Enchilada Soup


Hello there– We had a unexpected drop in from our oldest, Micah, last weekend.  Loved the chance to catch up with that guy.  And since is was rainy and cold (hooray for rain in SoCal!), we lunched with a big pot of this soup and a slab of hot cornbread.

It’s rich and just spicy enough, chock full of chicken, beans and corn.  Topped with a few goodies, delicious!

2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. chicken broth (2 cans)
14 oz. can enchilada sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
14 oz. can corn, liquid drained
14 oz. can black beans, rinsed
14 oz. can chili beans, sauce & all!
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 rotisserie chicken, boned and cut to bits.
garnish:  tortilla strips, avocado, grated cheddar, sour cream, green onion…

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot.  Then add in the chopped onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring now and then.  Then add in the garlic for a minute more.

Pour in the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, black beans, chili beans, cumin and salt.  Stir it all together and bring to a strong simmer and then add in the chicken.

Simmer for 5 minutes more and serve it up hot with whatever garnishes you like.


Beef Bourguignon Soup

Hello all– Larry and I arrived last night for a week in Wisconsin with our kids here.  And guess what!!  This afternoon it snowed!!  Not a lot, just a few minutes of flakes coming down and it was magical!  I’m hoping for more snow before our week here is over.

Which brings me to this rich and hearty soup.  On a snowy (or maybe not so snowy) winter day I think you’d love a bowl of Beef Bourguignon Soup, with a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread– just right!

6 slices of bacon
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 pounds sirloin steak
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 tab. tomato paste
2 cups red wine
6 cups beef broth
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. brown sugar
6 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1 pound baby yellow potatoes, Cut to bite sized pieces*
2 tab. butter
8 oz brown mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
garnish: parsley

Cut the bacon into bits and cook it in a large soup pot until is it crispy, but not too browned.  Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.

Mix together the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in mixing bowl.  Cut the sirloin into smallish pieces.  Coat half of the sirloin in the flour mixture.  Shake off the excess flour and brown the beef (about 3 minutes, stirring a bit to coat all sides) in the hot bacon fat.  Remove that beef with a slotted spoon and do the same with the second half of the sirloin.  Take the second round of beef from the pot when it’s browned and set all the beef aside.

In the same soup pot, cook the chopped onion on high for about 3 minutes (add a bit of olive oil if the pan looks dry).  Then add in the garlic and cook a minute more.  Next pour in the wine and tomato paste and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the browned sirloin, the beef broth, thyme, bay leaf and brown sugar into the pot and bring it to a low simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the beef is tender.

Then add in the carrots and potatoes and cook 25 minutes more until the veggies are cooked but firm.

While they are cooking, melted the butter in a sauce pan.  Add in the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook the mushrooms 8 to 10 minutes until they are tender.  When the carrots and potatoes are done, add in the cooked mushrooms and the bacon.  Serve the soup up hot with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.

*The recipe I worked from called for 2 large Russet potatoes cut to bit, but I had these smaller golden potatoes in the fridge, so that’s what I used.  If you use big Russets, then peel them before you cut them up.  Golden potatoes don’t need to be peeled.

Potato Ham Chowder

Hi there–  Heading out this afternoon to spend a week in San Francisco to hangout with our kids and those SF grand-kids.  Can’t wait!  So I’ve been trying to amass a pile of leftovers in the fridge to leave behind for Larry— including this potato soup.

Hearty and hot from the soup pot, it’s chock full of tender potatoes, corn, carrots and those little bits of ham.  Serve it up with a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread– dinner!

2 tab. butter
2 tab. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. chicken broth
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 cups milk
1 tsp. thyme leaves
2 cups ham, cut to bits
2 cups corn, fresh, frozen or canned
2 tab. cornstarch
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
garnish: cheddar & green onions

Heat the butter and olive oil in a soup pot.  The drop in the cut carrots and onion and cook for 5 minutes until they are tender.  Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

Then add in the chicken broth and cubed potatoes.  Bring the simmer back up to a low boil and let it cook for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Add the milk, thyme, ham and corn and bring the soup back up to a simmer.  In a container with a tight fitting lid shake the cornstarch with 1/2 cup water.  Pour it into the soup, stirring until the soup thickens (about 3 or 4 minutes)  Taste it — and add salt & pepper until it’s just right!

Zucchini Corn Chowder

Hey there– OK, I’m ready– to have a new start after Christmas.  Tree down- check!  Decorations boxed up- check check!  Fudge all eaten– double check!  House in order again- mostly checkity check (close enough)!

Here’s a flavorful bowl of soup– warm and filling.  If you want to be a bit more healthy, change out the bacon for olive oil (we just had a bit of bacon leftover in the freezer, calling to be used!).  With a big chunk of study bread, just right for a winter’s evening.

1 tab. butter
4 strips of bacon, cut to small bits (or substitute 3 tab. olive oil)
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, but to small bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
2 smallish zucchini, cut to small pieces
1 cup half & half or whole milk
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish: chopped parsley or grated cheddar

In a soup pot, cook the butter and bacon until the bacon starts to crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside, leaving the fat/butter in the pot.

Add in the cut onion and carrots and cook until they are tender (about 5 minutes), stirring now & then.  Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Pour in the water along with the bay leaf and dried basil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the corn and zucchini and simmer 5 minutes more until the zucchini is tender.

Take 2 cups of the mixture out of the pot to a blender (or with a stick blender) and puree it to thicken the soup.  Add the puree and half & half to the pot.  Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the bacon back into the pot.

Bring it back to a simmer jut to heat it all through and serve with a sprinkle of grated cheddar or chopped parsley (or both!).


Beef Barley Soup

Hey there– Soup!!  Glorious soup!  It’s finally cooled down enough here to put on a big bubbling pot of soup (although I’m still waiting for a chilly night to make a fire in the fireplace).  This soup’s rich and hearty and with a spot of salad and a chunk of wheaty bread, it makes fine fall supper (with leftovers for lunches!).

2 tab. olive oil
1 pound beef chuck steak (or stew meat)*
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tab. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried basil
4 cups water
2  14 oz. cans beef broth
3/4 cup barley
2 tab. cornstarch (optional)

Salt & pepper the beef and cut it into smallish pieces.  Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Put the 1/4 cup flour in a plastic bag and add the meat.  Shake until the meat is coated and then drop it into the hot soup pot.  Cook until the beef’s browned all all sides.  Take it out of the pot and set aside.

In the same sop pot, drop in the onion and carrots (add a little more oil if the pan looks dry).  Cook for 5 minutes until the onion and carrots start to get tender.

Then add in the garlic, tomato paste and basil.  Stir it up.  Next pour in the water and beef broth and then return the meat to the pot.  Bring to a low simmer and cook 45 minutes until the beef is tender.

Add in the barely and simmer 45 minutes more until the barley is soft and yummy.

If you like your broth thicker (I do!), you can combine 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it until it is thoroughly blended and stir it into the bubbling soup until it thickens– 2 or 3 minutes.  Enjoy!

*I used chuck steak because it was on sale at the market.  The recipe I worked from used stew meat & it may take a little longer to cook before the meat is tender.

Golden Chicken Tortellini Soup


Hello all–  Tucked in the house tonight.  It’s been raining–again!!  Do I keep talking about the rain??  Well, after years of drought, we’re just all soaking it up here!  My yard is so happy!

And here’s a good chilly weather supper– just add a sturdy loaf of bread and a bright green salad.  Warming, savory, noodle-y soup.

2 tab. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled & sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tab. fresh thyme leaves)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. cheese tortellini (about 3 cups dried)
1/3 cup cream (or half & half)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 cup baby spinach leaves, stems removed, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Stir in the onions until they have wilted.  Add the carrots and garlic and cook 2 minutes more.

Cut each chicken breast in 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the pot along with the chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper .  Let it simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cut to small bite size pieces.

Put the cut chicken and the tortellini into the pot and simmer according to the directions on the tortellini package (my tortellini from Trader Joe’s said to cook it 15-17 minutes).

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir in the cream, bell pepper and spinach.  Let it simmer a couple more minutes to heat through and it’s ready to serve!


Carrot & Parsnip Red Lentil Soup


Hello there– How are you doing– eating healthier after all the Christmas food splurge??   This big pot of soup was an attempt at a hearty veggie dinner –until I decided to chop up the end of the Christmas ham and add it to the pot.  With or without ham, it’s a warming winter meal– best eaten by the fireplace with a big chunk of wheaty bread.

2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped to bits
2 cloves garlic
2 large parsnips, peeled & grated
2 more large parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 carrot, peeled & grated
3 more carrots, peeled & chopped
3 pints chicken broth (48 oz.)
1 cup water
1 tsp. cumin
1 cup red lentils
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup ham, chopped to bits (optional!!)

Heat the oil in a soup pot.  Throw in the onion bits and cook a couple minutes until it turns translucent.  Then add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Add the chopped parsnip and carrots and cook 3 or 4 minutes until they start to soften.

Then stir in the grated parsnips and carrots, the chicken broth, water, cumin and red lentils.  Stir it now and then so the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Put on the lid and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to a low simmer and let the soup cook 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the soup thickens.  Stir in the ham and season to taste with salt & pepper. Enjoy!


Butternut Squash Apple Cider Soup



Hey there–Been wanting to make this soup every since my stay with Ani and Brian, when she made a pot of this for our dinner there (thanks Ani!).  It has a couple secret ingredients that make it rich and flavorful– beer and apple cider!  With a simple salad, a warming winter meal.

2 tab. butter
5 cups butternut squash, peeled & cut in cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. bottle pale ale
1 cup apple cider
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup cheddar
garnish: sour cream, pumpkin seeds, black pepper, marjoram leaves

Melt the butter in a soup pot.  Then drop in the squash, garlic, onion and salt.  Saute 7 or 8 minutes until the squash is slightly softened.

Pour in the ale, cider and chicken broth. Simmer on medium low for 10 minutes until the squash is softened.  Transfer the soup to a blender -or use a stick blender to puree until it is smooth.

In the soup pot, stir the cheddar into the soup until it melts.  And serve it up hot and steamy.




Hi there– I haven’t posted rerun recipes here yet.  But a couple weeks ago a made of pot of this for my “under-the weather, busy mom with 4 great kids & an awesome husband, neighbor” and it smelled so good that a couple days later I made a big potful for us.  It’s my favorite soup, hands down.

So even though I posted the recipe 3 years ago, I’m thinking by now, it’s time to bring it up again.  I’d like to invite you over for a big hot bowl of this stuff.  But the best I can do is to send you all a recipe rerun and hope you give it a try.  It’s really that delicious.  And it’s fast, and mostly beans and veggies.  Have I talked you into trying it yet???

1 onion chopped
Splash of olive oil
2  14 oz. cans yellow hominy, drained & rinsed
14 oz. can of chili beans, drained  rinsed
14 oz. can of small canelini beans, drained & rinsed
2  14 oz. cans of chicken broth
7 oz. can of salsa verde (I like Hedrez brand)
1 tsp.cumin
1/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)
2 tab. cornstarch
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine

garnish (optional)– sour cream, avocado, grated cheddar, cilantro, chopped red pepper

In your soup pot, cook the chopped onion in the olive oil til it starts to brown.  Then add in the hominy, chili beans, canelini beans, chicken broth, salsa verde and cumin.  Let it simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Shake together the cornstarch and milk in a container with a tight fitting lid until it’s all blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup for a few minutes until it thickens.  Stir in the chopped cilantro.

Serve up the soup pipping hot with a side of cornbread.  Homey good.



Pasta e Fagioli

IMG_3793Hi friends– here’s a steamy chunky soup that I had for dinner last weekend and leftovers for lunch all week.  That’s a big pot of soup!  With a sturdy loaf of bread and a bright salad slathered with balsamic vinegar, you can pretend you’re eating in an Italian village (or just sitting in the teacher’s lunchroom at school).

1 cup macaroni*
1 pound milk Italian sausage
2 tab. olive oil
1 onion, cut fine
2 carrots, cut to small bits
3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 cup water
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 can cannellini beans (small while beans)
garnish: basil (or marjoram)** and parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in your soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Then crumble and cook the Italian sausage til it’s well browned.

Remove the cooked sausage from the pot and drop in the onions and carrots.  Cook 3 minutes, until they soften a bit and add in the garlic.

Next stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, water and basil.  Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.  Then add in the white beans, pasta and roasted pepper and cook just a couple minutes more to heat it all through.  Serve it up hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and some shredded basil or  marjoram.

*The recipe I worked from called for digitali pasta– but I used the smaller version, macaroni salad pasta because I had it in the cupboard.
**I used marjoram, because it grows like a week in the side yard.


White Chicken Chili with Garbanzos & Cannellini Beans

IMG_3617Hi there– Soup’s here!!  After weeks, of crazy hot weather this fall, it’s finally cooled down!   I wore sweaters to school every day this week.  And switched over to my cozy winter pajamas.  We haven’t touched the air conditioning.  And soup!  Glorious soup!

I made a ample pot of this stuff and took soup lunches to school with me all week.  And it was delish–  all those chewy beans along with the tender chicken and slightly spicy broth.  So glad to be back to wonderful warming soup days!

1 serrano chile
1 medium onion, cut to bits
2 tab. olive oil
4 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tab. flour
1 tsp. adobo sauce
1 chipotle chili, seeds removed, minced fine**
2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
1 roasted chicken, boned and cut to nice bites
2 11 oz. cans white corn kernels, drained & rinsed
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 7 oz. can salsa verde*
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup half & half (or whole milk)
3 tab. cornstarch
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste
garnish: sour cream, avocado, corn kernels (saved from the recipe), cilantro

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Then toss in the cut up onion and the Serrano chile, cut lengthwise and the seeds removed.  Cook 4 or 5 minutes until the onion starts to brown.
Remove the Serrano and discard (unless you like your soup way spicier than I do!)

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, adobo sauce, minced chipotle chili and 1 can of the cannellini beans that have been drained and rinsed.  With a stick blender whirl it all into a thick paste.  Or remove the mixture to a blender and blend it all up together and return to the pot.

To that mixture, add the rest of the chicken stock, garlic and basil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then put in the chicken, corn, the 2nd can of cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and salsa verde.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes more.

Jus before serving, shake together the half & half and the cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup for a few minutes, until it thickens a bit.  Then add in the lime juice and cilantro.  Simmer just a minute more.

Serve it up hot and garnish with sour cream, avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro and reserved corn kernels.  I hope you like it as much as we did!

*I like the Hedrez salsa verde.
**You can more chipotle, if you love more heat.


Wild Rice Chicken Soup

DSC00583Hi all– It’s Sunday afternoon soup day.  Larry’s got the football game on and we’re nestled in at the coffee table.  Outside it’s been raining all day, dripping through the maple trees out the window.  Steaming soup.  It’s rich and creamy, savory with tender chicken bits and the brightness of the rosemary– just right.

1 cup wild rice blend*
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and chopped to bits
1/2 red bell pepper, cut to small bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (8 tab.) butter, divided
4  1/2 cups chicken broth (3 14oz. cans)
1/4 tsp. each of dried basil, thyme and rosemary
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
2 cups whole milk

Slice the chicken breasts to flat filets and set aside.

Cook the rice according the to directions on the package. The mix I used took about 25 minutes to cook through and be tender.

Melt 2 tab. of the butter in a soup pot.  Toss in the onion and carrot bits.  Cook about 4 minutes until they are tender, then add in the garlic and red pepper.

To the soup pot add the chicken broth, basil, thyme and rosemary.  Bring it to a simmer and then drop in the chicken filets and simmer for 15 minutes unitl the chicken is tender, cooked through.

While that is cooking, in another pan, melt the other 6 tab. of butter and then stir in the flour to make a paste.  With the heat still on, slowly add in the milk, stirring all the while–until it is smooth and thick.  Turn off the heat.

When the chicken is done cooking, removed it to a cutting board.  Whisk the flour mixture into the soup pot until it’s smooth (no lumps!) to thicken the soup.  Add in the rice and salt and pepper it until it tastes just right.

Shred the chicken with 2 forks into tidy little bite size pieces.  Add it to the pot.  Simmer just a minute or two until it’s all hot– and serve it up steaming into bowls.  Enjoy!

*I love Lundberg Wild Blend Rice


White Bean & Bacon Tomato Soup

DSC00443Hello all– There’s not usually bacon hanging around in our fridge.  But when the kids are coming home for a visit, I head straight for the market and get all the things they like to eat. Including bacon.  Lots of it.

So now they’ve come and gone for Christmas/New Years.  And there’s still a bit of bacon lingering in our kitchen.  What better to do with it, than a big pot of white bean & bacon tomato soup?  It’s one of those warm & cozy soups– sweet little beans, salty bacon and all that rich tomato holding it all together.  With a slab of brown bread and a crunchy salad, it’s dinner.

1/3 pound bacon (about 6 slices), cut to bits
2 onions, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tab. fresh thyme leaves
2 late bay leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
several grinds of fresh pepper
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
14 oz. can petit cut tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 14 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed in a strainer
garnish– thyme sprigs & grade parmesan romano

Cook the cut bacon in a soup pot until lightly browned.  Remove the bacon.  Pour out all but 3 tab. of the bacon fat from the pot.

Add the cut onions to the pot.  When they are lightly browned, add in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Cook a minute more.

Then add in the crushed tomatoes, petit cut tomatoes, chicken broth and cannellini beans. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes.

Serve it up hot topped with grated parmesan romano cheese and a sprig of thyme just to make it pretty.


Chicken & Noodle Meatball Soup

IMG_3291Hello friends– I like this bowl of polka dot soup– rolly little meatballs, round slices of carrot and circular little pasta bits.  It’s just cute– as well as warming, savory and delicious.  Just a nice light meal to slip in to the middle of all your holiday eating…

8 oz. ground chicken*
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese -plus more for garnish
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tab. olive oil
1 leek, sliced into rounds
4 cloves garlic, minced**
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup ditalini (or other small pasta)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin into rounds
1 cup baby spinach, cut to shreds
green onion, chopped and grated parmesan for garnish

In a mixing bowl thoroughly combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan, egg, salt and pepper.  Form the mixture into tiny 1/2″ meatballs (makes about 30), rolling them with your hands.  And set them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop them into the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are browned and cooked through.

Meanwhile as the meatballs are cooking.  heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Drop in the slices of leek and cook them about 3 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook a minute more.  Then pour in the chicken broth –plus 3 cups of water.  Bring it all to a boil.

When the both is boiling, add in the carrots and pasta and cook 7 or 8 minutes until the pasta is al dente.  Then drop in the meatballs and the spinach and cook 3 minutes more until the spinach is wilted.

Spoon it hot, hot into bowls and top with grated parmesan and sliced green onion.  And serve it up with a chunk of sturdy bread.

*This week at the market, ground turkey was on sale– so I made it with turkey instead of chicken.  Either would be just fine.
**The recipe I worked from asked from 2 cloves of garlic, but I used 4– because, well, I just love garlic!  You might like less.


Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup

IMG_2872Hi there– Are you ready for some modest meals– knowing that you’ve eaten your way through Thanksgiving — and  Christmas eating is just around the corner?  Here’s a simple but hearty cold weather supper, just needs a crust of bread and perhaps a bright salad.  Dinner is served.

1 yellow onion, chopped fine
3 tab. olive oil
1  1/2 cup sliced ham (from the deli) cut to small bits
2 cloves garlic
1 rounded tsp. of curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 pound bag of yellow split peas
1/2 red bell pepper, cut fine
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tab. cornstarch
yogurt or sour cream– and more cilantro to top it off

IMG_2877Heat up the oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  Then throw in the chopped onion and cook until it starts to wilt.  Add in the ham and stir it til the ham starts to brown a bit.  Add the 2 cloves of garlic, curry powder and cumin and stir them in to coat all the onions and ham.

Then add in the yellow split peas, red pepper, salt and ground black pepper along with 8 cups of water.

Bring it all to a mild simmer and let it cook for 30 to 35 minutes until the peas are tender.

If you like your soup broth nice and thick (like me)– shake together the cornstarch with about a cup of water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is well blended.  Stir it into the hot soup and stir while it continues to simmer– just a couple minutes until the soup is thick.

Garnish it with yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle on a bit of cilantro.  Enjoy!

Cozy Lentil Soup

IMG_2488Hi everyone– It rained!!  It finally rained– all through the night and pounding showers early this morning.  Our drought riddled yard was soaking it up.  The suns come out now, but there are still drips dropping from the trees and drops speckling our windows.  All at once, everything feels so fresh and new.

Just the day for some lentil soup.  Love this because it’s so easy– Ten minutes to throw it into the pot and then just wait while it simmers for half an hour.  And bacon.  It has bacon.
It makes a nice big potful– we’ll be having leftovers in lunches this week…

4 strips of bacon
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2  14 oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with onion & garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 cups lentils
salt & pepper to taste

granish–sour cream, cilantro or green onions, chopped, freshly ground pepper

Cut the strips of bacon into small bits.  Brown them in the bottom of your soup pot.  Remove them to a paper towel.  Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.

Heat the olive oil in the pot.  Drop in the onions and cook until they are translucent.  Then add in the garlic and peppers and cook 3 minutes more.

Add in the tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin paprika, cumin and lentils.  Simmer on low for 35 to 40 minutes until the lentils are tender.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Put the bacon back in just before serving.

Serve it up hot topped with a spoonful of sour cream, and a little something green for pretty.

Cauliflower Chowder

IMG_0655Hello all–  Wish I could invite you to sit down with a cup of this warming soup.  It’s the kind you’d like to sit and talk over with friends.

The real truth is –it’s not really soup weather here yet in So. California– but I’m tired of waiting and it’s the end of October for Pete’s sake!!  So we’re eating soup.  I love making a big pot and having lunch leftovers to take to school.  So here’s to soup– even when its 85 degrees outside!

4 slices bacon, cut into bits
3 tab. butter
1 onion, minced
2 carrots, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 head cauliflower, cut into nice chunks
1/3 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

garnish–the bacon, green onion, shredded cheddar
Cut the bacon into small bits and drop it into a hot soup pot to brown.  When it’s crispy, remove it from the pan to drain on a paper towel.

While that’s cooking, trim the cauliflower and cut it into bite size bits.

Then after the bacon’s cooked, wipe out the pot with a paper towel and melt the butter in the bottom of the pot.  Drop in the onion and cook until it starts to become translucent.

Add in the carrots, garlic and cauliflower.  Cook it for 4 or 5 minutes more until they are softened.

Sitr the flour into the pot to coat all the vegetables.  Then slowly pour in the chicken broth and the milk, stirring to help it all thicken.  Season the pot with salt and pepper to taste.

And let it all simmer on low heat until the cauliflower and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes more.

Spoon the hot soup into bowls and garnish it with the cheddar, bacon and sliced green onions.  Hearty and hot!!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

IMG_2573Hello all–  This week our young mom’s group* got together after our summer hiatus.  I made a major pot of soup (did I really think we’d eat that much?!) and set the table, but I didn’t know it would be a celebration dinner– Esther and her Brian finally signed the adoptions papers this week for their little guy– it’s been 3 years of unbelievable ups and downs.  We all couldn’t have been more thrilled!!

So this simple chunky soup became a special occasion supper– I think it was yummy enough to measure up– along with a bright fruity green salad and some orange poppy seed cornbread.  So happy for Esther and her sweet family!

splash olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
3 cups chicken broth
14 0z. can green enchilada sauce**
14 oz. black beans
14 oz. can corn
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped to nice little bites***
1 cup cheddar shredded
salt to taste
toppings:  avocado, cheddar, cilantro, red onion, chopped tomatoes, chips…

Heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pot.  Throw in the onions and cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they are completely wilted, then drop in the garlic and cook a minute more.

Stir in the cornmeal.  Then stir in the chicken broth until it’s all blended and bubbling.  then add in the enchiladas sauce, black beans, corn, tomatoes and cumin.

I’m averse to big chunks of tomato floating in my soup, so I smoothed it all out with a stick blender at this point– but you can totally skip that if you’re found of tomatoes.

Then stir in the chicken and finally the cheddar.  Bring it to a simmer and taste to see if you want to add salt– I added just a 1/4 tsp.

It’s ready!!  So easy.  You can serve it with any or all of the garnishes– and with a fruity salad and a slab of cornbread on the side it’s a happy meal.

*It’s a young moms group– but I’m an old mentor mom in this group.

**I love Herdrez brand enchilada sauce (and their green salsa)
***Used a rotisserie chicken from the market, plus several cans of all those ingredients– makes the recipe so fast and easy.


Summer Corn Soup

IMG_2234Hello all–  Supper tonight landed at the intersection of summer and fall. The last of the sweet summer corn cooked into a hearty fall-ish soup.  It’s a little lighter and fresher than the normal corn chowder.  The sweetness of that summer corn shines through.

3 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small red or yukon gold potatoes
3 ears of corn
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 tab. cornstarch
salt & freshly ground pepper
Garnish: paprika, green onion & avocado

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and then add in the chopped onion.  When the onion is wilted, add in the minced garlic and cooked 2 minutes more.

While that’s happening– cook the ears of corn for 6 minutes in the microwave in a dish with water and a couple shakes of salt.  Cut the corn off of the cobs.  (save a 1/2 cup of corn aside to use as a garnish)

Cut the potatoes into small bits.  When the corn is done cooking, pop the potatoes into the microwave in the dish with water & a shake of salt.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Then add the corn, potatoes, chicken broth and milk to the onions in the soup pot.  Stir it up and taste.  Season with salt & pepper til it’s just right.   Bring it to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

In a container with a tight lid, shake together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup water.  Add it to the simmering soup and stir a couple minutes until it thickens.

Serve it up hot– and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, some chopped green onion, avocado and saved corn. Makes 4 -6 lovely bowls of soup.


Coconut Curry Lentil Soup


Hello there– Is it still soup weather where you live?  After  a warm winter here, it’s dipping down into the 60’s this week– and it’s suppose to rain today!!  Boy, do we need rain.
So to celebrate our chilly, soggy day ahead, here’s a nice light soup–sounds about right for a drizzly spring day.

2 cups lentils
splash olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut to bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
7 cups water
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. yellow curry powder
14 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 tab. lime juice
lime slices & cilantro for garnish

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  When it’s hot, throw in the onion.  Cook it 3 to 4 minutes until the onion bits cook through.  Then add in the red pepper and garlic.  Cook 3 minutes more.

Pour in the tomato sauce, water, coconut milk, curry powder, garbanzo beans and lentils.  Bring it to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.

When you’re ready to serve it up hot, add in the lime juice and top each bowl with some sprigs of cilantro.