Tag Archives: soup

Kids In The Kitchen: Seafood Gumbo

Brandan immediately decided he wanted to make squid for his turn in the kitchen. Squid? Okay, but I have little experience with squid. I suggested calamari, but he wasn’t interested. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so we simply started to google “squid recipes”. I came across a gumbo recipe, and before I even read through it, he really wanted to make gumbo with squid. The decision was made. Only then did I thoroughly read through the recipe, and decided it was not a good recipe to follow. And then I started wondering whether squid was ever used in gumbo in the first place – I can’t think of a single Cajun or Creole dish that uses squid. I would have to improvise to make this work.

I have not made many gumbos in my life. There is one gumbo that is routinely made in our household – Emeril Lagasse’s Turkey Gumbo Ya-Ya. It’s awesome. And it’s not something I usually make – this is my husband’s signature dish, made only around the holidays. But I figured, if Emeril has come through for us in this dish, and others, such as my Shrimp Etouffee, why not here? I found a Seafood Gumbo recipe, and started from there, changing it up to accomodate a gluten-free diet, to include squid, and to simplify it somewhat, so that a 13-year-old boy could tackle it. (Gumbo is a long process!)

It was a success – even Brittany, who upon seeing the squid uttered “Eww, gross!”, loved her gumbo. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend squid in a gumbo, as it doesn’t really add much to the dish (the flavor of squid is subtle, and was somewhat lost in the heat of the gumbo broth), it certainly didn’t detract from it either.  Adding it at the last minute rendered the squid tender, not rubbery – a fear I had when composing this dish. Brandan, of course, had two bowlfuls. We might consider keeping a version of this dish on the menu, sans the squid and expensive crab. I imagine a cheaper, but no less delicious, version could include some smoked sausage or andouille, plus double the shrimp. Regardless of the proteins included, this was a filling and warming dish.

Now, I promise you, the next post will not be a soup. I am beginning to feel like this blog should be re-named “Tasty Soups At Home.” Perhaps a bit of variety is needed, no?


Seafood Gumbo, adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1/2 c canola oil

¼ c sorghum flour

¼ c sweet rice flour

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 c white wine

4 cups vegetable broth

1 8-oz bottle clam juice

1 bay leaf

¼ t dried thyme

½ -1 T salt

½ t cayenne pepper

2 t Worcestershire sauce

1 lb frozen shrimp

1 cup fresh crabmeat

1 lb squid, sliced thinly

¼ c fresh chopped parsley

¼ c chopped green onion tops

White rice, for serving

Place a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, and add the oil. Allow to heat for about 5 minutes, and add in the flours. Stir for 20-25 minutes until the roux is the color of milk chocolate. Add the celery, onion, and bell pepper and stir to blend. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring, then add the garlic. Cool the garlic for 30 seconds before adding the wine, vegetable stock, and clam juice. Add the bay leaf, thyme, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If a good deal of oil or scum rises to the surface, skim it off.

Season the shrimp, crab, and squid with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the crab and squid to the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Taste the gumbo and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Garnish with parsley and green onions and serve with rice.

Makes 4-6 servings.


Filed under Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Seafood, Soups

Tomatillo Turkey Chili

tomatillo turkey chiliThis Thanksgiving, don’t throw away those turkey leftovers!

Remember the meat from those turkey wings and drumsticks I used the other day to make gluten-free turkey gravy? All that meat didn’t go to waste – it was used to make a delicious, warming turkey chili!

I actually purchase a larger turkey than necessary for Thanksgiving each year. I love the leftovers. They make great filling for enchiladas, sandwiches, or even taste good eaten cold, straight from the fridge, late at night. Not that I would know or anything. But now, the leftovers star in a spicy, flavorful chili. Or you could add crushed tortilla chips and call it tortilla soup. Whatever you call it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you try it!

Of course, you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to make a chili like this. You can use any leftover chicken or turkey, or you can even purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and use it, if that’s your thing. It’ll all taste delicious in this soup. Heck, you could even go meatless, and use vegetable stock and add some cubed sweet potatoes or squash, and make a delicious vegetarian soup. It all sounds yummy to me.

If you can’t find tomatillos, you can substitute a 16-20 oz jar of bottled salsa verde/tomatillo salsa. Tomatillos are plentiful around here in Texas – but the cheapest ones are usually at the Latin groceries.

Tomatillo Turkey Chili, adapted from Simply Recipes

1 ½ lbs tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut in half

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped

5-6 c cooked turkey or chicken, shredded

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 c chicken broth

½ c gluten-free beer (such as Bard’s Tale) – optional, but it adds a wonderful flavor

2 c diced tomatoes or tomato puree

1 t ground cumin

1 t ground coriander

1 t dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

½ c chopped cilantro

 Place the tomatillos and jalapenos cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Scatter onions and garlic around tomatillos and jalapenos. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until skins on tomatillos blacken. Remove, and when cool, pour tomatillos, jalapenos, onion and garlic, including any juices, into a food processor. Pulse until well blended.

 Heat a large stockpot to medium heat and add tomatillo mixture and chipotle pepper. Stur around for a minute or two, and add turkey, beans, broth, beer, tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

 Immediately before serving, taste and adjust salt and pepper seasonings as necessary, and stir in most of the cilantro, reserving a bit to use as garnish.

Optional: Top with sour cream and cheese.

 Serves 5-6.


Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups

Garlicky White Bean Soup

food-7791I have been trying to incorporate more soups into my diet lately. For starters, it’s winter, so soup is a yummy, comforting dish to help warm up a cold day. Secondly, they can be made without spending a lot of money, so the leftovers make great cheap lunch entrees. I happened to read a white bean soup recipe on http://www.foodiefarmgirl.blogspot.com/, and decided her recipe was just what I was craving. With a bit of cayenne for subtle warmth, this white bean soup delivers a creaminess and comfort while at the same time being vegan and low-fat. It definitely makes for wonderful lunches, let me tell you! I happened to freeze some, so I can have a delicious, healthy meal on-hand anytime. This soup makes six servings.

2 cups great northern beans, or other white beans, soaked overnight

8 cups water

1 t fresh rosemary

1 t fresh thyme

1 t fennel seeds

1 bay leaf

1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

1 turnip, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 small red potatoes, or one large russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

8 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

½ c chopped parsley

1 large pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra parsley for garnish



Place soaked beans, water, rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds, and bay leaf in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil and let simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic cloves in a small ovenproof dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool, and peel cloves.


After beans have simmered for 1 hour, add turnips, potatoes, onion, and carrots. Return to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer, partially covered, for another hour. After simmering, remove bay leaf.


(see, I really meant coarsely chopped!)

(see, I really meant coarsely chopped!)


Add garlic cloves, and puree soup in batches using a blender, or if you have an immersion blender, puree soup in pot. (If you choose, you can reserve about ½ c of the soup mixture before you puree it, so that you have some chunky texture to your soup. I just opted to be imperfect and “mostly puree” my soup with the immersion blender.) Add parsley, and return to a simmer for 30 more minutes.


Taste and add cayenne, and generous amounts of salt and pepper, tasting until seasoned correctly. Serve hot, with parsley for garnish, if desired.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups, Vegetarian

Split Pea Soup

food-06111I have loved split pea soup since I was a little girl. It’s pleasantly warming and comforting, perfect for cold winter days. Rather than the same old ham bone or bacon to flavor the soup, in this recipe I have attempted to keep the sodium and fat content low and opt for full-flavored spices. Madras curry powder is a spice you can find in the asian section of the grocery store, or in an asian or indian grocery store. Smoked paprika has only fairly recently made its way into the spice aisle of grocery stores, so you may or may not find it at your local grocery. If you have trouble finding either spice, you can always order them (and a bunch of other fun spices) at http://www.mingspantry.com/rolcurpow2oz.html and http://www.thespicehouse.com/.


2 T olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 c vegetable broth

2 c water

1 ½ lbs dried split peas, rinsed, picked through, and soaked for a minimum of 4 hours

1 herb bouquet**

Salt and pepper

2 t smoked paprika

2 t madras curry powder

1 lemon, juiced and zested

Pinches of smoked paprika



**herb bouquet – 3 cloves garlic, peeled, 4-6 allspice berries, 2 bay leaves, 1 sprig thyme, 6-8 sprigs parsley, tied in cheesecloth. (this idea was adapted from Elise at http://www.elise.com/recipes/, who adapted it from Julia Child’s “The Way To Cook.” Which is a great book, by the way. Thanks Elise!)


Heat a large stockpot to medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and swirl to coat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, and sauté until vegetables are soft and onions begin to look translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, water, peas, and the herb bouquet. (the liquid should just cover the peas. If more liquid is needed, add more water.) Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally and skimming scum off of the top.

Discard herb bouquet, and puree soup until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper, smoked paprika, and curry powder. Add lemon juice and stir. Taste and adjust salt as necessary. Serve in bowls with pinches of smoked paprika and lemon zest sprinkled on top.

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Filed under Beans, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups, Vegetarian