Birria

This delicious birria recipe (Mexican beef stew) is so flavorful and comforting, and it’s easy to make in Crock-Pot, Instant Pot or on the stovetop.  Serve it as a simple stew or use this recipe to make birria tacos (or fried birria quesatacos)! Guys, have you tried making homemade birria yet? This traditional Mexican stew […]

This delicious birria recipe (Mexican beef stew) is so flavorful and comforting, and it’s easy to make in Crock-Pot, Instant Pot or on the stovetop.  Serve it as a simple stew or use this recipe to make birria tacos (or fried birria quesatacos)!

Birria (Mexican Beef Stew) with Avocado, Cilantro and Corn Tortillas

Guys, have you tried making homemade birria yet?

This traditional Mexican stew seems to be trending everywhere I look lately, most often in the form of birria tacos or fried birria quesatacos (a.k.a. quesabirria tacos), whose melty cheese pulls and consommé-dunking boomerangs definitely seem to be the fast-rising star on taco menus around the world.  Stay tuned here on the blog for more on birria tacos to come later this week.

But first, I wanted to go back to the basics and share a birria recipe served in its original and most simple form…as a cozy stew. ♡

As I explain below, there are endless variations of birria to be found nowadays around different regions in Mexico, made with various kinds of meat, cooking methods, signature blends of seasonings, consistencies of consommés (broths), and more. But the original dish is said to have originated in Jalisco, Mexico, where it is traditionally served as a stew for holidays and special occasions and made with either goat, sheep, or (my preference) beef. The meat is always slow cooked in a richly-flavored adobo (marinade) until it was melt-in-your-mouth tender, then ladled up into bowls along with plenty of its broth, garnished with lots of fresh toppings, and finally served with a side of warm corn tortillas. And as you can imagine, it is delicious.

That said, if you’re new to birria, the absolute magic of this particular Mexican stew is the delicious mix of flavors layered into its amazing broth. Good birria is always made a mixture of savory, sweet, earthy, smoky and spicy seasonings that lend soooo much flavor to every single bite. It’s essential to use some dried chiles here to season the broth, but they are incredibly easy to work with. Then I also highly recommend loading your birria up with lots of creamy avocado and fresh cool toppings (such as cilantro, chopped or pickled onions, radishes, etc), which pair perfectly with the warm stew and make this dish downright irresistible.

I’ve included options in the recipe below for how to make birria either in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop, so feel free to choose whichever cooking method you prefer. Granted, all three of these methods still require a few hours to make from start to finish, so be sure to plan ahead. But the birria recipe itself is totally simple to make and totally — as we say in Spanish — “vale la pena” (worth it).  So if you have yet to give homemade birria a try, I say it’s time.

Let’s make a batch together!

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Favorite Gumbo

My favorite gumbo recipe is made with a richly-flavored dark roux, your choice of proteins (chicken, sausage and/or seafood), lots of veggies, and served with rice.  So hearty and delicious! Mardi Gras is tomorrow…which means it’s time to cook up a big pot of my favorite gumbo! ♡ I first shared this New Orleans-inspired gumbo […]

My favorite gumbo recipe is made with a richly-flavored dark roux, your choice of proteins (chicken, sausage and/or seafood), lots of veggies, and served with rice.  So hearty and delicious!

Favorite Gumbo

Mardi Gras is tomorrow…which means it’s time to cook up a big pot of my favorite gumbo! ♡

I first shared this New Orleans-inspired gumbo recipe here on Gimme Some Oven about five years ago.  And while I have definitely enjoyed other versions over the years (my vegetarian gumbo recipe, for example, is surprisingly satisfying), nothing beats a classic dark roux-based gumbo made made with good Andouille sausage in my book.  It’s one of those special-occasion meals that requires a bit of extra time and tlc to prepare.  But it features some of my all-time favorite zesty Creole flavors and always tastes like such a treat.  So if you’ve never tried making a batch of homemade gumbo before, I say this week is the perfect time to give it a try!

Granted, there are lots of strong opinions and regional differences out there when it comes to how to make “authentic” gumbo, including variations in thickening techniques (using a roux vs filé powder vs okra vs a combo), whether or not to include tomatoes (I happen to love them), which seasonings to use (and how spicy to make the broth), proteins to include (chicken, sausage, various kinds of seafood, etc), and on and on.  So while I can’t guarantee that this gumbo recipe is necessarily authentic, I can vouch that it is absolutely delicious and always a favorite with friends and family whenever I cook up a big batch.  And I’m delighted that so many of you have loved it over the years too!

You are, of course, welcome to make any tweaks to the ingredients that you prefer.  (Especially when it comes to proteins — feel free to choose either chicken, sausage or shrimp, or you can follow my lead and use all three!)  The one thing that I strongly recommend is using a dark brown roux as the base for this recipe.  Its rich, deep, nutty flavor adds so much flavor to this recipe and is worth the extra time it takes to make.

So round up all of your favorite gumbo ingredients, settle in for a lot of stirring, and let’s cook up a delicious pot of gumbo together!

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Sopa Azteca (Tortilla Soup)

This traditional Sopa Azteca (Tortilla Soup) recipe is made with a simple, richly-seasoned, tomato-chile broth that is ladled hot over crispy tortilla strips and loaded up with your choice of toppings.  Feel free to add chicken and/or cheese if you’d like! This winter, I’ve been on a mission to learn how to make authentic sopa […]

This traditional Sopa Azteca (Tortilla Soup) recipe is made with a simple, richly-seasoned, tomato-chile broth that is ladled hot over crispy tortilla strips and loaded up with your choice of toppings.  Feel free to add chicken and/or cheese if you’d like!

Sopa Azteca (Mexican Tortilla Soup) with Chicken and Avocado

This winter, I’ve been on a mission to learn how to make authentic sopa azteca that tastes more like the tortilla soups I fell in love with in Mexico (and notably less like the modernized Tex-Mex versions I’ve always known in the States).  And now that I’ve figured it out, we can’t stop making this one in our house. ♡

During our recent trips to Mexico, I became a bit obsessed with ordering sopa azteca (also called sopa de tortilla or sopa de tortilla azteca) anytime I spied it on menus.  Usually served as an appetizer, this tortilla soup was consistently made with the same main ingredients — crispy corn tortilla strips, a piping-hot garlicky tomato-chile caldo (broth), fresh avocado, and a combination of sour cream, fresh cilantro, lime wedges and/or fried chile strips sprinkled on top.  Some restaurants also included chicken or soft diced cheese in the soup, while others kept it vegetarian (or vegan).  Some kept their soup fairly mild, while others (whew!) had us sweating.  Some served the soup pre-assembled, while others served us bowls full of tortilla strips with a side of DIY toppings and then ladled in the steaming hot caldo table-side.  But every single bowl of sopa azteca we tried was downright delicious.

The magic of this soup, of course, is all in that delicious, rich, soul-warming caldo.  Turns out, it’s surprisingly easy to make in just 20-ish minutes with a blend of tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, chicken or veggie stock and dried pasilla (or ancho) chiles.  And yes — I have to insist — the dried chiles are essential here!  If you are new to working with dried Mexican chiles, though, please don’t be intimidated.  They are super-easy to use and are hands-down the key ingredient to giving the broth the most amazing smoky, earthy, delicious flavor.  Feel free to also fry up a few of the chile strips to sprinkle them on top of the soup, which only takes an extra minute or two of extra prep time and is really fun too!

Anyway, after so many years of enjoying various Tex-Mex and modernized versions of tortilla soup in the States, I’ve really appreciated finally learning about the authentic prehispanic Mexican sopa azteca —  “la reina de sopas” (queen of soups), as one Mexico City restaurant we loved called it — that inspired them all.  If you ask me, nothing beats the original when it comes to this classic.  So if you happen to be a fellow tortilla soup super-fan, it’s time to give authentic sopa azteca a try!

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Kale, White Bean and Orzo Soup

This simple Kale, White Bean and Orzo Soup is made with a cozy lemony-rosemary broth and can be ready to go in just 30 minutes. Anyone else craving simple, healthy(ish), ultra-cozy soups on repeat right about now? Well here’s a good one to add to your repertoire. ♡ We often turn to classic white bean […]

This simple Kale, White Bean and Orzo Soup is made with a cozy lemony-rosemary broth and can be ready to go in just 30 minutes.

Anyone else craving simple, healthy(ish), ultra-cozy soups on repeat right about now?

Well here’s a good one to add to your repertoire. ♡

We often turn to classic white bean and kale soup here in our house when we’re craving a quick bowl of soup, made with whatever extra ingredients happen to be hanging out in the crisper drawer.  But this particular version made with chewy al dente orzo pasta, a slightly-spicy lemon rosemary broth, with lots of fresh Parmesan sprinkled on top has been totally hitting the spot this winter.

It’s an absolute breeze to make and comes together from start to finish in just 30 minutes or so.  It’s naturally vegetarian and also vegan (if you nix the Parmesan), and chock-full of fresh kale and lots of protein.  It’s completely customizable with whatever fresh herbs, beans, or pasta shapes that you happen to have on hand.  And it is just the type of warm and comforting meal that I find myself craving this time of year.

Feel free to add in some extra protein (bacon, chicken, or sausage would be delicious) if you’d like.  And if you happen to have some good crusty bread on hand, I highly recommend using it to mop up that delicious broth.  But otherwise, this is a satisfying vegetarian soup recipe all on its own that I think you’re going to love.

So grab some kale and let’s make some soup together, friends!

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Thai Chicken Curry

This cozy Thai Chicken Curry recipe is quick and easy to whip up in about 30 minutes, it’s made with the yummiest Thai coconut red curry sauce, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite veggies and proteins. Trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight? This quick and easy Thai Chicken Curry recipe […]

This cozy Thai Chicken Curry recipe is quick and easy to whip up in about 30 minutes, it’s made with the yummiest Thai coconut red curry sauce, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite veggies and proteins.

Thai Chicken Curry

Trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight?

This quick and easy Thai Chicken Curry recipe is always a winner. ♡♡♡

I’ve been eating much more chicken than usual during my pregnancy these past seven months (hello, lean proteins!) and this cozy Thai curry has turned into one of my favorite staples in our weeknight dinner rotation.  It’s the perfect meal to clean out whatever veggies happen to be hanging out in the crisper drawer, it’s made with an ultra-cozy and flavor-packed Thai coconut red curry sauce, and it also makes for fantastic leftovers.  (So as you can see below, I’ve written the recipe to make a large batch!)  It’s also naturally gluten-free and only takes about 30 minutes to make!

Feel free to serve the curry over rice, noodles, quinoa or with some crusty bread to mop up that delicious curry sauce.  (I usually just make a batch of rice in the Instant Pot while preparing the curry.)  And of course, if chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to swap in whatever protein you love best.  Or if you happen to have a split meat-eating/vegetarian household like ours, you can always just cook the chicken first and then serve it on the side as an optional add-in.

So simple and SO delicious…my favorite combo.  Let’s make some chicken curry, friends!

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Rustic Potato Leek Soup

This Rustic Potato Leek Soup recipe is left nice and chunky (not puréed), it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan (no cream), and made with a simple, light, garlic-herb broth.  So cozy and delicious! Meet my favorite kind of leek and potato soup. ♡ By contrast to traditional potato leek soup recipes — which are usually puréed […]

This Rustic Potato Leek Soup recipe is left nice and chunky (not puréed), it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan (no cream), and made with a simple, light, garlic-herb broth.  So cozy and delicious!

Rustic Potato Leek Soup

Meet my favorite kind of leek and potato soup. ♡

By contrast to traditional potato leek soup recipes — which are usually puréed and loaded up with tons of heavy cream — this more “rustic” version is left deliciously nice and chunky, which I love.  It’s also made with a light, herby, garlicky broth that tastes wonderfully flavorful on its own, without any need for cream.  And when served with zesty homemade croutons or a good loaf of crusty bread, I’m telling you, this soup is the most wonderful wintertime comfort food.

I’ve been making various versions of this soup ever since we moved to Europe, since leeks absolutely abound here.  (Truly, they’re so popular that even the tiniest little convenience stores always carry them!)  But it always seemed like such a basic simple recipe that I never really considered posting it here until my husband insisted this winter that our friends and family back home would love it just as much as we do.

As you’ll see, the ingredient list is short and simple and can be customized with whatever fresh or dried herbs you happen to have on hand.  It’s also naturally gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.  (Although if you happen to eat dairy, we always love topping our bowls with some coarsely-grated Parmesan cheese.)  And best of all, it can be ready to go in just a half hour or so, making it a great recipe for busy weeknights.  We usually serve ours with a simple side salad and some crusty bread (or croutons) and the combo always feels perfectly light and cozy.

So if you’d like to join our little family in our simple soup tradition, pick up some leeks and potatoes the next time you’re at the market and let’s make some rustic potato leek soup together!

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Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup is made with fresh seasonal vegetables and greens, hearty wild rice, and a deliciously zesty, creamy broth (made with either coconut milk or cream).  Instant Pot, Crock-Pot and stovetop options all included! Who’s ready to warm up with a bowl of wild rice soup? ♡ This cozy autumn wild […]

This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup is made with fresh seasonal vegetables and greens, hearty wild rice, and a deliciously zesty, creamy broth (made with either coconut milk or cream).  Instant Pot, Crock-Pot and stovetop options all included!

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Who’s ready to warm up with a bowl of wild rice soup? ♡

This cozy autumn wild rice soup has become one of our readers’ favorite recipes here on Gimme Some Oven these past few winters and is also hands-down one of my personal all-time faves on the blog as well.  It’s loaded up with lots of my favorite fresh seasonal produce, from sweet potatoes to kale, mushrooms, carrots, celery and onions.  It’s made nice and hearty with the addition of wild rice, which just so happens to be lower in calories and higher in protein than many other rices.  But best of all, it is made with the most irresistible broth, seasoned with garlic and “the bays,” as I call them, and made creamy with either the addition of coconut milk, cream or a roux-based cream sauce.

After having originally written this recipe with the cream sauce, I have to say that I — as well as so many of you readers — have become much more partial to the coconut version over the past few years, which I think adds the perfect hint of sweetness to the broth to balance out all of those savory flavors, and just so happens to make this recipe vegan too.  So for any of you who haven’t tried that version yet, or this soup in general, I thought I would bump it back to the top of the blog today while we’re right in the heart of cozy comfort food season.  I’ve included instructions below for how to make either the dairy or vegan versions, as well as instructions for how to make this soup in either the Instant Pot (my fave), Crock-Pot, or on the stovetop.  And of course, if you’re craving some nostalgic chicken and wild rice soup, you’re always welcome to toss some shredded chicken in here as well.

More than anything, though, I just wanted to pop in and say how happy I am that so many of you have tried and loved this soup!  It always means so much to me to read your comments and see photos of your dinner online.  So cheers to the cozy recipes that keep us all warm this time of year…and now let’s make some soup!

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French Lentil and Mushroom Soup

This simple French Lentil and Mushroom Soup recipe is simmered with a cozy blend of veggies, herbs and greens.  It’s healthy yet hearty, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and total French-inspired comfort food. Anyone else “traveling” vicariously through your cooking lately? Memories have been popping up on my phone the past few weeks from our trip […]

This simple French Lentil and Mushroom Soup recipe is simmered with a cozy blend of veggies, herbs and greens.  It’s healthy yet hearty, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and total French-inspired comfort food.

French Lentil and Mushroom Soup

Anyone else “traveling” vicariously through your cooking lately?

Memories have been popping up on my phone the past few weeks from our trip to Provence, France a year ago when my husband’s and my parents all came over to Europe to visit us.  And seeing photos of all of those beautiful countrysides, narrow cobblestoned streets, charming cottages, and dreamy local markets overflowing with fresh flowers, produce, breads, cheeses and wines has me feeling some major wanderlust again.  I’m so, so ready for the time to come when we can all safely travel again!!

Sigh, I know it’s still going to be awhile.  So in the meantime, at least, Barclay and I have been re-living some of our favorite past adventures and dreaming about future trips to come through our meals.  And I have to say that this cozy French Lentil and Mushroom Soup recipe had us feeling all of those Provencal fall vibes again in the most delicious of ways. ♡

This lovely soup was inspired by our trips to the outdoor markets around Aix-en-Provence, where local mushrooms, leeks, greens and herbs were all proudly in season this time of year.  When simmered together with those beautiful marbled French lentils (my favorite type of lentils to use in soup) and finished with a splash of balsamic, they combine to make a simple yet wonderfully satisfying meal that we have been enjoying on repeat lately.  I intentionally wrote the recipe here to make a fairly large batch, since the leftovers keep beautifully for easy lunches and dinners later in the week.  And the recipe itself also happens to be naturally gluten-free, vegan, and packed with good-for-you-protein, making it the perfect healthier counterpoint to some of the more indulgent comfort foods we’ve been enjoying this time of year.

So if you could also use a bit of delicious taste of France in your life right now, gather up these ingredients and let’s make a steaming pot of French lentil soup together.

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Poblano White Chicken Chili

This Poblano White Chicken Chili recipe comes together quickly in less than 30 minutes and is so flavorful and comforting. As soon as the weather begins to cool off each fall, I have a bit of an obsession for making sure that we always have some sort of chili all meal-prepped, stocked in the freezer, […]

This Poblano White Chicken Chili recipe comes together quickly in less than 30 minutes and is so flavorful and comforting.

Poblano White Chicken Chili Recipe

As soon as the weather begins to cool off each fall, I have a bit of an obsession for making sure that we always have some sort of chili all meal-prepped, stocked in the freezer, and ready to reheat for a quick lunch or dinner whenever those last-minute soup cravings arise.  We usually meal-prep some sort of plant-based chili to keep on hand, so that my vegetarian husband can enjoy it too.  But this fall, while pregnancy has had me craving so much chicken (lol, if you couldn’t tell by this month’s list of recipes), this poblano white chicken chili has been totally hitting the spot. ♡

It’s loaded up with tons of beans and chicken for protein, plus lots of zesty poblano peppers to add some extra flavor and a touch of heat.  And when piled high with all of my favorite toppings (you know me and chili, the more the merrier!), this white chicken chili is so cozy and flavorful and hits the spot every single time.

I’m also extra-partial to this recipe because it comes together very quickly in less than 30 minutes.  And instead of adding any extra flours or cornstarch as a thickener, I just puréed a can of beans in the blender and added it to the soup, which adds some nice extra protein and works like a charm.  (And also keeps this chili gluten-free!)  Oh, and if you can’t find poblano peppers at your grocery store, I’ve included an option below to just use canned diced green chiles instead.

Let’s make some white chicken chili!

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Smoked Sausage, Apple and Potato Soup

This Smoked Sausage, Apple and Potato Soup recipe is easy to make and simmered in the yummiest zesty, creamy broth. Today’s recipe is the result of an impromptu clean-out-the-fridge fall dinner gone very, very right. ♡ I happened some leftover smoked sausage and apples in the fridge, leftover from another fall recipe that I’ve been […]

This Smoked Sausage, Apple and Potato Soup recipe is easy to make and simmered in the yummiest zesty, creamy broth.

Smoked Sausage, Apple and Potato Soup recipe

Today’s recipe is the result of an impromptu clean-out-the-fridge fall dinner gone very, very right. ♡

I happened some leftover smoked sausage and apples in the fridge, leftover from another fall recipe that I’ve been developing recently (stay tuned!), when I found myself craving a cozy bowl of soup on a cold and rainy day here.  So I chopped up the apples and sausage and tossed them into a stockpot along with some potatoes and basic soup essentials.  Then I decided to simmer them all together in my favorite broth (which many of you may recognize from this recipe), made with the irresistibly savory-and-slightly-sweet combo of creamy coconut milk and Old Bay seasoning.

And, you guys, this soup ended up being such a winner!

All of the ingredients came together and balanced one another just perfectly.  And wow, I had forgotten how much I enjoy soups with smoked sausage too — it always adds such great depth of flavor!  If you happen to have other autumn veggies on hand, this recipe is quite flexible and could be customized with a number of different veggies, greens, or even proteins.  But this simple, base version totally hit the spot in our house and was the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. I think that all of you soup lovers out there are really going to enjoy it.

So let’s make some soup!

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