Homemade Condensed Cream of Celery Soup

Learn how to make Homemade Condensed Cream of Celery Soup – it takes just a few ingredients and about 20 minutes to replace those cans of goo with a version you can feel good about eating!

Learn how to make Homemade Condensed Cream of Celery Soup - it takes just a few ingredients and about 20 minutes to replace those cans of goo with a version you can feel good about eating!

Growing up, we ate a lot of casseroles, though most of the dishes my mom made used canned condensed soup.  And not long ago, I got my hands on my grandmother’s old recipe cards, and guess what?  Nearly every casserole recipe in her box used canned condensed soup.

If you want to know the truth, some days I still love eating those “old-style” casseroles from my childhood that used all those cans.  And on days that I’m really busy, I still use them.  I don’t know, maybe a food blogger shouldn’t admit that?  But this is real life, people, and sometimes my life calls for convenience.

BUT, if I do have a few extra minutes, or when I’m making an extra-special casserole for a holiday meal (um, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!), I do like to make my own version of the canned stuff.  It really doesn’t take that much longer and is super simple to do.  Plus, you need only a few ingredients: flour, milk, chicken or vegetable broth, onion, and celery (duh).  And just a few spices for good measure.

In 10 minutes, you can replace those cans of congealed goo with ingredients you can feel good about eating.  Not only that, but the taste beats anything you can scrape of that can hands-down.

Homemade Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ⅓ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
Method
  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and flour. Whisk together until the flour dissolves.
  3. Slowly add the milk mixture to the chicken stock mixture and whisk to combine. Add in the celery salt, pepper and thyme. Reduce heat to medium and bring the mixture back to a low boil, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to boil for another 3 minutes, or until it begins to thicken.
Notes
This recipe makes 2½ cups - or the equivalent of 2 cans of condensed soup (this soup is NOT meant to be eaten as-is). Use immediately in a recipe that calls for condensed soup, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

This Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese – without all the fuss!  Just throw the ingredients in your slow cooker, and in just a few hours you’ll have a comforting, hearty dinner on the table.

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

There is nothing I like better than hearty soups in the fall – unless it’s a hearty soup that requires basically no effort on my part and is ready and waiting for me when I get home from work. A soup like this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup.

It’s no secret around here that Mexican-inspired cuisines are my favorite thing ever, and that preparing dinner in my slow cooker runs a close second. Combine the two, and it is a happy meal time around my place.

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

One of the best wedding gifts we received {10 years ago – how time flies!} was a large slow cooker.  I’ve used the heck out of that thing, and it was finally time to replace it with an updated model.  The 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach puts my old one to shame!  This bad boy has three choices for automatic cooking: program, manual, and probe.  If you’re used to the traditional slow-cookers, choose the manual mode to select your cooking temperature (high, low, or warm) without selecting a cooking time.

I used the program mode for this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup – I programmed it to low for 6 hours, and it automatically shifted to “warm” when my cooking time was up.  Fabulous!

Next on my list to try is the probe method – if you’re cooking a large cut of meat like pot roast, chicken, or pork tenderloin you only have to insert the probe, set the desired meat temperature and it will automatically shift to keep warm when the temperature is reached.

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

This hearty fall soup is full of Mexican-inspired flavors, including cumin, coriander, chili powder, and oregano (Mexican, if you can swing it).  Just add your spices right to the pot, along with chicken, broth, Rotel, black beans, and corn.  After letting that fragrant goodness simmer all day, toss in some shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for good measure (you don’t want to add these ingredients during your initial cooking time, or they’ll curdle).

And finally, sautéing your peppers and onions and adding them to the pot just before serving gives this enchilada soup just the right amount of pizzazz, and just takes a couple of extra minutes.  Believe me, it’s worth it!

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

What’s your favorite fall dinner to make in your slow cooker?

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
 
Serves: serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1 can (11-ounce) Rotel
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1½ pounds chicken breast
  • 12 ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (red or green)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • for garnish: shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado
Method
  1. Place Rotel, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, and spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, cilantro, and oregano) to the container of your slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 5 to 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred the meat with a fork. Add cheese and sour cream to slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and warm back through until the cheese is melted, about ½ hour.
  3. While the cheese is melting, cook your onions and bell pepper: heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add onions, pepper, and garlic. Cook until they are just softened, about 10 minutes. Add to slow cooker just before serving.
  4. Garnish with extra cheese, sour cream, salsa, fresh cilantro, or avocado.
Notes

 

XO, Ashley

 Hamilton Beach provided me with a slow cooker to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Creamy White Chicken Chili

This Creamy White Chicken Chili is the perfect alternative to the traditional tomato-based soup. Packed with spicy flavors, this hearty stew is the perfect way to warm up on a crisp fall night!

This Creamy White Chicken Chili is the perfect alternative to the traditional tomato-based soup. Packed with spicy flavors, this hearty stew is the perfect way to warm up on a crisp fall night!

Okay, so let’s talk about this chili for a minute.

It’s not particularly photogenic, and in my rush to get this off the photography table and into my mouth, I forgot to garnish it with the additional chopped red onion and shredded cheddar cheese that it really deserves. All that aside, I’m here to tell you that you should absolutely make this Creamy White Chicken Chili.

I first posted this recipe back in 2011, when I’d only been blogging a few months and my photography was even worse than atrocious.  I’m not sure that this updated photo is more than marginally better, but since this chili is one of our favorites, I decided to shoot it again when we ate this yummy, hearty soup for dinner last week.

I was encouraged by some initial fall-like temperatures late in the week and got a little excited: pulling short-sleeve shirts and capri pants out of my closet and replacing them with sweaters and boots and scarves.  We purchased some apple cider, made this cold-weather stew and watched football like the hardcore fall-weather lovers we are.

And…this week we’re back into temperatures in the 80’s.

This Creamy White Chicken Chili is the perfect alternative to the traditional tomato-based soup. Packed with spicy flavors, this hearty stew is the perfect way to warm up on a crisp fall night!

I’m not deterred, though. I’m going to keep making my fall foods {like this Pumpkin Snack Cake —>swiped from my grandma’s recipe box} and will those fall-like temperatures to return.

If you’re bored with traditional beef chili – you definitely need to give this chicken version a try.  And if you’re not into jalapeños, just double up on the green chilies – they add great flavor without the heat!

Creamy White Chicken Chili
 
Serves: serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion (I used red)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 4-ounce can each, diced green chilis and diced jalepenos
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 8-ounce carton sour cream (I used light)
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped red onion, if desired
Method
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large stock pot. Add chicken, sweet onion and garlic. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink. Sitr in beans, broth, green chilies, jalapenos, garlic powder, ground cumin, and garlic salt.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for one hour, stirring occasionally. Mash beans with a potato masher.
  3. Stir sour cream and half-and-half into chili and simmer for 30 minutes longer (do not allow chili to boil).
  4. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream, cheese and onion.
Notes
recipe from Better Homes and Gardens 2011 Tailgating Magazine

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Slow Cooker Potato Soup

This Slow Cooker Potato Soup is creamy and comforting, and requires little effort – it’s the perfect weeknight meal for a chilly night!

This Slow Cooker Potato Soup is creamy and comforting, and requires little effort - it's the perfect weeknight meal for a chilly night!

It’s been cold here this week, and yesterday Doodle came home from school with a slight fever and rosy, pink cheeks.  We heard that 60 kids at his school were out with the flu last week- so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this virus doesn’t make it to our house.  I’ve already had the crud twice since October, and I’m quite sure that’s my quota for the year.

In the meantime, we’re loading up on this slow cooker potato soup.

 

This Slow Cooker Potato Soup is creamy and comforting, and requires little effort - it's the perfect weeknight meal for a chilly night!

I love using herbes de provance in my potato soup – it’s a wonderful blend of flavors, including rosemary, basil, and lavender, among others.  You should be able to locate it in the spice aisle at your local market.  If you do not have herbes de provance, for this recipe you may substitute 1/2 teaspoon each of rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Potato soup is the Tall Boy’s favorite, but with this slow-cooker version, now I have no excuse not to make it more often.  Really, who can resist a bowl of this comforting soup on a cold night?  And anything I can garnish with bacon is a winner in my book. 😉

Slow Cooker Potato Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 quart (32 ounces) chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1½ teaspoons herbes de provence
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon marjarom
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup half-and-half (I used fat-free)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • for garnish: green onion, crumbled bacon, additional cheese
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients except for the half-and-half and cheese in the bowl of your slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until they are coarsely chopped and the soup is slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in half-and-half and cheese, and garnish as desired

XO, Ashley

 

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Chicken Tortilla Soup is full of flavor, is easy to throw together, and is perfect for warming up on a cold night!  If you like Mexican flavors, you’re going to love this soup!

This Chicken Tortilla Soup is full of flavor, is easy to throw together, and is perfect for warming up on a cold night!  If you like Mexican flavors, you're going to love this soup!

Like much of the rest of the country, we’ve had crazy cold temperatures here this week.  Ya’ll, I’m wearing long underwear inside my house.  I’m bundled up in my office at work, typing away with my scarf knotted around my neck and my coat cinched tightly around my waist.

Obviously, warm comfort foods have been our dinners of choice this week, and since I had some leftover Mexican Shredded Chicken hanging out in the fridge, I decided to use it to make our favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup.  If you don’t have any on hand, you may simply season some chicken breast with taco seasoning – or to make things even quicker, use shredded deli chicken.  However, I find the flavors in the Mexican Shredded Chicken I used really adds extra depth of flavor to this soup.

Since this soup is filled with veggies, I didn’t feel too guilty topping it with some cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.  That’s part of what makes tortilla soup so yummy! 😉

This Chicken Tortilla Soup is full of flavor, is easy to throw together, and is perfect for warming up on a cold night!  If you like Mexican flavors, you're going to love this soup!

What’s your favorite cold-weather soup?

Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (I used red)
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper (any color, or a combination)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Mexican Shredded Chicken
  • 1 10-ounce can Rotel Tomatoes (I used the Cilantro and Lime version)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 32 ounces chicken stock
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 can (15-ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 can (15-ounces) corn, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • To garnish: lime, tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, pico de gallo
Method
  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then added cooked, shredded chicken.
  2. Pour in the Rotel, tomato paste, chicken stock, salsa, black beans, and corn. Stir to combine and allow soup to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Meanwhile, mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour the mixture into the soup, then allow to simmer for 30 additional minutes.
  4. If you're using your own seasoned chicken and not the Mexican Shredded Chicken, check your seasonings as you go - you may want to add in additional chili powder, cumin, and/or salt.
  5. Optional: I sometimes squeeze in a bit of lime juice just prior to serving. Garnish as desired.

XO, Ashley

 

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Southwest Chicken Chili

This easy, flavorful Southwest Chicken Chili uses only a handful of ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes – making it the perfect weeknight dinner!

This easy, flavorful Southwest Chicken Chili uses only a handful of ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes - making it the perfect weeknight dinner! #recipe #soup

I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for a quick weeknight meal – something fast and easy that doesn’t involve the drive-through lane.

And if it’s something Doodle eats – and actually requests again – well, then even better.  In fact, his words were: “Who made this soup?  I give it a two-thumbs up!”  From a kiddo who usually prefers hot dogs and microwave mac and cheese (eew), this is the highest form of praise.

We used a deli chicken to get a jump-start on this meal, but if you want to cook and shred your own ahead of time, more power to you.  I have to tell you, a precooked chicken from our local deli is one of the biggest time-savers in my kitchen. 😉

The other major time-saver in this chili is using a jar of salsa verde in order to get the most flavor in the least amount of time.  Other than the chicken and salsa, you’ll need some chicken stock, beans (I used a can of black beans and a can of Northern beans), and some spices: I added some cumin, coriander, oregano and lime juice.

This easy, flavorful Southwest Chicken Chili uses only a handful of ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes - making it the perfect weeknight dinner! #recipe #soup

We garnished our bowls with sour cream, avocado and cilantro – but the sky’s the limit here.  Seriously, you won’t believe how tasty this soup is with so little effort.  Give this soup a try, and I guarantee it will be on your rotation for your favorite chilly night meals!

Southwest Chicken Chili
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa verde
  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (I used a deli chicken)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Northern Beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 32-ounces chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • juice of one lime, optional
  • For garnish: avocado, green onion, sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro
Method
  1. Place all ingredients, through the oregano, in a large sauce pan or dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lime juice, and stir through before ladling into bowls.
  2. Top with garnishes, if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 servings

recipe adapted from My Recipes

XO, Ashley

 

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Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup

Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup. Not so easy on the eyes, but pretty darn good in the tummy.

It's a cheeseburger in a bowl!  This slow cooker cheeseburger soup is sure to please the entire family! #recipe #soup

Earlier this week we finally had a fall-temperature day, and I used that as an excuse to make my first pot of soup of the season.  I look forward to soup weather all year long.  There’s just nothing like a hearty bowl of soup or stew on a drizzly, cool weather day!

I hadn’t planned to post this recipe…because let’s face it, it’s not very photogenic.  Or at least it isn’t for a novice food photographer like me.  But then I realized that today is National Cheeseburger Day, and I decided to share it with you after all. Who comes up with these food holidays, anyway?

Photos aside, this soup was a fun twist on our usual stews and chili.  I used chicken stock as the base, since that’s what I had on hand, but beef stock or veggie stock would work just as well.  I also used evaporated milk rather than regular milk, because evaporated milk is less likely to curdle in the slow cooker.

Add in some sauteed veggies, ground beef, spices–and cheese!–for an easy, family-friendly dinner any night of the week!

This soup was creamy and thick, and was especially good scooped up with tortilla chips. 😉

Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups canned chicken broth, divided
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk (I used low-fat)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces cubed cheese (I used Velveeta)
  • additional cheese for topping, if desired
Method
  1. Preheat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and celery to skillet and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and place the vegetables in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. In the same pan, brown your hamburger meat. Drain, and add meat to your slow cooker.
  3. In a small cup, combine flour and ½ cup of broth. Whisk to combine, making sure it’s smooth and lump-free. Add the mixture to your skillet, and then slowly pour in the remaining 2 ½ cups of broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and allow to cook until just thickened. Pour over meat in slow-cooker.
  4. Stir in your remaining ingredients, through the black pepper. Cook on low for 2 hours. Just before serving, add in your cheese and stir until it is melted. Top with additional shredded cheese, if desired.
Notes
recipe adapted from Weight Watchers

If you’re looking for some other soups, give one of these a try:

jalepeno chili

Jalapeno Popper Turkey Chili

baked potato soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

XO, Ashley

 

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Jalepeno Popper Turkey Chili

Oooooooh, baby.

I’m a sucker for hearty soups this time of year, and if you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about spicy food.

So for me, it’s only natural to combine the two.

{As a side note, you can make this soup as spicy or not-spicy as you’d like.  Not a fan of heat?  Just omit the seeds from the jalepenos!}

Had I had any leftover Thanksgiving turkey to use in this soup, I would have.  But I didn’t.  So I used ground turkey instead.

And it was pretty much awesome.

You could certainly use ground beef, ground chicken, soy crumbles…whatever floats your boat.  Just promise me you’ll add in the cream cheese at the end.

Because holy bowl of wonderfulness, this stuff was a.ma.zing.

Even better?  This comes together in a flash – I’m talking under an hour – so it’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Score!

Jalepeno Popper Turkey Chili
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tex-mex tomatoes (I found mine at Wal-Mart; if you can't find it, just use regular diced tomatoes)
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can broth (I used chicken, but feel free to substitute with beef or vegetable broth)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • garnish with Mexican cheese, additional cilantro, jalepeno and sour cream, if desired
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add diced onion, jalepeno, and garlic, and saute until veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add the ground turkey to the pot and brown all over. Add the taco seasoning and cook for a minute longer.
  3. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, broth and cilantro. Allow the chili to simmer lightly, and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Add cream cheese to the chili and stir until melted and creamy. Garnish with cheese, cilantro, sour cream and jalepenos, if desired.
Notes
adapted from the totally awesome Bev Cooks
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 4 to 6

Have a great Tuesday, everyone – and I hope to see you tomorrow for my first link party: What’s in Your Kitchen Wednesday!

I party here!

XO, Ashley

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

The first month I was married, the Tall Boy casually mentioned that “he loved potato soup” and “potato soup sure sounded good.”  So I did what any new bride would do…I made potato soup.

Well, not this potato soup, because back then, I didn’t really know much of anything about cooking, which was obvious by the “meals” that came out of my kitchen.  Fortunately, the Tall Boy didn’t marry me for my cooking skillz.

My first sad attempt at potato soup yielded a milky, bland, boring soup…though the Tall Boy ate it with no complaint (he’s a keeper).  But ever since, I’ve been trying to perfect a great version to redeem myself.

And I think I finally did it.

While this soup isn’t super pretty to look at, it tasted phenomenal.  This is a thick, rich, and hearty, stick to your ribs soup that is perfect for a chilly fall evening.  And, if you use reduced-fat milk, cheese, and sour cream, you can cut out a few calories.  I substituted the lower fat versions in mine, and the Tall Boy had no idea.  😉

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 large potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 2 15-ounce cans chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • optional garnish: additional cheddar cheese, green onion, bacon
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven and saute onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add potatoes, broth and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove 2 cups of potatoes and set aside. Mash the remaining potatoes with a potato masher right in the pot.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and allow mixture to simmer until thickened. Stir mixture into your stockpot withe the mashed potatoes.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir reserved cubed potatoes back into the pot.
  4. Stir in parsley, cheese, and sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes

Happy Tuesday, and thanks for stopping by!

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The Best Pasta Salad Ever {Really}

The best pasta salad ever. That’s quite a bold statement to make, isn’t it?

With bacon and toasted pecans, Greek yogurt and red wine vinegar, this pasta salad has just the right balance of flavors.  So easy and so good!  #recipe #pasta

(photo updated 5/25/2013)

But let me give you the reasons why I love this pasta salad:

1. Since I don’t like mayonnaise, I substituted Chobani plain Greek yogurt instead. It was the bomb!  I scarfed this stuff down like it was my last meal.

2.  This salad has the perfect amount of crunch from the broccoli and grapes.

3.  Oh, and from the toasted pecans. I could eat toasted pecans all day.

4.  It’s slightly tangy from the red wine vinegar, yet with just the right amount of sweetness.

5.  Plus, it has bacon in it. Wait…should that be #1?

I look forward to grilling season all year long.  There is pretty much nothing I like more than foods right off the charcoal grill.  I know gas grills are more convenient, but you just can’t beat that charcoal flavor.  Or the smell.  I sort of rub my face against the Tall Boy’s shirt after he comes inside from grilling, take a big whiff, and fall into a charcoal induced coma.  Seriously, if there was a charcoal scented cologne, I’d buy that for him in an instant.

Does that make me weird?

 

The Best Pasta Salad Ever {Really}
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces small pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 2%), or mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your pasta according to package directions.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Whisk together Greek yogurt and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

XO, Ashley

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