Lasagna Soup

My family is a big fan of lasagna, I mean who isn’t? I have made many attempts at putting a little twist on the classic, and this one is no exception. The temperature has dropped in Wisconsin, and we are settling in for the hibernation season, so I figured that I would come up with a soup, a lasagna soup at that. What I didn’t know is how much my family would love this recipe. I was a bit suspect on my kids eating it as they are not big soup eaters, but all I can say is that went up for seconds, two days in a row. Yep, it was that good.

Lasagna Soup Recipe
Lasagna Soup Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb of ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 7 cups of chicken stock, more if you want it to be more ‘soupy’
  • 1 whole onion, thinly diced
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • 5 sheets of lasagna pasta, broken
  • 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, use to your liking
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to your liking

Start by getting a medium sized soup pot on the stove, and heat it to medium heat. Toss in the ground beef, and cook until browned, breaking it up along the way. Once cooked, strain and remove all of the fat. Return the ground beef back to the stove, and toss in the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the salt, pepper, chili flakes, and Italian seasoning. Give a good stir, then toss in the garlic, and tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste for a couple of minutes, then add in the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and marinara sauce. Give this another good stir, and bring to a gentle boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low, then add in the broken pasta sheets.

Lasagna Soup Ingredients
Lasagna Soup Ingredients

Cook for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is nice and tender.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into your soup bowl, shower with parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and dig in.

This is everything you love about lasagna, but in soup format, and what’s not to love about that! Hope you enjoy, and stay warm!

Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup

I don’t know about you, but I am somewhat happy that Thanksgiving is done with. Not that I did not mind a couple of days off of work, but I think my wife and I both said that we were kind of tired of eating. I think you can only have so many leftovers and then get tired of them, but as much as I like to come up with some leftover recipes, I decided that I would come up with a new recipe of sorts; the smoked turkey French onion soup. I normally make French onion soup around Christmas time, but whoa was I ever glad I made a batch of soup this past week. Not only was it light, but did it ever hit the spot.

Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe
Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe

If you do not have smoked turkey, no worries, Leftover turkey breast will suffice but the light smokiness give it a really great flavor.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry Vermouth
  • 1 cup smoked turkey breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2  tbsp fresh thyme
  • French baguette, cut into rounds
  • 2 cups of Alpine style cheese, finely grated

Start by heating a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the oil, butter, and toss in the onions and garlic. After the onions begin to sweat out, add in the salt, and sugar. Continue cooking until the onions caramelize. This can take up to 30 minutes, so keep an eye on them, not letting them burn, and adjust your heat to medium low. Take in the smell. Gosh I love that smell.

After the onions caramelize, add in the turkey, thyme, vermouth, and cook for a few minutes before adding in your beef stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cook for about 25 minutes.

Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe
Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe

 

Before you are ready to serve, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a couple of rounds of your baguette, and generously top with the grated Alpine cheese. Place into the preheated oven, cooking for about 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted. You can probably placed under your broiler as well. Your call.

When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into a soup bowl and place the bread on top.

Dig in. Dunk that bread into the soup, spoon that deliciousness into your mouth and repeat. My wife,daughter and I fell in love with this soup, and it was one that had you going back for more. My wife and I both lifted our bowls at the end to finish every last drop of that awesome broth, and that is rare. Yep, this is a good one. Hope you enjoy!

 

Mixed Bowl Ramen

I’ll admit it. I love ramen. The cheap bag of ramen that is pretty much in most everyone’s cupboard, office desk, or for me right now, on my desk. That great bag of Maruchan ramen, the one that costs less than fifty cents is good in itself and is a quick fix to feed the belly, but when you jazz it up a bit, well that ramen just gets so much better. So on a recent work from home day, I decided that I would make a bowl of ramen for brunch. The weird thing about working from home is that my routine gets jacked up. I start working much earlier, forget to eat breakfast, or lunch for that matter, and work much later. So this ramen did the trick during my ten o’clock lunch break.

Mixed Ramen Bowl Recipe
Mixed Ramen Bowl Recipe

This jazzed up ramen is so good and so easy to make that it will having you rethink that standard bag of ramen. A total upgrade in my opinion.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Maruchan ramen (I used beef)
  • 1/2 package of ramen flavoring packet
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp Furikake seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp Frank’s RedHot sauce
  • 1 egg, 6 minute cook
  • water

Start by cooking your egg. Bring a small pot of water on medium-high heat. Add the egg, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Keep the egg in the pot for 6 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water.

Next, follow the instructions on your ramen package, and bring the noodles to a bowl. Add in half of the package of seasoning, and cook until the noodles are al dente. During this time, assemble your ramen bowl.

Mixed Ramen Bowl Ingredients
Mixed Ramen Bowl Ingredients

To the bottom of your bowl, add in the slice of American cheese, the furikake seasoning, and the RedHot. Pour in the noodles, and seasoned water, add the sliced jalapenos, and after peeling your egg, slice it in half and add to the top of the ramen.

Give the bottom a gentle mix and stir, and get your slurp on. The end result is this creamy, spicy, and punch of that awesome Japanese furikake seasoning, and that egg is just perfect on the cook time. Talk about an awesome brunch, that made my day just a little better. If you are looking to jazz up a standard bowl of ramen, give this one a shot, it’s well worth it. Hope you enjoy!

 

Indian Chili

I have had a serious craving for Indian food lately. I mean like a really bad craving. Unfortunately there are not a whole lot of Indian restaurants near where I live, so I had to take matters into my own hands and come up with what I am calling Indian chili. I call it that as while my wife, daughter, and I were eating it my wife had asked what the dish was called. I had no clue, but it was hearty, comforting, and truly delicious, plus it was on a Sunday, a day where I normally make chili, so I coined it Indian chili.

Indian Chili Recipe
Indian Chili Recipe

The recipe has everything I love about Indian food, and is loaded with two types of beans, making it a healthy choice for weeknight meals.

Lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of red lentils, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup of red beans, soaked in warm water for 45 minutes
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1 whole carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red chili, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 bonless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • whole cashews, optional
  • Naan, warmed, optional
  • 2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • salt to taste

Start by straining your lentils and beans, and pick out any rocks if you see them. I rarely do, but some times they slip in.

Next, heat a large pot, enough to hold all of this madness, and heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Add in the onions, potatoes, and carrots, and cook until the onion begins to soften. Once softened, add in the ginger, garlic, and chili. Once the garlic perfumes your kitchen, toss in the lentils and beans, and give a good stir. Cook this on medium heat for a couple of minutes, then increase the heat to medium-high and add in the chicken stock. Next add in the chicken, cover, reducing the heat to medium-low, and cook until the red beans have softened, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once the beans have softened, get another small skillet set on medium-high heat, and add the remaining oil.

Indian Chili Ingredients
Indian Chili Ingredients

Once the oil shimmers, get the lid ready to cover, and toss in the mustard seeds. Quickly cover as those seeds are going to start dancing and the oil is going to start popping. Once the seeds pop, add in the turmeric, paprika, and cumin, giving a nice stir. After about 20 seconds of stirring, scoop all of that mixture into the chili pot and give that a good stir. Cook the chili for about another 10 minutes, allowing all of those awesome spices to infuse the chili.

Season the chili with a generous pinch of salt, stir, and taste. If it needs more salt, and it may, feel free to add more.

Ladle the Indian chili into a bowl, sprinkle with cashews, and serve with warm naan.

Talk about a great spin on Indian food, and the comfort of chili, this one is it. If you are looking for a great weekend meal to prepare, and one that gets better for leftovers, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!