Inside Out Cabbage Roll Soup – Crockpot

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I’m late to the “get bikini ready” party. It is the end of June and I’m just now starting to worry about eating healthier, exercising more and ultimately looking decent this summer. Better late than never I always say! I was unsure of this soup at first because I am not a huge fan of cabbage unless it is in colcannon on St. Patrick’s Day. However I needed something to start me off right and everyone raves over cabbage soup. I have to say this recipe took me by surprise. It had a great flavor that was not overpowered by the cabbage. Also, my apartment did not stink as the cabbage cooked either which was a fear of mine. I was pleased with how easy and tasty this recipe ended up being. We had many meals, lunches and dinners, out of one batch. This recipe will make it into our soup rotation for sure! The original recipe can be found at http://www.sugarfreemom.com, but I did modify the ingredients a bit. I halved the amount of ground beef and upped the amount of veggies.

Serves: 9-12     Calories: about 290 per serving    Time: 3.5 hours on high or 6.5 hours on low

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 16 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, riced
  • 8 cups of beef broth
  • 1 large head of cabbage

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil over high heat and sauté until soft.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add the garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant
  3. Add the seasonings, cauliflower and marinara sauce to the beef and mix until combined.
  4. Add beef broth, cabbage, and beef mixture to your crockpot. Stir until combined
  5. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.sugarfreemom.com

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Hearty Hot and Sour Soup

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My gosh this soup has so much flavor! With this recipe you’ll expect tons of veggies, tons of spice and such a savory broth. Don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping up every last drop of this stuff. I had started getting tired of the traditional vegetable soups. You know the usual culprits – barley vegetable, summer vegetable, root veggie puree. We desperately needed something different so I turned to my recipe companion, Pintrest. I fall so hard into the Pintrest web but have climbed my way out with some killer recipes, this being one of them. The original recipe does include tofu and mushrooms, but there are just some things I cannot stomach and those are two of them. So if you want to make this soup even more hearty then you will want to visit the original recipe posted at http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com.

Serves: 8     Calories: 200/serving     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (Add an extra one if you really like it hot)
  • 1lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6-8 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, ginger, and jalapenos Cook for a few minutes, stirring.
  2. Add in the carrots, and cabbage. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, cold water, and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the zucchini, and bell peppers to the pot. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the soy sauce mixture and stir until the soup thickens, about 8 minutes. Add in the bok choy and tomatoes and bring the soup back to a simmer. Stir in the sesame oil.
  5. Dish and Enjoy!

*Photo and video are originals belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Noodle Soup

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With Football season upon us I think it is appropriate that I post a “game day buffalo chicken something” recipe. This is a great dish for game day because it doesn’t require a lot of fuss and will feed all your footballers. Be warned, that with everything else buffalo chicken, this soup is ADDICTING! It has a great spicy bite with tender shredded chicken and fill-your-belly veggies/egg noodles. This soup is so easy to throw together and such a pleasure to enjoy with family and friends! We love this recipe and cannot wait to make it again!

Serves: 10   Calories: 255 per serving    Prep time: approximately 30 minutes   Cook time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 12 oz buffalo sauce
  • 6 cups of chicken broth, I used reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onion, chicken, buffalo sauce, and chicken broth to the crock pot. Cook on low for 3 1/2 hours.
  2. Add the egg noodles, raise the temperature to high, and cook for a half hour.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts, shred them and return them to the crock pot
  4. Turn off the crock pot and stir in the heavy cream.
  5. Serve hot and GO TEAM! 😉

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.wineandglue.com 

Mediterranean Meatball Soup

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This soup is the epitome of comfort. The spices add a distinct warmth while the meatballs and couscous fill you up. It isn’t too heavy which is something I love about this recipe. It’s on the brothy side which is a nice base for the meatballs. It is also one of the best soups I’ve made to reheat. I worried about using couscous because I know that pasta and grains usually suck up the broth and get mushy when put in the fridge to be reheated. This recipe did not do that which was a pleasant surprise. I found this soup to be quite easy to put together, but you do need to use a couple different pots so expect a bit of cleanup. One thing that could turn you off is the spices used in this recipe. I always have these bold spices in my cabinet as a staple but if you don’t the grocery bill could creep up quickly. Do keep in mind though that these spices last a long time and there are so many lovely recipes you can add them to. They are definitely a kitchen investment but I think it’s worth it.

Serves: 8-12     Calories: approximately 360 per serving     Time: approximately 1 hour

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, the more lean the better

Ingredients for Soup

  • 8 oz package of Israeli pearl couscous
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line your baking dish with foil or parchment paper.
  3. In a marge bowl add all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix thoroughly.
  4. Form small-ish meatballs with about 1 tsp of the mixture and put on the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until browned.
  6. While meatballs are in the oven prepare the couscous according to the package.
  7. In a large pot heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic and zucchini and saute until fragrant.
  8. Add vegetable broth, 2 cups of water, turmeric, curry and tomato paste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and add in the meatballs and couscous. Simmer for 10 minutes and add salt/pepper to taste.
  9. Before serving toss in the chopped parsley.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.littlespicejar.com

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup – ★★★★★

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Kale, the superfood we are all told we should eat. Am I the only one who can not stomach getting a raw, firm and chewy piece of kale down? As much as I would love to be that woman who sits at a cafe and somehow manages to daintily eat an entirely kale salad and sip on green juice I know I will never be that kind of lady. No offense to those brave women who can do it, I am envious and wish I had your determination! That said, I want to set an example for my boys and try to get some superfoods into our diet. This soup is very kale heavy but it doesn’t have the raw chewy texture. The sausage really rounds out this soup and the beans are the perfect protein filler. We shared this soup with friends and it was a hit all around. (UPDATE: It is now 2017 and this has become our winter soup. I make a massive pot of it every other week. SO yummy and so good for your soul!)

Serves: 8     Calories: 298 per serving     Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, we used sweet Italian
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock, divided
  • 1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed and chopped or torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese/ crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place a large pan over medium heat. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in pot and add sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Pour the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pot, and add minced garlic. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Pour 5 cups chicken broth/stock into pot and stir in kale, bay leaf, and garlic powder. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Place about 1/3 of the drained beans in a blender or food processor along with the remaining 1 cup broth. Blend until smooth.
  5. Once kale is tender, add beans, broth/beans mixture, and browned sausage to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir and simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Remove bay leaf before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo/video are originals belonging to me 

*Recipe adapted from http://www.fivehearthome.com

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Zuppa Toscana (copycat recipe) – ★★★★★

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Zuppa Toscana recipes are all over pintrest. There are so many that I probably have about 6 different variations pinned in my “recipes to try” board because I cannot decide which one could be better. This winter my Zuppa Toscana recipe problem was solved. My brother-in-law’s wonderful girlfriend, Leah, told me about this amazing soup she and her sister made. I looked at the recipe on her facebook page and thought, “Alright this is it! If Leah thinks this one is the best then it must be the best.” I promptly deleted the other pins so as to not get confused with all the recipes. A few weeks later I made the soup. You guys, I cannot say it enough, this recipe is amazing! What is even more crazy is that we made it without bacon. The plan was to make a big pot of soup and take it over to my father-in-law’s house for dinner. Since he was eating with us I tried to subtract as much sodium as possible which meant the bacon had to go. I would describe this dish as creamy, hearty, spicy, and comforting. There is something to be said about a big ol’ bowl of soup that really does warm the soul. Perry gave this recipe a full five-star rating. Here is why:

I love soup, sausage, potatoes and all things spicy. There was no way I wasn’t going to like this recipe. At first I was unsure because of how creamy the broth looked. I thought dairy was supposed to ease spiciness, but as far as I could tell it was a great pairing. The broth goes down smooth because of how creamy it is but the spicy aftertaste is the real treat. Kelsey used spicy Italian sausage so it had that extra kick. I give this recipe five stars because not only was it delicious but it also filled me up which is not something many soups can do. I can’t wait for the left overs.”

Serves: 10     Calories: 290 per serving     Time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian sausage, we used the spicy stuff
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, less if you do not like it too hot
  • 3 large russet potatoes, cubed (skin is optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of kale, chopped
  • 64 oz of chicken broth, we used less sodium
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1.5 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 hearty tsp of white pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, brown the sausage and stir in the pepper flakes. Transfer to a dish and set aside
  2. To the same pan add the onions and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes, until onions are tender.
  3. Stir in chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft (approximately 20-30 minutes)
  5. Once potatoes are cooked, add the whipping cream, cooked sausage and white pepper. Cook until heated through.
  6. Add kale just before serving.
  7. Dish and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.bigoven.com 

CrockPot Cheesy Burger Soup – ★★★★★

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It’s that lovely time of year when pintrest is FILLED with seasonal soup/stew recipes. I came across this fantastic recipe from http://www.familyfreshmeals.com and knew it would be my first soup of the season. Seriously, who wouldn’t love a cheeseburger inspired soup? My family loved it and I am certain we will be making it a few more times before winter is over. The flavor was described as “creamy cheeseburger.” Everyone had seconds and we still have left overs for lunch. Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

This soup can only be improved upon with a hot roll accompaniment. The flavor was excellent with a silky broth and hearty meat/veggies. I like that Kels cooked the bacon separately and added it as a garnish because it added a nice crunch. I don’t enjoy soggy bacon, no matter how much flavor it is supposed to add. I think next time I will suggest warm bread and a bleu cheese crumble topping. Five stars for this soup!”  

NOTE: Since we’ve moved back to Pennsylvania I have the added adventure of trying to tailor my recipes to fit my parents’ dietary needs. My dad is diabetic which is why you will now see Carb values, and my mom is doing weight watchers which is why you will now see the PointsPlus values. I hope these extra calculations I’m providing will help not only my parents but also anyone else who clicks on this blog with dietary needs. That being said, I am aware this is a “high carb”/”high points” recipe. Please, please, please change ingredients as you see fit. Substitute turkey for beef, turkey bacon for regular bacon, low fat cheese for shredded cheese, etc… I am making it as close to the original for the first time to gauge taste so in the future I can substitute things and see what I can change without sacrificing too much flavor. 

Serves: 8+  Calories: 448 per serving  Carbs: 39.5g per serving  WW PointsPlus Value: 13 points per serving

Prep Time: 30 min  Cook time: 7 hr (low)  Total Time: 7hr 30m

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups of white potatoes, cubed
  • 8 oz of cream cheese, cubed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp back pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled to garnish (reserving a little bit of the grease to stir in for flavor)

Directions:

  1. Sautee onions over medium high heat. Before they start to become translucent add your ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink in the middle.
  2. Add the onion/beef mixture to your crockpot along with the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, celery, carrots, potatoes, cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Stir to mix the ingredients in together.
  3. Cook on low for 7 hours
  4. Before cooking time is up, fry up the bacon reserving a bit of the grease. Also, mix together the milk and flour until there are no lumps in the mixture. Add the bacon grease, flour/milk mixture, and shredded cheese.
  5. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted
  6. Spoon a healthy serving into bowls, garnish with bacon and anything else you would garnish your burger with
  7. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe found at http://www.familyfreshmeals.com