Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Here’s another super simple crock-pot recipe.¬† ūüôā

I made¬†this soup¬†on a day that¬†I was home from work¬†so that¬†I could¬†watch it carefully. ¬†I was a little afraid that¬†the rice would get¬†overcooked.¬† Well,¬†time got away from me {big surprise!}¬†and after 7 hours on low the rice was a little mushy, but not bad.¬† Maybe my crock-pot runs¬†hot?¬† But next time, I’ll probably only let it go for 5 hours on low. ¬† Also¬†I will say, that I almost skipped the roux/milk step to make the soup creamy.¬† I think it would have been just fine as just a broth-based soup.¬† So I’ll¬†keep that in mind next time – one recipe, two versions.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


4 cups (one 32 oz carton) low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

2 large boneless, skinless breasts {I used 4 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs}

1 box of Rice-A-Roni long grain and wile rice

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup diced or shredded carrots

1 cup diced celery

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

2 cups half and half {I used skim milk}


Combine broth, water, ground black pepper, carrots, celery, chicken, and rice (with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker.  Cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 4 hours (or until chicken is cooked through, veggies are tender, and rice is cooked).  Remove the chicken and shred it, then add back into slow cooker.  In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour slowly to form a roux.  Whisk in cream or milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Stir milk mixture into slow cooker and let it cook for about 15 more minutes.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper seasoning if needed.


Ham and Bean Soup

As soon as temperatures turn chilly in the Fall, soup is the first thing I turn to.¬† And one really great thing about this soup is that it is cooked in the crock-pot so its really easy.¬† ūüôā

Sorry, no picture.

Ham and Bean Soup

Source:  Budget Bytes

1 medium yellow onion

3 stalks celery

4 medium carrots

2-4 cloves of garlic, to taste

2 medium ham hocks

1 pound dry 15 or 16 bean soup mix {discard the seasoning mix that comes with it}

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried ground thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 bouillon cube

ground pepper to taste

6 cups water


The night before, pick over the beans for stones and debris, rinse and place in a large bowl and cover with 2x the water.  Let sit overnight.

In the morning, chop all of the veggies and garlic and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Lay the ham hocks on top.

Pour soaking liquid off beans, rinse again, and add beans to crock.¬† Add all seasonings and bouillon.¬† Top with water.¬† Lightly stir, but don’t disturb the ham hocks and veggies.

Secure the lid and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or until beans are soft.

Remove the ham hocks and cut off any meat and add it to the soup {there will be very little meat, but the soup already has great ham flavor}. Discard the rest of the hocks.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Serve with garnishes and toppings of your choice.  We enjoyed it with hot sauce and sour cream on top and crusty bread alongside.


Cauliflower Soup

Every year I make a ton of soup recipes throughout the fall and winter.  This cauliflower soup was one of the first that I made this year.

As usual I was pretty much winging it, but it is loosely based off the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.¬† I realized I didn’t have any milk in the house about half way through so I kind of panicked, but it all worked out in the end and I made it healthy in the process. Woohoo! {I mean, there’s still butter in it, but a lot less than the original.}

Go to the link below if you want to see PW’s original version.¬† She leaves hers chunky, and adds milk and cream.¬† I did not add any milk or cream, and I pureed the soup with an immersion blender.

Cauliflower Soup

Source:  Pioneer Woman


2 T. olive oil

one medium white or yellow onion, finely diced

2-3 carrots, finely diced

2-3 celery stalks, finely diced

1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped

2 T. dried parsley

salt and pepper

1 carton (32 oz) low-sodium chicken broth

2-3 T. butter

3 T flour

Sour cream for serving – optional


Add the oil to a soup pot that’s over medium heat.¬† Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for a few minutes, until they are tender and starting to brown.¬† Turn the heat to low and add the cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.¬† Let that cook for just a few minutes to allow the cauliflower to brown very slightly.

Pour in the chicken stock or broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer until cauliflower is completely tender.

*This is where I panicked.*  So, off to the side, I melted a few tablespoons of butter and then added flour to it.  I cooked that for a few minutes hoping to eliminate the raw flour taste.  Then I added it to the soup as a thickener.  {PW added whole milk and half and half to the roux to create a white sauce.}

Stir the soup as it simmers and thickens, taste and add s & p.  Total simmering time should be about 15-20 minutes, during that time I pureed it with an immersion blender but you could transfer it to a blender or food processor in batches if you would like.  Or like I said above, PW leaves hers chunky.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.


Moroccan Chicken Stew

This meal was a step away from my comfort zone but I’m glad I went for it.¬† We loved it so much, it will be added to our regular rotation.¬† I’ve never made a specific Moroccan meal before and have only used curry powder a handful of times, but somehow I knew this would be good.¬† It has a great warm, spicy flavor.¬† Probably too spicy for some people but perfect for us!

I made a few adaptations, mainly substituting chicken breast tenderloins¬†in place of¬†the bone-in chicken thighs but that’s what I had on hand.¬† It cooked faster using the tenderloins as well.¬† I also added fresh basil and omitted the raisins but will use them next time.

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Source:¬† adapted from Campbell’s Kitchen {clipped from a magazine}

serves 4-5 large portions


2 Tbsp olive oil

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs {I used 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins}

1 large red onion, sliced

1 large bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces¬†{I used some red and orange bell pepper}

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 can condensed tomato soup {I added a little water to rinse the can}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup silvered almonds {I used sliced almonds}

fresh basil – about 1 tablespoon, chopped


Heat oil in a deep saucepan or dutch oven.  Add chicken {in batches} and brown on all sides; remove to a plate.

Add onions, pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp.  Add cinnamon and curry and stir for one minute.  Stir in soup {and water} and heat to a boil.  Return chicken to pan.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until chicken in cooked through. Stir in chickpeas and raisins.  Then stir in the almonds and basil.

Serve over couscous or brown rice.


Ham and Bean Soup

I recently found 2 recipes that I was greatly interested in that called for dried beans so I thought I would give it a try.  I had never used dried beans, so I figured it was time to go for it.

It’s certainly not difficult to use dry beans, it just takes a little planning.¬† Every recipe says to “soak beans overnight” and it wasn’t clear to me if that meant soak them overnight and ALL of the next day while I was at work, or if an 8 hour total soak was sufficient.¬† So after some googling, I determined that I would start the soaking time in the morning before work and then cook them that night.¬† It worked out great.

The soup’s flavor was very good, almost creamy from the texture of the beans.¬† Very hearty and filling too.

Ham and Bean Soup

Source:  adapted from Relish Magazine


  • 1¬† pound dried navy or great northern beans, rinsed and picked over
  • about 3/4 pound piece of ham
  • 2-1/2¬† quarts water
  • 1¬† tablespoon butter
  • 1¬† small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large celery rib, chopped
  • 1¬† teaspoon salt- I omitted
  • 1/4¬† teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


  1. Soak beans for 8 hours in water.
  2. Rinse and drain beans.  Combine them in a large pot with ham and water. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir occasionally and add more water as necessary.
  3. Remove ham; when cool, remove and discard skin, bone and fat. Cut meat into small pieces and return to soup.
  4. In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until lightly browned.  Add to soup along with salt {if using} and pepper and stir, pressing down with the back of a large spoon to break up some of the beans and thicken soup.

Serves 6

Black Bean Soup

I’m on a roll with the super quick meals lately!¬† First, there was the pierogi skillet, then tortellini soup, then Mongolian beef, and now this black bean soup.¬† I’m stoked!

Meals generally take me 45 minutes to one hour to prepare, so I could not be happier to have a few go-to meals for stressful work nights.¬† If I leave work right on time and make no stops on the way, I get home at 6:15.¬† Usually, I’m starving and I would really prefer to eat at {or before} 7:00.¬† Unfortch, that doesn’t happen very often.¬† By the time I cook for an hour, eat, and clean up – my night is shot.¬† So, I can’t stress enough how thrilled I am when a meal cooks fast.¬† I’ll be even more thrilled when it is still daylight at dinner time for the sake of my pictures. ūüėČ

What time to you eat dinner?

Another great thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is that it calls for prepared salsa which already has garlic and other spices in it.¬† So you don’t have to measure out a bunch of spices to add to the soup and the flavor is great.

Black Bean Soup

Source:  adapted from Simple & Delicious Nov/Dec 2009


1 Tbsp olive oil

half of a medium red onion, chopped

half a green bell pepper, seeded and chopped – optional

1 can of corn, drained {or 1 cup frozen corn}

3/4 cup salsa

1 can {15 oz.} of black beans, rinsed and drained – next time I will probably use 2 cans

one 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth


Heat the oil in a soup pot.  Add the onion and bell pepper, saute until tender.  Add the corn, black beans, salsa, and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with sliced avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, and/or tortilla chips.

Yield:  4 servings.

Tortellini Soup

Soup is one of the things that I feel confident making without following an exact recipe.  I find it really easy to just add several things, adjust seasonings, and really just wing it with the measurements with outstanding results most of the time.  Soup is also really easy to scale up or down to make a lot or just a couple of bowls.

My mind was racing with additions that would be welcome in this soup.  I think spinach would have been great, but if my memory serves me correctly Tim is not a fan of spinach so I left it out.  Sausage meatballs, zucchini, and celery are a few other ideas.

This was the quickest meal that I have prepared in a long time too, definitely under 30 minutes.  Keep in mind that we like things a little on the zesty side, so omit or reduce the red pepper flakes accordingly.  Also note that you can cook the frozen tortellini right in the soup pot, but I chose to cook it on the side for no apparent reason.

Tortellini Soup

Inspired by The Way the Cookie Crumbles


1 medium red onion, chopped {can use leeks or white onions}

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1.5 cups frozen peas and carrots

pinch of salt and pepper

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 {32 oz} carton chicken broth


1 package frozen tortellini {cheese or beef}

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Parmesan cheese for serving


Cook tortellini in boiling water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add all of the seasonings and frozen peas and carrots {if you wanted to add zucchini or celery you would add it now}.  Saute a few minutes, then add the vinegar.  Next add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, about 1 cup of water to rinse the tomato sauce can, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and add the tortellini {also add the spinach now if using}.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Broccoli is our favorite vegetable so I always have some on hand.¬† Well to be truthful, its Tim’s favorite, my favorite is peas but broccoli is my second favorite soooooo anyway…where was I?

I saw this recipe in an issue of Real Simple and knew I had to make it!  It sounded so simple and I knew we would love the flavor. I think it is restaurant quality!  Give it a try!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

source: Real Simple Feb 2011

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

2 cups broth {chicken or vegetable}

2 cups water

1 large bunch of broccoli florets, chopped {about 7 cups}

1 large russet potato {about 8 oz}, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

salt and pepper

1/2 cup cheddar cheese {they recommend white cheddar, but I didn’t have any}


Heat the oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat.  Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft.  4-6 minutes.

Add the broccoli, potato, broth, and water.  Heat to a boil and then reduce to simmer, add the salt and pepper, cover and cook until the veggies are very tender.  20 minutes.

Use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Top with additional cheese, sour cream, sliced green onion, croutons, or crackers for serving.

Creamy Potato Soup

I knew this recipe sounded familiar when I read it on Amy’s blog but it wasn’t until after I made it and went to blog about it that I remembered the Potato Leek Soup that I made over a year ago.¬†¬† Granted they are different, but it just shows that I know what I like – onions and potatoes together in a creamy soup!¬† Yum!¬† It certainly can’t hurt to have two similar soup recipes on the blog, can it?

I changed a few things along the way, mainly increasing the number of potatoes to yield more soup since we rely on leftovers to last for several lunches through a week.   I also added the clove of garlic because garlic can never hurt, right?  And lastly, I decided to brown the onions for a bit to add a little more depth of flavor.

Creamy Potato Soup
-adapted from Sing For Your Supper


8-10 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 chicken bouillon cube

one clove of garlic, peeled and smashed


black pepper to taste

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

milk – if necessary to thin

Drizzle some olive oil in a large soup pot and add the onions.  Cook until they begin to brown.  Add the potatoes, garlic, and bouillon cube and add enough water to cover.  Cook uncovered, over medium-high heat until it begins to boil, then reduce the heat the low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.  Stir in pepper. Using a stick/immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth and free of lumps.  Stir in the sour cream and shredded cheese.  Check for seasoning and add more pepper and salt as needed.  Add some milk if its too thick {I used about 1 cup}.

Garnish with additional sour cream and cheese, bacon bits or green onion if desired.

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

I love my husband and the way he surprises me out of the blue sometimes.¬† He noticed that we had a butternut squash sitting on the counter for quite some time and he took it totally upon himself to find a recipe to use it up.¬† He called me over to his computer, showed me this recipe and said he would like me to make it. ūüôā¬† I was so surprised by his research that I was happy to comply.

The only major change that I made was using a can of stewed tomatoes in place of the sun-dried tomatoes.¬† I’m assuming the stewed tomatoes resulted in a more mild tomato flavor than the sun-dried ones.¬† At least I have always found sun-dried tomatoes to be pretty intense, but it was still delicious allowed the beef and squash to be the stars of the dish.

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Source:  Giada De Laurentiis


  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary {I used dried}
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme {I used dried}
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Marsala wine {I just used whatever red wine I had open from the night before}
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes {I used one can of stewed tomatoes}
  • 3 to 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Crusty bread, for serving


In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme.  Saute until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour. Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine.  Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.  Serve with crusty bread alongside.

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