As a self-proclaimed foodie and ingredient junkie, I often get the questions, “What is your favorite item to cook?” or “What dish are you known for?”  I always find this a difficult question to answer because I don’t have one favorite thing I like to make. What I made every week one month (like my paella obsession) isn’t necessarily what I’m making every weekend now…more and more roasted vegetables.

But something I always circle back to is soup.  I love it. I pretty much have it with every meal. We always have a soup prepared in our fridge to have with lunch at home on the weekends or to take in the office during the week.  I enjoy cold soups in the hot Georgia summers; like Avocado or Gazpacho; or good old traditional standbys like Cream of Broccoli or French Onion.

When I think of cold, rainy, winter nights, which we have had our share of lately, I think of a spicy Beer Cheese Soup. It’s warm, comforting, laced with jalapenos and a delicious afternoon snack on rainy afternoons. Especially when you use a hot pretzel for dipping.  Yum!

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Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup with Himalayan Pink Salt dusted Pretzels

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer of choice, I used a Bud Light
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces low-fat, extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, I use Neuchâtel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS diced jalapenos + one fresh jalapeno, sliced
  • 3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Frozen pretzels (bake according to instructions)
  • 1 TBS, Himalayan Pink Salt

Directions

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft. Add chicken broth, beer and bay leaf. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add salt, pepper, mustard, jalapenos and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened.

Garnish with sliced jalapeno and serve with a hot baked pretzel.

 

Be sure to check out more delicious soup recipes from the talented members of the #SundaySupper Community:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

 Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday.

We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite soup, stew, chowder or bisque recipes with us!

 

When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize in May, we shared a delicious bowl of gazpacho at the Blue Water Grill.  It was our final night on the island before heading inland to San Ignacio –what a delicious choice for our  last meal! The refreshingly cool bowl of soup was welcome on the palate after a long hot day at the beach.  As soon as we returned home I immediately searched, and found, an amazing recipe for the chilled appetizer by Ina Garten.  This has definitely made it to the list of summer staples!

P.S.Be sure to check out more #BeatTheHeat recipes listed below from fellow members of the #SundaySupper community!

Gazpacho garnished with mango

Gazpacho

Printable recipe 

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, halved and seeded, not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, I’ve alo used Vidalia, which is a sweet substitution
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups Mott’s Low Sodium Garden Blend tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Garnish – fresh avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya, cubed

Directions

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped for a chunky soup.  Blend longer for a smoother version (we prefer chunky). After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill overnight before serving. Garnish with ripe avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya.

#BeatTheHeat Appetizers:

#BeatTheHeat Salads, Soups, & Sides:

#BeatTheHeat Main Dishes:

#BeatTheHeat Desserts:

#BeatTheHeat Drinks & Cocktails:

Red, White and Green

July 4, 2012

A friend served this delicious chilled avocado soup at her summer party and my husband insisted I recreate it at home.  Boy, am I glad she shared this recipe with me (thanks Kathryn!)!  Not only is it extremely flavorful and refreshing, but it’s quite versatile.  When I made this batch originally, I served it alongside Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas for a #MeatlessMonday dish, and then used it again later in the week as a dressing on a Taco Salad.  It would also be delicious as a layer in a Mexican dip, a sauce over a taco or served atop grilled shrimp or chicken.  This recipe has definitely made into my list of summer staples!

avocado soup

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chile Lime Pepitas

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/8 tsp. chile powder; more for serving

Instructions

On a gas stove, turn a burner to high and set the poblano directly over the flame, turning it with tongs, until completely charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, on an electric stove, heat the broiler on high and char the poblano on all sides on a baking sheet placed directly under the broiler. Put the poblano in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and cut the poblano into 1/4 -inch dice.

Heat an 11- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, turning a few times, until soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.

In a blender, purée until smooth all but 1 Tbs. of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, cilantro, parsley, marjoram or oregano (if using), 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. salt. Blend in the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt. Chill well.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chile powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt and stir until the juice has evaporated, leaving a film on the pan.

Season the soup to taste with salt and thin with broth if necessary. Divide among 6 cups or small bowls and garnish with the pepitas, the remaining poblano, and a few pinches of chile powder.

Lemony Lentils

February 7, 2012

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

Image via Wikipedia

So, what does one do when one is fasting (only clear liquids + diet soda) to pass the time?  Cook for the next day!  Yes, it was probably not the best idea I’ve ever had.  I thought cooking would make me less hungry because it would be like a normal night, (me cooking) but it wasn’t.  Because it wasn’t a normal night (me not eating).  Well, in the throes of hunger, I decided to whip up a gigantic batch of lemon lentil soup to share with the ladies in the office, and to go with my mediterranean wraps for the week.

Plus, I had a lot of onions and lemons leftover from Superbowl Party prep.

Lemon Lentil Soup

  • 2 TBS evoo
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/4 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Saute onions in evoo for about 5 miknutes on med heat.  Add garlic, jalapeno, carrots, celery and bay leaf and saute another five minutes.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add lentils, salt and pepper and reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer about half and hour.  Turn off heat and add lemon juice.  Serve hot and garnish with parmesan and parsley.

Super Squash

January 15, 2012

Not only is butternut squash delicious, it’s loaded with health benefits.  This recipe is my favorite winter soup at the moment, I can’t get enough!  Not only is it easy and tasty but it’s a great one to make on Sunday and take with lunch for the week…the flavors only get better as they meld in the fridge. 

Squash ready to go in the oven

Deliciousness bubbling away

Butternut Squash Soup

Weightwatchers Points: 2

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (12 ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 3 cups roasted butternut squash
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the onion and celery in butter. Stir in flour, dill, curry and cayenne until blended. Gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the squash, salt and pepper; heat through.
  2. In a blender, process the soup in batches until smooth. Pour into bowls and serve hot.

This is by far, the best Chicken Noodle Soup I’ve ever had in my life.  Jim thinks so too.  I don’t know what I’ve done in the past that’s made mine a bit on the bland side, however, I think the addition of lemon pepper seasoning to the stock is genius.  Also, I prefer organic carrots.  They are much more tender and sweet and aren’t much more expensive than the “regular” carrots at the Farmer’s Market.  Whole wheat egg noodles make it a little healthier, and if I have a lemon around, I’ll squeeze the juice of one into the finished soup at the end.  The citrus has special healing powers and if I’m making this for someone  under the weather, I feel it helps to get them on the mend that much quicker. 

Tip:  I like to make a bit extra so I have fresh broth for later in the week.  This Thursday, for instance, I’ll use the stock in my Thanksgiving Stuffing. 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Stock:

  • 1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up
  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soup:

  • 2 cups sliced organic
  • 2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked wheat egg noodles
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup cooking sherry
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
  • 3/4 cup half and half, optional
  • Seasoning salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the stock: add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock. When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Set chicken aside.

For the soup: bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary. Add Parmesan and cream. Cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding seasoning salt and pepper. If using fresh lemon, now’s the time to squeeze in the juice.  

Cinco de Junio

June 5, 2011

Who doesn’t love Mexican food?  Personally, I am obsessed with it.  Especially in the summertime. 

This fresh soup is the perfect start to any Mexican meal The only thing that might make it better is a Margarita.

Green Chicken Stew

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans
  • 1 tablespoon evoo
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 cups home-made chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
  • Four cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Greek yogurt, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping

Directions

Drain and rinse the canned white beans. Reserve the beans until needed.

Add the canola oil to a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt, and pepper, to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and continue to saute for 1 more minute to toast the spices. Stir in the chicken stock, and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.

After 20 minutes of simmering, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Stir in the shredded chicken and cilantro and simmer until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with a dollop of greek yougurt, crushed tortilla chips, and lime wedges.

Recipe adapted from The Neelys.

Green Chicken Stew

Green Chicken Stew

Okay, so I took the day off to get some things done around the house.  I planted my flower pots and around the mailbox, organized my kitchen cabinets, did major grocery and farmer’s market shopping and some heavy duty cooking for dinner.  Did I mention I threw together this soup in the midst of this?  This is so easy and delicious — wow anyone.

Mexican Lentil Soup (with Jim's fave, purple tulips, in the background)

Mexican Lentil Soup

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 chipotle seasoning cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 purple potato, cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, your fave (I used pizza cheese, b/c that’s what I ha in the fridge)

 Add water through potatoes to pot, bring to a boil and simmer on low for about an hour TOTAL time.  Garnish each bowl with cilantro, avocado and cheese.  Enjoy.

(Warning: the chipotle bouillon packs a little heat.  Subtract it, or add more water to taste.)

Cabbage Patch Rolls

February 28, 2010

My mother’s birthday was last Friday.  She and Daddy were at the lake for the weekend, so they came for dinner last night.  We toasted the evening with a signature drink of a Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail, followed by Roasted Red Pepper Soup and an entree of Cabbage Rolls with Champagne Risotto.  For dessert, I picked up some Black & White Cookies — my mom’s favorite, from when she was little in New York.

I’ve been playing with the settings on my camera.  What do you think?

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The champagne, featured throughout the meal

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Blanch the cabbage for about 30 seconds to soften

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The meat mixture rolled and forming the first layer in the dish

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Add half a chopped red apple and the white sauce

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Sprinkle with cinnamon

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Add second layer of cabbage rolls, top with remaining sauce, apple and more cinnamon

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Meanwhile...

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I roasted red peppers for the Roasted Red Pepper Soup (toss peppers with evoo and bake at 350 for about 45 min.)

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Doesn't that look delicious? Baked Cabbage Rolls with Champagne Risotto (topped with pancetta)

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Don't forget the crusty garlic bread

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And for dessert, Black & White Cookies.

That’s Shallotta Flavor!

January 8, 2010

 The acorn squash has recently become one of my favorites veggies.  I love the warm color and almost anything it’s served with (even just solo) is so comforting.  So I couldn’t resist making this Roasted Acorn Squash Soup when I saw Guy Fieri make it the other day on the Food Network.  The shallots really stand out in this soup and the pistachio crostinis are a suprising (and tasty!) touch.  This dish is the epitome of comfort food. 

Mmmmmmmmm...

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Pistachio Crostinis

  • 3 acorn squash
  • 6 shallots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, in all
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I use bullion cubes and water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage, dry
  • 1 teaspoon savory
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • French bread
  • Pistachios, crushed

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a diced shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead. 

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve. 

For an extra touch, toast slices of French bread.  Slather with butter and sprinkle with pistachios – toast for another minute or so until the butter melts.  Place one piece of toasted bread in the middle of each bowl of soup – delicious!

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