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I'm just a girl trying to keep an eternal perspective on life, and live it to the fullest :)

Friday, November 19, 2010


During the Fall and Winter I can't get enough of warm, homemade soups.  I love anything from classic chicken noodle to chinese sweet and sour. 

Here are some of my favorites, and a couple I haven't tried yet, but look delicious!
***For the first 3 recipes below, go to deliciouslivingmag.com/holidaycooking for a free Download Printable Recipe Card
Shiitake and White Bean Soup with Watercress
Creamy, delicate white beans are the perfect backdrop for earthy shiitakes and
fresh, pungent watercress. Serve with a crisp green salad.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 stalk celery, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small carrot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 6 ounces)
2 15-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 bunch watercress, washed, stems removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté celery, onion, carrot, and garlic for 4 minutes.
Add mushrooms; toss to coat with oil and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add beans and broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
2. Ladle half of the soup into a food processor or blender, and purée until smooth. Return to
pan. Stir in watercress and heat through for 1 minute. Season generously with salt and pepper,
and serve immediately.
Serves 6
PER SERVING: 200 cal, 19% fat cal, 4g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 15g protein, 27g carb, 9g fiber,
318mg sodium
Spicy Miso and Pumpkin Soup
Sweet and spicy, this thick soup uses a white miso base for flavor and nutrition.
Present as an elegant start to any meal. For a more substantial soup, add cooked
white beans and a handful of baby spinach leaves just before serving.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can pumpkin pureÅLe
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
1 cup plain soy milk
3 tablespoons white miso
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Roasted soy nuts, for garnish
1. In a medium pot, heat oil and sauteÅL onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add pumpkin pureÅLe,
broth, water, cayenne pepper, and white pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 5
minutes. Add soy milk and miso; cook for 1 minute more (do not boil).
2. Transfer soup to a food processor and pureÅLe until smooth. Add basil and pureÅLe for 30 seconds.
Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with soy nuts.
Serves 6
PER SERVING: 91 cal, 26% fat cal, 3g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 3g protein, 15g carb, 3g fiber,
405mg sodium
Squash and Pear Soup
Instead of peeling and cooking winter squash, use frozen organic squash. This
easy soup can be made two days ahead; add the evaporated milk and heat
thoroughly just before serving.
1 cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 10-ounce boxes frozen organic squash, thawed
3/4 cup pear nectar
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dried apple chips, for garnish
1. Soak leeks in hot water for 10 minutes to remove grit; repeat if necessary. In a large
saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat. Add leeks and sauté until translucent, 5-8 minutes.
Add curry and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Add squash, pear nectar, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat for 15
3. Purée soup with a hand blender, or transfer to a food processor or blender and process until
thick and smooth. If making ahead, cool and refrigerate.
4. Before serving, reheat. Add evaporated skim milk and heat through. Season to taste with salt
and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with dried apple chips.
Serves 8
PER SERVING: 99 cal, 14% fat cal, 2g fat, 1g sat fat, 4mg chol, 5g protein, 18g carb, 4g fiber,
182mg sodium

***Below are recipes from my cookbook collection (family recipes and various sources- most of them I've tweaked to my liking :)

Zuppa Pomodoro di Toscano (Tuscan Tomato Soup) (MY FAVORITE SOUP)
This isn't the bland, tasteless catsup like soup from the famous red and white can.

Servings:         6
Prep time:       15 minutes
Cook time:      30 minutes
Total time:       45 minutes

5 cups tomatoes, peeled, diced and seeded
2 cups of chicken stock
2 large yellow onions, finely diced
1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup Basil Pesto (see recipe)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a medium sized, heavy bottomed soup pot over low heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until softened and translucent (do not brown).
2. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer. When the tomatoes are at a simmer, add the chicken stock.
3. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes giving the flavours time to combine.
4. Add the whipping cream and pesto. Remove from the stove and carefully pour the soup into the container of a blender or food processor and process to the consistency you desire (we enjoy the soup slightly chunky).
5. Pour the soup back into the pot and return to a simmer over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
  1. Serve warm accompanied by crusty Italian or French bread.

BASIL PESTO (use for Pomodoro soup)
If you like basil and if you like garlic you'll love this! It can be used as a sauce, marinade, dip, etc.

Servings:         1 1/2 cups
Prep time:       10 minutes
Cook time:      0
Total time:       10 minutes

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
2 tablespoons pine nuts (FYI: Sam's club sells them for way cheaper than anywhere else I've found)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
3 or 4 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in food processor, adding olive oil slowly
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 can. Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits (these are less fatty than real bacon)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale or Swiss chard chopped
2 cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
Cook sausage in a 300-degree oven. Bake approximately 1/2 hour, drain on paper towels and cut into slices.
Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat, add kale and cream. Heat through and serve.
Egg Drop Soup
6 C. Chicken Broth
1 large Egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. White Pepper
4 sliced Green Onion tops for garnish
Salt to taste
Bring the broth to a simmer over low medium heat. Very slowly stream in the egg, use a fork to pull strands of the egg gently. Do not stir vigorously; you will have a mess if you do. Add white pepper and salt. Continue to cook until egg is done. Serve promptly.
Brass Parrot Baked Potato Soup
6 Russet Potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 qts. Chicken Stock
1/2 Tbsp. White Pepper
1/3 lb. American cheese
2 C. Whole Milk
1 stick Butter
1/4 to 1/2 C. Flour
Sour Cream
Crumbled Bacon
Chopped Chives
Shredded Cheese
Bring Stock to boil. Add white pepper and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are about half done. In a separate pan, melt butter, and add flour a little at a time, stirring to make a roux. Cook roux about three minutes. Add roux to potatoes a little at a time. Add cheese and milk. Turn down heat to very low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Makes one gallon of soup.
Garnish with dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon, chopped chives, and shredded cheese.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
An easy use for roasted red peppers.

Servings:         4
Prep time:       5 minutes
Cook time:      20 minutes
Total time:       25 minutes

2/3 cup sliced shallots 
5 roasted red pepper (see recipe)
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 teaspoon sugar 
2 cups chicken broth 
1/4 cup orange juice 
2 tablespoons whipping cream 
3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel 
4 or 5 large, fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 

The addition of orange juice to this roasted red pepper soup brightens the flavour and adds interest to the soup. By reducing the amount of orange juice, or eliminating it completely, this soup can easily be converted to a surprisingly good, if non-conventional, pasta or pizza sauce; of course for these purposes you'll want to eliminate the cream and grated orange peel.
1. Sauté shallots in the olive oil in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes. 
2. Add the roasted red peppers, stir in the sugar and sauté for about 2 minutes. 
3. Add the chicken broth and simmer 5 minutes. Allow the broth mixture to cool slightly to avoid an unpleasant blender incident. When the broth has cooled and working in batches, puree the broth, red pepper, and shallots in the container of a blender until a smooth, creamy soup is formed. 
4. Return the puree to the sauce pan and bring it to a low simmer, add the orange juice and stir to combine (if the soup is too thick for your tastes, thin it by adding additional broth). Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. 
5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk heavy cream and orange peel until the cream slightly thickens and the orange peel is evenly distributed. 
6. Serve immediately by ladling the hot soup into individual serving bowls, placing a dollop of the orange cream into it and sprinkling some of the chiffonade basil over. 

Peperoni Arrostiti (Roasted Red Peppers)
Roasted red peppers are an essential part of the Italian kitchen as an ingredient, and as an accompanment of other dishes.

Servings:         4
Prep time:       0
Cook time:      20 minutes
Total time:       30 to 60 minutes

4 or 5 large red bell peppers
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large paper bag

Charring is the key to this recipe, a properly charred red pepper will look burnt and ruined but on closer examination you'll notice that the "burn" is only on the surface. This recipe also produces roasted peppers which can be bottled and kept in the refrigerator for weeks. One of my favourite ways of enjoying roasted peppers is as a roasted red pepper sandwich on crusty Italian or French bread topped by sliced fresh mozzarella, large basil leaves, crushed garlic, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and drizzled with high quality extra-virgin olive oil.
1. Either position the top rack of your oven as close to the broiler element as possible and turn on the broiler or fire up your charcoal ( or gas) grill or turn the gas stove top element of your stove on.
2. Coat each pepper with olive oil.
3. If you’re using the stove broiler method, place the coated peppers on the top rack and cook, turning as necessary, the peppers until they are well charred on all sides; if you are using the grill method, place the coated peppers on the grill and cook, turning as necessary, the peppers until they are well charred on all sides. After the peppers are well charred on all side, remove them to a paper bag, fold the top of the bag over several times to seal the bag and set the bag aside for several minutes to allow the peppers to sweat. Or, if you are using the stove top method, skewer the coated peppers (one at a time) on a long shafted fork and cook over the gas stove top element, rotating as necessary, until the pepper is well charred on all sides. As each pepper is finished charring, remove it from the fork and transfer to a paper bag, fold the top of the bag over several times to seal the bag. Repeat this process until all the peppers have been charred and are in the paper bag at this point, set the bag aside for several minutes to allow the peppers to sweat.
4. After the peppers have had several minutes to cool and sweat remove them, one by one, from the bag and remove and discarded the charred skin, the seeds and inner rib and cut the roasted peppers into strips and arrange them on a serving platter. 
5. After all the peppers have been transferred to the serving platter pour marinate or dressing of your choice over the peppers and set aside to marinate or serve as is or use as required in your recipe.

Old Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup
Cook time :     4 hours 
1 pound dried navy beans
3 quarts water
1 ham bone
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion , chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. salt (I have never used this much salt because I add extra ham, which is full of salt!)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup tomato juice (I use V-8)
2-3 cups additional ham, diced
Simmer beans in water with ham bone for 2 hours. I remove the ham bone after the first two hours, but my mom leaves it in until the very end. Add other ingredients and simmer 2 hours longer until beans are tender and soup is thick. About 30 minutes before soup is done, I add a few cups of diced ham. I always serve this with a green salad and a huge pan of corn bread!

Turkey Taco Soup
Servings: 8—SO EASY AND YUMMY!!

2-3 cups diced/shredded turkey
1 large can v-8 juice
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) corn
1 package Taco seasoning mix

Mix all together and simmer for 45 minutes!!  Serve with corn chips and sour cream!!

 Hearty Stew
1 lb stew meat
Splash of oil
3 Large potatoes (Peeled and cut into 4ths)
1 carrot (Peeled and diced)
1 onion (Peeled and diced...under cold water helps me not cry)
1 celery stalk (diced)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup dry sherry wine
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
A splash of juice/tea or whatever :)
2 cloves of garlic (minced... I buy the refrigerated already minced garlic)
1 can of diced tomatoes or rotel
Lawry's seasoning to taste
(Sometimes I add a can of cream of cheddar soup or velveta cheese too... It tastes great with the wine- I will sometimes also add crm of mushroom soup, and sometimes a dash of liquid smoke, or ketchup, salsa, or spagetti sauce, different herbs/spices... Basically anything- as long as you cook it a while, it always turns out good! Have fun experimenting!)
Brown meat in oil. Then over med-med/high heat add garlic, cook ~1 min, then add juice/tea/coffee (or other liquid of choice) cook 1 min, then wine, cook 1 min, then the vinegar. Turn down to a simmer. Let the flavors permeate the meat for ~5min. Then add all other ingredients. Add additional water if needed to just to cover slightly above ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then, turn to low simmer, cover and let cook at least an hour stirring occasionally. Serve with crackers and cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Homemade Chicken and Noodles
  • 1 whole Fryer Chicken
  • 2 whole Carrots, Peeled and Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoons White Pepper (more To Taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Parsley Flakes
  • 16 ounces, weight Frozen "homemade" Egg Noodles
Cover chicken in 4 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat low. Simmer for 2 hours. Remove chicken from pot with a slotted spoon. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Debone, while slightly shredding meat with fork. Add the carrots, celery and onions to the pot, followed by the herbs and spices. Stir to combine and simmer for 20 minutes.
Increase heat and add frozen egg noodles and chicken. Cook as directed on package (usually about 20 minutes).
Test and adjust seasonings as needed.

White Chicken Chili
Rich and filling.... pure deliciousness!
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/3 of a 7-ounce can chipotle in adobo, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chicken base
  • 1 pickled jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 pounds white beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup nonfat or 1% milk
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 16 ounces sour cream
Saute onion, celery, and garlic in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. In a large stockpot add chicken, water, bay leaf, chiles, oregano, cumin, dry mustard, basil, Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, chipotle, chicken base, and pickled jalapeno and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the drained beans and heavy cream and simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Garnish soup with carrots and sour cream.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Cheeseburger Soup - Hearty and delicious!
    • 3/4 lb ground beef 
    • 1 cup minced onions 
    • 1 teaspoon basil 
    • 4 cups beef broth 
    • 3 cups diced potatoes 
    • 1/4 cup chopped green peppers 
    • 4 teaspoons butter 
    • 4 teaspoons flour 
    • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed 
    • 2 cups light cream 
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  1. In soup pot, cook and break up ground beef.
  2. Add onion,basil and beef broth.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add potatoes and green pepper.
  5. Cover and simmer 12 minutes.
  6. Bring back to a boil.
  7. In saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour.
  8. Cook 2 minutes.
  9. Add to soup, stirring.
  10. Reduce heat to low again and add cheese, cream and pepper.
  11. Stir until cheese melts.
  12. Enjoy!

Chinese Sweet And Sour Soup
  • Chicken breast, ¼ lb thinly sliced
  • Fresh shitake mushrooms, 2 ozs
  • Chinese soy sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Beef broth, 8 ounces
  • Rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon
  • Corn starch, 1 and ½ teaspoons
  1. Mix the cornstarch with twice as much water
  2. Add soy sauce and beef broth.
  3. Put liquid into saucepan, and cook over medium heat until it reaches a boil.
  4. Add the chicken, mushrooms, vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice.
  5. Cook 5 minutes on medium-low.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Optional: May add Lo Mein Noodles, Bok Choy, Bamboo Shoots, Cayenne Pepper, etc. (whatever suits your taste :)

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