Cheesebooger Soup

Oh, I’m sorry, I mean Cheeseburger. Toddlers, they influence how we think & sometimes talk 🙂

So I was reading this book, a nice country love story that included talking about food that was cooked & offered to various characters. Sometimes I had to stop & go to the kitchen to find something to nibble on. Since I have started  reading most books digitally, I rarely flip through all the “pages” to the end, however since this book is apart of a series I read on to see what the first chapter of the next book was about to see if I wanted to buy it. That is when I realized this series of books had recipes at the end. OMGosh!  I am now realizing I need to go back & see what else I have been missing! The recipe this soup is based from was at the end of the second book, A Time to Heal: Quilts of Lancaster Country.

This soup is simple, easy, hearty yet I don’t really get why it’s called Cheeseburger soup other than it contains ground meat & a lot of cheese. Not what I would consider a classic Cheeseburger on a bun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground meat (we use venison)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 cups potatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 8 ounces shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1½ cups milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ Greek yoghurt
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Brown ground meat (& drain if there is a need) & set aside.
  2. In a stock pot or 3-quart sauce pan, sauté onions, carrots, celery & spices in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add broth, potatoes & meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. In a small skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add flour slowly while constantly stirring. Cook & stir for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Add to soup & cook 2 more minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt & pepper. Heat until cheese melts. Remove from heat & add Greek yoghurt
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Leftover Turkey (bone) Soup

So this past New Years I had family in town & we decided we’d do a very late Thanksgiving dinner. What better time to use that 20 pound turkey in the freezer when you have a house FULL of hungry people, right? Except when you don’t cook it while they are all here….ugh! Why didn’t I cook that fully thawed turkey?!?!

The day everyone left I started looking for recipes that I could use some leftover turkey with. I stumbled across a couple recipes that made me realize I also had another leftover part of the turkey I needed to use up as well, the bones! I could cook up the turkey bones like I do with chicken when I make broth & it would make taking the last bit of meat off ever so easy too. I split the bones up in 2 (sorta) equal piles (one pile of the big bones & another of the smaller) & froze the bigger bones for another recipe I found I really would like to try – called for the bigger bones because you cook  them with the rest of the food & can’t strain out the small bits. But more about that recipe for another time/post, hopefully!

So, this recipe is in 2 parts, but in order to make this post brief, I’ll just say the first part of the process is like making homemade chicken broth. Except instead of simmering the bones for 8 hours, only simmer for 2 or 3 hours. One of the recipes I looked to for suggestions talked about only boiling/simmering for an hour, it’s whatever you feel & what your time constraints are. Once you are done simmering your bones & the rest of the meat has fallen off, remove the bones & meat. Chop or shred the meat, setting aside for the soup. Toss the bones. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a clean soup pot

Now for the second part of the recipe (including the ingredients list)

Ingredients:

  • ½ turkey bones (or all the bones if you have a pot large enough or don’t have any other recipe that you could use them in)
  • 4 quarts water
  • 6 small potatoes, diced
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1½ cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 box uncooked barley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

Add the chopped turkey to the strained broth; bring the to a boil, reduce heat, and stir in the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, cabbage, tomatoes, barley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, parsley, basil, bay leaf, black pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning, and thyme. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 1 more hour. Or you could just let it simmer on low for several hours.

Homemade Chicken Broth

I like having chicken broth on hand for cooking & this is so easy there is no longer a reason to buy! Now you have a healthy broth chock full of vitamins & minerals that you know where it came from & no sodium (for those of you who are keeping an eye on your sodium intake).

Ingredients*:

  • 1 whole chicken OR a mix of leftover chicken bones and/or uncooked chicken on the bone (Approx. 2-5 lbs)
  • 4 Tbs vinegar
  • Cool, filtered water – enough to fill your pot
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and very coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, scrubbed and very coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 2-3 Tbs crushed garlic
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 20 black peppercorns

*Note: The most important thing is to use chicken on the bone, because the bones is where all of the calcium and other minerals are! The amount of vegetables and water that you use is also very flexible. This recipe approximates what I usually aim for, but again, it doesn’t have to be exact. I always use the ingredients listed as optional for additional flavor, but possibly varying amounts.

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in your stock pot. Fill almost to the top with cool water. Let stand for 30-60 minutes. The vinegar will act to bring out more minerals from the bones during this time. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, and simmer, covered for anywhere from 4-24 hours. I usually shoot for around 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken or chicken pieces, and set aside to cool (I’ve found it is easier to separate the meat from the bones when they are still warm, the meat doesn’t fall off as easily once it’s completely cooled). Discard the vegetables and bones. Strain the broth into a large bowl and allow broth to cool in the refrigerator (or if it’s winter, set it outside) for overnight at least, 24 hours is better. Once it is cool, remove the fat that has congealed on top (I keep this chicken fat & freeze it for later use when I make chicken pot pie – makes the crust so tasty & your wasting less).

From here you can either start the process for making Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with the broth & chicken, chicken pot pie or freeze the broth for future use and use the chicken for chicken salad or tacos. If I freeze the broth, usually I do it in 2 or 4 cup amounts in quart freezer bags. I’ll make a point to clear a spot in the freezer to lay the bags flat, this way makes it easier to store the broth once it’s solid.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Flu season is in full swing & this is something you may want to keep on hand in your freezer. This is a very hardy soup that is great for cold days to warm the tummy. Last year I searched through so many different soup recipes to see what was the common ingredients & one ingredient that caught my attention was ground cloves. After trying it out last winter, I’ve concluded that this will always be in my CNS for the future.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole cooked chicken from when you cooked the Homemade Chicken Broth (sometimes I don’t use all the chicken, depending on the size of the bird or how much meat you want in your soup)
  • all the broth from what you prepared the day before
  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into small bites
  • 3 celery sticks, scrubbed and chopped into small bites
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped into small bites
  • 4 Tbs crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cloves (may need more to taste)
  • 1 pkg. of noodles of any kind

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in your stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer & let cook until vegetables are tender, roughly an hour.

You can either cook the noodles in with everything else or boil separately. I do both ways & its always tasty. If you do cook noodles with everything, be prepared to add more water as the broth cooks down.