Thursday, January 27, 2011

White Bean and Kale Soup (with Sausage)

White Bean and Kale Soup
White bean and kale soup is nothing new. In fact, there are a veritable treasure trove of recipes for this one across the web and in many cookbooks. The sausage is in parentheses here because it truly is optional.

Go vegetarian with vegetable stock, add carrots for color and feel free to use any sausage you like. Variation and additions can only make this one better. On a day like today (we had nearly a foot of snow overnight) this is a bowl full of bliss.

White Bean and Kale Soup (with Sausage)
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6 - 8


2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups stock - chicken or vegetable
6 cups water
1 pound kale, cleaned and chopped, large stems removed
2 cans (15 ounces each) small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced thinly
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until
2. Add stock, water and kale. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add beans and sausage and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cauliflower Leek Soup

In a household filled with kids, cheese soups are a favorite. This one was gone so quickly and when I realized the kids thought there was cheese in it I knew why. I told them there was none and they were all surprised, but asked for seconds anyway. Guess that means this one is a keeper. It's another super-simple one and made really quickly.

Cauliflower Leek Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4-6


2 large leeks - green parts removed, split lengthwise, washed well and sliced thinly
1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds) broken into small pieces
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup half and half
salt and white pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg


1. Combine stock, leeks and cauliflower in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Lid well and cook until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Puree in batches until smooth and return to pot. Add cream, salt and pepper. Stir well.
3. Top each bowl with freshly grated nutmeg.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Pot pie has been big stuff around here since I was a kid. There have been arguments about the differences between Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie and the kind I grew up on, but that's a whole different post.

This is based on the actual pie type of pot pie with a tiny twist, the pie dough is puff pastry baked with shredded cheese on top. Those little extras can really put an ordinary bowl of soup over the top.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6


1 small leek - cleaned well and sliced thinly - white part only
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups diced white potatoes
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups frozen cut green beans
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cooked and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg white - beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat chicken stock in a large soup pot to boiling. Add leek, potatoes, carrots, bay leaf and thyme. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender - about 20 minutes.
2. Add chicken and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thicken soup if necessary with flour and water or beurre maniƩr.

While soup is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and unroll puff pastry. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with cheese. Cut into 9 equal squares and bake for 15 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

*Note- Beurre Manie 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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Asian Dumpling Soup

I seem to be on a super-easy soup kick lately, and that's a good thing for the rest of you. A couple weeks ago I wasn't feeling too well and just about any food available was looking rather unappetizing. The first day I felt a little more like eating, I threw together a few things I had on-hand and turned out this soup.

Once I researched a bit it turns out this is nothing new at all. Don't be afraid to add chopped kale or freshly grated ginger to this, it will only make it better.

Asian Dumpling Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6


24 Asian dumplings such as gyoza (I used frozen vegetable dumplings)
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 Tablespoons soy sauce


1. Heat stock to boiling and drop in dumplings and carrots. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
2. Add in edamame and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce just before serving.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Posole is another of those recipes that everyone has a recipe for, from aunts to mothers to grandmothers and on. Billed as a curative or even preventative for hangovers, it's also one of the simplest soups ever (2 steps!) and the garnishes are only limited by your imagination.

Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Serves 8

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or loin cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups canned hominy - rinsed and drained
5 cloves garlic - minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups water


thinly sliced radishes
shredded cabbage or lettuce
diced avocado
diced red onion
chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges

1. In a large heavy pot combine pork, hominy, cumin, oregano, salt and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until pork is tender.
2. Serve in bowls topped with garnishes.