Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup

This warm and easy soup is my version of a recipe I found on the Kate in the Kitchen blog. The original recipe used fresh chicken and vegetables, frozen tortellini, and stock. I replaced those ingredients with what I had on hand and added a bit of garlic. It was scrumptious. Next time, I’m thinking of making it, and then transferring it to the crockpot for a few hours so that the flavors deepen a bit. It’s going to make a nice warm treat once the days get a bit chillier.

Ingredients

  • Now with the oregano showing12 oz bag mirepoix blend frozen vegetables (carrots, celery, and onion)
  • 1 13 oz can chunk chicken breast, drained
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or 6 cups water and 6 chicken bouillon cubes)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 8 oz bag cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1 8 oz jar prepared Alfredo sauce

Directions

  1. Spray large dutch oven or soup pot with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Saute mirepoix in olive oil until soft.
  3. Stir in basil, oregano, and garlic.
  4. Add canned chicken.
  5. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add tortellini and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Stir in Alfredo sauce and allow to simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with grated Parmesan and bacon bits garnish, if desired.

Time Required: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Corn, Ham and Potato Scallop

This simple crockpot casserole from Betty Crocker recipe (original here) is a warm and cheesy treat. The Expert Tips with the recipe suggest that you can “Substitute cooked roast beef for the ham.”

Ingredients

  • 6 cups 1-inch cubes peeled baking potatoes
  • 1½ cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (15¼ oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons instant minced onion
  • 1can (10¾ oz) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Mix potatoes, ham, corn, bell pepper and onion in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix soup, milk and flour in small bowl; beat with wire whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour soup mixture over potato mixture; stir gently to mix.
  4. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 7 to 9 hours.

Senate Bean Soup

Don’t let this pork and bean soup recipe from Betty Crocker (original here) trick you. This isn’t pork and beans. This is the real thing—a warm soup made with great Northern beans and ham, thickened with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried navy beans or Great Northern beans (1 lb), sorted and rinsed
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 ham bone, 2 lb ham shanks or 2 lb smoked pork hocks
  • 2½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat beans and water to boiling.
  2. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  3. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  4. Add ham bone.
  5. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
  6. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  7. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  8. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  9. Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle.
  10. Remove ham from bone. Remove excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.
  11. Stir ham into soup.

Variations

  • Add 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin with remaining ingredients in step 7. Top soup with salsa if desired.

White-Bean and Sausage Stew

The photo of this recipe, with chunks of sausage and lots of beans, has me ready for a soup night. From the October 2006 issue of All You (original here), this crockpot soup is bound to fill the house with a wonderful aroma!

Ingredients

  • 6 (3 oz.) Italian sausages
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans (Great Northern or navy), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Poke holes in sausages and put in a large nonstick skillet.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and cook sausages, turning, until lightly browned and water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add beans, tomatoes and thyme.
  8. Put half of bean mixture into a slow cooker.
  9. Arrange sausages on top, followed by remaining beans.
  10. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  11. Check after 2 hours and add water if mixture looks dry.
  12. Remove sausages; slice thickly.
  13. Season beans with salt and pepper.
  14. Return sausage to stew. (Stew can be kept, frozen and tightly sealed, for up to 1 month.)

Classic Minestrone

Oddly, our family has never favored a minestrone recipe. When we think Italian food, it’s always a plate of pasta. This recipe from the October 2011 issue of All You (original here) might be worth sneaking into the line-up however. Everyone likes all those ingredients—and I bet if I add some meatballs, that pot of soup will disappear.

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes with liquid
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup small shell pasta or macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded escarole or kale
  • 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini or navy beans, drained
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving, optional

Directions

  1. Combine carrots, celery, onion and garlic in slow cooker.
  2. Pour in broth and stir in tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before serving, stir in pasta, escarole and beans.
  5. Cover, increase heat to high and cook until pasta is tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan, if desired.

Variations

  • I will probably add two dozen small meatballs with the vegetables and broth.
  • This would be a great candidate for a bread bowl. Mmm.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

This recipe came with a 5-can package of Member’s Mark chicken breast from Sam’s Club. It’s a simple, fast soup that’s perfect for a chilly evening—and it could easily sit in a crockpot on low a few hours if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans drained chicken breast, 13 oz.
  • 1 can enchilada sauce, 15 oz.
  • 1 can evaporated milk, 12 oz.
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed, 15 oz.
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, 10.5 oz.
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup, 10.75 oz.
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat on medium until the soup is hot, stirring occasionally.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, and sliced black olives, if desired.

Variations

  • The original recipe called for pinto beans. Mom isn’t a fan, so we chose black beans. Any bean would really work—pinto, black, kidney, whatever you prefer.
  • The original recipe also used Nacho Cheese Soup, instead of Cheddar Cheese Soup. Our nearest Kroger doesn’t carry Nacho Cheese anymore, so we substituted Cheddar Cheese Soup. Those who wanted a spicier soup just added a dash of hot sauce.

Slow Cooker Bacon Potato Chowder

This recipe from Campbell’s (original online) is fast and simple. The site explains, “This hearty and flavorful soup is so easy to make…simply mix the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do the work for you. And to make it even better, stir in Cheddar just before serving and top with a sprinkle of chives.”

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
  • 4 soup cans milk 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into
  • 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Directions

  1. Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes and 1/4 cup chives in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining chives.

Tomato Soup with White Beans and Pasta

A recipe from the January 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “The pasta and white bean in this rustic tomato soup make it a satisfying meal at a low-cost. Save even more money by doubling the recipe—you’ll have enough to enjoy for lunch later in the week.”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 28 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tubetini, little bow ties, elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add oregano, stir once, then add tomatoes with juice and chicken broth.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add pasta, stir, and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Stir in beans, lower heat and simmer until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, stir in parsley and serve, drizzling each portion with additional olive oil if desired.
  8. Makes 4 servings.

Taco Soup

We loved this soup so much that the first time we made it, we ate it three days in a row. It’s one of those meals that sits in the crockpot on the kitchen counter taunting you all day long.
 
A definite treat for a cool fall or winter day, the soup can be easily modified to your tastes—just add or remove any of the ingredients. Because several family members have difficulty with spicy foods, for instance, we modified the recipe to make it a bit less spicy than Paula Deen’s original recipe. This is how we serve it at our house.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 (15 1/2-oz) can pinto beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-oz) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15 1/4-oz) can white corn, drained
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (4 1/2-oz) cans green chiles, diced with no seeds
  • 1 (4.6-oz) can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 (1 1/4-oz) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-oz) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • Corn chips
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Chopped green onions

Directions

  1. Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot.
  3. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix.
  4. Cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove.
  5. Garnish bowls with corn chips, sour cream, cheese, and green onions. Add tabasco sauce, if desired.

Time Required: 6 hrs

Servings: 10–12

Rating: 5 stars (★★★★★)

Lasagna Soup

Decided I was in the mood for a bowl of soup, but wanted to try something different. I knew my search was over when I found Paula Deen’s Tastes Like Lasagna Soup. Everyone in the family loves lasagna, and Paula’s recipe sounded like a fun, new variarion. My version uses a few alternative ingredients, but it’s very close to the original.

Ingredients

  • Lasagna Soup, before cheese garnish2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillion
  • 2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (16 oz.) box lasagna noodles, broken into 1″ to 2″ pieces
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Crumble ground beef in a large soup pan. Season with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 mins.
  2. Add chopped onion and bell pepper, and continue to cook until beef is browned and vegetables are cooked. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add thyme, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, water and chicken bouillon. Stir to combine.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Allow pot to continue simmering over medium heat.
  5. While pot simmers, break lasagna noodles into small pieces, approximately 2″ long or less. The pieces will look rustic and uneven.
  6. Bring to a boil, and then add broken lasagna noodles, stirring thoroughly.
  7. Reduce to low and simmer 20 to 30 mins, or until noodles are cooked. Soup will be thick, almost stew-like.
  8. Stir in Parmesan cheese and allow to simmer another 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Spoon portions into bowls and garnish with a generous portion of mozzarella cheese.

Variations

  • Follow Paula Deen’s instructions to top the soup with broiled cheese before serving. Preheat the broiler, and scoop soup into ovenproof bowls. Sprinkle each bowl generously with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until melted and bubbly.
  • Add mozzarella cheese with Parmesan. Serve with a healthy dollop of ricotta and chopped green onion or parsley.
  • Vary the ingredients to suit your favorite lasagna ingredients. You might substitute some Italian sausage for some or all of the ground beef, or add some veggies like chopped carrot, spinach, or zucchini.
  • To make a vegetarian version, use vegetarian crumbles for the ground beef, vegetable broth for the water and bouillon, and add your favorite chopped veggies.

Time Required: 50 mins

Servings: 6–8

Rating: 5 stars (★★★★★)