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I’m starting to wonder how many vegetable soups there can be out there. So many of them appear to be the same thing. It’s only when you look closely at the ingredients that you realize the nuances are what makes each soup unique. For instance, leeks and onions are very different things. Types of potatoes vary widely. And most importantly, when you add pasta to a vegetable soup, the door to a world of wonderful opens right up. I love pasta in vegetable soup because it adds a velvety smooth texture. It also adds bulk and interest, but those two things come after the texture.

The Recipe

This soup is a bit different than the other soups I’ve shared recently. The ingredient list for this soup is fairly involved. Not that anything is exotic or difficult to find, it’s just that there’s a wide variety of necessary vegetables. Also, this soup is considered a “Campania” minestrone because it’s prepared with all fresh vegetables. The Campania comes from the region from which the vegetables can be found nearly all year long. To me, this is exciting. As I’ve stated in previous posts, my favorite type of food is Italian and to imagine buying fresh vegetables from some market over in Italy – well, I can only dream. It sounds like a lot of fun.

This is a very simple soup to put together and the yield is quite surprising. I wasn’t expecting all the soup I made. I thought I’d have to double up on the recipe. When I read things like “1 cup of carrots,” I roll my eyes and throw in three cups. This one offers a lot though. Perhaps you should make a batch first to see how much you get and if you have a pot large enough, go crazy next time.

Regarding the flavor and texture, it’s all good. Think about a traditional vegetable soup (without tomatoes), but with more “freshness,” if that makes any sense. Remember, this soup includes leeks, green beans and fresh peas. All the vegetables combined, simmered and soaked up with broth is a wonderful combination. This soup is no slouch. And I mentioned the smooth texture above. I’d say it’s perfect.

Ingredients

Serves: 6

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Large Sweet Onion, Sliced
9 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Green Beans, Cut into 2-Inch Pieces
Half Head of Green Cabbage, Cored and 1/2-Inch Slices
1 Cup Carrots, Diced
1 Cup Celery Root, Diced
3 Cups White Potatoes, Diced
1 Leek, 1/2-Inch Slices
1 Cup Peas
3/4 Cup Ditalini Pasta
2 Tablespoons Parsley, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese for Topping

Step-by-Step Instructions

I’d like to thank Carlo Bernasconi and Christian Teubner for their wonderful resource called The Complete Italian Cookbook. This book is getting better every time I look in it.

Soften the Onions & Garlic

Warm a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil, onion and garlic to it. Let these vegetables soften for about three minutes. Then, add in the vegetable broth and bring that to a boil over high heat.

Add Beans & Potato

Next, add in the green beans, carrot, celery root and potatoes to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil again and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer these ingredients for ten minutes.

Add Leek & Cabbage

After that, add in the leek slices and the cabbage and continue to simmer these ingredients for another five minutes.

Add Peas & Pasta

Finally, add in the peas and the pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Add Final Ingredients

Turn off the heat. Then, add in the chopped parsley, basil, salt and pepper and stir everything together well.

Plate & Serve

Divide the soup between bowls and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over everything. Serve and enjoy!

The Final Minestrone Soup

This was a very good soup. I’d even venture to say that it’s a healthy soup, considering all the vegetables that were included and the relatively low salt level. If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!

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A few days ago, I came across a recipe for a chicken sandwich. I thought about how nice it looked and about how much I’d love to enjoy something like it. After a moment of pondering, I came up with the wonderful idea of swapping the chicken out for salmon. After all, salmon is one of my favorite things and I’ve prepared many types of salmon sandwiches in the past. I decided to go with the salmon, so that’s what I’ll write about today. A great tasting salmon sandwich I made a few days ago.

The Recipe

This sandwich is so easy to make, it’s silly. While it’s common to fry up some salmon fillet and throw it on some bread that’s got mayo on it, I’m going to go one step further here. Instead of just mayo, I’m going to mix mayo and pub style mustard together. That’ll add some flair to things. Also, I’ll only put the mayo on one side of the bread. On the other side, I’ll put some chopped up giardiniera. If you aren’t familiar with giardiniera, then please allow me to fill you in. It’s a mixed vegetable combination that’s been pickled. You can find jars of this near the pickles in the grocery store. The combination includes carrots, those small white onions you see everywhere, peppers, cauliflower and a few other things. It’s got tons of flavor and I can’t believe I’ve been passing this stuff by my entire life. Processed with olive oil and parsley makes it even better, so it’s really a no brainer that it’s going to bring this salmon sandwich to the next level.

Ingredients

Serves: 4

1 Fat Loaf of Italian Bread
4 4-Ounce Pieces of Skinless Salmon Fillet
1 16-Ounce Jar of Giardiniera
1/4 Cup Packed Parsley, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Handful of Baby Greens
3 Tablespoons Regular Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Pub Style Mustard
2 Tablespoons Regular Olive Oil
Salt
Ground Black Pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions

I’d like to thank Curtis Stone for his inspiration for this recipe. I found the chicken sandwich recipe in his Good Food, Good Life cookbook, so I feel he should get some credit here.

Chop Up the Giardiniera

Add the extra-virgin olive oil, parsley and drained and rinsed giardiniera to a food processor. Pulse the processor a few times until everything is broken down just until it’s coarsely chopped.

Mix the Mayo & Mustard

In a small bowl, combine the mayo and mustard and mix well.

Fry the Salmon

Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the regular olive oil to it and then add the salmon. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the salmon.

Cook the salmon for a few minutes until you see the color change about half way up each fillet’s side. When that happens, flip the salmon over and continue cooking for about two more minutes or until you see the color on the other side meet the previously changed one. When the salmon is cooked, turn off the heat and remove the fillets from the pan.

Assemble the Sandwiches

While the salmon is cooking, cut eight fairly thick pieces of bread from the loaf of Italian bread. Toast the pieces. Then, spread some giardiniera on four pieces and mayo/mustard mixture on the other four.

Add some baby greens to the mayo sides of the bread too.

Next, gently break apart each piece of cooked salmon and arrange the pieces on the giardiniera sides of the bread. Put the sandwiches together, cut them in half if you want and you’re done! Serve and enjoy!

The Final Salmon Sandwich

It’s simple, but it’s got a lot of flavor. I can promise you that. I love the giardiniera and the mayo and mustard mixture. Those things add a lot. I also love regular pan-fried salmon with a bit of salt and pepper, so this recipe goes the extra mile to bring many great things together. If you decide to make one of these sandwiches, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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We’ve been on a seafood kick lately. Lobster, salmon, scallops, mussels and littleneck clams to be exact. While the original goal was to find and enjoy new and exciting recipes, that goal is somewhat morphing into learning the various methods for getting as many nutrients as the seafood we eat can offer. For example, did you know that one 3.5 ounce serving of sea scallops gives you 20 grams of protein? It’s true. A lot of seafood is very high in protein as well as many other nutrients. I’m not sure which beneficial aspect of the food we eat is doing it, but I feel pretty good after I’m finished with it. This stuff is full of goodness.

The Recipe

Today’s dish is a medley of interesting ingredients. It includes hard clams, scallops, apple, baby greens, leeks, white wine and so much more. The recipe is comprised of three parts; the seafood, the salad and the vinaigrette. Each part is fairly straightforward to prepare.

Overall, this is an outstanding salad. While it can be a bit pricey with the scallops costing $18.99 per pound and the clams costing $4.99 per pound, Id say it’s worth it as a once in a blue moon sort of thing. Scallops are probably my favorite food in the world with their sweet flavor and tender texture. Littleneck clams are very good as well. They’re definitely different than muscles in regards to their flavor. Both are excellent. When it comes to the salad and other vegetables, you really can’t ever go wrong with baby greens and apple. The carrots, celery, leeks and onions are all softened and cooked with the white wine and clams, so everything in that pot has a unique and extraordinarily tasty flavor. The vinaigrette is a basic vinegar and oil one, so that’s nothing to write home about, but it’s still enjoyable.

Ingredients

Serves: 4

2 Pounds Small Hard Clams, Washed
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Onion, Diced
1/2 Cup Carrot, Diced
1/2 Cup Celery, Diced
1/2 Cup Leek, Diced
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Celery Stalk, Cut into 2 Inch Matchsticks
1 Apple, Cored and Sliced Thin
4 Cups Baby Greens
4 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
4 Sea Scallops
2 Tablespoons Butter
Ground Black Pepper
Salt

For the Vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions

I’d like to thank Carlo Bernasconi and Christian Teubner for their incredible resource called The Complete Italian Cookbook. I’m truly enjoying myself as I work my way through it. Granted, that’s going to take me about ten years, but it’s still fun.

Cook the Clams

Warm a large pot over medium-high heat. Then, add in the one tablespoon of olive oil and the diced carrots, celery, leeks and onion. Let these vegetables cook, while stirring intermittently, for about five minutes. Then, add in the clams, white wine and thyme, cover the pot and let everything cook for seven minutes. When that’s finished, turn off the heat and discard any clams that didn’t open.

Prepare the Vinaigrette

Combine the apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk everything together with a fork.

Toss & Arrange the Salad

In a large bowl, toss the celery matchsticks, apple, baby greens, cherry tomatoes and the vinaigrette together. Then, divide the salad among bowls or plates.

Cook the Scallops

Warm a skillet over medium heat. Then, add the butter to the skillet and wait for the pan to get to temperature. When it does, place the scallops in the pan for about one minute each side or until each side had nice color on it. When finished, turn off the heat and remove the scallops from the pan to stop them from cooking. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper.

Plate & Serve

With a slotted spoon, scoop the vegetables and clams from the pot and distribute those ingredients across the tops of the salads. Then, carefully divide the liquid in the pot among the salads as well, being sure to leave the sediment from the clams in the pot behind. Finally, arrange the scallops on the salads as well. Serve and enjoy!

The Final Clam & Scallop Salad

While this isn’t the quickest salad in the world to put together, it’s certainly one you’ll likely remember. Between the clams, scallops and actual salad, I don’t know which part I enjoyed the most. It’s all good. If you decide to try this recipe out, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was wonderful. This season seems to be shaping up as an exciting one. I sensed a lot of energy out there earlier this week and I saw many smiling faces. That’s always nice during this time of year. Food was definitely on the mind.

As far as our Thanksgiving went, it was very good. We made many dishes and believe it or not, most of them came straight from this blog! I was thrilled to scroll through all the pages I’ve shared through the years to pick things that looked appetizing out. I remember preparing so much of what I saw and our meal last night was just perfect. Cauliflower and mushroom stuffing, cranberry sauce, salmon and vinaigrette, mashed sweet potatoes, fruit dessert and so much more. There were probably around ten different dishes in all. I am so looking forward to all the leftovers.

I actually had this rutabaga soup recipe on my list to share before the holiday, but since we needed a soup for last evening, I decided to make it for Thanksgiving. I had initially planned on making a pureed cauliflower soup, but I didn’t want to overdo it with the cauliflower. I was already using that vegetable for two other dishes. I’m glad I went with the rutabaga soup though because it’s very good. And it’s just so simple to put together. I’m falling in love with these easy soups. I made a large pot full last night and it hardly cost anything as far as groceries go. It’s such a good idea.

The Recipe

If you’re not familiar with rutabaga, you should really give it a try. It’s great as a soup or even mashed. If mashed, all you need to do is add some salt, pepper and butter and you’ll find yourself wanting more. In either the soup of mashed, I think you’ll see that it’s light and very fresh tasting, for lack of a better description. I’ll just say it’s pleasant and simple. It can compare to the texture of a spaghetti squash and a butternut squash combined, if that makes any sense.

This particular recipe is so straightforward. Go out and get yourself a big rutabaga, a few carrots, an onion and some vegetable broth. You’ll likely have the other ingredients you’ll need in your refrigerator and cabinets. Prep the veggies, cook them, puree them and you’ll have yourself a great tasting soup in no time. This is an easy one to put together after work at night. It’s nice and filling too, just like all of these soups are.

Ingredients

Serves: 8-10

2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Large Rutabaga, Peeled and Cubed
2 Large Carrots, Sliced
1 Large Onion, Chopped
6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Step-by-Step Instructions

I’d like to thank Irish American Mom for this recipe. She’s got a lot of interesting and delicious looking recipes on her blog and I’d like to try more in the future.

Prep & Soften the Vegetables

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Then, prep the rutabaga, carrots and onion and place them in the pot with the butter. Stir them a few times and let them cook for about ten minutes to soften slightly.

Simmer the Vegetables

Increase the heat to high and add in the vegetable broth, salt and pepper. When the broth begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Let the broth simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree the Soup

By this point, everything in the pot should be tender. Go ahead and turn off the heat and using either a hand blender or a traditional blender, puree the contents of the pot. You should see a consistency like this.

You can season to taste with salt and pepper at this point as well.

Plate & Serve

Divide the soup between bowls. If you want to get fancy, you can chop up a bit of parsley or fresh thyme and add that to the center of each bowl. Completely not necessary if you ask me. Serve and enjoy!

The Final Rutabaga & Carrot Soup

You can’t get much easier than this and it’s such a good soup. If you were so inclined, you could also add a few spoonfuls of heavy cream to each serving and swirl that in. That would add a nice touch too, but again, completely not necessary. Anyway, if you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know down in the comment area below. Thanks for reading!

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I’ve always been pretty good in the kitchen. When I was growing up, I’d make this or that and I did a decent job of taking care of myself. Of course, most dinners were made by my mother, but for all the in-betweens, I’d like to think I was handy at whatever the kitchen threw at me. It wasn’t until I moved out of the house and went away to college that I realized that me making myself a sandiwch wasn’t just an option, it was a necessity. There were no more dinners magically prepared and if I didn’t get to the grocery store to buy groceries, I simply wouldn’t eat. This was a bit depressing to think about because I wasn’t looking forward to going to the grocery store. For the rest of my life. Somehow that didn’t seem fair, but I digress. It was fair and it’s called life.

It wasn’t until years later that I turned ordinary, everyday cooking into a sport. I had to trick myself into thinking that wandering into the kitchen after it got dark outside to make something to eat was somehow fun. The tricking worked, the cooking became a habit and now I honestly look forward to tackling all different types of recipes. There’s something like 400 different recipes on this blog right now and I only began it a few years ago. That’s not bad, considering I primarily use this for motivation to keep going and to organize all the different dishes I’ve previously prepared. My entire Thanksgiving dinner is coming from recipes I posted here. I went through the site last night and I was so excited as I picked things out. “Ooh, I remember that one. This one was good!” You should have seen me. I was adorable.

As fun as making all these different dishes can be, there are days where I want to just throw some stuff in a pot and turn on the stove. I can’t dwell on cooking all the time. It’s not possible. Sometimes I’m just drained and I don’t even want to think about food, much less go into the kitchen to prepare something that I need to follow directions for. Sometimes I need something easy, which brings me to today’s soup. This one is easy.

The Recipe

If you can cut up some potatoes, carrots and celery, you can get the ingredients you need into a pot for this soup to cook all by itself. There’s no browning or frying or broiling with this one. All it is is some prep work and then a nice simmer for half an hour. What you’ll be left with is a perfect pot full of vegetable soup that includes those potatoes, carrots and celery I just mentioned, plus some tomato and white beans. It’s filling, it tastes good and it’s the perfect soup to throw together after a long day to satisfy your family. Trust me.

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

4 Carrots, Sliced
4 Celery Stalks, Sliced
6 Red Potatoes, Cubed
1 Large Onion, Chopped
6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 28-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
2 14-Ounce Cans White Beans (Great Northern, Navy, etc.)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Italian Herb Mixture

Step-by-Step Instructions

I’d like to thank both Curtis Stone and AllRecipes for this recipe. I took ideas from both resources and merged them into something I concocted. The results came out wonderfully, if I don’t say so myself.

Prep All the Vegetables

Cut the carrots, celery, red potatoes and onion up and toss the pieces in a large pot.

Simmer the Soup

Add in the broth, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and herbs. Turn the heat to high and wait for the liquid in the pot to come to a boil. When it does, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. After that, turn off the heat.

Finally, drain the canned beans and add them to the pot as well. Stir everything up and you’re finished.

Plate & Serve

Divide the soup up between bowls and serve. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The Final Vegetable Soup

This soup really is the easiest you’re going to find to make. It’s the “prep and cook” type I just love. I put together a nice large pot full of it last night, so I’m good for a while. I’ll be making this one again. If you decide to give this a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!

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Here’s a soup you don’t see too often. I sure don’t see recipes like it very much at all. This one’s got a lot of ingredients in it that I wouldn’t have thought went well together and it even includes something I’ve never tasted in my life. That would be celery root. I’ve seen this vegetable in the grocery store over the years, but I’ve never gone ahead and purchased it. It was never called for. Well, this splendid soup recipe fixed that. It needed to buy one ball of celery root to make things just fine and that it did.

The Recipe

This is a safe recipe to prepare, meaning you really can’t mess it up. The quantities of each ingredient are forgiving and it’s going to look like the photos I share in this post, no matter what you do. The flavors speak for themselves. If you’ve never tried celery root, let me tell you that it’s like cutting up a potato and it smells like celery. The soup also includes onion, a fennel bulb, garlic, thyme, red potatoes, an apple and much more. Close your eyes and think about the above ingredients all mixed together. Especially the celery root and the fennel. Throw some apple in there and you have yourself quite the distinctive autumn soup. Make a batch on a cold day and enjoy it on the couch. It’s perfect for that.

Ingredients

Serves: 6

2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Fennel Bulb + Stalks, Diced
Salt
Ground Black Pepper
6 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Celery Root, Trimmed and Diced
12 Ounces Red Potatoes, Diced
1 Apple, Diced
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Step-by-Step Instructions

I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for this recipe. I haven’t used their resource called The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook in some time and I miss it tremendously.

Soften the Onion & Fennel

Warm a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add in the butter. Also add the onion and the fennel, stir and let soften for about ten minutes.

Add the Garlic, Flour & Wine

Next, add in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the garlic and the thyme and cook for another two minutes. Stir things a few times as well. Finally, add in the flour, stir and then add in the wine as well. Mix everything together and cook for one minute.

Add the Broth, Celery Root & Potatoes

When all that is done, add in the broth, water, celery root, potatoes, apple and orange juice. Increase the heat to high to get a good boil going and then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Let everything simmer for 40 minutes.

Add Cream & Puree

Turn off the heat. The soup is almost ready and everything in the pot should be nice and tender. Add the cream and then place two cups of the soup in a blender. Blend that and return it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and you’re finished.

Plate & Serve

Divide the soup between bowls. You may add some fresh thyme if you want and then serve. Enjoy!

The Final Fennel, Potato & Celery Root Chowder

I told you this one was easy. I love the kinds of soups that only require prepping and tossing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting them cook. This is a great soup though and I really hope you give it a try. The taste is phenomenal. If you do, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!

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