The Best Homemade Turkey Vegetable Soup

When you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday, this is a great way to use it up instead of making the typical leftover recipes. This is a fairly simple recipe and it makes a bold and hearty soup that can be served at lunch or dinner. It is a complete meal by itself or you can add a small side salad and a roll if so desired, but it is really not necessary.

Here are the ingredients required for the recipe:

4-5 cups diced cooked turkey (You can use a combination of dark and white meat)
4 small to medium size green zucchini squash
3 small to medium size yellow squash
2 red peppers (green peppers make the soup too bitter so red are better to use)
1-2 large sized brown or white onions
4-5 stalks of celery
1 bag small baby carrots
1-2 cups of green beans
3-4 medium sized potatoes either white or red skin
2 cans of diced tomatoes 8 oz size
4 cans of tomato sauce 8 oz size
1 cup dried barley
1 can of corn kernels
Salt, pepper, parsley flakes, granulated garlic and thyme to taste

Many people traditionally make turkey soup…similar to chicken soup with left over turkey and the carcass. Why not make a bolder soup that is chock full of vegetables and nutrients instead of traditional turkey soup. This is a fairly easy recipe to make. The most difficult part is cutting everything up prior to placing it into a dutch oven to cook on your stove. First you need a large dutch oven to place all the ingredients in and also a lid for the dutch oven. Set the dutch oven aside since you will be placing all the ingredients directly into it.

Wash and dry all the vegetables thoroughly and set them all aside until it is time to cut them and add them to the dutch oven.

Cut the already cooked turkey into cubes and place it into the dutch oven. Make sure that you remove any skin or bones from the turkey since you do not want to have any of the skin or bones in your soup.

Slice the fresh uncooked green zucchini squash and fresh uncooked yellow squash either into thin circles or cubes and place it all into the pot. Make sure you cut off the ends of the squash and discard them. Some people may prefer to cut the skin off of the squash and discard it, but when you do this you loose a lot of the valuable nutrients contained in the squash, so it is best to leave the skin on the squash when cooking it in the soup.

Peel and clean the onions as well as the red peppers and celery. Wash all of it off and then dry it.
Now dice the onions, red peppers and celery and place it all into the pot.

Wash and dry the potatoes. Now peel the raw potatoes and cut them into cubes and add them to the pot.

Add the bag of washed baby carrots into the pot.

Wash and dry the fresh uncooked green beans. Cut the ends of the fresh uncooked green beans off and then cut each green bean into half or into three pieces and place them all into the pot.

Open the cans of diced tomatoes and also the tomato sauce and add them into the pot.

Drain the liquid from the can of corn and add it to the pot.

Put the cup of dried barley in a strainer and rinse it with cold water, and then shake the excess water off and place the barley into the pot with all the other ingredients.

Now add the spices, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, thyme and parsley flakes to the pot.

Fill the pot the rest of the way with water so it is about a few inches from the top. Stir all of the ingredients thoroughly.

Place the pot on the stove and turn the stove to high heat until the mixture until comes to a boil.
Lower the heat to medium and remove any soup scum from the top of the pot and throw it away.

Cook the soup for a number of hours until it becomes thicker in texture. Taste the soup periodically to see if you need to add more more of the seasonings to it for flavor. It is always a personal preference regarding taste and spices. Some people like things to be a little bolder in flavor then others so you need to be the judge of what is best for you and your family. So enjoy this bold and healthy soup on a cold winter night. As I mentioned above you can serve it with a side salad and also add rolls or corn bread with the soup for a nice hearty, healthy meal.

Spicy Veggie Goulash

Whenever I try a new recipe I always like to change or tweak something about it to make it my own. Quite often for my own personal taste that involves adding some spice!! The base for this goulash recipe I got from a cook book years ago when I was at university, and I have altered a few things to mold my own recipe. Its an economical dish as it can be made using practically any vegetable you have available to you in your kitchen. For anyone who is unfamiliar with goulash, it is a dish that comes from Eastern Europe and is very common in countries like Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland etc. My own little version of a vegetable goulash is to add some paprika and cumin.

As with most of my recipes I like to keep ingredients simple, and for the most part to consist of things that most kitchens will already have.

For four people you will need:

1 onion
2 medium sized potatoes
2 carrots
half a cauliflower
1 tbsp of olive oil or vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsps of paprika
2 tsps of cumin
2 tbsps of plain flour
2 cups of vegetable stock
14oz can of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp of mixed herbs or dried basil
pinch of salt and pepper

Start off by peeling and chopping up the onion, potatoes and carrots into little cubes or chunks, however you like. Clean up the cauliflower by pulling any leaves off and rinsing it in water. Cut off the florets (the top bits that look like mini trees) and throw away the stalk.

Gently heat the onion and garlic on low in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Once the onions have softened sprinkle in the paprika, cumin and flour and stir well.

Pour the vegetable stock into the saucepan then add the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, chopped tomatoes, and pepper and give it all a good mix. Turn up the heat so that the goulash can come to the boil. When it does boil reduce the heat so that it simmers. Put the lid on the pan and leave to cook for around 25 minutes (until the vegetables are cooked).

Serve straight away with a little bit of creme fresh and some rustic bread and you have yourself a nice Eastern European meal with a little spiced twist!!

Harvest Lentil Soup

Harvest Lentil Soup
(serves 8)

1 ½ cups French lentils (or red or green lentils soaked for 1 hour)
olive oil
1 large onion
2 medium sweet potatoes
4 carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 celery stalks
1 rutabaga
24 oz. crushed tomatoes
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp. basil
2 tbsp oregano
2 cups vegetable stock

Scrub the carrots and sweet potatoes (peel each if desired). Using a sharp paring knife, peel the thick outer rind of the rutabaga. Chop all ingredients into bite-sized pieces.

In a large stew pot on medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the mustard seeds and garlic. When the mustard seeds begin to pop and brown, add the onion. After cooking the onion for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium, add the vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, and lentils. Cook for 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low, then add the remaining ingredients. Add enough water to cover all ingredients, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes. Sample the soup to ensure all components are tender (simmer longer if necessary). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a hearty, whole grain bread or add cooked brown rice if desired.

Rosemary Potato Spears

Rosemary Potato Spears
(serves 6-8 as a side dish)

8-10 new potatoes, or a comparable amount of your favorite spud
¼ cup olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped finely (equals ~4 tbsp)
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped fine
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the scrubbed potatoes lengthwise, then, continue to slice lengthwise dividing each half into 4-6 spears (depending on how thick you want them). Mix the oil, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place the potato spears into the oil mixture and toss to coat.

Spread the potatoes onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. Pour any of the remaining herbed oil evenly over the potatoes. Fold the excess foil over to completely cover the spears, and fold the sides in to ensure none of the oil will leak out. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the foil packet onto the other side, and bake for 15 more minutes.

(Optionally, after removing the potato spears, preheat the broiler, and broil uncovered for 1-2 minutes for an extra crisp.)

Asian Butternut Squash

Asian Butternut Squash
(serves 4 as a side dish, or 2-3 as a main entrée)

1 large butternut squash (an acorn squash may also be substituted)
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp ground cloves or anise
1 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375. Using a sharp knife, slice the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and, if desired, peel the outer rind with a paring knife or vegetable grater. (For an added mineral bonus, leave the peel on. It will soften as it cooks and has a flavor that’s indistinguishable from the flesh.) Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl, add the cubed squash, and toss to evenly coat. Transfer the glazed squash to a shallow, glass casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the dish, mix the squash with a spoon or spatula to redistribute the glaze, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Check to make sure the squash is tender by piercing a piece with a fork. When the fork slides in easily, it’s ready. If needed, bake a few more minutes (baking times vary due to cube size and differences among oven brands). Sprinkle with a bit of salt and serve immediately.

Alternative Frittata Recipe: Pan Fried Scramble

A traditional frittata is baked in a frying pan but mine is more like an omelet where it’s cooked on the stovetop. Omelets are folded where the frittata is not.

This is for 3 servings.

4 eggs
¼ of a small yellow onion, chopped coarse or finely to preference
¼ of green pepper, chopped coarse or finely to preference
1/2 cup lean diced ham
1 small cooked potato, small cubes
¼ cup of light cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Crack eggs in a small bowl add salt and pepper then whisk to mix. In small frying pan sauté onion, pepper until soft. Add ham and cubed potato to vegetable mixture to warm up. Add the eggs and scramble the mixture in the pan until it isn’t wet in consistency. Distribute cheese evenly over the frittata and cover until cheese melts.

Serve warm with toast and a side of fresh fruit.

Curry Sausage Couscous

1 lb. bulk turkey sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2-1/4 cups water
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups uncooked couscous
2 tbsp. margarine or butter

Cook sausage, onion, nuts, curry powder, and garlic in 10-inch skillet, stirring occasionally until sausage is cooked. Stir in water, margarine, parsley, and salt. Heat to boiling. Stir in couscous; remove from heat. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork and serve.

Fall Bread Recipes

This Dilly Bread is an old-time recipe I made when my children were small. It is yummy with corn chowder.

Dilly Casserole Bread – Fall Favorite

1 pkg yeast
1/4 c warm water – do not use hot or cold or yeast will not activate
1 c lukewarm cottage cheese
1 T sugar
1 onion – minced
1 T margarine
2 tsp dill seed – or dill weed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soda
1 egg – unbeaten
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups flour

Mix yeast in water. Combine in mixing bowl all ingredients except flour. Add flour to make stiff dough, beating well after each addition. Cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. Stir dough down. [I stick the spoon in it and stir lightly.]

Use spatula to fill two greased loaf pans. [I use the spray, like Pam.] Sometimes I use very tiny bread pans – one pan per meal.

Let rise until light – about 40 minutes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes – or check at 40. Crust should be a dark brown. Brush with margarine and sprinkle with garlic salt. Can be frozen. Great toasted!

Apple Nut Bread – We all Think Fall and Apples = Healthy

Cream together:
1 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs

1 c apples, diced or chopped
2 c flour, unsifted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 T orange juice – preferably frozen, but any will do
1/2 c nuts
1 tsp. soda

Bake in 350 degree oven in 2 small greased loaf pans for 1 hour or until done.

No matter how they dress it up, upon the grocer’s shelf
No bread can ever be as good, as what you bake yourself.
Oh wondrous smell! Oh crisp, brown crust! Oh butter melting through!
And best of all, the happy thought, that this was baked by you….

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

Great for enjoying fajita night during a football game, just make sure to double the recipe!

2 pounds fresh chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise
1/2 Green pepper cut into slices lengthwise
1/2 Red pepper cut into slices lengthwise
1/2 Yellow pepper cut into slices lengthwise
1 large yellow onion cut into long strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice from one whole lime
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili power
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

On the side:
1 Package flour tortillas-warmed
Sour Cream
Guacamole (if desired)
You may add shredded cheese if desired–some people like cheese on their fajitas!

Add Thawed Chicken Strips, Onion and Pepper to Crockpot. Add liquid vinegar and oil, stir to coat.
Add remaining ingredients to crock pot, and stir.

Cook on high in large Crockpot 5 hours. Add additional time for low setting.

Warm flour tortillas, serve with salsa and sour cream and guacamole

Makes approx 6 fajitas

Orange and Cranberry Muffins

Orange and Cranberry Muffins

1/3 cup cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
3 tablespoons oil
2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar or sweetner
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat over to 450 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.
2. In large mixing bowl, combine egg, milk, oil, orange juice, orange peel and cranberries; pour in dry ingredients all at once. Stir until moist but still
lumpy, about 17 to 25 strokes.
3. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling only 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 28 minutes.

Makes about 18 medium-sized muffins.

Orange Frosting (Optional)

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice

Combine all ingredients until completely smooth and spreadable. Place on warm muffins for more of a glaze, or let the muffins cool completely to use as frosting.