Tag Archives: stew

Christmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup

I love to make homemade soup during the cold winter months here in Southern Oregon. Several weeks ago I received a bag of dried Christmas Lima Beans as a gift from my uncle and aunt.  I’ve never seen or heard of Christmas Lima Beans before, so naturally, I was really excited to try them.  Christmas Lima Beans are an heirloom variety of Lima Beans that have a lovely white and rust speckled color.  I was surprised to see that they are larger than the traditional white Lima beans that I know and love.  They hold their shape nicely and they darken in color slightly when cooked.

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I had no idea how uncommon these big beautiful beans were. I’ve never seen this variety of legume locally in Southern Oregon and after doing some research, I found that I can purchase them online from a grower in the Southern California area. The fact that they are a heirloom variety and non GMO make them complete winners in my book.  One day, when Bruce and I have adequate garden space, I will be planting a few long rows of these amazingly delicious beans. 

My Christmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup is really easy to make.  It’s hearty, healthy and most of all delicious!  Feel free to substitute the common white Lima beans if you don’t have access to the Christmas Lima beans. Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Christmas Lima Beans (soaked in water overnight, picked over and rinsed well)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 pound cooked chopped chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 1/2 qt chicken stock (or more as desired)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 tsp garlic paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place a heavy bottomed pot on medium high heat add leeks, onion, celery and  carrots.  Cook until onions are opaque, taking care not to burn.  Turn down to medium low heat, add the Christmas Lima Beans, 1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock, thyme, coriander, garlic paste and pepper. Cover and cook with a gentle simmer for a about an hour.  Add cooked chicken and salt to taste towards the end of the cooking process.  Cook until beans are tender.  Taste and correct your seasonings. Makes about 8 servings.

Oregon Elk Stew

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOregon Elk Stew

A few months ago I was invited to do a guest post for one of the best food bloggers that I know.  His name is Raymund and his blog is named Ang Sarap.  He’s a Filipino food blogger who is passionate about food.  What I love about Ang Sarap is that you never know what Raymund is going to dish up.  One day, it may be a traditional Filipino recipe and the next day he might serve up a platter of spicy Buffalo wings.  His food photography, versatility, and ability to cook is simply amazing!

The dish I chose to share with Raymund at Ang Sarap is my Oregon Elk Stew.  Elk meat is very low fat and high in protein.  It’s similar in flavor to beef and tastes milder than venison.  My Oregon Elk Stew is prepared with bright orange carrots, onions, celery, and zucchini and then slow cooked on the stove top with red wine and fresh picked herbs from my garden.  It’s best served with a scoop of mashed potatoes on the side and with a slice of your favorite crusty bread. 

Many thanks to Raymund for allowing me to be do a guest post on his site!  Those who have not met Raymund, please stop by, say hello, and most of all, subscribe to Ang Sarap.  You’ll be glad that you did!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  1 ½ pounds elk stew meat (beef may be substituted)
  •  2 large carrots (chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 zucchini (chopped)
  • ½ quart beef stock or as needed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 – 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 – 2 Tbs canola oil
  • Dash of Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by cutting the elk meat into uniform sized cubes.  In a medium sized bowl, coat the elk meat with flour, salt and pepper.  Place a thick bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid (I used a Dutch oven) on the stove and heat to medium high heat.  Add canola oil and the elk meat.  Brown the elk on all sides, be careful not to burn.  Add beef stock and red wine to the pot and use a spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and oregano.  Turn heat down to low and cover.  Cook for an hour and a half or until the meat is fork tender.  Add carrots and celery and cook covered for an additional 30 minutes. If needed, thicken stew with a flour and water mixture. About 15 minutes before serving add zucchini.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Add a dash of Kitchen Bouquet for a richer colored stew (optional). Remove bay leaf and serve with mashed potatoes.  Makes 4 servings.

Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup

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Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup

On my days off, I love spending my free time in my little garden.  Gardening diverts my attention from my hectic day job into something completely relaxing and calm.  Tending to my plants whether it be watering, weeding or picking bugs off the leaves of my lettuce makes me happy.  I’ve enjoyed gardening for many years and every year and season my garden changes.

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My garden is small but very productive.  Two raised beds, a small patch of dirt and several large pots.  That’s it.  I utilize every bit of precious gardening space that I can.  During the spring months, I grow my cool weather crops.  Cool weather crops include kale, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, kohlrabi and radicchio.  In a few weeks, what you see here will be replaced by tomatoes, squash, beans, cucumbers and corn.  I rotate the variety of plants every year and I make sure that I never put the same plants in the same spot every year.

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A bucket of fresh picked Redbor Kale.  I made the decision to harvest all my kale this morning.  I did that because I needed to make room for the tomatoes that I will be planting next weekend. I gave a few bunches of kale away to friends and family and the rest went into the freezer.  I saved one bunch for my Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup.

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Redbor Kale.  If you are not familiar with kale, you need to know that kale does not form a head like lettuce and that it has a cabbage like texture.  I chose the Redbor variety of kale for my garden this year because I liked the purple color on the leaves and stems.  I was not disappointed.  It has a wonderful flavor too.

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About four feet away from the kale, I planted a small patch of spinach.  2 packets of seed, warm days, plenty of water and a month later I have almost too much spinach.  I need to start sharing the spinach with friends and family too.  What’s worse is that I am starting to think that Bruce is getting tired of having spinach frequently as a side dish for the past couple of weeks. Fresh spinach is delicious and good for you.  Organically grown spinach like mine, is even better.  In a month or so I will be growing zucchini and yellow squash in its place.  Unfortunately, Bruce despises squash.  In the meantime, I hope that he enjoys his spinach.

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My Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup is a simple recipe that I pulled together for a quick and healthy lunch during the work week.  It’s made with fresh picked kale from my garden, great northern beans, carrots, onion and thyme.  It’s easy to make and tastes delicious.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch of kale (I used Redbor)
  • 1 can great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (use more if you like)
  • 1 quart chicken stock. (use vegetable if you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash and trim the kale.  Be sure remove the stems.  In a medium sized pan over medium high heat saute the onion and carrots in the olive oil until onions are translucent.  Add the great northern beans, garlic, thyme and chicken stock.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until kale and carrots are tender.  Taste and correct your seasonings and serve.  Makes about 4 servings.

Cioppino

Cioppino

My son went back up to the University for fall term and the final day he was home I made a big pot of Cioppino to share with our family for his send off dinner.  Cioppino is a fish stew that is of Italian American origin and is served at many seafood restaurants up and down the west coast of the United States, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area.  It is a spicy tomato based seafood stew generally prepared with fresh caught dungeness crab, live clams, shrimp, mussels, scallops, fish fillets and plenty of white wine.  Every time I make Cioppino it is never exactly the same as I made it last for I use what ever fresh fish and shellfish that I can find at my local store.

I love to make a vat of Cioppino when our family vacations at the Oregon Coast (talk about fresh seafood!) or when I have a large group of friends stop that by our home.   It’s easy to make and tastes delicious with a fresh picked green salad and crusty french bread.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped fennel bulb
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 – 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of seafood stock (I used vegetable stock this time)
  • 1 pound shrimp (cleaned, shelled and deveined)
  • 1 pound fresh clams (scrubbed well)
  • 1 pound fresh scallops
  • 1 pound fish such as halibut or salmon (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 pound cooked dungeness crab legs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by grabbing an extra large dutch oven or pot with a snug lid.  Place on stove, with medium heat add the onions, fennel and olive oil.  Cook until onions become translucent.  Add garlic, bay leaves, oregano, basil, cayenne, wine, tomatoes and stock.  Stir well.  Cover, cook on medium low for about an hour and a half or until flavors marry.   Stir occasionally.  When nearly ready to serve, add fresh seafood and shellfish to the boiling stew, cover and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and the clams open.  Discard bay leaves and any unopened clams.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with sprigs of fresh fennel leaves or fresh chopped parsley.  Makes about 12 – 14 servings.

Lamb Chickpea Stew

Lamb Chickpea Stew

Sometimes weekends are just as busy as weekdays.  Cleaning the house, yard work, and laundry often consumes my precious time off.  When I have a weekend like that I need to remember that I have a slow cooker tucked away in my cupboard.  Preparing a meal with a slow cooker is simple, saves time and tastes wonderful.  Just toss in the ingredients, cover, turn on low and disappear for about 6-8 hours.  Come back and dish up.  Easy…

My Indian inspired Lamb Chickpea Stew is satisfyingly simple and tastes fabulous.  It has tender bits of lamb, tasty chickpeas, and garam masala in a tomato spinach broth.  Garam masala is a North Indian spice blend made with cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and cardamon.  I found my garam masala in the spice section of my favorite grocery store.  Serve the Lamb Chickpea Stew with naan or with a scoop of basmati rice.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound lamb stew meat
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala spice blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 – 3 cups fresh spinach

Begin by tossing all the ingredients in the slow cooker except the spinach.  Cook on low for about 6-8 hours or until the lamb is tender.  Add the spinach about 5-10 minutes before serving.  Cook until spinach has wilted.  Dish up and serve.  Makes 2 – 3 servings.

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Last week after I bought my son a slow cooker I promised him that I would post simple recipes that he could make while studying at the university.  He has a rigorous class schedule and other activities that keep him busy throughout the day.  So, cooking dinner for himself may not be as convenient as he would like it to be.  My goal is to help him create dishes that are quick to pull together, fairly healthy and since he’s a college student, dishes that are easy on the wallet.  My recipe for Ham and Lima Bean Soup is satisfyingly simple and tastes fabulous with a slice of fresh baked cornbread or a crusty French roll.

My savory Ham and Lima Bean Soup is made with a smoked ham shank, lima beans, onions, celery, carrots, and spices.  If you can’t find smoked ham shanks at the store, it’s no big deal.  Feel free to substitute a cup of coarsely chopped ham or a small smoked ham hock.  If you are in a vegan mood, go ahead and omit the ham and use a good quality vegetable stock instead.  Makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Oh, if you don’t own a slow cooker, don’t despair!  You can easily cook this on your stove top.  Just go low and slow.  Cook it tightly covered and keep an eye on it.  It will cook faster on the stove top than in the slow cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small ham shank
  • 8 ounces dried large lima beans (soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbls. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Begin by chopping your vegetables and place them into the slow cooker.  Add the ham shank.  Drain and rinse your lima beans well and add to the slow cooker.  Add all the ingredients into the pot with the exception of the chopped parsley and seasoning salt.  Cook on low for about 7 hours or until the beans are tender (or on high for about 4 hours). Remove the ham shank from the pot and set aside to cool.  When cool enough to handle, use your clean fingers and pick all the ham from the bone.  Add the ham back to the soup and continue to cook a bit more or until the ham is heated through.  Toss out the ham bone or any inedible pieces.  Fish out your bay leaf, taste your soup and correct your salt level with the seasoning salt if necessary. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Note:  The soup can be frozen and the recipe can be doubled.  Also, I have learned that not all slow cookers are created equal.  You may find that yours cooks faster or maybe even slower than my recipe describes.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Last weekend when my son came home from school for a short visit, I bought him a slow cooker to help with the chore of cooking for himself while studying all day at the Honors College.  He skyped me the other day and in the middle of our conversation I asked him how was the slow cooker?  He promptly said, “Mom, I have never cooked anything in one of those before”…  First , I thought to myself, I thought he knew how but I as I think back, I have not used my slow cooker for at least two years.  I guess it is time to dust it off!

Well, here’s a easy recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings.  I know that this is not my usual style of cooking but, as all you moms know, you gotta take care of your cubs first.  So, G…  here you go!  Love you! – Mom

And, for the rest of you… I hope you try this simple and tasty recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings.   Enjoy! – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 potato
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dry tarragon
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 cups biscuit mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley or chives

Begin by chopping the potato, carrot, celery and onion into even sized pieces.  Put vegetables in slow cooker, toss to mix.  Trim fat from the chicken thighs and cut into 1″ sized pieces.  Add to the top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.

Be sure to wash your hand and workspace well after prepping the chicken.  If you don’t, you might be at home sick instead of in class where you belong…

Now go grab a mixing bowl and a whisk.  Whisk together the chicken stock, flour, cream of mushroom soup, garlic paste, seasoning salt, thyme, tarragon, and white pepper.  Pour sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker, cover and turn on low.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go study for about 8 hours.  If you put it on high, it will take about 4-5 hours.

8 hours later (or 4-5 depending on if the cooker is on high), be sure to check the chicken to make sure that it is done.  Taste the stew, and correct your seasonings.  You may need to add more salt, maybe not.  Turn the slow cooker up to high.  Grab another bowl and mix together the biscuit mix and 2/3 cup of milk.  Drop the dumplings by spoonful on the stew.  Toss on some fresh chopped parsley for color.  Cook covered for 30 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.  Makes about 6 servings.

A couple of notes:  this recipe can be halved if you want to cook less and it can also be doubled if you want to make more.