Bacon Potato Soup

Warm and comforting, this potato soup recipe is the perfect special treat for winter time.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 thick bacon slices
  • 1 celery root, peeled, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, shredded
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Fill a large stock pot with water, bring it to boil, then add the onion, garlic, celery root, beans, potatoes, carrots, vegetable bouillon and sauerkraut. Cover and boil over low to medium heat until vegetables are soft. If you diced them small, 15-20 minutes should be enough. Anyway, try them with a fork after the first 15 minutes and see if it goes in easily. Depending of how salty your sauerkraut was, you may or may not need to add some salt to the soup.

While the soup is boiling, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the bacon slices for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain the excess oil by setting the bacon slices on paper towels. Dice the bacon and set aside.

When vegetables are soft, add the chopped parsley, bacon and sour cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot, with freshly ground black pepper and fresh chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

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Beef and Veggies Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 pound lean beef, ground
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, mozarella, goat cheese, Swiss cheese or whatever else you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup baked beans
  • 1/2 cup celery root, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrot, sliced
  • 1 red hot chili pepper, finely chopped (if it’s really hot, you can discard the seeds, then chop it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the onion over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef. Cook it stirring often, until it changes color from pink to light brown. This should take about 5-6 minutes. If the pan becomes too watery, drain it a little. Add the celery root, carrot, baked beans, parsley and red chili pepper. Salt and pepper according to your taste, then cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring well in order to mix the vegetables with the meat.

When you’re almost ready, oil a baking tray and put the tortillas on it. Spread the meat and vegetables mixture over half of each tortilla. Add a layer of shredded cheese, then fold the tortillas. Bake them at 400F for 5 minutes, then flip them over and bake them for 5 more minutes. Slice them into wedges and serve them with salsa or sour cream on top.

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Bacon Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients for 4-5 servings:

  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 celery root, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 4 bacon slices, crispy, freshly cooked, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups water

Directions:
In a covered pot, boil the onion, potatoes, celery and parsnip in salty water for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the carrot and the bacon and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat. Serve hot, topped with sour cream and fresh parsley.

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Vegetable Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 celery root, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt, pepper

Directions:
Put the onions, celery, carrots, parsnip, beans and potatoes in a soup pot, half filled with water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt, tomatoes, cabbage, corn and bell pepper. Simmer until all vegetables are tender (which is probably 10-15 minutes). Add parsley. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot, with fresh ground black pepper sprinkled on top.

Recipe variant: for more flavor, you can saute the onions in extra virgin olive oil before adding them to the soup.

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Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I don’t know why, but cooking chicken noodle soup reminds me of childhood. InĀ  fact I know where this memory comes from: mum would cook this kind of soup for us whenever we were sick, or in those freezing cold winter days. It was so much of a comforting sensation, to eat a cup of that warm, hearty soup, after hours of playing in the snow!

Chicken noodle soup - Yummy!

Chicken noodle soup - Yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, cut in 4-6 pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced or sliced
  • 1-2 onions, cut in wedges or chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups noodles (homemade are the best, but you can find some good ones in shops as well)
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Put the stock in a pot, add the chicken, salt, onions, parsnip, carrots and half of the parsley. If the stock is not enough to cover the chicken, add water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Skim the soup from time to time, whenever needed. Take the chicken out of the broth and put it in a large bowl. Discard all vegetables and strain the broth through a sieve.

Remove skin and bones from the chicken and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the strained broth, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then set the heat to low and add the noodles and the rest of the parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the noodles are done. Serve hot.

Chicken noodles soup and an unexpected guest

Chicken noodles soup and an unexpected guest

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Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup is my favorite whenever I’m a bit under the weather. Even if it doesn’t take away the cold, it makes me feel better. That’s why it’s high on my comfort foods list, especially in winter time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small cabbage, cored and chopped (or 1/2 of a big cabbage head, in case you can’t get a small one)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in tomato sauce
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions:
In a big pot, heat the olive oil, then saute the onion and garlic for about 4-5 minutes. Do not let the onion brown, you only want it to become translucent.

Add the chicken stock, celery, carrot, corn, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil.

Add the cabbage and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bring it to a boil, then set the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Vegetarian version: replace the chicken broth with vegetarian soup stock and you’re done.

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