Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo – its what’s for dinner

If you are looking for an easy gumbo recipe, look no further. This one is not only easy, but is good! We thoroughly enjoyed it, and didn’t even miss the rice. Feel free to serve yours with a big scoop of rice in the middle of your bowl.

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup canola oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth (I used fat free chicken broth)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound pkg of turkey kielbasa sausage
(you can use any kind you want – andouille, smoked – I went the healthy way and I don’t eat the other kind)
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I like to keep the frozen bag of shrimp in the freezer for such as this or to grill or sauté to top on a salad)
2 cups frozen okra (you can either use frozen or let thaw)
4 green onions, chopped
1 ½ tsp gumbo file (found in the spice section- I know you have this in your spice cabinet!!!)

Place a couple of tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven and slice your sausage and place in heated oil. Brown sausage – remove from pan. Add the ¼ cup of canola oil and ¼ cup of flour. Stir while the flour browns to a caramel color, on medium heat; this will take anywhere from 8-10 minutes. Don’t let it burn so stir while this is going on. You are making the roux. Once this is done, add the diced onions, peppers, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the veggies soften a bit. Add the chopped garlic and stir another minute or two. Stir in the broth, salt, pepper, cayenne, tomatoes, and add the sausage back in, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook with lid on (but cracked to the side) for 30 minutes.

Stir in the okra and green onions and cook for another 10 -15 minutes or until okra is cooked. This depends on whether or not you used frozen or thawed. I used frozen and cooked for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook another 5-10 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Stir in the file powder. Enjoy!

If you like yours served with a scoop of rice (we didn’t eat rice in ours to watch the carbs) feel free to make a pot rice and serve up a bowl of this delicious gumbo and add a scoop of rice in the middle.

This recipe is definitely a keeper – hubby ate two bowls (no rice in it and he loved it- just enough heat) and said make this again!

Hope you choose to try this one soon!

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White Bean Soup

Quick and easy should be the name of this soup!  We eat soup all during the year, even in the summer months. and this soup is so quick and easy but has lots of flavor.  It is also one you can alter with different flavors.  So have fun with this one.

White Bean Soup

1 (16-ounce) can navy beans, undrained

1 (15.8 ounce) can great northern beans, undrained

1 cup water

2 large carrots, scraped and diced

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup chopped cooked ham

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1 bay leaf

Combine beans in a large saucepan; mash slightly with a potato masher or back of a large spoon (this helps thicken up the soup but don’t mash all of them up).  Stir in water, and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.

Cook carrots in butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until tender.  Add carrot, ham, green onions and bay leaf to bean mixture.  cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Discard bay leaf before serving.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  

Serve with your favorite cornbread recipe and you have a great quick weeknight supper meal.

I hope you will give it a try!

Taco Soup – new version

We love Taco Soup at our house.  It will warm you down to your tippy toes.  But when we saw this version, we knew we were going to give it a try.   Hope you do the same.   It is quite versatile.   It is a thick soup so if you like it a bit less thick, just add some water (or broth) to thin out.  But what makes it great in its thick stage is you can

1.  eat it as is (sort of like chili…yum!)

2.  put over fries for “chili cheese fries” (don’t forget to top with some grated cheese and diced green onion- oh my)

3.  make some Walking Tacos – open an individual bag of fritos, top with some taco soup, cheese, sour cream, diced onion, salsa, and there you go.

4.  Serve soup with Tostito scoop chips and scoop up some soup with your chips.  Man, oh, man.

You will enjoy this soup, I just know it.   And, you can, like I did, make one version using ground beef and one version using ground turkey.  In my version (the ground turkey one) I substituted for my can of diced tomatoes for the ones with added zesty jalapenos.  Kicked my soup up a notch.

AND, for the salsa you add to the soup (yep, that’s right) you can choose the mild, medium, or hot – you choose.

Top your soup with some grated Mexican blend cheese (our your favorite), and a dollop of sour cream and you have a great meal.  Enjoy!

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef or groud turkey (can omit totally for vegetarian)

2 – 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 14.5 oz. can corn, drained – or 3-4 ears fresh corn (slice off kernels) or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (plain, or tomatoes with zesty jalapenos, or mexican style, you choose)

1-3 tsp Taco Seasoning (can I make a suggestion? use MY homemade Taco Season Mix – listed under sauces – better flavor than the stuff you buy in the store – you won’t regret it – Also add more or less to taste – my seasoning mix is also a higher heat level than what you purchase in the store)

1 – 16 oz. container/jar of salsa, – your preferred heat level

Garnishes:

Tortilla ships, crumbled 

Shredded cheese, your favorite blend/brand

Sour cream

In a soup kettle, brown the ground beef or turkey and drain any fat.   Add the drained black beans and corn, tomatoes  with juice, taco seasoning and salsa.  Water may be added if you want it thinner.  Cook over medium low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with garnishes of your choice.  

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See?  How good does this look?   And man, have we enjoyed ours.   Hope you do, too. 

Tea Time and Tomato Dill Bisque – a winning combination

There used to be a tea shop in our town that served High Tea and had the best little tea sandwiches, the best little quiches, and the most fun that girlfriends, grandmothers and granddaughters, sisters, bridal parties, could have.   It moved locations for a while but has been closed for some time, and one thing it had, and shared by selling its little packets of the mixed herbs with its recipe, (you can mix your own herbs for the recipe) was its recipe for the best “Tomato Dill Bisque” that they served.  

I have made this, but again, not in a long time. (Am I trying to say I have a lot of recipes?)  I need to re-create this and make it again.   It is so rich, and good, and leaving you wanting another cup.   Make some, serve it in a tea cup, along with some mini tea sandwiches, and have yourself a tea party!   

Tomato Dill Bisque

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 tsp dill seed

3 or 4 cups diced canned tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup butter

1 cup half & half (if you want to lighten up the recipe, you can use the fat free half and half)

1 tsp dill weed (one of my favorite herbs – have I mentioned that before?)

3 cups chicken stock

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tsp oregano

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup flour

Saute onion in butter.  Add flour and spices.  Stir in tomatoes and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 15 minutes.   Add parsley, honey, and half & half.   Heat thoroughly.  Serve with a sprig of fresh dill for garnish.

 

Me, I am ready for a “cup” right now.   This may just be on the menu for this weekend!   Along, of course, with a mini tea sandwich and a cup of hot tea!  Won’t you come and join me?

Soup’s On!

This is one of hubby’s favorite soups.  I thought I had posted it but I couldn’t find where I had.  This recipe is easy, can be made healthy by using turkey kielbasa and light sour cream, and is so flavorful.  And what a great weekend for some soup!  A rainy, cool Saturday!  Hope you will give it a try. 

Kielbasa Stew

1 pound kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (can use turkey kielbasa)

1 Tbsp butter

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

1 (10.75 ounce which is the campbell’s soup size) tomato soup

1 1/2 cups water

3 cups shredded cabbage (I just either slice really fine or chop – doesn’t matter on this one)

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup sour cream

1.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook sausage in butter until brown.  Pour broth, tomato soup and water into pan with sausage.  Stir in cabbage, onion, and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until flavors are well blended and cabbage is done.  Stir in sour cream and heat through before serving.

 

Hope you like it as much as hubby does.  Have a great weekend!

Wild Rice Soup

My sister and my family tries to get together as often as possible, but it doesn’t happen often enough as the kiddos and the nieces have a full schedule with their kiddos, jobs, church, etc.  You know, life stuff!  So when we do, it’s usually over Thanksgiving holiday, when the air is crisp, and it’s Alabama-Auburn football.  We usually have a great time, and good football watching food.  One of the menu choices is always a crock pot full of chili, and for those who do not eat meat, a bit pot of this Wild Rice Soup.  I am ready for some soup weather.  And when it cools off a little, this will be one of the first recipes I will make.   It is also a recipe you can make your own, add a little of this, add a little of that.  Change up the seasoning or vegetables a bit, or add a little more.   Make this recipe your own, but whatever you do, give it a try. 

 

 

Wild Rice Soup

 

1 box of Uncle Ben’s White and

    Wild rice mix

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 of an  8-oz pkg mushrooms or use all of the package if you want-I do (any kind you want-regular or protobello)

½ cup all purpose flour

3 cans (14/12 ounce each) chicken broth

1 Tbsp minced fresh chives

1 cup half and half

½ tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

 (If you like meat in your soup, add 1 slice ham -1 inch thick, cubed and saute with vegetables)

Cook rice according to package.  Set aside.  Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms (and  ham cubes if you are using them).   Saute until vegetables are tender.  Add flour and stir until liquid has evaporated.  Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to blend thoroughly.  Add wild rice and chives.    Slowly add half and half.  Do not allow to boil.  

 

**The original recipe calls for ½ cup wild rice, rinsed and 2 cups water. Bring rice and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil 45 minutes and set aside.  Then continue with the rest of the instructions.  I have found by using the box of the mixed rice and spices in Uncle Ben’s, it not only speeds up the soup process, but adds a ton of additional flavor to the soup.  Just thought I would share so you could decide which way you want to make yours.

Who doesn’t like soup??

I made this when I returned from my business trip…….

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and it was as good as it looks!  Wonderful flavor, comfort food, healthy dish, that warms your soul!  And quick and easy!    Who doesn’t like quick and easy!  Make it on a week night using rotisserie chicken and you’re good to go!  Try it, you’ll like it!

Lemon Chicken Soup with Spinach

1 Tbsp vegetable oil                              

4 shallots, chopped

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced                   

1 carrot, thinly sliced

2 (32-0z) containers

    Low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat

1 (6-0z) bag baby spinach, chopped

6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

½ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)

 

  1.  In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add shallots, celery, and carrot.  Cook for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add chicken broth and bay leaves, bring to a boil.  Lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.
  2. Stir in chicken, spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Cook until spinach is wilted and chicken is heated through, 2-4 minutes.