Pressure Cooker Beef Stock

I love making homemade soups and stews, but I’m kind of picky about the stocks I use in them. If I go grocery shopping in the city, I can usually find decent organic beef and chicken stock that doesn’t have a lot of salt in them, but the taste is usually meh. I’ve made homemade stock and bone broth before, but doing it the traditional way is extremely time consuming. I guess it’s really not that bad—if you have an entire day that you can devote to watching your pot. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of time, so when I got my Instant Pot, I thought I’d give stock making another go, and I’m so glad I did. The pressure cooker does all the work, and in the end, I had a flavorful, delicious beef stock to use however I wanted.

I have the 6-quart Instant Pot, so I really didn’t end up with a bunch of beef bone broth. After filling the pressure cooker to its limit, I ended up with just under 3 quarts of stock, just enough really for a good batch of soup. One day I might get ambitious and make several batches of bone broth and pressure can it, but for now, this small-size batch works for me. I can make up the stock and keep it refrigerated for a few days until I’m ready to use it. Instant flavor just sitting there ready to be used—if it makes it to soup anyway. I like to heat up a cup just to drink in all that collagen goodness.




You can make bone broth or stock with whatever you like as far as vegetables go. Just remember that using the pressure cooker intensifies the flavors of what you put in it. If you’re used to making stock with lots of veggies, you can cut back to just one stalk of celery or 1 piece of carrot. The cooker will infuse the broth with the flavor just fine. I make my stock without salt, but feel free to add some if you wish. I like to control the salt level when I’m making a recipe, and the salt-free stock helps me do this.

To help pull out all the goodness in the bones, you need to have some sort of acid in the pot. Most recipes call for adding some apple cider vinegar, but I’ve also seen a recipe that added a tomato. I’ll try that this summer when I have fresh garden tomatoes available, but this time I used a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, which added some really nice flavor.

I pressure cooked my stock for 120 minutes. I’ve seen recipes that will cook for just an hour, and you’ll still get great-tasting bone broth, but since I had the time, I wanted to get as much flavor as I could. A lot of recipes call for roasting the bones in the oven before making the stock. I’ve done that, and it does add a richness of flavor, but you can simply sauté the bones in the Instant Pot until nicely browned, if you want, and you’ll get the same result plus save a bunch of time. Or you can simply add everything to the pressure cooker, seal the lid, and cook. That’s what I did.

Pressure Cooker Beef Stock

3-1/2 pounds meaty beef bones (my butcher had nice neck bones)

Half an onion

1 stalk of celery

1 carrot, unpeeled

1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

10 cups water (or enough to cover everything but not go past full capacity of the cooking pot)

Yield: I ended up with almost 3 quarts of bone broth.

Place all ingredients in the pressure cooker pot. Seal the lid. Select the manual setting, and set cooking time to 120 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, turn off the cooker, and let it naturally release the pressure. Mine took about 2 hours to come down to normal pressure. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the quick-release venting option.

Ladle stock through some cheesecloth into another large container or straight into glass Mason jars. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or place in freezer containers and freeze until ready to use. If you make large batches of stock, you can also pressure can it. I recommend the Ball website for canning instructions.

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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

I love quick and easy recipes given my busy work schedule. Even though I work from home, it seems like I have less time to cook a delicious meal than I did when I worked outside the house, so I’m always looking for ways to speed up the process. I’d been looking at different pressure cookers for some time but never could decide on a stovetop version or an electric cooker, but when Amazon had a deal on CyberMonday on Instant Pot pressure cookers, I decided to take the plunge and get one.

I’m so hooked on this Instant Pot, and I can’t believe it took me this long to actually get one. It really does deliver a taste that you think took all day to achieve but in the fraction of the time. The first recipe I tried was a traditional beef stew. I had a cheaper cut of beefsteak plus some leftover prime rib to use in my stew, and to be honest, you really couldn’t tell the difference between the two in the finished product as far as tenderness, although you could still tell which type of beef it was based on texture. This Instant Pot is going to be a great way to buy more inexpensive cuts of meat and still end up with a tender bite in the end, and I can’t wait to try a beef roast in this.




I looked at various recipes on Pinterest for pressure cooker beef stew, mostly to get an idea of the times each stage of cooking would take. Some recipes called for adding all ingredients at the same time to the pressure cooker, but I decided to pressure cook the beef first and add the rest of the vegetables at a later stage. If you have an Instant Pot, it has a sauté feature where you can brown your meat in the pot itself, but I like to brown meat in my cast iron skillet. I then added the browned meat to the Instant Pot and continued as the recipe says. It turned out fantastic.

beef-stew-in-pot

 

beef-stew-bowl

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

2 pounds beef roast, cubed into 1-inch pieces

About 2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

8 ounces beef stock

8 ounces dry red wine (I used a Merlot)

1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large onion, diced into medium-sized pieces

2 cups of medium-diced potatoes (about 4 to 5 potatoes)

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)

1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or to taste)

 

Select the sauté function on the Instant Pot, and add the olive oil. Dredge beef cubes in the flour, and sauté beef in the olive oil until browned on all sides. Salt and pepper the beef to taste as it browns. Add the beef stock and wine, and place the lid on the pot, making sure the lever is set to the pressurize setting. Using the manual button, cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Using the quick-release valve, release the built-up pressure, and remove the lid. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Replace the lid. Again using the manual setting, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Either let the pressure naturally release, or you can use the quick-release function again to release the pressure. Remove the lid and serve the stew.
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Bone Broth

One of the things I’ve always wanted to try making is bone broth or stock to use in various soup and stew recipes. Now that I’ve started my Paleo diet, this is something that is actually encouraged to drink on a daily basis and use in homemade soups. The diet I’m following says to drink 1/2 to 1 cup of bone broth daily. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with it daily, but since it can be frozen, I’ll definitely make up batches to keep on hand in the freezer to make soup quickly.




The recipe I used is salt-free, so if you’re following a low-salt or no-salt diet, this is perfect for you. I will say that the next time I make this I’ll be adding salt to help bring out the flavors. That said, if you decide to salt yours, keep in mind that as the broth simmers, the flavors will concentrate—and this means the salt intensity will increase, so be sure to start low with your amounts. You can always add more later on.

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Make sure you have plenty of time when you set out to make bone broth. I was in a bit of a hurry, and I should have let my bones roast in the oven longer than I did. The recipe said to roast for 15 minutes, and I went for 25 minutes, but I do think it should have roasted longer to achieve that nice dark brown color and flavor you get from long roasting. However, it still is tasty, but I know it will be better next time when I really roast everything before I start simmering it on the stove top.

My recipe comes from The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser, one of my clients who inspired me to take charge of my health and get started on this Paleo diet. It really is easy to throw together. Once everything is in the pot, you just keep an eye on it and let it do its thing.

 

Paleo Bone Broth

4 pounds beef bones, preferably marrow and knuckle bones

2 onions, peeled and halved

4 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic, peeled

4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

1 cup fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bones, onion, and carrots in a roasting pan. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan so the drippings don’t burn and stick to the pan.

bone broth - bones in pan 2

 

Roast for 15 minutes or until very well browned.

When everything is nicely roasted, add everything from the roasting pan (scraping the bottom) into a large stockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients, and add enough cold water to completely cover everything.

 

bone broth in stockpot

 

Cover, and bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for at least 3 hours.

Strain the stock.

bone broth - strained

 

When the stock is completely cold, pour it into 1-quart Mason jars, and refrigerate it for later use. It should last about a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it in bulk or in individual portions in freezer-safe containers.

 

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Baked Potato Soup

I love soup and loaded baked potatoes, and I’ve made different versions of a loaded baked potato soup for years. The basic ingredients are usually the same: potatoes, bacon, cheese and sour cream. How you prepare your potatoes varies from recipe to recipe. Some recipes have you peel and dice them, then cook the potatoes in butter until soft. In other recipes, like the one I made tonight, you use already baked potatoes, with the skin on, which not only helps speed up how long it takes to make the soup, but you also get the added fiber, vitamins and minerals found in the potato skins. I’m the first to admit I hate to peel potatoes (can’t hang on to the slippery little devils thanks to the dropsies from carpal tunnel), so anytime I can use a potato in a recipe without peeling it – I’m in.




 

You can make this soup on the stove, or you can add your ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low all day – just add the sour cream right before serving if you decide to use your Crock-Pot. You can reserve the bacon pieces to garnish each bowl, or you can add it all back into the soup, which I like to do so the bacon flavors the entire soup. You can garnish with green onions and extra shredded cheese if you like. However you make it, your kitchen will smell great, and your family will really enjoy this recipe.

baked potato soup

 

Baked Potato Soup

4 slices bacon, diced

5 tablespoons butter

6 potatoes, already baked with skins on, roughly diced (microwave them when you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table)

1 box (32 ounces) Kitchen Stock’s unsalted chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence (optional – I add this to most of my soups)

2 cups milk (approximate)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

Green onions, chopped, for garnish (optional)

 

In a large stockpot, cook diced bacon pieces over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

To the same stockpot with the bacon drippings, melt 5 tablespoons butter. Add the roughly diced baked potatoes to the pot, stirring to coat with the butter and bacon drippings. Add the box of chicken stock to the stockpot, and turn the heat down to low. Stir to combine ingredients. Cook over low for about 10 minutes or so, until the soup begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. (Because the potatoes are baked, you shouldn’t need to add any flour or other thickener, as the potatoes will thicken the soup themselves). Add the milk to the soup – this amount may be more or less than stated in the recipe based on how thick or how thin you like your potato soup. Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the soup, and cook over low heat until heated thoroughly and the cheese has melted completely.

Just before serving, stir in the sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish soup with chopped green onions and additional cheddar cheese or cooked bacon pieces if desired.

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Ham and Split Pea Soup

The only good thing about winter, in my opinion, is the fact that I can make soup whenever I want. It’s the perfect meal on a cold night, and I can get away with only dirtying one pot plus a couple of utensils and a cutting board. It makes dinnertime easy with few dishes to clean up afterwards.

I had some leftover ham in the fridge, and instead of making a potato and ham casserole, which I often do with my leftover ham, I decided to make some ham and split pea soup. The ham was simply leftover ham steak, but if you have smoked ham hocks, they are delicious in this recipe. After a trip to the Stringtown Store in Kalona a few weeks ago, I came home with split peas and other dried goodies, so it was time to use up the peas.




While most soup recipes include celery, I didn’t have any on hand tonight, but you can definitely add a couple stalks of chopped celery to this soup. Just saute the celery with the carrots and the onions at the beginning of the recipe. I also happen to love garlic, and whenever I see onion added to a recipe, I generally toss in a couple cloves of garlic. If your family isn’t crazy about garlic like mine is, you can leave it out, but garlic definitely adds another level of flavor to this soup.

This soup comes together pretty fast, as all you do is chop, saute and let everything simmer together until the peas, potatoes and carrots are nice and soft, which takes about 45 to 50 minutes to happen.

 

ham and split pea soup in bowls 2

 

Ham and Split Pea Soup

 

Extra-virgin olive oil

Half an onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

3 cups diced ham (or use a couple of meaty ham hocks)

2 cups diced potatoes (I leave the skins on for, but you can peel them)

8 cups chicken stock (homemade is best, but Kitchen Basics makes a good unsalted version)

Fresh thyme sprigs

Freshly ground black pepper

 

In a large stockpot, generously drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil. On medium-high heat, saute the carrots, celery and onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and saute an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, diced ham, split peas, potatoes and a couple fresh thyme sprigs. Generously grind some black pepper into the soup, and stir to combine.

Let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the peas are soft. Stir, mashing the mixture against the side of the pot to create a bit of pea puree. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper, if necessary.

ham and split pea soup in pot 2

 

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Provencal Beef Stew

I love European cuisine, especially French and Italian, because they know how to use the freshest ingredients in their dishes to come up with incredible flavor. My bucket list includes a trip to both France and Italy, and while the scenery and the history would be extremely interesting to me as a college history major, I’ll be honest that I’d go primarily for the food. Finding local cooks and cafes that shop the local market and then decide what to prepare – that would be a little bit of heaven.

The best recipes I’ve found use slow-cooking methods, and this one for Provencal beef stew definitely fits the bill of slow-cooked, mouth-watering flavor. I dug out my large cast iron Dutch oven for this, but a large enamel pot would work well too. Just make sure it has a tight-fitting cover, as you’ll be baking this low and slow in the oven.

provencal beef stew in bowl

 

The recipe calls for 2 cups of wine. If you don’t want to use wine, you can substitute additional beef broth, but you will definitely be losing some of the incredible flavor that wine gives this dish. Choose a good quality, full-bodied red wine for this – one you’d be happy to have a glass of with dinner.

I found this recipe through Pinterest, as I do many of the new dishes I try, and the link took me to The Café Sucré Farine, which has amazing recipes throughout its site. I followed their recipe to the letter with the exception of the anchovy paste, as my local grocery store doesn’t stock it. I’m guessing it would add another depth of flavor to this stew, and the next time I’m in the “big city,” I’m finding some because I know I’ll be making this recipe again.

 

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This stew can be prepared the day before or even 2 to 3 days before you want to serve it. The stew’s flavor improves with time, but if you can’t wait, you can obviously have it the same day it’s prepared. Serve some crusty fresh-baked bread alongside, and you’ve got yourself a traditional French meal. Bon appétit!

 

 

provencal beef stew in pot 3

 

Provencal Beef Stew

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 to 2 1/2 pounds sirloin tip roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons neutral-flavored cooking oil

12 medium garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed

2 cups dry red wine

2 cups low-sodium beef broth

1 pound baby carrots

1 medium onion, halved and sliced into thin wedges

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons anchovy paste

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (plus more for garnishing)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (plus more for garnishing)

2 medium bay leaves

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound fresh mushrooms

 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Add the beef to the bolw, and toss with your hands until the beef is coated.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, and saute until soft and pale golden. Remove to a large plate or bowl. Increase heat to medium.

Add half of the beef to the Dutch oven. Distribute cubes so the beef is in a single layer. Cook for several minutes without stirring, until the beef is nice and brown on the underside, the flip and brown the other side. Remove beef with a slotted spoon to the plate with the garlic, and repeat with the second half of the beef. When beef is nicely browned, remove to the plate.

Add the wine to the Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Scrape the sides and bottom of the Dutch oven with a metal spoon or spatula to loosen all the cooked bits. Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the wine mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup of liquid.

Add the beef broth, beef, garlic and any remaining flour that left in the bowl. Stir to combine. Add the carrots, onion, tomato paste, anchovy paste, fresh herbs and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then cover and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Remove bay leaves, and set the stew aside to cool. You can refrigerate this overnight or for as long as 2 to 3 days.

To warm the stew before serving, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the stew in the oven, covered, for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated through.

While the stew is warming, melt the butter in a medium-size pan. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper. Saute the mushrooms until golden brown. After several minutes of cooking, the mushrooms will release liquid and look watery. Keep cooking until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms turn golden. Add the mushrooms to the stew just before serving.

Serve stew on its own or over mashed potatoes or polenta. Garnish with fresh herbs.

 

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Slow Cooker Lima Bean Soup

I’m always on the lookout for meatless dishes that are easy yet tasty that I can serve my family, hopefully without them missing meat in the dish. I had a package of dried lima beans in my pantry that I needed to do something with, so I went searching for a recipe I thought my family would enjoy. You can crumble some cooked bacon over top when serving if you prefer, but it’s perfectly delicious without it.

I found a lima bean soup recipe through Pinterest, and it linked to the Taste of Home website. Once I saw that, I knew as a subscriber to Taste of Home magazine that the recipe would be good. although I did make a few modifications. While this is delicious as is, it would be equally good adding cooked cubed chicken or some diced ham to the soup if you prefer to have a little meat in your soup.

 

lima bean soup 2

 

Slow Cooker Lima Bean Soup

 

2 boxes (32 ounces each) chicken stock

1 pound dried lima beans (soaked overnight)

3 medium carrots, thinly diced

1 small onion, finely diced

3 potatoes, peeled and diced

2 celery ribs, finely diced

1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup half-and-half cream

3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional if going meatless)

 

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for the half-and-half and the cooked bacon. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, or until the lima beans are tender.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add the half-and-half to the soup. Stir to combine, and let heat through. Sprinkle each serving with the cooked and crumbled bacon.

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Pumpernickel Bread and Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

On a winter’s day, I absolutely love having soup for dinner. You only have to dirty one pot, and the possibilities are endless. Pair up a steaming bowl of soup or stew with freshly baked bread, and I’m in heaven.

I love baking all types of breads, but pumpernickel has to be one of my favorites. While I do bake traditional bread recipes, I’ve found that if I use my bread machine, I make bread more often. All I have to do is dump in the ingredients and let the machine do the rest. It’s a time saver, especially when work is busy but I still want fresh bread for dinner.

I usually bake a 2-pound loaf of bread in my machine, but I’ve included the amounts for 1-pound and 1 1/2-pound machines, and I’ve also included the steps to bake the loaves in the oven. This recipe comes from Red Star Yeast, and it’s a good one.

pumpernickel bread loaf

pumpernickel sliced

Dark Pumpernickel Bread

Small (1-pound bread machine)

1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (room temperature)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon dark molasses

1 1/4 cups bread flour

2/3 cup medium rye flour 

4 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoons (2/3 package) yeast

Medium (1 1/2-pound bread machine)

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (room temperature)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons dark molasses

2 cups bread flour

1 cup medium rye flour 

5 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) yeast

Large (2-pound bread machine)

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (room temperature)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons dark molasses

2 2/3 cups bread flour

1 1/3 cups medium rye flour 

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon (1⅓ package) yeast

Instructions

Bread Machine Method

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Place ingredients in a pan in the order listed. Select basic or white bread cycle and medium or normal crust. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.

Mixer Methods

Using ingredient amounts listed for medium loaf, combine 1 cup bread flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, onion powder, and yeast. (Reserve I cup bread flour and all of the rye four.) Combine liquid ingredients and heat to 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hand-Held Mixer Method

Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining bread flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional bread flour if necessary.

Stand Mixer Method

Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add rye flour and enough of the remaining bread flour to form a firm dough. Knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Food Processor Method

Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While the motor is running, add liquid ingredients. Process until mixed. Continue processing, gradually adding rye flour and enough of the remaining bread flour until dough forms a ball.

Rising, Shaping and Baking

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe, about 1 hour. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. On lightly floured surface, shape dough into a round loaf. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet or in 8-inch layer cake pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after touching (about 30 minutes). Bake in preheated 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Optional: Combine 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch; heat to boiling. Five minutes before the loaf is finished baking, remove from oven and brush top with cornstarch glaze. Sprinkle with caraway seeds, if desired. Return to oven and bake approximately five more minutes until glaze is glossy and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool before slicing.

 

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We love to eat at Olive Garden, and one of my oldest son’s favorite things on the menu is the Chicken and Gnocchi Soup. He’s been after me for quite a while now to try to duplicate the recipe, and I think maybe I’ve done it with this recipe. This soup comes together fast. If you have leftover roast chicken, it works perfectly in this recipe.

chicken gnocchi soup in bowl

 

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups cream

1/2 cup celery, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded

1/2 cup onion, finely diced

1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound potato gnocchi (either homemade or store bought)

 

If using fresh chicken, dice into bite-sized pieces. In a large stockpot, heat about 2 tablespoons good olive oil over medium heat, and add the diced chicken. Cook until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Remove cooked chicken from the pot; set aside.

 

chicken gnocchi soup - cooking chicken

 

In the same stockpot, saute the onion, celery, garlic, spinach and carrots in the olive oil until the onion is nearly translucent.

chicken gnocchi soup - cooking veggies 2

 

Add the cooked chicken, chicken broth and spices. Bring to a boil. Slowly add the gnocchi into the boiling broth. Turn down the heat, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the cream. Slowly allow the mixture to come to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Garnish each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 

chicken gnocchi soup in pot 2

 

**To make a slightly thicker soup, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the cream, and mix well before adding the cream to the soup.

 

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Cheeseburger Mac Stew

All over the Internet I keep reading recipes for cheeseburger soup. My sister even makes a version of it, although I haven’t had the privilege (yet) of tasting it. So, when I was trying to think of something different for dinner last night, I thought I’d try my hand at making this soup. A lot of the recipes I read online included hash browns, and since I didn’t have any frozen hash browns on hand and didn’t feel like making them from scratch (I was feeling lazy), I omitted them, but feel free to include some if you try this.

I will confess that I keep the dreaded “blue box” macaroni and cheese in my kitchen cupboards. While I make mac and cheese from scratch (and my husband and I don’t particularly care for the store-bought stuff), my sons like to have the “blue box” on hand to make themselves a quick snack. I thought this recipe would be a good way to get rid of one of those boxes from my cupboards, and the cheese mix from the box did help thicken up the soup – hence I named the recipe cheeseburger mac stew.

cheeseburger mac stew

Cheeseburger Mac Stew

3 cups chicken broth
2 large carrots, scraped and shredded
2 cups milk
1/2 box Velveeta cheese
1 pound hamburger, cooked and drained
1 box macaroni and cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, brown hamburger until no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

In a large stockpot, combine chicken broth and shredded carrots. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the carrots become tender. Add the milk, Velveeta and cheese mix package from the macaroni and cheese box. Stir until well combined and the cheese mix is dissolved. Add the cooked hamburger and the macaroni from the package. Cook until the macaroni is tender, about 8 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper.

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Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup with Sour Cream, Cheese and Garlic Drop Biscuits

I love cheese soup, and although I’ve eaten a lot of it in restaurants over the years, I’ve never made it at home. I decided it was high time I did, so that’s what we had for dinner tonight along with some sour cream, cheddar cheese and garlic drop biscuits. The boys said they both were great, and I could make both again any time.

 

Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup

1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
12 ounces of your favorite beer
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large stockpot, melt the butter and add the diced onion. Cook over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent but not browned.

Add in the dry mustard and flour, and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes to form a roux.

Add the milk, chicken stock and beer. Add the cayenne pepper, Worchestershire sauce, salt and black pepper, and stir to combine. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the shredded cheddar cheese. Cook over medium heat, and stir frequently until the cheese is completely melted. Adjust salt and black pepper as needed.

 

Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons frozen butter, grated
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farhenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, salt and black pepper./ Cut in the grated butter, and combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the shredded cheddar cheese, and toss to combine.

Stir in the milk and the sour cream. Stir until just combined; don’t overmix.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees Farhenheit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown.

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