Broccoli Soup

There are a lot of Broccoli Soup recipes out there and many of there are delicious. I’ve made a number of variations myself over the years. Here’s one I made today that went over well.

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (I used frozen and the amount is pretty much a guesstimate)

    broccoli-soup

    Broccoli Soup

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup half and half or cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (Parmesan would work well too)
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz. can of white beans, drained and well rinsed (just about any kind work or use a couple cups of freshly cooked beans).
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Put it Together

  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot and then saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
  • Add the broccoli, red pepper flakes, and chicken stock. Heat til just boiling and simmer until broccoli is done (6-8 minutes)
  • Add the white beans and heat a few more minutes. Remove from burner and let cool a few minutes.
  • With an immersion blender, puree the soup. You can also puree in a regular blender and work in batches.
  • Add the cheese and cream. Heat a couple more minutes and then serve with crackers, crusty bread or toasted garlic bread. A salad on the side can complete the meal or serve as a side with a main dish.
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Easy Cabbage Soup

Not much to say about this soup except that it is TOTALLY awesome. I had posted a link to the recipe on Simply Recipes on Facebook awhile back and it generated a lot of comments. This soup is incredibly easy to make, healthy, and tastes great. I tweaked a few ingredients from the original. The spices are essential to this soup, so please don’t skip them!

Easy Cabbage Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds (grind them in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder used for spices)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

    cabbage soup

    Cabbage Soup

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-7 cups packed of sliced cabbage (I make slices around a quarter inch)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups water (depends on desired thickness of soup)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Put it All Together

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat in a soup pot (8 qt).  Add the garlic, onions, and spices. Cook until onions are softened, 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage to the onions, stirring to mix. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
  3. Add the tomatoes and juices to the onions, again stirring.
  4. Add the chicken broth. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes or until cabbage is thoroughly cooked.
  5. If soup is too thick, add additional water or broth.

This is a light soup. I have sautéed some sliced Andouille sausage for users to add to the soup at their discretion. My husband likes this addition.

My New Favorite Chicken Soup

I published a chicken soup recipe awhile back here that I’ve made for years. These past few months I’ve found a new way of making chicken soup that is much faster to put together and tastes pretty darn good!

My son has been “into” brining poultry after we brined a turkey for Thanksgiving last year. He uses a recipe where uses equal amounts of kosher salt and sugar boiled to completely dissolve and then cool. He then puts two chickens in a large container with the brine and refrigerates over night. The next day he rinses the chickens in cold water, applies an herb run and roasts them. This is absolutely delicious and there is leftover chicken for salads, sandwiches and soups for a week for three of us. Maybe I’ll get more details later and publish a full blog on Brined Chicken! You can use any type of chicken you have available for this soup, however.

chicken soup

Fast Homemade Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup – Fast to Make

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cut up roasted chicken
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I use 2 – 32 oz. boxes of broth – or make your own broth as noted in my original chicken soup recipe).
  • 2-4 cups hot water – depending on how much liquid you want in your soup
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp (generous) of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (10 oz) – I’ve also used fresh chopped bok choy or baby spinach. Leave the spinach out for a couple hours to thaw if possible, but not necessary.
  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or equivalent dried parsley)

Put it Together

  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Add thyme, red pepper flakes, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until just tender – 7-10 minutes.
  2. While veggies are sautéing, warm the chicken broth in another pan until almost boiling. Add this to the original soup pan and bring mixture to a low boil. Add bay leaves.
  3. Rinse the barley in warm water for a minute or two. Add this to the broth mixture. Bring soup back to low boil and simmer until barley is done. This usually takes 35-30 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until it is thawed or add the fresh spinach or bok choy.
  5. Add chicken and parsley. Cook until hot. Let simmer a few more minutes to meld flavors.
  6. Serve with bread, crackers and/or a simple lettuce salad. Enjoy.

White Bean Chicken Chili

I’ve never made white bean chili, but I’ve tasted a few variations. The weather is cold and windy, and it seemed like a good time for a new recipe. This one comes together pretty fast. It is based on several recipes I found and the ingredients I had on hand. We all thought it was pretty good and will make it again.

White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    white bean chili

    White Bean Chicken Chili

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 – 32 oz. box chicken stock (4 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken, diced (preferably the white meat)
  • 5 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese – Monterey Jack, white Cheddar, Pepper Jack. May also use sour cream instead.
Put it Together:
  1. Heat olive oil in large pot. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until slightly cooked – 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add broth, water, and chicken. Cook a few minutes until slow boil.
  4. Remove 1-2 cups liquid and pure two cans of drained, rinsed beans with an immersion blender or food processor. Add to soup.
  5. Add remaining 3 cans rinsed, drained beans and cook mixture 30 minutes or so to blend flavors.
  6. Stir in cilantro.
  7. Serve and top with cheese or sour cream.

New Chili Recipe

Hot Peppers from our garden

Hot Peppers from our garden

I was at my sister’s this past week and she made chilil…. a nice dish to welcome the fall weather. It inspired me to make a pot of chili when I got home. Instead of my usual recipe where I marinate the meat overnight (which should be another entry), I put this together using hot peppers from our garden. Not sure what the variety of pepper it is, but it added a nice kick to the chili. Here’s a picture of the peppers in case anyone knows what they are (I didn’t plant them).

Here’s the recipe as I recall. There is no recipe to reference… just put it together as the mood suited me at the moment.

My New Chili Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 14 oz. cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 14 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4+ hot peppers, minced (wear latex/vinyl gloves when you do this – voice of experience speaking. You are NEVER as careful as you think you will be.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Ancho Chili Powder (much milder and a bit sweeter than regular chili powder)

    Chili server with tortilla chips

  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. of oregano
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Putting it Together:

  1. Brown hamburger, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired & then set aside.
  2. Heat Olive Oil and then saute celery, garlic, and onions until soft. Add hamburger.
  3. Add Ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano and hot peppers. cook a few minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and kidney beans, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Cover and simmer 1-2 hrs to meld the flavors. Add water if it becomes too thick.
  6. Server with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired.

Seafood Corn Chowder

Winter’s almost over and spring “should” be just around the corner. The soups may be put aside for awhile, but want to publish one more that we’ve eaten several times this past winter. I got the original recipe from my “Clean Eating” magazine, and as usual, made a few changes. Here’s our rendition…

Seafood Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (amount depends on heat desired)
  • 2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika (This IS different from the typical Sweet Hungarian Paprika)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, diced
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup milk (1% or 2%)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery; season with salt & pepper.  Cook until soft (8-10 minutes)
  2. Add jalapeno, paprika & thyme & cook an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add broth, bring to boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to simmer until potatoes are just tender (8-10 minutes)
  4. Add corn & milk. Simmer 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour 3-4 cups of soup mixture into a small bowl. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Pour back into soup mixture. This thickens the soup without using a flour mixture and still leave the texture of the veggies.
  6. Add scallops, shrimp, & scallions/parsley. Cook until fish is done (or warmed if using frozen fish).
  7. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with additional parsley or scallions for a finishing touch.

The interesting thing about this soup is the use of the smoked paprika to give it a smokey taste. If you wish, you could add or replace this with a few slices of cooked, crumbled bacon. The choice is yours 🙂

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I love soups of all kinds, and this winter weather makes me want a bowl of soup even more.  Today we are in a “blizzard warning,” so figured some comfort food was in order. There are a lot of variations on Chicken Wild Rice Soup, so I took one a few years ago and made it mine. I believe I picked up the original from my Cooking Light magazine. The ingredient list may seem long, but it really doesn’t take a lot to put this soup together.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups cooked Wild Rice, cooked according to package instructions & drained – amount depends on thickness desired.
  • 1.5 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1.5 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped, diced, or sliced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 (8 oz.) package mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • Additional water if needing to thin soup
  • 3 Tbsp. dry sherry (optional or sub a dry white wine at 1/2 cup)
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (I’ve substituted 2% milk with good results)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp. thyme
  • 3/4 tsp tarragon
  • 3 cups roasted chicken, cut into small pieces or shredded
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms until tender (6-8 minutes)
  3. Add the thyme and tarragon. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the broth, water, sherry, and milk. Bring mixture to a low boil, and cook 2o minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Add chicken and wild rice. Bring to boil and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add parsley and cook and additional minute or two.
  7. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  8. Serve and enjoy. This feeds 4 of us with rarely any leftovers (we have more than one bowl).

Homemade Chicken Soup

Another comfort food for our family is Homemade Chicken Soup. We make it several times every winter and it has become a

Homemade Chicken Soup

tradition for our Christmas Eve meal. My daughter & husband were home for a week and she asked me to make soup while she was home. Here’s the recipe, but note, that there is a lot of flexibility & measurements are not precise to say the least.

Homemade Chicken Soup

First, make the broth:

  • 1  3-4 lb chicken, thawed if frozen (I put in the whole chicken, but you could cut it up if you wish)
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 2-4 whole cloves (put them in the onion halves)
  • 1 bulb garlic, cut in half
  • 1-2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 3-4 stalks celery, cut in large chunks
  1. Put all ingredients in a large pressure cooker. Put enough water in it to just cover the chicken.
  2. Put pressure cooker on stove, cover and heat to boiling, cooking for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Put the pressure cooker weight on the steam vent when it has been putting out steam for several minutes. Cook at 12 lbs pressure for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off and let pressure come back to normal.
  4. Remove the cover from the pressure cooker carefully… drain the chicken broth using a colander into a large stock pan. Discard all solids except the chicken. Remove the meat from the chicken bones and refrigerate until you make the soup. Put the broth in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you can remove any fat that rises to the top.
  5. You should now have some lovely chicken broth.
  6. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or choose not to use one, you can simmer all the above ingredients in a stock pot for several hours until the chicken is done and pulling easily from the bones.

Now put the soup together:

  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 1 lb. carrots, sliced
  • 5-6 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • Diced chicken from the broth above – add as much as you wish. Sometimes I put some aside for sandwiches or another dish.
  • 1 large bunch parsley, chopped (either curly parsley or flat Italian parsley)
  • Chicken broth made above
  1. Put chicken broth on stove and heat to boiling.
  2. Rinse pearled barley in warm water and then add to the chicken broth. Cook 30 minutes or until almost done.
  3. Add carrots, celery, & onions. Cook 15-20 minutes or until done.
  4. Add the chicken and heat until simmering.
  5. Add parsley and cook another 5-10 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.
  7. Serve with fresh bread or crackers.

I will sometimes add diced potatoes in addition to or in place of the barley.

My Lentil Soup

I absolutely LOVE this lentil soup. The inspiration came many years ago from Jane Brody and it has evolved into the recipe below. It is basically a vegetarian recipe if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, but I go for the chicken broth. My husband likes to add some cooked ham to his portion.

My sister changed the white wine to lemon juice and I have to say I like this better than the wine. Without further ado….

My Lentil Soup

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 large onions, chopped
5 carrots, chopped (this is really an “about” as I buy a 1 lb bag of organic carrots and use the whole bag, minus what I munch on)
1 tsp dry oregano (original recipe called for marjoram, but never seem to have it)
1 tsp dry thyme
2 15 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I’ve used regular when I can’t find these)
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (this originally called for 6 oz dry white wine which is also good… I like a Chardonnay or Chablis)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (am always generous with parsley — it adds some green)
Grated cheese for topping – Parmesan, Cheddar, or whatever suits you.

1. Heat oil in soup pot and saute the garlic, onions, carrots, oregano and thyme, stirring for about 5 – 7 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour or until lentils are done.
3. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

White Bean-Pancetta Soup

Not sure where this recipe came from originally, but have been making it for a few years and never make it quite the same way. I know I’ve changed at least 3 of the ingredients/quantities, and don’t even recall the name of the original recipe, so maybe I can call it mine.

When you read the ingredient list, you can tell it’s pretty open to adjusting to your tastes. I love pancetta, but my husband thinks that regular bacon or ham (and more of it) would be better in this soup. Well, since I’m the cook….. :-). I put lemon juice in here, but often think a splash of Chardonnay would be an interesting substitute — just haven’t done it yet… maybe someday when the planets align and  there is Chardonnay on hand plus the desire to make the soup all on the same day.

Anyway, here’s the recipe to use as you wish.

White Bean-Pancetta Soup

3 oz package of pancetta, chopped (that’s how it’s available in local grocery, so that’s what is used – it could be any amount you wish)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced (if you’re not a garlic fan, tone this down)
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup chopped carrots
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tsp. thyme ( I use dried, but sometime want to use fresh when have fresh thyme and the ingredients)
2 Bay leaves
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed. (Have used Cannellini or Great Northern)
4 cups chicken broth (or a 32 oz. box)
zest of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

To put it all together….
1. Heat olive oil in small soup pot and heat
2. Add garlic and pancetta, saute 2-3 minutes
3. Add carrots, onions, celery, thyme and saute another 5-7 minutes or until veggies are just starting to get tender
4. Add broth and bay leaves. Bring to boil, turn down heat, and let simmer 15-20 minutes or until veggies are done.
5. Add parsley, lemon juice and zest. Heat a few more minutes.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty bread and/or salad and enjoy!

I like to make this soup for Sunday dinner after church as it comes together fast and we’ve usually had a later breakfast, so it isn’t a heavy meal.

Roasted Asparagus Soup

Had a long day at work (on a Saturday, no less), so on my way home, was thinking about something light and comforting for supper. Had seen a recipe for Asparagus Soup in my Prevention magazine, so stopped at the grocery store to pickup some fresh asparagus.

Of course, instead of measuring, I just guesstimated the chicken broth and put in way too much. So what’s a person to do… I pureed a can of Cannellini beans to thicken the soup and it turned out great. So here’s my twist on the recipe.

Roasted Asparagus Soup

2 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or whatever you happen to dump in the pot, as was my case)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
8 oz. baby portebella mushrooms, sliced (original recipe called for shiitake mushrooms, but didn’t have any)
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 425.
Take 9 x 13 inch pan, lay asparagus in. Mix together with salt, olive oil, and garlic. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until starting to brown.
Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in pan and saute mushrooms until golden (5-6 minutes). Remove and place in a separate bowl/plate.
Melt rest of butter in pan and saute onion until starting to carmelize… 10-12 minutes.
When asparagus is done, remove tips from half of them and set aside.
Mix asparagus, beans, broth in small pot and puree using an immersion blender.
Add mushr0oms and pepper.
Bring to boil. Season w/ additional salt and pepper as desired.
Garnish with reserved asparagus tips.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Could’ve eaten the whole pot, but figured I should share. I’m sure you can come up with your own twist also