Zuppa e Insalata (Soup and Salad)

EASY POTATO CLAM CHOWDER (see Blog for detailed instructions)

This is by far the easiest “semi-homemade” chowder recipe I’ve ever made. You will be amazed at the rave reviews for this soup! No one will be able to tell how simple this was to prepare. Serve warm with hot sauce and chowder crackers.

Ingredients:
1-11 oz. Pkg. Dried Creamy Potato Soup Mix (Bear Creek)
1-51 oz. Can Chopped Sea Clams (SeaWatch)
Hot Sauce
Chowder Crackers

Directions:
The dried potato soup mix requires 8 cups of water per package instructions. Before adding any water, measure out the liquid from the sea clams, which will take the place of the water in the recipe. If the liquid does not add up to 8 cups, then supplement with additional water (or bottled clam juice) to equal the required 8 cups of liquid. Heat the liquid mixture to boiling, then whisk in the dried potato soup mix. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for approx. 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the sea clams to the soup and heat through before serving. Serve with hot sauce and chowder crackers.

clam

EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

This is one of my son’s favorite dishes. I make it often in the winter. It’s quick and easy to prepare, using premade roasted chicken. I love the combination of chicken broth and beef broth. This soup is delicious served with shredded parmesan cheese.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 Cup Onion, Chopped
1 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Carrots, Chopped
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper
1 Can (48 oz) Chicken Broth
1 Can (48 oz) Beef Broth
1 (1.22 oz) Container Concentrated Chicken Stock (Knorr’s) or 2 Tbsp. Chicken Base
1 Cup Ditalini Pasta
1 ½ Cups Roasted Chicken, Chopped
Parmesan Cheese, Shredded (Optional-topping)

Directions:
In a soup pot over medium heat, combine oil and garlic. Saute for approx. 1 minute, until the garlic is light brown. Add the onion, carrots, celery, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute for approx. 7 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add the chicken broth, beef broth and the concentrated chicken stock (or base) and bring to a boil. Add the ditalini pasta and cook for approx. 10 minutes until pasta is tender. Add the chicken and simmer until the mixture is heated through. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper if desired. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese.

cs

BAKED POTATO SOUP

I made this recipe for the first time several years ago, and everyone loved the flavor of this soup. The toppings make this soup extremely flavorful, and very filling. This recipe has been adapted from a Woman’s Day recipe.

Ingredients:
Soup:
1 Qt. Chicken Broth
2 lbs. Baking Potatoes, Peeled and Quartered
½ lb. Yellow Onions, Chopped
2 Cups Light Cream
1 Potato Baked, Diced in Small Pieces
Salt & Pepper to taste

Toppings:
12 Oz. Cheddar, Shredded
4 Tbsp. Sour Cream, for garnish
4 Tbsp. Scallions, for garnish
4 Tbsp. Bacon, Cooked and Crumbled, for garnish

Directions:
In a large soup pot, heat the chicken broth. Add the raw baking potatoes and onions to the chicken broth. Simmer slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until potatoes are cooked through. Using an immersion blender, puree the broth, potatoes and onions. (This can be done in batches in a standard blender if desired). Add the light cream and the diced baked potato. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, it can be thinned with additional water. Serve warm, with optional toppings of shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions and crumbled bacon.

bp soup

FRENCH ONION SOUP

This soup is savory and delicious. The sweetness of the onions and the creaminess of the cheese is a wonderful combination.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Large White Onions, Sliced 1/4 Inch Thick
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 14-oz. Cans Beef Broth
1 1.22-oz. Container Concentrated Beef Stock (or 2 Tbsp. Beef Base)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese or Provolone Cheese
4 Sliced Toasted French Bread

Directions:
Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions to the butter and sauté for 12 minutes, until onions are tender. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the beef broth, beef concentrate and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for approx. 5 minutes. Spoon soup in 4 ovenproof bowls. (I generally place the soup bowls on a baking sheet for ease of moving in and out of the oven. Coffee mugs may be used in place of soup bowls if desired). Top each individual soup with 1 slice of toasted French bread, then top with ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Place under the oven broiler until the cheese begins to bubble. Serve immediately.

fo soup

SPINACH SALAD WITH MANDARIN ORANGES, ALMONDS & FETA CHEESE

The mandarin oranges added to this spinach salad, along with the nuts and cheese really makes this salad a treat. This salad looks great on a holiday buffet.

Ingredients:
8 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves
½ Cup Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
1 11-oz. Can Mandarin Oranges, Drained
1 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Sliced Almonds
1 Cup Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Dressing:
Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing (made with balsamic vinegar)

Directions:
Place spinach leaves in a large salad bowl. Top with red onion, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and feta cheese. When ready to serve, drizzle with salad dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

spin salad

GREEN SALAD WITH MONTEREY JACK CHEESE & CANDIED NUTS

This salad is really delicious. I often make this recipe when I am entertaining a large crowd. It’s simple to make, and the combination of fruit, nuts and cheese with the salad greens and dressing makes this very savory. I rarely make the candied nuts…these are easy to purchase premade (stores sell in the salad/crouton section).

Ingredients:
2 Cups Romaine Lettuce, Chopped, Washed & Dried
2 Cups Mixed Spring Lettuce Mix, Washed & Dried
1 Cup Arugula, Washed & Dried
12 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese (Cut into ½” Cubes)
1 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Candied Nuts
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Dressing:
Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing (using balsamic vinegar)

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the romaine, spring lettuce and arugula. Add the monterey jack cheese, dried cranberries and candied nuts. Drizzle with the Good Seasons salad dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.

salad

MEDITERRANEAN ORZO SALAD
I often make this orzo salad, especially during the summer when seasonal vegetables are so fresh. The flavors are delicious together, especially when topped with the lemon juice dressing.

Ingredients:
½ lb. Orzo
1 English Cucumber, Chopped
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, Halved
1 Cup Kalamata Olives (Pitted), Halved
½ Red Onion, Sliced Thin
1 Cup Feta, Cut in 1” Cubes
Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Optional)
Scallions, Sliced (Optional)

Dressing:
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice (The Juice from 2 Lemons)
2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:
Prepare orzo according to package instructions. Meanwhile, prepare all other ingredients and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked orzo when ready and top with the lemon juice dressing while orzo is warm for maximum absorption of flavor. Place on a serving platter and top with chopped fresh parsley and sliced scallions, if desired.

med orz salad

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