Archive for the ‘soup’ Category

I had leftover rice to use up. I usually opt for fried rice but the husband had a major Chinese food craving last night and I wasn’t about to make homemade fried rice so soon after eating the “real” deal.  

 So I set to thinking. I was cooking up some chicken for chicken salad and had a bunch leftover. I pulled everything out of the fridge that I wanted used (pickled jalapeños, rice, chicken, salsa, cooked kidney beans, and chicken broth) and then skipped out to the freezer and found corn and zucchini. The basement yielded roasted tomato sauce and canned tomato chunks. Yes, soup it was all destined to be. 

I love when it comes together so easily and yields such mouthwatering results. Brad went nuts for it! 

 Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

1 T lard 

1/2 onion,  diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 qt canned tomatoes 

1 pt tomato sauce (roasted is yummy!)

1/2 cup salsa

2 canned jalapeños, seeded and diced (green chilies would be the store-bought alternative, I believe)

1 qt chicken stock

1 pt frozen corn

1 pt frozen diced zucchini

4 cups cooked kidney beans 

1 1/2 t cumin

1 t salt

3 cups leftover rice

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, etc,  for serving 

Heat lard in a 5-6qt soup pot. Add onion and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and then the tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, jalapeños, stock, corn, zucchini, beans, cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes. Add rice and cook another 10 minutes or so. Add chicken and heat through. Serve immediately with desired toppings. A fresh loaf of sour dough doesn’t hurt, either. 

Yield: about a gallon 


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At this year’s soirée, my aunt served us the most wonderful soup. It was smooth and warm, flavors perfectly balanced. I don’t think my version beats hers, but this is what I came up with using what I already had on hand.  I really wished for more cilantro but the tiny volunteers in the garden only gave me six little leaves. Parsley had to do. 

 Only one child gagged, so I consider that a win. Baby even begged for more spoonfuls!  

 Winter Squash Soup with Corn Relish

Adapted from here

2 T olive oil

1/2 of a small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 t minced cilantro 

4 cups cooked butternut squash 

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

2-3 cups water 

1 1/2 t salt

Pinch red pepper flakes 

Corn relish, below

Heat oil in pot. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. Add garlic and stir and sauté another minute or so. Add remaining ingredients, except for corn relish, and cook until corn is soft. Purée with stick blender until smooth, adding more water if you want a thinner soup. Serve warm with corn relish sprinkled on top.

Serves: 4-6

Corn Relish

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 T minced parsley

1 T lime juice

1 T olive oil 

1/4 t salt

Dash black pepper 

Mix all together and serve with soup. 

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A perfect Christmas soup, what with those reds and greens. Also a perfect antidote to all that sugar I know you’ve been nibbling.


I first had this soup at a family get together a few years ago. One of my aunts made it. It’s a hearty and meaty stew. Typically I try to stretch meat in soups but this is one that I usually leave as is.


Italian Peasant Stew
Adapted from Taste of Home
1 pound bulk pork sausage*
2 onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t cayenne pepper
3/4 t fennel seed, crushed
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1 quart diced tomatoes, undrained
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart white beans (whatever you have on hand)
10 oz frozen spinach, chopped, no need to drain
2 cups shredded chicken
Salt to taste

*or use Italian sausage and skip the fennel

Brown sausage and onions. Add garlic the last minute. Add seasonings, stock, tomatoes, and beans. Simmer 30 minutes. Add chicken and spinach and through. I like to make this a few hours ahead and then leave it sit on the stove til supper, reheating if necessary. The extra time blends the flavors beautifully.

Serves: 10

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SONY DSCClassic American dining, taken up a notch or two. Quite delicious, especially the bisque. The sandwiches are not for the mushroom-faint-of-heart. You can really taste them. Wonderful dipped in the bisque.

SONY DSCTomato Basil Bisque
Adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook

1 quart tomato juice
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 pint plain tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T minced onion
1 T dried basil
1/2 t black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 T flour

Dump the tomato products, garlic, onion, basil, and pepper into the crockpot. Cook on low for about 5 hours.

Whisk the cream and flour together. Whisk into soup and cook until thickened, another 20 or 30 minutes. Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Yield: about 2 quarts

Mushroom Grilled Cheese
Adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook

2 cups minced fresh mushrooms
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t prepared horseradish mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T minced onion, lightly sauteed
8 – 10 slices bread

Mix mushrooms, cheese, Worcestershire, mustard, mayo, and onion together. Divide between 4 – 5 slices of bread. Top with remaining bread. Butter both sides of sandwiches and grill on a skillet over low heat until golden and filling is hot. Serve with tomato soup.

Yield: 4 – 5 sandwiches

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This is a childhood favorite of mine. I was never one of those children who hated zucchini. Serve it to me fried, boiled, or stewed and I would gobble it up. Mmm.

I know it’s hot out. I know you don’t feel like turning the stove on for two hours. But I think you won’t be disappointed if you just dive in and do it.

The zucchini are somehow transformed in those juicy tomatoes. Even though they are cooked for a while, they don’t turn to mush. They are just soft and silky smooth. And the fresh herbs elevate this dish to delectable heights.

Please use fresh herbs.


Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes
Recipe from my mom

1 onion, chopped
2 zucchini or other summer squash, about 8 inches long each, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt (1 t if using fresh tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced tomatoes, canned or fresh (peel if using fresh)
6 large basil leaves, chopped
1 sprig oregano, leaves removed and chopped

In a covered pot, sweat the zucchini and onions in the oil with the salt over very low heat for about 45 minutes or until fairly soft. Add the garlic and cook another few minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Summer until thick, another hour or so. Stir in the herbs just before serving.

Serve piping hot with sweet corn on the cob or let it cool to room temp and eat it like a summer stew. Yum.

Yield: about 4 cups.

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Does anyone know why this is called Colorado Pie? I like to hear the history behind recipes and their names.


The original recipe didn’t call for potatoes and also had more meat in it. I had only thawed a 1/2 pound of meat so I added the potato to fill it out. It was delicious and I think I’ll always do it this way. The pie still felt plenty meaty to me.


I have to be honest and tell you that the kids did not like this. They were in awful moods this evening, though, so perhaps they aren’t good judges. Brad was not around (it’s rye chopping time!) so he didn’t have any. But I loved it! Very easy meal.


Colorado Pie

Adapted from More with Less

1/2 pound ground beef or venison

1/2 of an onion, chopped

1 medium potato, cut in small cubes

2 cups fresh or frozen green beans



1 recipe condensed tomato soup (recipe below)

1 double whole wheat pie crust (I doubled this recipe)

Cook the potato and green beans until soft.

Brown the meat and onion. Use a little oil or butter if the meat is very lean. When brown, add the cooked veggies, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the soup.

Roll out the bottom crust and fit into the pie pan. Do not crimp. Roll out the second crust and when it’s ready, pour the filling into the pan and then top with the second crust. Cut off excess around edges, crimp, and cut a few slits in the top. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and crust is done.

Serves: 4 – 6


Condensed Tomato Soup

Adapted from More with Less

2 T fat (butter, oil, etc.)

3 T unbleached flour

1/2 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water

Melt the fat in a small pan. Whisk in the flour. Slowly pour in the sauce and water, mixing all the while. Cook, whisking constantly, until bubbly and thick. Use in any recipe that calls for condensed tomato soup.

Yield: about the same amount as a 10-oz can of condensed soup

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I love soup. You take random bits of food floating around in the fridge and freezer, throw them in a pot, and call it a meal. Easy, economical, and wholesome.

The flavor of simple soups such as these really depends on the stock you use. I prefer homemade but if you are going with something bought, make sure it’s one whose flavor pleases you because you will definitely taste it in the end result.

Have fun with soup! I very rarely follow a recipe so I didn’t write down any amounts for the ingredients here. That’s the great thing about it. If you don’t have an ingredient you can very well skip it or replace it with something else.

Vegetable Soup

chopped onion

olive oil

cubed potatoes

diced carrots

stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, whatever)

frozen corn

chopped cabbage

chopped beet greens or Swiss chard

Italian seasonings or herbs of choice



Saute the onions in the oil until soft. Add the potatoes, carrots, and enough stock to cover. Simmer until veggies are nearly soft. Add the remaining ingredients along with more stock to make the soup a nice consistency. Simmer another 20 minutes or until all veggies are cooked. Serve with bread, biscuits, or muffins.

Yield: as much as you want!

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