mushrooms,

pinch of salt, 2 or 3 grinds of pepper.  Sear the mushrooms over high heat

until golden.  Add half the garlic and deglaze the pan with half the

sherry.  When the pan is almost dry, transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in stew pot and add the onion,

pinch of salt, 2 grinds of pepper; saute until onion is transparent.  Add

the remaining garlic, rutabaga, carrot, potatoes, and fennel, saute for 5

minutes.  Add the mushrooms, herbs, and the reduced stock.  Cover and

simmer until vegetables are soft and flavors melded, about 30 minutes over

medium/medium low heat.  Serve over grain, pasta, or polenta (we used a

mixed spiral spinach pasta and basmati rice left over from previous

meals), with crusty bread, bread sticks, or pretzels. The _Fields of

Greens_ book takes its mixture, pours it into a 9 inch round baking dish,

then covers it with a white pastry cover, with an egg wash on it (there

goes the vegan listing!), then bakes in 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Our variation worked well; we ate at about 8:45 (which is fairly normal

for us), a rich and warming stew with the temperature outside at -5, wind

chill -37.  We’ll try some different root vegetables next time, and

perhaps add tofu slices as well.

So there you go.. have a great time.. enjoy your season and make the most out of your life..

Merry Cooking and Blessed Eating