Category Archives: soup/stew

A new spicy potato soup

While recipes for spicy potato soups abound, this one is quite different than any I’ve tried before.

Thrown together based on what we had in the kitchen, this meal morphed while it was being made. I started with the idea of doing potato soup, except with ground beef. Well, P and I decided that for that to seem right, we’d need to season the meat in such a way as to make it more like sausage. That seemed like a lot of work, so instead we ended up with this, sort of a cross between potato soup and tortilla soup.

Spicy Verde Potato Soup
1.5 pounds extra lean ground beef
2 med-large onions
10 or so medium potatoes
6 stalks celery
1 16-oz jar salsa verde
1 7-oz can of green chilies
2 cups or so milk
cumin (1 tablespoon+?)
black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
granulated garlic (1-2 teaspoons)
salt (1 tablespoon+)

Brown ground beef in large stockpot. Chop onions and add to pot, cooking until onions are transparent. Scrub potatoes and chop to small-bite size. Throw those in, along with water, up to about an inch from covering the food. Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 8 minutes. While that’s cooking chop celery. Add to the cooking mixture. Allow to simmer another 10 minutes, or until potatoes and celery are done. Add salsa verde, green chilies, milk, and spices, to taste.

Good served with co-jack cheese atop it, and with tortilla chips.


Wild Rice Soup

Earlier this week I thought, a wild rice soup sounds good. So I looked around, and I found out such a thing exists. I checked out a few recipes — this one and this one seemed the most promising and the most like what I was seeking.

I ended up basically following the first one — I doubled the recipe, and I just used one package of chicken, about 1.5 pounds.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup
1 cup uncooked wild rice
6 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cup chopped celery
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 (10.75 ounce) can chicken broth
4 cups milk
1.5 pounds chicken, diced

Prepare rice according to package directions. Cook the chicken in a large pot. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and melt the butter or margarine in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until almost tender.
Stir in the four and salt and pepper to taste. Add the broth and milk and stir until soup thickens.
Add the rice and the chicken and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.

It’s quite tasty!

Oh, one more note: I made this with our wild rice mix, not straight wild rice. Not sure what the recipe intended, but I do like it this way. This wild rice mix consists of wild rice and brown rice.

Minestrone/vegetable beef stew

Vegetable beef soup

We still had cabbage left, so I made another pot of soup. I started with the minestrone recipe as my basis. This time, though, I added 1.5 pounds of stew meat, cut into smaller pieces. I omitted the pasta. I used more of most of the veggies (carrots, celery, cabbage). I skipped the broth and just used water. Because the stew meat is generally tough, I started it early and let just that simmer for about an hour before I really started assembling the stew. I added a couple dashes of worchestershire sauce at the end, too. I also made sure to add enough water so the final product wasn’t too dry.

In the end, it seemed to have more tomatoes than the minestrone, although I added the exact same amount and made a fuller pot of stew.

I still have half a cabbage left! I’m thinking southern-style coleslaw, for P.

Potato Soup

Throwing food together yet again, this time I was intent on making warming food on this cool, rainy day. We didn’t have any meat in the house, and I didn’t want to get out in the cold rain. Solution:

Potato Soup

Potato Soup
Chop 3 onions, add a couple tablespoons of minced garlic and cook in large soup pot. I added a bit of sesame oil this time to keep the onions from sticking and burning. While that cooked, I peeled and rinsed 11 potatoes. I don’t always peel them, but I opted to do so this time since the skins on the potatoes I was using were a bit tough. I also chopped up all the celery in the house — about 4 stalks? — and maybe 2/3rds of a pound of carrots. I added about 2.5 cups of water to the pan, tossed the vegetables in, covered the pan and brought to a boil. Simmer, 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Turn up the heat, back to about medium. Add salt and pepper, pour in 1/3 gallon milk (to cover), and add shredded cheese (3-4 handfuls). Once the cheese has melted and become incorporated, serve.

Made with staples I nearly always have on hand.

It hit the spot.


We welcomed the (temporary) return of cool, crisp weather earlier this week with a large pot of minestrone. I used this recipe, which somehow always seems to be lacking in broth. This is quite an accomplishment, since my husband is quite near the end of the broth-liking spectrum.

Another incentive for making minestrone when I did was that we were left with a cabbage and a half after hosting Sunday’s Japanese food party.

This is one of the classics in our family. Tastes, to me, mostly like the minestrone at Olive Garden. It’s especially nice with freshly grated parmesan on top!

I had intended to make some foccacia to accompany the stew for the second day, but something else (I forget what) absorbed my time.

Vegetable Beef Stew

I started with a pound of ground beef and some potatoes and onions. When I began, I wasn’t sure if this would end up being a broth-based soup or a creamy, cheesy entree.

I was, in part, inspired by Paul’s Potato and Leek Soup of a couple weeks prior — by that and the dropping temperatures.

Vegetable Beef Stew

The funny thing is, the final result isn’t an experiment, it’s something I’ve made with semi-regularity. Even though I hadn’t considered making Vegetable Beef Stew (I really wanted to use the meat but didn’t think my self-imposed limit of 1 pound would be meaty enough to qualify as Vegetable Beef), it’s what needed to be made.

In the past, the veggies have been more varied than they were this go ’round, which was dictated by what we had in the fridge.

I started by browning the meat, adding 2.5 smallish onions, chopped, and maybe 3 tablespoons of garlic. I let that cook until the beef was browned and the onions were transparent — working in my large soup pot, of course. Then I scrubbed and chopped 10 smallish potatoes and threw them in. I added a long 2 cups of water at this point. I sliced maybe a scant pound of baby carrots and added that. Next came the celery. We had celery hearts, which are shorter stalks, for some reason. I used all we had, again; maybe 12 stalks? It was half the package.

Once I was done chopping, I gave it a stir, tossed some coarse-ground black pepper and some kosher salt on the top, and added another 2 cups of agua.

Put the lid on and let it cook, turning it down as necessary, for 20-30 minutes.

When I came back, I decided it needed the tomatoes, not milk and cheese. I added a 14-ounce can of diced and a 4-ounce can of sauce, and then shook in a couple tablespoons, maybe, of worchestershire sauce. Taste: needs something. I added a little more salt, and a couple good shakes of cayenne pepper. Stir, replace cover and let simmer.

It was a hit!

Note: In the past I’ve used green beans, of course, and probably some other vegetables, too.