Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden)

Submitted by Lissa Rucker

1 lb. spicy Italian sausage - crumbled
½ lb. smoked bacon - chopped
1 qt. water
2 14 oz. cans (about 3⅔ cups) chicken broth
2 large russet potatoes - scrubbed clean, cubed
2 garlic cloves - peeled, crushed
1 medium onion - peeled, chopped
2 cups chopped kale OR Swiss chard
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown bacon; drain, set aside.  Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion in a pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add sausage and bacon to pot; simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper; heat through.

Sweet Potato Minestrone Turkey Soup

Submitted by Kari-Lynn Tarleton

3/4 lb. ground spicy Italian turkey sausage
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup sliced celery
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups diced sweet potato
2 cans Italian season diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can great northern beans, drained, rinsed

Cook sausage, onion an celery in skillet until meat is done.  Add with remaining ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high 4-5 hours until potatoes are tender.  Enjoy!  Serves 8-10

Chicken Noodle Soup

Submitted by Laura Lopez


2 beaten eggs
4 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cup flour

Beat eggs and milk together add salt and slowly add flour. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Then let it stand for 20 minutes.  (You do not need a pasta press; if you have one then that's fine too.) I roll mine out on the counter with plenty of flour underneath. Then take a pizza cutter and thinly slice long strands. I then rub flour on top of dough, pull them apart and add to soup mixture.

Chicken Soup:

Earlier in the day boil chicken. When finished, I like to let the chicken cool down in the water. You can also set it in the fridge to pull apart later if needs be. I use the broth that the chicken was boiled in, because it adds more flavor. I then add in 1 Tbsp. of chicken bouillon to the water and garlic salt to taste. It's really just a chicken broth you're doing. So you can add whatever you want to it. Slice up some carrots and anything else. My mom always did celery but I hate the stuff :) Add noodles, let cook on med-high for about 30 minutes until noodles are cooked through. Then add chicken 10 minutes before serving.

Beef Stew in a Pumpkin

Submitted Rachel Meacham

2 lbs. beef stew meat, cubed
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1-2 cups water
3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice from can
2 Tbsp. beef bouillon granules
A 10-12 lb. pumpkin

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large pot over med-high heat. Place beef in pot and cook until evenly browned. Mix in the water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer about 2 hours (covered), stirring occasionally.

Dissolve the bouillon into soup. Stir in tomatoes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cut top off pumpkin and scrape out seeds and pulp with a sturdy spoon. Place pumpkin in a heavy baking pan (or on a cookie sheet). Fill pumpkin with stew mixture. Brush outside of pumpkin with remaining oil. (You may draw a jack-o-lantern face onto the outside of the pumpkin with permanant marker before brushing oil on, if you want to, for Halloween).

Bake stew in pumpkin with top of pumpkin back on in oven for 1-2 hours or until pumpkin is tender. Serve stew from the pumpkin, scraping out some of the pumpkin "meat" with each serving, if desired.

Tortellini Soup

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

1 pound Italian sausage
(use ½ mild, ½ hot if desired; see Notes)
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 cups beef broth (see Notes)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
½ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2 cups cheese-filled tortellini
1 ½ cups sliced zucchini
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

In large soup pot, brown sausage over medium heat. Remove sausage and drain all but 1
tsp. remaining fat from pot. (If sausage is very lean, you may need to add a little olive oil
to prevent sticking and burning.) Sauté onion and garlic in pot. Add beef broth, red wine
vinegar, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, sausage and 2 cups water. Bring
to boil, then reduce heat to simmer 30 minutes, uncovered. Skim fat. Stir in zucchini and
parsley. Simmer covered 15 minutes. Add tortellini and simmer five more minutes, or
until tortellini is al dente. Add more water if soup becomes too thick.

Notes: If using canned beef broth, you could substitute water for half of it to cut sodium,
if desired. Substitute turkey sausage to trim fat.

Makes 8 servings.

Quick and Easy Breadsticks

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

3 ½ cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
½ cube margarine
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 ½ cups hot water
1 tsp. salt
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Garlic salt (optional)

Mix together two cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add the hot water and the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour. Knead for 10 minutes. Let rise until double.

Roll out in a rectangle, pour ¼ cube of margarine (melted) onto dough. Top with garlic and cheese if desired. Cut into strips, double over and twist. Melt ¼ cube of margarine in 9x13 pan. Place twisted dough in pan. Sprinkle more cheese and garlic on top.

EASY METHOD: Spread 2 Tbsp. margarine onto baking sheet. Roll dough out onto baking sheet and form a rectangle. Cut into strips. Spread 2 Tbsp. melted margarine on top of dough. Top with garlic salt and cheese.

Let it rise. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

French Onion Soup

Submitted by Danica Nelson

4 medium yellow onions
3 Tbsp. margarine
2 cans Campbell's Beef Consomme
2 cans water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. flour (dissolved in a little water)
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted French or Sourdough bread slices with shredded swiss cheese

Cut onions in half, then slice crosswise.  Saute onions in margarine until golden.  Add consomme and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and add garlic powder and parmesan cheese.  Stir in flour and water mixture.  Simmer not less than 30 minutes.  Adjust salt and pepper.  Serve in ovenproof bowls with toast and cheese on top.  Broil a couple minutes until cheese has melted.  (I dried out the bread before I added cheese and broiled so that it would take longer to get soggy - heat oven to 350 and bake for about 5 minutes on each side, or until hard/crispy.)

Baked Potato Soup

Submitted by Kate Waldie
Adapted from

3 Tbsp. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
4 1/2 cup low fat milk
1 14 oz. can chicken broth
5 medium baking potatoes, baked (I microwave mine)
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar (or sharp cheddar) cheese
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup low fat or fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (make extra for garnish)

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Slowly stir in half the chicken broth. Add flour to pan a little bit at a time whisking constantly. Slowly add milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to eliminate lumps. Whisk until smooth and then add the rest of the chicken broth. Make sure at this point your soup is 'lump-free'. Bring soup just to a simmer and heat until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Once soup is thickened, turn heat down to medium-low. Cut potatoes in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh into a medium bowl and squish with a potato masher and then put in the pot and stir. Add grated cheese and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream, green onions, and crumbled bacon. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with each serving with a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of green onions, cheese, and bacon.