“Almost Gumbo”

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Serves 4 to 6.

gumbo 1

This one is from grandpa’s recipe box, but I can’t figure out why it’s called “Almost” Gumbo; it sure sounds like full-on gumbo to me!


  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen cut okra, thawed and drained.
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long- or whole-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce


  1. In a 6-quart soup pot, combine the sausage, water, tomatoes, okra, thyme, and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.

Note: If you’d like to make this even more authentic-tasting, add about a pound of peeled, cooked shrimp 5 minutes before serving.



AmeriThai Clam Soup Gluten Free

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Thank goodness for Fusion cuisine! Mixing favorite elements of two or three cuisines produces layers of flavor and variety in each and every bite. Since we went to Louisiana on vacation I have developed a deeper love of spice. Thai cuisine has been a favorite of mine for years, but I always avoided the spicier options and stayed with the more gentle flavors. Now though, I embrace the bold mix of spices and really enjoy the clear sinuses that follow spicy meals! This onion, garlic, Sriracha deliciousness balances with the delicate flavors of vegetable broth, hummus and baby clams. This recipe makes one large, warm and tasty serving.

sauce pan
measuring cup
wooden stirring spoon

1.5 cups water
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 a 10 oz. can (3/5 cup) baby clams, drained
1 heaping tsp organic vegetable broth powder
2 TBS garlic hummus
Sriracha to taste

Put water on to slow boil. Add green onions. Return to slow boil. Add clams to pot. Add broth powder, slow boil for 5 minutes. Add hummus, stir until combined. Remove from heat. Transfer to bowl. Add Sriracha to taste. Nom nom nom nom.

Vegan Lentil Tahini Soup

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Before we get started, tahini is ground sesame seeds. Regular sesame seeds will add the same flavor but not the same consistency. We added tahini to get that delicious – almost nutty flavor – and to create a thicker, opaque, almost melted cheese consistency to the broth.


You’ll need these:


stirring spoon

measuring cup




2/3 cup lentils washed and drained

1 Tbs avocado oil (optional – we add it for for flavor and healthy fats)

4 cups water

3 Tbs. vegan broth powder (or vegan bullion)

1 Tbs. Garlic powder

2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning

2 Tbs. Parsley

1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

13 oz. frozen mixed veggies

2 1/2 Tbs. tahini (not the oil)


Add lentils, oil, water, broth powder and seasonings to stock pot. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add frozen veggies. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add tahini and smoosh it along the inside of the pan until incorporated. Stir well. Let cool slightly. Enjoy!


(Irish) Potato Soup in a Crockpot?

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Totally possible.

Of course, it’s no trouble to cook up some potato soup on the stove in a jiffy, but if you’re stuck working overtime, or out in the cold, wild, blue, yonder, for whatever reason, it’s far better an experience to come home to warm, delicious dinner already made, not to mention a house (or apartment, or wherever) that smells so good, than it is to arrive in a chilly, dark, house (you turn off your lights and heater before leaving to save on power), hang up your coat, and have to spend your last ounce of energy microwaving some form of canned sustenance or TV dinner that will inevitably stay frozen in the center and become scalding everywhere else.

Let’s get away from that bleak prospect, and into one way you can make your future evenings a whole lot better!

You will need:

  • One or a few serving bowls. (This recipe makes 3ish servings, but don’t worry! It freezes well, and if you need a fourth, just add an extra potato, 1/2 cup extra chicken broth, and an extra tablespoonful of sour cream.  Extra cheese and spices too, however much you would add to another bowl.)
  • A cutting board.
  • Knives to go with your cutting board, presumably.  Or, spoons, if that’s what you’ve got. I’m not here to judge.
  • A Crock-Pot or some other form of slow cooker (duh).
  • A large spoon to stir your soon-to-be soup.

Oh, and a few ingredients too.  We might just need a few of those, now that you mention it.  I’ll keep it simple.

  • 3 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. (Tip: more potatoes/larger ones in general = thicker soup)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (Just skip this if you don’t have time. It’s hardly necessary, but it does lend a nice little flavor to the soup.)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (You could dice them, but that’s more work.)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth) (beef broth will not do)
  • 1 or 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp butter (or coconut oil, if you’re fond of your working arteries)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cream, OR 1/2 cup half-and-half, OR 1/2 package cream cheese, OR 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt… Really, the possibilities go on and on here. You could use milk for a thinner soup.
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese  (I like Mexican Blend, but you could use cheddar.)
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives (optional) You could substitute chopped green onions if you wanted to do so.
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (this is mandatory for maximum yumminess)
  • if you want, 4 slices fried bacon to crumble on top, nibble on as a side, et cetera.  Whatever floats your crispy-fried bacon boat. (Or if you’re a health nerd/ fond of your unclogged arteries, you can skip the bacon or use less.)
  • Extra cheese, for sprinkling on top!!

Now, the following are what make it taste home-cooked to me personally, but these are completely optional!

  • Somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning, or just Basil
  • Pepper!  More pepper!  Pepper for everybody!
  • One dash of Paprika per bowl
  • The same amount of powdered Sage
  • A pinch of Steak Seasoning (too much is yucky though, so be careful how much you add!)

Okay, now that you have everything out, and your kitchen is probably a mess, it’s time to throw everything in the crock-pot then leave!

Well, more or less, anyway.


  • Combine the potatoes, onion, celery, chicken broth, garlic powder, butter or coconut oil, black pepper, and , in a large crock pot.  Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours (potatoes should be tender).  This is the part where you can leave the house.
  • When you come back home and/or the timer you set beeps, add your spices, and mash everything together until the potatoes are coarsely chopped and the soup is slightly thickened.
  • You’re almost done! Stir in a little cream, cheese and chives!
  • Top with sour cream, and sprinkle with bacon and more cheese.

Some people also like to add yellow mustard, or hot sauce.  That’s not really my thing, but if you like it, go for it.

Voila!  We’ve made it!

I hope your soup turns out as good as mine has. (:

~ Star


Note – to make this on the stove,

  • you need a saucepan (for the soup) and a skillet (for the bacon)
  • cut the bacon, then fry it and set aside
  • add vegetables + chicken broth + potatoes
  • boil for about 8 to 10 minutes til’ those potatoes are nice and tender
  • season.
  • add cream and milk
  • warm it back up a gentle simmer
  • pour in bowls, add sour cream and bacon bits, and garnish!





Gluten Free! Onion Soup and Dumplings

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onion soupFor one. It’s a very large serving, but it’s soup so that’s ok!



  • 2/3 cup Gluten Free flour
  • 1TBS yeast
  • +/-  1/3 cup water, 100 degree F
  • oil for coating
  1. Mix GF flour, yeast, and warm water into biscuit dough consistency.
  2. Coat bowl with oil.
  3. Set dough to bowl and roll it around.
  4. Set in warm spot to rise.
  5. Set timer for thirty minutes.
  6. Make soup.


  • 1/2 TBS butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • s&p to taste
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • steak seasoning to taste (I used 1/2 a tsp. spicy McCormick’s Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning. Maybe less next time…)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend
  1. Melt butter in saucepan. Add oil.
  2. Saute chopped onion until it slightly transparent.
  3. Add broth and water. Add seasonings.
  4. Simmer on med low heat until timer beeps.
  5. Form three dumplings out of the dough ball.
  6. Add dumplings to soup.
  7. Add spinach to soup.
  8. Let simmer 10 minutes.
  9. Transfer soup to large bowl.
  10. Add cheese.

Cool briefly. Enjoy!