Showing posts with label Soups and Stews


by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 11, 2023

Who says you don't have time to make soup?  Just dump, heat and eat.  It doesn't get easier than this and it's really good soup.  Bonus points for being under 200 calories per serving, too without the optional toppings...

Servings: 8


1 can petite diced tomatoes, 15 ounces (if you want more kick swap this out for a 15 ounce can of Rotel Tomatoes)

1 bag frozen corn, 15 ounces

1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained,  15 ounces

1 can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained, 15 ounces

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup 10 ¾ ounce

1 can Chicken, I don't drain mine, I put in the broth) 12 ounces

1 can Green Enchilada Sauce 10 ounces

1 can Chicken Broth 15 ounces

1 Packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning

Optional Toppings:

Green Onions

Grated Mexican Cheese

Sliced Olives 

Diced Avocado 

Sour Cream

Tortilla Strips

Lime Wedges

In a large pot add the diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, pinto beans, cream of chicken, chicken breast, green enchilada sauce, chicken broth, and taco seasoning.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes and serve with desired toppings.

You can also put this in the slow cooker for a couple of hours on low

Spicy Lasagna Soup, perfect for cold evenings...

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 24, 2022

I combined Half Baked Harvest's Lasagna soup with Carlsbad Cravings Lasagna Soup and came up with a wonderful variation.  Carlsbad Craving's recipe calls for you to break lasagna noodles in half and simmer  in the soup.  Well, have you ever tried breaking dry lasagna noodles?  All they do is fly all over the kitchen and break unevenly.  So then I found Half Baked Harvest's recipe and Tieghan called for cooking the lasagna noodles separately, then cutting them into manageable pieces because they are pliable after you cook them.  That made a lot more sense to me, and it was much easier.  Anyway, this is my variation of both of their recipes for an excellent cold winter evening soup, full of all the lasagna goodness we all love so much.


1 pound ground beef 
1 yellow onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 24 oz. jar Prego Traditional Italian Sauce or marinara sauce
6 cups chicken broth - I use a big tablespoon of Chicken Better than Bouillon instead of chicken broth
1 14 oz. can can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried oregano, salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 whole bay leaf
8-10 oz. cooked lasagna noodles
1/2 cup heavy cream,optional**


shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese
ricotta cheese, whipped


Heat large Dutch oven/large soup pot over medium high heat. Add beef and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beef is browned. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat.

Add Prego Sauce, 6 cups chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally (approximately 20-30 minutes).

 Discard bay leaf and stir in cooked lasagna noodles and heavy cream (optional).  Garnish individual servings with desired amount of cheeses.


#lasagna #italian #yummy #jancooksrealfood #soup #italiansoup #lasagnasoup #lasagnalover #lasagnarecipe #comfortfood #homemadefood #halfbakedharvest 

Winter Minestrone

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, November 11, 2021


Who doesn't love soup on chilly winter days. It's soul soothing, warm and wonderful.

This Minestrone is so good and it freezes really well.  I'm a big fan of Ball wide mouth jars for freezing soup.  I just leave three inches of headspace to allow for expansion, don't put the lid on until it's fully frozen and it freezes beautifully.  So, if you're in the mood for soup, this adaptation from Giada DeLaurentis is just that good!

1 onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces lean (8 percent fat) ground beef - sometimes I omit this
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small can of tomato sauce
4 cups low-sodium beef broth - I use better than beef bouillon a very large tablespoon scoop of it 
1 can of italian diced tomatoes
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, Great Northern Beans work well
One 15-ounce can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 head of chopped cabbage
1/2 cup of ditalini pasta
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, optional
Turn Instant Pot to saute and brown ground beef, if using.  Add the rest of ingredients, pressure for 3 minutes, Quick Release, TURN INSTANT POT OFF - then I just let it set until it cools.

No Instant Pot, just put it in the slow cooker for 4 hours or simmer on the stove for 30 minutes.  Anyway you cook it, it's a winner!

Tomato Basil Soup

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, October 24, 2018


The best of the best, this tomato bisque soup is the only recipe you will ever need.  ~ Jan

1 gallon, serves 10

1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 qt. heavy cream
3 quarts chicken stock quality or broth
1/3 cup sugar or to taste
2 bunches fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper, one dash
2 large cans tomatoes, chopped or crushed

cooking wine or sherry -

Preparation time 1 hr.

chop veggies and saute in olive oil with garlic, about 5 minutes. deglaze pan with wine or sherry. add stock and tomatoes, let reduce about 20 minutes. add cream, let come to boil. puree with emulsion blender or in a food processor in batches. thicken with cornstarch slurry or roux. season and add fresh chopped basil at the end. you may at this point leave the soup with texture to it or strain the solids out for a smooth texture.

Per serving, excluding unknown items - 343 calories, 35 grams fat, 90.4% calories from fat, 2grams protein, 6g carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 131 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium

Perfect Panera Bread Black Bean Soup

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 20, 2018



I was thrilled to find the perfect dupe for my very favorite Panera Black Bean Soup.  You can make an entire pot of soup for what one serving in a bread bowl would cost.  And its SO easy. 


1 Onion finely chopped

4-5 Cloves Garlic minced

2 Ribs Celery finely chopped

1/2 orange or red bell pepper

1/4 Cup Chicken Stock

3-3/4 Cups Chicken Stock (this is the remainder of the 32 oz. box)

2-1/4 Cups Water

2 Cups Black Beans dried

1 Can Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles 10oz

2 tsp Mexican Oregano, I didn’t have Mexican Oregano, I used 2 tsp. of Italian Oregano

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Pepper


Finely chop onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper and add to Instant Pot.  Saute veggies using SAUTE MODE until they are limp, using 1/4 cup of broth to saute them instead of oil

Stir in Oregano, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper.  Slowly add remaining 2 cups of broth and the 3-1/4 cups of water and stir well.

Rinse 2 cups of dried Black Beans, removing any debris, and add to pot.

Pour the Rotel Tomatoes into the CENTER of the soup and DO NOT STIR.  The Rotel Original gives this a little kick, not a lot just a touch, but if you don’t want the heat, use Rotel Mild

Attach lid, make sure vent is set to SEALING, and set timer for MANUAL MODE for 50 minutes.

Allow to naturally vent for10 minutes before CAREFULLY releasing whatever steam is left - I just make early in the day and let it set for awhile

Using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the beans & veggies and set side.  Using a immersion blender (or regular blender) carefully blend the remaining soup until smooth.

Add the beans & veggies you set aside back in and stir well. 


Jan's Notes - these were AWESOME.  Next time  think I will use Vitamix instead of Immersion Blender to get smoother consistency.  I followed recipe exactly, used regular oregano, didn't have the mexican..  Fantastic Recipe - SO GOOD! 

Garnish with Salsa, Lime Wedges, or Green Chile Sour Cream if desired. 

This is so simple to make in an Instant Pot.  I have the new 8 qt. Plus size, even for two people it’s not too big.  They’ve been out of stock everywhere in this new version, but you can find the 8 qt. Duo on Amazon.  Same pot, the newer version just has a couple more settings.

Here’s the link if you’re interested, this 8 qt. is a better price than the plus.

Slow Cooker Refried Bean Chili

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 06, 2012


If you’ve never been to Kalyn’s Kitchen website, you’ve missed out on some really great South Beach recipes.  I’ve been a fan for years, and last week when I saw her recipe for Slow Cooker Beef & Refried Bean Chili, I knew I had to try it.  The problem was I didn’t have all the ingredients, and I’m not a fan of cumin or mexican oregano, so I adapted hers, and it came out amazingly well.  A different take on tomato based chili, this one is a keeper.  So thanks for the idea Kalyn.  I’ll link to your original version at the end of the post.

I only used 1/3 pound of ground sirloin, yes that’s right, just 1/3 pound, and it was enough, but of course you can add more meat if you want.  I also didn’t add the lime juice, but I did squeeze a fresh lime on my portion, I actually prefer it without the lime.

And yes, those are pickles, I’ve eaten pickles with chili since childhood, no peanut butter sandwich for this old girl, just give me some pickles. ;o)


1/3 lb. ground sirloin
1 large onion, diced
3-4 large cloves of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 Tablespoons of chili powder
1 can of Trader Joe’s refried black beans with jalapenos
1 can of light red kidney beans, drained
1 can of dark red kidney beans, drained
1/2 box (2 cups) beef broth
1/2 jar (1.5 cups) salsa
1 can diced tomatoes (I think next time I’ll use Rotel and kick it up another notch)

Brown ground sirloin and onions, stirring in garlic at last minute.  Drain and add to rest of ingredients, simmer in covered pot for 30-45 minutes, or you could put this in a slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours.

It was thick, spicy and delicious.  I always make tomato based chili, so this beef broth based one was really different.  I loved the refried beans to thicken it, it was just a super recipe.  Be sure and compare mine to Kalyn’s, hers looks wonderful.   Oh, so GOOD!  I’ll be making this healthy chili again and again…

~ jan

Adapted from a recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen

The World's Best Beef Stew

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 30, 2012


This stew is so good and so hearty, it’s simple comfort food at it’s best. I’ve made this same recipe for more years than I care to remember, and it always turns out perfectly.

2 lbs. stew meat

1 large onion, diced

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 box beef broth

16 oz. bag of baby carrots, cut in half on the diagonal

4-5 large cubed potatoes, preferably yukon gold

1 bag frozen peas

salt and pepper

optional: a bottle of red wine instead of the beef broth (cabernet sauvignon works well)

Put the stew meat, onion, crushed tomatoes, and beef broth in a large oven proof casserole, salt and pepper to taste. You can brown the beef if you like, I usually don’t. Bake, covered, in a preheated 350° oven for two and a half hours.

Put on top of stove, add carrots and simmer fifteen minutes. Then add cubed potatoes and simmer an additional 20-30 minutes, checking for doneness so they don’t get mushy. At the end of cooking time, pour in the bag of peas, turn off the heat, taste to correct seasonings and sit aside. So easy to make and better the next day.

Optional: We like stew made with red wine, so I sometimes substitute the wine for the beef broth.

Note: When you take the stew out of the oven, if you need more liquid, add another cup or so of beef broth before you add the carrots. Mine is usually thick enough that I don’t need to add a thickening agent, but if you want your liquid thicker, after the veggies are cooked, mix up a slurry of 1/4 cup cornstarch in 1/2 cup water, and add it until you get the consistency you like.