Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Please Welcome Guest Maddie Day/Edith Maxwell! & #Giveaway

We are so pleased to have author Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell) as our guest today.  Please give her a warm welcome!

Thanks so much for having me back, MLK! In the Country Store Mysteries, Robbie Jordan discovers her Italian father. Before When the Grits Hit the Fan opens, she goes to visit him in his home near Pisa, and is served a version of Sullo Scio, a simple soup. It’s so good she makes and serves it for lunch in the restaurant during a snowy winter.

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s Country Store restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer? Robbie and her friend Lou go snowshoeing and find a contentious academic frozen under the ice. Police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff in Pans ‘N Pancakes the night before. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie absorbs local gossip about the professor’s past and develops her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way.


I’ll give away a signed copy of the new book to one commentor today!






Sullo Scio

Ingredients


4 fat cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 T olive oil
1 T minced fresh rosemary
1 large can whole tomatoes
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 quart chicken stock
1 package tagliatelle
1 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese


Directions
In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in the olive oil until soft. Do not brown. Add the rosemary and tomatoes. Rough chop the tomatoes in the pan. Add the garbanzos and stock and bring to a boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook until al dente according to the directions on the package.








 



Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan. A glass of Valpolicella and a green salad complete the dinner.



Remember, I’ll give away a signed copy of the new book to one commenter today!


Bio 











Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals. She is honored to serve as President of Sisters in Crime New England.

A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, and gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. 


Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Guest Fran Stewart

Please welcome Fran Stewart to MLK. She writes about a Scottish-themed shop in Vermont, and though it's Saint Patrick's Day today, we won't hold it against her. She's giving us a recipe that is both easy and fun. Plus a giveaway!




Why would anyone wonder why I write not one, but TWO mystery series with a protagonist who either can’t or doesn’t like to cook? Isn’t it obvious?

Peggy Winn in the ScotShop series likes to eat the leftovers from her friend Karaline’s restaurant. Biscuit, the librarian in the Biscuit McKee series, cooks three things – soups, bread, and cookies. Anything else is the responsibility of Bob, her ever-patient husband.

Those two characters just about sum me up. I can’t imagine how much trouble I’d have writing a series if I had to come up with recipes for each book.

That said, I do have a recipe for you, but you’ll have to improvise a lot, since it’s based to a large extent on what was in my cupboard one particular day.

I loved the moment I discovered crockpots. I can throw a whole bunch of ingredients in there in the morning, let it simmer all day long, and have a number of meals to chomp on (like about five of them – supper this evening, lunch and supper for the next two days).

I can hear you asking – “What!!!! Eat the same thing three days in a row?!!!!”

Well, yes. Food is not a high priority for me (as I’m sure you already figured out). If you don’t want to duplicate menus, feel free to freeze meal-sized batches for later.

Now, I do admit that sometimes the crazy combinations I put together end up being, shall we say, less than satisfying. Since I hardly ever cook for company, though, I don’t have to worry about it. I’m someone who can make a complete meal out of fresh homemade bread and creamy butter, along with hunks of cheese and good strong tea. Throw in some soup (even if it tastes a little weird), and the meal is even better.


So, here’s the way my throw-together soup happens:
1. Crockpot, dribbled with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to keep things from sticking.

2. Layer the bottom with a cup of rice (preferably brown) uncooked.

3. Dump an entire undrained can of Italian-cut green beans on top of the rice.

4. Add an undrained can of light red kidney beans (You can use the dark red, but they turn the rice sort of muddy looking. Not too appetizing unless you’re eating by candlelight.) If you’d rather, you can soak dried kidney beans overnight and add them during this step.

5. Chop up a smallish dill pickle and add it on top of the kidney beans. Why, you ask? Why not?

6. Sprinkle with a generous amount of pepper. At this point, I usually throw in some sort of herb or spice. The last soup I put together had a couple of teaspoons of mustard seed. I’ve also been known to add a little cumin and a fair amount of ginger.

7. Chop up some chicken (cooked or uncooked) or fresh salmon and layer the pieces over the rice and such. If you don’t want to chop, four to six drumsticks work just fine.

8. Add another layer of rice – if you make it wild rice, it’ll add a nutty consistency that’s delicious – and one more can of green beans. You could use the French-cut beans, but they’re a little harder to eat without dribbling. Once I used a can of each, and it just looked messy, so now I stick to the stubby Italian-cut version.

8. Top with four or five pieces of pickled okra, sliced thinly.

9. Add enough water to make it sort of soupy.

Cook on high from 4 to 6 hours (or on low overnight). You may need to add more water halfway through.

I almost never add salt – but you might want to in step #6 if you’re a “salty” kind of person.

That’s it. Simple. Quick. Tasty (we hope).


Fran will be giving away one copy of her book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment!


About the book:

The annual Highland Festival in Hamelin, Vermont, means caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder...

Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customer’s family names to their clan plaid.

Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer—because another death would really blow... 






Find A Wee Homicide in the Hotel at:

Amazon
AmazonSmile
iBooks
Books a Million
Books a Million


About Fran:

Hoping to be judged on her writing ability and not on her cooking ability, Fran is the national best-selling author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series (seven books so far) and the ScotShop mystery trilogy; as well as a standalone mystery A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT; and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers, written to help emerging writers use the English language more effectively. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.





Saturday, February 4, 2017

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana #Recipe @PegCochran

Earlier this week we had Lucy Burdette's copycat pasta e fagioli recipe from Olive Garden and now here's another copycat Olive Garden recipe--Zuppa Tuscana.  Whenever I go there for lunch and get the soup/salad/breaksticks entree, I opt for this soup.

It's super easy to make and is a great dinner along with some crusty bread!



1 lb. Italian sausage (I chose mild Italian turkey sausage)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 3 large baking potatoes, diced (I went with 3 because I could happily live on potatoes)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional--I left this out but you could also crumble real bacon into the soup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or Swiss chard (I went with the chard--hubby thinks he doesn't like kale)
2 8-ounce cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy cream

Slice sausage (uncooked) into small pieces and brown in olive oil.  Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is wilted.






Add chicken broth, water and potatoes.  Cook until potatoes are tender.



Add salt and pepper to taste and optional bacon bits.  Simmer soup for 10 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add kale or Swiss chard and cream.  Heat until greens are tender and soup is warmed through.





Buon Appetito!!






Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pasta Fagioli, #Copycat Olive Garden-style #crockpot #recipe @LucyBurdette









LUCY BURDETTE: I know what you are saying: When is this poor woman going to get her oven back so she can get off the crockpot kick? For almost two months, I desperately wanted the answer to that question, too. (As of last week, I have one, yay!)
Meanwhile, the crockpot recipes continued…this time with a delicious knock-off of Olive Garden-style* pasta fagioli.


My version was lower sodium (you can read more about that below,) but quite spicy and delicious (she said modestly.)
Ingredients

1 1/2 pound ground beef
One large onion, chopped
Three large carrots, chopped
Four stalks of celery, sliced
One heaping teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 to 8 leaves of fresh basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes and sauce
20 oz spaghetti sauce (I used Gia Russo's Hot Sicilian)
2 and ½ cups low sodium beef broth (or 3/5 box of regular broth and add some water)
1 cup Ditalini pasta
One can white or red kidney beans, low-sodium, rinsed
Fresh spinach, about 4 oz
Parmesan for grating on top

Brown the beef and drain grease.
Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot, up to the point of the pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta, beans and spinach.
Serve with crusty bread and grated Parmesan if you wish.

*Soup in restaurants is generally very salty. So naturally I made some adjustments to the recipes I saw on Pinterest.


This entire pot of soup contains roughly 3500 mg of sodium. There are probably 10 servings in the pot, so 350 mg per serving. (This is calculated from the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and beef broth. Read your labels carefully, as these ingredients vary greatly in sodium content. The celery, carrots, and spinach also contain naturally occurring sodium. Tabasco sauce, 35 mg per teaspoon. Ground beef, 450 mg per 1.5 lbs.)


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Harvest Stew

LESLIE: A few years ago, after the epic month in France that turned Mr. Right and me into serious home cooks, we took a knife skills class at the local community college. We’re probably due for a refresher, and maybe the meat and poultry version, but I have to tell you, lining up the veggies for a big soup or stew, or a chopped salad, got a lot easier.

Before the class, we had only one chef’s knife, a lovely 10" from a set of Henckels an old boyfriend had given me. That Christmas, we were definitely on the same page. We each bought the other one a chef’s knife and a French cookbook!

And this soup, based on a recipe published in the Missoulian a few years ago by Greg Patent, a renowned cookbook author who lives in Western Montana, does require a fair amount of chopping. The upside is that it makes a lot, and as with most soups, the flavor improves over time. So you’ll get at least another dinner and maybe a couple of lunches for the extra effort. The flip side is that it doesn’t require a long simmer, so you’ll save a little time that way.

The Parmesan broth is the curiosity here. If, like us, you often buy Parmesan or Asiago in chunks and grate it yourself, toss the rinds and last chunks in a sealed bag in the back of your cheese drawer in the fridge, or in the freezer, and when you’ve got half a cup or so, make this stew. If you don’t have any rinds, use a good vegetable broth and add lots of Parmesan later. The last time we made this, I added about one additional cup of broth to thin the soup.

I’ve always added the kale in the order written, but it might work to add it at the end, with the corn and zucchini, to keep that brighter color.

A mix of red and white potatoes works nicely—not Russets, best for baking, but Yukon Gold or another white with a slightly waxy yellow skin.

If you’re not accustomed to using leeks, be aware that they can hold a lot of dirt, but are easy to clean. Trim the root end and cut off most of the dark green leaves, leaving a couple inches of the paler green above the white. Then slice the leek in half lengthwise. To wash, hold each half under a stream of running water. You’ll see the dirt magically float away.

As Patent notes in the original recipe, you could also use chard leaves, diced sweet potato, parsnip, or rutabaga. A spoonful of basil pesto is a lovely garnish, but not necessary. The bread and wine, however, are essential!

Harvest Stew 

4 ounces Parmesan rinds
4 cups water, plus more as needed (or other broth if you don’t have rinds)
1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed, and coarsely chopped
Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots (8 ounces total), diced
1 large leek, white portion plus one inch of the light green, washed well, sliced thin
1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (peeling isn’t necessary)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried whole thyme leaves
1 pound fresh tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium zucchini (8 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or butternut or other squash
1 cup corn (I used frozen and didn’t thaw it first)
1 cup chopped parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired



If you’re using Parmesan rinds, put them into a large microwave-safe bowl and add the 4 cups of water. Cook on high power 4 to 5 minutes, until the rinds are softened and the water has a definite Parmesan flavor. Spoon out the rinds and cheese chunks, and set the broth aside.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in the kale leaves. Cook, uncovered, until kale is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Allow to drain well.

 

Pour 4 tablespoons olive oil into a large stock pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, leek, and potatoes. Stir well, cover, and cook 5 minutes.



Add the garlic, thyme, kale, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and broth. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and corn kernels, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, just until zucchini begins to brown. Add to soup along with the parsley. 



If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable broth or water. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

A crusty loaf of bread and a glass of wine make this a bit of winter heaven.

Makes 6 servings.



From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tomato Soup #Recipe @PegCochran

I've always known that tomato soup and grilled cheese go together, but I've never been a fan of canned tomato soup.  So I decided to see if I would like it better if I made my own.

I found a great recipe in Quick Six Fix by Stuart O'Keefe, and I changed virtually nothing except to add about 1/4 cup of cream at the end.  It gave the soup a wonderful silky mouth feel.

This calls for 1 teaspoon of dried red pepper.  My red pepper flakes are ANCIENT and have probably lost a lot of potency.  This was nice and spicy but even hubby could eat it (everything "has a little heat to it" to him.)  I would recommend starting with less and doing a taste test to see if you want more.  And if you're serving little ones, you will definitely want to cut back.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper (I only used a couple twists of the pepper mill)
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzana)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Basil leaves

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 5 to 7 minutes until onions wilt.



Add tomatoes, stock and sugar and simmer on low for 10 minutes.



Puree soup and butter in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender.



If desired, add a swirl of heavy cream.  Serve with torn basil leaves stirred in.



PS It was delicious!





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tomato Rice Soup

LESLIE BUDEWITZ; An arctic blast is blowing over much of the US and Canada today. Which means – soup weather!

(Why a flying pig? My late MIL collected pigs, and this weathervane is pointing the way to our house.)

I found this recipe last fall on the Washington Post website—the WaPo turns out to be a good source of reliable recipes as well as reliable news and commentary. It’s credited as an adaptation from Sicily: Recipes From an Italian Island, by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant Books, 2016). The authors’ names—his, anyway—attest to a nice Italian pedigree, but you can be a mutt like me and still relish a good tomato soup!

I’ve adapted it a little further. My big change: the original calls for a cup of instant brown rice, but I’m not a fan of instant food—too much of the nutritional value and taste is lost—so I substituted half a cup of regular long grain brown rice. The reduction in amount is important, because instant rice is par-boiled and less absorbent; if you used a full cup of regular brown rice, you’d have Rice-Tomato Soup. Which is good, but not the point.

The recipe makes a big batch, but you can vary the leftovers by adding cooked beans or chickpeas, or shredded chicken.

A note about tomato paste: If you’re like me and have trouble remembering to use up what’s left in the can, go ahead and put it all in. Your soup will be slightly thicker and tomato-yer, and what’s wrong with that?

Croutons would make a lovely garnish. We toss ends of bread loaves and extra rolls into a bag in the freezer and bake up a batch of croutons occasionally—just cube and toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and dried herbs and bake—but no such luck this time. We’ll be making this again soon, so maybe the crouton gods will smile on us then!

Eat up, and stay warm!

Tomato Rice Soup


4 tablespoons olive oil
3 small carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 ribs celery, sliced or diced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional; I used them
2 tablespoons tomato paste, preferably double-concentrated
1/2 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked)
8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
One 14.5-ounce can diced or plum tomatoes, plus their juices
3 1/2 ounces baby spinach leaves or kale
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Saute until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. If the edges begin to brown, reduce the heat.

Add the tomato paste and allow to cook for another minute or two, then stir in the brown rice, broth, bay leaves, and the tomatoes and their juices. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and cook for about 45 minutes, until the rice is done.

Discard the bay leaves. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Stir in the spinach leaves or kale just before serving.

Yield: 6-8 servings; makes about 9 cups













From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.