This wonderfully flavorful soup is also easy on the budget. We had a truly unforgettable trip to South America in October and one of the culinary highlights was fabulous ecuadorian potato soup. We found this recipe after we got home but it duplicates those great meals in Ecuador and brings back such good memories. We served it to friends on New Years Eve to rave reviews… but don’t wait for a special occasion. Add salad and crusty bread and you have the perfect winter meal. You might want to try Tres Leche Cake for dessert but that’s next week’s recipe.
10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp achiote powder (I found it with the Mexican foods in our local supermarket)
7 cups of water ( I used chicken stock)
1 cup of milk or more
1 cup grated or crumbled cheese – quesillo, queso fresco, mozzarella or monterey jack ( I used grated Mexican Cheese mix)
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, minced
Salt to taste
1 cup of queso fresco, feta cheese, or grated mozzarella
Maiz tostado –just like Corn Nuts – In Ecuador they also frequently served popped corn with soup
Avocados, sliced or diced
Aji or hot sauce
1. Prepare a refrito or base for the soup by heating the canola oil over medium heat in a large soup pot; add the diced onions, minced garlic cloves, cumin, and achiote powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes to the pot and mix until they are coated with the refrito. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring a every couple of minutes.
3. Add the water/ stock and bring to boil, cook until the potatoes are very tender. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot, don’t mash all of them, the consistency of the soup should be creamy with small tender chunks of potatoes.
4. Turn the heat down to low, stir in the milk and let cook for about 5 more minutes. You can add more milk if the soup is too thick.
5. Add salt to taste
6. Add the grated cheese and cilantro, mix well, and remove from the heat.
7. Serve warm with the avocados, scallions, feta cheese and aji or hot sauce.
We always like to have some type of cake as well as cookies waiting for guests when they arrive. This cake is
perfect late in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea – dense, flavorful and not overwhelming sweet.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into small pieces
6 apples, peeled, thinly sliced. I used Granny Smith.
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup oil
1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.
2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the salt. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
3. In another medium bowl, gently stir together Apple Mixture ingredients; set aside.
4. In large bowl, beat Cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
5. Spread apple mixture evenly over cake batter. Sprinkle Topping evenly over top.
6. The original recipe said to ake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. In my oven it took close to 45 minutes. I took it out when it golden brown at the edges but there were a few crumbs on the tooth pick/
7. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
8. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar if you wish but it is not necessary.
This is my December indulgence: Peppermint Bark Recipe! It’s ridiculously easy, and I am absolutely addicted to it. I have to give it away as soon as I make it or I would end up weighing more than Santa. It’s a great Christmas gift and fun to make with children. They love smashing the candy canes.
1 pound dark chocolate chips
1 pound white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed peppermint candies, such as Starlight mints
Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil. Set aside.
In top of a double-boiler or in microwave (I used the microwave), melt dark chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate until JUST ABOUT set, about 15-20 minutes. The just about part is important as this will help meld your chocolate together.
In top of a double boiler or in microwave, melt white chocolate chips. Stir in peppermint extract. Spread on top of dark chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.
Refrigerate until set, about an hour. Remove from pan and break into pieces. Store at room temperature.
Here’s a perfect recipe for a cold winter evening: Vegetarian Chili Recipe! It’s healthy and easy and very, very good… and if you prefer meat in your chili, we use browned crumbled Italian sausage.
1 3/4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (2 peppers)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.25 oz.) gold and white corn (drained) — optional –
Add during the last 1/2 hour of cooking:
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers or very sharp cheddar (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Combine first 12 ingredients in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
2. Ladle soup into bowls; top with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.
Our pumpkin spiced pancake recipe with homemade apple cider syrup is one of our favorite fall breakfast recipes. Guests and family always ask for them. What a perfect start to a crisp autumn day!
2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 1/4 cups milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbl. brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 350°F. Grease griddle with vegetable oil if necessary. In medium bowl, stir all pancake ingredients until well blended. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook other sides until golden brown. For a special treat, we use heart shaped pan cake molds and sprinkle the pancakes with confectioners sugar just before serving. Frank is convinced they taste better cooked in the molds.
Apple Cider Syrup:
½ cup white sugar
1 Tbl. corn starch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 Tbl lemon Juice
2 Tbl. butter
To make the syrup, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; boil until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Serve warm.