Fab Food Friday Fotos: Comfort for Chilly Autumn Nights… Recipes for Hearty, Thrifty, Delicious Soups, Stews, & Casseroles « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Fab Food Friday Fotos: Comfort for Chilly Autumn Nights… Recipes for Hearty, Thrifty, Delicious Soups, Stews, & Casseroles

Posted By on October 23, 2015

“Whenever I sit with a bowl of soup before me, listening to the murmur that penetrates like the distant song of an insect, lost in contemplation of the flavours to come, I feel as if I were being drawn into a trance.”

~ Junichiro Tanizaki, Japanese novelist

FOOD. GLORIOUS COMFORT FOOD.

Comfort food time! It’s officially soup, stew, and casserole weather, although, if you like to stretch your food dollars and cook hearty, inexpensive meals year ’round like I do, you didn’t completely stop making soups, casseroles, or stews during the summer months. But now, with the evenings getting colder and the days becoming overcast and shorter, these dishes are just the ticket to warm the stomach and the spirit. They are among my favorite foods to create and prepare for my family.

When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one inexpensive recipe will always be included.

 

Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese & Walnuts | Photo credit: Sunny Mama, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese & Walnuts | Photo credit: Sunny Mama, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

A simple but tasty and healthy cauliflower soup recipe, photographer/cook Sunny Mama has the recipe posted on her food blog Hallo Sunny! The text is written in Dutch, but can be easily translated with the site’s drop-down translator.

 

With Halloween coming next week, this savory beef stew topped with adorable mashed potato ghosts should delight kids of all ages. The recipe is available at The Scramble. The recipe serves 8 — intro:

Halloween is such a fun yet hectic time. Cook this spooktacular recipe in advance or use your slow cooker to fill your goblins’ tummies with a delicious, nutritious fun meal.

Our photographer Linda Wolpert whipped up these adorable mashed potato ghosts which you can serve on top of my Hearty Beef Stew for a Halloween-themed dinner before or after your children romp around on a chilly autumn night.

Feel free to substitute other root vegetables like turnips and parsnips for the carrots and potatoes.

 

 

Mexican Turkey Bean Soup | Photo credit: jazzijava, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Mexican Turkey Bean Soup | Photo credit: jazzijava, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Recipe synopsis for her Mexican turkey bean soup, from photographer/cook jazzijava:

This hearty soup is packed with all sorts of goodness – Tongues of Fire beans, kale, garlic, corn, sweet potatoes, onions, and home roasted tomatoes. Spiced up with a slew of different peppers and finished with a grain and legume “Aztec Blend”, you won’t be left hungry after a bowl!

 

Hearty chicken and lentil stew, cheap and so easy to make. The recipe is posted at Mom’s Gourmet.

Rule of thumb: it takes about 40-45 minutes to cook lentils – bring the water to a boil, then after adding the lentils, bring the heat down to a simmer. If the heat is too high, the lentils may explode or disintegrate. You want them tender, not paste-like and mushy.

 

Birria de Chivo @ Taqueria Maya, Sacramento, California | Photo credit: Larry Conlin, Flickr, Creative Commons, no rights reserved

Birria de Chivo @ Taqueria Maya, Sacramento, California | Photo credit: Larry Conlin, Flickr, Creative Commons, no rights reserved

Birria is a spicy meat stew made of either pork, goat, lamb, or mutton. It is traditionally served on holidays, such as Christmas. No recipe was included for this goat birria, but if you think you’d like to give it a try, TV cooking guru Rick Bayless has a recipe posted at Green City Market. Food Network has a birria recipe using baby back ribs.

 

Rice, cheese, and ham… a stunning trifecta of comfort foods in my book. The recipe for this homey, basic casserole is posted at Recipes for Ladies.

 

In just 35 minutes (plus or minus), you can make this classic oyster stew — recipe is posted at My Recipes. Intro cooking tips:

There are countless versions of this simple, elegant stew. To achieve the perfect texture of just-cooked oysters, poach them in the milk until their edges begin to curl, set aside, and return them to the stew just before serving.

 

The how-to video above gives the recipe for making beef stew with spinach dumplings — an awesome, hearty meal when the wind is howling outside.

 

Easy One-Pot Pasta Soup | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Easy One-Pot Pasta Soup | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook Jasline provided the Foodie Baker recipe link for her easy pasta soup, and also wrote this:

Overall, this is a nutritious and highly comforting meal, perfect for the upcoming cold weather (sorry if you are in the lower hemisphere). I also love how it’s one-pot which makes clean-up so much easier and I can foresee this dish appearing very often on the dining table!

 

Check out this copy-cat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s fabulous hashbrown casserole — it’s posted at Serendipity & Spice. Webmistress Melissa wrote this about her recipe:

Now, I’ve tried many many many versions of Cracker Barrel’s hashbrown casserole copy cat recipes BUT none of them ever quite made the cut. There was always something different… too much sour cream, not enough cheese, low flavor, soggy potatoes, etc. So, I started experimenting in the kitchen, determined to find the right ingredients to make this family favorite dish!

I must say that this is probably as close as I’ll ever come to the original Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole recipe and there’s a few tricks you can do to make it more authentic or keep it simple.

 

Fill up and slim down with this chicken and rice soup recipe from Eat This, Not That!, from the Zero Belly Cookbook.

 

Visit Simply Nataly to watch the cooking demo video for this Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana, aka Tuscan Soup. The sound quality isn’t the best; I had to replay the video a few times to understand what the cook is saying. However, the soup looks delicious (it has A LOT of bacon and garlic!), and I’m adding it to my “must-try” list. Be forewarned: the instructions are a bit all over the road.

 

Shiro - Spicy Eritrean Chickpea Stew, Eaten in Ethiopia | Photo credit: Carsten ten Brink, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Shiro – Spicy Eritrean Chickpea Stew, Eaten in Ethiopia | Photo credit: Carsten ten Brink, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

An easy recipe for making this hearty shiro dish is available at Epicurious. The recipe calls for berbere — this is a spice mixture that usually includes chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek. Berbere is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

 

This Thai curry butternut squash soup looks amazing — overview from Healthiest Foods:

Here is a spicy butternut squash soup with curry to warm you up over the colder months. It’s based on combining a traditional Thai recipe for yellow curry combined with the richness of coconut milk and butternut squash for a great tasting soup.

 

Real Sign: "Welcome to Bradford - Doodle Soup Capital of the World" | Photo credit: Brent Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Real Sign: “Welcome to Bradford – Doodle Soup Capital of the World” | Photo credit: Brent Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

That’s no typo — apparently, Bradford, Tennessee is bursting with pride over its doodle soup, so much so that the town has an annual celebration and pays tribute to the soup on its “Welcome” sign. Photographer Brent Moore offers more info:

Never heard of Doodle Soup? Then you probably haven’t been to Bradford. The simple answer is it’s chicken broth with vinegar, sometimes served with spice. I’d go into more detail, but this Tennessee Crossroads video goes into better detail.

For a doodle soup recipe, check out Hillbilly Haven.

 

I usually associate tahini with hummus, so using it in a tomato soup has me intrigued — the recipe is posted at Healthy Happy Life. Intro from webmistress Kathy:

I have been playing around with tomato soup recipes for a few months now. But it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this combination of ingredients that I felt compelled to share a recipe here on the blog. This super (soup-er?) simple Creamy Tomato Soup is made using organic tomatoes and tahini. It has a spicy, warming accent and loads of rich tomato flavor. This recipe is rich in lycopene, which we should all be including in our diets. Grab a soup spoon and warm up with this bowl.

 

Check out MomDot for the recipe to make this delicious Mexican chicken and corn casserole. Intro:

Not every night can be a night that you slave over a hot stove for 4 hours for the perfect home cooked meal! Instead, do something EASY tonight with this perfect Mexican Chicken and Corn Casserole that every adult is sure to love and every kid is sure to… well… not complain as much.

 

My Mother's Casserole | Photo credit: Elizabeth Thomsen, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

My Mother’s Casserole | Photo credit: Elizabeth Thomsen, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Recipe encore: I originally shared this casserole recipe and photo in 2013. Photographer/cook Elizabeth Thomsen wrote this heartfelt story about her mother and this special family casserole:

My mother was a wonderful woman: intelligent, kind, and loving. She loved her husband and three children dearly, and when she was widowed at the age of 34, she did her very best for us in difficult circumstances.

She had many fine qualities, but she would be the first to admit she wasn’t much of a cook. She didn’t feel bad about that — she thought of herself as a modern, Post-War woman, and embraced all labor-saving appliances and gadgets, and time-saving frozen and packaged foods. She always baked our birthday cakes using cake mixes. She baked cookies, but we were among the first to use the rolls of refrigerated cookie dough. She loved the modern convenience of frozen TV dinners, instant oatmeal, whipped cream in an aerosol can, crescent rolls from dough that popped out of the tube, and recipes that started with a can of soup.

Her favorite recipe was her special casserole. She originally got the recipe from a magazine feature with recipes from singer Kate Smith, best known for belting out “God Bless America.” We originally called it “Kate Smith’s Casserole” and then “Mummy’s Casserole” and eventually “Mummy Mummy Casserole,” a name from the period when my little brother created possessives by doubling names. Somehow that’s the name that stuck, although I find it embarrassing to use in conversation, even just with my family.

The casserole is a mix of pasta (we would have said “macaroni”) with diced onion, green pepper and ground beef browned in a skillet, canned stewed tomatoes, topped with slices of Velveeta. I didn’t make this dish for many years, since I am a vegetarian and a cheese snob, but earlier this year, I decided to try it. I substituted a couple of broken-up Morningstar veggie burgers for the ground beef, but I decided that substituting a different (better) cheese for the Velveeta would interfere with the spirit of the original. So I used Velveeta, the highly processed cheese of my childhood, feeling embarrassed the first time I bought it. They say “you can’t go home again,” but making my mother’s casserole made me feel as if I had, and I don’t think it would have been the same without the Velveeta cheese!

It’s a cold winter night in Massachusetts, and it’s the 39th anniversary of my mother’s death at the age of 48. It felt like a good night to make myself some comfort food, and to me, there’s nothing quite as comforting as this.

There are more compelling, food-oriented posts at Elizabeth’s blog — fun reading about “Ice Cream Memories,” “Middleboro Diners: New and Old,” and “Zucchini Days.”

 

1977 Food Ad, Campbell's Casserole Layout with 4 Recipes, The Lordship Community Church in CT (2-page color advert), Redbook magazine, May 1977 | Photo credit: Vicki McClure Davidson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

1977 Food Ad, Campbell’s Casserole Layout with 4 Recipes, The Lordship Community Church in CT (2-page color advert), Redbook magazine, May 1977 | Photo credit: Vicki McClure Davidson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

The Campbell’s Soup company has been in business since 1869, and is now in 120 countries. This two-page 1977 food ad offers four casserole recipes using Campbell’s Soup. This advert photo for Campbell’s was taken in 1977 outside The Lordship Community Church in Stratford, Connecticut, which is still an active church today. Per its Facebook page, the church was founded in 1922. The recipes in this advert include Speedy Tetrazzini, Parmesan Chicken, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, and Baked Ziti. Click the image, wait a moment, then click it again to enlarge the text for the recipes.

 

Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.

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Past two months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:

Easy & Awesome Halloween Treats & Recipes, Fiendishly Delicious Party Appetizers, & Thrifty Autumn Meals

Chicken Fajita Bake, Breakfast Sausage-Egg Pizza, Easy Shrimp Puffs, Butterbeer Cookies, Cranberry Kale Salad, Elk Tacos, Gilded Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, Garlic Chilli Pasta with Bacon & Asparagus, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, More Frugal Recipes

Caramel Pound Cake, Kiam Peng, GF Artichoke Quiche, Black Bean Burgers, Summer Potato Salad, DIY Whiskey Jerky, Pork with Apples, Squash Risotto, Pumpkin Popcorn Balls, Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Grits, Split Pea Soup, More Thrifty Recipes

Italian Sausage & Lentils with Potatoes, Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta, One Pot Roast Italian Chicken, Creamed Zucchini, GF Almond Tea Bread, Avocado-Corn Salsa, "Skinny" Italian Chocolate Shake, Chinese-Style Eggplant, Rhubarb Butter, More Easy Recipes

Korean Keema, Eton Mess, Peanut Chicken Soba Noodles, Street Tacos Al Pastor, Happy Squirrel Bento, Chunky Gazpacho, Beer-Battered Fish & British Chips, Jalapeño Popper Chicken Breasts, Bean Soup, Corn Fritters & Roasted Tomatoes, More Thrifty Recipes

Thai-Style Watermelon Salad, Curry-Masala Lamb Burgers, Totoro Sesame Tarts, Pork Tenderloin & Tomato-Peach Compote, Oven-Roasted Broccoli, Chicken Wings, Black Magic Chocolate Cake, Zucchini "Hash Browns" & Eggs, More Fab Recipes

Vietnamese Chicken Wings with Lemongrass Brown Rice, Easy Spaghetti Pie, Slow-Cooker Cider Beef Stew, Nut-Hugging Teddie Bear Cookies, Ground Turkey Dishes, Shakshuka, Key Lime Pie, GF Fish Sticks, BBQ Chickpea Salad, More Frugal Recipes

Lemon-Orange Ice Cream, Roast Pork Neck, GF Sweet Potato & Lime Taquitos, Easy Cheesecake, Chicken Adobo, Quick Black Beans, Country Breakfast Pizza, Thai Veggie Stew, Bacon Nachos, Rachael Ray’s Dandan Noodles, More Frugal Recipes

Cider Can Chicken, Makhlama Lahm, Herbed Salt, Beet & Leek Salad, GF Buttermilk Ranch Chicken Tenders, Kiwi Banana Ice Cream, Pan-Fried Salmon with Asian Glaze, Mango Mint Fizz, Vegan Fried Rice, More Thrifty Recipes

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About the author

I'm a conservative frugalist. My priorities: Watchdogging the government, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely, living within our budgets (at home and in Washington, DC), and adhering to our Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it was developed by our founding fathers. Also, loving God, my family, and my country. Be wise, be frugal. God bless America!      

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