Category Archives: soup

Yak Chili

My parents were vegetarian throughout my childhood and during my teen years they had added white meat (birds) back into their diet. Considering I was dependent on them very much for food my diet mimicked theirs. Therefore, when I started becoming interested in cooking, I watched my mom to learn from her by example. This meant I never really learned how to cook red meat (mammals).

A friend of mine has a yak ranch in Fairplay, CO and I bought a pound of ground meat. I had this meat that I didn’t know how to cook but was interested in trying. I scoured Pinterest for yak meat recipes. I found some ideas but in the end I used the recipes to teach me how to cook the meat properly and added it to a chili. Chili is the best.

To start you need to brown the meat. Yak meat needs to be cooked slowly in order to preserve the flavor. You can also use ground beef or turkey. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of a large pot. Heat up the oil on medium low and add a pound of meat with one chopped onion.

Cook at a consistent, medium heat until meat is cooked through and onions are translucent.

mmmm steamy!

Drain the liquid from the pan to cut the fat, or leave it in to increase flavor. Add a can of diced tomatoes with liquid.

Drain liquid from three cans of beans. Use some combination of chili beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans etc.

Then add the beans to the pot.

Add a can of tomato sauce, a cup of frozen corn,1 teaspoon paprika, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Let the liquid cook out for about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve topped with cheese with a side of bread or Fritos.


  • 1 lb. of ground meat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3 cans of beans (kidney, pinto, black etc.)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder


Brown the meat in the bottom of a large pot in a tablespoon of oil with chopped onions on medium heat. Add diced tomatoes with liquid. Drain beans of liquid then add beans to pot. Add the can of tomato sauce, corn and spices. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste after cooking (salt makes beans tough, add it later to prevent this). Enjoy 🙂;dcadv=3632184;sz=180×150;lid=41000613802463511;pid=761699;usg=AFHzDLuMpPrXlDFG46H5rdPBGmOuA2-vOQ;;pubid=575791;price=%2484.98;title=Food+Network+5+1%2F2Qt.+…;merc=Kohl%27s;;width=85;height=85;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000613802464054;pid=1006527;usg=AFHzDLvesY0g9fGc9-8dFKie1rILLjtvAQ;;pubid=575791;price=%2419.00;title=OXO+Steel+Can+Opener;merc=Sur+La+Table;;width=85;height=85;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000613802464054;pid=1006550;usg=AFHzDLs7I7-TR5yp8JJrkAEN2qZo1GzysQ;;pubid=575791;price=%2411.00;title=OXO+SteeL+Spoon;merc=Sur+La+Table;;width=85;height=85

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I’m not really sure when or why this obsession started but I am an absolute grilled cheese fanatic! And don’t even get me started on tomato soup. Campbell’s tomato soup is a staple in my kitchen. But wouldn’t you know, it’s not really the healthiest of choices: it’s packed with sodium and sugar (as most condensed soups are), so I have been avoiding buying it lately.

The other night I had an extreme craving, it was intense (like camping… get it? *nudge nudge*). And, can you believe, I had nary a can of the delicious red stuff, like I said I’ve been avoiding it. BUT, I did just happen to have four large tomatoes. I thought to myself, as I often do, “I could probably whip together some tomato soup from these… How hard could it be?” Later that night, as I was enjoying my wonderful warm cheesey sandwich covered in tomato-ey soupiness I answered myself: “Not hard at all… not… hard… at all.”

So here’s what I did. (I only made enough for two bowls because I didn’t want too much leftover, so double or even triple to recipe for a larger batch).

First, I cored the tomatoes (no goopy middle in my soup!) and cubed them. Then I sliced half an onion, crushed a LARGE clove of garlic, (seriously, it probably was about 3 regular sized cloves). I put all of this into a large pot and then I added 2 bay leaves (they’re kinda old so I have to use two). I also poured in a cup of water, and tossed in a chicken boullion cube, 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon cloves.

I brought this to a boil and left to simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes I poured it into the food processor and blended until it was smooth. (For a thinner soup, run it through a food mill instead of the food processor. I don’t have a food mill but I’ve been told it’s a magical experience to make soup with one.)

I then made a roux in the empty pot using 2 tablespoons of butter, melted, and 2 tablespoons of flour. I cooked that over medium heat until it was light brown and then poured the vegetable mixture back into the pot. (look at that beautiful moment captured on film, a bubble popped… electric) (<— that was a Gwen Stefani reference)

I added 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar and brought it back to a boil. Then I let it simmer again while I made my grilled cheese.

I melted some butter in a pan,

placed a slice of bread on top and spread it around to coat the bread in the butter,

sprinkled some cheese over the bread (ALWAYS use shredded cheese in grilled cheese. It may be a bit more technical to flip but it melts much more evenly),

topped it with another slice of bread,

and cooked until the cheese was mostly melted, (oops! slightly burnt)

Before flipping I added some more butter and let that melt, then I placed the sandwich over the butter and spread it around again.

Then I dished out some tomato soup into a bowl, cut the sandwich in half and settled down to watch an episode of Futurama. 😉

Oh my, that looks so good; I’m going to have to make this again!

One thing is certain, I will not be needing to buy Campbell’s in a can anymore.

Farmers’ Market Vegetable Stew

It’s the time of the year when vegetables are plentiful and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with them all. When I visited my mom two weeks ago we made this soup with many of the vegetables from her garden. 

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Chop up 1/2 cup onions, 1 cup carrots, 1 pound potatoes, 1 bell peppers of your preferred color, and 2 zucchinis. Mince 3 cloves of garlic.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes until softened.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Add the potatoes, zucchini and a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes (drained).

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Stir together 2 tespoons dijon mustard, 1 teaspoons minced ginger, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning. Add 4 tablespoons vegetable broth then add to the pot. Pour in 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Add bell peppers and some fresh basil.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Then add the swiss chard.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Then pour in some leftover red wine 😉 we used about half a cup of cabarnet. Allow to boil then turn down heat to low. Cover and let simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add one can of chickpeas.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew

Serve with bread and wine. Have some plum cake for dessert.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Farmer's Market Vegetable Stew;dcadv=3632184;sz=180×150;lid=41000000028505128;pid=CPH1798;usg=AFHzDLtR2ItatTz0efotkxZ_THSNiz04CA;;pubid=575791;price=%2499.98;title=%22Tri-Ply+Stainless+Ste…;merc=Wayfair;;width=85;height=85;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000000000342669;pid=1078254;usg=AFHzDLvg-H72CmUJV2Rl2Q9KGNmY9vt-Og;;pubid=575791;price=%2412.59;title=Core+Bamboo+Bread+Slicer;merc=Kohl%27s;;width=85;height=85;dcadv=3632184;sz=180×150;lid=41000000024781945;pid=118854;usg=AFHzDLtQ-wYcRyjBqa_rYBmYo4fgfd6mXg;;pubid=575791;price=%2423.73;title=VinoVac+Bottle+Seal+Sy…;merc=Sam%27s+Club;;width=85;height=85

*Side note: Leftover wine can be frozen in an ice cube tray for use in soups and sauces.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Freeze wine in and ice cube tray

How have you used your fresh produce this season?