Monday, December 29, 2008

Guest Post: Caramelised Root Vegetable Soup

Annie bumped her head and decided that it was a good idea for me to write a guest post for her, how daft! Keeping it as seasonal as I can,I am writing up the recipe that I used for my Christmas day soup.

Sorry but the measurements are not in American, Annie will have to translate....

Caramelised Root Vegetable Soup
Serves 4 (ish) Cooking time : 40 minutes ish.
Printable Recipe

1 medium potato, diced. optional
2 sweet potatoes (or 1 turnip and 1 swede), diced.
2 medium carrots, diced.
1 medium red onion (or 1 leek), sliced.
1 parsnip, diced.
2 sticks of celery, diced. optional
426ml (3/4 pint) vegetable stock.
25 g (1 oz) butter.
1 tablespoon honey.
salt and freshly ground black pepper (or cupboard stuff).
1 teaspoon ground Chilli (or 1/2 fresh red chilli) optional.
1 teaspoon ground Cumin optional.

  • Add a little oil to pan so vegetables don't stick, then add all celery, parsnip and onion. Followed by half the carrot and sweet potato. If using potato, just add half of it at this stage. If using swede, just add half the swede at this stage. If using turnip, add all of it at this stage. If using Leek, add all of it at this stage.

  • After sweating the vegetables for a few minutes add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Blend until smooth and keep to one side.

  • Melt the butter in a pan, add the remaining sweet potato and carrot. If using swede, add the rest here. Same goes for potato.

  • Gently cook until lightly browned.

  • Add the honey and allow to caramelise on a medium heat for 7 minutes.

  • Add to the blended soup and season with salt and pepper (optional cumin and chilli).

  • Stir well and serve.

  • Optionally you can blend it further at this stage, if you prefer a smoother soup.

  • For extra naughtiness, I add cream at this stage, if your in the UK use about half a carton of elmlea single cream.

  • Eat it.

Oh just in case you dont know this is a Swede

This has caused confusion before, read here This is a bloody swede.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Soups

Each and every year after I was married my mother, Carolyn Knowles, would invite my brothers and I back home for a Christmas party. There were three of us in Pennsylvania for a short period of time and we would get together with our mom and step-father and his family for an afternoon meal.

Without fail, my mother would make two soups to start off the dining. My brothers would sneak off to the kitchen to try and get a bowl of soup before anyone else, and they most often succeeded. No matter, mom made enormous batches of food, as if she were feeding the Army single-handed, and so there was always more than enough to go around.

This first soup was known simply as "Fish Chowder" in my family because my mother wasn't able to afford the lobster for it - nor can I. I've never known it any other way than made with surimi, so I don't know that the flavor would be as memory-evoking made in any other fashion.

It seems rather heavy on the butter and flour roux, especially for a mere 8 cups of milk (half a gallon), but lesser quantities have yielded a thinner chowder, so I just do what mom says - this time, at least.

This was first posted to the internet by my sister-in-law, Krista at her blog, In the Kitchen with Krista.

Lobster Bisque
Printable Recipe

2 sticks plus 2 Tbs. butter, divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced thin
1 cup carrots, small dice
1/2 cup green and red pepper, small dice
1 cup flour
1/2 gallon milk
1 to 1 1/2 lb. fish flakes (surimi) or lobster
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a saute pan. Saute vegetables until well softened and set aside.
2. In large stockpot, melt the 2 sticks of butter and add the flour. Whisk together (making a roux). Once smooth, mix for a minute or two to bring out the nuttiness of the flour.
3. Pour in the milk and continue whisking. Cook until thick (coats the back of a spoon).
4. Stir in the sauteed vegetables. Add the fish flakes. Stir to combine and cook over a very low flame for about an hour to allow the flavors to blend very well.

This second soup is a cheese soup that is unlike any other I've ever had. While everyone else was at the fish chowder pot, I was off at the cheese soup one.

Cheese Soup
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter + 2 tablespoons - divided
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced red and green pepper
1/2 cup flour
1/2 gallon milk
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy soup pot. Add vegetables and cook over low heat until softened.
2. Add remaining butter and flour. Stir until smooth.
3. Add milk in a thin stream, whisking the entire time.
4. When soup begins to thicken, add cheese and stir until melted.
5. Cook over very low heat for 15 - 20 minutes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe on Cooking with Anne for Philly Steve'steak, a friend's recipe for really awesome cheesesteaks. Ever since then I've been wanting to turn cheesesteaks into soup.

I made this on Sunday when my brother Mike and his girlfriend Betty were here. They thought it was great, and so did I!

This is similar to French Onion Soup - but I stopped short of it because that particular soup is so delicious in its own right that I want to post about it as well someday soon; besides, I have a story to go with it!

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

Serves 4
Printable Recipe

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 large green pepper, slide thinly
4 cups beef stock or broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic - minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 pound sandwich steaks - sliced into thin strips (NOT the pressed fake meat type)
4 thick slices Italian or French bread
8 ounces shredded provolone cheese

1. Saute onion and pepper in olive oil until onions begin to caramelize.
2. Add sandwich steak strips and cook until no longer pink and beginning to brown.
3. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, pepper and stock. Simmer until heated through.
4. Salt to taste.
5. Toast bread slices in the oven until lightly browned.
6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with crouton and cheese - place under broiler and heat until cheese is melted.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fennel and Chicken Soup

I love this soup for its simplicity. Once this was done, I knew I'd come up with yet another soup that would be on the top of my favorites list. There are so few ingredients, and yet the flavors blend together so well that nobody will know that it didn't take hours to achieve it.

Fennel and Chicken Soup
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as an appetizer
Printable Recipe

1 large bulb fennel - without leaves or stems
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup cooked chicken breast - diced small
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut fennel in quarters - lengthwise - and remove hard core.
2. Slice fennel into thin strips.
3. Bring stock to a simmer and add fennel. Cook until fennel is tender - 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Add chicken and cream - simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Thicken with beurre manier*. Simmer for several minutes to cook out any flour taste before serving.

*Note- Beurre Manier is French for "kneaded butter". It consists of equal parts four to butter. Combine flour and butter and knead until well combined. Add a small amount at a time to a simmering liquid and whisk until smooth. Add more as needed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Green Soup

This soup comes from my friend Kate. They call it Green Soup because of the pretty green color it takes on the day after it's made. It's a Mulligatawny of sorts - without the lentils - and I think this version is absolutely perfect. My kids thought so, too. I can tell you this; if you have a cold right now, this would certainly kick it right out of you, in the most delicious way. It was so quick to cook that I'll be making often here.

Green Soup
Printable Recipe

4 bouillon cubes
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (2-3 breasts)
2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups celery, chopped
2 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp curry
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
10 cups water

Boil chicken in water until cooked through. Drain water, then shred chicken.

Cook onion in butter until soft. Add chicken, apples, carrots, celery, flour & spices. Slowly add water & bouillon cubes. Stir well. Simmer 30 minutes, minimum, before serving.

This was first posted at Cooking with Anne on May 8, 2008.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

Black Bean and Salsa Soup
Black Bean and Salsa Soup

This is just the first of many soup recipes I have that use black beans. I love black beans in soup and this particular recipe is super quick and easy making it perfect for this ultra-busy time of year.

The salsa adds tomato, onion and pepper to this all at once so there's no chopping or dicing at all. This can also go vegan easily - just leave the garnish off of the top and use vegetable stock as a base.

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

Serves 4-6
Printable Recipe

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
4 cups cooked black beans
1 to 2 cups prepared salsa - this depends on your tastes
1 clove garlic - minced
sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese

1. Toss everything into a pot and simmer until heated through.
2. Garnish with sour cream and cheese.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup
The best part about this recipe is this-you can use almost any combination of the ingredients that you want and still get almost the same results. You can use dried or fresh herbs, dried or fresh onion, a whole roasting chicken or a whole frying chicken or even just parts as long as the bones are attached. You can add turnip in small amounts or even parsnips. Chicken soup is incredibly versatile and forgiving and almost everyone has their own favorite version.

I sometimes strain the veggies and leave them out altogether because I have several family members who won't eat the soup with the veggies in it.

Chicken Soup
Printable Recipe

1 whole chicken-2 to 3 lbs or more
1 large onion-cut in eighths
3 large carrots-cut in chunks
4 large celery stalks-cut in chunks
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
5-6 whole garlic cloves-peeled
1 tsp dried dill
rice or noodles - uncooked
salt to taste

1. Place all in a large pot-add cold water to cover.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for several hours until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are soft.
3. Strain all and chop veggies and chicken to add back to the broth in the pot.
4. Add noodles or rice and simmer until done.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Corn Chowder

Leftovers... who doesn't have them from Thanksgiving? Our favorite for leftovers from T-Day is this soup but think leftovers before you go and look for or purchase the exact ingredients. I've made this with leftover gravy thinned out instead of stock; leftover corn; leftover potatoes both mashed and whole - whatever I had on hand. I also make it from fresh ingredients from time to time. It's hard to mess this one up - it's great no matter what!

Turkey Corn Chowder
Printable Recipe

4 slices bacon - diced
1/2 cup celery - small dice
1/2cup onion - small dice
8 cups stock - turkey or chicken
1 clove garlic
2 cups peeled and diced potato - cooked or uncooked
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 can creamed corn (or 2 cups)
1/2 can whole kernel corn (frozen or fresh as well)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2t. dill
to taste
roux~ 1/4c. flour 1/4c. oil

1. Saute bacon, celery, onion & garlic until translucent.
2. Add stock and potatoes - bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until potatoes are tender.
3. Add corn, turkey, and seasonings. Simmer 20 min.
4. Add roux in a thin stream-whisking constantly.
5. Cook until thickened, remove bay leaf and serve.

First posted at Cooking with Anne - November 29, 2005

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Split Pea and Sausage Soup

I love split pea soup. It's basic, easy to make, thrifty and just plain good. I usually add ham to mine or at least a ham hock while it's cooking. This time I used up some bulk sausage I had and it was really a delicious move. I don't think pea soup is right without marjoram added to it, so I am generous when adding it.

Split Pea and Sausage Soup
Serves 6-8
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons neutral oil - such as vegetable or canola
1 pound bulk country sausage
4 green onions - sliced (aka spring onions or scallions)
1 pound green split peas - rinsed and picked over
1 cup diced carrot
4 cups water
4 cups stock - chicken or vegetable is best
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
salt to taste

1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat oil and add sausage, breaking up as it cooks.
2. When sausage has cooked through add green onion and cook for several minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add remaining ingredients and cook until peas are soft, about 45 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Guest Post: Quick and Easy Shoyu Ramen

This recipe comes from my friend Cheryl. We both belong to an email list and there was a discussion recently about healthy vs. unhealthy ramen. Most people don't know that there is a healthy version, but Cheryl, being the wealth of information that she is, let us all know about the "good" kind. Here's a recipe from her that looks fantastic. You can find her at Hapamama's Weblog. Thanks for this, Cheryl!

For most Japanese-Americans and starving college students, instant ramen is something of a pantry staple. In Japan, the ramen you would find in a ramen restaurant is a very different dish than the “Oodles of Noodles” that we're familiar with here in North America. Here's a quick and easy version of the kind of ramen you would find in a ramen shop in Japan.

Quick and Easy Shoyu Ramen
Printable Recipe

15-18 oz Chuka Soba cooked to package directions (see notes for substitutions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
3 tbsp mirin (or 3 tbsp sake + 1 tbsp sugar see notes for substitution)
½ cup soy sauce (use a naturally brewed one, recommend Kikkoman or Yamasa)
½ cup chopped green onion
shredded nori (optional)


Put the water, chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, mirin and ginger in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Put the cooked noodles into a bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles to the desired amount. Top with chopped green onion and shredded nori if desired.


If you can not find Chuka Soba, you could substitute the same amount of chow mein noodles (not the deep fried/crunchy ones) or thin spaghetti cooked slightly past the al dente stage.

Another substitute for mirin is sherry, or even just sugar

Friday, November 21, 2008

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup

This soup is my favorite of all soups. I know I'm not alone in that, either. I'm not quite sure what it is about this soup that makes it so wonderful.

One of my friends is of Italian descent and he told me about his family's traditional get-together to make Italian Wedding Soup. He said they would painstakingly make hundreds of tiny meatballs and that his grandmother would inspect them. If they weren't "as small as the tip of your pinky finger" grandma would make them start over.

I've come across so many recipes for this, but the necessary ingredients are tiny meatballs, greens and very small pasta. I like acine di pepe.

Italian Wedding Soup
Serves 6-8
Printable Recipe


1 pound meatloaf mix (ground pork/veal/beef)
1 whole eggs
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic - minced
1 teaspoon salt


10 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic - minced
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced carrot
1 pound chopped fresh spinach
1 cup small pasta such as orzo or acine di pepe

1. Mix together all ingredients for meatballs until very well combined.
2. Bring 10 cups of chicken stock to a slow boil.
3. Drop meatball mixture by the teaspoonful into the boiling stock - one at a time.
4. When all meatballs have been added to the stock, add remaining ingredients and simmer until carrots are tender and pasta is cooked - about 20 minutes.
5. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese sprinkled in each bowl.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Watercress and Spinach Soup

Watercress is one of those classic soups that you either love or hate. I'm a lover, but I decided to go slightly different with this one. Rather than the usual onion, I used green onion and added some spinach for extra color and a slightly different flavor.

Watercress and Spinach Soup
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup sliced green onion (or scallion) - white and green parts
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups diced potato (peeled)
4 ounces watercress - leaves and tender stems only
1 cup frozen chopped spinach (if using fresh, about 1 pound chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk - any fat content from skim to whole is fine

1. Melt butter in a soup pot. Add green onion and stir briefly.
2. Add stock and potato. Simmer until potato is tender - about 20 minutes.
3. Add watercress, spinach and salt. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in milk.
5. Puree in a blender in small batches. Return to pot and heat through.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkin Bisque with Nutmeg and Ginger Croutons

Pumpkin Bisque

This soup is a classic pumpkin soup with a little extra for the top - nutmeg and ginger croutons. This has been adapted from a recipe I learned in culinary school. It doesn't get any smoother than this.

Pumpkin Bisque with Nutmeg and Ginger Croutons
Serves 6 - 8
Printable Recipe


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup onion - diced
1/2 cup celery - diced
1/2 cup flour
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cloves garlic - minced
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups half and half

1. Cook onion and celery in butter until translucent.
2. Add flour and whisk in to make a roux - do not brown.
3. Add stock - whisking as you pour - and remaining ingredients.
4. Simmer until onions and celery are tender - approximately 30 minutes.
5. Run soup through a food mill or puree in a blender/processor until
smooth and put through a strainer.
6. Return to pot and simmer until heated through.
7. Remove from heat and immediately add half and half. Stir well.
8. Serve topped with croutons.

Nutmeg and Ginger Croutons:

4 c bread cubes
1/2 cup butter - melted
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1. Toss bread cubes with butter and sprinkle with nutmeg and ginger.
2. Bake on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees F - tossing frequently until browned and crisp. Store in an airtight container and use within one week.
First published at Cooking with Anne November 8, 2005.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is it About Soup?

When I set out to start this blog, it was a little bit of an experiment. Although I have been niche blogging for three years, I wanted to see what the outcome of a micro-niche blog would be. Micro-niche is sort of a funny term for a blog about soup. While it is one topic, there are so many types of soup that it's near mind-boggling. Which, of course, is where the title of this blog came from.

The response to this blog has been overwhelming. It took three years to see the kind of traffic and comments on Cooking with Anne that I've witnessed here in just 3 days' time. I think it's terrific and hope that it continues, but not for me - for my readers. It's so fulfilling to offer something that others like.

I don't think it has anything to do with the author, either; I think it has to do with the love of soup.

Why do people love soup so much? I have a few reasons for my own love, and I bet they're similar to many, but I would enjoy knowing what everyone else feels about this single food.

My love of soup is part thrift, part laziness and part flavor-related. Many of the soups I've made over the years were made simply for the fact that it was the easiest way to stretch whatever ingredients I had on-hand to feed our large family. Sometimes soup was the fastest way to dinner. And sometimes soup was the only thing that would fill the bill; There is no other flavor like French Onion Soup or Veal Blanquette - no matter how you deconstruct it.

I hope to make this a very long-lasting endeavor. I honestly do aspire to share a thousand soups, because I know there are that many out there; but more than anything, I hope to fill my readers' appetites with delicious and wonderful soups.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew with Sweet Potato Dumplings

This recipe is a creation based on one I have posted at Cooking with Anne. I took a traditional beef stew and twisted it slightly with Moroccan spices and the addition of sweet potato dumplings.

Moroccan Spiced Beef StewServes 6-8
Printable Recipe

2 Tablespoons oil
2 pounds beef stew cubes
2 large sweet potatoes - peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large white potatoes - peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large carrots - peeled and cut into 1 inch lengths
1 medium onion - cut into chunks
8 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 -2 teaspoons cayenne pepper - this depends on your tastes
2 teaspoons salt

1. Heat oil in a large heavy soup pot and brown beef cubes well.
2. Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until vegetable are tender.
4. Thicken with flour and water now or wait until dumplings are done cooking.

Sweet Potato Dumplings
Makes 15 - 20 small dumplings

1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Combine sweet potato, milk and egg and stir until smooth.
2. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder and add to wet ingredients.
3. Stir well until a sticky dough forms.
4. Bring stew to a simmer and drop dumpling dough by teaspoonful onto hot liquid. Lid the pot.
5. Simmer for 10 minutes with lid on until dumplings are puffy and cooked through.
6. Thicken stew now, if desired.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicken Stew

Stew is so satisfying that it's hard to believe how simple it is to make. This version doesn't take a long time to cook, either, so it's perfect for any night of the week.

Chicken Stew
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

2 pounds chicken breast chunks
flour to coat chicken
2 Tablespoons oil
8 cups chicken stock
6 large potatoes, cut into large cubes
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1/2 pound baby carrots, peeled
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Coat chicken chunks in flour.
2. Heat a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and chicken.
3. Brown chicken lightly and add remaining ingredients.
4. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.
* Adding this in here - you may want to thicken at the end with a simple water/flour slurry or Beurre Manier - to desired thickness, no real formula.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Red Clam Chowder

Not exactly Manhattan-style, this soup is full of vegetables and flavor.

Red Clam Chowder
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

1 - 6.5 ounce can clams in juice
4 cups fish or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup each diced carrots, onion and potato
1/3 cup each cut green beans, lima beans and green peas
1/3 cup sliced okra
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
cornstarch to thicken
Combine all in a soup pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and thicken with cornstarch and water.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup

Four major ingredients make one delicious soup. Your house may smell a little like walking into a polish grandmother's kitchen, but it's worth it.

Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup
Serves 6-8
Printable Recipe

1 medium onion - thinly sliced
1 pound kielbasa - sliced thin
6 cups cabbage - thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
8 cups beef broth

Saute onions with kielbasa until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until cabbage is tender, 30 - 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and cloves before serving.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pierogi Chowder

We really love pierogies here; pierogi casserole, fried pierogies, steamed pierogies, pierogies smothered in numerous toppings. I came up with this soup as a result of that love and it's fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Pierogi Chowder
Serves 6-8
Printable Recipe

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
8 cups water
3 cups diced potato
2 cups instant potato flakes
2 cups milk
1/2 pound American cheese - shredded or cubed
6 ounces wide egg noodles - cooked until tender
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add oil. Toss in onion and cook until translucent.
2. Add water and diced potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender - about 20 minutes.
3. When potatoes are tender, mash until broken up well.
4. Add potato flakes and stir well.
5. Pour in milk and stir until smooth.
6. Stir in American cheese and mix until cheese is melted.
7. Blend in drained noodles and add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Meatball and Tortellini Soup

I've come across quite a few variations of this soup, but I really like this one. It's a bit like Italian Wedding soup and Tortellini Soup all in one. Make your own meatballs, if you'd like, the frozen ones just make this really quick.

Meatball and Tortellini Soup
Printable Recipe
Serves 6-8

10 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 pound frozen meatballs
8 ounces dry tortellini
1 cup diced carrot
1 pound frozen spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine everything except Parmesan cheese in a large soup pot and simmer until tortellini is tender. Toss in Parmesan and stir well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mediterranean Chickpea Soup

This soup combines some of the best Mediterranean flavors without being heavy or difficult to make.

Mediterranean Chickpea Soup
Serves 6 - 8
Printable Recipe

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 cloves garlic - minced
3 cans chickpeas - drained
1 can diced tomato
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat olive oil over a medium flame in a heavy soup pot.
2. Add green onion and garlic and stir briefly.
3. Add stock, chickpeas, tomato, bay leaf, and rosemary.
4. Simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Minted Green Pea Bisque

Although this may seem like a fair weather soup, I find it to be perfect on any chilly day.

Minted Green Pea Bisque
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

5 cups fresh shelled or frozen green peas - divided
4 cups chicken stock or broth (or vegetable stock)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/2 teaspoon dried and crushed mint
1 cup milk or half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour

1. Combine stock, green onion, mint and 4 cups of peas together in a soup pot.
2. Simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Strain solids and reserve liquid.
4. Puree solids in a blender until very smooth.
5. Melt butter in the soup pot and add flour. Whisk until smooth.
6. Stir in reserved liquid until smooth and thickened.
7. Add pea puree and simmer for several minutes.
8. Pour in milk or half and half and add last cup of peas. Stir well before serving.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chicken Chili

Many chicken chilies are made with green or all white sauces. I still like tomato with my chili, no matter what the rest of the ingredients are.

Chicken Chili
Serves 4-6
Printable Recipe

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1" chunks
2 cups cannellini beans - drained
2 cups diced tomatoes and juice - with or without chiles
1 medium onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
neutral oil such as vegetable
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon chili powder

1. Heat oil in a heavy pot; add onion and garlic. Cook until onion begins to turn translucent. Do not brown.
2. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Do this over low heat so the garlic doesn't burn.
3. Add beans, tomatoes, stock and chili powder. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced black olives, sliced green onions etc.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Soup

This isn't as odd as it sounds. When I had a small cafe for a short period of time, there was a man there who requested this soup. I made it for him and then he came back for more until the pot was empty.

Peanut Butter Soup
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

3 cups chicken stock or vegetable
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onion + 2 tablespoons green tops only - sliced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

1. Melt butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
2. Add stock slowly and whisk until thickened and satiny.
3. Add peanut butter, ginger and green onion.
4. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Stir well and serve with sliced green onion atop each bowl.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kitchen Sink Soup

This started out as Portuguese Bean Soup, which is really wonderful in its own right, but I had picked up so many recipes for it and they were all so different that I attempted to come up with a combination of my own.

Well, this is what resulted instead and was so good I had to write it down.
The name comes from feeling like I had put everything but the kitchen sink into this soup.

Kitchen Sink Soup
Printable Recipe

1 lb hot sausage - sliced (Portuguese chorizo is great but not necessary)
1 lb ground beef
2 quarts chicken or beef stock, broth, or bouillon
1 large onion - sliced thin
3 large cloves garlic - sliced thin
1 large green pepper - sliced thin
1 small head cabbage - sliced
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
2 large cans kidney beans - drained
1 large potato - diced small
1 c small elbow macaroni - uncooked
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t basil

Brown onion, ground beef, and sausage in a large soup pot. Drain well. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until macaroni and potato are done, about 30 minutes.

Better second day reheated.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Potato, Sausage and Cheddar Soup

This soup was a happy accident. Having several cooked potatoes and a bit of cooked sausage on hand, I decided to toss it together for a truly delicious and filling soup.

Potato, Sausage and Cheddar Soup
Printable Recipe

1 pound bulk sausage
5 large potatoes - cooked and diced
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Break up sausage and brown well in a large and heavy soup pot.
Add potatoes, stock, milk, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 - 45 minutes; use the longer time for a thicker soup. Mash slightly with a potato masher if you like and add cheddar cheese. Remove from heat, stir well and serve.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nacho Mama's Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
I've always liked tortilla soup. It's so easy to make, full of flavor and one of those things that makes a very attractive bowlful.

I'm not going to give you a recipe that simply calls for tossing everything into a pot and simmering for 20 minutes, though. I feel that any good dish is built from the bottom up, flavor-by-flavor, and this one especially benefits from that philosophy.

While divine in it's own right, I think the addition of chicken makes it hearty enough for a meal.

Here is the basic recipe, but pay close attention to the method - it's not what you think.

Nacho Mama's Chicken Tortilla Soup
Printable Recipe

1 small onion - diced
1 small green pepper - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast
1 sprig of epazote - chopped OR 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime - zested, halved and juiced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano - rubbed
1 small dried chile such as arbol

For garnish:

8 corn tortillas - cut into strips
1 small avocado - peeled and diced
1 lime - sliced thinly
1/4 cup whole cilantro leaves
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cook strips of tortilla in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until toasted. Set aside on paper toweling to drain.

Toast cumin lightly in a non-stick pan. Cool and powder with a spice grinder. Toasting and grinding the seed makes the flavor deeper. Add the oregano to this and set aside.

Heat a couple tablespoons of neutral oil, like canola, in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic and stir for a moment. Add stock and tomatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender - about 20 minutes.

Add chicken, oregano and cumin, lime juice, zest and lime halves, cilantro and chile. Simmer for another 20 minutes until flavors blend. Remove chile and lime halves.

Serve in bowls, topped with tortilla strips, lime slices, avocado, cilantro leaves and shredded cheese.

*Note - the version in the photo contains kidney beans, which is not the norm, but is really good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wonton Soup

This first soup is the one in the photo used in this blog's header; Wonton Soup.

Wonton Soup is available in two different ways where I live; order it from a Chinese restaurant, or make it yourself. I like to make my own.

This is how it's done:

Minced chicken or pork with sherry, soy, garlic, green onion and ginger - and wonton wrappers.

Centered on the wrapper.

Folded over.

Long corners brought together and sealed with a little water.

Wontons in waiting.

Rapidly boiling stock.

Wontons surfaced and ready!

Perfectly yummy.

Wonton Soup
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

1 pound ground pork or chicken
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove - minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sliced green onion + 1/4 cup
24 wonton wrappers
12 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1. Mix pork or chicken with sherry, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon sliced green onion. (The green onion was left out of this batch of wontons for my husband).
2. Drop a teaspoonful of mixture on each wonton wrapper. Fold as shown in photos.
3. Bring stock to a boil and drop wontons, one at a time - about 6 -8 at once, into stock. When they are floating and turning slightly translucent they are done.
4. Pour 1 1/2 cups of stock into a bowl - add 3 wontons and sprinkle with green onion.