Ingredients: 2 tsp. Olive oil, 1 white or yellow diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups water, 1 cup rinsed and drained dried lentils, 2 cups fresh chopped spinach, kale or chard, 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 2 tsp. lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, few spoonfuls of tomato paste, steamed rice
Directions: Heat oil, saute onion/garlic 5 mins. Add broth, water and lentils. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer covered until lentils are tender (approx. 40 mins.) Add the rest, stir and simmer for 5 mins, serve with rice!
Notes/Tips: Frozen spinach can be used. I use extra garlic and balsamic vinegar. Toasted pita is a nice thing to dip in this bowl of yum!
Michelle’s Avgolemeno Soup (as featured on Hometown Pasadena, Jan 29, 2013)
Ingredients: 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1 chopped medium white or yellow onion, 2 lg. garlic cloves, diced, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup diced (cooked) chicken, 2 quarts (approx. 8 ½ cups) chicken stock, ½ cup fresh lemon juice (approx. 3 lemons), ½ cup milk, 1 ½ tsp. corn starch, 4 egg yolks, 1 cup (pre cooked measurement) brown rice (or approximately 2 cups steamed brown rice)
Directions: In a soup pot, combine oil, onion, garlic. Stir on med/high heat for a 3 minutes. Add carrots and celery. Stir and simmer until celery begins to soften; approximately 10 minutes.
In another dish, mix egg yolks, corn starch and milk. Set aside.
Add chicken stock, cooked rice and chicken. Bring to a boil, and simmer on medium heat until vegetables are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
When soup base is ready, remove from heat. Add egg/milk/corn starch mixture. Stir. Add ¼ cup of the lemon juice (to start) and a few shakes of salt and pepper.
Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, pepper as desired. Leftovers will thicken.
Tips: measurements for carrot, celery, chicken and rice are flexible. The above quantities are what I would consider the minimum needed to create a hearty soup meal. I often throw in enough extras that our dinner turns into Avgolemeno-stew, which is fine with us!
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 med onion (diced), 1 clove crushed garlic, 2 med bell peppers (diced–approximately 1 1/2 cups), Two 15 oz. cans black beans (with liquid–don’t drain’em!), One 15 oz. can diced, stewed or crushed tomatoes, One 6 oz. can tomato paste, 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Directions: Simmer onion (any kind will do,) garlic and olive oil for a few minutes. Add bell pepper and cook until peppers start to soften. Add everything else, stir and bring to a boil/simmer until peppers are fully cooked. You. Are. Done.
(OK. Yes you can top off your creation with shredded cheese, diced onions, sour cream, what have you… Then. You. Are. Done.)
Tips: You can use fresh tomatoes if you have them, but this is the “easy-peasy” recipe so we’re going with that theme. Any color bell pepper and any type of onion will do. This is a mild version so my kids will enjoy it as well. Often I serve my three little Gringo-mouths first and then add cayenne and chipotle powder or hot sauce to Mike and mine.
Michelle’s “This Time” Chili: (a longer ingredient list but practically as easy as the recipe above!)
Ingredients: 1 large diced onion, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 cup chopped celery, 2 cups chopped bell pepper, Two 15 oz. cans drained kidney beans, One 15 oz. can drained pinto beans, One can black beans w/liquid, One 12 oz can tomato paste, 1/2-3/4 bottle of beer (OK–yes I took a few sips so I’m not sure…) 1 tsp garlic salt, 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp. cayenne, 1 tsp. black pepper, pinch of sugar
Directions: simmer the onions, peppers, celery and garlic until it all begins to soften. Add everything else and bring to boil. Simmer until veggies are fully cooked. Open another beer and sit down to dinner!
Kitty Purgason’s White Chicken Chili
Chili Ingredients: 1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves, couple three cans chicken broth (0r approximate equivalent), leftover diced cooked chicken, 1 can drained white or pinto beans, 1 can corn (drain but save liquid in case you need it), 1 can chopped tomatoes with liquid, 1 (or 2) small can mild green chilis, optional: chopped fresh tomatillos if available. See toppings ingredients below…
Definitely serve with: fresh lime, tortilla chip crumbles Optionally serve with (unless you’re at my house, then this is definite too!): sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, diced green onion, hot sauce
Directions: Saute onion and garlic with a few splashes of olive oil. Add everything else and bring to a simmer. Um… you’re done and it likely took all of 12 minutes.
Made the lentil soup today. Mmm, mmm, yum! Perfect for a cold night. Will definitely make a bigger batch next time.
If you are tired of regular chicken soup, I highly recommend Avgolemeno. The lemon is so soothing and the egg/milk/cornstarch make it more satisfying. Mmmmmm…a nice treat for winter.