Category Archives: Soup/Stew/Chili

Lamb and Soaked Lentils

This dish was so appreciated after a long day; I just wanted to curl up with my kiddos and relax without spending over an hour in the kitchen trying to make them something healthful. I wanted something easy but also very comfort food-ish without spending all day preparing it. With a little forethought this is a very effortless meal to prepare that even your little ones will enjoy.

I will admit that I have never honestly cooked with coriander and fenugreek before and I’m really not sure why. I have only ever seen them in a couple of recipes and it’s a shame. They bring a certain mellowness to the dish that is really hard to describe unless you try it yourself. I wasn’t sure how much to use them so I didn’t measure the amounts and rather just sprinkled it in. If I had to guess I would say around 1/4-1/2 of  a tsp. Feel free to experiment starting with less and them build from there. Your mouth will thank you!

If you haven’t thought about doing a pre-soak with the lentils you can skip that step but I find it to be beneficial because it helps to break down the digestive inhibitors so you can get more of the good out of the legumes.  It only takes about an extra 3 mins. and also cuts the cooking time down some-about a 1/3 in my experience which also contributes to the speedy-ness of this meal. Honestly, it only took me the time to brown the ground lamb to get this dish from the stove to the table. So….15 mins? Maybe 20 tops?

So, in the AM (or about 7 hours before you plan to eat) soak 2 cups of lentil with about 2 cups of very hot filtered water. You can add a dash of vinegar or lemon juice if you want but it’s not entirely necessary for the phytic acid to break down, as long as the water is good and warm when you start. Doesn’t hurt to add it though.  Then proceed to recipe below.

Here’s what you need: (note that measurements on the spices are approximate as I did not measure because we needed to eat fast!)

  • 2 cups lentil soaked in equal amount of filtered water
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth (I used homemade beef broth that I saved from when I made beef roast last week)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lb. ground lamb-pastured (this is a bit more spendy than ground beef but not by much and it’s worth the splurge)
  • Touch of healthy fat such as: bacon grease, grass-fed butter, ghee, tallow, lard, or I just used a bit of the fat that was on top of the beef broth that I had in the fridge
  • A squirt of concentrated tomato paste or fresh tomatoes if you have them
  • Sour Cream and Cheddar Cheese for serving if desired
  • Seasoning-I didn’t measure them but I guess around 1/4-1/2 tsp of each:
  1. Sea Salt
  2. Freshly ground black pepper
  3. Coriander Seed-ground
  4. Fenugreek Seed-ground
  5. Adobo seasoning
  6. Ground garlic (fresh is better-about 2-3 cloves)

The How To:

First, saute the chopped onion with the garlic, if using fresh, and add to the pan with the lentils. Then add the broth and tomato paste to the soaking lentils and turn the heat up to about med/well. Now you can add the seasonings. Allow the lentils to cook while at the same time browning the ground lamb in the same pan that you cooked the onions and garlic in. Once the lamb is browned, simply add it to the lentil dish and allow everything to cook together for at-least 5-10 mins or longer if you so desire. I’m sure this could easily be converted to a crock-pot meal as well is you wanted.

Serve with a touch of full fat sour cream and some raw milk cheddar cheese. Enjoy, this dish is a real treat. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture-sorry!

Serves about 6

This recipe is posted on Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival week 5/2

And On Real Food Wed. 5/4/11 at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Perfect Rainy Day Stoup

This Pure Homemaking Blog entry is participating in Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday. Check out some of the other recipes over there!

I was in no mood today. No good mood anyways. I am SICK of the rain here in Frederick. So, I didn’t have anything prepared for dinner because I was too busy brooding about the lack of spring. Is it just me, or is thing spring not very “springy” so far. I digress.

Anyhow, I was going to make my Lentili because for some reason the thought of lentils, ground beef and beans were in my head. I’m not really sure why though. I then discovered that my last jar of tomatoes that I canned over the summer was gone. None in the freezer either. My mood wasn’t improving. I did however locate a bag of pre-cooked and frozen beans with corn that I oh so conveniently stuck in there. (I make large batches of beans and freeze about half of what I”m not using for that recipe so I can have pre-made beans on hand without using canned) So I took out a lb. of grass fed ground beef and let it sit out with the frozen beans while I pondered what to do. I decided to just go for it. Not like I’ve never made a meal before that my kids wouldn’t eat. So here’s how it went….no need to be exact on the measurements:

What you need:

1 1/2 cups dry lentils (had I of thought ahead I would have soaked it with water and a little vinegar or lemon juice make it more digestible)  plus double that amount of liquid. I used half filtered water, half homemade broth

1 lb. grass-fed beef-browned (you can buy it in bulk for cheaper than you can get the regular stuff at the supermarket!-just saying)

1 small container organic beef broth (haven’t gotten around to making my own yet)

1 med. yellow onion and about 3-4 cloves garlic fried in a little bacon grease (butter of coconut oil if you don’t have any)

1/2 lb. beans and corn-I used a mix of kidney and pinto

Few squirts of concentrated tomato paste (the best kind, but regular tomato paste would be ok too I’m sure)

seasonings such as salt, pepper, adobo, and a touch of dried rosemary

The How to:

You pretty much just toss it all in a large pot and let it cook on med./low for as long as it takes for the lentils to be soft, about 30 mins.  Alternately, you can do what I did which is to cook the lentils for about 15 mins. separately before adding the other ingredients. Either way would work. I just let the lentils cook some while I fried the onions and browned the ground beef so it would be ready quickly.

Serve with a nice loaf of whole grain bread (although french bread would be pretty rockin’ too though)

After I tasted this, my mood was much better. Especially when my kids said “MMM this is so good!”  I couldn’t believe how much protein there was in that little meal too. Oh and I called it a stoup because I can’t decide if it’s more stew or more soup. You decide!


Lentili

This is another name chosen by my faithful hubby. Because it’s like chili meets lentils. Lentili. I thought it was clever.

So, this was a recipe that I adapted from something that I found on the Passionate Homemaking Blog. I wanted to do it in the crockpot because I was going to be running errands during prime time dinner cooking time and really wanted to avoid the temptation of drive through. So, I pulled out the crockpot and thought for a while about what I wanted to make. I remembered I had made this before in the crockpot so decided to whip it up because I remembered it being really good! And it is really good. Like comfort food to the max. Especially in the winter.

So you’re gonna want to start this early because it takes the lentil ages to cook. (If you pre-cook the lentils some than it will cut off a lot of time though, just adjust the liquid ratio in the dish) If you get started on it late then I would suggest par cooking the lentils first. I personally hate crockpot recipe’s that pretty much just keeps the food warm so I actually wanted the lentil to cook in all the delicious flavors of this dish. Just a note that you might want to add some of the chili powder and cayenne after serving it to kids. It wasn’t spicy but it did have a touch of a kick to it. But if your kids like that than by all means throw it all in there at once.

You will need:

1 cup lentils (I used green)

1 lb. ground beef (would also work with turkey)

3 good palm fulls of both cumin and chili powder

dash cayenne powder

1-2 tbls. white vinegar

1 onion sliced

3-4 cloves garlic diced small

1 tbls. Olive oil

1tbls butter

1 large can (about 28 oz) diced tomatoes

1-2 tbls super concentrated tomato paste (or more of the regular stuff)

salt and pepper to taste ( I used kosher salt-about 1tbls.)

3 cups water (you might want to decrease to 2 1/2 cups for thicker consistency)

Sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese to serve with

So, first you want to turn on your crockpot to high heat and put in the water, butter and lentils. Now take a skillet and add the olive oil and onion. Allow to cook down till about translucent. Next add the ground beef and garlic. (I started with semi-frozen ground beef and had to defrost it as it cooked as seen in the picture.) Go ahead and brown the ground beef really well. I like to do this because the flavor changes a bit when it gets really browned. The onion should be cooking with it at the same time.

Once the meat is done go ahead and drain any fat (I didn’t have any because we use grass fed beef which is VERY low in fat and the fats present are much better anyhow) and dump it along with all the other ingredients into the crockpot.

Now just let it cook for 7-10 hours on HIGH. Go even longer if you have the time. You really want those lentil to absorb all the liquid and cook through.

Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese, serve and enjoy! The leftovers will be really good from this too.

Serves 5-6


Split Pea Soup with Ham

Soups always get me going. It’s somewhat hard to get the perfect medley of flavor and really the smallest thing can either make or break them. At least that’s how I view them. A lot of people look at soups like crock pot meals, just throw it in there and cook it. I think it’s more delicate than that.

This was my first time in a LONG time making split pea soup and did take a bit of tweaking but I think I ended up with a pretty darn good soup if I don’t say so myself.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 packs split peas

1 good size ham hock

3 stalks celery

handful of  baby carrots or about 2 regular ones chopped

salt and pepper to taste

about 4 cloves garlic through a press or minced finely

1 large yellow onion

1-2 tbls butter

about 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

about 2 cups water

About 3 quarts chicken broth preferably homemade

Sour cream for topping

about 1/4- 1/2 cup cooking sherry

1/4 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar

about 1/2 cup red wine to taste

Chopped Fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano leaves only about 1 tbs. each

2 bay leaves

I know, it sounds like a lot of ingredients but it’s worth it. You could probably omit the cooking sherry but I had some and put it in and it added to the flavor.

First, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic and saute gently a few mins. until the onion is just translucent. Then add the ham hock and brown on all sides.

Next you can add the stock, split peas and all other ingredients but the wine, cooking sherry and the heavy cream. Simmer for about 45 mins. stirring occasionally.

Then take out the ham hock and cut off the thick skin and the fat and cut up the remaining ham. But the cut up ham back in the soup with the bone for flavor.

Now add the wine and cooking sherry and cook about 20 mins more until peas are done. They should be pretty mushy. Now you can add the cream and simmer a few more mins. gently being careful not to let it scald the bottom of the pot. Adjust the seasonings to your taste if needed and serve!

This is really good as left overs but it does thicken up a lot once it’s been in the fridge overnight. Just add more water or cream when you heat it back up.  This goes really well with dinner rolls or some crusty french bread.

Serves 8


Knock your socks off White Chicken Chili

Ok. This is the first time I have ever made white chicken chili. Not really sure why because it’s super easy and so good you want to do a little dance. I’m not joking. My friend gave me the recipe that she got from somewhere and I did my own thing and the result was off the hook. For real.

Most of it anyhow

3/4 lb of Great Northern Beans cooked or 2 cans

3 cups cooked chopped chicken breast

1 large can (about 30 oz) hominy

1 can green chilies (about 4 oz)

1 packet of taco seasoning plus more for some added zip

1 med. yellow onion

2 tbls. butter

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 tbls cumin

salt and black pepper and chili powder to taste ( I used about 1 tbls. chili powder)

16 oz chicken broth

Sour Cream and chopped green pepper to garnish if desired

First off you want to soak some Great Northern Beans and cook up a chicken to get the breast (and while your at it, make some stock), or if you must just some cooked chicken breast and two cans of the beans (but it’s much better if you just soak the darn things). I used a whole large one from a pastured chicken so about 3ish cups cooked and chopped up.

This is really easy. Once you have the beans and the chicken you pretty much just throw it all in there and simmer for a while. But here’s how I did it:

Melt butter in a large pot and add onions first letting them cook a bit. Then add the garlic, salt pepper and cumin to taste and let that cook until the onions are translucent but not browned. You do this because you want a solid onion flavor in it. Then add chicken and saute for about 3 mins. while you open up the cans of hominy and green chili’s.

Next add the drained hominy and packet of taco seasoning and stir to combine. Then add beans and the green chilies and the chicken broth. Stir it well and let it simmer gently till your ready to eat it or about 30 mins. You don’t need to add anything to thicken it up because as it simmers the starch from the hominy which is really just corn will do it for you. It will be very thick once it’s all done.

Top with sour cream and chopped green onions if desired. Oh and don’t forget the corn bread!

And that’s how it’s done.

Serves 6


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