February 24, 2018

Turkey Tortilla Soup

A fitting final recipe contribution, I think.  When looking back through the past three years of healthy but oh-so-yummy recipes I’ve had the joy to blog here on At Home with GCH, soup recipes seemed to be my most often written.  (Makes sense, since my husband Robert loves soup more than anything!)  If you would like to review any of the others, just type ‘SoupPalooza’ into our search bar on the GCH homepage.

Now this recipe is one I have never made…but I know that many of you are fans of Chicken Tortilla Soup.   I switched it up  because I had a nice batch of homemade turkey stock…and some leftover turkey, too.  (This recipe could just as easily be made with traditional chicken and chicken broth or stock.)  And for those of you who like things spicy…simply add the whole can of chipotle in adobo sauce or a little finely-diced jalapeno tossed in when sauteeing the veggies.  Enjoy!


Turkey Tortilla Soup

2 T olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery, diced
1 red AND 1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, small dice
3 T chopped garlic
1 to 2 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped (from a can)*
1 can chunky-diced tomatoes, 28 ounces
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced green chiles
5 cups turkey stock (homemade, or boxed)
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
2 cans black beans
2-3 cups shredded leftover turkey
2 cups corn tortilla chips, broken up into large pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey or pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 red raw onion, chopped
1 ripe avocado, diced and dressed with the juice of 1/2 lemon

  • heat the olive oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat
  • add the onion, celery, zucchini, and diced peppers; cook, stirring occasionally ‘til softened and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes
  • add the chopped garlic, and seasonings, and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly
  • stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, and stock; scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any cooked-on bits
  • bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, ‘til the broth has reduced by about a third…20 to 30 minutes
  • add in the corn, beans, and shredded turkey; continue to gently simmer ‘til heated through
  • carefully taste and add s&p if needed
  • turn heat off, and let sit for 15 minutes or so; prep garnishes while you wait
  • serve soup with garnishes alongside

 ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

God loves you!  ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥  coleen

SoupPalooza 2015 Ham {Not Split Pea} Soup

Final week of SoupPalooza 2015!  Oh…i really wanted to wow you with some extravagant, lucious, inspiring bowl of yumminess!  I thought of doing a Norwegian-style fruit soup…but couldn’t find just the perfect fruits at this time of year.  I thought of doing a gluten-free, grain-free paleo version of Chicken and Dumplings…but had to ‘dump’ the dumplings (still working on that!).  And then I ran across a great deal on a nice, big ham…and was going to make split pea à la Gramps (my dad)…but then when I made this oh-so-full-of-flavor ham stock (who knew?!?), I thought ‘Just keep it simple, coleen…’  This is a good soup to round out SoupPalooza 2015.  It is simple, hearty, flavorful, adaptable.  And I can tell you…the guy who has enjoyed soup every day this month was very thankful to come home to a steaming mug-full of this!  (He told me to tell you that he hopes you enjoy it just as much!)

This fits well into our healthy but oh-so-yummy point of view—full of veggies, full of flavor, low-fat.  I hope you follow Robert’s lead and enjoy some soup!

2015-01-25 18.51.38

 Ham {NOT Split Pea} Soup

1 leftover hambone (with a decent amount of meat attached)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
6-8 ounces mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas), diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2# red or yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (I used baby Yukon gold)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (I use jarred)
1 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup petite frozen peas
1 teaspoon each dried thyme and tarragon
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
meat from leftover hambone


  • place hambone into your largest stockpot and add enough cool, filtered water to cover the bone halfway (for me this was about 8 cups)
  • cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for an hour or so; remove hambone
  • allow to cool slightly and skim off any nasty business from the surface 😉
  • cut away and set aside all the meat from the bone; discard bone
  • heat olive oil in another stockpot over medium heat
  • add onions and mushrooms; saute just ‘til mushrooms are beginning to caramelize
  • add diced carrots and potatoes; saute for additional 5 minutes or so
  • add chopped garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute
  • stir in ham stock, beans, corn, peas, and seasonings
  • bring back to a boil; cover and reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes; remove bay leaves (discard)
  • add ham pieces; mix in thoroughly and continue to simmer ‘til heated through, 2-3 minutes
  • serve hot and steamy

    ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ 

    God loves you!  ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)

    ♥  coleen

SoupPalooza 2014: Chili w/ Veggies

Final Week of SoupPalooza 2014!  Here on the Monday edition of the At Home w/ GCH blog, we have celebrated with four different soup recipes: Mushroom Soup with Wild Rice, Baked Potato Soup, Turkey Veggie Soup, and today’s recipe, a Chili w/ Veggies.  Each recipe a completely different ‘style’ soup than the next!  From Mr. Hayden and I, we hope you have enjoyed the variety…He certainly has!

This week’s recipe was inspired by a suggestion from our Dana Kim in her recent post ing of a Cabbage and Pineapple Slaw recipe.  (Boy, was that good!)  She hinted at a recipe for a spicy soup or chili.  So, I prepared BOTH her recipe along with mine…here y’go!  2014-01-25 22.54.47


2# ground beef (or turkey)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped1 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (I use jarred)
1-28ounce can crushed tomatoes
1-15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 package taco seasoning (* see below for ‘homemade’ seasoning recipe)
1-2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped avocado, salsa



  • Saute the ground meat ‘til all the pink is cooked out.  Drain away the excess liquid and set the cooked meat aside.
  • In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to heat over medium heat; add the chopped onion and mushrooms.  Saute for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add in the chopped bell pepper; stir well.  Saute the veggies for approximately 6-7 minutes ‘til just beginning to get slightly brown.
  • Lower heat and add chopped garlic.  Stir constantly for 1 additional minute.
  • Increase heat to medium-high, pour in the chopped tomatoes and the taco seasoning mix.  Stir.
  • Finally add back the cooked meat as well as the beans; stir well ‘til all is combined.
  • Bring just to a boil; and lower heat so the mixture is gently simmering.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1+1/2 teaspoons salt (optional, I do not include it)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup cornstarch

Place all ingredients in a small glass jar; shake really well ‘til all ingredients appear to be evenly distributed.  (To substitute for the mix that comes in a yellow package: use 3 tablespoons of mix and 1/3 cup water for each pound of meat.)

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

God loves you!  ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)


SoupPalooza 2014 – Mushroom Soup with Wild Rice

SoupPalooza continues! Here on our healthy but oh-so-yummy! Monday’s on the At Home w/ GCH blog, we are promoting soup, soup, and soup! This is National Soup Month, and my husband, Robert, certainly enjoys his bowl of soup—he would eat soup every single day! (I know, you’ve heard this before…but it is true!)  So, I have committed to serving soup at one meal each day for all of National Soup Month.  So far, so good!

This week one of the soups I made was a hearty, earthy Mushroom Soup. Oh, if you could have smelled this house…between the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme! This soup is thick and creamy…and I thought it would go really well with the recipe that Dana shared with us recently—Spinach Salad w/ Warm Bacon Dressing. She is SO right…soup and salad? Such a great combination!

Don’t forget to utilize the search button on our website to check out soups from SoupPalooza 2013 along with soups that Dana has shared with us, too! I would love to hear what varieties of soup you and your family enjoy! Leave a comment below, ok?

Now, I did use one *secret ingredient…want to know what it is?  Dried Mushrooms.  Incredible Ingredient…you really should get some for your pantry!  They can be purchased in the spice aisle, or the ethnic foods aisle of your grocery store.  They come in a small baggie.  And are really inexpensive, too!  I put mine into a grater like this one.  Super easy to use!  And the grated mushrooms add SUCH a depth of flavor!  Try adding a tablespoon or so to any number of dishes: quiche, stews, marinara sauce, soups, etc.   Try it; I think you will like it!2014-01-19 14.50.21

I used a combination of the fresh mushrooms…about 1 pound altogether. Whichever (shitake, button, baby bella) mushrooms you choose to use, be sure to cook them deeply before adding the flour, wine and stock. Along with the onions, they should get really brown and caramelized. This takes a little while, but this is also where the soup gets its deep savory flavor and richness.2014-01-19 16.41.34

1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 teaspoon butter2014-01-19 14.44.05
1 cup broth
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1# mushrooms, white, baby bella, shitake, cleaned and chopped
1/4 cup brown rice flour (you could use all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, separated
6 cups broth or stock
8 ounces frozen carrots, defrosted
2 cups cooked wild rice
1/2 cup half and half (or milk)
1/2 cup sour cream


  • In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 teaspoon butter. Stir in wild rice to coat with butter, and heat for 1 minute.
  • Pour in broth and water. Bring to a boil; cover and immediately reduce heat to very low; simmer for approximately 45 minutes or ‘til liquid is absorbed.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-sized saucepan or soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions, mushrooms, and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened (7-8 minutes).
  • Allow the mushrooms and onions to get some color.
  • Sprinkle flour over cooked veggies along with salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. (This is where I added my ‘secret ingredient; *see above.)
  • Stir in wine and thyme; increase heat to medium-high and reduce ‘til the liquid is almost absorbed.
  • Add broth and carrots to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  • Scoop out the carrots and just a bit of the veggies, and set aside.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the soup and the veggies ‘til smooth;
  • Add back in the carrots, along with the half and half and additional thyme.
  • Heat over low ‘til piping hot! When ready to serve, place a small portion of wild rice in the bottom of the bowl or mug, add soup and top with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

   ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥ 

God loves you!  ♥   (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥   Coleen

SoupPalooza2014 – Turkey Veggie Soup

SoupPalooza time again! January is National Soup Month, and for my hubby, Robert, we have entered his ‘happy zone!’  The man will eat soup every single day! So, just like January 2013, I am indulging him and have committed to serving soup at one meal per day for the entire month.

2014-01-05 16.54.40

Here on our healthy but oh-so-yummy! Monday’s on the At Home w/ GCH blog, we will be promoting soup, soup, and soup for the next four weeks. Each week will focus on a different type of soup, i.e., veggie-based, creamy, chunky, meaty, etc. And don’t forget to utilize the search button on our website to check out soups from SoupPalooza 2013 along with soups that our Dana has shared with us, too!  With all of the ch-ch-chilly temperatures around the country recently, perhaps soup will feature more in your menu planning, too!

Turkey Veggie Soup

4 quarts homemade turkey stock (or your choice of boxed broth)2014-01-05 14.09.29
3-4 cups of cooked turkey meat, shredded
1 small sweet onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic in oil (jarred)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 can (15 oz) stewed or crushed tomatoes
1/2 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (NOT seasoned!)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
salt and pepper to taste
6-8 ounces green beans (if using frozen, defrost)
2 cups cauliflower florets (ditto)
1 cup cubed zucchini
8 ounces carrots (I used frozen)
optional: cooked rice, quinoa, or tiny pasta


  • In a large soup (or stock) pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, and then add onion and celery. Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed butternut squash and saute for an additional 10 minutes, stirring only once or twice, ‘til just beginning to brown.
  • Add chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in stock, tomatoes, and pumpkin puree, mixing thoroughly.
  • Add vegetables (zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans) and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 or so minutes ‘til veggies are getting tender.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove about half of the veggies to a bowl and set aside.
  • Turn heat very low, and puree the broth and remaining veggies ‘til smooth using an immersion stick blender (or very carefully! puree in a blender container).
  • Add back in the reserved veggies along with the cooked meat. Heat ‘til nice and hot.  Enjoy!

   ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥ 

God loves you!   ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥  coleen

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   

Interested in joining us for our next Online Bible Study that starts on January 13, 2014?   Click HERE for more details!

At Home with GCH – SoupPalooza, Part 4

SoupPalooza Part 4 – Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup

Here on our At Home with GCH  blog, Monday’s are always focused on healthy but oh-so-yummy! recipes.  We are continuing to celebrate soup, soup, and soup since this is National Soup Month!  Each week we will explore soup basics sometimes along with a bonus recipe for you to serve to your loved ones.

This week we are making Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons. Such a comfort food and indulgence!  The way we manage to stay within our ‘healthy’ parameters is that this soup contains evaporated milk instead of heavy cream.  Using evaporated milk saves approximately 80 calories AND 12 grams of fat (yes, you read that right!) in each serving.  All the yummy creaminess…and now—since you have kept the soup lower in calories—you can thoroughly indulge in those grilled cheese croutons; oh my!

2013-01-18 22.14.54

Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped small
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic (I use jarred)2013-01-18 21.23.16
1 Tablespoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups broth
1 cup red wine, or additional cup of broth
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 can tomato puree (28 ounces)
1 small jar of roasted red peppers, chopped small, optional
1 portion homemade condensed tomato soup (see recipe below)
1 can evaporated milk

In a medium-sized saucepan (4 quarts or so), melt butter and olive oil together over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes until softened and transparent.  Add garlic and basil; cook for 1 minute stirring continuously.  Pour in red wine to deglaze pan; then add broth, all tomato products (also roasted red peppers, if you are using them) and salt & pepper.  Stir really well.  Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure to mix up from the bottom.  Carefully taste for seasoning, adding if necessary. Finally, add in evaporated milk and heat through.  Keep warm.

Another aspect of this recipe that fulfills our healthy but oh-so-yummy needs is the homemade condensed soup.  You know… just like in the can BUT no wheat, no additives, no un-pronounceable ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup!  So easy and quick to pull together!

Homemade “Condensed” Tomato Soup

8 ounces tomato puree or sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, stir all ingredients together.  Bring just up to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Ready to use!


Now the part that (some of you!) have been waiting for…Grilled Cheese Croutons!  Actually, no recipe 🙂 Prepare your most incredible, delicious, gooey grilled cheese sammies!  You choose the bread (I would suggest cutting off the crusts!)…you choose the cheese!  Make sure that they are really nicely crunchy and toasted! Let them cool for just a minute or two, and cut up into small squares.  Serve alongside the soup…toss them in as you go because you wouldn’t want them to get soggy!  Comfort food that is healthy but oh-so-yummy !

God loves you!  ♥ (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥ coleen


If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen concerning this series, you may email her at:  Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

At Home with GCH – SoupPalooza Part 3

SoupPalooza, Part Three

Here on our At Home with GCH  blog, Monday’s are always focused on healthy but oh-so-yummy! recipes.  We are continuing to celebrate soup, soup, and soup since this is National Soup Month!  Each week we will explore soup basics sometimes along with a bonus recipe for you to serve to your loved ones.

Last week I shared that I made a commitment to Mr. Hayden to serve soup at least once each day for the month.  So far…so good!  He’s enjoyed  Homemade Mini-Meatball Soup, White Bean & Kale Soup w/Chicken Sausage, as well as Vegetable Tortellini Soup, and homemade Creamy Tomato Soup.


This week we are making French Onion Soup accompanied by the traditional baguette with a yummy, cheesy topping.  Whenever I think of this soup, I always remember Julia Child!  Any other Julia fans out there?  For fans, or those who would love to be entertained while learning from the best, I have attached a short video of Julia preparing her version of French Onion Soup.    Bon Appetit!


Onto our preparation…  This soup is fairly uncomplicated but it does take some time. One important part of the preparation for this recipe is the manner in which the onions are cut…really.  In this recipe this is the shape onion that works best.  Onions sliced from top to bottom, or “pole to pole” also cook more evenly.  And they have a shape and size that ‘eats well.’  You don’t want long, stringy pieces of onion falling off your spoon!  Try this: Peel the onions and slice off the ends.  Cut the onion in half through the middle (think: along the equator).  Then lay the half of the onion down and make thin (1/4″) cuts from top to bottom.


1/4 cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
5-6 small to medium-sized onions (approximately 2#), sliced thin **
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, or additional cup of broth
3 tablespoons flour
2 quarts broth (beef, chicken, or veggie)
1 loaf French, or Italian, bread
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (traditionally Gruyere is used; pricey!  I use Jarlsberg)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Melt the stick of butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add all the onions, the herbs and a few grinds of salt and pepper.  Stir well making sure to thoroughly coat all of the onions with the butter. Now just allow the onions to cook; occasionally, give a thorough stir up from the bottom of the pan.  After 10 minutes, turn the heat down just a bit.  The onions will need to cook for an additional 20 minutes or so; during the last minute or two, stir in the chopped garlic.  You will see the onions getting very soft and turning a light brown.  This is called caramelization.  Do Not Let Burn…just brown…this is where the majority of all the yummy flavor of the soup will come from.

Add the wine and raise the heat to bring to a quick boil.  Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions appear almost dry, about 5 minutes.  Dust the onions with the flour; give them a stir.  Cook for 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now slowly add in the broth, and raise the heat to bring the soup back to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you’re ready to eat, preheat the broiler.  Cut the bread on the diagonal into 1″ slices that will fit into your soup bowl or mug.  Place the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the cheeses (mound it up!) and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 or 4 minutes. Watch they don’t burn!  I usually make a few extra for dipping.

Ladle the soup into the bowls and float the bread slice on top.  Voila!  French Onion Soup!

God loves you!  (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥ coleen

For all the Julia Child fans, I give you Julia at her best—she always gives wonderful tips and ideas!  My favorite here is how to get the onion-y smell off your hands!


** Here is a tutorial about all types of onion cuts, if you would like to check it out: HOW TO CUT ONIONS

If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen, in regards to this blog, please email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.