Pasta e Fagioli

{i <3 soups}


Fall has officially started, on the calendar and weather-wise.  I love hot hot days (preferably by a pool or beach), but I also love the beginning of fall.  To me, it seems like a cozy time of the year.  Jeans & a sweatershirt, soups, candles, and colorful leaves.  Clearly I already embraced the fall flavors when I made my Apple Cinnamon Bread and I plan to continue experimenting with them more and more.

Last weekend, we took our annual trip to the apple orchard which has become one of my favorite annual traditions.  We got to pick all types of apples, it was a great weekend to go!  My thinking cap for apple recipes is still on and I hope to post some new recipes on them soon.


Since I started my blog, soups have appeared several times.  I believe in one post I talked about how I disliked them growing up.  There are endless recipes for all different kinds of soups, I can’t imagine how one can dislike them.  Typically, my soups are brothy or creamy so I decided to try a different base with a tomato sauce.  In addition, I never have tried to make an Italian soup before.  I wanted to create something meatless for Monday and this can be made meatless, but I really liked the heartiness and spiciness of the sausage.  Feel free to leave it out, but double your beans if you do (2-15oz cans).

I think my food hiatus has come to end and my food love is back again… for now… if you read my last post, you are aware that my food and cooking enthusiasm comes and goes.  So stay tuned for more recipes and not so doughie tidbits.  Oh and hey!  Great news!  My blog’s 1st birthday is next TUESDAY – you will really want to read then because I have a little giveaway going on!


pasta e fagioli
Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 15 minutes   |||   Servings: 4  |||   Difficulty: Low

4 oz (3 links) hot turkey sausage
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 cups organic, low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup organic tomato sauce
1 cup uncooked whole wheat pasta shells
1/2 cup Romano cheese, shredded + more for garnish
1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1.  Cooked pasta according to directions on box, cooking al dente.  Set aside.
2.  In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Cut the casing off of the sausage and add to the pain.  Use a wooden spoon to break apart the sausage.
3.  Add the garlic and oregano once the sausage is nearly cooked and saute about 2 minutes.
4.  Add the chicken broth, water, and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil.
5.  Stir in the beans, cheese, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, pasta, salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes.
6.  Serve with additional cheese and fresh parsley.




Summer Corn & Shrimp Chowder with Bacon

{the summer soup}


I used to hate soups.  I never was a big fan of them growing up.  Chicken noodle soup was served when you were sick, but soup was never a frequent visitor to the dinner table.  I did LOVE beef stew.  However, stew is not soup is not chowder.  In my old age, I have grown to love soups, stews, chowders, bisques, gazpachos etc etc.  They definitely appear on my dinner menu often, but in the fall & winter more.

However, I don’t discriminate soup in the summer so I add some delicious summer flavors to keep it light.  You’ve probably noticed a decent amount of posts including corn lately.  Well, it is summertime and I really cannot get enough of it.  [I will be posting a Mexican Corn Salad shortly where I use the corn straight up off the cob.]  This recipe uses the corn’s kernels and “pulp” to add creaminess to the broth.


So what exactly is the difference between a stew, chowder, and soup?  I did some research to answer this question for you…..

  • SOUP:  Liquid is very thin.  Can be cream based or broth based.  It is majority liquid with some, if any, added pieces
  • CHOWDER:  Broth is thickened using an agent such as flour and has more “stuff” in it than liquid.
  • STEW:  Mainly solid pieces of veggies & meat cooked in a small amount of liquid (beer) cooked slow resulting in a gravy base.

Based off of these Sara-determined definitions, this is a soup because I didn’t use any flour as a thickening agent.  I am still going to call it a chowder because I like the word chowder and there is more “stuff” than liquid.

This is the ultimate summer soup.  It has many bold flavors, is light, creamy, salty, sweet, and in my chowder, spicy.  If you aren’t a shrimp fan, substitute crab or lobster – yum!  This dinner sounds a bit fancy, but it is yet another “Dinner in 20″ meal.  It requires one pot too which makes for easy clean up :)


summer corn & shrimp chowder with bacon
Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 20 minutes   |||   Servings: 4   |||   Difficulty: Low

3 slices of thick bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk [I used fat-free]
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
dash of cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
Optional:  cilantro, cheddar cheese

1.  Cut the corn kernels off the cobs over a bowl.  Squeeze any excess “juice” from the cores.
2.  In a dutch oven or large pot, heat over medium and add the bacon.  Cook until crispy.  Remove about 2 Tbsp from the pot & set aside.  If there is a lot of grease, discard all but about 2 tsp.
3.  Add the onion and celery & saute until softened, about 6 minutes.
4.  Add the garlic & thyme and saute an additional minute.
5.  Add the corn and any pulp acquired during cutting and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.
6.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the shrimp.  Cook for 2 minutes.
7.  Stir in the milk.
8.  Season with salt and pepper and cayenne.
9.  Serve with cheddar cheese, cilantro and remaining bacon pieces.




French Onion Soup


This weekend we got a decent amount of snow to kick off the Christmas spirit even further.  That being said, it was a good evening to enjoy a bowl of steamy soup.  With Chase under the weather and the snowy wonderland outside, it seemed fitting and Bryan suggested he make his French onion soup.

Bryan was not the most knowledgeable in the kitchen prior to meeting me.  I will toot my own horn on this one… I definitely got Bryan to learn to cook and really enjoy it.  Throughout our relationship, I have taught him a few things, but he also threw himself into my passion.  He makes some pretty impressive meals and I am lucky to have a boyfriend who knows how to cook :)

Typically, Bryan’s go-to genre is sauces/marinades and grilling.  However, his LOVE for French Onion Soup led to him creating his own recipe for his favorite soup.  I love a good bowl of soup and this one is no exception.  The caramelization of the onions and the flavorful beef broth pair perfectly.  The best part?  Of course it is the melting, bubbling cheese overtop his homemade seasoned croutons.  The bowl of soup made a perfect meal for the blustery cold winter evening.  I stand by his soup & highly recommend adding it to your menu this week.  Happy Souping!

{Click here for the recipe}


Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup

{the hearty soup}

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before in past posts, but I have a large obsession with kale.  I always try to sneak it into all my dishes.  Bryan isn’t the biggest fan, Chase actually tolerates it, every other day.  I am pretty fascinated by the health benefits of incorporating kale into my diet.  I want my boys to reap the benefits too so I try my best to use it in place of leafy greens when possible.  Chase wasn’t around for this soup, but I think he would have eaten the kale and enjoyed it too.  However, Mr. Kale was not the star of this soup, but a component.  It basically was a chicken noodle soup with a twist – sausage instead of chicken, potatoes instead of noodles, kale instead of celery.  Okay, I guess that doesn’t seem to make much sense being just a “twist”.  Let’s just call it a delicious, filling, and healthy soup.

I was in the mood for soup, what else is new, but knew I wanted to use some items with depth.  Sausage has a tendency to weird me out slightly, but the complex flavors inside settle my uneasiness about the food.  I especially enjoy spicy sausage and lately Bryan and I can’t seem to get enough of the spicy chicken sausage.  For this recipe, I opted for the pork variety as I was unsure if a chicken sausage would dry out in a soup.  I plan to experiment with a jalapeno chicken sausage soon.

tip:  if using pork sausage, be sure to pat dry to remove excess grease or else it will settle on the top.  you can see a few grease drops in my pictures due to the lack of proper de-greasing.

I originally planned to make a spicy sausage and potato chowder, but was really inspired by the recipe posted on The Candid Appetite.  Jonathan’s beautiful pictures and quirky writing made me admire in awe and laugh.  Check out his site for some great recipes and amazing photography skills.


{click here for the recipe}


Wonton Soup

{takeout at home part II}

What was supposed to be a “whatever” night turned into an amazing dinner.  I will toot my horn on this one, guys.  It turned out way better than I anticipated.  I had some ground pork in the fridge that needed to be used ASAP and I also had randomly bought some wonton wrappers.  I was thinking about making some type of dessert with the wrappers, but I wanted to keep on the Asian food train.  I have researched wonton soups for a while and decided to finally take the plunge.  I mentioned the idea to Bryan and he was instantly interested.

When I got home from work, we watched a few videos on how to fold the wonton.  We both tried and failed deeming this adventure a bust.  However, I fiddled around with one and decided I liked the way it turned out – authentic or not, it worked.  The wonton did not take long at all to make.  I thought this would be a cumbersome dinner, but it was actually quite easy and quick.  It’s a great recipe to make with someone and even gets kids involved.  Chase wasn’t here tonight, but I think he would enjoy making them.

Growing up I hated Chinese food so I am surprised by my intense interest in the Asian cuisine.  My palate obviously has changed and I now really enjoy Chinese food.  It is also very fun to make – I enjoyed making the fried rice like I mentioned in my earlier post.  And making the wonton was fun too.  They also can be very healthy, but full of flavor.

The soup was a perfect dish for tonight.  It was freezing outside so the piping hot broth warmed me up.  Bryan and I were able to make the soup together which is always fun :)  Don’t be scared and think this looks too complicated or is too time consuming.  It isn’t!  Try it out and you will be pleasantly surprised.  In my opinion, I thought it was better than take out.  I hope you try out my soup!  Let me know how it goes!


{Click here for the recipe}


Roasted Parsnip & Carrot Soup

{a pilot post}   Pin It Button

Hello!  Welcome to my very beginner blog.  It has been a long time coming, but I have been told by so many people to start one and post my food adventures / my writing.  Throughout my posts, you will learn about my life, family, friends, inspirations, goals, ideas, dreams, and more.  Most importantly, I look forward to being able to share my recipes.  My family will all get a good chuckle about the name of my blog.  Ever since I can remember I have been called Doughie.  When I was little I was a bit, well, doughie.  I think you get the idea where the nickname originated.  Every family event since I can remember is centered on a meal.  Growing up with a family who loves to eat, celebrate, and cook I have naturally developed a love for the kitchen.  In lieu of the dreary fall weather today, I decided to prepare a very autumn soup.  The sweetness of the parsnips paired with the fresh carrots creates a very light and flavorful soup.  I hope you enjoy :)

Roasted Parsnip & Carrot Soup


{Click here for the recipe: Roasted Parsnip & Carrot Soup}