Friday, March 2, 2012

Lenten Soups 2012 Week 2

So despite my cooking slump,  here are the menus for week 2 of Lenten soups.

Thursday, Mar 1- crock day
White Bean and Ham Soup

Friday, Mar 2 - fish day Fish fry cancelled due to weather.
(I don't want to go out either so I will do pasta.)
Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables
Garlic Bread

Saturday, Mar 3- leftovers

Sunday, Mar 4 - feast day and meet day
hmmm?? I have no ideas.  I will have to come back and edit.

Monday, Mar 5 - crock day
Hearty Lentil Soup
Sweet Potato Biscuits

Tuesday, Mar 6
Sirloin Chili

Wednesday, Mar 7 - crock day
Slow Cooker Chunky Minestrone
Parmesan Breadsticks


White Bean and Ham Soup
2 meaty smoked ham hocks (1 1/2 lbs)
1lb dried white beans
2 qt. low sodium chicken broth
4 ribs of chopped celery
4 carrots cut crosswise into rounds
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
12 sprigs of fresh thyme plus leaves for garnishing
salt and pepper
1 loaf of crusty bread sliced

1. In a large slow cooker, combine ham hocks, beans, broth,
celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme sprigs.  Cover and cook
on low until beans are tender, about 5 hours.

2. Discard thyme stems.  Remove ham hocks and shred off meaty
 parts.  Mash garlic cloves with back of spoon into soup.  Discard skins.
Return shredded ham to soup.  Season with salt and pepper.

3. Serve with bread and garnish soup with thyme leaves!

Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables
10 ounces ziti pasta
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 zucchini, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
28-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, undrained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

[1] In a large bowl, toss eggplant, zucchini and onion with half of the olive oil. 

Spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking 
spray. Roast and stir occasionally until well-browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

[1] Meanwhile, Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until cooked through

 but still firm to the bite. Drain and set aside.

[2] Add tomatoes, thyme and rosemary to skillet with half olive oil and simmer 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and 
garlic powder and mix well. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish*.

[3] Top with half of the cooked ziti. Top with half of the cheese mixture and veggies. Top 
with 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Repeat layers with the remaining ziti and remaining cheese 
mixture and veggies.

[4] Top with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Cover with foil 

and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly.

* For 2-4 servings use an 8x8 dish, for 6-8 servings use a 13x9 dish.

Note: use fresh herbs instead, if you have them.

Hearty Lentil Soup - Crock Style

Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 4 hours

1white onion , chopped
2carrots , peeled and diced
2stalks celery, sliced
2teaspoons garlic, minced
1bay leaf
1teaspoon dried oregano
1/2teaspoon ground cumin
1teaspoon dried basil
2cups dried lentils
4cups water
4cups vegetable broth
114.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
2cups fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2tablespoons white vinegar
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
[1] In a crock pot, add onion, carrots, and celery;  Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin and basil;

[2] Stir in lentils, and add water, broth and tomatoes.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours in crock pot.

[3] About 30 minutes before serving, stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts.

[4] Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired. 

Sirloin Chili

1 1/2pounds sirloin steak, cut into strips
2tablespoons canola oil
1/2white onion , chopped
1teaspoon garlic, minced
2teaspoons chili powder
1teaspoon ground cumin
1teaspoon dried oregano
1pinch cayenne pepper
1teaspoon paprika
1tablespoon brown sugar
114.5 ounce can beef broth
3tablespoons lime juice
1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
128-ounce can crushed tomatoes
115-ounce can ranch-style beans, drained
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1red onion , chopped
1cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2cup fresh cilantro, chopped

[1] Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot over medium heat. Add the sirloin strips and season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, remove the meat from the pan.

[2] Heat another tablespoon of oil in the pot and add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, paprika, and brown sugar, stirring until the onions begin to soften and the spices become aromatic, about 7 minutes.

[3] Stir in the beef broth, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in the meat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have time. Fold in the beans and add salt and pepper to taste and heat thoroughly.

[4] To serve, top chili with red onion, cheese, and cilantro.

Slow Cooker Chunky Minestrone   V C LC 
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 6-8 hours

5cups vegetable broth
214.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
115.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
110-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1cup water
1white onion , chopped
1zucchini , quartered and sliced
2teaspoons olive oil
1teaspoon Italian seasoning
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6ounces small pasta shells, uncooked
1/4cup shredded Parmesan cheese

[1] Combine the broth, tomatoes, beans, spinach, water, onion, zucchini, olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper in the slow cooker.

[2] Cook on low for 5-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving, add pasta, season with salt and pepper and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes. Serve in individual bowls and top with cheese. 


  1. Oh mouth is watering! These all sound so delicious.

  2. How do you make the sweet potato biscuits? Or did you buy them? Thanks for sharing.


    1. OK this is where my cooking troubles probably start. I find a recipe, then try to modify it to make it more healthy.
      so here is the original recipe.
      2 1/2 cups of bisquick mix
      1/4 c soft butter
      1 medium sweet potato, cooked and peeled, mashed
      1/2 c of milk.

      Heat oven to 450
      Mix all ingredients to soft dough form.
      roll out on counter floured with bisquick.
      Knead 3-4 times. roll to 1/2 inch thick.
      Cut with glass or shape.
      Ungreased cookie sheet.
      Cook for 10-12 minutes.

      I am trying to modify with another recipe I found on this great blog!
      I will post results. :)

  3. With Erika giving up meat for lent, it has been a challenge. It seems as if all she is eating is salad or tuna or salmon. The lentil soup and bean soup sound wonderful.

  4. It's a busy day today so I think it will have to be the Hearty Lentil Soup -Crock Style for us. (Plus, I don't cook meat. Much to my husbands dismay!!))When I told my husband what was in it he said, "Print it." I thought what a great idea! I wonder if there's a gadget can add to a post for that? We'll have to check it out. Meanwhile I'll do it the old fashion way--copy & paste.