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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Posted on 17 April 2010 by noelskitchen

When it comes to meal planning, soups provide the eqivalent of culinary flextime. Soups can be prepared days or even weeks ahead of time, then reheated at your convenience. I like to make a huge pot on the weekends, refrigerate it for weekday lunches or freeze. The flavors of a soup improve the longer they sit and they freeze very well.  Tomato soup is my all time favorite. The rich and creamy flavors of the soup are fantastic and I like to add different things just to vary the taste. I start off with my base recipe, Creamy Tomato Soup and add other ingredients. Mezzetta  has always offered good quality products. Their Roasted Red Peppers are sun ripened in California and then flame roasted to sear in their smooth rich succulent flavor. I added a jar of these to my Creamy Tomato soup recipe and it added a great rich flavor.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup


2 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth (I like to make my own stock ahead of time and freezer. When I need it, I pull it out of freezer.)

6 cups crushed tomato or Italian stewed tomatoes with seasoning

1 jar Mezzetta  Roasted Red Peppers

2 cups heavy cream or milk

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

2 Tablespoons Italian seasonings


Combine broth, tomatoes and red peppers in a large pot over moderate heat. When soup starts to bubble, stir in heavy cream or milk and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and simmer gently 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Serve bowls of soup with sandwiches, salad, bread or homemade baked potato fries.

Recipe Note: Soups usually include fresh or dried herbs. Fresh herbs tend to give up their flavors easily, so make to add them toward the end of your cooking time. Dried herbs and spices tend to hold their flavors and require lots of cooking time to bring their flavors out. Any  use of salt, should be added late and after you taste tested your recipe. :)

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.

Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

Inspiring More Families Around The Dinner Table More Often. Eating out is Expensive….Eating With Family Is Priceless

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Southwestern Sausage Gumbo

Posted on 21 February 2010 by noelskitchen

 Today’s recipe post is a simple one. On Saturday, my  meal plan is to try something different and new. I have this great Creole rub I wanted to try and I had some Southwestern Sausage on hand that I picked up sale at the grocery store. Tossed in the slow cooker with some vegetables and had a perfect meal for the family. Recipe Note: In future making of this recipe, I’ll try adding chicken, shrimp, potatoes, scallops or crab meat. Introducing each ingredient to the kids one at a time. Leftovers may be frozen for a  future meal. 

Southwestern Sausage Gumbo


8 Southwestern sausage links (filled with corn, black beans and peppers), chopped

1 package Zucchini and Squash mixture (tender zucchini and yellow squash, diced tomatoes and sliced red onions)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup flour

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup beef broth

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon Creole rub

1 Tablespoon Taco seasoning


In a saucepan on low heat add flour, saute until lightly brown. Add oilve oil and stir until well combined. Add beef broth, stirring until mixture starts to thicken. Add cumin and taco seasoning. Stir until well combined. Remove from heat.

In a slow cooker on low heat setting, add sausage, tomatoes, red pepper and vegetable mixture. Add broth mixture over the top. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Cover and cook 6 hours. Serve with cornbread, french bread, rolls and/or rice.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

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Make Ahead Meals:Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

Posted on 16 January 2010 by noelskitchen

I love the idea that dinner is cooking even when I’m away at the office, and I absolutely enjoy the aroma when I walk in the door. Whether it’s a pot roast, chicken and dumplings, beef stew or simply a soup-what could be easier! Slow cooking is the easiest cooking technique ever developed.

I always have at least one slow cooker meal a week using leftovers or ingredients on hand in the pantry. Slow cookers are great for convenience.  This recipe was created for my Slow Cooker Thursday. I used the vegetables I hand on hand and some of the whole wheat pasta noodles from my Smoked Brats Spinach & Cheese Pasta Bake recipe I made for Tuesday night’s meal. By using similar ingredients throughout your week’s menu plan you are saving a lot of time and making your cooking much easier.


Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Crockpot Vegetable Soup


4 cups broth (Turkey, Chicken Vegetable or Beef)

1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup spinach

1 cup baby Bella sliced mushrooms

1 15 ounce can red kidney beans drained

1 1/2 cups whole wheat spiral pasta noodles

Salt and Pepper


Add ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low heat 6-8 hours.

Slow Cooking Tip: Save time with patience. Each time you open the lid, built up steam escapes. This can delay your cooking time by 2o minutes. There’s no need to peek under the lid anyway. The great thing about slow cooking is that it takes care of itself.


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Harvest Pumpkin Soup-Quick Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

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Harvest Pumpkin Soup-Quick Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Posted on 25 October 2009 by noelskitchen

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

This is a perfect, beautiful creamy and delicious pumpkin soup recipe that’s perfect for entertaining your friends and family for Thanksgiving. The spices traditionally used with pumpkin are considered warming and I’ve tried incorporating those spices into the soup.

Harvest Pumpkin Soup

Harvest Pumpkin Soup


2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup onion, chopped

3 Celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

4 cups fresh roasted pumpkin, cubed

1 large russet potato, chopped

4 cups fat free chicken broth


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and cut the pumpkin lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and excess fiber. May peel skin if desired. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast in oven  for 30-45 minutes.


In a large stock pot, heat oil–add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, ginger and sugar. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add spices; stir to coat. Cube pumpkin, add pumpkin, potato and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 30 minutes or until potato, carrot and pumpkin are tender.

Puree the soup, small portions at a time to avoid overflow and burning. Soup will be hot. Return to stock pot to heat.

This soup can easily be made ahead and frozen. Thaw in refrigerator a couple of days ahead and reheat 20 minutes before serving.


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Wacky Mac Minestone Soup: Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

Posted on 17 October 2009 by noelskitchen

Easy Slow Cooker Recipes:

What’s your recipe for a cool fall day? What sounds more comforting and satisfying on a chilly day, than a hearty bowl of flavorful soup.

Coming home after a hard days work and feeling the crisp, fall air, there’s absolutely nothing better than soup for a perfect warm up. Today we are using the slow cooker a making a healthy Minestone soup. 

Minestrone soup has always been one of my favorite soups.  The Wacky Mac pasta used in this recipe has wheels, shells, spirals and tubes that make this soup fun and tasty to eat for the kids. This hearty soup is a great family supper.

Minestrone Soup

Wacky Mac Minestrone Soup


4 cups vegetable broth

4 cups diced tomatoes

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups carrot, peeled and chopped

2 cups cannellini beans, drained

2 cups zucchini, chopped

2 cups corn

1 cup yellow or white onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1 cup  frozen spinach leaves, defrosted and chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper

2 cups cooked Wacky Mac pasta


In a stock pot, bring 6-8 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add salt if desired.  Slowly add Wacky Mac pasta. Boil 8-10 minutes until tender, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat. Drain.

In a slow cooker, add vegetable broth, vegetables, spices and drained pasta. Cook on low heat 8-10 hours or on hight heat 5-6 hours. Top with some grated Parmesan and Romano cheese. Serve with Sweet Corn Muffins, French Bread.

Hearty soups  are perfect for a chilly day. Enjoy!






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