Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup Recipe

*plus an unrelated note from Heather at the end*
Bobbie says:

“So, is it cold enough for ya?” I don’t think I’ve made it through a winter in my entire life without hearing this lamest of questions at least once. I just smile and nod at the crazy person as I move along.  “Cold enough” implies that one looks forward to frigid temperatures. Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with me during the winter knows I detest cold and snow, and probably thinks I’m less than sane for living north of the Mason-Dixon line my entire life, despite the weather. I couldn’t really argue with that.

We’ve actually had a rather mild winter in the Gettysburg area so far, but it’s still been cold enough to warrant some hearty, comforting soup to warm the bones as well as the soul. This simple Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup is perfect  for busy, chilly days. Peel a few potatoes, chop a carrot and toss everything in the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook all day, then finish the last step just before supper time. Pair with a tossed salad and maybe some crusty rolls for an easy-peasy winter meal. Simple, yet satisfying.

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Potato Soup - Easy Comfort Food

My potato preference for this is Yukon Gold, but any kind will do. Any fully cooked sausage can be used, and you can also use a different cheese. I think bratwurst with swiss cheese sounds really good, but I haven’t tried it yet.  Reheats nicely, if you’ve got any left over – keep in the fridge and use within a couple days. Freezing not recommended – texture will be affected.

 

Smoked Sausage Potato Cheese Soup Recipe

makes about 4 quarts

1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 1/2 cups peeled carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of dried thyme
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
4 cups chicken or pork stock, preferably homemade

1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Halve the sausage lengthwise, then slice about 1/4 inch thick.

Combine everything except the evaporated milk and cheese in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or on LOW for 8 to 9 hours.

Remove the bay leaves. Cheesy Smoked Sausage Potato Soup - gently stir in cheese

Stir in evaporated milk.

Sprinkle cheese over top of the soup. Stir gently until the cheese melts into the soup and mixes well throughout.

Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

 

 

 

 

 

Bobbie Laughman is a part-time elder caregiver, part-time administrative assistant and part-time dreamer of warm toes. She cooks and writes and bundles up well in the Gettysburg, PA area. Follow Bobbie on Pinterest,  subscribe to her blog or send a message to Bobbie@Home-Ec101.com.  

Heather says:
I’m very grateful that Bobbie sent this over last night. I didn’t want to not post this week, but the kids and I were rear-ended yesterday afternoon. We were all checked out at the ER and other than being extremely sore and cranky, we’re all okay. I want to thank the extremely nice staff at N&D Wireless, a local business, for letting the kids and me wait in their store while everything was sorted out. The ambulances (not for me or the kids and as far as I know, the other people are okay, too) and police took up most of their parking lot for a good hour. They helped entertain my shaken up kids and were just generally kind. They didn’t have to let my wound up kids go nuts in there for as long as they did, but that kindness meant a lot, I was pretty rattled. I’m going to be a complete slacker this weekend and hopefully attack Monday with all of my usual spite and enthusiasm. Have a good weekend and hug -yes, hug- those you love.

Quick Beef and Cabbage Skillet Recipe – Hearty Winter Fare

Bobbie SezBobbie says:

Winter was almost ignoring us here in south central Pennsylvantia:  not too frigid and hardly any snow, and heck, I even wore shorts last week. Well, indoors, at least.  Then that stupid groundhog saw his shadow on February 2, signalling six more weeks of winter. And then, someone must have passed the message along to Winter,  because it started paying attention again. Now everything’s completely white, and it got cold. I hate groundhogs and I hate cold weather and snow, but hey, at least the food’s good. Perfect for a cold winter’s day, Quick Beef and Cabbage Skillet is hearty and filling, but still budget friendly.  Oh, and delicious.

To be honest, the first time I cooked this combination of ingredients, I was being kind of selfish: I love cooked cabbage, and I thought I was kind of alone in that. At least, I knew my husband hated cabbage rolls, and although this has no rice or tomato, and is almost completely unlike cabbage rolls in any way, aside from the cabbage and meat, I still felt as if I was throwing caution to the wind.  I was amazed. My husband kept saying how much he liked it, so he could be sure I’ make it again. Talk about win-win. And cheap-cheap, too. Cabbage was recently as low as 49 cents per pound at my favorite store, and even when it’s not “on sale” it’s still one of the best deals in the produce department. Learn to love cabbage  and your budget will love you.

Quick Beef and Cabbage Skillet Recipe

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • an approximately 2 pound head of green cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  •  2 bay leaves

Choose a large, heavy skillet or pot with a lid with a capacity of at least 6 quarts. I used my 8 quart stock pot, which gave me plenty of stirring about room. Set it over medium heat, and add the ground beef.

Peel and coarsely chop the onion, and add it to the meat, stirring it up a bit with a sturdy spoon. Stir the meat and onions occasionally while you prepare the cabbage and carrots.

Using a large chef’s knife, cut the head of cabbage in half from the top, through the core, then cut each half again, so you have 4 pieces approximately equal in size. Carefully slice away the core and discard. (If you don’t get all of it, don’t worry. It’s perfectly safe to eat – it’s just a bit tough sometimes.) Roughly chop the cabbage – neatness doesn’t count, cleanliness does, so keep it off the floor. I usually cut the cabbage into approximately one-inch chunks, which works pretty well.

If you have a box grater or other tool for shredding foods, use that for the carrots. Otherwise, just use the chef’s knife and finely chop them. Sometimes, I leave them out if I’m in a huge hurry, or just don’t have carrots.

Once the meat is browned, stir in the salt, pepper, and bay leaves (these are NOT optional – their flavor is essential to the results),  then add the carrots and cabbage. Stir to mix well. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook until

cabbage and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You shouldn’t need to add any liquid – the juices that cook out of the meat and vegetables should be sufficient, but if it seems dry, add up to 1/4 cup of water. ) Remove bay leaves and discard.

Makes 4 generous servings.

 

Serve Quick Beef and Cabbage Skillet with mashed potatoes or some crusty rolls and butter for a simple, comforting meal.

 

Bobbie Laughman is an elder caregiver, writer and Generally Shy Person, Except On The Internet. She lives and breathes and tries to keep warm and sane in Gettysburg, PA. If you’ve a mind to, contact her at Bobbie@Home-Ec101.com

Silky Smooth Green Pea Soup Recipe

Bobbie says:
Now is the perfect time of year for hearty soups to warm the body and spirit. Served with bread (homemade or from the store) and perhaps a salad, this thick, creamy soup makes a great lunch or light supper, and pea soup is surprisingly easy to make from scratch.

Once upon a time, I was told that if I could come up with my own version of the pea soup in the red and white can that my husband liked so much, we could stop paying that ridiculous price, which back in 1986, was just over one dollar per 10.75 oz can of condensed soup. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Silky Smooth Green Pea Soup - garnished and served

Not just any split pea soup recipe would do, as I quickly came to realize – he said they didn’t taste right (which, it turned out, was the flavor of ham, which was NOT in the canned version) or they “had stuff in them” (he liked the smoothness of the Green Pea variety, so No Chunks Allowed). So, after examining labels on soup cans, and a few years of trial and error, this is How I Make Pea Soup. (And now, my husband can’t stand the canned version. Ha, Campbells! I WIN.)

Silky Smooth Green Pea Soup - dried split peasWhen buying dried beans or peas, always look them over carefully, even if they seem to be very clean. When I made this batch of soup, the peas I bought were very nice and clean looking, but I found a small rock amongst them. Not something you want to find on your soup spoon.

You’ll notice that my recipe calls for bouillon. I think this is the only recipe I actually use bouillon for, because generally it makes things too salty, but the chicken flavor bouillon gave this what it needed, and the result is still less salty than the canned soup. I’m also quite picky in choosing a brand. Most I’ve seen have MSG (monosodium glutamate) listed among the ingredients, which I really try to avoid. Herb-Ox is the brand I’ve bought for years, but I’ve recently tried one called Better than Bouillon, which I found at a health-food store, and I quite like it, but it’s more expensive and must be refrigerated. If you prefer, you may use chicken stock (or veggie stock, of course) instead of the water. If you do, leave out or reduce the bouillon, and perhaps add some salt to taste.

 

 

: Silky Smooth Green Pea Soup

  • 16 ounces dried split peas (green or yellow, your choice)
  • 1 quart water or chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped or smashed
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable bouillon (omit or reduce amount if using chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Smooth Green Pea Soup Instructions

  • Wash the split peas in a bowl of warmish water, covering them by a few inches. Swish the peas around in the water, which will probably get cloudy with the dirt/dust you’re washing off. Drain the water off , using a colander. I do this several times until the water no longer gets cloudy – wash them until you’ve reached a level of clean that you can live with.
  • Put the clean peas back in the bowl and about a quart of cold water. Cover and let them sit overnight, or at least 8 hours. Longer is fine.* Drain, rinse and drain again. Put the peas in a large heavy-bottomed pot that holds at least 3 quarts. I always use my 6 quart stock pot for homemade soups, which is overkill, but it’s less likely to boil over on me if I have the heat too high.
  • Add the water or chicken stock, chopped vegetables, and all the seasonings except lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Put the lid on the pot, but tilt it slightly so you don’t make a tight seal. (This can prevent a messy boil-over!)
  • Simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the peas have pretty much disintegrated. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.
  • Now, if you like your soup “with stuff in it” – what most people might call chunky, just stir in the lemon juice and serve, otherwise it’s time to puree the soup. I prefer to use my stick blender, because it’s quick and less hassle. I set the soup pot down into my kitchen sink, and blend away. Any spill or splash is contained in the sink and cleanup is a breeze. You can also puree in a traditional blender, processing 2 to 3 cups at a time. Or, if you have a hand-crank food mill, that will work, too.
  • This should make 2 quarts of thick pea soup. Add water if necessary. Reheat and serve.

Silky Smooth Green Pea Soup - puree soup with stick blenderPea soup freezes very well, and making a big batch isn’t really much more work.

Number of servings (yield): 8 (2 quarts)

 

 

*I soak my dried peas and beans about 24 hours, sometimes longer, changing the water once or twice, depending on how long they’re soaking. After that I rinse them well – I NEVER cook them in the soaking water. Whatever any authority on the subject may say about the benefits or lack of them in this process, I know what works for me. After undergoing non-optional surgery on my digestive system several years ago, I am especially sensitive to the well-known effects of legumes on said system. I know from experience that this process makes them more…let’s say “manageable” for me.

 

Bobbie Laughman is an elder caregiver, freelance writer and seller of things. She lives and cooks and Does Not Bake Much in Gettysburg, PA. Have a question you’d like Bobbie to answer? Just want to say howdy? Send it to Bobbie@Home-Ec101.com.

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Heather says:

Winter is officially here and eating seasonally in the winter can certainly be difficult. Well, difficult if you like variety that is. For the most part we’re reduced to vegetables that store well, like squashes and potatoes, along with hardy vegetables from the brassica genus: brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, etc. I’m not too strict with my efforts to eat seasonally during the winter months, I just like to keep it to a decent percentage of our consumption. It’s significantly easier the rest of the year.

I’ve been wanting to make cabbage rolls, but we’ve been out of ground beef for a while now -we buy beef  in bulk. So I decided to give a vegetarian version of stuffed cabbage a go. This recipe would work as a main dish for a couple or as a side dish for a family over 4. This recipe also taught me that my version of “steam until just tender” and the source’s are quite different. Next time I’ll steam the cabbage until nearly limp.

If you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, don’t worry chicken stock works quite well.

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

  • 8 leaves green cabbage, steamed until tender, but not falling apart
  • 2 cups cooked rice (feel free to substitute brown, if that’s how you swing)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion – diced (How to dice an onion)
  • 1 bell pepper diced, preferably red or yellow
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 14.5oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce (L&P is gluten free in the US, but not in Canada, look for those made w/out malt vinegar)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp each: oregano, thyme, basil + a pinch each for the sauce

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Preheat the oven to 325°F

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in the olive oil or butter. Add ½ teaspoon each of oregano, thyme, and basil.  Cook until the onions are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice, then the beaten eggs.

One at a time, spoon the rice mixture into the center of a steamed cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaf around the mix and place in an oven safe casserole dish.

In the empty skillet, stir together the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, worcestershire and a small pinch each of oregano, thyme, and basil. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy!

Shared on Musings of Housewife