CEiMB: Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup

This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was my choice!  I had a hard time choosing as there are so many fantastic looking recipes in Ellie’s cookbooks.  I decided to choose this recipe for Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup as it sounded like a nice, warm, hearty soup to start of the new year, and it brings back fond memories of high school.  My best friend and I had this soup (school cafeteria style, so not nearly as delicious!) almost everyday while in high school, along with some grapefruit.  Kind of random, but we enjoyed it! 

While we enjoyed the school version of this soup, Ellie’s version is so much better!  Even my mushroom hating husband ate two bowls of this, as did the toddler.  The hardest part of this soup was locating barley in my grocery store!  Once that was taken care of, the rest was easy.  I really, really enjoyed this and will definitely make it again and again.  I followed Ellie’s recipe except I omitted the celery (I hate celery!!), and I forgot to add the parsley at the end.  Thanks to all of the other CEiMB cooks for cooking along with me this week…I hope you all enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!

Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup
Source: From The Food You Crave by Ellie Kreiger, page 89

4 tsp olive oil
3/4 pound beef stew meat (preferably from the shank), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces button mushrooms, coarsley chopped
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup) (I OMITTED)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
6 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 cup hulled or pearled barley
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried (I used dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I OMITTED)

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the meat with the salt and pepper.  Add the meat to the pot and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.  Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pot.  Add the onions and mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat, stirrign, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Add the broth, tomatoes, browned meat, barley, and thyme adn bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the barley is cooked and the meat is tender, about 50 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of parsley.

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Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn

Well, if you watch the news at all, you’ve certainly heard of all the snow that has fallen throughout the Great Lakes area.  Unfortunately, we live right in the “snowbelt” not far from Lake Erie, and we’ve been pummeled with snow over the last several weeks.  In fact, last I checked a few hours ago, we had 18 inches of snow in our front yard.  This is after we got 18 inches last week that mostly melted before this storm hit.   Needless to say, I am very much over all of this snow!  So, when I was thinking of what to make for dinner on Sunday night to combat the cold and snow, this soup/chili was the perfect fit!  This was very delicious and will be made time and time again during what appears to be a miserably cold winter here.  In fact, this will replace what was my favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe.  YUM 🙂

Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn

Source:  Adapted from Elly Says Opa!

2 medium (about 12-14 oz. total) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can fire-roasted diced or fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 qt. low sodium chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup corn
your favorite garnishes (we used light sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, then stir in the garlic. After about a minute, add the tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the mixture together for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(At this point, use an immersion blender to smooth out the soup if you don’t want chunks of tomato). Add the chicken broth to the pot, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then and add the chicken and black beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the corn and simmer, uncovered, just a few minutes until the corn is tender. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

CEiMB: Tortellini-Spinach Soup

I’ve mentioned before that soup is one of my favorite foods, so I’m always on the lookout for a good soup recipe that is relatively healthy.  Talk about hitting the motherload here…not only was this soup easy to throw together and absolutely delicious, but it is very healthy too!  I’m not a vegetable eater, but I made myself try a bite of this soup without picking out anything, and I loved it.  Definitely a great way for me to sneak in my veggies.  I followed the recipe as written, except I omitted the celery as I’m not a fan.  The husband enjoyed this as well (the toddler refused to eat any…apparently green pasta creeps him out our something…), so this will definitely be something I make again!

You can find the recipe for this delicious soup on Bri’s blog, Yoshimi vs. Motherhood, and also here.  You can also find it on page 90 of Ellie Kreiger’s cookbook, So Easy.  Check out the CEiMB blogroll to see how everyone else enjoyed this.  Up next week is Beef Stroganoff with Green Beans and Grainy Mustard.

CEiMB Rewind: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

This is another recipe the CEiMB group made prior to my joining, and was also one I really wanted to try after buying Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave.  As usual with Ellie’s recipes, this one did not disappoint.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the amount of onions and the celery, so next time I will cut the onion in half and omit the celery.  Other than that, this was a great dinner for a chilly, rainy day.  It comes together easily and I’m happy to have another soup recipe to add to my repoitre.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

4 tsp olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole-wheat
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pot.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling. 

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs.  Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while.  Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened.  Do not let the soup come to a boil.  Add the cooked chicken to the soup.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Source:  From page 86 of Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

First, let me say I am loving being back in my kitchen!  It looks like a tornado went through there, but I’m finally feeling back in my element.  This soup is definitely one of my favorites, and the best part is, each bowl only has 243 calories!  Healthy and delicious…my kind of meal!  I usually double or triple this recipe so I can enjoy it for lunch during the week.

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder
Servings:Points+: 7

1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup cubed peeled potato
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup 2% milk
2 ounces VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cubed
2/3 cup cubed cooked chicken breast

In a large saucepan, combine the broth, potato, corn, garlic, marjoram, thyme and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually add to vegetable mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted.  Add the chicken; heat through. 

Source:  From Taste of Home