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Creamy Basil Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage

The other day I had to take my car into the shop for a routine oil change.  It's bad enough that I usually leave with a host of other services that my car also allegedly needs (really?!).  But!  I usually take my car to the local Sears Auto, which just so happens to be attached to a mall.  This is not good for my wallet. In the past, I have wandered around outside to extricate myself from the vortex of mall shopping.  No good can come from that.

Unfortunately, there is a Target down the street...We ALL know the end of that story, right?

So on this particular day, I decided that I would save myself and my wallet by bringing my own cup of coffee and plastering my bum to the chair in the Sears Auto department so that I would not wander around and buy that sparkly green eyeshadow and my seventh infinity scarf of the season.  (Even though I neeeeeed those!) Somehow, I made it through a three-hour wait and was able to return home, empty-handed!  So I promptly rewarded myself with soup.  Not just any soup.  Creamy Basil Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage.

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Spinach Tortellini Soup

Currently, I am staring outside my window at the beginnings of Winter Storm Nemo.  I've only seen light rain so far, but that's supposed to change pretty soon to rain showers/sleet/snow/whatever.  Can we please put an end to these apocalyptic storms?  I'm just getting over Sandy, so if Mother Nature could just give us a few more months to take a breath, that would be swell.

If you too are facing Nemo, or if you're just in need of a comforting, warm dish, let me introduce you to my new friend: this spinach tortellini soup.

Now brace yourself.  I'm about to tell you that this soup takes approximately 15 minutes to create, start-to-finish.

Whoa.

Did your mind just get blown?  That's for real.

This soup is more of an assemblage deal than anything else, but you wouldn't be able to tell from the taste of it.  I feel as if I've been into "assemblages" a lot lately.  There's no shame in easy cooking.  In fact, I welcome it with open arms.

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Greek Chicken Stew with Cauliflower

I'm sick, y'all.  At least I was sick when I decided to make this dish.  Now, I'm on the recovery bandwagon.

One of the overarching reasons I decided to go with a chicken stew this week is that I was really feeling run down by the flu.  The flu! After years of only experiencing colds during the winter months, the flu bug finally bit me.  And it bit hard! I was incapable of making it to work for two whole days this week, and that's never happened in the 6 years I've had this job.  I could barely even make it to the next room.  It was bad.  So a few days after I was able to move around freely, I conjured up this beauty.

I really don't make stews a whole lot.  But I dug this recipe up from the NYTimes and decided I needed to make this for myself.  What better way to provide comfort than through food?  That's pretty much status quo for me.  Don't act surprised.

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Carrot Ginger Soup

I've been in a soup mood lately.  I think it has to do with this new health kick I've been on. It doesn't really matter why I want it though.  I just need to have soup when the urge hits.

Lucky for me, I had just the solution. Joy the Baker's Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup.  Yes.

Here's something that you probably don't know about me.  I love that carrot ginger dressing that gets slathered over salads at Asian restaurants.  I'm drooling just thinking about it.  I haven't gotten a chance to attempt my own version of that dressing yet, but I was quite excited to focus on a soup with the same flavors.

So simple.  So easy.  So orange.  Another fun fact about me is that I love orange food.  Why?  I don't know.  I can't even figure myself out sometimes.

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Potato Leek Soup

Happy New Year!

The days are getting colder. (Although it actually warmed up for the new year here in New York. What??)  This means that it's time for some soup.  Let's break out the immersion blenders and the chicken broth and step up to our next challenge: Potato Leek Soup.

Now I love soup, potatoes, and leeks separately.  So of course it makes perfect sense to throw them all together into a beautiful dish.  This soup can be chunky or creamy, depending on how you like it.  Some people like to chew their food.  Some people like to slurp their food.  I personally like a little bit of both textures.  But any way you look at it, this soup has got you covered.

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Creamy Corn Chowder

It's summer.  Yes.  It's still summer.  Never mind the (very) minor chill in the air in the mornings and evenings now.  I'm holding on to the dream of warm weather sticking around for the coming few months.  It's still summer.  I swear.

To help fuel my endless summer fantasy, I made a creamy corn chowder, courtesy of Rocco's Now Eat This Cookbook.  I wanted to take advantage of the fresh corn that is still in season right now and sweet, fresh corn always reminds me of summer. For some reason I was also craving a chowder of sorts, so Rocco's recipe really addressed both of my cravings.  Think of this as a gently compromise between summer and fall.

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Tomato Vodka Soup

'Tis the season for soup!

And the season for my immersion blender to finally shine. Did you notice that I also used it in my Chicken Tinga post?

In addition to trying to use my neglected kitchen tools, I was really in the mood for a warm, earthy soup. Especially in light of the fact that there are still several inches of snow covering the ground here in Hoboken, NJ.

I was really interested in making some sort of tomato soup. I don't know why. I get cravings. I just go with it. So tomato soup it was.

I wanted to add a twist and I thought of Penne a la Vodka. No, I wasn't going to make any penne, but it made me think of adding vodka to the soup. Of course, I believed that this was an ingenious, never-before-attempted idea...until I searched online and found several thousand other recipes.

"I'm unique. Just like everybody else."

I was still undeterred from making this soup. So I got to it and found two recipes I wanted to use. I ended up with a combination of a Creamy Tomato Vodka Soup from the Rachael Ray magazine and a Sherried Tomato Soup from the Pioneer Woman.

Unfortunately, it seems that I haven't learned anything from my first few blog posts. You know, those ones where I couldn't read recipes very well. It appears that Rachael's blog post requires a 5-hour slow cooker treatment. Yeah right, like I have 5 hours to wait for some soup. I want it now! Some improvisations had to be made.

And I ended up with this:

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Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

I love ramen. Yep, I said it. I love ramen. I know it's "uncool" and it only costs about 35 cents per package, but there's something about those noodles that is so comforting. I hardly ever make pre-packaged ramen anymore and I think it's this blog's fault. I'm too busy making other dishes!. Well, now I'm bringing ramen back...

I actually had a few leftover ramen packages in the cupboard and I wanted to make sure I used them up. Those expiration dates really creep up on you quickly. I also wanted to get my chicken fix for that half marathon that I'm not training for anymore, thanks potential stress fractures in my left leg. Thanks, thanks a lot.

One recipe that I had bookmarked to try was Joelen's Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup. Since the days and nights are getting colder, chicken noodle soup would be the perfect thing to warm me up.

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Bahamian Conch Stew

As you all may or may not know, I grew up in the Bahamas. Yes, I was born and raised there. But I haven't actually lived there for a loooonnnng time. One of the things I really miss is the food. Conch stew is something that I don't actually remember growing up with, but I do remember eating it in my teenage years. In the Bahamas, it's pretty regularly served as a breakfast or brunch item. Of course, that doesn't stop up from eating it as a snack or for dinner either.

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation with my family in St. Kitt's/Nevis and although it was a pretty steady 85 degrees the entire time, my mom made some conch stew for brunch one day. Let's face it, who's going to turn down home-cooked native food? I haven't been home since April, so it was time to get my fix...

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