Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dinner Dilemma.

Do you ever, at 4PM, think to yourself, What the hell am I going to cook for dinner tonight?  I do.  All the time.  Because my husband and I try to eat at home as much as possible, we go through a lot of food in our house.  And we like to eat well so coming up with creative dinners can be difficult.  Until I found this free Whole Foods app.  You guys.  It is amazing.  All you do is type in what ingredients you have on hand and it gives you recipes you can make with those ingredients!

So last night, for instance, I had no clue what to make for dinner so I pulled out my trusty app and typed in mushrooms and leeks into the ingredients on-hand and voila!  A recipe was found.  Roasted Garlic, Potato and Mushroom Soup!  And it was pretty good.  A little bland, though, so I modified it just a bit.

I didn't have four leeks (I had one) so I added a carrot and a stalk of celery to the mix.  And I didn't have shitake mushrooms but button and crimini so those went into the pot instead.  Maybe it was the lack of onion-y leek flavor but I found the soup to be lacking something.  So here's what I did with the leftovers (you could also do this to the original recipe, just add this step at the beginning before cooking the vegetables).

In a large pot, heat a tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add two sausages (I used spicy Italian chicken sausages) and cook through.  Remove from pot and let rest on a plate for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, add the leftover soup to the pot and heat through (or start the original recipe from this point).  Slice the cooked sausages into bite-sized pieces and add to pot.  Add a few handfuls of torn kale leaves and stir until wilted.  Heat entire soup through and then serve, garnished with Italian parsley.

So much better.  I know, I know.  I took a perfectly good vegetarian dish and turned it into a meaty mess.  You could potentially just add more fragrant vegetables like onions or use regular rather than low-sodium broth to liven it up a bit and give it more flavor.  I just happened to have a few chicken sausages in the freezer so in they went.  And it worked!  A delicious and more lively soup.

What is your favorite soup recipe?  Please share.  I love soups.  They are so easy!  And so filling.  And (usually) so healthy. 

Do you have a crock pot/slow cooker?  I think I almost have my husband talked into getting one.  I think that appliance will be life-changing! 


  1. That question you ask yourself at 4pm is happening daily in our house lately!! I LOVE my slow cooker!

  2. Your adaptation sounds delicious! I love cooking so much, but we get quite lazy at our house and end up getting take out WAY more often than is acceptable. One of my biggest goals for 2011 is not only to cook more at home, but to become more comfortable cooking without recipes/making dinner ideas based on what we have.

    One of my favorite soups is this creamy Roasted Potato Leek Soup from Ina Garten -

    and this really basic but really filling Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup -

    Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one in the world who isn't all about crock pots - I love the idea of them, but everything I've tried in them has fallen short of expectations... but maybe that's because the one I use was my mother's and is about 28 years old :)

  3. I love soups, too!! Hadley just made the worlds yummiest ham & split pea tonight. Heaven. I have no clue what the recipe was though... A lot of veggies, ham, all day cooking. I have a slow cooker, and mine gets used at least once a week, sometimes more. I couldn't live without it!


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