Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Soups on Our Menu: Ground Beef & Beans Soup

I found this recipe on Leanna's pages here. When I first read it, I thought I would make the soup for us. The day came yesterday - I was ready to cook it. However, I modified the recipe (ingredients) a bit, to adjust it to the Texas cooking style and our likes as well.

What I used:

  • 1lb ground beef,
  • 3 celery stalks - cut into pieces,
  • 1 big onion - as above,
  • 3 garlic cloves - chopped,
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 1 tsp cumin,
  • 1 Tsp chili powder,
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper,
  • 4 cups water,
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes,
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chili,
  • 1 can cannellini beans - drained,
  • 1 can red kidney beans - drained
  • grated Mexican cheese (Queso Quesadilla) & chips to serve with the soup.

While making the soup, I followed the procedure given in Leanna's recipe.

At the end, when the soup was already in the bowls, I sprinkled it with some grated cheese.
It was a very nice meal which we both enjoyed. Certainly, the recipe is a keeper.

Thank you Leanna!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Soups on Our Menu: Chicken & Dumplings

Although soups are a nice option to a meat only dinner, I do not cook them often. First of all, a soup does not last long: having had a soup, you rather quickly get hungry again. On the other hand, when we eat a bowl of soup, we are not able to eat any second course then.

There are only a few kinds of soup which we both like (3 or 4?) and which I cook every now and then. I thought I could try to expand our soup menu and look for some new (and maybe worth trying recipes). Every month I am going to make some new stuff and share my soup attempts with you. Since we fancy cuisine of various countries, I wish I could possibly find a variety of good recipes, so that we would have soups more often.

Here is our soup number 1: chicken and dumplings. I am happy to say, I finally managed to find my own way of making it. The soup which I cooked last time was my best ever. Mainly because I discovered the advantages of canned cream soup. Previously I made chicken and dumplings from  scratch - without adding cream chicken soup and, despite my tries and efforts, the results where not equally tasty then.

Chicken and dumplings recipe


  • 1 single chicken breast;
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube ;
  • 1 can cream chicken soup;
  • 1 celery stalk - cut into small pieces;
  • 1/2 small onion - chopped;
  • 3-4 baby carrots chopped;
  • about 1 TBS oil
  • salt;
  • pepper;
  • 1 bay leaf and 3 grains black pepper (to cook the chicken breast);
  • water;
  • 1/2 - 1 TBS dried parsley;
  • 2 flour tortillas cut into square stripes (yes, they make good dumplings!).

What to do with it all:

  1. Place chicken breast in a pan (add black pepper grains and a bay leaf), cover the breast with cold water and cook slowly (at 4). Cooking does not last long - the breast is ready when it is no longer pink (inside and outside).
  2. Take the chicken breast out of the pot, shred it with a fork, leave it aside on a plate.
  3. Add cream chicken soup, chicken bouillon cube to the pan with the water in which the breast was cooked. Stir it and cook till the soup boils again.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, put the celery stalk and onion pieces in the pan - cook it for several minutes until the vegetables are soft. Stir frequently.
  5. Add celery and onion to the soup.
  6. Cook the carrots in a small pot (add some water) until they are soft enough to be added to the soup. Do not cook too long as the carrots will get mushy.
  7. Add carrots and chicken pieces to the soup .
  8. Season with salt and pepper - as you like.
  9. Add dried parsley pieces - mix the soup with a spoon
  10. Add tortilla pieces. (usually, after adding tortillas I need to season the soup with a bit more salt - somehow flour tortillas tend to make the soup bland).
  11. Simmer the soup for about 15 - 20 minutes and serve.

Bon Appetit!