Monday, January 12, 2009

Super Easy Soups

Cajun Minestrone

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1, 1 lb bag frozen turnip greens, thawed and drained
1, 1 lb bag frozen “vegetable gumbo,” thawed and drained
1 can (15 oz) Trappey’s Jalapeno black-eyed peas
2 cups prepared tomato sauce
5 1/4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water
8 oz. uncooked small shell or elbow macaroni pasta
Salt, black pepper, and Tobasco to taste

In a large pot, heat broth and water to boiling, then add pasta and cook until al dente. Heat oil in a heavy stock pot over moderately high heat just until hot. Add onion, garlic and sausage to oil, stirring occasionally, and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add greens, vegetables, and peas and sauté, stirring constantly for about one minute. Stir in tomato sauce until sausage and vegetables are coated. Add pasta and broth mixture. Season with salt, pepper and Tobasco. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Serve with cornbread. Yields 10-12 servings.

Artichoke & Asparagus Bisque with Blue Cheese

2 tablespoons butter1 small onion, chopped1/3 cup dry vermouth1, 14-oz. cans artichoke hearts
1 lb asparagus, steamed and chopped3 cups chicken broth1/4 teaspoon dried thyme1 cup whipping cream1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until clear, about 10 minutes. Add vermouth and simmer until all liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add artichokes, asparagus, broth, and thyme. Simmer until artichoke hearts begin to fall apart, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Puree one half of soup at a time in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Stir in cream and blue cheese. Simmer over medium heat until cheese melts and soup is smooth, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Yields 6 to 6 servings.

Easy Black Bean Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 10-ounce can diced Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, mild or hot
1 or 2, 8-ounce cans of MexiCorn, drained
3, 15-ounce cans black beans, drain one.
2 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Garnish with fresh jalapeno peppers and sour cream, if desired
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in Rotel, MexiCorn and cumin. Add beans and then pour in broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Mix in cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt, pepper and cumin. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and serve with tortilla chips. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro, if desired. Yields 8 to 10 servings. Can be frozen

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