Tag Archives: italian seasoning

Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

28 Dec

I posted this almost a year ago and made it last night again for dinner (another one of many times throughout the year). This is one of my daughter’s favorite quick dinners I make, and it’s my go-to recipe for a simple and easy delicious meal! Last night I subbed out Panko bread crumbs seasoned with Italian dried season and used a jar of homemade canned tomatoes, chopped, with liquid drained. If you haven’t made this before, try it out!

anotherfoodieblogger

So simple, so colorful, and soooo good! I had a bag of fresh spinach and a pound of defrosted boneless chicken breast in the fridge. A lovely tomato sat on the counter. In my mind, that’s a no brainer. BUT! I didn’t want to stuff the chicken, it was too cold to grill, and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. All the recipes I found online just didn’t “do” it for me, so I set out to combine several of them with the parts I liked, then completely improvised from there. My family gobbled this right up, and now I have yet another easy weeknight dinner I can put into my rotation.

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or other seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon…

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Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

20 Nov
Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

I had it in my mind over the weekend that I really wanted to make soup with white beans and spinach. No rhyme or reason for that. It’s just what I “felt like.”  The afternoon of the day I decided on this, my husband had already put ribs the crockpot in the morning (unbeknownst to me), and the next day we were invited out to dinner. So, no soup for me!

I finally got to the day I would put this into action. White beans. Check. Spinach. Check. Homemade canned tomatoes. Check. Vegetarian? Maybe. But I scrounged around the freezer and found a pound of Spicy Italian Sausage that’s blended at our local grocer. Perfect! I wouldn’t have to spice it up too much with anything else. And this local blend is absolutely delicious! My husband uses it in his huge batches of spaghetti sauce that we always freeze for quick late night meals. I have yet to disclose that recipe. He might have to kill me if I do. 😉

I only used 1/2 pound of this sausage, as it is REALLY spicy. Now I know that 100% of my readers don’t visit this particular store (and if you do, then I don’t know about you) so my suggestion is to buy bulk Italian-spiced sausage, then add cayenne pepper, to taste. I’m going to guess maybe 1/8 teaspoon to start and build up from there? Either way, you can omit the cayenne or add or reduce to your taste.

I made this soup in less than a half-hour while on a conference call at work, as I was working after hours. Thank goodness for hands-free headsets and mute buttons, huh? While I’m sure you won’t be in that situation while preparing this soup, it’s nice to know you can.

I know this would convert into a wonderful vegetarian recipe by using vegetable stock and omitting the  sausage, as there are plenty of beans in this! You’d probably have to add salt and play with the seasonings, though.  I hope you enjoy!

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

1/2 pound Spicy Italian Sausage (or bulk Italian Sausage and add cayenne pepper to taste)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup baby carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thin
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 cloves minced)
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning herbs
6 to 7 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint jar homemade canned tomatoes, diced, or one 14-0unce can low sodium diced tomatoes
6 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (this was half of a 9-ounce bag)

In a dutch oven or soup pot, add the sausage, onion, and carrots over medium heat. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain grease, if needed. Mine was lean enough and did not have to. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, add the Italian dried seasoning herbs, chicken broth, beans, and tomatoes (including liquid). Bring it up to a simmer, and then add the spinach. Give it a good stir, and as soon as the spinach wilts, it is ready to serve!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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