Soups and Stews

Hungarian Kielbasa, Cabbage and Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Hungarian Kielbasa, Cabbage and Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

 

It’s still winter.

Although, technically, in a few days it will be spring. Yesterday, we had 50 degree weather and today it’s back to the cold with a high of 38. Brr….I keep hearing we are having a slow start to spring and it’s making my summer-lovin’ friends and family very frustrated.

For Christmas, my sister Christine bought our other sister, Kelly, a slow-cooker crock pot. Kelly doesn’t cook often so I thought this was a good gift because it allows you to throw in a few ingredients, turn it on, let it sit for several hours, and then voila – you have a fantastic meal ready to eat.

A week ago, Kelly made a pretty good beef stew. She’s letting me borrow it and I wanted to make a Hungarian meal, since we are half Hungarian, to celebrate my dad’s side of the family.

Ooooh! Speaking of dad… he’s home from the hospital! His cancer cells look as if they’ve finally disappeared and he’s considered in remission. Right now, that word: remission, is my new best friend. I’m so thankful for all the prayers and love that has gone out to my dad from all our friends, family and the church community. He’s very very happy to be home.

Side Note: While researching online for similar recipes out there I found this one of a corned beef version of the slow-cooker meal from a fellow food blogger, Lisa, at snack-girl.com I love brisket, so I bookmarked this one for another time.

Hope you’re all enjoying these last days of winter!

Kielbasa Cabbage Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Kielbasa Cabbage Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Serves 6-8
Kielbasa Cabbage Turnip Slow Cooker Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 turnip
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 keilbasa links
  • 3 small potatoes (any kind you like)

Directions

Chop turnip and potatoes into 1 inch-sized pieces.
Chop cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
Slice kielbasa links in half (length-wise) and then slice them into 1/2 inch-sized pieces.
Turn on slow cooker and set to high setting.
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, starting with the keilbasa. Add spices last.
Pour in 6-8 cups of water. I added 8 for my stew, but 6 cups will make it less soupy and more dense.
Stir ingredients to mix them, then cover slow-cooker and let cook for 6-8 hours or until turnips and cabbage are soft.
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup in a Bread Bowl

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup in a Bread Bowl

Recently, I read in the news that women who eat mushrooms may be lowering their risk of developing breast cancer.  Here’s a few online sites that talk about it:  Reuters.com, Huffington Post and Meals to Heal.  There was a study done in 2009 and the Reuters article states:

“Lab research has shown that mushroom extracts have anti-tumor properties and, in animals, can stimulate the immune system’s cancer defenses.”  

If this is true, then I’m going to pile up on mushrooms, big time.  And green tea. With this new info under my belt, I want to kick off this year with an attempt to eat more mushrooms and be more pro-active in eating cancer-fighting foods, in general. I hope this gives you motivation too.

Now, on to the soup…

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup Bread Bowl

I wanna call this soup “A Bowl of Awesome” because it consists of really good bread + soup + cancer-fighting mushrooms and it made the house smell yummy for hours.  Plus, it turned out better than I expected.

For the bread, I bought a day-old sourdough loaf at my neighborhood store: Weiss Market.  It was half off and I can’t resist a deal, especially if it’s on really good bread like foccaccia or hearty multi-grain.  Depending on the type of bread I’ll either make croutons, slice it up for baked crostinis or toast, or in this case, do something new and make a hearty soup bowl.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Since this is my first time making a soup bowl, I was nervous the broth would drip through and cause a huge mess.  Not so!  It stayed in the bowl.  The best part is the inner sides of the crust softened as they absorbed the broth so that when you spooned out the soup, some of the bread scraped off and you would have a delicious mouthful of soup and bread. Yum! Definitely need to mark this recipe as a successful “first try”.  I already have two people asking for a dinner date!

This recipe made around 3-5 servings. Three servings can be eaten in the bread bowl and the leftover soup made about 2 servings extra.

It’s relatively easy to make. You can make it even easier if you buy pre-diced chicken and using already prepared chicken broth or canned broth. I tend to buy chicken whole (or half a chicken) with the skin on.  For one, it’s cheaper.  And two, I actually enjoy boning and skinning chicken in a large pot while it cooks.  Call me strange… I guess it just gives me something to do with my hands and allows me to get out of my head for a bit.  Stress relief is good.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Veggie Chopping for Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Bread Bowl for Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

 

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup Bread Bowl

Serves 3-5
This soup bowl is soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and filled with a savory, thick, creamy chicken and mushroom soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of bread (I used sourdough because it was the first loaf I found at the store and it sounded good with the soup, but rhye, tuscan, multi-grain or other hearty/crusty bread will work too.)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk green onion (This is optional, but when sauteed with garlic and mushrooms I found it to be very good.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 16oz baby bella or other small mushrooms
  • 3 small chicken breasts (or mix it up and replace one breast with a drumstick or thigh to give the soup more flavor)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (Heavy cream makes for a very rich, creamy broth. If you want to lighten the calorie content, go with half and half.)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt ((add more or less per your preference))
  • 1/2 cup raw broccoli
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander (dry spice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (to thicken broth)

Directions

In a medium or large pot, bring chicken to a boil in 8 cups of water. I like to use chicken with the skin still on to make a nice, natural broth. Once chicken is cooked, remove from heat (turn off stove) and place on a plate to cool. Once cool, remove skins and bones and chop chicken into small pieces, then place back in the pot with the broth. (Do not poor out the broth - this will be the base for the creamy broth).
Slice garlic and green onion into small pieces.
In a small pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and sautee mushrooms until they are soft, but not well done or browned. Add green onions and garlic - these are added last because they tend to burn quicker. Sautee until they are a nice brown and the green onions are slightly crispy.
Add sauteed veggies, broccoli, herbs, 2 tablespoons of butter, and salt to the pot with the cooked chicken and broth. Stir and let sit on high for 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
Reduce stove temperature to medium and stir in cup of heavy cream (or half and half). Taste and add more salt or herbs, as desired. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
Slice out the top portion of the loaf of bread. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. When oven is ready, place bread bowl in the oven and let heat for 10 minutes. Remove, then let cool.
Poor soup into bread bowl. Serve and enjoy!
Use remaining butter to spread on parts of bread bowl, if desired.
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