Recipes From the Garden: A Taste of the Season

Jan 3, 2023

Recipes From the Garden: A TasteWinter soups can warm up the chilliest of nights. Think of these as bowls of comfort; guaranteed to keep your family filled up and cozy. The one pot lasagna soup has all the richness of lasagna with layers of cheesy noodles in a marinara sauce infused with Italian herbs and browned beef. Smother with Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella and you've got lasagna in a bowl. Chicken Taco Soup will be your new taco Tuesday this winter. It can be ready in 40 minutes, while you put together a salad. The Tuscan Bean Soup checks all the marks being both healthy and filling. Creamy chicken mushroom soup is cozy, comforting and velvety. And, I'm feeling like the mushroons are way too exotic to even be considered a vegetable! Finally, the bean soup with ham is a hearty contender for any winter weeknight. It's another simple preparation using dried beans, ham and chopped vegetables. The ham hock or a ham bone added during simmering adds a nice smoky flavor and if you add some hot-baked cornbread, you'll hear no complaints. Now you've got a start to your winter soup challenge and a delicious way of stretching that grocery bill dollar!

One Pot Lasagna Soup



1 pound lean ground beef or half Italian sausage/ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
¼-½ tsp red pepper flakes
24 oz. jar traditional Italian spaghetti sauce
8-10 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp each dried parsley, dried oregano, salt
½ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
12 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into approximately 1–2-inch pieces
½ cup heavy cream

Cheese Garnish; any or all
shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly-finely grated Parmesan cheese
ricotta cheese

Heat large Dutch oven/large soup pot over medium high heat. Add beef or beef/sausage combination and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beef is browned. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat. Add jar of spaghetti sauce, 6 cups chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, spices, bay leaf and lasagna noodles. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until lasagna noodles are tender, stirring occasionally (approximately 20-30 minutes). Discard bay leaf and stir in heavy cream and 2-4 cups chicken broth to reach desired consistency. Garnish individual servings with desired amount of cheeses.

Serves 6

Chicken Taco Soup



1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
2 10 oz cans Ro-tel tomatoes and diced chilies with juices
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp each garlic powder, ground cumin and paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
12 oz can of corn, drained
14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
8 oz block of cream cheese softened
3 cups cooked rotisserie chicken shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings as you desire: shredded Tex-Mex cheese blend, avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips

Take the cream cheese out of the fridge at least an hour ahead of time to let it soften up or microwave it for 20-30 seconds until it's soft. Add the oil and onion to a soup pot and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add all the remaining soup ingredients to the pot except for the cream cheese, chicken, and salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Turn down the heat so it's simmering gently (uncovered) for 5 minutes. While the soup cooks, prep your toppings. Cut the cream cheese into smaller pieces and add it to the soup. Let it melt in and stir in until fully incorporated. Stir in the chicken and cook for another 5-7 minutes or so, until it's warmed through. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve with desired toppings.

Serves 6

Tuscan Bean Soup



2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
1 quart either vegetable or chicken broth
3 cans (14 oz) cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3 cups chopped kale; ribs removed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a 6 quart or larger Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash. Sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, and rosemary. Cook 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring the contents to a boil, turning the heat down to low and add the chopped kale. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender or standard blender to partially puree the soup, leaving some chunks of beans/vegetables for texture. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve topped with Parmesan or Dubliner cheese and a side of crusty bread.

Serves 8

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup



2 ½ cups cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken 
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
½ cup half and half, or more, as needed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 sprig rosemary

Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes, season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired.

Serves 4-5

Ham and Bean Hearty Soup



6 cups water
6 cups chicken broth
1 lb dry great northern beans, sorted and rinsed
1 lb bag of assorted dry beans, sorted and rinsed
1 tsp salt
1½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onion
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 ½ tsp mustard powder
2 bay leaves
3 ham hocks
3 cups chopped ham
1tsp ground white pepper or to taste

Place water, broth, and beans in a large pot; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in salt and remove the pot from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, mustard, and bay leaves to the pot with beans; stir well. Add ham hock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove ham hock and discard. Stir in chopped ham and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with ground white pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8



By Julie Hyske, Master Gardener
Author - Master Gardener