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Crockpot Bean Soup

16 Jul

I am a southern girl (which you probably know by now if you follow this blog) and I love bean soup. So does my 15 yr old, and he requested it this week, so, who am I to say no!! I’ve tried many times to make it in the crock pot, because it seems like a great fit… but for whatever reason, it never really worked… until last night! Below is a pretty delicious, filling, and low calorie classic southern white bean soup. It takes a little more prep time than I normally put into a crockpot meal, but honestly, I did everything the night before, except add the beans. I stored the rest of the soup mixture in the fridge overnight, and cleaned and sorted the beans, and set them aside on the counter. Then in the morning, I mixed the dried beans in and started the crockpot. It was yummy! For an extra 170 calories, I served it with one prepared jiffy corn bread muffin. mmm…… that deserves another one…. say it with me…. “mmmmmmm……” Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 country ham hock (8 oz)
  • 26 oz of chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1 lb dry great northern beans

 

Directions:

1. On the stove top, heat oil in a medium sized skillet. Add some non-stick spray if you need more than just the 1/2 tbsp of oil.

2. Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pan. Heat them in the oil, stirring regularly, until the veggies begin to soften a big. Onions may turn semi-translucent.

3. Transfer veggie mixture to the empty crock pot. Add everything else on the list to the crock pot, except the beans. Don’t add the beans yet.

4. Use a strainer to rinse your beans thoroughly. Sort through the beans while cleaning them, and discard any beans that are discolored, shriveled, or broken. Be sure to rinse them well. Occassionaly you might find a pebble in there. Remove that too 🙂 they’re hard to digest.

5. See all those steps up there ^^ I did all those the night before, and then stored my beans on the counter, and the remaining soup mixture in the fridge, over night. Don’t soak your beans…. just rinse them, drain the water, and set them aside. If you’re doing this all in the same day, then you can go ahead and add your beans at this point. If you prep the night before like me, then just stir the beans in when you’re ready to start cooking!

6. Stir the beans into the mixture, and heat on low for about 8 hours, upto 10.

7. 30 min before serving, remove the ham hock, and the bay leaves. Mix the soup around, and if you like (i do) you can take a rigid spoon and smoosh some of the beans against the edge of the crock pot. This creates a thicker soup, which I like. You don’t have to do the smooshy part…it’s up to you. BUT… do leave the lid off and let it cook for another 20-30 min or so. \

Editors Note: I also remove about 1/4 cup of the country ham from the hamhock, chop it up, and add it back into the soup. Again, up to you. Southern girls don’t pass up country ham when they have the chance to eat it.

 

Makes 9 Cups.

1 Cup of soup= 172 Calories per cup

Approximately 4 weight watchers points plus per cup

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Seafood Chowder

13 Apr

I was recently inspired by an awesome clam chowder that I had, in Chicago of all places. I thought, I could do that pretty easily as an adaptation of my potato soup recipe! So, here it is. Seafood chowder. I added some fish and shrimp, but you could make this a clam chowder by tripling the clams instead. Feel free to add any other seafood you like as well. If you think this looks good, but you don’t like seafood. Leave it out. You’ve got a great potato soup on your hands 🙂

Ingredients
– 2 cans of chicken stock
– 1 bag of frozen O’Brien style potatoes (with onions and peppers)
– 2 stalks celery, finely diced
– 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
– 1 envelope of pioneer White Gravy Mix
– 1 cup water
– 1 tsp salt
– 4 ounces of small (salad) shrimp
– 7 oz of minced clams (small can)
– 1 mahi mahi filet, 4-5 ounces (or fish of your choice).

Directions:
1. Heat Chicken Stock in a large pan.

2. Add salt, celery and onion. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer about 5 min.

3. Add potatoes to broth mixture, and cook until potatoes are thawed, about 15 min on low.

4. Cut fish filet into chunks, about 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch. Add fish, shrimp, and clams to pot. Cook on low heat about 3 minutes, until fish is cooked through.

5. In a separate container, mix water with gravy mix packet. Stir Gravy slurry into chicken stock and potatoes.

5. The texture of your chowder will vary greatly here depending on which brand of potatoes you used. If it is too thick, simply add 1/4 cup water at a time until it reaches the desired thickness.

Makes 8 1 cup servings= 187 Calories per cup
Appx 5 weight watchers points plus per serving

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Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup

22 Mar

You could easily do this in the crockpot too. 5 hrs on low.

Ingredients:

– 2 cans of chicken broth
– 2 cans italian style diced tomatoes
– 3 cups fresh spinach
– 1/4 tsp or 1-2 packets of Splenda
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1 bag of frozen cheese tortellini
– 1 block of fat free cream cheese

Directions:

1. Cut cream cheese into blocks.

2. In a large pot, Mix broth, tomatoes, cream cheese, basil, salt and pepper, and Splenda and heat, stirring until cream cheese melts.

4. Add spinach and tortellini and heat on warm, stirring regularly.

5. Heat for 10-15 min.

Makes 6 (1 1/2 cup) servings= 280 calories per serving

Apps 7 weight watchers points plus

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Chicken Noodle Soup

10 Feb

So, chicken noodle soup isn’t new to anyone, and it’s really pretty healthy no matter how you make it, assuming you don’t use a ton of butter or overload the noodles… so, here’s a recipe that I go to for comfort food on a winter day. It’s predictably delicious, as most homemade chicken noodle soup is. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 64 oz (2 boxes) of chicken broth or stock
– 3 carrots, diced
– 1 onion, diced
– 3 stalks of celery, diced
– 2 tablespoons of parsley
– 4 oz “no yolks” medium noodles

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients, except for noodles into a crockpot. Set on low or 6-8 hours.

2. Remove chicken breasts and shred them with 2 forks. Return them to crockpot.

3. 30 min before serving, add noodles and stir. Cover and cook for 30 min.

Enjoy. Easy breezy.

Editors note: I like to make mine in the crockpot, because I prefer shredded chicken, and this is the easiest way to get it. You could easily make this on the stove by just boiling all ingredients together and dicing the chicken up as well.

10 1 cup Servings= 115 Calories per cup

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Easy, Yummy 3 Ingredient Potato Soup

26 Nov

Ingredients
– 2 cans of chicken stock
– 1 bag of frozen O’Brien style potatoes (with onions and peppers)
– 1 envelope of pioneer White Gravy Mix
– 1 cup water

Directions:
1. Heat Chicken Stock in a large pan.
2. Add frozen potatoes. Cook until thawed and warm.
3. In a separate container, mix water with gravy mix packet.
4. Stir Gravy slurry into chicken stock and potatoes.
5. Cook on low for 20 min or so.

I served this with 1 tablespoon of bacon bits, 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream, and 2 tbsp. shredded low fat cheddar, and it was YUMMY!!!

VF: Replace Chicken Stock with Veggie Stock to make this Vegetarian Friendly!

5 Servings= 196 Calories per serving

with bacon, cheese, and sour cream= 325 Calories per serving

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Tuscan White Bean Soup

17 Nov

I made this today, and it was delicious! It’s not a traditional, country bean soup. It’s really a lot like a minestrone without noodles. However, My Kentucky roots being what they are, I decided to serve this with cornbread. And, I’m glad I did 🙂

Ingredients:
– 1 can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
– 1 can of navy beans (Drained and rinsed)
– 1 Can of petite diced tomatoes
– 1 can of rotel
– 1 can of Chicken stock
– about 20 baby carrots, chopped
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 2 bay leaves
– 3 tbsp. minced garlic
– 2 tsp dried thyme
– 1 box of frozen spinach
– salt and pepper to taste

VF: Replace Chicken Stock with Veggie Stock to make this vegetarian friendly!

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients except for spinach in a crockpot. Mix well.
2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. 30 min before serving, add spinach, stirring periodically.

Makes 9 (1 cup) servings. 1 cup = 123 Calories

Note: I was in a hurry the first time I made this, so I tried 3 hours on high. No dice. The veggies weren’t soft. So I added about 1 1/2 cups of water and put it in my pressure cooker to finish the job. It came out WONDERFUL. I really enjoyed this soup.

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Chili

10 Nov

Note: Decent Chili takes a long time to make. Several hours. You could mix this all together, heat it up, and eat it…but it wouldn’t do the recipe or your tastebuds justice. In our house, Chili is always a Saturday night meal, for this reason. So hang onto this one until you’ve got some time to give 🙂

Ingredients:

– 1 lb lean beef (I used 96% lean)
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
– 1 can of petite diced tomatoes
– 1 can of regular diced tomatoes
– 1 can of “chili hot” (or mild) beans
– 1 can of dark red kidney beans
– Tomato Juice (i buy a large can, and sometimes i use it all)
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp chili powder
– 1 packet of “Chili-O” seasoning
– 1 tiny, tiny sprinkle of cinnamon (seriously, be VERY careful here.. you just want a tad. I just barely tap the container once)

Directions:

1. Brown beef and chopped onions (peppers if you got ’em) in a bottom of a large pan. Drain beef before adding seasoning packet.
2. Add seasoning packet, brown sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon and tomatoes, and stir.
3. Stir in all remaining ingredients, except tomato juice.
4. Stir in about 1/2 the can of juice, and cook on medium, stirring regularly for about 10 min.
5. Turn heat down to a simmer. Leave chili to simmer, stirring occassionally for the next 2 hours. Keep extra juice handy, the longer your chili cooks, the more you’ll want to add.
6. As juice progressively cooks down, add more tomato juice, a little at a time. You don’t want this to end up like a soup… so only add what will have time to cook down before you eat it.
7. Continue simmering chili until you’re ready to eat and consistency is good. My chili typically simmers for a good 4 hours or more, and the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.

Enjoy 🙂

*Note, i like to top with plain greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) crackers, shredded cheese. Sometimes i add noodles. Sometimes i put fritos in there. these are all yummy options, but none of these toppings are accounted for in the calorie count below, so track those separately. I also rarely eat only 1 cup of Chili. The serving size is really just a measurement to figure the calories for however much you eat.

Calories= 1 cup of chili, 215 Calories