Apple to the Core

Soups and Stews



Spicy Squash Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped

  • 3 celery ribs, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon Madras-style curry powder

  • a pinch of cumin

  • 1½ pounds butternut squash, pared with a sharp knife

  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cut up (or 2 hard green bananas)

  • 6 cups chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth, as needed

  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add curry powder and stir. Stir in squash, plantain, broth, oregano and sage. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash is very tender. Remove from heat.  In batched pulse the soup in a blender or food processor to make a chunky puree. Return to pan and season with hot sauce, salt & pepper. Reheat to boiling.   Garnish bowls of soup with pumpkin seeds and chives.


Potato Leek Soup

  • 4 medium leeks, cut in 1/2 inch slices

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2-3 celery stalks, diced

  • 4 medium potatoes, diced

  • 5-6 cups chicken or veggie broth

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1½ tbl butter

  • Pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add leeks, onions and celery. cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth and potatoes.  Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.

Add sour cream and heat to serving temperature but do NOT boil. Season with pepper and serve immediately. Great with hot crusty bread.

Ratatouille & Rice Stew

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup uncooked regular long grain white rice

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (3 cups)

  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/4 inch slices

  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained, cut up

  • 1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives, drained

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until garlic just begins to brown. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 18 to 22 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Makes 4 (1 3/4 cup) servings.

Taco Soup

  • 1.5 lbs browned ground beef  (ground turkey or cooked shredded chicken can be substituted for beef)

  • 1 chopped onion or 1 cup frozen chopped onion

  • 1 package of Taco Seasoning (any brand)

  • 1 package of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes (choose your level of hotness)

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (plain)

  • 1 small can of corn (drained)

  • 1 can of pinto beans (drained)

  • 1 can of ranch style beans (drained)

  • 1 can of black beans (drained)

Directions: Brown beef and onions in large pot. Drain fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and 4 cups of water for soup consistency or less for stew consistency (Use only 2 cups if you want to eat this with chips) Simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with Mexican shredded cheese and tortilla chips and top with any other Mexican condiment, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, creative!  Freezes great too!

Tom Yam Soup

  • 1 pound raw shrimp

  • 1 qt. Canned chicken stock or broth

  • 3 spring onions or shallots, chopped including tops

  • 1 small can straw mushrooms*

  • 1 small can bamboo shoots*

  • 1 small can water chestnuts*

  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce (* found in Chinese food aisle)

  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce.

  • 3 stems lemongrass, crushed (in spice bottle, expensive but lasts long time)

  • 2 chopped red peppers (hot ones) or cayenne pepper

Start the chicken stock boiling. Add the lemon grass and onions. Reduce heat and add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 10-15 minutes for shrimp to cook and flavors to mix. Flavor should be spicy, sour and slightly salty. Serve as soup, or if serving as a meal add cooked rice or cooked noodles immediately before serving.

Optional items: Chili paste, grated ginger root, Kaffir lime leaves, Tamarind concentrate, curry paste. All items available in Asian food stores. Tom Yam soup paste also available with all the spices already in it.

You can also substitute ½ pound of thinly sliced pork cutlet for the shrimp. Sauté in garlic and oil in small pan before adding to soup.

Budweiser Chili

  • 3 lbs. boneless sirloin

  • 12 oz. of Budweiser Beer

  • 2 tsp. garlic salt

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 roasted pasilla peppers

  • 3 medium onions, chopped

  • 6 clovers garlic, chopped

  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes

  • 1 can tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp. oregano powder

  • 1/3 cup chili powder

  • 1 tbsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1 quart of water

Dice sirloin roast into one-inch cubes, add garlic salt and beer. Let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes and strain liquid from meat. To roast peppers, place washed peppers over flame (BBQ or grill). Let peppers brown and almost blacken. Remove from flame and run under cold water, removing all black skin in the process. Rough Chop. Heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until onions are transparent. Add meat and cook until redness is gone, but do not burn the meat. Add chili powder, salt and black pepper. Stir. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and remainder of seasoning. Stir thoroughly. Add water to submerge everything, reserving some water for later use. Simmer for about one hour, checking water level and adding more if required and serve. Serves 10-12.

Delicious Ham & Potato Soup

  • 3 medium red potatoes

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 small onion

  • 3 tbl butter

  • 3 tbl all purpose flour

  • crushed red pepper flakes

  • ground black pepper

  • 3 cups milk

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup cubed cooked ham

Peel potatoes and cut into 1" cubes. Bring water to a boil in large saucepan. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Set aside potatoes. Measure 1 cup cooking liquid, adding water, if necessary; set aside.  Peel and finely chop onion. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to saucepan; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and tender, but not brown.  Add flour to saucepan; season with pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Cook 3-4 minutes. Gradually add potatoes, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, milk and sugar to onion mixture in saucepan; stir well. Add cheese and ham. Simmer over low heat, 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Store leftovers, covered in the refrigerator.  Makes 12 servings.

*Tip - to make this a filling meal, serve this soup with fresh bread. For a slightly different twist, serve it in individual bread bowls. To make them, buy small round loaves of a hearty bread, such as Italian, and slice off a small piece from the top. Then remove the inside of the loaf, leaving a 1½" shell; fill with hot soup.  

Tomato & Cheese Soup

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream

Brown onion lightly in butter in large saucepan. Blend in tomato sauce, water, salt and cheese. Heat, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Put sour cream in a bowl and add about 1 cup of warm soup. Blend well and add to hot soup gradually. Serve immediately. DO NOT LET SOUP COME TO A BOIL!

Super Easy Tacorito Soup

  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 (16 oz) cans ranch-style beans
  • 1 (16 oz) can whole-kernel corn
  • 1 (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 (4½ oz) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 (1¼ oz) pkg taco seasoning mix

Brown ground round and onion in large Dutch oven; drain. Stir in beans. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. May be frozen. Serve with corn bread, tortillas or tortilla chips. 

Brunswick Stew

  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 3 tbl oil
  • 2 cans (16 oz each) tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sherry - OR 1 cup water
  • 1 envelope French's Beef Stew Seasoning mix
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen lima beans
  • 1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups cubed, cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen okra
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced

Cool onions in oil in large pan until tender. Add tomatoes, water, sherry, seasoning mix, corn, beans, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add chicken, okra and zucchini; simmer 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Plantation Peanut Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt
  • 1/8 tsp onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups cream
  • peanuts, chopped

Heat chicken broth to boiling. Add peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Add celery and onion salts. Add sugar; stir in cream. Heat, do not boil. Top with chopped peanuts. Makes 6 servings.

Poor Man's Soup

  • 1 soup bone
  • 1 cup dry pea beans
  • 2 cups tomatoes (1 quart)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/3 lb ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp basil

Pick over beans and soak over night. Drain and rinse. Simmer soup bone in 8 quarts of water for 3 hours. Add beans, simmer 45 minutes. Meanwhile, brown beef and onion. Add to soup along with remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour.

Clam Chowder

  • 2 cups raw diced potatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant minced onion
  • 2 (7 oz) cans minced clams
  • Simmer potatoes in water and salt in sauce pan for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Stir in soup, milk, onion and undrained clams. Heat thoroughly.  Makes 6 servings.

    Chunky Tomato Soup

    • 2 tbl vegetable or olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
    • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
    • 2 cans (28 each) Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, undrained
    • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 8 slices hard-crusted Italian bread, each 1 inch thick

    Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, celery and carrots in oil. Stir in tomatoes; break up tomatoes coarsely. Stir in water, broth, basil, pepper and bay leaves. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves.

    Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place bread on ungreased cookie sheet. Toast bread about 6 minutes, turning once, until deep golden brown. Ladle soup into bowls and place one slice of toast on top of soup in each bowl. Serve immediately. 8 servings

    Add-On Potato Soup   (30 minute recipe)

    • 12 ounces fully cooked boneless ham
    • 1/2 small cucumber
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
    • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
    • 1 tbl all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes

    Cut ham into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups). Seed and chop cucumber (about 1/2 cup). In a large saucepan combine ham, cucumber, milk and bouillon granules. Bring mixture just to boiling. Meanwhile, stir together sour cream or yogurt and flour.

    Stir frozen potatoes into ham mixture. Then stir in the sour cream or yogurt mixture. Cook over medium-high heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Top with chives to serve.  Makes 4 servings.

    Hearty Noodle Stew

    • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can tomatoes
    • 1 3/4 cup hot water
    • 1 9 ounce package frozen Italian green beans
    • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion
    • 1 3 oz package Oriental noodles with chicken flavor
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried marjoram
    • 1 16 oz fully cooked smoked turkey sausage link
    • Shredded Parmesan Cheese

    Cut up tomatoes. In a large sauce pan combine undrained tomatoes, hot water, frozen beans, frozen onion, seasoning packet from the Oriental noodles, oregano and marjoram. Bring to a boil.

    While tomato mixture is coming to a boil, cut sausage link lengthwise in half. Then cut halves into 1-inch pieces. When tomato mixture comes to a boil, slightly break up the noodles while adding them to the tomato mixture. Then add sausage. Return mixture to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or till noodles are tender.  Served in bowls sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

    Ham and Corn Chowder

    • 2 cans (14½ oz each) chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 cans whole potatoes, drained (I prefer fresh potatoes but this is easier)
    • 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 tbl chopped parsley
    • 2 cups (8 oz) julienne-cut cooked ham

    In a 3 quart saucepan, combine broth, onion an carrot. Add bay leaf to saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Dice enough potatoes to make 1 cup; set aside. Add the remaining potatoes and one can corn to saucepan. Puree the remaining corn and potatoes with the milk until smooth. Add to the saucepan along with ham and parsley. Season with pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with hot rolls and butter for a delicious meal.

    Quick Old-Fashioned Tomato-Beef Stew

    • 1 29 ounce can large-cut mixed vegetables
    • 12 ounces cooked boneless beef
    • 1 16 ounce can tomatoes
    • 3 tbl cornstarch
    • 1 10 1/2-ounce can condensed beef broth
    • 3/4 cup hot water
    • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp pepper

    Drain the mixed vegetables. Cut beef into 1/2 inch cubes (you should have about 2 cups). Set vegetables aside.

    Cut up tomatoes. In a large saucepan combine the undrained tomatoes and cornstarch. The stir in beef broth, hot water, frozen onion, thyme, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir over medium high heat till thickened and bubbly.

    Add the drained vegetables and cubed beef to the tomato mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or till heated through. Serves 6.

    Tastes great served with corn bread.

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