Texas Winter Soup

Texas Winter Soup

Yesterday is was 70F, and today 34F with 30 mph winds. Typical winter for Texas, hence the title. We wanted soup, and I wanted to make a healthier version than I normally would. I did not add salt, so you can add if needed for your taste. Also, you can use beef, turkey, or plant-based meat alternative. I have been using Beyond Beef and Impossible brands recently and find that they cook just like the real thing. This is how I made it:

1# ground meat (I used chicken)
1 roll spicy sausage (I used plant-based, Impossible Sausage)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper
4 stalks celery, chopped fine
1/2 c shredded carrots, chopped
1 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t herbs de province
1 t coriander
1 c frozen okra
1 can Rotel, liquid and all
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can white beans, rinsed
1 can Mexicorn
12-16 oz broth (I’m using homemade)
2 t chili powder (I used ancho and chipotle, 1 each)
1 small can tomato paste
1-2 c tomato sauce
1-2 c tri-color quinoa

Brown the ground meats, add chopped vegetables, okra, and spices and bay leaves. Stir well, add canned vegetables, broth, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Stir well, add quinoa, stir and simmer on low for 2 hours.

Discard the bay leaves and enjoy with a big slice or cornbread, garlic toast, or cheesy Texas Toast.

Cabbage Roll Bowl

2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1-2 jalapeño, diced (seeds removed if you don’t like the heat)
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1# ground meat (I used chicken)
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 c tomato sauce
2 c beef broth (or your favorite)
1 T coconut aminos (opt. You could use soy sauce)
2 T Worcestershire
2 T seasoned rice vinegar
1-2 T Splenda brown sugar substitute (opt)
3 T butter
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot; sauté veggies, garlic and black pepper until onions are translucent. Add ground meat and cook through, about 15 minutes on medium heat. Add cabbage and remaining ingredients except for the butter. Cover and reduce heat to low for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Cabbage should be tender but not mushy. Once cooked down, add the butter and stir in until melted. Let this sit for about 15 minutes, stir again.

Salt to taste if needed. I add salt last because the tomato products, coconut aminos or soy sauce, and broth are salty.

New Year’s Leftover Soup

Hey, friends! Welcome to 2022! I promise to add more great recipes this year, and today I am kicking it off!

I’m always looking to make something out of holiday leftovers, and I wanted soup! This is how I made it:

2 T olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 bell pepper, chopped

4 carrots, sliced or chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

Large head garlic, chopped

1/2 jalapeño, chopped

Sauté veggies in oil until tender

Add 1 tsp ground thyme

2 tsp black pepper

6 bay leaves

32 oz chicken or veggie stock

12 oz tomato sauce

1 can Rotel tomatoes

2-3 c leftover Blackeyed peas

2 c leftover greens (I had mixed, but cabbage would be good)

Salt to taste

Cover and simmer for 2h

Serve with cornbread, crostini, or crackers. Enjoy this warm indulgence on a cold winter night!

Savory Beef Stew

Let’s make BEEF STEW!

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 T olive oil and brown 2# lean stew meat, drain.
5 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 white onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 bell pepper, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 c chopped mushrooms
Stir well and let simmer for about 10 minutes
4 c beef broth
2 T beef bone broth concentrate
3 T tomato paste
Stir well and add:
1 can LeSueur peas
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 T herbs de province
1 can Golden Mushroom soup

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low for about 2 hours.

I have both Lodge and Pioneer Woman ceramic coated Dutch ovens. These are great products and usually in stock at Walmart or Target.

Smoked Turkey Soup

Smoked Turkey Soup

What are you doing with that leftover turkey? I’m making soup! I smoked it on Friday, then boiled the leftover legs, thighs, and breast plate to make a rich, smoky broth. Keep the meat for your soup and discard any bones and nonedibles!

I added 4 c chicken broth to make it a litter richer.

Here’s what I did next:
2-3 c smoked turkey, chopped
1 white onion, diced
1/4 bell pepper, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 new potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 c canned peas
1 c canned corn
1 c canned green beans
1/2 c barley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T chili powder
4-5 bay leaves
1 T bacon drippings (or oil)
Salt & pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil, and add potatoes and barley. Cover and let this cook while you sauté the other raw veggies in bacon fat or oil, about 10 minutes.

Add this to your broth. Then add the canned ingredients, bay leaves and seasonings.

Bring to a boil and reduce to low heat. Ready in about an hour.

You can add noodles or rice if you want to…I go with barley because it doesn’t get mushy. Gonna be a good cloudy, cold day in Wylie! Enjoy! 😋

Smoked Gumbo

Smoked Gumbo

I make gumbo or soup out of leftover meats we smoke or grill. You can use pretty much any meat. This time we had sausages and chicken, so that’s what I used. I threw in a few shrimp, too, just because I had some! If you use beef or pork, use beef stock or consommé in place of the chicken stock. Here is what I did for this batch:

1 stick butter
1 T bacon grease
(Sub with olive oil if you don’t want the fat)
3/4 c flour
3 smoked sausage links (I used jalapeño)
2 c smoked chicken, diced
10-12 jumbo shrimp, shelled, deveined, cut crosswise in half
1 medium onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 T minced garlic
3 stalks celery, diced
1 can tomato paste
1 can corn, drained
12 oz frozen okra
4-5 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T Old Bay seasoning
6-8 c chicken stock (I make my own, but boxed is fine)

1/2 c sherry wine

Let’s make a roux:

Melt butter and grease on medium heat until slightly brown, stirring so hot to burn (making brown butter)
Add flour and stir well.
Continue stirring until the roux turns a deep chocolate brown.
I work on this part for a good 45 minutes. I promise, it’s worth the effort!

Next, add the celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Stir well and let the vegetables sweat for about 20 minutes stirring frequently. It will be a little thick. If needed, add a little chicken stock to loosen it up.

Add tomato paste, stir well, then add the chicken stock 1 cup at a time until you reach the consistency you like.

Add sausage, bay leaves, corn, okra, and seasonings, stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, then add the chicken, stir and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. When the shrimp turns bright pink, it’s done!

If you add the chicken too soon it will disintegrate.

Never add the shrimp too soon or it will overcook and be rubbery.

Discard the bay leaves.

Serve this by itself or over some jasmine rice with a crispy piece of garlic toast!


Easy Egg Rolls

Easy Egg Rolls
I learned to make these about 30 years ago when working as an ER nurse. These are made with Jimmy Dean Hot pork sausage, but you can use shrimp, chicken, ground beef, or make them vegetarian. I even made you a video to demonstrate rolling them. Here is what I did:

1 lb hot ground sausage
2 T soy sauce (low sodium)
1 pkg tricolor slaw
1 can water chestnuts
2 stalks celery
1 T fresh ginger
1/2 onion
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Brown sausage with soy sauce, pepper and cayenne pepper Drain on paper towels, cool and pulse in food processor until finely ground but not mushy. Set aside.
Process together slaw, onion, ginger, and water chestnuts. Pulse until fine consistency.
Mix meat and sausage together in a large bowl.
Place spoonful of mixture into an egg roll wrapper and fold envelope style. Try not to wrap too loosely or they won’t cook as well. By the way, they reheat well in an air fryer and won’t be all greasy as if you deep fry.

This is very easy to do. Just make sure to fold so that the ingredients don’t leak out while cooking.