Venus de Milo

This hearty minestrone soup is a favorite of mine – it’s so simple but really tasty.  Top it off with some American cheese and you’re good to go! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, string beans and peas)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (optional)
  • 1 large (28 oz.) can of Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ tomatoes
  • 7 cups of water (equivalent to two Pastene cans full)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo (or other small shaped pasta)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • In a large soup pot, brown the meat – once the meat starts cooking, add in the Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • Once the meat is cooked, pour in the tomatoes and water – stir well
  • Add in the mixed vegetables (and beans, if desired)
  • Season with the tsp of sugar and salt and pepper to taste
  • In a separate pot, cook the 1/2 cup of pasta
  • Add the pasta to the soup and let it simmer for at least 20-30 mins

3 Bean Chili

This chili recipe is full of flavor and amazing with meat or without… I keep tweaking it and making it differently each time, but I think this is the best version.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey (optional)
  • 1 vidalia onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic pressed
  • Olive oil
  • 3 peppers chopped (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow)
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can of light red kidney beans
  • 1 small can diced black olives
  • 2 large (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp chili powder (at least)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

HOW TO MAKE IT*

  • If you’re using ground meat, brown it in a large soup pot with 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Add the diced onion and pressed garlic to the meat with another tbsp olive oil – saute until the onions are translucent
  • Add the chopped peppers to the pot and stir
  • Add the diced tomatoes, beer and chicken broth and stir well
  • Rinse the beans well and add them to the soup along with the corn and olives
  • Add the paprika and cumin and start with 3 tbsp of chili powder
  • Stir the contents of the pot well and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, then taste the soup and add more chili powder if you desire more spice (you may also want to add some salt, too)
  • Let it simmer while stirring frequently for at least an hour
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy!
*If you want to make this chili in a crock pot, follow the same directions but cook it on high for 1 hour and then low for 4-5 hours.

Pasta e Fagioli

Nothing makes you feel better than a warm bowl of savory soup on a rainy snowy day…  

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ tomatoes
  • 2 cups water (you could also use 1 cup water, 1 cup chicken broth if you have it on hand)
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of Hunt’s tomato paste
  • 3 cans of white cannellini beans (with the starch)
  • 2 links of sausage (I use one hot and one mild)
  • 1/4 lb. – 1 lb. ditallini pasta
    • The amount of pasta you use totally depends on how “soupy” you want this dish to be — if you use the full lb. it’s more like a meal than a soup
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Parmesan cheese (Optional: mix in 3/4 cup grated parmesan into the soup at the end)
  • Optional: mix in a hefty splash of cream to add some richness to the soup

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Remove the sausage from its casing and brown it in the bottom of a large soup pot
  • Chop up the fresh garlic and onion and saute it with the sausage in the pot with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sugar – add the onions first, then the garlic to avoid burning the garlic
  • Add in the Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ tomatoes, Hunt’s tomato paste and 2 cups of water
  • Season with salt, pepper and parsley
    • Simmer the contents of the pot for 30-40 mins (bring it to a boil and then reduce to medium-high heat)
  • While the soup is simmering, cook the dittalini in a separate pot
  • Once the soup has simmered for 30-40 minutes, add in the 3 cans of cannellini beans with the starch and the pasta
  • Reduce heat to low and let the soup cook for another 10 minutes – at this point if you want to add cheese and cream to the soup, do so now; otherwise, serve up a bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese!
    • Note: if the soup becomes too thick you can thin it out by simmering water mixed with tomato paste (approximately 2 cups of water to every 6 oz. of tomato paste), garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley  – once this mixture has simmered for at least 10 minutes, you can add it back into your soup