Easy French Onion Soup

Serves 4 as a first course

one yellow onion, thinly sliced, slices halved crosswise
olive oil and butter for the pan
2.5 cups chicken stock or broth
1.5 cups beef stock or broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
sliced sourdough bread
Swiss cheese, sliced or grated

Saute the onion over medium heat until beginning to soften but not color.  Cover and continue to cook until very soft. Add the stock/broth and thyme and simmer as long as you can.  Remove thyme.

Toast bread.  Top with cheese.  Broil until bubbly.  Cut into 1″ squares.

Ladle soup into bowls.  Top with cheese toast squares (cheese side up).


Published in: on February 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slightly adapted from “The I Heart Naptime Cookbook” by Jamielyn Nye

Serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, roasted
4 cups water
2 teaspoons Better than Buillon chicken base
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
14.5-oz can petite diced tomatoes with juice
2/3 cup frozen corn kernels
4-oz can diced green chiles
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped zucchini (optional)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

crushed tortilla chips
small cheese cubes (pepper jack is great)
sour cream
pico de gallo

Put all the soup ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat until the chicken begins to fall apart.  When you are ready to eat, remove the chicken and cut down to bite-sized pieces.  In each soup bowl, put some chicken, chips and cheese cubes as desired.  Pour the soup over.  Add toppings as desired.

Published in: on November 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Go-To Gazpacho

From You’ve Got it Made by Ellie Krieger

1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded, divided
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, divided
1.5 lbs rope tomatoes (4-5 medium), cored and quartered
1 slice whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

For serving:  4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Chop half of the cucumber and half of the pepper into large chunks and put them into a blender.  Finely chop the remaining cucumber and pepper and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, the bread, oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, and salt to the blender and blend until smooth.  Stir in the chopped peppers and cucumbers.  Chill in the refrigerator in an airtight container for at least 2 hours.

Stir before serving and drizzle each bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil.

Serving size, about 1 cup. Per serving: Calories 190, total fat 15mg (mono fat 10.8g, Poly fat 1.8g, Sat fat 2.1g) Protein 3g; Carb 13g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 480mg. Excellent source of: Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin K.  Good source of: Fiber, Molybdenum, Potassium, Vitamin B6

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Creamy Zucchini Soup

from You’ve Got it Made by Ellie Krieger

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 lbs zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 10 1/4 cups)
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
one 15 oz. can low-sodium great northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.  Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and broth and bring to a boil over high heat.

Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the beans and tarragon, and return to a simmer.  Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then puree in a blender in three batches until smooth, transferring the puree to a saucepan as blended.  (Why not an immersion blender, I wonder?)  The soup may be refrigerated or frozen at this stage.

Return the soup to a simmer before serving, or refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve chilled.

Microwave reheating not recommended.

Serving size, about 1 1/2 cups. Per serving: Calories 210; total fat 6g (Mono Fat 3.4g, Poly Fat 1g, Sat Fat 0.9g); Protein 14g; Carb 29g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 520mg. Excellent source of: Fiber, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc.  Good source of: Copper, Calcium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamin.

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Meatball Soup with Rice & Cilantro

from the America’s Test Kitchen book The Best Mexican Recipes

Needs some tweaking.  The meatballs are a bit tough/dense, even though I used 85% lean ground beef. Had to cook soup longer than directed to get the rice in the meatballs soft enough.  Too many meatballs for amount of broth.

Serves 6-8

1 cup long-grain white rice
8 oz 90% lean ground beef
8 oz lean ground pork
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 large egg
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, halved, and seeded
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 cups chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and diced 1/4″
1 small zucchini, diced 1/4″

Bring 4 cups water to boil in a Dutch oven.  Add rice and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.  Drain rice through fine-mesh strainer, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Using your hands, mix half of parcooked rice, ground beef, ground pork, 3 tablespoons cilantro, egg, 1/3 of garlic, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. Pinch off and roll mixture into 1-tablespoon-size meatballs (about 40 total) and arrange on rimmed baking sheet.

Process tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and remaining garlic in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add tomato-onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Stir in broth and carrots, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer.  Cook until carrots are almost tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in zucchini and remaining parcooked rice, then gently add meatballs and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 12 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Sam  yes
Anna  yes but a bit too spicy
Ma  yes
Sean  no

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fish Chowder

From the wonderful Meal Makeover Moms‘ cookbook No Whine with Dinner

Easy and really delicious.  Except that Sam and Sean don’t care for it.

Makes 6 Servings

1¼ pounds white fish such as haddock or cod, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound yellow or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice (that’s about 2 large potatoes or 3 cups diced)
12 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice (2 cups)
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/3-inch dice (1 cup)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry wine or ¼ cup white wine, or 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
scant 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 ounce pancetta ham or 2 slices nitrite-free bacon, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used 2%)
2 cups all-natural chicken broth
1/4 cup light sour cream, optional (I did not use this)
Oyster crackers, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the fish, potatoes, carrots, onion, olive oil, sherry wine, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, salt, pepper, dill, and celery seed in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot or casserole, and gently stir to combine.

2. Cover and bake until the fish is cooked and the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.  Remove from oven and set aside.

3. About 15 minutes before the fish is done, prepare your “cream” sauce. Cook the pancetta in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the butter and heat until it melts.  Add the flour and whisk constantly until smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk the milk and broth slowly into the flour mixture. Raise the heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the sour cream if using.  Add the sauce to the fish mixture and stir gently to combine. Remove the bay leaf.  Serve in individual bowls and top with oyster crackers as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 generous cup):  330 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated, 0.2g omega-3), 500mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 22g protein, 180% vitamin A, 25% vitamin C, 15% calcium

Published in: on February 2, 2016 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spinach Soup

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime, by Ree Drummond

2 tablespoons olive oil
10-12 ounces fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk*
1/2 cup half and half*
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
dash cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
*I used 1 cup half and half and 2 cups non-fat milk and it was great

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mixture to a blender or food processor, pour in 1/4 cup hot water and pulse until pureed. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, cook the onions in the butter over medium heat until the onions begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then pour in the milk and half and half, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, cayenne and some black pepper and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the pureed spinach, then cook until thickened, another 3 to 5 minutes. Check the seasonings, adding more salt, black pepper or cayenne as needed. Serve warm.

Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 6:58 pm  Comments (1)  

Heather’s Cheddar Corn Chowder

Slightly modified from the original, which is Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Serves 6-8

4 ounces bacon, chopped
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
3 cups finely chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, peeled (1 pound)
2.5 cups corn kernels, fresh (5 ears) or frozen (1 pound)
1 to 2 cups half-and-half
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and Cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

Published in: on January 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jeanne Lemlin’s Curried Red Lentil Soup

From Simply Satisfying.

Oh so nice.


Serves 4 as a main course.

1 1/2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium baking potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (she says to peel them, but I didn’t and like it)
4 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 gteaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
additional butter, if desired

1.  Rinse the lentils in a strainer under cold running water.  Pick them over and discard any stones, etc. Put them in a medium-size saucepan along with the water, oil, and salt.  Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes over medium heat.  Stir occasionally.  If a lot of foam rises to the surface, scoop it off with a spon.

2.  Add the diced potatoes and stir to blend.

3.  In a small skillet melt the butter.  Add the onion, garlic and all of the spices.  Cook for 3 minutes, or until the onions begin to get tender.

4.  Add the onions to the soup, stir, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes.  If the soup is too thick, thin with a little water.

5.  Taste to correct the seasoning.  You may serve with a small pat of butter on each serving if you like.

NOTE:  Although this soup is delicious if served immediately, it is more flavorful if prepared at least an hour before serving, then reheated.

Published in: on January 10, 2015 at 11:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Green Soup

From EatingWell: September/October 2011

Eating Well writes:  This chard-and-spinach soup gets complex flavor from slowly cooked onions and lemon juice, while a sprinkle of rice gives it body and a velvety texture. Serve with a swirl of fruity, fragrant extra-virgin olive oil for richness.  Recipe by Anna Thomas for EatingWell.

Kristin writes:  I don’t use arborio rice much, so I buy it in very small quantities from the bulk bins at Sprouts or Smart & Final.

8 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each | Active Time: 50 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
1/4 cup arborio rice
1 bunch green chard (about 1 pound)
14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
Big pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the chard greens and spinach.

When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.

Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.


Per serving : 99 Calories; 4 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 14 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 669 mg Sodium; 425 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Season with lemon just before serving.

Published in: on January 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment