Monday, April 22, 2013




Everyone knows that the Hansen's just love our SOUP!! 

We take SOUP pretty seriously in our family! 

So much so that we have SOUP NIGHTS A LOT!!

There's the traditional Stew and Hocus Pocus Movie Night at Halloween time (we've been doing this since Cayla was a baby - WOW that's along time).  Then of course the first SOUP of the cold season (cuz everyone who lives in AZ knows its not cold at Halloween time), Rainy day SOUP, Sick Day SOUP (which we just had again last week)...
...There really doesn't need to be a reason in our family to have soup!  We just LOVE SOUP!!
But last year we started a new tradition with our extended new family...THE BIG SOUP NIGHT!!  Can we say heaven on earth!! 

See Cayla got married and created our new extended family with the Gassaways!!  Whoowho!!  We love them to death and really didn't want to only see them during the holidays or birthdays, so that's how the BIG SOUP NIGHT came to be with the Gassaways!  (We've done soup nights with other families but this one will keep going and going...we hope)
So I make about 5 different SOUPS each year and the Gassaways and their grandparents (who also come to our little get together) each bring a pot of SOUP each!  And then we eat SOUP all night long, play games, visit and eat MORE SOUP!! 
What a fun night of SOUP!! 
Enjoy some of the recipes from this year...
Zuppa Toscana  (from Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl)
(I've changed up their recipe a little)
9 slices of bacon, diced (Turkey bacon works also)
1 lb ground sweet Italian sausage
1 large red or yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
3 to 6 cups russet potatoes, cubed  (depends on your taste)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups kale, washed and cut into bite size pieces
about 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (may need a little more or less)
Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
In a large pot, cook bacon until crispy. Drain the grease.  Add the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks.  Once sausage is browned and crumbled, remove sausage and drain off grease leaving a tbsp. to sauté the onion. 
Add the onion to the pan; sauté until translucent; add garlic; sauté until fragrant.  Add the bacon and sausage back into pot. 
Stir in the stock and potatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add kale and heavy whipping cream.  Bring to a simmer.  Top with Parmesan when serving.
Mushroom Barley Soup (from Taste of Home)
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4 cubes
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots (I usually added more)
1/2 cup sliced celery (I usually added more)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can never have too many so add more)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup medium pearl barely
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
In a dutch oven brown meat in oil.  Remove meat with slotted spoon and set aside.  Sauté onion, carrots and celery in drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, garlic, and thyme; cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Add broths, water and barley, salt and pepper.
Return meat to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the barley and meat are tender.
Tortellini Soup
3 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 medium celery stalks, chopped fine  
4 medium carrots, chopped fine
1 small onion chopped
3 cans for chicken broth and 3 cans of water (if using your own broth make sure to use equal amounts of water and broth)
1 20oz of fresh cheese filled tortellini (can also use chicken and mix and match)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in  Dutch oven over medium-low heat.  Cover and simmer garlic, celery, carrots and onion in butter for 10 minutes. 
Stir in broth and water.  Heat to boiling.
Gently put in fresh tortellini.  When the tortellini floats to the surface, about 6 to 8 minutes stir in pepper and nutmeg.  Cover and simmer about 10 more minutes.
Serve in bowls sprinkle each with parmesan cheese.
Stuffed Cabbage Stoup (from Food network-Rachael Ray)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
1 cup of long grain rice 
1 quart plus 2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground meat (can use turkey, beef)
2 tsp of Garlic Mesquite Grill
(or you can use 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 1/2 tsp coriander)
1/2 tsp allspice
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced (I use the whole cabbage)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
Heat a sauce pot over medium high heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil.  Add the rice and toss to coat in oil.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock, bring up to a simmer, cover and cook for 16 to 18 minutes unitl rice is tender. 
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat.  Add the remaining olive oil, once hot add meat and begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Season the meat with allspice, salt, pepper, mesquite (coriander/paprika).  Add onions garlic and carrots.  Cook veggies 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften them, then add cabbage and wilt it down a bit.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining stock and cover the pot.  Raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Once the rice is cooked, spoon some in a bowl and pour soup over the top. 

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