Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup

I thought I was seriously living on the edge when I turned my favorite SP&O hoagie into the cheesiest of grilled cheeses. You guys remember that one right? It was a beast! Ever since that sandwich, I’ve been a sausage, pepper, and onion fiend.

Until now.

Now you’re going to need a straight-jacket to get me away from this flavor combo.

Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup!

 I’ll eat the spoon if I have to. I mean business!

Well that was dramatic. And awkward.

Continuing along with my penchant for turning comfort food classics into slurpable soups, I give you the most amazing sausage, pepper, and onion soup. I wish you all could smell how amazing my house smells right now. The aromatics off this pot are killer and so is the in-your-face flavor of this dish! I took my go-to soup base [a combination of veggie broth and fire-roasted crushed tomatoes] and added delicious partially-caramelized onion, an array of tasty bell peppers, and the perfect amount of oomph from my favorite, local, hot Italian sausage.

Toss in a little smashed garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and OMGWHYAREYOUNOTMAKINGTHISRIGHTNOW!?

It’s because I’m still talking, isn’t it? I’ll shut up now.

Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup

Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup!



5.0 from 1 reviews
Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Ingredients
  • 3-5 large links hot Italian sausage
  • 1 + ½ yellow onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ large red bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ large orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3 + ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes [I used this fire-roasted variety]
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • extras:
  • homemade croutons seasoned with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • freshly grated mozzarella and hot habanero cheddar or pepper jack
  • fresh chopped parsley

  • Add the croutons, the cheese, or both! The soup is also phenomenal all on it's own and is both paleo and gluten-free sans toppings!

  • recipe yields approx 2.5 quarts of soup and serves 4
Instructions
  1. Before you begin: You'll be able to belt out your prep-work while your sausage cooks and your onions start to caramelize away. Once you pile everything together, you'll then have enough time to let it simmer on the stove, allowing all the awesome flavors to meld and intensify. A little multi-tasking goes a long way!
  2. First decide how you'd like your onions! Sliced onions will give the soup a French Onion Soup-esque feel to it while diced onions will be uniform with your peppers and a bit easier to fit on the spoon. I went with sliced, both will work fantastically.
  3. Bring a large pot to medium heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil and add your onions. Stir to coat and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir often.
  4. While your onions are cooking, chop your peppers, mince the garlic and prep the remainder of your ingredients.
  5. Cook sausage via your favorite method.
  6. I boil mine for about 20 minutes while the onions get all gorgeous and golden.
  7. Keep stirring your onions to prevent sticking/burning. Once they start to semi-caramelize and take on a golden hue, add your bell peppers, garlic, salt, and black pepper, then allow them to simmer away until the peppers are tender.
  8. Once they've softened, add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, and sliced sausage [which should be done by now!] and reduce heat so the soup is gently bubbling/simmering.
  9. Prep you toppings while the soup simmers and the flavors deepen.
  10. Grate your cheeses [YUM!] and, if desired, crisp a few slices of your favorite bread [I used a fresh garlic + onion loaf] into homemade croutons by spritzing them with oil, seasoning with garlic, salt, and pepper, and toasting in the oven at 350F until golden.
  11. Back to the soup. Give it a taste, and if you'd like a little burst of heat to the soup, add the red pepper flakes. They're not essential but I LOVE the kick!
  12. Serve piping hot with your choice of extras on top and dig in!

So if you’ve been reading for a while, you know I tend to over-explain my recipes a little. Don’t let that fool you! This recipe is super easy and really really ridiculously good. In fact, chances are that while you’re reading this, I’ll have a leftover bowl in my face.

And for those of you still wondering how I manage to feed your faces with new recipes while a toddler scales my leg…

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup

chickpea-photo-assitant

Each recipe is a team effort!

When she’s not stealing the food off the table, the chickpea actually makes a fabulous assistant. She can frequently be found holding my foam board at ridiculous angles, dropping random objects into the shot, closing the shutters, dancing on the tripod, rearranging my props, texting Maria photos of her foot, and, above all else, eating all my food. It’s our thing!

This soup should be your thing. Get on it!

Chicken Parmesan Soup

aka what happens when your chicken parm wants to go for a little swim…

Chicken Parmesan Soup

This soup makes me giddy. There’s something about serving up my favorite foods in soup form that’s just plain fun. It’s also a really great way to lighten up comfort food and make it deliciously freezer-friendly too! It’s a win-win situation in my book. Plus it’s slurpable. So there’s the added bonus of annoying my husband. I’ll take it!

Like most of my recipes, this chicken parmesan soup underwent typical P&C test kitchen shenanigans. I tried three different cooking methods and ingredient line-ups, which is why it took me so ridiculously long to finally post this soup. Luckily it’s well worth the wait!

Dare I be cliche and say the third time’s the charm?

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Cliche or not, it’s downright charming. AND DELICIOUS!  Let’s eat!



4.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Parmesan Soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2.5 quarts
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken breast [weighed post-trimming]
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes [28 oz]
  • 3 cups low-sodium broth [veggie or chicken]
  • ¼ tsp salt plus extra to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3 TBSP olive oil or butter
  • ½ tsp parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried/ground oregano
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • chopped fresh basil, to taste
  • crusty bread [1-2 slices for each bowl]
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
  • freshly grated mozzarella cheese, to taste

  • note: most broths and canned tomatoes are salted, so beyond seasoning the chicken breast, I typically wait until the very end to add any additional salt and pepper. This way you can season it perfectly to suit your tastes! I've made the soup with an added ½ cup of half and half [for creaminess] and without, both are delicious! Enjoy!

  • adapted from Rachel Ray
Instructions
  1. For this recipe you can spend a little extra to save a little extra [time] and grab boneless skinless chicken *or* trim your own and save some cash monies.
  2. Once your chicken is prepped and ready, use a meat tenderizer [I won't tell if you saran wrap your hammer] and pound out the chicken until it's uniform in thickness. This is optional, but will help it cook evenly, and a bit quicker.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I used ¼ tsp salt.
  4. Next heat a large pot [3 quart or larger] to medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the chicken.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes until golden and seared and flip.
  6. Add 1 cup of broth and cover.
  7. Cook approx 8-15 minutes until fully cooked and opaque [cook time will vary depending on thickness of your chicken, you can use a thermometer to check if it's reached 165F]
  8. Once cooked, remove chicken with tongs and shred on a cutting board with two forks.
  9. If you own a stand mixer you can use [this] nifty trick to shred it super fast!
  10. Return shredded chicken to the same pot and add crushed tomatoes and 2 additional cups of broth. Simmer covered while you saute the onions.
  11. Heat a pan to medium heat with 3 tablespoons of butter.
  12. Saute garlic first, to infuse the butter, then add onions and saute until tender and, if time permits, a teeny bit caramelized.
  13. Season the onions with parsley, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano and add to the soup.
  14. Stir in tomato paste and any additional salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer on low until you're ready to dig in.
  15. I typically let mine sit on the stove-top a little longer while I prep the toasts.
  16. Stir in shredded basil just before serving.
  17. Before serving, take this soup to the next level by toasting a few slices of your favorite crusty bread.
  18. Rub the toasts with minced garlic [use a little or a lot!] and top with freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  19. Stick the toasts under the broiler to melt the cheese or simply pop a slice on each bowl of soup and use the microwave to melt it; I love doing this simply because the bread soaks up some of the soup and ends up with a french onion soup-esque topping that sends me swooning.

 going gluten-free? you can skip the bread altogether or use your favorite GF varitey!

Alternatively, you can absolutely cook this bad boy in the slow cooker. My crock-pot test batch was delicious, but the chicken spent so much time getting up close and personal with the veggies that it straight up took over the flavor profile of the dish. As far as soups go, I loved it, friends and family loved it, but we all also agreed that we loved the stove-top version the best, so do with it what you may! If you break out the slow cooker, the flavors will be a little bit different, and I highly suggest carving out a few prep minutes to saute the garlic and onion before adding them to the pot. Cook on high for no more than 4 hours [or low for 6-8], fish out the whole chicken breasts with a pair of tongs, shred, and return to the pot. The key when slow cooking tomato based soups is to avoid over-cooking. Stir in fresh basil just before serving and top with your garlicky parm-toast topping. It was good, but the technique in the recipe above totally won me over like a squealing fangirl.

To freeze, simply pour into your favorite freezer-friendly container, leaving about an inch at the top [soup often expands when frozen], pop it in the freezer, and defrost on a rainy day! Now you’ll have delicious fast food without the fuss! =)

Fork-Shredded Chicken

Chicken Parmesan Soup

If you’re a fan of that ridiculously awesome crouton/cheese combo on top of French Onion Soup you’re going to flip over this. Depending on how you feel about your soup accessories, you can simply dunk the crusty, crunchy, cheesy, toasts into your hot soup and use it as a bonus utensil or allow the garlicky bread and cheese to soak up the delicious broth as you scoop it apart bit by bit with your spoon.

My long winded descriptions do this no justice. Your butt: get it in the kitchen! Stat!

Creamy Mushroom and Brie White Bean Soup

Hoooooomygosh! So! I’m even more hopelessly tech challenged than I originally thought because I’m having permalink problems with a few of my favorite posts. I’ve been troubleshooting for a few weeks and totally utterly give up. I’m sucking it up and re-posting the recipe so it doesn’t vanish into some weird cyber black hole never to return again. The post itself is gloriously out of context but the soup? The soup is gooooood!

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup

Oh hi!  I’m afraid I have ANOTHER soup recipe.  Please don’t throw things.  I promise this is the last one for a while.  Though my fingers may or may not be crossed behind my back right now because I have one more soup recipe in my draft folder.  Lo siento.  I cant help what happens when inspiration strikes.  I also can’t help the obnoxious happy dance I do around the kitchen when inspiration turns into deliciousness.  This particular recipe resulted in a happy dance, bowl lickage [by P -- I'm far too classy for that!  Hah!] and a few texts informing the bestie of my intentions to wed this soup.

Today’s recipe remix is a thicker, creamier, protein-packed version of the Mushroom Brie Soup I posted last month.  I think the pilot and the amazon both scoffed when they learned that I’d be adding beans to the soup.  You might be scoffing too!  I, however, am smiling because not only did it work, its freaking delicious too!  *cue yet another obnoxious happy dance* 

Creamy Mushroom Brie and White Bean Soup

Creamy Mushroom and Brie White Bean Soup

[yields two large bowls or four smaller ones]


Creamy Mushroom Brie White Bean Soup
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg [8oz] button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pkg [8oz] baby bella portobella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 [15oz] can of cannellini beans [or whip them up from scratch!]
  • 4-8oz of brie cheese, rind removed
  • 1.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of dairy [heavy cream, half and half, evap. milk, coconut or almond milk]
  • 1-2 TBSP your favorite healthy oil
  • 2 TBSP cream cheese, room temperature or melted
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp basil
  • 2 cranks of black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • a pinch of parsley and red pepper flakes, to taste
Instructions
  1. Drizzle a little olive/avocado/coconut oil at the bottom of a large pot/pan and saute mushrooms until tender, adding the minced garlic towards the end.
  2. While that's cooking, add your white beans and onion to a pot with veggie stock and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium-low heat and add a bay leaf, ¼ tsp of salt, a crank or two of black pepper, ¼ tsp of basil and a pinch of red pepper flakes [optional] and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the flavors have had some time to mingle, remove the bay leaf and puree the beans/broth [in batches if needed!] with an immersion blender [or a vitamix-type blender] until the beans are creamy and perfectly smooth.
  5. Return to the pot and add your sauteed mushrooms and garlic along with the basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to simmer along with your soup.
  6. Next grab your dairy.
  7. All I had on hand was some coconut milk creamer [thickened, unsweetened coconut cream] so I added a little cream cheese to add extra creaminess to the broth. If you're using half and half or heavy cream you can skip the cream cheese. [or go nuts and add both - up to you!]
  8. Reduce heat so it's at the lowest setting and stir in your dairy of choice. I added the thickened coconut milk and cream cheese this time.
  9. Remove pot from heat entirely and stir in your cubed brie, stirring constantly as it melts.
  10. Taste test, adjust brie and seasonings as desired and serve alongside some crusty garlic bread for a filling and flavorful lunch or dinner! It also makes a great starter to any meal; simply serve up smaller bowls!

vegansarus chefs skip and/or sub the dairy and add wilted kale or spinach
brontosaurus chefs make as written above or add kale/spinach too
t-rex chefs feel free to use chicken broth or stock if desired – resist urge to add bacon
 

Gouda makes an excellent sub for the brie if needed!  

Serving Suggestion: whip up some crusty garlic bread or toasts to go alongside the soup!

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup
Creamy Mushroom Brie and White Bean Soup

so… how was it?

If you’ve been reading, you know it’s definitely happy-dance worthy.  If you haven’t been reading you should probably go sit in the corner =)  I’ll be in the other corner continuing my happy dance.  Love.  This.  Soup!  Though by normal standards it may make 4 servings… P and I split the pot and called it a day.  The funny part was that I was in utter denial over finishing the soup in a sitting.  Surely there were leftovers!  I must have dreamt of them because when I raided the fridge the following day looking for leftovers, I came up empty handed.  I need to buy more mushrooms.  And Brie.  Oh brie!

So I think after I get one last soup recipe out of my system I’m going to return to my adventures in baking!  You can expect lots of breads and muffins with a few cookies and scones sprinkled in for good measure.  I also have a few healthy veggie side dishes and entrees that I’ve been recipe testing and I may or may not a bit of good news that I will reveal the second it’s unjinxable.  Let’s pretend that’s a real word.  Along with fanfreakingtastic…. As in, I hope you had a fanfreakingtasting weekend and are ready to kick this week’s butt!  And eat your veggies.  Always.

 
OoOh! and in case you actually *do* want more soup in your face, try these:
Creamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella BallsPanera Broccoli and Cheese Soup
 
Has anyone else gone soup-nanas? I can’t be the only nutjob dreaming of the stuff!
 
pleasesayyes

Crock-pot Mexican Baked Potato Soup

Hookay soo… if everyone else is allowed to peddle pumpkin and squash like it isn’t still hot as Hades outside, then I’m allowed to make soup. [Mmmm soup!] Of course it is very much still face-meltingly hot outside [at least here in Florida it is!] so I’m doing the right thing and not touching my oven whatsoever. Heck no; we’re doing this slow cooker style baby!

Did you just do a little dance? Crock-pooooooot: I love you!

This soup is the cousin from another oven of my Veggie Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Same concept, different genre. Or something like that. I really shouldn’t be allowed to write blog posts on post-op pain meds. It doesn’t bode well for my cool, calm, intellectual demeanor.

Stop laughing, we have soup to make!

Crock-pot Mexican Baked Potato Soup

Crock-Pot Mexican Baked Potato Soup



5.0 from 3 reviews
Crock-pot Mexican Baked Potato Soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 large jalapenos, diced + seeds removed
  • 2 cups diced yellow onon
  • ⅓ cup choped green onion
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 3 heads of roasted garlic
  • 1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • white or black pepper, to taste

  • extras: a little butter or olive oil can help round out the creaminess of the soup if you'd like, totally optional and yummy both ways!

  • tasty toppings:
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • freshly chopped cilantro
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • chopped green onion
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes [optional]
Instructions
  1. Peel your potatoes and give them a rough chop [nothing fancy!]
  2. Next chop your veggies and toss em in the pot along with your potatoes.
  3. Add veggie broth, salsa verde, cumin salt, oregano and garlic powder.
  4. If you're a pepper fiend, some black or white pepper would be a great addition.
  5. Set your slow cooker to HIGH and cook for 4-5 hours, or, if you're gone for the day, set it to LOW for 8 hours.
  6. You can roast your garlic while the soup cooks by setting your oven to 400F, chopping the tippity top off each garlic head, drizzling with olive oil, and sealing in a foil pouch. Roast for about an hour and then squeeze each head of garlic to release the yummy roasted garlic "butter" from the bulbs and spoon into the soup when it's done! You can also roast a huge batch of garlic earlier in the week to use in recipes [like this one] all week long! In a rush? Saute a few cloves [I would say maybe 4-5 cloves max] of garlic and toss it in the slow cooker with your veggies!
  7. After returning to your slow cooker, you have a very important [ok not that important] decision to make. Do you want your soup chunky or smooth?
  8. For smooth soup, use a potato masher or even an immersion blender to creamify the soup.
  9. For chunky potato soup, grab a wooden spoon and mash the potatoes partially. I went the fabulously chunky route and it came out deliciously thick and hearty.
  10. Ready to eat? Simply mix in your cheese and garnish with all your favorites!
  11. I add extra cheese to mine; like you hadn't guessed already =) Yum!

Crock-pot Mexican Baked Potato Soup

 so… how was it!?

Like Fall in a bowl! Well, I suppose Fall in a bowl would technically be something of the squash or pumpkin variety so… it’s like Cinco de Mayo in a bowl! Bam! Even better! The jalapeno added amazing flavor without making the soup too spicy. I really wouldn’t call it spicy at all… more zesty. Though you could amp up the heat by adding in some of the jalapeno seeds and using a spicy salsa verde. A little hot sauce or cayenne pepper could also do the trick quite nicely! But as is, it’s full of flavor and oh-so-comforting. I’ll turn the other way if you decide to speckle it in crispy chopped bacon. My family did because I made the mistake of leaving the baby’s bacon out next to the soup [girl can get down on some bacon!] and who can help themselves around bacon? It’s great with. Great without. And… why are you still sitting here? Go make some soup!

It’s great the first day, even better the next [soup for breakfast? anyone? It's tradition around here!] and even freezer friendly. Have at it!

Psst! If you’re looking for the classic version of Loaded Baked Potato Soup, don’t fret, I’ve got you covered!

Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

As promised, the recipe that launched a thousand requests: my chicken tortilla soup.

I could write up a fancy intro, or I can get this recipe into your hands as fast as humanly possible so that you can write up your grocery list and get dinner on the table.  Let’s go with option b; my friends are running out of patience and getting antsy in their pantsies over this one.

Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Of course you can belt this one out on your stove top if you’re so inclined.  I; however, am a serial slow cooker-er [pretend that works] and crazy for my crock-pot!  If you don’t own one, I highly suggest at some point in your life, maybe when things start to get crazy with a capital “k,” you pick one up.

 

Ferris Bueller Quote: It is SO choice.
Paul bet me that this reference would be lost on 99.999% of you. Prove him wrong.  He’s such an elitist when it comes to movie quotes.
 
 
Long live melty cheese! // Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

[yields one 5 quart slow cooker full of YUM!]
5.0 from 4 reviews
Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth [or chicken broth!]
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ¼-1/2 cup tomatillo salsa verde
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cups black beans [cooked or canned]
  • 1-2 cups pinto beans [cooked or canned]
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 small corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
  • 2 small onions [approx 2 cups]
  • 2 jalapenos [seeds and veins removed]
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • juice of ½ a fresh lime
  • 2-4 TBSP fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt, to taste [amount added will vary on sodium content of broth + tomatoes/beans]
  • shredded mexican cheese blend
  • crunchy tortilla chips

  • ...plus add your favorites from the list below:

  • tons-o-toppings:
  • greek yogurt or sour cream [I add lime zest to mine for extra oomph!]
  • tortilla strips
  • chopped red onion
  • chopped green onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced jalapenos [for fire and flair]
  • fresh pico de gallo [recipe]
  • fresh guacamole [recipe]
  • sliced avocado

  • For a brothier soup, keep a bit of extra vegetable or chicken broth on hand to add towards the end. I like my soup hearty and skipped the "soupy" soup this time around!
Instructions
  1. Essentially you're going to toss everything in and walk away, but because I like to explain the methods to my madness I'll go into a bit more detail for ya:
  2. Turn your slow cooker to high and add broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomatillo salsa, beans and chicken breasts, whole.
  3. Next dice your bell pepper, jalapeno, and onion and tear your corn tortilla into small pieces before tossing them into the pot as well. The corn tortillas help the soup to thicken a bit and also act as noodles!
  4. Add your seasonings, fresh cilantro, and lime juice and cover.
  5. Within a few hours the chicken breasts should be juicy and perfectly cooked, if you happen to be around, feel free to scoop them out with tongs or a fork, place them on a cutting board, and chop each breast into six large pieces. Now it'll shred oh-so-easily! Use two forks to create pulled/shredded chicken and add it back to your slow cooker. If you aren't home yet you can complete this step once you return. No worries!
  6. The soup will simmer away on high for four-six hours [total time] and make your kitchen smell absolutely divine.
  7. Steal a taste towards the end and add any extra spices or add-ins that float your boat. I typically add a little extra chili and garlic powder and a little fiery cayenne depending on my mood. You may want to add salt or might find that there was enough in your beans/tomatoes/broth to start and leave it as is! Since I add crushed tortilla chips to my final product I only add a pinch of salt to the entire pot. The chips add it in at the end and create the perfect ratio for me! As noted above you can add more broth or keep the soup nice and chunky. I love mine super-hearty so I can attack it with the tortilla chips and a small mountain of grated cheese and scoop up the soup nacho-style. Hot soup, melty cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips... I'm swooning again just thinking about it. Clearly it's time to make another pot!

t-rex chefs did you just faint? I can’t believe I cooked chicken either!

brontosaurus chefs skip the poultry and load up on lots of extra beans and veggies; just remember to amp up the seasonings so you don’t sacrifice flavor!

Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

notes: Depending on the chaos-factor of your lifestyle, you can prep the chopped ingredients and measure everything out ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to fire up the slow cooker, or simply whip the entire thing up on the fly.  I cook a huge batch of beans in the slow cooker early on in the week [like this] so I can make this soup [along with a few other favorite recipes] all week long.  It’s a lifesaver!  The great thing about slow cooker soups, especially tortilla soup, is how flexible it is.  I use it to empty out my crisper drawer on a regular basis and love how it can rescue veggies that are about to wind up a forgotten mess in the back of my fridge.  The recipe above is the all-time favorite combination of ingredients and the one my friends and family go ape over!

no crock pot? no problem!

Boil the chicken breasts in the broth, chop and shred once tender, and then return to the pot to add the remainder of your ingredients.  You’ll want to simmer it for a while to cook the onions and peppers to tender perfection or you can saute them on the side and then add them to your pot of yum.  If you have any stove-top conversion questions feel free to ask a question in the comment section below or shoot me an email! xoxo

Long live melty cheese! // Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Top with your choice of toppings and dig in!  It tastes great right away and even better the following day!  You can keep the soup in an airtight container in your fridge for up to four days or stash it away in the freezer for a cold, rainy day.  Enjoy!

Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

so… how was it? I think a need a bigger crock-pot…. there never seems to be enough leftover to freeze because it’s always attacked and obliterated within two days of me making it.  I may have even had a bowl for breakfast the next morning.  Eggs are so last week.

Looking for a few more reasons to break your [or break down and buy a] slow cooker?

Vegetarian Loaded Baked Potato SoupCauliflower Soup with PestoCrockpot Potato Apple Brie Soup

Slow Cooker Crockpot Cranberry SauceCrockpot Vegetarian Madras LentilsSlow Cooker Black Bean Soup

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Since I already told you a story on Monday, today we are jumping face-first into a recipe!  I took my weekly stash of crock pot black beans and, instead of squirrelling them away in the freezer, made them into the most heavenly black bean soup of my life.  You should probably do the same.

Black Bean Soup... in the crockpot!
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
yields a crock pot full of deliciousness 
[or approx 6-7 cups of soup]
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: mexican
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1-2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup tomatillo salsa verde
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced [approx. 1.5 tsp]
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro [plus extra to taste]
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

  • I ran out, but feel free to add 1 cup of diced bell pepper if you have it! You may also want to keep a cup or two of extra broth on hand if you'd prefer a brothier soup - I like mine a bit hearty and oh-so-chunky!

  • top it with...
  • crumbled cotija cheese [or shredded mexican cheese!]
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • chopped green onion
  • fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Save money by skipping the canned beans! Whip them up from scratch by cooking dry beans in the slow cooker the day before. Simply rinse and sort beans, add them to your crock pot, fill with enough water to cover two inches above the beans, and cook on high for about 3.5 hours [click here for more details] -- it costs less, spares you the sodium and BPA, and tastes great! I like to soak mine overnight before cooking them - feel free to follow suit!
  2. To make the soup, add everything but the toppings to your slow cooker and cover. Cook on high heat for 4 hours and steal a spoonful. To taste, add any extra salt, spices, or cilantro that floats your boat. If you prefer a brothier soup, add a little extra veggie broth and spices at any point in the cooking process. Once your ready to dig in, top with crushed tortilla chips, a sprinkle of cilantro, and some freshly grated or crumbled cheese. Yum!
  3. Store extra soup in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer! It tastes great the first day and even better the next!
feeling fancy?
Zest a little bit of the peel of a fresh lime over a small bowl of greek yogurt or sour cream and whisk together for a refreshing addition atop your soup.  It’s delicious!
vegansaurus chefs skip the cheese on top and you’re good to go!
t-rex chefs feel free to use chicken broth and add seasoned shredded chicken or pulled pork to round out the meal; though this soup is also fantastic and filling without adding meat!
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

so… how was it!? Amazing!  Black beans make such a satisfying soup!  The smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin gave a slightly smoky, hearty flavor to the beans without the use of meat while the salsa, lime juice, and cilantro added a fresh flavor boost!  Add a little crunch with the tortilla chip topping and you’re ready to faceplant into a bowl full of Fall comfort!

Crockpot Black Bean Soup
still hungry?
Crock-Pot Chicken Tortilla SoupVegetarian Loaded Baked Potato SoupCauliflower Soup with PestoCrockpot Potato Apple Brie SoupCreamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella BallsPanera Broccoli and Cheese Soup

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Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup

A few years ago I went off the deep end with curry powder.  I put that stuff on everything.  And I mean ev.er.y.thing!  I sprinkled it in sauces/stir fries/pasta and even snuck it into my zesty fridge pickled jalapenos on a whim.  Did I question my sanity at the time?  Absolutely!  Did I regret it?  Not at all!  I loved every single pairing and practically kicked myself for not having going cuckoo for curry sooner.  Naturally, the next step was to start stirring it into my soups.  Curried soups are amazing!  I started off with the typical Thai-inspired varieties and before I knew it, I was shoveling it into my broccoli and cheese soup to make it “more colorful.”  An added bonus to the burst of color?  It’s flipping delicious.If you’re feeling especially cuckoo for curry you can even whip up a homemade face mask by mixing honey, turmeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon with a bit of curry powder.  Just know that your significant other will ask if you made Indian food and if he can have some too.  Fair warning :)

I totally wasn’t joking when I said I put it on everything… Since when is my face not a viable option?

Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup


Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of fresh broccoli [enough to yield around 3 cups of florets]
  • ½ a medium/small head of cauliflower [approx 1 heaping cup of florets]
  • 1 cup of white/yellow onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups of shredded/grated carrot
  • a few stalks of green onion, chopped [optional but delish!]
  • 3 cups of low-sodium vegetable stock [or chicken/veggie broth]
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 4-6 ounces of gouda [not smoked] freshly grated
  • 4-5 ounces of freshly grated cheddar cheese [sharp or medium]
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 5 TBSP all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 2-4 teaspoons of finely ground curry powder or curry paste [to taste]
  • salt to taste [will vary depending on the butter/broth you choose]
Instructions
  1. Wash and chop your veggies. This can be done ahead of time, early in the week, and sealed in a baggie for a later lunch or dinner [30 min or less! whoo!]. Dice the onions super small, mince the garlic, an shred or grate the carrots if you didn't buy pre-shredded [I use my cheese grater]. For the broccoli, chop ⅔ of it into tiny florets [just cut off as much stem as you can and it'll fall apart in the pot] and then take the remaining ⅓ and give it a rough chop so you have a few large pieces to add to the soup. For the cauli, I chop it super close to the crown and crumble the florets into a bowl with the rest of your vegetables.
  2. Add your veggie stock to a medium-sized pot and bring to a light boil. Next add the broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf and reduce to medium heat. Simmer on medium, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Feel free to test a small spoonful of veg to check for tenderness. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Once the broth is done, start your roux. In a large pot, melt 5 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, whisking constantly. Once melted, slowly add in the 5 tablespoons of flour as you continue to whisk. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the broth from your veggie mixture [its okay if some of the veggies jump in along side it!] and stir to incorporate. Next pour in the veggies and slowly stir in the coconut milk. Return to the burner on very low heat, uncovered. Spoon out the bay leaf and season with the above herbs and spices, adding a little extra of whichever you like to taste. Depending on the saltiness of your broth, you might skip the salt entirely or prefer to add a bit more -- taste and tweak as needed after adding your cheese. Oh yes -- the cheese! Once the soup has warmed back up, stir in the grated cheeses and remove from heat immediately.
  4. Garnish with chopped green onion if you're a fan! What's more fun than topping veggies with even more veggies? Oh yes. Cheese. Feel free to sneak a bit of extra cheese in, on, or around your soup. It's only natural to top cheesy veggie-filled soup with a little extra right? I'm going to go out on a a limb and pretend you said yes. "HECK YES!" Followed by some sort of song and dance.

substitution shenanigans Salted butter will absolutely work in place of unsalted.  Just keep in mind the sodium content of your veggie stock/broth and you’re good to go.  As for the cheeses, using only gouda or only sharp cheddar is a-ok too, though I have the best, creamiest results using the two together!  You can skip the cauliflower if you don’t have any on hand; feel free to use a little extra onion or carrot in place of it or just leave it out altogether.  As for the curry powder, a flavorful Thai yellow curry sauce or paste will also work in this recipe.  Just add it in slowly and taste as you go to get that perfect balance of flavor!  You can also use heavy cream, half and half, or milk in place of the coconut milk if it’s all you have on hand, but the coconut is a fun twist!  Oh and the bayleaf is optional, but delish!  If you have any random questions, feel free to email me =)  Looking for a plane-jane panera broccoli and cheese soup knock-off?  [click here] for the recipe!

Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup ...in a bread bowl!

crazy for bread bowls?

For a fun first course to a meal, serve this soup in hollowed out dinner rolls instead of a big bulky bread bowl!
This recipe will make around 10-12 rolls worth of soup depending on the size you choose.  I purchased extra crusty freeze and bake dinner rolls from my local grocery store and, after baking, scooped out the center with a pairing knife.  If you’re an expert baker, feel free to bake your own fresh rolls for this!  You can serve them up as a fun weeknight meal for your family or whip them out as a fancy party appetizer.  [Though I have it on good authority that they're equally awesome devoured while standing around in your kitchen in your PJs]  The built in portion control will give you the yummy indulgence of a bread bowl without the bulk.

Need a veggie visual? 

The broccoli will be your most abundant veggie, though most of mine was hiding under the rest of the veg:

Veggie Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup ...in a bread bowl!


so… how was it? 
I’ve already annihilated the leftovers quite fiercely.  They didn’t stand a chance in my fridge =)  Adding the extra veggies and curry along with the addition of these mini dinner roll bread bowls was almost too good to be true.  I froze a bowl for Paul so he wouldn’t miss out on the deliciousness but I’m starting to doubt my self control.  I might  have to steal that bowl for myself…  Sorry P!


Though if I eat his bowl of soup I’ll have an excuse to make more, right?  I’ll take it!
 
Creamy Curry Broccoli and Cheese Soup ...in a bread bowl!
 
 
Need a few extra soup recipes to keep you warm?
Crock-Pot Chicken Tortilla SoupVegetarian Loaded Baked Potato SoupCauliflower Soup with PestoCrockpot Potato Apple Brie SoupCreamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella BallsPanera Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Oh yes! Creamy Broccoli and Cheese Soup that’s quick, easy, and entirely from scratch! This homemade Panera Bread copycat is filling and flavorful and is always met with a request for seconds [and thirds!] by my family and friends.

Sketch-Free Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Last week I threatened promised that I’d share one last soup recipe from my soup-a-palooza recipe testing.  You can pretend to be surprised, but I’m banking a few of you stopped by today for that very thing.  The rest of you took off running =)  Come back I love you!!!!

Since downing a big bowl of the stuff at Panera last week, I haven’t been able to get broccoli and cheese soup off my mind.  It also happens to be one of Paul’s favorites and has been requested non-stop since the temperature began to drop outside.  I did a quick google perusal of homemade broccoli cheddar soup recipes and almost fell over.  Oodles and oodles of additive-rich canned cheddar soup, cream of broccoli soup, and an ever-present smorgasbord of velveeta “cheese product.”  Oh the franken-foods!  I nearly fell out of my chair when the faux-cheesiest of them all had bajillions of 5 star reviews.  Come on kids!  We’re better than that!  Eat real food.

Speaking of eating real food, Panera Bread has a similar philosophy with their menu!  Their bakery fresh breads and pastries beat the pants off anything you could find lurking on a dusty shelf.  And if any of those yummy artisan breads are left over at the end of the day?  They donate it to local organizations!  Kudos, PB!  They also offer an array of seasonal dishes on their menu and have an amazing selection of soups on rotation.  Over the years I’ve tried their vegetarian black bean, their creamy tomato, and even their garden veggie soup with pesto.  Of course my go-to will forever be the broccoli and cheddar.  If I’m going to drive two towns over for soup, chances are that will be the one I get =)  Most of my girlfriends live an hour or so away so when our crazy schedules align we’ll meet at our half-way point [at Panera!] to play catch-up and stuff our faces.

The hardest part isn’t the drive… or the scheduling…  Nope!  The hardest part is not snorting soup through our noses while we laugh at each other.

I won’t name any names, but I will give you soup!

Sketch-Free Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Creamy  Broccoli and Cheese Soup that’s quick, easy, and entirely from scratch! This homemade Panera Bread copycat is filling and flavorful and is always met with a request for seconds [and thirds!] by my family and friends. It’s music to my ears!

Sketch-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup

Best Ever Broccoli and Cheese Soup: a family favorite!

I made this soup 5 times.  Five.  This one was the BEST!  Thick, creamy, cheesy, broccoli-y [pretend that's a proper adjective!] and positively swoon-worthy.  Not to throw my own confetti or anything. Hah! This soup is quick and easy [30 minutes or so and it's good to go!] but I included uber-detailed instructions to help you out in the kitchen.  Hopefully you don’t mind!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 big bowls
Ingredients
  • one bunch of fresh broccoli [enough for a few cups of chopped tops]
  • 2 cups vegetable [or chicken!] broth or stock
  • ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, plus plenty extra for topping [freshly grated]
  • 1 heaping cup of regular gouda cheese [freshly grated, rind removed]
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots [or a little extra!]
  • 1 small white onion [about ⅔ cup or 1 cup, chopped]
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half and half [or heavy cream], room temperature
  • 3 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp dried basil
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt [will vary based on salt content of your stock/broth]
  • a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. First ze veggies: Chop em! Dice the onions super small, mince the garlic, an shred the carrots if you didn't buy pre-shredded. This can all be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later. For the broccoli, chop ⅔ of it into tiny florets [just cut off as much stem as you can and it'll fall apart in the pot] and then take the remaining ⅓ and give it a rough chop so you have a few large pieces to add to the soup. Totally optional!
  2. Add your veggie broth to a pot on medium-high heat, add your ⅔ of your broccoli [about 2 cups of florets] as well as your onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf. Simmer on medium, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
  3. Once the broth is done, start your roux: In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, whisking constantly. Once melted, slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour as you continue to whisk.
  4. For a thicker soup, use an extra tablespoon of each. I skipped it. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the broth from your veggie mixture [its okay if some of the veggies jump in along side it!] and stir to incorporate.
  5. Next pour in the veggies and slowly stir in 1 cup of room temperature half and half.
  6. Return to the burner on very low heat, uncovered.
  7. Spoon out the bay leaf and season with the above herbs and spices, adding a little extra of whichever you like to taste. I personally adore the pinch of nutmeg in this soup but feel free to leave it out if it's just not your cup of tea! The soup is great both ways! Depending on the saltiness of your broth, you might skip the salt entirely or prefer to add a bit more. Taste and tweak as needed after adding your cheese.
  8. Oh yes: the cheese! Once the soup has warmed back up, stir in the grated cheeses [slowly and in small batches] and remove from heat immediately. I won't tell if you sneak extra cheese in your soup =)
  9. That extra broccoli you left on the side? Blanch in boiling water, steam in your microwave, or basically cook it however you'd like, then stir that green goodness into your completed soup for great texture and an extra burst of broccoli.
  10. Garnish with a little extra grated cheddar and a sprinkle of parsley and even a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes if you'd like! Anything goes!

Feeling fancy? garnish with red pepper flakes, parsley, and extra  sharp cheddar
Gluten-Free? To make this soup gluten-free you can use pureed potato to thicken the soup without using a flour-based roux or use sweet rice flour in place of all purpose flour.Cheese-based soups and sauces are a bit tricky, since cheese has a borderline multiple personality.  It starts out solid, begins to melt, then thickens, then [if temps are too high] jumps right back into solid territory by curdling.  Best way to avoid that last little quirk? Use full fat dairy products for your cream base [they stand up to heat better than lowfat dairy], add your dairy products towards the end of the cooking process on a lower heat setting, and also combine sharp cheeses with creamy ones, for better melting and texture.  I chose higher quality, full-fat cheeses to ensure maximum flavor and melting.  The result?  Pure creamy deliciousness!

You’ll wind up with two BIG bowls of the stuff or four appetizer-sized portions to pair with sandwiches or salads.  Ooh!  It also reheats like. a. champ. And it’s freezer friendly!  LOVE that!

Sketch-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
Panera Copycat Broccoli and Cheese Soup

so… how was it?
Comfort in a bowl!  I’m in love.  Wanna round it out into a full meal?  Add a piping hot veggie and cheese panini or even serve up the soup in a bread bowl!  Am I allowed to swoon now?  I’m swooning.

Disclosure: This post is part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker’s program. I received a stipend to try Panera’s soups and create an original recipe inspired by the experience.  As always, all opinions and content are my own!  Thanks for allowing me to occasionally work with brands to help cover blog fees; your support means the world to me! xo

Still Hungry?
Creamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella BallsVegetarian Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Sweet Potato Irish NachosQuinoa Bruschetta SaladHomemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

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Cheesy Cauliflower Soup with Asparagus Pesto

My soup obsession runneth over.  Part of me is convinced that it’s the cold weather beckoning me to make pot after pot of hot steamy comfort food but, honestly, I’m 99% certain that it has everything to do with my extreme winter laziness.  If I make a giant batch of soup on the weekend then for the next four days or so, all I have to do is reheat a bowl and pour it into my face.  It’s too easy.  And let’s not get started on the arsenal building in my freezer right now.  Soup is everywhere in this kitchen.  In the fridge, the freezer, and my belly.  Just not in the pantry.  I vowed that this year any and all soups that enter the vicinity of my face will be homemade. No salty, processed soups here!

Creamy Cauliflower Soup w/ Asparagus Pesto
Cheesy Cauliflower Soup with Asparagus Pesto

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup with Asparagus Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • for the soup:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 white/yellow onion, chopped to yield 1 cup
  • 1 large russet potato [optional but delicious!] peeled and diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1.5-2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1.5 cups [12 oz] of evaporated milk [heavy cream or half +half will work in a pinch!]
  • ¼-1/2 cup of asparagus pesto [click for recipe or see below]
  • 1 TBSP your favorite healthy oil [olive, coconut, etc...]
  • ½ TBSP [or more!] of dried parsley
  • ¼-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cranks of freshly ground black pepper
  • a few ounces of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or peccorino romano cheese
  • Garnish with dried parsley and red pepper flakes

  • for the pesto:

  • approx 18 spears of asparagus
  • ½ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts [or walnuts!]
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh cloves of garlic, smashed
  • ¼-1/2 tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Any homemade or store-bought pesto will work, but the asparagus pesto? Flipping delicious. Use the leftover pesto for topping pasta, paninis, flatbread pizzas, and even swirled into quiche. It's also freezer-friendly!
Instructions
  1. First whip up your pesto. Lightly blanch the asparagus [directions] and chill with icy cold water or a dip in a ice bath. Add asparagus along with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parm, salt, pepper, basil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and pulse gently. Scrape the runaway bits off the side and pulse again until incorporated. Viola! Pesto!
  2. Next grab your cauliflower and start the soup!
  3. Clean, trim, and separate your cauliflower into large florets. [click here for a visual of the process] Blanch diced potato and cauliflower chunks for approx 15-20 minutes in shallow, boiling water. I'm in the habit of seasoning the water with some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of kosher salt -- feel free to follow suit! Once the cauliflower is tender, remove from heat and strain in a colander. Halt the cooking process by rinsing with ice cold water or plunging florets in a bowl of ice water.
  4. While your veggies are boiling, saute [or caramelize!] your onions with a tablespoon or so of your favorite healthy oil, adding the garlic towards the end to prevent burning. Add the cauliflower, potato, onion, and garlic to your blender or food processor and puree.
  5. Grab a large pot and add your pureed cauliflower mixture to a cup and a half of vegetable stock. Heat to medium-high, stirring frequently and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Once heated, reduce to low and add your evaporated milk and stir. If you'd like to thin the soup at this point, feel free to add an extra half cup of veggie stock. I like left mine thick! Next step? Season to taste. I added a pinch of salt, a crank of cracked black pepper, a half-tablespoon of parsley and and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. You'll be adding pesto at the end which will deliver a huge boost of garlicky flavor -- don't worry if the soup tastes a bit plain at this point. Stir for another minute or so [until its nice and HOT!] and then remove from the burner.
  6. Top with a heaping spoonful or two of gorgeous green asparagus pesto and a small mountain of freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese. Garnish with red pepper flakes and parsley for a pop of color. When it's time to dig in, swirl your toppings into the soup and have at it.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup w/ Asparagus Pesto
Creamy Cauliflower Soup w/ Asparagus Pesto

Planning for leftovers?  This reheats like. a. champ.

so… how was it?
Let’s chat for a second, shall we?  I love my twice-baked cauliflower potatoes.  I love my caramelized onion and roasted garlic mashed cauliflower.  So by default I should pretty much love this soup, right?  Obviously.   However, the amount of love I have for this hot, sexy, steamy bowl of soup is unreal.  It exceeded my expectations!Originally when I sketched out the plans for this soup I wasn’t convinced it would even prove edible.  I’ve never actually had cauliflower soup before.  I immediately worried I might hate it, and texted my recipe wench for input.  To say she encouraged the experiment would probably be putting it lightly.  I think I may have heard her scream “YES!” all the way from NYC.  Though that’s not a new word for her.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup w/ Asparagus Pesto

I’m so so SO glad I took a chance on this one.  It’s officially now my favorite way to eat cauliflower on the planet.  Though if I were to eat it on the moon I might prefer it to be covered in frosting and sprinkles or something equally fancy.  I’m getting ahead of myself here.  It’s good.  Really good.

The swirl of pesto gives the cauliflower base a foodie flair, and delivers a garlicky punch of flavor that compliments without overpowering.  So stir in some pesto, a pinch or two of of peppery parm or romano cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley and red pepper flakes and prepare to swoon with every bite.

 
What’s your favorite way to eat cauliflower?
Please don’t say you dislike it [try it again!] or that you really do want it with frosting and sprinkles.  I might need to have you committed.

Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup

Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup…minus the cream!

Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup... in the #crockpot!

I’m a teensy bit obsessed with potato-based soups.  This one, much like my loaded baked potato soup, comes out thick and creamy without an ounce of cream in the recipe!  No flour… no thickening agents… just fluffy potatoes, sweet apples, and a little buttery brie for good measure.  It’s positively dreamy.

 

Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup
5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup: in the Crock-pot!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium-large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large apples, cored, peeled, and chopped [I used honey crisp]
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock [I use this one] plus an extra cup or so if desired
  • 8-10 ounces of brie cheese, cubed [rind removed]
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½-1 TBSP dried parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • garnish with apple slices and freshly chopped green onion
Instructions
  1. First decide whether you want to whip this up on the stove top or let the crock pot do the work for you! I don't do stove top soups super-often, and highly suggest whipping out the crock pot. It's my best friend. Well, aside from P... and the amazon... and... whatever! It rocks. Do it.
  2. Scrub, peel, and cube both your potatoes and apples into chunks. Nothing intricate, just a rough chop.
  3. Add your fruit, veggies, garlic, bay leaf, salt and vegetable stock to the crockpot and cover.
  4. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low depending on the shenanigans you have on tap for the day.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to smush any unruly cubes into submission.
  6. At the very end, reduce heat to low/warm and stir in the brie until melted. Adjust salt and pepper if/as needed and steal a bite for taste testing purposes, of course. You may now faceplant into the soup.
  7. As mentioned below, you can sneak in a little extra broth/stock to change the thickness of the soup, add a teeny bit at a time and taste as you go. Always add the brie at the end, it's not a huge fan of excessive heating.
  8. Garnish with thinly sliced apple and chopped green onion.
brontosaurus chefs you can sub white cheddar for brie in a pinch! <3

t-rex chefs feel free to sub chicken stock and top soup with a little crumbled bacon [ahhh! the b-word!]

stove top directions for those of you that still need to procure a crock-pot:

Scrub, peel, and cube both your potatoes and apples into dime-sized chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil [with enough water to cover the cubes] and season with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Add fruit and veggies to the pot and boil until tender, about 10-20 minutes. Drain and fork mash a bit to desired consistency. Chunky, smooth, whatevahh! Next add veggie stock, garlic, bay leaf, salt and parsley. Stir, reduce temp to low, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until your lumpy potatoes and apples are smooth and creamy. Stir constantly. The soup will thicken quite a bit, and the longer it cooks, the more the lumps will vanish. Or you can whip out an immersion blender if you have an impatient streak =) Once desired smoothness is reached, reduce heat, and stir in the brie until melted. If needed, stir in a bit more veggie broth to thin the soup, just not too much as to distract from the flavor of the apples and brie. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in green onions, and enjoy!

 

Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup... in the #crockpot!
Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup... in the #crockpot!

so… how was it? P spent the entire photoshoot stealing spoonfuls behind my back and I’m fairly certain the ginger licked his bowl clean…. Success!  I kept my standard herb/spice arsenal at bay to highlight the flavor of the apples and brie and literally had to hide a bowl for myself in the fridge to ensure that I’d get a bowl.  I’m not sure how it’s possible for a soup to be both thick and hearty yet light and delicate… but I’ll take it!  Actually I’ll take two!

Special thanks to msexy hand model for helping with the shoot.  
Creamy Potato Apple Brie Soup... in the #crockpot!

I kind of love him.

Everyday I fall more in love with you.  Except yesterday.  Yesterday you were pretty annoying

Just kidding Paul!  I would never misbehave so close to Christmas.

*cough*pony*cough*

 
Craving a few more crockpot essentials? 
Try these:
Crockpot Black BeansSlow Cooker Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
Crockpot Vegetarian Madras LentilsVegetarian Loaded Baked Potato Soup