Friday, October 27, 2017

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It is getting that time of year when a nice bowl of soup is very comforting.  I must say soup is one of my favorite meals.  So good, nutritious, and easy to make.  The ingredients needed are common staples and if you do not have exactly what a recipe calls for, you can substitute  ingredient(s).

Today's recipe is for a rich and creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup.   Fresh broccoli is cooked in some chicken stock with chopped onion, garlic and tarragon.  When the broccoli is tender, remove from heat a puree ingredients with an immersion blender.  This is a step I added,  I prefer my soup creamy with just a few whole florets.   Return the soup to the heat and stir in cream.  I then added in the thickening and cooked for about 5 minutes.   Add the cheese a small amount at a time.  Stir until the cheese has melted before adding more.   Ladle the soup into bowls and top with some grated cheese.  Serve.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
From Epicurious Adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli  florets chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
Salt and pepper
Grated cheese for garnish - optional


1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli  and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.  Return to heat and  stir in cream.
Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup.  Simmer until soup thickens  stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
3. Add cheese a handful at a time.  Whisk until the cheese has melted before adding more.  Repeat until all the cheese has been used. Taste and season with salt and pepper.    Ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Mmmm good

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Shredded Ginger Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts - you love them or you don't.  In my family two out of six love Brussels sprouts.  We  will eat them roasted, sautéed, in salad, etc.  The remaining members of the family need to be coaxed into eating this veggie.  I am looking for new ways to get them to eat this delicious veggie.

I found a tasty recipe on the Taste of Home website.   This is a very quick and easy recipe to make. You start by cutting the Brussels sprouts into thin slices.  Toss in some  oil and  most of the other ingredients. Cook over medium heat until tender and serve.  That is all there is to make this delicious side.  Perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

All members of the family loved this dish.

Shredded Ginger Brussels Sprouts
Taste of Home

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts (about 5-1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Trim Brussels sprouts. Cut sprouts lengthwise in half; cut crosswise into thin slices.

2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until sprouts begin to brown lightly. Add oil and toss to coat. Stir in onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Add water; reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, 1-2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in pepper.

Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup

I am finishing up my tomatoes from the garden.  This year has been an exceptionally good year.  I have had a great crop of tomatoes.  Usually I can the tomatoes or make sauce out of them.  With this batch of tomatoes, I decided to make some garden fresh Tomato soup. 

This is an easy and delicious recipe from Ina Garten.   I modified it slightly using less chicken broth.   We like our soup thick.  If you perfect thinner soup add more chicken broth or cream. Also, I peeled, seeded, and chopped my tomatoes before I cooked them in the broth.  I did not used a food mill as suggested in the recipe.  I pureed my soup using an immersion blender.

I served my soup with a Grilled Cheese sandwich.  This made a delicious and satisfying dinner.  

Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup
From Ina Garten adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (5 large)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
Fresh basil leaves

1. In large saucepan, heat 3 quarts water to boiling. With sharp knife, cut shallow X in bottom of each tomato. Add to boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time, for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes from boiling water; immediately plunge into ice water until cold. Drain. Peel and chop tomatoes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
3. Puree the soup using an Immersion Blender.  If you are using a standard blender let the soup cool and process in batches.  You may want to remove  the cap a little from the top of the blender to let out steam if necessary.
4. Add the cream to the soup  and  reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serves 6

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Another great meal prepared in my Instant Pot - Honey Sesame Chicken.  Tender bites of chicken cooked in a flavorful sauce served over cooked rice and sprinkled with  toasted sesame seeds.  A very satisfying meal which cooks in 3 minutes and takes only 20 minutes from beginning to table.

To begin cook the chicken in the Instant Pot on the saute setting for about 3 minutes.  Next add some soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pot.  Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.  When the chicken is done you add the sesame oil and honey to the pot.  Add some cornstarch and water to the pot and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Note:  The recipe calls for chopped green onions which I omitted - the family isn't a fan of green onions.

Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
From Pressure Cooking Today

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (about 2 lbs.)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 green onions, chopped
Sesame seeds, toasted


1. Salt and pepper chicken. Preheat pressure cooking pot using the saute setting. Add oil, onion, garlic, and chicken to the pot and saute stirring occasionally until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pressure cooking pot and stir to combine. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. When timer beeps, turn pressure cooker off and do a quick pressure release.
3. Add sesame oil and honey to the pot and stir to combine. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water and add to the pot. Select Saute and simmer until sauce thickens. Stir in green onions.
Serve over rice sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Serves 6