Mexican beef soup

It’s winter time again and I love nothing better than a big bowl of hearty soup.  This was one of those recipes that evolved as I made it.  I didn’t actually set out to make soup, but that’s how it turned out and it was delicious!

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mexican beef soup

  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 carrot, diced or grated
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Brown onion and celery in a large frypan in some butter and/or olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add chorizo and mince and cook until mince is browned.  Add carrots, zucchini, tomato and spices and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add enough water to cover and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  You can adjust the amount of water to suit your soupy preference 🙂

I served this with grated cheese and a big dollop of sour cream!

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Dad’s famous beef and tomato soup

imageThis one’s an old favourite in my family.  We call it “Dad’s” because he’s the one who makes it (he’s pretty darn good in the kitchen!), but he actually got the recipe out of a very old Woman’s Weekly cookbook.

This is a very filling soup – it’s a meal in itself…

Beef & tomato soup

1/2 cup uncooked rice

4 rashers bacon, diced

250g beef mince

2 beef stock cubes

1 onion, chopped

500g tomatoes, chopped

salt and pepper

Cook rice in 2 1/2 cups boiling salted water until tender.  Do not drain.  Saute meats together until browned, breaking up mince with a fork.  Add to cooked rice with 2 cups of water.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add stock cubes and onion and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45mins.  Add tomatoes and simmer for a further 15mins.

 

I often use a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh – it tastes just as good and I always have canned tomatoes.

You can add small diced vegetables such as potato, sweet potato or others if you like.

 

 

Chicken meatballs

Not yet cooked… Ready for the freezer

This is the first time I’ve made these and they turned out pretty well.  The beauty of meatballs or rissoles etc is that you don’t really have to stick to a recipe – just get the consistency right and include certain ingredients that bind them together and they will turn out beautifully every time.

When it comes to freezing meatballs, what I usually do is mix them up, then roll into balls (dampen your hands with water before rolling – they will roll so much easier).  I then pop them onto a tray lined with baking paper then pop them into the freezer for about half an hour to harden slightly.  Then I can pop them into a freezer bag and they won’t stick together in a bit of a gluggy mess.  All I have to do before cooking, is take out the amount I want to cook and cook them!

I usually would add some grated onion to meatballs – but I had run out!

 

Chicken meatballs

500g chicken mince

1 small potato, grated

1/2 carrot, grated

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ginger (out of the jar)

1 squirt of chilli paste

1/4 cup hoi sin sauce

1 egg

salt & pepper

breadcrumbs

 

Combine all the ingredients, mixing in enough breadcrumbs to form a mix that will roll into balls.  Roll the mixture into balls – I usually use about a big teaspoon full, but you can do larger if you want big meatballs or rissoles.  If freezing, pop them onto a tray (as per instructions above).  To cook, preheat a pan with some olive oil about 1-2cm deep.  Cook meatballs in batches, turning until cooked and the meatballs have turned a lovely dark caramel colour.

 

 

What to do with the meatballs?  Lots of options of course, limited only by your imagination.

Appetizers with a sweet chilli dipping sauce

You could serve them on a bed of mash drizzled with some chicken gravy

I heated a can of tomato and basil soup, cooked a cake of dried noodles and mixed them in a bowl topped with the chicken meatballs… Very delish!

Winter time = soups…

Winter time vegie soup

Yep, we’re heading into the cooler months rather quickly now.  Combined with the dreaded flus and colds that regularly pop their heads up at this time of year, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a steaming bowl of homemade soup…  I’ve got my favourites, and I’m happy to dig into a bowl of canned soup too – its tasty, quick and convenient.  I love to dip into a bowl of tomato soup with cheesy toast on the side.

But to get back to the homemade soups – after all, that’s kinda what this blog is about!  I grew up on homemade Pea & Ham soup, Chicken soup and Dad’s famous Beef & Tomato Soup (a recipe I’ll share soon as I make a batch up)…

Tonight’s recipe is for a Vegetable Soup.  I’m not one much for exact quantities when it comes to most soups, casseroles and stews.  I’ll toss in approximate amounts that I used, but I’ve found this soup tastes pretty good as long as there are plenty of vegies in it – the changes in portions will just slightly alter the taste but it will taste bloody good anyway – I guarantee it!

Vegetable Soup with a bit of curry to spice it up!

1 onion

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

a couple of celery sticks

2 or 3 rashers of bacon (optional, I just love the taste bacon gives this soup)

1 tablespoon of curry paste (you can reduce the amount if you don’t like curry, or alternatively, use curry powder for a milder taste)

1/2 cup red lentils

3 or 4 medium sized potatoes

half a small pumpkin ( I use Jap pumpkin (aka Kent))

1 or 2 medium sized sweet potatoes

1 or 2 carrots

some spinach

Chicken stock, water, salt and pepper

Chop up all your vegies before you start – this makes it easier!  I always roast my pumpkin before adding it to the soup – it adds a lovely flavour.  You don’t have to roast it if you don’t want to.  You could also add some herbs here too – my garden is not healthy at the moment and dried herbs just don’t cut it!  I would usually add some lovely fresh parsley to this soup.

Heat a large saucepan or stockpot and add some olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, celery and bacon and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the curry paste and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute or so until fragrant.  Add the lentils and remaining vegies and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until well combined.  Add a cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock, season with salt and pepper, and enough water to just about cover the vegies.  You can always add more water later.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until vegies are soft and starting to fall apart.  This usually takes about 20-30 minutes depending on your stove.    Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before using a blender or food processor to whizz the soup into a nice smooth consistency.  I personally don’t mind a few slightly chunky bits in there to keep it interesting.  If the soup is too thick, add some more hot water and mix before blending.

With salt, remember it’s easier to add more salt than to try and fix a dish that’s too salty!  Don’t leave it out when cooking, but sprinkle, then taste.  I think it’s better to leave it just shy of just right while you’re cooking – you can always add a dash more when it’s served.

 

Chicken, spinach & pumpkin ravioli soup

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Here’s something I threw together tonight, and it turned out so nicely….

2 or 3 chicken thigh fillets, diced

2 or 3 bacon rashers, diced

some frozen spinach

fresh ravioli (about a couple of handfuls

1 can pumpin soup (not the condensed kind)

I browned the chicken in a big frypan, then added in the bacon and spinach.  I then added in the pumpkin soup and cooked it all until heated through.  I then tossed in the cooked ravioli and enjoyed….!

It turned out lovely and chunky (just how I like my soups) but you could adjust the amounts to suit yours.  Quick and easy, and so tasty to boot…

Even better, all for me as hubby won’t eat anything with spinach in it!