Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

This is round two of the blogging recipe swap for me. You can learn all about the recipe swap at Burwell General Store. This months recipe is Grandma’s Chicken Pie with drop biscuits. I wanted to stay pretty true to this recipe because I’ve never made a dish like this. In the end I was too scared to add the drop biscuits to the top of the soup because I was worried they wouldn’t turn out well. I should have probably experimented with this but I just didn’t have the time or patience.

I complimented the soup with goat cheese biscuits which I’ve made before for a pumpkin soup recipe. This was a delicious recipe I’d make again. My guests were very pleased with the results and I was thankful they helped me prep the meal.

Chicken Soup

Adapted from Gourmet

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Level: Advanced
Yield: 4 servings

4 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 pounds cooked chicken, cubed
1 onion, chopped
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a large pot bring the broth to a boil, add the chicken and cook for about 20 minutes. Once chicken is cooked, remove and cut into cubes. At this time you can add the carrots and parsnips and simmer the vegetables, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken back in with the peas after 5 to 10 minutes. In another saucepan cook the onion in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the flour, and cook the roux, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth in a stream, whisking  and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the thyme and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, and stir the mixture gently until it is just combined. Cook for 15 minutes and serve with biscuits.


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In my last post I talked about having a giveaway for the one year anniversary of Spicy Living. Well, I still want to have a giveaway but it’s not going to happen in this post. I’m not trying to tease you guys, I just need to work out some of the details.

In the winter it can be tough to find a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the things I miss the most during this time are ripe berries, cherry tomatoes and the variety of bell peppers. Unfortunately none of these things are in season here and I refuse to purchase produce all the way from Chile and Mexico. You’ve probably noticed that kale is one of the most abundant vegetables we have in the winter.  The recipe I want to share is a perfect winter time soup that will help you use all that kale you see out there. Of course you already know that kale is super healthy and blocks the growth of cancer cells. So start listening to your mom and eat your greens.

What makes this recipe really good is the piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind. I always save the rind to my Parmigiano-Reggiano and store it in the freezer. This way I have it on hand anytime I want to make soup.

Parmesan rind

I made a few small changes to this recipe. I used dried rosemary instead of fresh because that’s what I had on hand. I also added a little bit of dried thyme. I left out the sausage because I’m not a huge meat eater and last I used red kale instead of the lacinato asked for in the recipe. Lacinato is easily found at most grocery stores, see the cook’s note below.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped


Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. I skipped this process by soaking my beans in water overnight.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water (I didn’t add any water to my recipe), cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Cook’s notes:

Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.

Lacinato is available at farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores. Be aware that it has many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, and flat black cabbage.

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One of my favorite food bloggers is Joy The Baker. Not only is she a great cook but I love that she’s honest and funny. Several days ago I saw the perfect fall recipe on her site for a curried sweet potato soup with goat cheese biscuits. This was instantly added to my “to try” list. When I was hanging out with my teenage cousin one night last week I thought this would be a fun recipe for us to try . I didn’t want to make a trip to the store for sweet potatoes and I already had a can of pumpkin puree in the cupboard. After some research I found that pumpkin and sweet potatoes can be used interchangeably without much difference.

Zoe was a great helper and we both enjoyed cooking together. The finished product was absolutely delicious! The goat cheese in the biscuits gives them a wonderful savory flavor. While the addition of goat cheese to the soup is a great creamy compliment.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used 1 can of pumpkin puree)
6 cups chicken broth, or slightly more as needed. (I actually used 4 cups and it was plenty)
salt and pepper to taste
6 to 8 teaspoons goat cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute, stirring for 30 seconds.  Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and red pepper flakes.  Add the sweet potatoes/pumpkin and broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. If you’re using pumpkin puree, you’ll just want to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Puree the soup, in batches in a blender or food processor.  You can skip this process if you’re using pumpkin puree. Season to taste.  The soup can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge.  Reheat over a low flame.  If the soup is too thick, add a little more stock.

Ladle into bowls and crumble goat cheese on top. This really makes the soup.

Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: makes about 9 biscuits

Adapted slightly from Art Smith’s Table Fifty-Two
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for the pan
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted to top the biscuits
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup buttermilk

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.  Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well. I didn’t have a cast iron skillet so I just used a round cake pan. If you use a cake pan it doesn’t need to be preheated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  With your fingers incorporate the butter and goat cheese until the flour resembles a coarse, pebbly mixture.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk.  With a fork,  mix together the buttermilk and flour until all of the dry flour disappears.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan or in the microwave.  Set aside.

Remove the cast iron from the oven and place one tablespoon of butter in it.  Work the pat of butter around, greasing the entire pan, including the sides.

Spoon the batter, by the 1/4-cup into the hot skillet.  Joy recommends using a big scooper to do the job.  The biscuits will touch when baked.

Brush with melted butter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, until slightly golden in color.  Remove from the oven.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

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The Best Tomato Soup Ever

This is a recipe for Elephants Delicatessen Tomato Orange Soup. This is honestly the best tomato soup you will ever have. My co-worker Anne and I drool over this soup at least once a month. Lucky for us Elephants is just a few blocks away from work. Even luckier, they’ve posted the recipe for this amazing soup on their website. Oh boy!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


In a saucepan, melt butter; add onion and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Puree in a food processor or blender; strain through a sieve or food mill.
Return to saucepan and stir in orange juice. At this point, the soup can be refrigerated until ready to serve.

At serving time, add the whipping cream and heat gently, stirring constantly, bringing to a simmer and adjust seasonings if necessary. Extra cream may be drizzled on top of the soup immediately before serving for decorative effect.

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Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup

Have I ever mentioned that I love soup? How can you not love yummy goodness that makes you feel all warm inside?(sigh) I have literally had a butternut squash sitting on my counter top for a month now. I keep wanting to make this recipe but I have either not been in the mood for the soup or not in the mood to make it. It’s actually a pretty easy recipe. The only part I don’t enjoy is peeling the squash.


  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Start out by cutting the squash in half, removing the seeds and placing it on a cookie sheet to go into the preheated oven. Once you can stick a fork through the squash pretty easily you can remove it (about 30 minutes) and let it cool. When its cool enough to the touch scoop out the insides and set aside.

In a large pot melt the butter. Add the onion and cook til translucent. You can now add the turmeric and stir for about 1 minute. Add the squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or use a blender.  Once blended season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

I was trying to experiment and added blue cheese on top. It wasn’t that great. I’d recommend a dollop of creme fraiche or chopped green onions . Enjoy!

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Black Bean Soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes, it is absolutely delicious. The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to soak the beans beforehand since you’ll be cooking it in the slow cooker for several hours. You can also soak your beans for an hour or two and either cook it over the stove top or in a dutch oven.  I soaked my beans overnight and started my cooking process on the stove top and moved it to the oven.

Black Bean Soup (2)

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium-size red onions, chopped
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 16-ounce package dried black beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles* (I skipped this cause I didn’t want it to be spicy)
  • 7 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker (I moved mine to the oven). Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water (I don’t think I added this much water, it seemed too much). Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 6 hours. Transfer 2 cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker (I pureed mine with an immersion blender). Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of yogurt into each bowl (I skipped the yogurt and added fresh cilantro). Sprinkle with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.

*Chipotle chiles canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets and many supermarkets.

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Lentil Soup

I love making soups when it’s cold outside. One of my favorites is lentil soup; it’s so delicious and easy to make. My mom would make lentil soup all the time when I was a kid. I used to not be that big into it tell one day my mom told me that she makes it specially before we have big exams. She explained that lentils are brain food. I was hooked and after that.
I decided to use a recipe from Alton Brown.

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
• 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (I skipped the celery)
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
• 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes (I skipped the tomatoes)
• 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise (I didn’t have this so I skipped this also)
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine (I added a little bit of turmeric). Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency (I skipped this process cause I don’t think it’s necessary). I topped it off with some fresh cilantro, but I also like it with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve immediately.

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