Paleo Zuppa Toscana

I’ve seen this soup floating around Pinterest, but knew it was off-limits for me with my sensitivities to dairy. Then…I saw a paleo version that uses coconut milk and I knew I had to try it. I loved it, it was creamy and wouldn’t have even known it was made with coconut milk, if I didn’t make it. My husband on the other hand said he could taste the coconut – I think it was all in his head LOL!

The soup is rich with potatoes, kale, sausage and bacon and made in your slow cooker – it’s a win, win recipe!

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Lentil and Chorizo Soup

During cold winter days, soup is one of the things I like making. This was a new recipe to me and the first time I used chorizo. It was a quick and easy soup to make and was great for leftovers for the rest of the week. I served it with sliced french bread, but would pair nicely with a green salad too.

My son is a big fan of soup and he loved it! I was a little worried with the lentils, but he slurped his bowl down. My daughter on the other hand…not a fan. She picked all the veggies and chorizo out and left the lentils. I should have told her it was something else and she probably would have eaten it. Do you find that your kids are picky over certain foods even if they have never tried them before?

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Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

It’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight featuring slow cooker soups! This was a pretty easy theme for me since I usually make soup in my slow cooker. Earlier this month, I threw together a ham and bean soup with leftover ham from Christmas….but I forgot to take pictures before we ate it all. So….I had to make another recipe.

I love butternut squash soup, but I don’t like working with it. Whenever I cut up the squash, my hands feel like they have wax on them. It’s the strangest thing and it takes at least 24 hours until it goes away. Please tell me I’m not the only one that this happens to. Anyways, the soup was really good and I loved the addition of the roasted garlic. It was quick and easy to make as well. I threw all the ingredients in my slow cooker before I started work one morning and let it cook away all day. So simple and easy!

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #fantasticalfoodfight

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Hearty Beef Stew

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s been a little quite on the blog the past week. Work has been busy, cheer is over and we’re all trying to slow down a little. I’m also working on getting back to eating healthy and working out again. My company is doing a “Maintain, Don’t Gain” challenge later this month for the holidays and I’m trying to get a jump start on it and actually lose weight.

The weather is so wonky (is that a real word?) lately and one day it’s cold and then the next day it’s warm. It makes it really hard to plan meals when I don’t know if we can grill one day or I need a bowl of this stew to warm up. This stew was delicious and everyone loved it. We ate it for dinner for two nights and two days for lunch…it was that good! It takes a little time to make, but it’s completely worth it!!

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Low Carb Unstuffed Cabbage Soup

Last weekend, I received a head of cabbage in our CSA share and cauliflower was on sale…it was the perfect timing to make this low carb unstuffed cabbage soup. I love stuffed cabbage, but it’s a pretty labor intensive dish…but this soup fills that craving for me. Plus it’s made in the slow cooker! Win, win!

This soup was even better the next days. The flavors really came together and tasted just like stuffed cabbage. Both of my kids enjoyed it too – especially since I told my son it was “cheeseburger soup.” He thought it was so funny and ate his entire bowl. Whatever works. 🙂

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Summer Corn Chowder

The one thing I love about summer is all the fresh vegetables – corn, tomatoes, squash, cukes and more – plus you can’t forget about all the stone fruit. YUM! There’s a little farm stand I buy corn from and it’s so good. It’s super sweet and they pick it fresh every morning and even better it’s local.

This chowder was really good, its creamy but not too heavy. I loved that it was full of corn flavor and could whip it together on a weeknight.

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Cheesesteak Stew

I’ve had my fair share of cheesesteaks growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, but never as a stew. The flavors are exactly like a cheesesteak! I loved this as a stew and will serve it in bread bowls next time I make it. I eliminated the provolone melted on top, but my husband had it that way and he loved it. The perfect stew for a chilly, rainy day!

Cheesesteak Stew | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced beef (we call it chip steak here)
1/4 tsp onion powder
fresh ground pepper and salt
4 Tbsp flour
olive oil
2 yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
10 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef stock
sourdough bread bowls
provolone cheese

In a large bowl, season the beef with the onion powder, pepper and salt and toss to coat. Add in 2 tablespoons of flour and toss to coat. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat…this is in an important step in making cheesesteaks. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan; once hot add about half of the seasoned meat and allow to sear for a minute or two. It will quickly cook. Transfer to a plate and then cook the remaining meat.

In the same skillet, add a little more oil if needed and saute the onions. While the onions are cooking, heat the beef stock in a large pot. Season the onions with salt and pepper. Allow the onions to become caramelized and then add mushrooms and continue to saute. Add in the dried thyme and garlic and allow to cook for 1 additional minute until the garlic become fragrant. Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the combine. Slowly add the onion/mushroom mixture to the stock and stir to avoid flour lumps to form. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the stew to simmer gently for 10 minutes to thicken up. Turn off the heat and add in the cooked beef with any juices; stir to combine.

When you’re ready to serve, hollow out the bread bowls and ladle a scoop of the stew into the bowl. Top with a slice of provolone and then place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Enjoy!

Source: The Cozy Apron

Creamy Summer Corn and Potato Chowder

So summer might be over, but I’m still trying to hold on to all the fresh fruit and vegetables that are available. There’s nothing like fresh veggies straight from the garden. I guess we could always move to somewhere warm year around, but I like having different seasons too much!

I made this soup with the last bit of fresh corn I had. It was really good and filling. The best part, its dairy free so I was able to enjoy it without any regrets! The original recipe was made using a Vitamix but since I don’t have one, I made it on the stove in a Dutch oven with no issues. You can also reduce the amount of corn if you don’t want as much corn kernels in the soup.

Creamy Corn & Potato Chowder | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
6 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed
3 small yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed
2-4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup reduced-fat milk (I used almond milk)
1/3 cup silken tofu
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a heavy-bottom sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes soft. Add in half of the corn kernels, potato cubes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 15 minutes.

Add in the milk and tofu to the soup. Puree with a hand blender until soup is creamy. Add in the remaining corn and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the corn is cooked through. Serve and garnish with chopped parsley.

Source: The Wicked Noodle

Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn & Potato Chowder

It’s been beyond frigid here lately…like I don’t even want to get out of bed its so cold. Now throw in a housebreaking a puppy…I really don’t want to go outside. Once the weather gets cold like this, I crave soup, stews and chowder. The best part of this recipe is being able to throw it all into the slow cooker and not fuss with it for the rest of the day. It only takes 4.5 hours to cook…perfect if you’re running late or don’t have a full day to let something simmer in the slow cooker. Plus it’s dairy free! The original recipe called for a minced chipotle pepper, I omitted it to make it kid-friendly.

We all enjoyed it. It was a hearty soup even with a thin broth. The bacon added a nice smoke flavor to it and I loved the touch of fresh cilantro.

Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn & Potato Chowder | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

3 cups frozen corn
2 cups Yukon potatoes, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 onion, minced
Juice from one lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 can of light coconut milk
Fresh ground pepper and salt
Crumbled bacon

In a slow cooker, combine the corn, potato, red pepper, onion, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Season with fresh ground pepper and salt.

Cook on high for four hours. Add the can of coconut milk, stir and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Source: Joyful Healthy Eats

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Soup

This recipe was a mistake! I had planned to make a slow cooker chicken parmesan soup, but after looking at the recipe, I was missing some ingredients…so I winged it and came out with this delicious soup instead! Sometimes mistakes turn into something really good. Since I work from home the majority of the time, I have flexibility to throw dinner in the slow cooker on my lunch break and can cook it on high and it’s ready by dinner.

Everyone loved the soup, no complaints from the kids and it was great for leftovers too!

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Soup | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 lb raw boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 cups chicken stock (more may be needed)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
6 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta

In the slow cooker, combine the garlic, green pepper, can of tomatoes, onions, chicken stock, chicken breasts, and seasonings. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 1/2 hours. Once cooked, removed the chicken breasts and shred. Return to the slow cooker and add in the uncooked pasta. Increase the heat to high and cook for an additional 30 minutes or longer until the pasta is completely cooked. Add more stock if necessary.

Serve and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.

Adapted from: Foxes Love Lemons