Pesto Potato Salad

This is a deceptively simple dish. It came together slightly accidentally; I was looking for a way to serve potatoes with steak and didn’t feel like roasted. I poked around the cupboards and found a jar of prepared pesto. It seemed to thick to use on its own, so I sneaked a bit of mayo in there, but trust me you can not taste it. It turned out so well, I will definitely be making it when regular potato salad won’t do. It may also be quite delicious straight of the container while standing in front of the open fridge, but since I would never, ever do such a thing ::side eye:: I can’t say for sure.

Pesto Potato Salad
Serves 4
1 pound red potatoes cut into small even pieces
3 1/2 teaspoons prepared pesto
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper, freshly ground
4 teaspoons parmesan cheese, finely grated

  1. Put potatoes in a medium soup and cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are just fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes in a strainer and gently run cool water over the potatoes to stop the cooking process. Let drain completely and blot with a lint free or paper towel if you need to speed the drying process along.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix pesto, mayonnaise, milk and a few grinds of black pepper.
  4. Put the drained and dry potatoes in to a mixing bowl and stirring gently, pour the pesto dressing over the potatoes and mix until potatoes are thoroughly coated.
  5. The parmesan can be mixed in to the salad while in the mixing bowl or sprinkled over individual servings. Enjoy!
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Portuguese Kale Soup (Caldo Verde)

I am just delighted to present our first featured blogger! Joni Rae blogs over at Kitchen Witch and I really recommend following her on the twitters (@kitchenwitch). She is a home schooling, pagan mama to 4 adorable kids and she posts a wide variety of recipes on the weekends. They look so good I frequently have to wipe a smidge of drool out of the corner of my mouth. This is her grandmother’s soup and she is sharing her recipe that originally appeared on her website with us. Enjoy!

Portuguese Kale Soup (Caldo Verde)

1 clove of garlic, whole
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes, chopped
1 whole chicken
2 links of chourico
1 bunch of kale or collard greens, washed and torn into palm sized pieces
3/4 cup of orzo
1 cup of red kidney beans (cooked)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Fill a large stock pot 3/4 with water.
  2. Add the clove of garlic, carrot, onion, chicken and chourico, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on medium-high for 90 minutes or so, until chicken is falling off the
    bone.
  4. Remove chicken and chourico, set aside.
  5. Add the potatoes.
  6. Cook until water reduces a bit and the potatoes are softened and then add
    the kale and beans.
  7. Shred the chicken and slice the chourico, add back to the pot.
  8. Add in the the orzo, cook another ten minutes
  9. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Thanks for sharing your recipe with us and a special thanks to Jody for helping me get the featured bloggers up and running!

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Potato Broccoli Soup

This soup is based on one I found on epicurious when I was looking for a slightly healthier broccoli soup than my Broccoli Cheddar soup. I changed the proportions slightly, added the dried minced onion (which I know some foodie people mock, but in certain circumstances give an excellent depth of flavor) and decided to puree the whole thing because I don’t care for broccoli chunks in a thick soup. As listed, the soup is vegan and has no added fats, but would be great with a little cheddar or parmesan sprinkled on top. The secret to getting the vibrant green hue is to not overcook the broccoli. It is a pretty fast soup, the whole thing comes together in less than an hour.

Potato Broccoli Soup
Serves 4 generously, 6-8 as a starter
1.5 pounds potatoes (small left whole, large cut into bite sized pieces)
6 cups water or vegetable stock
12 ounces broccoli (chopped, stems included or just florets)
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Put potatoes and water in soup pot. Water should cover the potatoes, if you find it doesn’t quite cover the tops, try a narrower pot. Add half of the salt, the garlic and the minced onion.
  2. Boil the potatoes uncovered on medium-high heat for about 12 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are almost tender, add the broccoli on top of the potatoes, (do not stir) cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green and tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. (Or puree in batches using a food processor or a blender.)
  5. Add remaining salt and pepper.
  6. Season to taste, ladle in to bowls and enjoy!
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(Not Your Grandma’s) Chicken Noodle Soup

I first learned the basics of this chicken noodle soup from one of my college roommates and he called it Not Your Jewish Grandma’s Soup, because of the bacon fat. What that soup lacked in class, it makes up it for in taste. This is my favorite chicken noodle soup. I even think it is better than my mom’s (shhh). This soup is super easy and comes together quite quickly, especially if you use previously poached chicken.

(Not Your Grandma’s) Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4
2 tablespoons bacon grease
3 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced (or crushed in garlic press)
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 poached or grilled chicken breasts, chopped
8 cups chicken stock (can also use poaching liquid)
2 cups egg noodles (I like medium, dried)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (ironic, no?)
4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, grated (1 tsp per bowl)

  1. Heat bacon grease in a heavy bottomed soup pot on medium heat.
  2. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown.
  3. Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add one cup of stock sauteed mixture, using a spatula or wooden spoon to scrap up any browned bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add remaining stock to pan. Add salt and chicken and bring to a boil.
  6. When soup is boiling, add egg noodles and cook according to package directions, usually about 7 minutes.
  7. Taste and add more salt if needed. You could add some pepper, but I prefer to let people add their own at the table. (Code for my husband likes pepper in this soup and I do not.)
  8. Ladle in to bowls, sprinkle with cheese and enjoy.
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Call for Posts

Do you have a spectacular soup or special salad that you would like featured on Soup or Salad Blog? We are about to expand our content to include guest posts and reposts from other blogs. You can tweet or email your links. We will happily post recipes submitted by email. What do YOU get in return? Not cash, but we will link back to your blog, tweet the recipe with your twitter handle included and you will get a “featured on” button for your blog.

not actual button

Show us what you got!

Guidelines for submission:
Must be original recipe or cite original source
Must have at least one picture
Must be yummy

Submit to souporsaladblog {at} gmail {dot} com OR tweet your link to @SoupOrSaladBlog

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BLT Salad

I don’t really like BLT Sandwiches, but as a salad, you betcha. I think the sandwich always ends up soggy. You get the best of both worlds when you serve this salad with toasty bread on the side. If, for some crazy reason, you don’t like blue cheese, this would also work with feta.

BLT Salad
Serves 2
3 cups lettuce, washed and torn
1 tablespoon vinegar (I like white balsamic, red wine or sherry vinegar for this)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
dash salt
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, sliced in to wedges
1/4 cup plus 1 heaping tablespoon crumbled blue or feta cheese

  1. Put lettuce in serving bowl
  2. In a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, salt, pepper until combined into the dressing.
  3. Toss lettuce with the dressing.
  4. Mix 1/4 cup of the cheese in with the lettuce.
  5. Arrange the tomatoes and bacon on top of the lettuce.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining blue cheese, serve and enjoy!
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Hearty Minestrone

This hearty minestrone isn’t authentic but it is very good. There is a fair amount of chopping involved but actual at the stove cooking time is fairly short. This pot of soup went from pantry/fridge to table in just over an hour and it made my house smell fantastic.

Hearty Minestrone
Serves 4-6
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 T olive oil, divided
1 med onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green part only, cleaned well and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 med carrots, split in half lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, split in half lengthwise and sliced
1 zucchini, split in half lengthwise and sliced
2 med red potatoes, or a russet baking potato if that’s what you have, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes in juice (14 oz)
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 package cheese tortellini
parsley, for garnish
parmesan, shredded, for garnish

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon and fry for a couple minutes, just until it begins to brown.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
  4. Give the oil 30 seconds or so to warm up and add onion, leek and garlic to the pan.
  5. Stir well and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add carrots, zucchini, celery and potatoes.  Stir well and cook for a couple minutes.
  7. Next add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes and rinsed beans. Also add 1 can of water (14.5 oz)  Stir well.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or so until the potatoes begin to soften. Stir occasionally and about halfway through, taste and adjust seasoning.
  9. While potatoes are cooking in soup, bring a water to a boil in a separate pot.
  10. Cook tortellini 2 minutes shorter than package directions.  Drain and add to soup pot.
  11. Stir well. Cook for 2 minutes,
  12. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and parmesan if using.
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Chicken Chef Salad

I was thinking about my dear friend Eileen and her troubles finding easy and quick dinners as a working mom. She has a toddler who is exploring foods and can eat a lot of finger foods. Her husband doesn’t like soup (that’s unheard of!) so I thought I would develop a salad that was hearty and filling enough to stand on its own, with great ingredients and a little bit of indulgence in the dressing. The salad can be adapted to what you have on hand, feel free to add in tomatoes, cucumbers and bacon; the chicken could be changed to turkey. The possibilities are endless. And the fact that everything is chopped makes this perfect for a toddler.

If you plan ahead and make or buy pre-cooked chicken and hard boiled eggs, this salad comes together in less than 20 minutes, including making the dressing. If you started everything at the same time and served the chicken warm, I think it would take closer to 45. I would recommend poaching or grilling a bunch of chicken in advance and freezing it in single breast portions and thawing as needed.

Chicken Chef Salad
Serves 2 (and a toddler or a left over lunch)
1 Recipe Easy Blue Cheese Dressing
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
1 chicken breast, grilled or poached, sliced
3 cups lettuce, washed and torn
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cut in to small cubes
1/2-2/3 large red bell pepper halved, cleaned and sliced
2/3- 1 cup shredded carrots
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put lettuce leaves in a bowl and toss with dressing until coated. This will use about half of the dressing.
  2. Arrange remaining ingredients in a pleasing manner on top of the lettuce. The following is the method I use. Do what ever works for you.
  3. Place the cheese in a stripe down the center of the bowl, making a bed slightly larger than the spread out egg will be.
  4. Place sliced chicken on either side of the cheese
  5. Place shredded carrots on either side of the chicken.
  6. Place red pepper slices/half rings around the outside of the bowl.
  7. Place overlapping slices of egg on top of the cheese.
  8. Pour remaining dressing on top of chicken or serve on the side.
  9. Grind some black pepper over the top of the salad, I like to put it on the eggs.
  10. If you like a lot of dressing for dipping, you may want to double the recipe.
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Easy Blue Cheese Dressing

This is the easiest blue cheese dressing ever. 4 ingredients and stir. And it is delicious. I love it because it isn’t quite as thick as a lot of other blue cheese dressings, it isn’t quite as rich either. It tosses easily with greens and they don’t get bogged down with a heavy dressing.

Easy Blue Cheesing Dressing
yield 1/4 cup
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 3-4 grinds)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined
  2. The blue cheese may get a little clumpy, I like to use two teaspoons to mix. One to stir and one to scrape off the stirring spoon.
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Shrimp and Bacon Salad

I made this salad to surprise my husband last week. He loved it and ate nearly the entire salad himself. I would suggest doubling the recipe if you are feeding more than 2 people unless you’re planning on having this as a side salad. There is a lot of bacon in this salad because I love the texture and flavor it adds but feel free to use less if you’re not as keen on it as we are. Also, I used peeled and deveined shrimp and removed the tails prior to cooking. I did this only to make eating the salad easier.

Shrimp and Bacon Salad
Serves 2
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined, tails removed if desired
1 bag mixed salad greens (4 cups)
1 nice ripe tomato, chopped or a handful of grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 recipe Creamy Balsamic Dressing

  1. Fry diced bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. When bacon is cooked to your preferred degree of crispiness, remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  3. Add shrimp to bacon fat in pan and cook until done, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove cooked shrimp from pan using a slotted spoon and place in salad bowl.
  5. Add mixed greens, bacon and chopped tomatoes to salad bowl on top of shrimp.
  6. Drizzle dressing on top of greens and toss gently until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Serve immediately.
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