Crazy Leftover Soup


It was one of those days when I just could not think of anything to fix for supper, it was Sunday so I wasn’t going to the store, so I checked my “home store” and found a couple of packages of frozen Vegetables for Stew (I don’t know why I bought these and don’t even know WHEN I bought them), I had one leftover cooked chicken breast, and of course, I had plenty of Thrive Foods to add to any dish.  And that, my friends, is how you end up with some crazy soup made from leftovers.  And guess what?  It tasted really good!  

Crazy Leftover Soup
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  1. 2 bags frozen Vegetables for Stew Mix
  2. 3-5 T. of chopped fresh cilantro
  3. 1 15-oz. can of Cannelini Beans
  4. 1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice
  5. 1 cup cooked brown rice
  6. 1 cooked chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
  7. 1/2 c. THRIVE cooked ground beef
  8. 1 c. THRIVE Sweet Corn
  9. 1 c. THRIVE Green Peas
  10. 1 c. THRIVE Zucchini
  11. 2 T. Bacon grease
  12. THRIVE Chef's Choice Blend Seasoning to taste
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 4 cups of water or more, as needed
  1. Dump all the ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer as long as you would like to. I did mine until the house started smelling yummy.
Mormon Mavens

Slow Cooker Taco Soup


Slow cooker or crockpot.  However you say it, this is probably my most favorite kitchen tool.  How much fun is it to throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot, put the lid on, plug it in and come home to dinner?  I was at my sister’s house last week and she had just started her new job and asked me if I would mind throwing the Taco Soup in the crockpot and making the Sweet Corn Cakes (another recipe–stay tuned).  I was delighted to help out and we had just had this recipe a couple of weeks before at her house and I was excited to have it again!  You do need to brown some ground beef and add it at the end of the cooking time, but that was no problem.  I think you will really enjoy this–I sure did!  And of course the house smelled wonderful all afternoon.

This is a great dish to have during these crazy busy days leading up to Christmas, when we are all over-extending ourselves with holiday prep.  You know I’m right.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup
Serves 6
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  1. 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  2. 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  3. 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  4. 1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  5. 1 (15 oz.) can sweet corn, drained (I used creamed corn undrained--because who wants to drain that?)
  6. 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  7. 1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
  8. half an onion, chopped
  9. 1 cup chicken broth
  10. 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  11. 1 (1 oz.) packet taco seasoning
  12. 1 T. cornstarch + 2 T. water
  13. 1 lb. ground beef
  1. Add all beans, tomatoes, corn, onions, peppers, enchilada sauce, chicken broth and taco seasoning to a large crock pot. Stir to combine. Cover with lid and cook on low heat 3-6 hours.
  2. Mix together the cornstarch and water to create a "slurry." Add to the soup in the crock pot as a thickener.
  3. Brown and crumble the ground beef in a large skillet until thoroughly cooked. Drain off the grease and add beef to crock pot and stir to combine.
  4. Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, etc.
Adapted from Life in the Lofthouse
Mormon Mavens

Succotash Soup

This is a tasty, healthy soup but it does require some planning ahead.  If you are using fresh veggies, then I would prep them earlier in the day or the day before.  I used freeze-dried foods and just had to re-hydrate them during some of the cooking time.  I found this in a really cool cookbook called Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely.  You should check it out.  Lot’s of good stuff, besides recipes.  I like the way the book is organized by season, so that you are eating foods that are available and better for you during certain times of the year.

1 10-oz. bag frozen lima beans
1 cup water
2 14.5-oz. cans of chicken broth*
1 T. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup chopped onion*
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper*
1/2 cup chopped celery*
3/4 cup chopped green onions*
2 1/2 t. dried whole thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (or already diced)
1 11-oz. can whole kernel corn*

1. Place lima beans in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above the beans.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.

2.  Drain beans; add 1 cup water and broth.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes or until beans are tender.

3.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion; saute 2 minutes.  Add bell pepper and celery; saute 2 minutes.  Add green onions; saute 1 minute.

4.  Add onion mixture, thyme, and remaining ingredients to bean mixture and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

*This is where I substituted freeze-dried veggies or other items from my Home Store.

Serves 10.  Freezes well.  Leanne suggests serving with a big green salad and whole grain rolls. Sounds like a good plan to me!

Source:  Saving Dinner, Leanne Ely, p. 133.  

Lasagna Soup

Have I told you how much I absolutely love Thrive?  I mean, seriously.  It’s amazing.  I have saved so much time in the kitchen just by using Thrive foods–they are ready to use right out of the packaging–no more chopping onions, no more greasy meat prep, etc.  And the taste is unmatched!  Not to mention the nutrition bonus of eating freeze dried foods of the highest quality.  You are really missing out if you haven’t tried Thrive for yourself.

I love “throw and go” cooking with Thrive foods.  The other day I made some spaghetti sauce using that method; and for me, that means just tossing in what I like and adding enough water along the way to rehydrate the foods to perfection.  This is all without any measuring!!!  Love it.  And my spaghetti meat sauce, which I began making AFTER I started the pasta, was done before the pasta was!

But sometimes I do like to try recipes and measure.  Lasagna Soup intrigued me when I saw it and, lemme tell you, it did NOT disappoint my taste buds.  Several in the family went back up for seconds of this tasty dish.  This one is definitely going to be made many times in our house!  And, bonus, you can also vacuum seal this (layered in the order listed) in a quart mason jar and keep it on the shelf for emergency quick meals (although going directly into the pot was fast to begin with).  Just dump and go.  (Email me at for more info on jar meals!)


¼ cup Thrive Tomato Powder
1 tsp Thrive Chef’s Choice Seasoning
 ¼ cup Thrive Tomato Sauce 
3 TBSP Thrive Mixed Bell Peppers
 1 TBSP Thrive Chicken Bouillon
¼ cup Thrive Freeze Dried Onions
 1 tsp  Garlic powder
¾ cup Thrive Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles 
¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 cups Thrive Farfalle (Bowtie) Noodles

1. Dump all the ingredients into a pot or Dutch oven.  Stir in 8 cups of water.
2.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the noodles are al dente.

Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and serve with salad and breadsticks!  Easy peasy!


For more information on how you can save time and money while eating nutritious, convenient food from Thrive, 
email me at  
You can also visit my website to learn more.


Mom’s Beef Stew

I love simple, tasty food.  Especially when it’s comfort food.  And this Beef Stew hits all those attributes for me.  I just love it.

2 pounds stew beef
2 Tbsp. bacon grease (or shortening)
1 large onion (sliced)
1 tsp. minced garlic (from the jar)
1 quart hot water
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf

6 small potatoes, cut in chunks
6 small onions, cut in chunks
3 carrots cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water

1.  In large pot, heat bacon grease over medium-high heat.  Brown stew beef.
2.  Add remaining ingredients up to and including the bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
3.  Add veggies.  Cover and simmer 1 hour.
4.  Remove and discard bay leaf.  Combine flour and water in a small bowl to form a paste.  Stir this into the stew.  Cover and cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Makes 2 1/2 quarts of stew.


  • Though I always use the same type of ingredients, their form varies from time to time for me.  This time I didn’t have any fresh onions so I used my freeze-dried Thrive onions.  
  • To make this GLUTEN FREE, use an alternative flour like I did this time.  I used Krusteaz Gluten Free flour.
Source:  my mom

Chili Blanco

This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons.  One is that we get to have stews and soups and all kinds of yummy, warm comfort foods.  This chili recipe is actually quite healthy and was really easy to put together.  You just need to allow time for the beans to cook, as you will note in the instructions.  I will probably be posting other recipes from this cookbook (see source below), so stay tuned for more deliciousness.

1 pound dry white beans, rinsed and picked over *
4 (14-oz. each) cans of chicken broth *
1 t. chicken stock base (I didn’t have any so I just made my broth stronger)
2 onions, chopped *
1 T. oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (7-oz.) can diced green chilies *
4 t. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano leaves
2 t. cayenne pepper
4 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro, if desired (I added this)
1 cup fat-free (yeah right!) sour cream *
3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1.  Place the beans, broth, chicken stock base, onions, oil, garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook very slowly until the beans are done–test to see if they are done as they cook.  You don’t want them to be mushy, just tender.  Beans that are not soaked first take 2-3 hours to cook.  Make sure to add more broth or water if the liquid gets low so they won’t dry out.

2.  Remove beans from heat.  Stir in the cooked chicken and the cilantro.

3.  Top each serving with sour cream and shredded cheese.

* I have noted when I have used freeze-dried or other items from food storage products, just so you can get an idea of how to incorporate those items into your every day cooking.

SOURCE:   The Romney Family Table.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings. Super simple, super yummy, ultimate comfort food. My daughter LOVES chicken and dumplings. I often use leftover roast chicken or frozen chicken thighs. I boil the chicken and thighs in some water and then strain the liquid, remove the meat from the bones and use the liquid and the meat.

Chicken and Dumplings

6-8 Chicken thighs (can use frozen)
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic
8 C. chicken stock
1/2-1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
cracked pepper
salt to taste

1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. shortening
3/4 C. milk

Place the chicken thighs in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer until chicken is done. Remove thighs to a cutting board. Drain liquid. Dry out the pot.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in the pot, heat over med. heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook and stir til veggies start to soften, about 5-8 mins. Add the garlic, stir til fragrant. Then pour in the chicken stock.

Pick the meat from the chicken thighs and add it back to the pot. Stir in the dried herbs and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Note: if your soup looks thick, add more liquid. The dumplings really thicken up the soup, so err on the side of more liquid than you think you need.)

Bring the soup to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, make the dumpling mixture by placing the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the shortening and pulse til blended. With the machine running, add the milk til is just comes together.

With the soup boiling, drop in the dumpling mixture by spoonfuls. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Reduce heat slightly. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes.


Hamburger Lentil Soup

    This is a dish that is hearty, inexpensive, and delicious! It is one of my hubby’s favorites. It is also a good crockpot dish. You should try it while the weather is still wintery!

Hamburger Lentil Soup                                      
1 lb. ground beef
1 46 oz. can tomato juice (or puree about 3 cups of diced tomatoes, I use one jar of home-canned)
4 c. hot water
1 1/2 cups dried lentils (rinsed and sorted)
1 c carrots, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
1/2 c. onion, minced or use dried minced onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. minced green bell pepper (I’ve never added this)
1 tsp salt (don’t skimp, I think it needs the whole tsp)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 c brown sugar

Cook hamburger until browned.  Drain fat.  Add juice and water and bring to a boil.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or cook in a Crockpot all day on low or half a day on high.  Serves  8.

Source: Julie Roberts

Sausage, Peppers, and Bean Stew

As a side note, I used cranberry beans that needed to be rotated through my food storage.  They added a pretty color and sweetness.  I also added cubed potatoes because they go so well with sausage.


2 medium onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 T olive oil, plus more for browning sausage if needed
5 links hot Italian sausage
2 (15.5 oz.) cans Cannellini beans, rinsed in cold water until no more foam appears
2(14.5) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried Greek Oregano
1 tsp. ground fennel
ground pepper to taste
2-3 bay leaves
4 cups homemade chicken stock (or use 2 cans chicken broth and add a little water to make 4 cups)
freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving


1.  Chop onions, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper into pieces about 1/2 inch square. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, then saute onions and peppers until they begin to soften, then add to slow cooker.

2.  Squeeze Italian sausage out of casings and add to frying pan, adding a bit more olive oil if needed. Brown sausage well, breaking apart with turner as it cooks, then add to slow cooker.

3.  Pour beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears, then add to slow cooker. Add tomatoes with juice, dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, black pepper and bay leaves to slow cooker. Pour chicken stock over other ingredients and stir to combine.

4.  Cook on high about 4 hours or on low for all day. Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling on the stew.


Hamburger Soup

It is soup weather here in North Carolina!  This is a an easy, budget friendly soup that doesn’t call for bouillon (which I try to avoid).  Enjoy!

Sauté together:
2 cloves garlic
2 chopped onions
1 lb. Hamburger
Continue to cook until the Hamburger is well done then add:
1 qt. diced tomatoes
2 qt. water
5 chopped carrots
5 chopped celery sticks
6 peeled and chopped potatoes
1/4 t. thyme
1 t. parsley
2 bay leaves. 
Cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from heat and add a little vinegar, a little honey, a little cayenne and salt to taste.

Source: Catherine Miller