Week…oh who knows!

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I’m back!  Remember how I said in the past that I’m terrible at committing to things?  Apparently I didn’t agree with the deal I made with myself to post every 2 weeks.

Despite the long gap in posts, I’m actually not very far behind on my weekly soups.  In fact, I’m not behind at all as of today (since the soup I made tonight for dinner counts for last week’s soup).  I’ve already got this week’s soup planned as well.

Since I was reading over my last post (from a month and two weeks ago…oops!) I’m reminded about the lovely wine and keyboard incident.  Sadly, my keyboard has not fully recovered and the keys are still a bit sticky.  I guess I’ll just have to get used to it since I already sacrificed one key in my last cleaning effort, and I don’t want to lose anything more important than my down key.

Not a whole lot has happened since my last post, besides making several soups, but this past weekend has been quite busy.  My little guy turned 3 last week!  To celebrate, my little family checked into the Red Caboose Motel for a night, where you sleep in a real, refurbished train caboose right next to the Strasburg Railroad (the birth place of all Day out with Thomas trains, by the way, and home base to the Thomas that is a real steam train and not just a shell that is pushed by a diesel train…boy, I know way too much about this topic).  We’ve been to the railroad quite a few times, since it is only half an hour from home and ten minutes from my in-laws, but this was our first time staying overnight near-by.

First of all, as a local in Lancaster County, aka Amish country, I find it fascinating that our area is such a popular tourist location.  And not just stateside.  I’ve seen quite a few different nationalities represented in the tourists I’ve seen around town.  My husband asked me as we passed a buggy-ride tour if I had any interest in going on one this trip, and my answer was “why would I want to ride slowly down the roads that we drive all the time?”  I guess I can understand the novelty, but the appeal is certainly lost on me!

We had a really great time on our train-filled weekend though, which included a ride on the train, a trip to both the railroad (big train) museum and the national toy train (little train) museum, and a night in our caboose.  If Erick is still into trains next year, maybe we’ll do it again!  And we got him an annual pass this time, so I’m sure we’ll be back for another train ride much sooner.

I’m trying to figure out how to document my soups since I’m so far behind on posting them.  Obviously, the soup I made tonight is the freshest in my mind and on my palette, but I’m also just a little bit too OCD to go out of order!  So today’s post will be the next two soups in line after my last post.  And hopefully I’ll find some time later this week to post the next two, so I’ll be caught up before no time!  Or I’ll wait another month and a half to post again, in which case this blog is a hopeless cause.  Let’s all cross our fingers for the former.

For week 10, I made bean and bacon soup, which I pinned from the blog Taste and Tell.  First off, let me apologize for my picture.  I’ll be the first to admit…it looks like vomit.  I REALLY should have saved some bacon for garnish instead of snacking on it so much that there was barely enough to stir into the soup.  The picture on the original blog is much prettier, so check that one out too if you decide to give this one a try, and it will look much more appetizing.

Despite its looks, this was a very tasty soup.  I’m not really a fan of beans, and I never have been.  I don’t mind the flavor, but I cannot stand the texture of bean skins.  Since this soup uses Great Northern Beans, that wasn’t an issue, or at least I didn’t notice any bean skins.  I think it’s usually darker beans that have a bean skin problem.

Anyway, this was a really tasty soup.  I love anything with bacon, so that’s always a plus.  I also love any excuse to use my immersion blender.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I originally got it when I was planning to make my own baby food when Erick was little.  I think I used it once for that purpose, then I gave in to the convenience of store-bought baby food and (oh man I love them) pouches!  I’m already just waiting for the day that Tilda can eat baby food out of a pouch, and she hasn’t even started on solids yet.  What was I talking about?  Oh right, I love my stick blender!  I blended this soup to a consistency that was a bit chunky, but it was almost creamy from some of the blended beans.

Week 11 brings us to Cream of Broccoli Soup.  This may sound very similar to the Broccoli and Cheese soup I did back in week 8, but it’s definitely different (although I added enough cheese on top that it could have warranted the same name).  This recipe came from one little project at a time, as always through Pinterest.

I really liked this soup precisely because it is different from broccoli and cheese soup.  It had a really good broccoli flavor, but wasn’t as heavy.  The ingredients are very simple, and there aren’t any fancy or complex flavors to the soup, but that is one of its charms.  I blended it (stick blender again!) just a bit so that there were still recognizable pieces of broccoli.  And I did top it with a healthy handful of cheese, because you can never go wrong with cheese.  Side note: actually that’s not true, since my next soup went VERY wrong with cheese, but that’s a story for another time.

Just to give you some context, this week marks week 15 of the year, so I’ve got another 3 catch-up soups to post, then back to the current stuff.


Bean & Bacon Soup

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

8 oz smoked bacon, diced
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
3 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a soup pot or Dutch oven until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Discard all but 2 T bacon grease.
  2. To the hot bacon grease, add the onions, carrots, and celery.  Cook over medium heat until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.  Stir in the chicken broth and beans.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low.  Let simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Use an immersion blender to a chunky consistency, or put half the soup in a blender, blend until smooth, and stir into remaining soup.  Stir in the tomato sauce and 3/4 of the reserved bacon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Return the soup to a simmer until hot, about 5 minutes.  Serve topped with the remaining bacon (assuming you didn’t snack it all away!).

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Cream of Broccoli Soup

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 8

Ingredients

4 T butter
3 broccoli crowns
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
3 T flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese, for garnish

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and broccoli.
  3. Saute until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the flour reaches a light brownish color.
  5. Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Add milk.
  8. With a hand blender, puree the soup.
  9. Serve hot with shredded cheese on top.

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