Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

If you’re looking for a one bowl meal that’s hearty and comforting, this is it! I was inspired by a couple fellow food bloggers who featured gumbo recipes lately, including Kira and Emily. Because my husband is a fan of rice, I added rice to the gumbo. This recipe was pretty good and went well with the Savory Corn & Pepper Muffins I made. (Recipe soon to come!)

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 pound andouille or smoked sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Creole seasoning to taste
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 rotisserie chicken, boned and shredded
1-2 cups cooked rice

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, whisk in flour. Continue whisking until the roux has cooked to the color of chocolate milk, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the roux. If you see black specks in the mixture, start over.

Stir onion, bell pepper, celery, and sausage into the roux; cook 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning; blend thoroughly. Pour in the chicken broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chicken, and simmer 1 hour more. Skim off any foam that floats to the top during the last hour.

Add rice 15 minutes before serving and allow the gumbo to simmer with rice.

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Spicy vegetarian chili

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Betsy’s spicy vegetarian chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa, medium
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup canned corn niblet

Heat oil in a large pot, saute onions, peppers and garilc for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients except corn.
Increase heat to high to bring to a boil.
Decrease heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, simmer until heated through.
Makes about 10 cups or 6-7 servings of 1 1/2 cups.

Food Swap: Soup & Sandwiches!

Food Swaps are a great way to get a sampling of different variations of foods, such as a cookie swap/exchange normally held during the holidays. Well, we can continue this concept throughout the year, not just during the holidays! Food swapping is also becoming a recent food trend in which people are sharing what food they do have for other food they don’t have. With the rising costs of food & groceries, let’s utilize our own cooking/baking skills in the kitchen as an alternative to the grocery store.

For this event, friends brought a slow cooker, Crockpot or a pot of soup, chowder, or chili. We shared our delicious creations by placing them in freezable containers for everyone to take some home and/or enjoy for lunch. To accompany our delicious soups, I provided a panini bar with various breads, cheeses, meats and fillings for some great sandwiches.

As a result of this event, we all took home a whole variety of soups, chowders, and/or chilis to enjoy for the week ahead. What I love about this event is that it not only is an event for friends to score quality local food, but it also fosters a unique community by giving everyone the opportunity to actually meet the people who make what they eat.

Here are the soups that we swapped:

italian chicken bruschetta soup
yellow split pea soup
curried pear & butternut squash soup
smashed potato soup
roasted tomato soup
spicy vegetarian chili


assorted paninis
assorted chips

Megan & Matt’s spinach salad

fudge brownies

Italian chicken bruschetta soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Joelen’s Italian chicken bruschetta soup

1 large can marinara sauce
1 large can whole tomatoes w/basil
3 tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasted, diced
1-2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup cooked small pasta (optional)

Combine everything (except pasta) in the crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours.
Before serving, stir in cooked pasta.

France’s yellow split pea soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

France’s yellow split pea soup

1 lb dried yellow or green split peas
1 lb cubed turkey ham diced (ham and ham bone can also be used)
1 1/2 cup carrots peeled diced
1 1/2 cup potatoes peeled and diced
1 large onion diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Bay leaves
Allspice
Salt and Pepper

Rinse and soak the peas overnight according to the package directions.

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high 6-8 hours on low.

Stir occasionally. Additional broth may be necessary if the soup becomes too thick.

Remove bay leaves and allspice and serve.


Curried pear & butternut squash soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Megan & Matt’s curried pear & butternut squash soup
1 butternut squash (about 2 3/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped peeled Bartlett pear (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 1/3 cups water
1 cup pear nectar
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 small Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet; bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool. Peel squash; mash pulp. Set aside 3 1/2 cups pulp, reserving remaining squash for another use.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped pear and onion; sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add squash pulp, water, and next 5 ingredients (water through pepper). Bring to a boil; partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes.

Place one-third of squash mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour puréed mixture into a large bowl; repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture.

Return squash mixture to pan; stir in half-and-half. Cook over low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with pear slices.

Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Smashed potato soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Tricia’s smashed potato soup

3-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup chopped yellow and/or red sweet pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons bottled roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream, half-and-half, or light cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Sliced green onions (optional)

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, sweet pepper, garlic, and black pepper. Pour broth over all.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Mash potatoes slightly with a potato masher. Stir in whipping cream, cheddar cheese, and the 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions. If desired, top individual servings with additional sliced green onions. Makes 8 servings.