House Soup & Chocolate Mint Brownies

A few weeks back (actually, our last Family Feast) I made what is called House Soup.  I have just now gotten some time that I can post the recipe – or, what I would call the ‘guidelines’!

I actually just made this soup based off of a similar one that I was introduced to at my last job. There was a little Chinese Food place just down from our office, and this was the place that called to all of us at certain times – especially when it was cold here in the desert (truly a rare occurrence, even in the winter. So, we used the ‘bellow 80 degrees’ as a cold measurement!)

When you went in to this restaurant and ordered the House Soup, they actually made it fresh right there. Best…stuff…ever! I should go and see if this little place is still around.

Truly, there is no recipe for this wonderful concoction.  You really just start with a chicken stock/broth base and go from there with the veggies. The constants are the 2 meats.

House Soup (this is my recipe for serving 6 people)

1 pound skirt steak – cut into strips

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed

  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, shell and tail off

  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth (more or less depending on how much of the ingredients you have – you will need to cover everything with the broth.

  • 2 cups each of your choice of chopped veggies – my go to choices are:

    • Broccoli

    • Snow peas

    • Carrots

    • Purple cabbage

    • Leeks

    • Green onions

    • Celery

    • Napa Cabbage

    • Bean Sprouts

    • Salt & Pepper - to taste

    • Soy Sauce – to taste

  1. In a skillet cook steak until no pink is present. Remove and drain. Repeat the process for the chicken cubes.

  2. In a large pot bring stock to a boil. Add in steak and chicken. Return to a boil for 10 minutes.

  3. Add in all vegetables and shrimp. Add liquid to cover ingredients.

  4. Return to a boil and cook until shrimp turns pink.

  5. Ade salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Serve with soy sauce should your guests choose to add it to their bowl of soup!

YUM!!!!

With this particular lunch I made a very simple dessert, jazzed up a bit.

Andes Brownies

Ingredients:

  • Brownie mix (and necessary ingredients)

  • 1 bag of Andes Mints, unwrapped

  1. Bake a standard brownie mix as directed on the box.

  2. Remove brownies from over and immediately lay the mints out over the hot brownies.

  3. Wait 5 minutes and use a spatula to spread the melted mints.

There you have in – mint chocolate frosted brownies.

Again….YUM!

Soup-er Sunday Recap - Cazuela (Mac Style)

We had another Soup-er Sunday today. This was really our only one for the month of December since we have so many obligations and then Christmas. We also needed to celebrate the Rocket Scientist’s birthday, so we used today to do that as well.

The soup today was the Arizona version of Cazuela. There are many versions from different South American countries, but this one has been on my favorite list since the early 90’s. I used to work on the south side of the city, where some of the best Mexican food restaurants in town happen to be. My favorite little place is called Mi Nidito (my little nest). Perhaps you have heard of it…there is a famous person who visited there and apparently it’s a big deal!

At any rate – their version of Cazuela makes me so very happy. Served with warm, fresh tortillas (picked up from the tortilla factory down in the same area of town…so good!) this is a rib sticking soup. As I mentioned, there are several versions of it and the one here in Arizona is very heavy on potatoes and garlic! YUMMO! It is usually made with machaca or carne seca – both drier meats. However, I was running short on time and ended up just cooking a roast overnight in the crock pot – and it worked just fine. That being said – this is a recipe that you can play with, add to, take form…make it your own. My measurements are winging it for a family of 5 with leftovers!

Cazuela Mac Style

  • 4 pound Rump Roast

  •  8 cloves freshly chopped garlic (or 2T of the pre-chopped in a jar)

  • 2 cartons Beef Broths

  • One large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 5-6 large potatoes, skin on, chopped French fry style

  • 1 bunch Cilantro, coarsely chopped

  • 3 small cans chopped, roasted chilies (Hatch are the best)

  • Salt to taste

  1. Cook roast in crockpot on low for 10-12 hours with one carton of broth/stock and one can of chilies (I have a crockpot with a timer so I just set it and go to bed.). Remove roast from crockpot and shred.

  2. In a large soup pot place the shredded roast, the liquid contents of the crockpot, additional carton of broth/stock, ½ of the cilantro, chopped potatoes, onion and remaining cans of chilies.

  3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add ½ of the remaining cilantro and cook for another 10 minutes.

  4. Place soup in a bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve with fresh flour tortillas on the side (I love to dip them in my soup!).

Of course, it was a birthday celebration for the Rocket Scientist – a chocolate lover beyond compare. So, I made a dark chocolate layer cake with Chocolate Nutella Frosting. It was a hit!

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. I will be back in 2015 with more Soup-er Sunday Recaps!


Soup-er Sunday Recap (November 2, 2014): Potato, Sausage & Leek Soup with Stove Pipe Bread

(Full disclosure: I was not as prepared for the photos on the preparation for this meal as I should have been...therefore we have a mix of phone and slr camera pics. I apologize and will work to do better! Maybe...on a great 'got-it-together day!)

Yesterday was our first family Soup-er Sunday get-together. If you will recall my post HERE (the one where I admitted I may have freaked out at my son's impromptu request to gather!)– we decided a few weeks ago that we all live too close to each other to not get together more often. So, every other week we will be having a soup day over at our house.

I decided soup would be a good meal because you can make a ton, the left overs are great and, for the most part, soup is relatively quick and easy to make for a larger group.

For our first week I thought Potato Sausage and Leek soup would be great. Here in the desert we actually hit what feels like Fall this week. That might not mean much too many, but here when the temps get to a high of 70 and lows are in the low-50s…well…that’s a chill in the air for us! My Potato soup is the perfect way to kick off Fall weather (most of us are crossing our fingers this weather lingers for a while since we were over 90 on Halloween!). I also served Stove Pipe Bread…I learned how to make this from my pastor’s wife back when I was 17! It is amazingly yummy and super easy.

Potato Sausage Leek Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large carton Chicken Broth
  • 7-8 medium to large potatoes, cubed (I don’t peel them…it adds flavor!)
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 cups Milk (whole or 2%)
  • 1 chub Sausage, fried and crumbled (I sometimes use spicy for an extra kick)
  • 6 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 2 Leeks, sliced about an inch into the green (float sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water before adding them to the soup, this will allow the dirt and grit to fall to the bottom of the bowl – much easier than trying to wash all of that out by hand.)
  • 8 oz. Velveeta, cubed

Combine all ingredients with the exception of the Velveeta. Allow to cook at a medium heat until vegetables are tender (about 30-45 minutes). Add Velveeta and allow to melt, combining well. Serves 6. I usually increase my potato count to 8-10 and add another carton of chicken broth if I’m serving my family – then we have leftovers. This recipe is super easy and very customizable to your taste and amount to make…winging it is the name of the game for this one!

Stove Pipe Bread

I think this bread got its name from the fact that it is prepared in coffee cans, which resemble stove pipes? I’m not certain, but that is the story I’m going with.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 pkg. Yeast
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 One Pound Coffee Cans (with lids), emptied and cleaned

Butter the inside of the 2 coffee cans well.

Combine the dry yeast and 1 ½ cups flour in a medium mixing bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, water, oil, salt and sugar. Heat until barely war, (should be unnoticed when dropped on the wrist…think of checking a baby bottle!). Once the correct temperature has been reach, add this to the yeast mixture. Using a slow speed, mix/blend together until smooth. Add in eggs and mix until blended. Gradually add 1 cup of the flour and blend well. By hand, stir in the last cup of flour.

Ready to rise...almost to the lids.

Ready to rise...almost to the lids.

Pour half of the dough into each coffee can. Cover with the plastic lids, place in a warm area (I set mine on my oven that was on low heat - 170 degrees - and covered with 2 kitchen towels), and allow to rise until the dough almost touches the lids.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, remove the lids and place cans on a baking sheet. Allow to bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cans and serving.

No joke, I could eat a whole loaf of this when it is fresh out of the oven and warm with butter!

Mmmm...fresh baked bread!!!

Mmmm...fresh baked bread!!!

And that was our first Family Soup-er Sunday! The next one will be Sunday the 16thLet me know if you try these recipes and what you think!