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Here’s a classic! Easy too. The only thing you need is a little patience. But it’s well worth the wait!

beefstew-craigclaibourne-raudette

Easy Beef Stew
via the ny times

4 pounds lean, boneless chuck steak
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
6 tablespoons flour
4 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon thyme
6 sprigs parsley, tied in a bundle
6 large carrots, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed and scraped

Cut the meat into two-inch cubes. Using a large skillet, heat the oil and add the beef cubes in one layer (I ended up cooking mine in 2 batches because the pot wasn’t big enough). Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring and turning the pieces often, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the meat evenly. Add the wine and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the water. Add the cloves, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover closely and simmer for one hour.
Meanwhile, cut the carrots into one-inch lengths. If the pieces are very large, cut them in half lengthwise. Add them to the beef. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Serve the stew sprinkled with chopped parsley.

It’s that time of the year again, soup and stews almost every week! Any my favorite flavor boost – a little beer! Check out this amazingly simple cabbage stir fry, packed with flavor and warmth.

Cabbage-Roll-Rice_simply_stacie

Cabbage Roll Rice
adapted from simply stacie

2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning
28oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup beer
1 cup Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice

Add ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and paprika to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the ground beef is browned (about 10 minutes). Stir in italian seasonings, cabbage, diced tomatoes, water, beer and rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Stir before serving. Serve hot.

It’s been so long! But stews have been calling me. And this is the perfect transitional stew. Fresh, bright ingredients that still feel right on a warm summer night, but warm and filling enough as the weather starts to turn. Plus, anything with fresh peas and ricotta is bound to be amazing.

fregola with green peas mint and ricotta

Fregola with Green Peas, Mint and Ricotta
via bon appetit

1 1/4 cups fregola (can substitue pearl couscous, if you’re having trouble!)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
4 ounces ricotta

Cook fregola in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain pasta (do not rinse), reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium and cook bacon, stirring often, until bacon is brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fregola and cook, stirring often, until pasta is just al dente and broth is thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and chopped mint and cook, stirring, until peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed to adjust consistency. Serve topped with ricotta, mint, and cracked pepper and drizzled with oil.

 

Sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Sometimes I’m craving something but I want it now and it’s time for a few shortcuts. Wonton soup is one of those things I crave all the time, but with order minimums, there’s only so many times I can order take out and be left with a bunch of other stuff in the fridge (although the husband never minds). I was having another one of those cravings this weekend, grabbed a bag of pre-made wontons, and tossed a few things I had in the fridge and freezer in. Voila! If I did a little more shopping before hand, I might pack this with some more veggies, like bok choy, carrots, broccoli, maybe a bit of cilantro. This is a great base for so many options. Easily made vegetarian or vegan too, subbing out the fish sauce, chicken broth and opting for meatless wontons. Endless possibilities!

5 minute won ton soup

Five Minute Wonton Soup
inspired by the view from great island

4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 package wontons (I used Trader Joe’s frozen chicken cilantro mini’s)
1/3 cup very thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Bring your stock and water to a low boil, stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss in the wontons and let cook for about a minute. Add the mushroom and cook for an additional minute, until the wontons are just done. Remove from heat and stir in in the scallions. Serve hot!

I love this twist on a typical corn chowder! So much healthier too! With coconut milk instead of your traditional heavy cream, this soup has a satisfying heartiness without all the extra heaviness. And with a little chili pepper, it has just the right amount of kick. Might even toss in a bit of chicken next time for some extra protein. This is an awesome base for so many great additions, but is definitely delicious all on it’s own!

thai corn chowder

Thai Inspired Corn Chowder
via the kitchn

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Thai chili pepper, finely chopped, optional
3 tablespoons finely grated lemongrass
4 cups corn kernels (frozen or fresh from 4 corn cobs)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
13.5 oz can coconut milk (1 2/3 cup)
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Roughly chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving

Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent. Stir in the potatoes, chili pepper, lemongrass, and a pinch of salt. Add a splash of broth, cover, and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the corn and cook another two minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in the coconut milk. Serve warm, garnished with cilantro and lime.

Still on a soup kick! My darling husband made this one for me. It was wonderful to come home on such a cold night to a warm house and a warm meal. This spicy, creamy, hearty stew really hits the spot. Great job babe!

sausage potato spinach soup

Sausage Potato & Spinach Soup
via damn delicious

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound red potatoes, diced
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat. Stir in garlic, onion, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken broth and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

One of the things I did over the holidays was make stock. Lots and lots of stock. Which led to many soups and stews over the past few weeks. We made a lot of old favorites (like split pea and turkey noodle), and a few new ones! This beef noodle stew is a rich hearty classic that I’d been craving for a while. There’s just something about a rich beefy stew when it’s freezing outside – warms and fills you up in the most satisfying way.

beef noodle stew

Beef Stew with Noodles
via martha stewart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups beef, turkey or chicken broth
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups egg noodles
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until seared and brown, about 6 minutes. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion just begins to soften (reducing heat if necessary), about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour until beef and onion are coated and cook 1 to 2 minutes (careful not to burn). Add broth and 3 cups water, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until beef is tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, stir in parsley and vinegar.

Last week I made this amazing soup. It was so bright and summery, and perfect on a night that was just a bit crisp. For fresh herbs, I only had parsley and a little bit of basil on hand, but it made for a fantastic pistou (the french version of a pesto), and with just a squeeze of lemon in each bowl, I was in love. And it was still fresh and delicious the next day after a quick zap in the microwave and a mix-in of the pistou and lemon at work. I forgot to take a picture of the masterpiece, but the original one is so gorgeous, I just had to share. After browsing a bit, I think Love and Lemons might be one of my new favorite food blogs. I didn’t even notice most of the recipes were vegetarian or vegan, everything just looks so good! Click through the link below for the full recipe!

soup au pistou

image via love and lemons

I had a seriously craving for corn chowder this week. And a little extra kick! So I hit the produce stand, grabbed a couple of peppers and got to work. I also substituted cilantro for the traditional parsley, which I loved with the flavor of the peppers. It ended up not too spicy, but just with a bit of bite, so if you’re looking for a real kick, feel free to pile the peppers on!

corn chowder

Four Pepper Corn Chowder
adapted from food52

6 medium ears of corn
6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 cups light cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
1/4 cup Water

Add bacon to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a few of minutes until it just starts to brown. Throw in the diced onion, poblano, jalapeño, bell pepper and celery and stir, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add the potato and saute with the vegetables for an additional minute. Add the corn. Stir and pour in chicken broth and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Pour in the cream. Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes. Serve with crusty sourdough bread or even torilla chips!

It snowed last night here in Seattle. And the answer to snow is always a hearty soup. We made this a little while back on a cold, cold night and it really hit the spot. Packed with veggies and greens and sausage and lentils, this is definitely a meal in a bowl. The sizzlling garlic oil addition at the end adds just the right kick of flavor. Definitely satisfies all my winter desires.

lentil soup with sausage chard and garlic

Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard & Garlic
via smitten kitchen

1/2 cup olive oil, divided
4 large links of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced or diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced (reserve half for later in recipe)
Kosher salt
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 cups shredded or thinly ribboned Swiss chard leaves or kale
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese to finish

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pot) in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrots, first two garlic cloves, a pinch fo salt, and if you like your soup spicy, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook with the sausage until the vegetables soften a bit, another 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water (6 cups is, conveniently, a little less than 2 empty 28-ounce cans, so you can get any tomato pulp you missed), more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. (It might be necessary to add more water if the soup gets too thick, though we preferred ours on the thick side). When the lentils are cooked, add the chard and cook until the leaves are tender, just a few minutes more. Discard the bay leaves.
To finish, divide soup among bowls, then add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 garlic cloves to a small skillet and heat over medium until the garlic softens and hisses. Drizzle this over soup bowls, and top with fresh Romano, passing more at the table. Leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge.