Easy Butternut Squash Soup

This Easy Butternut Squash Soup is perfect for a simple, healthy, and delicious fall meal! It is great for lunch, dinner, or for Thanksgiving. Comfort food is a must during the chilly fall and winter months, but a lot of comfort food can be a little to…

This Easy Butternut Squash Soup is perfect for a simple, healthy, and delicious fall meal! It is great for lunch, dinner, or for Thanksgiving. Comfort food is a must during the chilly fall and winter months, but a lot of comfort food can be a little too comforting, if you know what I mean. Our…

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Tomato Herb Soup

I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can just make it into a really tasty soup.” The answer is yes. Yes, that deliciously tangy, herb-infused sauce is the […]

The post Tomato Herb Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can just make it into a really tasty soup.” The answer is yes. Yes, that deliciously tangy, herb-infused sauce is the great beginning to a super fast, easy, and delicious homemade Tomato Herb Soup.

Originally published 9-16-2013, updated 10-12-2020.

A mug of tomato herb soup on a plate with a grilled cheese

What Does Tomato Herb Soup Taste Like?

This tomato herb soup is not your everyday canned condensed tomato soup. It’s not sugary sweet, it’s fairly thick, very rich, and has tons of herby flavor. The magic comes from the melange of dried herbs and the quick act of caramelizing the tomato paste to create a rich sweetness. So yum and it gets better as it refrigerates. Oh, did I mention that it just happens to be VEGAN?

What to Serve with Tomato Herb Soup

A classic grilled cheese sandwich is never a bad idea, but you could also do something like Homemade Garlic Bread, or drop a few Homemade Croutons on top, and make a super simple salad to go on the side.

Is it Freezer Friendly?

Yes, this soup holds up really well to freezing, so feel free to stash a couple servings in there for later! I try to use up my frozen foods within three months for best quality, but you may get a longer life out of it. In the refrigerator, the soup should stay good for about 4-5 days.

Overhead view of a mug full of tomato soup with a black spoon in the center
 
Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

Tomato Herb Soup

Use basic pantry staples to create this quick and easy Tomato Herb Soup. It's thick, rich, flavorful, and perfect for grilled cheese dipping!
Total Cost $2.62 recipe / $0.52 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 1.5 cups each
Calories 168.16kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary $0.03
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste $0.39
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.79
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.39

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a sauce pot along with the olive oil, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic has softened.
  • Add the tomato paste and brown sugar. Stir until everything is mixed (the oil may stay partially separated). Cook the mixture while stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker, almost burgundy hue.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium and heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5Cups | Calories: 168.16kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.6g | Protein: 2.86g | Fat: 11.44g | Sodium: 731.8mg | Fiber: 4.68g

How to Make Tomato Herb Soup – Step by Step Photos

Oil garlic and herbs in a soup pot

Start by adding ¼ cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, and some freshly cracked black pepper to a sauce pot. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté the herbs in the oil for about two minutes, or until the garlic has softened.

Tomato paste and brown sugar added to the pot

Add 6 oz. tomato paste and 1 Tbsp brown sugar to the pot. Stir until everything is pretty well combined (the oil may never fully mix in). Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker burgundy hue (see photo below).

crushed tomatoes being poured into the pot

Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are smaller bits than diced tomatoes, but not quite as smooth as tomato sauce. It’s somewhere in between, and doesn’t have any seasoning added.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Also add 3 cups of vegetable broth, which will thin the soup out, add depth of flavor, and just the right amount of salt. I use this Better Than Bouillon to quickly mix up the exact amount of broth that I need.

finished tomato herb soup being lifted with a ladle

Then just whisk everything together and heat through! The end! The flavors are even better the next day.

Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

OMG – grilled cheese + tomato soup FTW!

Now give yourself a high-five for making such a delicious soup in under 30 minutes.

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Apple Butter Grilled Cheese

Fall for this autumn-inspired grilled cheese: with a layer of apple butter, thinly sliced fresh apples, sautéed shallots and thyme, and perfectly gooey, melty cheese that blurs the line between sweet and savory. I call this French-toast style grilled cheese, battered and butter-toasted until it’s perfectly golden brown, and let me tell you, it is […]

Fall for this autumn-inspired grilled cheese: with a layer of apple butter, thinly sliced fresh apples, sautéed shallots and thyme, and perfectly gooey, melty cheese that blurs the line between sweet and savory.

I call this French-toast style grilled cheese, battered and butter-toasted until it’s perfectly golden brown, and let me tell you, it is life changing, falling somewhere in between a traditional grilled cheese and a monte cristo.

The perfect cheese pull!

No, your tastebuds aren’t tricking you, this next-level grilled cheese somehow manages to be both sweet and savory.

In one bite you’ll taste the alpine-style cheese, nutty and mild and ultra melty. The next brings a hint of autumn spice and fruity sweetness from the apple butter, and a fresh crunch from the slices of thinly sliced apple. But then! There’s the shallot, sautéed with a bit of butter and thyme, for a subtle savory push. And finally, the eggy bread, cooked to golden brown perfection that’ll have your brain thinking you’re eating a slice of perfect French toast.

It’s a culinary mind melting experience, and I am here for it.

Apple butter grilled cheese cut in half, with apples, apple butter, and shallot.

Cooking a grilled cheese French-toast style involves basically brushing the bread with an egg/milk mixture instead of butter. Doing so walks the line between sweet and savory, taking your tastebuds on a wild adventure. The egg wash also produces a gorgeously golden brown finish (and let’s face it, we all eat with our eyes first anyway).

If you’ve ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich, it’s a similar idea (although sometimes Monte Cristos are deep fried and topped with powdered sugar, and, well, let’s just be reasonable here). You could even go full MC with this recipe and add a layer of thinly sliced ham or prosciutto in the mix.

Not only does the egg wash produce the most gorgeous golden brown crust, but it also gives the sandwiches a hint of egginess that just screams EAT ME FOR BRUNCH. Thought I’d be equally satisfied eating it for lunch. Or dinner, too, really (you know I’m always down for some B4D).

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Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet […]

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet to your meal prep rotation!

Cajun Sausage and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lid half on

What Kind of Sausage Do I Use?

To make this skillet meal taste the best, try to find Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage commonly used in Louisiana cooking. If you can’t find any in your area (I’m not sure how readily available this is outside the southern U.S.), you can use any smoked sausage in its place. If you want to go so far as to special order some to get the full experience, check out the selection from Cajungrocer.com

Is Cajun Sausage and Rice Spicy?

It can be, depending on the ingredients you use. I used a “medium” heat Andouille sausage, which had a good amount of spicy heat, as well as a little cayenne pepper in my Cajun seasoning blend. If you want to make this dish mild, make sure to get a non-spicy smoked sausage, and you can skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed in the recipe. 

Can I Use Store Bought Cajun Seasoning?

The recipe below includes a half batch of my homemade Cajun seasoning, minus the salt because the other ingredients in the skillet contained enough salt that I didn’t need to add more. The total amount of spices used is about 1 tablespoon. If you’d like to use a store bought Cajun seasoning blend, first check to see how much salt it contains. Many store bought Cajun seasoning blends contain a lot of salt and are used more like a seasoning salt, or table seasoning, and probably will not work well for this recipe. If the blend you have is mostly just herbs and spices, I would use about 1 Tbsp for this recipe.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a much longer cook time than white rice, so you will need to take these into account if you attempt to substitute brown rice for the white rice in this recipe. While I haven’t tested a brown rice version, I would probably add at least another cup of chicken broth and increase the simmer time to closer to 40 minutes.

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

 
Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
Total Cost $7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 547.75kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 bell pepper $0.89
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the sausage into ¼-½ inch thick slices. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don't worry if the sausage begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. That's extra flavor that will cook into the rice later.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Once the sausage is browned, add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for about one more minute.
  • Add the spices (smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper) to the skillet with the sausage and bell pepper and continue to sauté for one minute more to toast the spices.
  • Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, with the lid on, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • After the skillet has rested, remove the lid, and fold the sausage and rice to redistribute the rice and sausage throughout. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille in your area, use any smoked pork sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 547.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.8g | Protein: 22.23g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 1328.93mg | Fiber: 4.15g

Overhead view of a bowl full of Cajun Sausage and Rice with a black fork in the side

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Andouille sausage package

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. Andouille may not be readily available in all areas, so if you can’t find any, just try to get a smoked pork sausage of some sort instead. You really want that smoky flavor!

Sautéed Andouille in the skillet

Slice the Andouille into medallions and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don’t worry if the bottom of the skillet turns brown. That’s just extra flavor that will soak into the rice later!

Bell pepper and spices added to the skillet

While the sausage is browning, dice one bell pepper. Add it to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute. Then add the Cajun seasoning: 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté the spices for another minute.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve those browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Skillet ready to simmer

Once everything is combined, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. (Pictured: before simmering)

Simmered sausage and rice skillet

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest for an additional five minutes (with the lid on). After resting, it will look like the photo above.

Stirred Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Fold everything together to redistribute the sausage, rice, and bell peppers. OMG it looks so good at this point I just want to dive in!

Finished Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet with green onions

Top the skillet with sliced green onions and serve! It’s rich, spicy, smoky, and all around DELICIOUS.

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Buttermilk Fattoush

One of my very favorite salads is Fattoush. There are various versions of the salad, whose name comes from fatta, which refers to the crumbled or torn pieces of flatbread in the salad. But I’ve never had Fattoush with buttermilk dressing, so was intrigued when I saw a recipe for it in Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, a book which eloquently…

One of my very favorite salads is Fattoush. There are various versions of the salad, whose name comes from fatta, which refers to the crumbled or torn pieces of flatbread in the salad. But I’ve never had Fattoush with buttermilk dressing, so was intrigued when I saw a recipe for it in Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, a book which eloquently presents and reflects on Palestinean cuisine, its history, its people, and its culture. As soon as I got the book, the first thing I said to myself was, “This is one of the best books of the year.” It’s a great book.

A few years back, Sami told me that he was going to do a cookbook that updated the dishes and recipes of his homeland, making them relevant to today, just as he and Yotam Ottolenghi did for the diaspora of Middle Eastern foods in their previous books. Sami admits that this is a non-traditional Fattoush, one that his mother made, but likes it so much that he wanted to share it.

Continue Reading Buttermilk Fattoush...

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering […]

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Y’all. I am SO ready for sweater weather and cozy slow cooker stews! To kick the season off, I made this super simple Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew this week. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple, good, comforting food! I love the simplicity of this dish and the flexibility. It’s the perfect thing to have simmering away on the weekend as you do your chores or relax and enjoy watching the changing of the seasons. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread on the side

What’s in Hamburger Stew?

Hamburger stew is very similar to traditional beef stew, but it’s made with ground beef instead of stew meat. Using ground beef is a little bit less expensive than using stew meat, and I like how you get a little bit of beef in every bite! 

In addition to the beef we have a medley of fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes, peas), beef broth, herbs and spices, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to zhuzh it up a bit. It’s incredibly simple, but creates that beautifully subtle slow stewed flavor.

Why Brown The Hamburger First?

For this Hamburger Stew I browned the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. I did this for two reasons. One, to render off some of the fat. I used 15% fat ground beef and there was quite a bit that needed to be drained away (I actually tested this recipe once without draining the fat and it just ended up far too oily). The second reason is that you get a nice browning (maillard reaction) on the beef in the dry environment of a skillet that you do not get in the wet environment of a slow cooker. So you’ll get just a little bit more flavor with this extra step!

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

Yes! Stews are very flexible. If you don’t like one of the vegetables listed, go ahead and skip it. Just keep in mind that the potatoes do help thicken the stew, so if you skip the potatoes you’ll have more of a soup texture. Other great vegetables to use in beef stew include:

  • mushrooms
  • pearl onions
  • parsnips
  • turnips
  • rutabagas
  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

This recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, which are a variety of canned tomatoes that are popular in the U.S. (example: Hunts stewed tomatoes). These tomatoes are cooked with seasonings and a little bit of sugar to give them the slightest sweetness. Stewed tomatoes add a little extra special unique flavor to the broth of this stew. While you can use diced tomatoes if stewed tomatoes are not available, this substitution will slightly change the flavor of the stew.

How Long Is Hamburger Stew Good?

After cooking the hamburger stew, I suggest dividing it into single portions (so that it cools faster) and refrigerating it right away. It will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). This stew is a great item to have stashed in your freezer for busy nights! It can be reheated quickly in the microwave, or slowly over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.

Slow cooker hamburger stew in a ladle over the slow cooker

 
Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
Total Cost $9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 348.27kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.20
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 carrots) $0.45
  • 1 yellow onion 0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.69
  • 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes $1.00
  • 2 cups beef broth $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.60

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger).
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then drain off the excess fat. Add the browned and drained beef to the slow cooker along with the can of stewed tomatoes (with juices). Finally, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the slow cooker.
  • Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to make sure everything is evenly combined (the broth may not fully cover the other ingredients). Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
  • After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the lid and stir the stew. Use the back of a spoon to slightly mash some of the potatoes, which will help thicken the stew.
  • Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir to combine into the stew. Taste the stew and add extra salt if needed (I did not add any, this will depend on the salt content of your beef broth). Serve hot with bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 348.27kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.42g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 11.83g | Sodium: 751.72mg | Fiber: 5.07g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Try These Other Stew Recipes:

Front view of Hamburger Stew in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew – Step by Step Photos

Vegetables herbs and spices in the slow cooker

Peel and dice 2 lbs. of potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice ½ lb. carrots (about 4 carrots). Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a slow cooker along with ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried tyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Browned ground beef and stewed tomatoes added to slow cooker

Brown one pound of ground beef and drain off the excess fat. Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker along with one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (with the juices).

Beef broth Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce added to slow cooker

Add 2 cups beef broth, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce to the slow cooker.

Slow cooker ready to be turned on

Give the contents of the slow cooker a brief stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the meat and vegetables, but that’s okay. The vegetables will release more moisture and increase the broth as they cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked hamburger stew in the slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, it will look like this. Give it a good stir and smash some of the potatoes against the side of the slow cooker. The smashed potatoes will help thicken the broth into a nice hearty stew.

Frozen peas being added to the slow cooker

Stir one cup of frozen peas into the slow cooker (they’ll thaw and heat within a minute or so). 

Finished slow cooker hamburger stew in the slow cooker

Give the hamburger stew a final taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t need to add any because the broth I use (Better than Bouillon) has a decent amount, but if your broth has less sodium you may find that a pinch of salt at the end helps the flavors pop!

Slow Cooker Hamburger stew in a bowl with a spoon lifting a bite

Serve the hamburger stew immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (but I don’t know how you’ll resist having a bowl after smelling that cooking all day!).

The post Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Top Ten Favorite French Cheeses

France is, of course, knowns for its spectacular cheeses. As we moved into lockdown in early spring, I asked my friend Jennifer Greco, who is an expert on French cheeses as well as being a culinary tour guide in Paris, if she’d share her ten favorite French fromages. While waiting for the country to open back up again for visitors from everywhere, I was holding…

Camembert de Normandie

France is, of course, knowns for its spectacular cheeses. As we moved into lockdown in early spring, I asked my friend Jennifer Greco, who is an expert on French cheeses as well as being a culinary tour guide in Paris, if she’d share her ten favorite French fromages. While waiting for the country to open back up again for visitors from everywhere, I was holding on to this terrific post, where she presents her favorites top ten favorite cheeses. I know many are disappointed they can’t make it back to France at this time, but when things return to normal, you might want to bookmark this post for your next visit! – David

10 Favorite French Cheeses

by Jennifer Greco

Cheese is recognized throughout the world as one of France’s most prized contributions to gastronomy, and tasting exceptional French cheeses is usually high on the list for visitors. France produces somewhere between 1400 to 1600 cheeses (according to the French dairy farmers), so shopping at a fromagerie or a market means being faced with shelves and cases of all shapes and sizes of cheese. You will likely spot a few familiar names such as Swiss Gruyère, Brie de Meaux, and Roquefort, but it can be an intimidating experience.

Continue Reading Top Ten Favorite French Cheeses...

Crispy Cajun Baked Fries (Oil-Free!)

We’ve made oil-free french fries before, but this new and improved method yields PERFECT french fries that are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed in a spicy Cajun-style spice blend for maximum flavor.
The result is crispy fries th…

Crispy Cajun Baked Fries (Oil-Free!)

We’ve made oil-free french fries before, but this new and improved method yields PERFECT french fries that are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed in a spicy Cajun-style spice blend for maximum flavor.

The result is crispy fries that aren’t dried out and have BIG flavor. Plus, just a handful of ingredients, no fancy equipment, and simple methods required. Let us show you how it’s done!

How to Make Crispy Baked Fries

If you’ve ever wondered how to make baked french fries that are crispy on the outside but not dried out on the inside, you’re in the right place!

Crispy Cajun Baked Fries (Oil-Free!) from Minimalist Baker →

Fresh Corn Soup

This simple corn soup is a seasonal way to enjoy fresh corn! The sunny flavor is sweet and nuanced, and it’s full of healthy vegetables. Want a corn recipe outside of eating it on the cob? Try this Fresh Corn Soup! It’s a new favorite around here. The flavor is sweet and nuanced, full of vegetables like onion, celery, potatoes, and of course: loads of corn! Many corn soup recipes are heavy with rich cream and butter, but this one is light and healthy. On its own it’s vegan and plant-based, but we like serving it with a dollop of sour cream to make it a little more filling. Here’s how to make this tasty seasonal treat! Ingredient notes for corn soup This fresh corn soup is different from a corn chowder. Instead of rich and creamy, this healthy soup is fresh and full of vegetables. It’s partially blended to have a chunky texture: or you can fully puree it to have it smooth. It’s up to you! We like it partially blended so it’s got both body and chunks, but that’s just us. Here are some notes on the main ingredients you’ll need: Fresh corn on the cob: Make […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This simple corn soup is a seasonal way to enjoy fresh corn! The sunny flavor is sweet and nuanced, and it’s full of healthy vegetables.

Corn soup

Want a corn recipe outside of eating it on the cob? Try this Fresh Corn Soup! It’s a new favorite around here. The flavor is sweet and nuanced, full of vegetables like onion, celery, potatoes, and of course: loads of corn! Many corn soup recipes are heavy with rich cream and butter, but this one is light and healthy. On its own it’s vegan and plant-based, but we like serving it with a dollop of sour cream to make it a little more filling. Here’s how to make this tasty seasonal treat!

Ingredient notes for corn soup

This fresh corn soup is different from a corn chowder. Instead of rich and creamy, this healthy soup is fresh and full of vegetables. It’s partially blended to have a chunky texture: or you can fully puree it to have it smooth. It’s up to you! We like it partially blended so it’s got both body and chunks, but that’s just us. Here are some notes on the main ingredients you’ll need:

  • Fresh corn on the cob: Make this soup only when you get get seasonal, ripe corn on the cob. Out of season corn is bitter and sour. Trust us, you don’t want to spend the time and effort on this soup if you’re not working with the best corn possible.
  • Onion, celery, garlic, and potatoes: Round out this soup with the usual suspects: they’re just the right backup characters.
  • Dried thyme, basil, and oregano: Herbs add depth of flavor without calories.
  • Vegetable broth, olive oil and butter: There’s just a little butter (substitute olive oil for plant-based).
Corn soup

How to cut corn off the cob

Have you ever tried to cut corn kernels off the cob, only spray them around your entire kitchen? (Two enthusiastic hands up, over here!) After years of doing the same, we finally found a better way. Yes, there’s a secret to cutting corn kernels so they collect all neatly together. All you need is a Bundt pan or tube pan, the kind you use for angel food cake. Here’s how to cut corn off the cob:

  • Place the tip of the corn cob into the hole in the middle of the pan. Hold the bottom of the corn cob securely with your non-cutting hand.
  • Use a large chef’s knife to cut in a downward motion, letting the corn cobs kernels collect neatly into the bundt pan.
How to cut corn off of cob

How to make corn soup: just a few tips!

This healthy corn soup isn’t rocket science: it follows the same tried and true formula of most soup recipes. Chop veggies, saute veggies, add broth and simmer. That’s what you’ve got here! There are just a few things outside of the standard motions:

  • Cut the potatoes very small: it will cook faster! We cut ours into a small dice. If you cut them larger, you’ll just have to simmer a bit longer until they’re tender.
  • Make a corn broth while you chop the veggies. Many corn soup recipes simmer the soup with the corn cobs right in the pot to add extra flavor. The pot can sometimes get very full when you do this. So we found an alternate method! You can simply pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 corn cobs in a bowl, then go about the business of making the soup. It adds quite a bit of flavor!

Blend corn soup to make it chunky, or go fully pureed

Once you’ve simmered this easy corn soup, here’s where you get to put your touch on it. There are three ways to serve this soup:

  • Partially blend it. This is what we did for the photos here! It gives the soup a nice thick body with chunks of vegetables, but it’s not fully pureed. (Sometimes totally smooth soups don’t feel as satisfying, in our opinion.) You can do this with an immersion blender by throwing it in the pot and pulsing until you have the right texture, or pulse in a standard blender a few times.
  • Fully puree it. You can also puree it all so it’s perfectly smooth! That’s easiest in a blender.
  • Don’t blend it at all. It doesn’t taste quite the same, but if you don’t want to bother blending: you can eat it as a brothy soup, too.
Corn soup

It’s all about the garnishes

The fun part is the garnishes! They make it visually appealing and add a contrasting freshneses. Here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Fresh corn. We like to save out a little fresh corn from the bunch for a garnish at the end. I love using the pieces that all stick together to give a little texture.
  • Red pepper or tomato. The red makes a beautiful color contrast.
  • Basil or chives. Fresh herbs add big flavor and the green adds another great contrast.
  • Sour cream. A dollop helps it to add in just the right amount of richness, and keeps it a little more filling. You can use vegan sour cream for vegan. Speaking of filling…

How to serve corn soup

Keep in mind that this fresh corn soup isn’t packed with plant based protein: it’s more of a side dish than a main meal. Here are a few things you add to make it a main dish:

Corn on the cob

This corn soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Corn soup

Fresh Corn Soup


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This simple corn soup is a seasonal way to enjoy fresh corn! The sunny flavor is sweet and nuanced, and it’s full of healthy vegetables.


Ingredients

  • 6 large ears corn (about 4 cups corn kernels, cut off the cob)
  • 1 cup diced white onion (1 medium white onion)
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (substitute olive oil or coconut oil for vegan)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon each dried thyme, dried basil, and dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • For the garnish: sour cream or vegan sour cream (optional), cheese (optional), chopped red pepper or tomato, thinly sliced shallot or chives, torn basil, etc

Instructions

  1. Cut the corn off of the cob. Optional: To infuse even more corn flavor, make a quick corn broth by placing two of the cobs with corn cut off in a medium bowl. Cover with 2 cups boiling water (it’s easy to use a teapot to heat), then let it sit until adding the water in Step 4.
  2. Finely dice the onion.  Chop the celery. Mince the garlic. Finely dice the potatoes.
  3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook additional minute.
  4. Add the corn, potatoes, broth, water, thyme, basil, oregano, and kosher salt and bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, simmer 10 to 12 minutes until potatoes are soft. Taste and add up to another 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and some fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Blend partially with an immersion blender so it’s partially creamy and part chunky, or transfer to blender and pulse several times (taking care of the hot soup). You can also eat as is for a broth texture, or fully puree for a completely smooth texture.
  6. Serve warm, with the garnishes. Add sour cream or cheese for a more filling bowl, if desired.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Corn soup

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