Showing posts with label easy recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe Reviewed

Much Better Than Canned Soup

tomato soup
Make your own tomato soup
After trying your own homemade tomato soup, you will never open a can of soup again. At least, I am not sure I could stomach it after having made my own from this recipe. 

One of my most favorite lunches is tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. For me, it is comfort food at its very best. I love tomatoes so when Mom would fix tomato soup and grilled cheese when I was a kid, I was in heaven. Now, Mom never made it from scratch and to be honest, as a child, I never realized that my most favorite of all soups came from anywhere other than that famous red and white can. 

A few weeks back, I expressed that I hoped that I would get an Immersion Hand Blender for one of my Christmas gifts. Santa did not bring me one but I did use a gift card that I received to purchase one for myself. Want to guess what the first thing I made with it was? I'll give you a hint; it starts with tomato and ends with soup. Oh my goodness! It was so very good and really very easy!

Tomato Soup Recipe

1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 garlic gloves minced
1 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 shallot diced
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon fresh basil
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Place the olive oil in a large pot with the shallot and garlic. On medium heat cook the onion and garlic for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shallot is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients including the juices from the canned tomatoes and stir. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes with the pot partially covered. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. 

Serve in a bowl with a grilled cheese sandwich and you are in for a real taste treat!

I will offer a tip on the tomatoes. You can use either whole peeled tomatoes or you can use the ones that are already crushed. The only difference is that the crushed ones take less time with the immersion blender. Both work well. Personally, I love the taste of the plum tomatoes but you can also choose regular tomatoes for the recipe. It just boils down to your taste buds. 

As I said earlier, once I made my own tomato soup with this recipe I won't be able to open a can of soup again. This is so delicious and easy to make that I can't believe it took me this long to try making it from scratch. By the way, it passed the husband test, too. He absolutely loved it! 

How about it? Do you think that you might try making your own sometime soon? I can promise you that you will not be disappointed! 




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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Potato Soup Cooked In InstantPot Reviewed

Easy And Delicious Potato Soup

potato for soup
Potatoes for soup image from pixabay.com
Want to make some potato soup for your family to enjoy this winter? I can review a recipe that will delight your taste buds and be easy on your purse strings. 

Last year I asked Santa for an InstantPot and was delighted that he thought I was a good enough girl to get one. Since then, I have made many wonderful meals in that multi function pressure cooker. Just this past weekend, I tried some potato soup. Let me just say that it was a real hit in my house. I will even go so far as to say that it is the best potato soup that I have ever had. That is saying a lot on my part because my Mom's was pretty danged good stuff. 

This is an easy recipe that won't take you all day to make if you cook it in an instant pot. I think that it took me about an hour with the prep time and cooking time. The prep time and waiting for the pot to preheat took more time than the actual cooking time. Still, about an hour from start to that first delicious mouthful.

Potato Soup (Instant Pot) Recipe

Ingredients:
5 lbs potatoes peeled and cubed
1 shallot minced
4 Tblsp butter
1/3 cup cream cheese - softened and cut in small pieces
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1-2 cups of milk (enough to get your desired consistency)
1/2 cup bacon bits
Shredded cheese for garnish
Green onion cut for garnish

Add the shallot and potatoes to the pot and cover with the chicken broth. Cover and cook on the Soup setting for 10 minutes. Release the pressure with the quick release method. Let your pot stay on the keep warm setting.

You can mash the potatoes at this point if you like although I don't think you need to.

Add butter, cream cheese and sour cream and mix well until butter is melted and the cream cheese and sour cream are blended. Add part of the bacon bits saving some for garnish in the bowls.

Add the desired amount of milk, stir and serve in bowls with desired garnishes. 

A few hints:
When cubing your potatoes, keep the size of the cubes rather large. Perhaps a medium to large size is best. The reason for this is the pressure cooking will cook those cubes down quite a lot and if the cubes are too small you will end up with "mashed potato" soup. You want some potatoes that you can bite into. If some seem too large you can cut them after the pressure cooking is done. Honestly, I feared that I had cut the potatoes too large but when they were done they were the perfect size and were completely cooked through. 

The cream cheese needs to be in very small pieces in order for it to melt quickly when added and stirred into the hot potato mixture. Having to stir the mixture too much will continually break up your cooked potatoes. 

Personally, I had to add more salt and pepper after cooking. That will be a matter of personal preference so try it with the amount given and adjust to your taste afterward. You can always add more but if you add too much to begin with; well, you can't take it out. 

So, that is my potato soup recipe cooked in my InstantPot. I hope you give this a try because I think you will really love it. It is perfect on a cold winter day! It also makes enough that you are sure to have enough to enjoy for another meal or too. You can keep it refrigerated for a couple of days and just reheat in a saucepan. As with so many meals, it tastes even better on the second day. All those ingredients kind of marry each other while resting in the fridge. Trust me, this is really very good!





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Saturday, July 1, 2017

How to Make Easy Healthy Vegetable Stock for Free!

How to make easy, healthy vegetable stock for free!
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs
I love my slow cooker and one of the things I regularly make in it is my super easy vegetable stock.

The best thing about this recipe is that it's free food!  Well pretty much free - all you have to pay for is water (depending if you're charged for water) and electricity.

Let's review what you will need to make your own homemade vegetable stock (you won't believe how easy it is!) .......

What You Need To Make Easy Veggie Stock


  • Vegetable scraps/peelings
  • Water
  • Slow Cooker
  • Strainer

Vegetable Scraps


When I'm cooking I don't throw away any vegetable peelings, onion skins, carrot tops etc.  I have an old, empty, plastic ice cream container in the freezer and I put all of the vegetable scraps that are thrown away in most households into it.  I should note that I also add any mushroom stalks and skins (if I've peeled them), but I don't add asparagus ends as they don't do too well in the stock.

Basically making this stock is also reducing your household waste which is a big tick for the environment as well as your wallet - and the health benefits of eating stock that has got no hidden extras - well that's priceless.   Okay, sermon over and on with how to make the veggie stock.

I'm actually thinking that I need a bigger container to store them in especially since my daughter became a vegan.  At the moment I seem to be making a pot of stock once a fortnight.

Slow Cooker


I think everyone should have a slow cooker and they don't have to buy an expensive one.  I have a very basic slow cooker that has lasted me for more years than the company that made it.

 Crock-Pot SCV400B 4-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black
The slow cooker I have has basically three settings - low, high or automatic and that's really all that you need for your first slow cooker.

 You can buy slow cookers that have a number of different programs, but I wouldn't spend more than $25 on a basic slow cooker for your first one and see how you find it.

The important thing that you want to make sure your slow cooker has is a removable stoneware for easy cleaning - I think most of them have this nowadays anyway.

Once you've left something cooking in your slow cooker and have walked back into your house to the delicious smells wafting through you will wonder why it took you so long to get one!   If you're already a slow cooker convert you know exactly what I'm saying, don't you?

So Exactly How Do I Make Simple Veg Stock?

The Easiest Vegetable Stock Recipe Ever!


Empty your veggie scraps into your slow cooker, add enough water to cover the scraps, turn on slow cooker and walk away!   How easy is that?  See if I say something's easy I really mean it!

I usually put my slow cooker on low and leave it for 6-8 hours, on occasion I have put it on high and left it for 3-4 hours and both options have worked well.

Once you've turned your slow cooker off you can either let it cool for a bit or strain it straight away.  I just ladle the contents of the slow cooker into a sieve over a jug and just strain all of the liquid through.   The vegetable scraps that you're left with get thrown away by me, although I might start keeping them for compost - I'm researching whether or not I should use them once they've been cooked especially as I've read that you shouldn't use onion skins in the compost.

You will note that I haven't added any salt to this vegetable stock - I just season the dish that you're making with the stock as opposed to adding any at this stage.   When I used to buy stock I hated it when you used a stock that was quite salty because your husband forgot to get salt reduced!
Vegetable soup make with veggie stock

When you're making your own homemade stock you will notice that every time you make it the color can be different.  This is because of the different vegetable scraps you have, if you are using red cabbage and red onion one week it will look very different to a week when you have mainly potato peelings and carrot tops.

Most of my vegetable stock is used to make a range of different soups as I usually make a different batch of soup each week.  The soup is then put into single serve containers and labeled with my favorite label maker before being popped in the freezer.

On days when I'm working I simply select which soup I feel like and that's a nice, quick and healthy lunch for me.

So let me know do you make your own vegetable stock yet?  If not I hope you'll give it a try and let me know how you get on.

How to make easy healthy vegetable stock
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs




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