Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

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What to do with holiday leftovers is as much a tradition as the holidays themselves.   So with that in mind, viagra I decided to go along and add a dish to the leftover tradition.   We had ham, as do a lot of people.  And like lot’s of people, we had lot’s of it left over.  After a few days of eating it I was starting to wonder what else besides sandwiches or frying it up with my morning eggs I could do with it.  I thought about for a little while and decided a soup would be good.  But what kind?  My friend said potato and ham.  I thought genius, but it needed something else.  I then thought bean with bacon!   So I thought use the ham,  instead of bacon.  And our ham, potato and bean soup was born.  This was supposed to be a cream soup, but I couldn’t decide whether to blend just the potato, or the beans, or both.  As I was cooking,  I realized that if I cut some of the potatoes small, and cooked them long enough, the potatoes would start to break down and create a creamy effect.  Thus, solving the problem of what to blend.  In the end, what I got was a brothy soup with bit of a creamy texture that is simply divine.  Enjoy!


Ham, Potato and Bean Soup


Ham, Potato and Bean Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped ham, fat and grizzle removed
  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Chop ham to bite size pieces, fat and grizzle removed
  2. Peel and chop carrots and celery
  3. Peel and chop onion
  4. Peel and chop two of the potatoes
  5. The the third potato chop into smaller pieces
  6. Chop garlic clove.
  7. Sauté onion in olive oil till translucent
  8. Add salt and pepper
  9. Add celery and carrots and sauté for a few minutes
  10. Add potatoes and garlic, sauté for a few minutes
  11. Add ham, beans and stock
  12. Add Italian herbs and pinch of thyme
  13. Bring to boil then simmer on low till small potatoes start to disappear
  14. Salt and pepper to taste.
  15. If needed add more herbs

Chicken Soup With Rice and Thyme

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It’s deep in the fall and the weather is unusually warm.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a great soup.  And what better one then a classic?   This time I will keep it simple but very flavorful.   I had some leftover chicken broth from a previous meal and froze it.  I decided instead of taking that and making stock out of it I would use it as is to be my base for this soup.  It’s basically chicken water but it lended itself beautifully to this recipe.   But if you don’t have any lying around regular chicken sock will work.  I hope you enjoy it! I did!


Chicken soup with Rice and Thyme
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken broth(water)
  • ½ cup of rice uncooked
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. When I say 2 chicken breasts I mean two halves.
  2. Make them good sized ones.
  3. This should still be a hearty soup.
  4. Cut chicken into bite sized chunks
  5. Chop onion
  6. Chop celery
  7. Peel and chop carrots
  8. Chop garlic and separate
  9. In a large stock pot, pilule sauté onion and half of garlic in olive oil
  10. Add celery and carrots
  11. A little thyme
  12. A pinch Salt and pepper
  13. Add chicken and cook till done
  14. While cooking the chicken, cook rice till it's almost done.
  15. When chicken is done, add stock/chicken water
  16. Add bay leaf, garlic and a generous amount of Thyme.
  17. Don't over do the thyme!
  18. It should be prominent but not over powering.
  19. Taste and smell as you add
  20. Salt and pepper to taste.
  21. When rice is almost done add it to the soup.
  22. Cook soup for another 10-15 minutes on medium till rice is fully cooked and soup is fully heated
  23. Chicken should be tender and veggies should still have a little crunch.
  24. If you like softer veggies cook a little longer

Canning Is Here…!!!

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String beans and hello beets Dilly string beans


Canning is a tradition that has been going on for centuries.  People have preserved everything they could from salting meat and fish, advice to veggies and fruit, rx even burying them in the ground for months on end.  It’s a way to preserve the harvest, or it was.  Most people don’t need to can or ferment vegetables or salt there meats to last on long boat rides to foreign lands or the harsh winter months.  We started a couple years ago when I bought Jason some canning books for Christmas.  We had been making beer and I felt it was the natural progression.  So we filled our cupboards with all kinds of canned food.  After a couple years and the renovation of the kitchen/Lab earlier this year, we noticed we still had a lot of left over and started to use our canned goods as appetizers and side dishes.  Soon we were running out of our supply.  And like our hot sauce people wanted to take some home.  So this fall we have been canning freaks.  Also the local CSA has helped us with more food then we can eat. We’ve canned everything from apples, pestos, soups, made preserves and our very popular chile peppers.  The latest is dilly string beans and yellow beets.  Come February and March we will gorging on our hard work this fall.  Hopefully we can save some for summer BBQ’s!

Remodeling and The Bean Soup

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Mixed Bean and Lentil Soup with Bacon
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This is a very easy recipe that you can leave and get things done. Once you have done the prep all you have to do wait.
  • 1 lb of mixed beans and lentils
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 cups of stock(your choice)
  • 4 pieces of bacon chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • ½ box of frozen peas
  • 1 lime cut in half and separated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • dry herb mix- oregano, salve dill, medical chive, celery leaf, kale, parsley
  • (you can make your own mix)
  • Splash of red wine or beer or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Chop up bacon
  2. Chop up onion
  3. Cut celery into ½ inch pieces
  4. Peel and cut carrots into ½ inch rounds
  5. Cut red pepper into ½ in squares
  6. Rough chop parsley and set half to the side
  7. On med to high heat put oil and butter in large soup/stock pot
  8. Add onion and cook till they get soft
  9. Make a ring on the edge of the pot with onions
  10. Add bacon in the center and let cook for a couple minutes
  11. Stir onions and bacon together and cook till bacon starts to get crisp
  12. Add stock, beans and lentils and herb mix
  13. Bring to boil and lower flame to very low
  14. Let simmer for 4-5 hours with lid on
  15. Last hour add celery, carrots and bell peppers
  16. Add beer or wine or water if soup seems too thick
  17. (this is if the soup starts to get to dry)
  18. You want some broth
  19. The last 15 minutes add the peas and half the parsley
  20. Save the other half for garnish
  21. Salt and pepper to taste
The beans and lentils can be any combo you want. Also I say 6 hours but the soup can be ready between 4- 6 hours. It just depends on how you like your beans. Adjust times accordingly



We started the remodel because Jason’s friend suggested it.  Not only suggested it, but had developed a plan.  Jason was all ears.  I heard about it second hand.  It sounded vague but promising.  So we headed to this warehouse in Greenpoint to get these colorful brackets that were the basis of this mini make over.  They were bright, but something about them and the ideas that were being talked about made sense.  We walked out with a bunch of them.  The plan was in motion. We stopped at a bar to discuss the rest of the plan as it existed at that time.  As things came together, salvaged wood shelving, the color scheme of the kitchen, things changed and evolved.  Next thing you know we are painting the ceiling terracotta/brick red and the inside of the pantry became canary yellow.

The apartment is in complete disarray.  So cooking is not easy, to say the least.  But the Lab must continue to experiment and make new food.  The latest is a mixed bean, lentil and bacon soup that could sit for hours as we continued to work on the shelving.  It’s a basic soup but with a few extras thrown in on purpose and also just for the fun of it.  We started with a bag of beans and lentils we found at our local Indian market.  You could easily replicate the of mix beans and lentils if you don’t have access to store like this.  From there it was what broth to use?  We chose a combo of beef and vegetable.  One, because it’s what we had available and two because given the chance I will always use broth over water.  For reasons that are obvious.  We also had an herb bag for soup that we found during our excavation of the pantry.  Also from the Indian store.  From there we added onion, bacon, celery, carrot and a red bell pepper. As the soup cooked and as I tasted it, it also changed. From seasoning, to consistency, to the acidity. I added half the juice and pulp of a lime.  I always have citrus around as it’s always good for such occasions.  It took the bite out the soup that I couldn’t help but wonder how it got there.  I thank my friend Regina for this trick.  She is a brilliant cook.

Four hours and a few layers of polyurethane later we were ready to eat.  The soup was amazing and though we aren’t nearly finished with the kitchen and the shelving, at least we finished another food journey that will be part of our cannon for years to come.  Now if we could just get the rest of the kitchen off the living room floor!

Chicken Barley and Vegetable Soup

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I wasn’t going to do another chicken soup post, diagnosis but after requests for this recipe and some thought, diagnosis I realized that this is different then the last chicken soup I wrote about.  While I was writing, for sale I wondered how many versions of chicken soup must be out there?  I have at least 3 to 4 myself.   I will post more as they get remade or made for the first time.  Until then, here is another addition to the cannon of probably the most American soup out there.  I give you, my other chicken soup, which I will officially call; Chicken, barley and vegetable soup.

Chicken, Barley and Vegetable Soup
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lg onion or 3 small
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 ribs of celery
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 2-3 bay leafs (1 or 2 if big)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Couple sprigs of Savory
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic chives chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Chop onion, separate into thirds or if you have three small onions keep separated
  2. Peel and chop carrots
  3. Chop celery and zucchini.
  4. Open corn and drain liquid
  5. Sautée ⅓ or one of the small onions in olive oil, salt and pepper
  6. Salt and pepper both breasts in same pan as onions, on medium high heat place breasts skin side down
  7. Cook for a couple minutes, or until you get a good sear.
  8. Flip breasts over cover and cook on low till done.
  9. Check every once in a while to make sure they don't burn
  10. Meanwhile cook barley according to directions, minus 5-10 minutes - it will fully cook later when you add it to the rest of the soup.
  11. Once chicken is done set on a plate to cool
  12. You should have some good drippings left in the pan.
  13. Add another third of onions and a handful of carrots and celery and sautée
  14. When onion is translucent add this to your stock pot, along with broth and veggies
  15. When chicken has cooled off tear from bones (using the skin is up to you, I love it).
  16. Add chicken and barley to soup.
  17. Add savory and garlic chives to soup
  18. Bring to boil then lower to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes or until veggies are how you like and barley is done.


Good for What Ails You

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What Ails You Chicken Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 chicken
  • 1 bouquets garnis
  • 3-4 quarts of water (enough to submerge a chicken)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diagnosis peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Take out bag of innards from chicken
  2. Rinse the chicken and take any extra feathers off
  3. Place in pot with water
  4. Add salt, information pills pepper, garlic and bouquets garnis
  5. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium
  6. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  7. Meanwhile peel and cut carrots into ¼" slices, set aside
  8. Chop celery and onion, set aside
  9. When chicken is done remove and let stand and cool
  10. While chicken is cooling off put veggies in the broth
  11. Bring to boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes
  12. When chicken is ready to handle, peel the skin, chop it up and set aside
  13. Strip chicken of all meat, tear into desired size pieces, set aside.
  14. Add chicken and skin when veggies are done.
  15. Bring soup back to a slow simmer and serve.
You can add rice, noodles, or barley, just make sure you cook these before adding them. I like to cook them just under the desired time so they finish in the soup. Bouquets Garnis is Oregano, Thyme and Savory wrapped up in Bay Leaves tied with kitchen string. I use this in all my stocks and soups. It is a great time saver and adds the perfect amount of flavor. You can make these yourself or get them at http://www.oliviersandco.com/ or at one of their stores.

Image01052013152900 chickensoupstuff

Chicken broth and chicken soup are said to be good for what ails you.  So with the Flu being particularly bad this year, and Jason being struck down by it, I decided to make chicken soup.  Years ago I got a tip from a mother from Catalan Spain.  She said to boil a chicken with one or two cloves of garlic.   Strip the chicken of it’s meat and put back in the pot.  Then serve.  She also pointed out that the skin must be in there also.  It supposedly has healing properties.   Being one who does not argue with mothers, especially when they come from my ancestral homeland,  I nodded my head and said yes ma’am.  Of course I asked if I should add anything else?  Salt and pepper, nothing else was her short but firm answer.  Keep it simple, it’s what the body needs.  Well, if you know me, then you know I can’t help but tinker with a recipe.   I have added a few things, like bouquets garnis, onions, celery, carrots  etc.  I’ve also been known to throw in some ginger, barley, rice, cilantro and even alphabet noodles.   Now I understand the reasoning for keeping it simple, it makes sense, and I have made it that way and it is very good.  What I find when I am asked to make chicken soup  is that everyone has something special they like in it.  This last time was the alphabet noodles.  Whether you like it simple or complex, there is one thing that does seem to cure or at least make being sick bearable, that’s homemade chicken soup.  I feel the most important healing thing about making this soup isn’t just fresh ingredients, but the care that comes with it.  Maybe that’s what the healing properties are.

Japanese Market

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Another Turkey day has come and gone and we are sad to see it go. Unfortunately we  arrived at our destination late so we didn’t get any pictures of what was made.  There was the usual suspects, more about Turkey, cost green beans stuffing cranberries but  with a few new items.  I made Jason’s famous smoked sweet potato/potato mash, there was a refreshing fennel salad, more sweet potatoes with paprika, and Anna’s butternut squash with parmesan cheese, thyme and fresh parsley.  Luckily for us Jason did take pictures and made a fabulous pumpkin pie that disappeared faster than giblet gravy!  Or was it a pumpkin pie?  I told everyone I would let them know what was it it but not til after.  So without further ado the secret ingredients in the the pies were Butternut Squash and Brandy.  No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this pie.  We got the recipe from The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/video/2012/11/14/dining/100000001903215/pumpkin-pie.html  We thought, hmmmm interesting lets do it! The results speak for themselves.  Two pies gone in no time.  We also had an actual pumpkin pie and it was also delicious.  But I think from now on it’s Butternut Squash Pie that will be made in The Lab.

So for my birthday we did a couple things, view one of them was go to our favorite Japanese market the Mitsuwa Marketplace in New Jersey.  The prices are amazing and the selection is always interesting and different.   We usually end up with half the store and very full bellies.  This time we actually ate before we shopped, viagra
but not before taking a quick spin around.   We had a great meal of Spicy Melty Pork Ramen and Pork Don.  Then went in for the kill.  We started in the produce department grabbed some Kyo Ninjin carrots from the local Suzuki farm, along with some daikon radish, and Chinese cucumbers we pickled using a Miso Pickling Mix.   We also grabbed a jar of Teriyaki mushrooms,  a package of dried mushrooms for soup,  some saki, wasabi peas,  instant miso soup and instant curry for those long busy days at work  when you have little time for lunch.  We always pick up something we have no idea of what it is,  this time it was a package of unusual veggies in water.   To me they are screaming soup!!!  We actually showed great restraint this time.  With only two bags of goodies we walked away happy and not over burdened with what we purchased.  All in all it was a good Birthday outing.