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Potato Bean Soup
½ cup diced celery
2 medium carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter, melted
4 cups chicken broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled & cut up, about 3 cups
2 tbsp fresh chopped dill weed or 2 tsp dried
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans (any bean will work) or great northern, drained
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp pepper

In large saucepan, cook celery, carrots and garlic in butter until tender over medium heat, about 4 minutes.  Stir in broth, potatoes & dill.  Heat until boiling, reduce heat, cover & simmer 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. With back of spoon, lightly mash ½ the potatoes in the broth.  Add the drained beans.  In small bowl mix the yogurt, flour, yogurt, salt & pepper together.  Stir into potato mixture.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.  Cook 1 minute more.
4-6 main dish servings

Garden Salad Soup

2 tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced unpeeled potatoes 
1 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
2 13 ¾ ounce cans chicken broth or 3 cups bouillon 
1 large cucumber, diced
2 cups shredded lettuce 
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 8 ounce container of plain yogurt 

Melt butter and cook potatoes and onions until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in all remaining ingredients, except the yogurt.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes and stir in yogurt.
Blend at high speed.

Spinach Soup

2 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach 
1 tbsp salt
½ stick butter
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth or bouillon 
2 cups milk
⅛ tsp nutmeg
5 tbsp grated Parmesan 

Thaw spinach & squeeze out excess water.  Put butter and onion in soup pot, sauté onion on medium heat 2-3 minutes.  Add milk and broth and not more than ⅛ tsp of nutmeg.  Bring to a simmer stirring from time to time.  Add the Parmesan stirring in thoroughly into the soup.  Taste for correct salt and turn off heat.

Broccoli Stem Soup

1 ½ cups peeled broccoli stems, cut into ½” chunks
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp chopped garlic
4 cups vegetable broth (or what you have)
¼ cup raw rice
Salt and pepper

Sauté garlic in oil for 30 seconds - don’t brown or it will be bitter.  Stir in broccoli and rice and stir for 2 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat and allow to cool and blend soup.  Season as desired.

Zuppa (soup in Italian) Toscana 
This soup is served in Olive Garden

2 ¾ cup chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
1 medium russet potato
2 cups chopped kale
½ lb spicy Italian sausage
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp red pepper flaked

Cook sausage and drain fat.  Combine chicken broth and cream over medium heat.  Add sliced potato, kale and sausage.
Simmer for 2 hours and serve with some crusty bread.

Cheese Soup

¼ cup carrot, onion, celery and green pepper
3 13 ¾ ounce cans of chicken broth or 5 cups water and 6 bouillon cubes
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
⅓ cup flour
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
12 ounce can light beer at room temperature 

Cook vegetables in butter until tender and then purée them.  Add to broth and heat until boiling, lower heat.  Remove some of the broth, add flour, salt and pepper, stir together until all mixed in.  Return flour mixture to broth and stir, add cheese and beer.  Simmer until a bit thickened.
The alcohol is cooked out of the beer, strictly for flavor!

Pumpkin Soup

½ onion, chopped
29 ounce can of pumpkin (not pie filling mixture) 
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth or bouillon 
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Sauté onion in butter, mix in pumpkin, broth and spices and simmer for an hour.  Bring to a boil and add the flour mixed with ¼ cup of water, whisk this into the soup, watch for 3 minutes until thickened. 


Carrot Soup

2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable, chicken broth or water
1 ½ tsp salt
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped (optional)
4 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small cloves crushed garlic
⅓ cup chopped cashews or almonds

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 12-15 minutes, remove lid and let cool to room temperature.
Sauté onions, garlic and cashews or almonds in the butter with a little salt until onions are clear.
Purée everything together in a blender until smooth, return the purée to a double boiler or the soup pot and whisk in 1 of the following:
1 cup milk, or
1 cup yogurt, or
1 cup buttermilk, or
½ pint heavy cream, or
¾ cup sour cream

You choose!  I’d you use yogurt or buttermilk, add a little water.

Seasoning combinations to choose from:
2 pinches nutmeg
½ tsp dried mint
Dash of cinnamon, or

1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil, or

1 tsp fresh grated ginger root, sautéed in butter and a dash of sherry and add just before serving.

Garnish with grated apple or toasted nuts, yogurt or sour cream

Sweet Potato Chowder

1 celery rib, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 cans (14 ½ ounce chicken broth + 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 cups water
3 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
2 cups cubed ham
2 tbsp dried minced onion, or fresh
½ tsp each, garlic powder, seasoned salt, dried oregano and parsley flakes
¼ tsp each, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk

In a large saucepan, sauté celery in butter until tender.  Stir in broth, water and bullion.  Add potatoes, sweet potato, ham and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Combine flour and milk and whisk until smooth; gradually stir into soup.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.  Yield, 11 servings


Mindless Minestrone 

2 14 ¼ ounce cans chicken broth 
1 14 ½ ounce can beef broth
1 bag (1 lb) frozen mixed vegetables 
1 18 ounce bag frozen small meatballs or large one cut up
1 14 ½ ounce can stewed tomatoes 
½ cup dried elbows or what you have
1 15 ounce can kidney beans
1 ½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Pour chicken and beef broth into 4 ½ quart Dutch oven or soup pot and 
begin heating on high.  Add still frozen vegetables and meatballs.  Add tomatoes and macaroni.  Cover pot and bring to a boil.  This will take about 10 minutes.  While soup is heating, rinse and drain kidney beans and set aside.  When soup comes to a boil, uncover and stir well as the macaroni may stick to the bottom.  Add kidney beans and Italian seasoning and reduce heat to medium.  Stir frequently until macaroni is tender, about 6-7 minutes more.  Serve at once, garnishing with 1 tbsp grated Parmesan.
Yield, 6 servings

Lentil Barley Stew

¼ cup butter or olive oil
1 cup chopped celery, a little more is ok
1 cup chopped onion, a little more is ok
6 cups water
6 chopped carrots
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes 
¾ cup barley, rinsed
¾ cup lentils, rinsed and picked through 
2 tsp salt
¼ -½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp each, ground rosemary and garlic powder (I like more, season to taste. I also like to use garlic herb seasoning.  This stew can take any seasonings you like)

Sauté celery, onions and carrots in butter or olive oil until tender.  Add water and lentils.  Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.

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