Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February


Apparently I jumped the gun and posted tomorrows post for today. It's not February yet Lisa. If you happened to see the post earlier, you will know that February is all about breakfast. For some reason, to me Valentines Day and breakfast go together. Maybe it's the whole breakfast in bed concept. Sissy has already sent me some recipes and pictures of several yummy recipes. I can't wait!

Monday, January 30, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

This is probably Chris' favorite soup of all time! It is a nice twist on the traditional chicken noodle soup. So delicious!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 quarts water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bag (12 ounces) uncooked wide egg noodles
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, bring water and bouillon to a boil. Add noodles; cook, uncovered until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not drain. Add soup and chicken; heat through. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley.

Friday, January 27, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Sausage Corn Chili

Sissy gave me this recipe and had some helpful hints and tips to go along with it. I will just let her tell you:

This is one that freezes well. And since most of the ingredients are stuff you can keep in the pantry, it can be a go to, quick dinner. Brown the sausage ahead of time and it can even be frozen until you need it. Fixes in less than 10 minutes. This can also go in the crockpot and sit all day. You might just need to add a little extra water.

Sausage Corn Chili

1 pound Italian sausage
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn (or 1 can corn)
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
2/3 cup picante sauce or salsa
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon chili powder

In a large saucepan, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until well heated. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips and sour cream.

Recipe from Sherry Falls / Picture from JimmyDean.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ok so who doesn't love Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar soup? It is always such a toss up between their French Onion Soup and Broccoli Cheddar. They both are so good! And if you get it in a bread bowl - oh my! Although you get significantly less when you get in in a bread bowl than a regular bowl, but I guess you automatically cut down on the calories.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a which over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half. Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cover over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low that and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.


Recipe and picture from cdkitchen.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update

Oh Starbucks thank you for free WiFi. Since I am behind 3 days, make sure you go back and check out the 3 previous posts. Italian Vegetable Soup, Italian Onion Herb Bread and McAlister's Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Enjoy!

'Tis the Season for Soup - McAlister's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Sissy gave me this recipe, and although I have never had it personally, it sounds delicious! I may just have to make it soon!


McAllister’s Chicken Tortilla Soup


3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth

4 cups half & half

1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup salsa

1 can (15 ounces) creamed corn

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, coked

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 packet (2.7 ounces) fajita seasoning

3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


To serve:

16 ounces tortilla chips

8 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese


In a large pot over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in butter for 5 minutes.


Add flour and stir well; cook for 1 minute more.


Add broth and half & half. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Add the soup, salsa, corn, chicken, cumin, seasoning and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Stir and continue to heat for 15 minutes.


Serve with chips, cheese and cilantro.


Recipe from Sissy / Picture from KendallAndKeith.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Italian Onion Herb Bread

When I first made this recipe, I think we ate about half of the loaf right off the bat. Warm and right out of the oven (or bread machine) is best. Or dip it into your Italian Vegetable Soup - yum!


Italian Onion Herb Bread


2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup milk

1 to 2 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning

2 packages active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoons brown sugar, divided

2 teaspoons salt

5-1/2 to 6 cups white flour, divided


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet Add onion; cook and stir until onion is translucent but not browned. Remove skillet from heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, milk and Italian herb seasoning; stir to mix. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.


Combine yeast, warm water and a pinch of the brown sugar in a small bowl; stir to dissolve. Let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy.


Combine milk-onion-herb mixture and salt in a large mixing bowl;; stir to mix. Stir in yeast mixture and the remaining brown sugar. Add 2 cups of the flour; mix thoroughly. Add 3 cups of the flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add as much of the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, as needed to make a moderately stiff dough.


Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 6 to 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth, shiny and slightly sticky. Lightly oil the surface of the dough and place in the rinsed mixing bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place about 1 hour, or until doubled.


Punch down dough. Knead about 1 minute. Form dough into 2 long loaves and place on greased baking sheet or in greased “W” baking pan. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes, or until nearly doubled.


About 15 minutes before end of rising time, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake bread 45 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.



Italian Onion Herb Bread (Bread Machine Version)


3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

2-3/4 cup bread flour

1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning

1-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast


Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons of the oil in a small skillet. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is translucent.


Add water, milk, remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons oil, the onion mixture, salt, flour, brown sugar, Italian herb seasoning and yeast to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Select basic cycle; medium/normal color setting.


Recipe from Breaking Bread with Father Dominic

Monday, January 23, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Italian Vegetable Soup

How does only 254 calories per serving sound? Probably good after Friday's recipe of butter and half-and-half goodness, otherwise known as O'Charley's Baked Potato Soup. This recipe pairs up great with Italian Onion Herb Bread and freezes well (I know those two don't go together but it seemed silly to type out a whole other sentence. Sorta like I just did).

Italian Vegetable Soup

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup small shell pasta, cooked and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
Turkey sausage, sliced

In a large saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the pasta, tomatoes, and sausage; heat through.

*On days when I feel exceptionally lazy, I will use 1 can of canned small potatoes, 1 small can carrots and 1 can peas. It tastes just as great and can be quickly thrown together.


Friday, January 20, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Baked Potato Soup

This recipe. Oh.My.Goodness! How can it not be delicious when it has a combination of half-and-half, butter, velveeta cheese, bacon and cheddar cheese. Sound familiarly fattening? It is the (copycat) recipe for O'Charley's Baked Potato Soup. I'm not sure where it originally came from, but Mom had the recipe and oh it is good!

Baked Potato Soup

3 pounds red potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
8 cups half-and-half (OR 4 cups half-and-half and 4 cups milk)
16 ounces velvet cheese, melted
White pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Bacon fried crisply
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until almost cooked.

In a separate large pan, combine melted butter and flour, mixing until smooth. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half stirring constantly. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.

Add melted velveeta. Stir well. Drain potatoes and add to cream mixture. Stir in pepper, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce.

Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place soup into individual serving bowls and top with bacon, shredded cheese, chives and parsley.

Picture from OCharleys.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Stone Soup

You guessed it. This isn't exactly a soup recipe either. In my defense, when I think of soup, I usually think of this story. Actually, the soup doesn't sound too bad (minus the stones of course) and maybe the barley and milk (odd additions). Maybe someday we'll try it though.

Stone Soup

Water
3 round smooth stones
Salt
Pepper
Carrots
Cabbage
Beef
Potatoes
Barley
Milk

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Italian Bread

When we lived in New Jersey, Italian bread was one of those things you took for granted. If you went out to eat at an Italian restaurant (which we did often), then you ate delicious hot Italian bread. Out here in Colorado there just aren't many Italian restaurants and so no Italian bread. Until the other day when I threw all the ingredients into my bread machine and viola! delicious hot Italian bread. It is good with just butter slathered on top with maybe a bit of apple butter. Or make into a sandwich like the Italian Grilled Sandwich with Tomato Tortellini Soup.

Italian Bread

2 packages (1/4 ounces each) active dry yeast
3 cups warm water, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg
8 - 9 cups all-purpose flour
Melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast to 1/2 cup warm water. Add the sugar, shortening, salt, egg, remaining water and 4 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place seam side down on greased baking sheets. With a sharp knife, make four shallow diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 37-42 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush with melted butter. Cool.

Recipe from The Taste of Home Baking Book

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich

When Chris and I got married, my mom made up a recipe book with all of the recipes I grew up on plus a few extra that sounded good. This recipe is one of the "extras". It is great paired up (and dunked into) Tomato Tortellini Soup.

Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich

4 slices Italian bread (1 inch thick) *Recipe coming tomorrow
8 slices provolone cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Cut a 3 inch pocket in each slice of bread; place a slice of cheese in each pocket (I did it the "old fashioned" way and just slapped the cheese between 2 slices of bread). In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt; soak bread for 2 minutes on each side. Coat with breadcrumbs. Cook on a greased hot griddle until golden brown on both sides. *I also cooked mine in the oven for a few minutes to make sure the egg was cooked. A bit paranoid maybe?

Monday, January 16, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Tomato Tortellini Soup

Now that the picture for this recipe is up, I realize that it is probably not the picture that will make you run screaming for the grocery store insisting that you must have the ingredients right then and there. However, let me assure you that it is a wonderful (and easy to make) soup that is a different twist on the traditional tomato soup (it tastes great with an Italian Grilled Cheese sandwich - recipe tomorrow). Also, I promise this is the last cheese tortellini soup recipe. It's just that tortellini stuffed with a bit of cheese makes for some good eaten' in a soup.

We sort of adapted this recipe and made it our own which is why the ingredients are vague in the milk department. What I'm trying to say is to make the tomato soup according to the directions on the can using milk.

Tomato Tortellini Soup

8 ounces chicken broth
2 10-1/2 ounce cans tomato soup
2 "soup cans" of milk
8 ounces cream cheese with chive and onion
9 ounces cheese tortellini

In a saucepan, heat chicken broth. Melt the cream cheese in the broth; add tomato soup and milk. Cook 5-7 minutes. Add cheese tortellini; cook an additional 7-10 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Soup Rules

For those with young kids (or even the occasional adult), click over to the link below and read this article on soup rules. Cute way to approach table manners that adults kids can understand.


Follow the rules or "No soup for you!"

Link to FamilyFun.go.com

Thursday, January 12, 2012

'Tis The Season for Soup - Sausage Tortellini Soup

This recipe is delightfully yummy and has less than 200 calories per serving. Double yummy!

Sausage Tortellini Soup

1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups torn fresh spinach
3/4 cup refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender.

Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Return to a boil. Add spinach and tortellini; cook for 7-9 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Sprinkle with cheese.

**Yield: 2 servings**

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Snowman Soup

Ok so technically this can't exactly qualify as a soup. However, I thought it was terribly cute and since I do the blogging . . . here it is. Enjoy it yourself or make one up to pass on to a friend!

Snowman Soup

1 individual packet hot chocolate mix
2-3 chocolate kiss candies
10-15 mini marshmallows
Small candy cane

Assemble in a gift bag, gift mug or small zipper food storage bag. Attach a Snowman Soup gift tag along with the poem below.

Snowman Soup

Was told you've been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You'll need to warm the spirit.

So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It's sure to do the trick!

Recipe and picture from Christmas.OrganizedHome.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cornbread

Besides being pared up with chili, we love this cornbread just by itself slathered with butter and drizzled with honey.

Golden Cornbread

1 cup yellow or white corn meal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable shortening

Combine corn meal, flour, sugar and baking powder. Add milk, egg and shortening. Beat with mixer until fairly smooth, about 1 minute. Bake in greased 8 inch square baking pan in preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Chili

This chili recipe comes from several different recipes and then the best parts all thrown into the crock pot eventually delivering a bowl of deliciousness. The best part about chili is you can customize it to your liking. We had Chris' family over for family game night and it was devoured! Easy, fast and yummy!

Chili

1 pound ground beef
12 ounces regular pork sausage
12 ounces maple pork sausage
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 can black beans
1 can white beans
2 cans light kidney beans
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 can beer (12 ounces)*
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons instant beef bouillon (or 6 cubes)
2 tablespoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce**
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon warm water

*The "original" recipe calls for 12 ounces of beer which can be replaced with water.
**The hot sauce can be left out for people to put in themselves based on their own preference.

In a large saucepan, brown meat, drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

Add the garlic and onion, cook and stir until tender.

Add all ingredients except the last 3 to a crock pot.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour, then add the warm water and mix well.

Add cornmeal and flour mixture to crockpot; mix well.

Cook on low for 8 hours. (The "original" recipe cooks for 2 hours on the stovetop before adding the cornmeal and flour mixture. After the addition, cook for an additional 20 minutes.)

Serve chili on top of corn chips or cornbread (recipe coming tomorrow).


"Original" recipe from MomsWhoThink.com (Best Chili Recipe)

Friday, January 6, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Freezing Tips

Soups are an easy and quick meal to freeze. Next time you make your favorite soup, make a double batch and freeze. Here are some tips from Taste of Home on freezing soups.

To cool soup quickly before freezing, place the kettle in a sink filled with ice water. When cool, transfer to airtight freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/4 inch headspace for expansion.

Most soups freeze nicely. The exceptions are soups made with cream and potatoes. Those are better when eaten fresh.

Pasta in soup can get mushy in the freezer. It's best to add the pasta when ready to eat, not before freezing.

To help retain their fantastic flavor, don't freeze soups for longer than 3 months.

Thaw soup completely in the refrigerator and reheat in a saucepan.

Tips from TasteOfHome.com

Thursday, January 5, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - Italian Tortellini Soup

Italian Tortellini Soup

1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
5 cups (3 cans) beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red cooking wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 cups carrots
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
8 ounces tomato sauce
3 tablespoons parsley
1-1/2 cups chopped zucchini
1 medium bell pepper
2 cups cheese tortellini

In a large skillet, brown sausage, onions and garlic. (Or you can add the onion and garlic to the other veggies in Step 2)

Blend zucchini, pepper, and carrots to a puree (Sneak Step 1 veggies in! It also makes the soup part a little thicker)

Add all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. Add tortellini and simmer for 15 minutes.

*Freezing option: Cool soup without the tortellini. When you are ready to eat, unfreeze, simmer and add tortellini.

Recipe from Sissy / Picture courtesy of Ben

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cuban Bread

This bread is great by itself or on top of French Onion Soup and comes from my new favorite cookbook, Breaking Bread with Father Dominic. Since moving to Colorado, I have been on a bread making craze. I love using my bread machine to either bake the bread or simply knead it for me. Below are both versions of the recipe (with and without a bread machine).

Cuban Bread

3 packages active dry yeast
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cups warm water
5 to 6 cups bread flour, divided (All-purpose flour can also be used)
1 tablespoon salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling on baking sheet
1 egg or 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
3/4 cup hot water

Combine yeast, brown sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl; stir to mix. Stir in 2 cups of the flour; beat well. Let stand 10 minutes for yeast to develop. Stir in salt. Add remaining 3 to 4 cups flour, about 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until a stiff dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep dough manageable. Dough should be smooth, elastic and not sticky. Oil the surface of the dough and put it in the rinsed mixing bowl. cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place 45 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough. Knead lightly. Form into two long loaves. Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet; place loaves on baking sheet. Let rise, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Using a sharp knife or razor blade, make 3 or 4 diagonal slashed in the top of each loaf. Brush loaves with egg wash. Place on middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf; pour hot water into pan. Set oven temperature at 400 degrees and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves are well browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on wire racks.

Yield: 2 loaves


Cuban Bread (Bread Machine version)

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (or active dry yeast)
Cornmeal, for sprinkling on baking sheet
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg glaze
3/4 cup hot water

Add water, salt, flour, brown sugar and yeast to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough/manual cycle.

When cycle is complete, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape into a long loaf; taper ends by gently rolling back and forth. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on top of loaf. Brush with egg glaze. Place on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a shallow pan on bottom shelf and add hot water to pan. Set oven temperature at 400 degrees and bake 30 minutes, or until done. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Recipe from Breaking Bread with Father Dominic

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

'Tis the Season for Soup - French Onion Soup

The other day Sissy texted me and asked what my theme for January was going to be and since I had no idea, she suggested soup. How appropriate! This recipe for Panera Bread's French Onion Soup comes from my Top Secret Recipes book. I would have to disagree that it tastes (or even looks) just like Panera Bread's. The recipe is good, but it just isn't the same. Part of it may be that you actually have to make it yourself.

Panera Bread French Onion Soup

1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 cups sliced white onions (4 to 5 medium onions)
2 14 ounce can beef broth
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (We are not a fan of thyme and 1/4 teaspoon is very strong in the soup. I suggest 1/8 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Couple drops Tabasco pepper sauce

Garnish
Croutons
Butter
Shaved Asiago cheese (or whatever you have on hand)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add sliced onions and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until onions turn brown.

Add remaining ingredients (but not the garnish) to the pan and stir to combine. Heat soup until it's boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Make croutons for he top of the soup by slicing foccacia bread (or any bread you may have) into 3/4 inch thick slices. Butter both sides of those slices, then cut the slices into bite size cubes. Bake the bread in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until crispy. Shave some Asiago cheese by simply dragging a potato peeler over the edge of a wedge of Asiago.

Serve the soup super hot with a handful of croutons floating on top followed by a couple tablespoons of shaved Asiago cheese.

*I used Cuban Bread (recipe coming tomorrow) cut into rounds and put on top of the soup. After sprinkling it with cheese, I placed it in the broiler until the cheese melted. The only change I would make would be to crisp the bread first before putting it in the soup. If you don't, you will have soggy bread like we did. You live and you learn.

Recipe from Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur