Monday, December 5, 2016

I'm no Chef but...

I want to thank everyone that came by to read my first post. It sounds like the idea of simple living really hits home with a lot of people. I changed the settings to allow anyone to leave a comment (you don't have to register or sign in anymore), but all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing. Please feel free to leave me comments (words of affirmation is a big part of my love language).

Today I want to share a recipe with y'all. If you've known me for any amount of time, you'll already know that I have not always known how to cook. I wouldn't really say I know how to cook now, but my husband seems fairly pleased with what I put together...and I guess that's all that really matters. With an eye towards moving away from too much processed food (when you are poor and starting out, you eat what you can afford) and the advent of the Internet (mainly Pinterest, how on earth did people do the things before the Internet?), I've grown my confidence in the kitchen.

Ok, so this is a recipe for One Pot Creamy White Bean and Ham, Tortellini Soup.

Here is the ingredients as listed on the recipe I (sort of) followed:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups cooked and cubed ham
  • 15 oz. can canneli beans, rinsed and rained
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme, ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups (1 pound) uncooked refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 2-3 cups half and half *
  • Garnish (optional)
    • fresh parsley
    • Parmesan cheese
    Here is what my ingredient list looked like. I didn't have any chicken bouillon, so I didn't use it. I left out the red pepper flakes. I had honey Dijon mustard, so that's what I used. And I have no clue what canneli beans are, so I just used white kidney beans. You do not have to be Martha Freakin' Stewart to whip up a meal at dinner. Just use what you have, make common sense substitutions (it's cooking, not baking), and season to YOUR taste.
    Melt butter in olive oil in Dutch oven/large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook, while stirring, for 3 minutes. Add garlic (I used garlic cubes..because I had them and I was too lazy to mince up some fresh cloves..use whatever you have) and saute for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour then cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes (it will be thick).
    Turn heat to low and gradually stir in 5 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth and add to soup. Stir in ham, beans, Dijon mustard, bay leaves, bouillon and all remaining herbs and spices. Notice my very technical measuring technique. I basically eye-ball all of the seasonings, including the mustard.
    Bring to a boil; cover, and reduce to a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    This is when you take a wine break. don't cook dinner while wearing face cleansing strips, drinking wine, and wearing PJ's? You totally should. Multi-tasking at it's finest.
    Add tortellini and boil for 1-2 minutes or until cooked al dente.
    Stir in half and half, adding additional half and half or broth if desired for a less “chunky” soup and warm through. Again with the measuring technique. I just poured and stirred until it had the consistency that I was happy with.
    Garnish individual servings with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese if desired.
    Doesn't that look good?! Especially on a cold, drizzly day? It was pretty darn tasty and it only used one pot plus a cutting board to make. That means less clean up for me. And, it's just as good the next day so take it to work for lunch. Your tummy will thank you for it.
    If you decide to try this recipe out, please leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it. I'd love to hear from you.


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