Category Archives: Soup/Stew

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Gumbo

This Gumbo is one of my all time favorites, and here’s why.  A long long time ago, before my own little consciousness popped into existence, my dad learned how to make gumbo when he lived in New Orleans, from a restaurant he fondly refers to as a hole in the wall; off the beaten path.  The restaurant itself was a little dirty maybe, but had the best lip smacking fresh seafood around, and has surely long since closed. However, it gave out a gumbo recipe to my dad who has Chicken Gumbohad the legendary gumbo continued into existence, by transplanting it states away and years later into my delighted awareness and shortly thereafter my stomach. As far as I know it is not legendary to anyone else but me and my family yet, so let me know if this gumbo becomes legendary to you :D. My dad has been making gumbo for our family for years with his fresh east-coast catches; a trio of shrimp, oysters, and crab meat. It takes a little work, especially to harvest and prepare all that seafood, but it is ridiculously good. I am talking best meal of your life good.  Sadly, my husband has not come to understand just how delicious seafood is, so for him, I made a chicken version of gumbo with a few extra vegetables to enhance the complexity it would lack from the lack of seafood, and that is the recipe you will see below. Believe it or not, it rivals the seafood version. I think I am going to make this for the annual Hoover family ski trip with my in-laws and friends this year. All picky eaters will rejoice! No person left behind at dinner time! The vegetables come out so tender and flavorful, you don’t even know you are eating them.

IMG_2880Chicken GumboChicken GumboChicken GumboIMG_2912Chicken Gumbo

With an afternoon to spare, I enjoy making this gumbo with a glass of sweet tea in hand and  listening to some tunes.  Even better yet is making gumbo with my dad, the gumbo pro himself.  He makes a beautiful golden roux, simply browned flour and butter, taking care not to burn it. If you burn your roux, throw it out and start over. A burnt roux will ruin your whole recipe and waste all your other precious ingredients.

Rue<See that golden color, remember that color.

I hope this amazing recipe makes up for the last few post-less months. I know, its been more than a few….like six, but we have been busy buying and moving to a new house and going to a new school and getting a new job, etcetera, etcetera. Exciting stuff. I would say, it is just about as exciting as this gumbo.

Enjoy!, and try not to fight over the left overs the next day.

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Gumbo
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Cajun
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Chicken, chicken sausage, sweet bell peppers, and okra served over rice. Pairs great with a side of garlic bread. So good, you will think you're in New Orleans.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 can okra, 8 oz
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1 pack Korr home style chicken stock (alternatively 2 chicken bullion cubes)
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 14oz chicken sausage
  • 1 tbsp Filé powder*
  • salt and pepper and red pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • rice
  1. Boil 4 cups water in soup pot.
  2. Sift flour in melted butter and brown on medium-low heat in nonstick skillet, stirring constantly until golden brown. Keep a close eye on this part, it is very easy to burn, and very important to the flavor of the while dish. Add to boiling water and turn the soup pot's heat to medium.
  3. Sauté onions in olive oil until brown and add celery and peppers. Sauté for another 5 minutes then add to soup pot.
  4. Drain okra and add to soup pot.
  5. Sauté chopped chicken sausage until brown and add to soup pot.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on raw chicken thighs after removing the skin.
  7. Turn skillet on the highest heat possible and let chicken thighs sear on each side for 2 minutes each then add to soup pot.
  8. Remove thighs after 20 minutes and remove meat from bone, set aside.
  9. Let soup cook on medium-low for about 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Cover or add water as needed.
  10. minutes before serving, add filé powder and thigh meat to soup pot and simmer. At this point, don't forget to make your rice
  11. Serve your gumbo in bowls over a heaping scoop of rice and some garlic bread on the side.
*Filé powder is a herb made from the dried and ground Sassafras tree leaves



Cabinet Raid Chili


We had another snow day. An the WiFi was out. Look at all that snow.  Our southern infrastructure just wasn’t prepared.


So that meant no hunting on the internet for a chili recipe.

I had beans and ground meat so the cabinet was raided for the rest.

IMG_1740 IMG_1743

I have made dozens of variations of chili, and this one turned out to be my favorite. It may be because I sneaked in an extra can of veggies (zucchini), or because I simply used many of my favorite spices including cocoa powder (shush, my husband doesn’t know yet) and kept tasting until perfection.


I served it with shredded cheese, sour cream, and bread made with greek yogurt. It was nice and spicy, but the sour cream cooled it down.  The hubby gave his seal of approval. IMG_1769

And Kindo wistfully sniffed the air.

IMG_1522 That pup is just so gosh darn precious, I can’t stand it.

Cabinet Raid Chili
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Copious amount of hearty spicy chili, freeze left overs in single serve containers for easy lunches or quick dinner.
  • 1 onion
  • 8 oz cooked zucchini (1 can)
  • 16 oz diced tomatoes (2 cans)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 2 tbls tomato paste
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (spicy)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp powdered sage
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Dice onion and brown with meat until meat no longer pink and onions translucent
  2. Add spices cocoa powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, basil, sage, chili powder, and pepper then brown for 5 more minutes
  3. Add zucchini (this is the only can you should drain the liquid off), tomatoes, Rotel, tomato paste, black beans, pinto beans, and spiced browned meat to crock pot
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
  5. Serve with shredded chesse, sour cream, and warm bread.
You can also cook this in a soup pot on low covered, stir occasionally-every half hour or so for 4 plus hours.


Taco Soup

IMG_1352My dad brought this recipe home from work one day. I honestly don’t know where it orignially came from, but it has been a family favorite for at least a decade now.  It has a HUGE number of pros and very few cons. In fact, it is like green eggs and ham, there are no cons. Once you try it, you will love it.  It can be made stove top or in a crock pot. It can be served with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips or it can be eaten plain and still delicious. It is very easy to make, is filling, has protein and vegetables, serves a lot of people or can be frozen, and is most important, is ridiculously delicious.  My sister-in-law, who does not like ground beef, even liked this. Whew.  The flavor is so good. Okay, that’s enough of that, now go make this soup 😀



Taco Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pack Taco Seasoning
  • 1 pack Ranch Seasoning (dry mix)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans or chili beans
  • 1 can yellow whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (all cans are standard size)
  • optional- shredded cheese, sour cream, & tortilla chips
  1. In non stick pan, brown diced onion until caramelized and then add meat and brown until no pink is left in the meat.
  2. Add taco and ranch seasoning to pan, brown 5 more minutes.
  3. Add cans including all juices , 2 cups of water, and browned meat/onion/seasoning mixture to crock pot or soup pot. Simmer 4-6 hours. *
  4. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.
*Note: Technically, you don't have to wait 4-6 hours for the soup to cook. Since the meat is cooked, as soon as everything is warmed up in the pot, you can eat it. However, I think it tastes better after simmering half a day and the spices have had a chance to saturate everything with flavor.



Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Sick Day SoupIMG_1278

I had celery, carrots, and chicken in the house so I decided to whip up some soup with some spices from the cabinet. It turned out hearty and savory with Scott’s seal of approval. I just had to add way more water than I previously thought necessary because simmering for a long period of time tends to make it evaporate. haha.

Anywho, this soup is perfect for a sick day. Not only is it hydrating,  but it has enough spice to clear up the sinuses. It is loaded with flavor, yet is lean because I only used 1 boneless skinless chicken breast.  The ingredient that I think really makes this chicken soup is the type of stock I use, and I am about to give it some unsolicited praise. Korr’s homestyle stock comes in a pack of 4 small gel packs so it is easy to store and also is rated high in by  consumer report for real chicken flavor. Basically, it is as close in deliciousness to real chicken stock as you can get, maybe even better.

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes             Cook time: 2 1/2 hours                  Serves: 4


  • 2 small onions
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 container chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup dry pasta, any type you prefer
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, makes it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric



^Just look at all that flavor!


  1. Dice carrots, onions, and celery and saute in olive oil on medium heat in non stick pan until onions translucent, about 20 minutes. Stir every minute or so.
  2. Add garlic, salt, parsley, pepper, cayenne IMG_1261pepper, ground sage, and tumeric to pan and saute 5-10 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Cook pasta according to box, drain, set aside in bowl. Boil chicken until 160 degrees Fahrenheit  inside, about 15 minutes. Dice chicken, put in bowl with pasta and put in refrigerator.IMG_1245
  4. Add chicken stock gel to 2 cups of water. Microwave on high 2 minutes. Stir and add to soup pot along with saute mixture. Add 4 more cups of water and simmer on low for 2 hours.
  5. 10 minutes before serving add noodles and chicken. Just enough time for it to heat up but not over-cook.  Serve with crackers or bread. Yum!