Category: Soup/Stew


I love the Little Big Meal deals at The Fresh Market.  They put all the ingredients in one spot and it’s a no thought and just a little effort required weekday meal!

This week it was a Chili meal.  For $20.00, I got:

1 lb. fresh ground turkey (you could also choose ground chuck or a vegetarian meat substitute)

1 package veggies (onions, peppers, and garlic – ready to go)

1 jar Frontera Chili Starter – a Rick Bayless product.  I chose White Bean with Chilis – YUMMMMM

1 can beans (I chose cannelloni beans)

1 package shredded cheese

1 container (8 oz) Daisy sour cream

6 corn muffins

It is advertised as enough to feed a family of four.  I bought an extra pound of ground meat (chicken) and had lettuce, tomato, and avocado on hand for toppings, as well as some tortillas left from taco night.

Brown meat and veggies in olive oil.


Add drained beans and chili starter.


Simmer 15-20 minutes.

I thickened it with breadcrumbs (my new go to for thickening sauces, chilis and stews)







My son, Elliot, is feeling under the weather today.  He missed work, and he never misses work!

Elliot riding along

I thought some soup would do him some good.  Rather than run out and get soup, I made good use of stuff I had on hand.

4-6 cups homemade chicken broth

1 c. chopped chicken

baby carrots, cut up

1/4 onion, chopped

1 lb. gluten free noodles (I used corn noodles)

I buy chicken whenever my local market is selling it dirt cheap because it’s expiration day.  I come right home and cook it up using my “Simple Make Ahead Chicken” recipe posted December 23, 2014   I reserve the cooking liquid for future recipes.  It’s richer than broth, though, so I mix equal parts of the cooking liquid and water when using it in place of broth in a recipe.  Shredded chicken always seems to come in handy.  Obviously, you can add in celery, garbanzo beans, etc. but I kept it simple.

It made me feel so good to be able to give him soup.  Maybe it’s an old wives’ tale that it makes you feel better, but I believe it!

I had a lot of vegetables left from my veggie burger dinner.  I decided to make a healthy soup for a rainy day.


12 Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage

1 package Dole Chopped (save the dressing and toppings for another time)

1/2 c. green pepper, chopped onion, celery mix

1 package potatoes (the Celebration ones from the BOGO sale)

1 container Tuscany chicken broth

1 C. water

minced garlic (optional)

1/2 c. cooking sherry mixed with corn starch

1 can great northern beans, drained and smashed.

Combine all ingredients through garlic in crock pot.  Cook on low all day.

Upon arrival at home, add in sherry/corn starch slurry and smashed beans.  Raise temperature to high and cook until thickened (about 30-45 minutes).

Serve with garlic toast or a nice crusty bread!


1 bag Potato Inspirations tri-color potatoes

Potato Inspirations

Cut potatoes and place in slow cooker


1/2 c. chopped peppers

1/2 c. chopped onions and celery

1 tsp. smoky barbecue seasoning

Place chopped peppers, onion, and celery on top of potatoes.  Sprinkle with seasoning.

Pour over broth.


1 carton Progresso Tuscany broth


1 lb. Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage

Butterball Smoked Turkey

Top with sliced sausage.


Cook on low all day.  When you get home from work – mash the potatoes a bit.  Add in 1 can mashed garbanzo beans and 8 oz. cream cheese.

Turn to high until cream cheese melts in.

Use an immersion blender to make it creamy, leaving some chunks.

Add in a little corn starch/water mix if you are in a rush to eat!

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, and there was not a drop left!!

You can add in veggies like kale and spinach and made this even healthier.  You can top it with green onions, bacon bits, shredded cheese, etc.


6 ears roasted white corn

2 cans creamed corn

2 c. chicken broth

4 c. cooked, shredded chicken

1 package Simply Potatoes Diced Potatoes with Onion

2 Tbsp. dehydrated onion

1 c. leftover broccoli

2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. salt

Roast corn wrapped in foil with a little olive oil blend in 450 oven for 20 minutes.


Cut off the cob and put in crock pot.


Add in potatoes.


Pour creamed corn over potatoes.  Add dehydrated onion and smoked paprika.


Add in leftover broccoli and chicken broth.


Add in cooked chicken.


Stir and cook on low 8-10 hours.



4 c. leftover Chicken and Vegetable Chili/Stew (anytime I have leftover soup or chili, I freeze it for a future “starter”)

1 container chicken broth

1 c. leftover black beans and rice

1 c. frozen shredded chicken

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. sherry

1 can garbanzo beans

1 c. leftover undressed salad from the other the other night, with swiss chard, spinach, kale, shredded carrots, chopped onions, and sliced mushrooms)

Combine ingredients in the crockpot and cook all day.

I started out intending to make chicken soup for Austin, who is sick, and ended up emptying some containers in the freezer.

Possible toppings:  shredded cheese, sour cream, chips.

Everyone loved this so much, there are now NO LEFTOVERS!  Of course, I’ll never be able to recreate it exactly.

Polish Pasta Fagioli (Haluski Inspired Soup)

While watching Diners, Drive Ins and Dives the other night, Guy Fieri visited a place in Pittsburgh (my ever loving home town) The restaurant was called Kelly O’s. They prepared a Haluski – Cabbage Noodle Mix – that inspired me to do a Polish version of Pasta Fagioli using my leftover pot roast! The result was a success, so I wanted to share!

4 c. leftover pot roast, chopped
1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 package cole slaw mix (I actually used an Asian Slaw mix that was not fresh enough to eat as a salad – I put the toppings and dressing aside for another time)
1 container (48 oz.) chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can great northern beans
2 Tbsp. pesto
2 Tbsp. chili paste
1 lb. gluten free noodles

Saute onions and cabbage in a little olive oil until slightly carmelized.

Place in large crock pot.

Add in meat, drained, rinsed beans, broth and seasonings.

Cover an cook on low 6-8 hours.

Cook noodles to al dente.

Drain (reserving some liquid in case soup is not liquidy enough).

Add noodles to crock pot. Add in pasta liquid to make more like soup. (I added back in 3 cups)

Keep warm on low until ready to eat.

Eat topped with Parmesan or other cheese.

If I had had bacon or bacon bits on hand, this would have not only made it more authentic ‘Haluski’ type food, but it would have added some saltiness – which this recipe really needs. Add something salty!

Empty the Fridge Chowder

Next on my quest to use what I had on hand to create something new and tasty, came tonight’s dinner.

I had leftover boneless chicken (about 2 large boneless breasts) and scalloped potatoes (about a cup) from my friend, Jeralyn that she had frozen and given to me. She had tried one of my recipes for chicken and her daughter didn’t care for it! Can’t please everyone 🙂
I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and put it in the crock pot. I added the potatoes and the sauce that the chicken had been cooked in which was a teriyaki, ranch and cheese mixture.

To that I added some defrosted frozen leftover corn chowder (about 4 c. or so).
I threw in some chicken broth (about 1/2 cup) and sherry (about 1/4 cup).

I cooked it on low for 4 hours.

We topped it with crunched up tortilla chips, shredded sharp cheddar and sour cream.
Another ‘Empty the Fridge’ success. No leftovers and no complaints!! Very yummy if I do say so.

Creamy Polenta with Chicken and Mushrooms

Tonight we had a grits bar! I prepared three different ‘toppings’ in my triple crock pot last night and threw them on at lunchtime. When I got home from work, I made the polenta and put it in my round crock pot to stay warm until everyone arrived.

I was expecting 6 extra people tonight, and only one showed up. Everyone was tired, or under the weather, or just not in the mood to go out.

So, we have leftovers! Good ones though.

The chicken and mushrooms was a hit.

4 c. cooked shredded chicken
16 oz. assorted sliced mushrooms, any type
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. gluten free flour
2 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. sherry
1 package frozen butternut squash cubes

Cook onion, mushrooms and peppers in olive oil until slightly softened. Add butter and melt and cook a until golden. Remove with slotted spoon. Add flour to oil and butter and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth and cook until creamy.

Place cooked chicken in crock pot. Add cooked vegetables and frozen butternut squash.
Pour sauce over. Stir gently with wooden spoon.

Cook in crock pot on low about 4 hours.

Serve over polenta. This would also be good over rice or noodles. This is definitely a keeper!

Chicken and Vegetable Chili/Stew

4 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1 leftover large baked sweet potato
1/2 jar leftover salsa
1 zucchini, cubed
1 yellow squash, cubed
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 carton chicken broth

1/2 package frozen seasoning vegetables (onions, peppers, etc.)

I chose my ingredients based on what I had left in the fridge!   The chicken I got on sale will be used in three dinners, all told:


Combine all ingredients in large oval crock pot.   The chicken had been well seasoned when I cooked it, and the salsa was medium and had alot of seasonings in it.  I didn’t add any seasonings, and didn’t miss them.

Cook on low 5-6 hours.

The weather just turned a little colder, and it was a perfect night for stew.

This pairs well with a nice crusty bread or would also be good served over rice or noodles.


For anyone who’s paying attention, I have already deviated from my planned menu, even though it’s only Monday.  I forgot to defrost the frozen steaks and had not yet frozen the cooked chicken!



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