Cold Cucumber Buttermilk Soup

I’m growing these delightful pickling cucumbers, and boy do they grow fast! This is a quick refreshing soup for brunch, lunch, or dinner.

1 lb cucumbers*
2/3 Cup buttermilk
2 springs fresh tarragon
3 springs fresh dill
salt and pepper

*If you are using a thin skinned cucumber like small pickling cukes or fresh english cucumbers, you can leave the skin on. If you’re getting those thick, waxy skinned ones at the grocery store, peel them. Those skins just don’t have the right texture.

Put the cucumbers and herbs in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add buttermilk and salt and pepper to taste. Blend 2 pulses. Chill. Serve the same day.

You can serve this in a martini glass or other fun glass with chilled shrimp or lump crab or lobster on the side. Very fancy cocktail party food!


Tomato and Asparagus Soup with White Beans

This is a tangy and rich soup that will use up some of those tomatoes you canned. You can make it vegan by using veggie stock. It’s an easy soup to whip up from common pantry items.

28 oz canned tomatoes, diced or crushed
28 oz stock, veggie or chicken
1/2 cup red wine
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 TB olive oil
1 1/2 C cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces

Place all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes until veggies are tender and beans are flavored with broth. Serve as is or sprinkle on some cheese!

Fennel Stew

Fennel is a fun veggie that is under-appreciated. It is delicious and warming. Fennel is also great for nursing moms! I made this in the crock pot, but the stove top is great too.

1 bulb fennel with stem and fronds, chopped
1 lb red potatoes, large dice
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3+ cloves garlic, minced
2 TB savory
2 TB tarragon
1.5 liters stock
1/3 C olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a crock pot on low and let cook for 4+ hours or simmer one hour on stove top.

Vegan Kale and White Bean Stew

This is a great way to use winter veggies. It can be thrown in the crock pot for a simple supper that will be ready when you get home.

1 bunch kale, chopped
1 lb red potatoes, large dice
3 carrots, sliced
4+ cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
2 TB thyme
1 TB savory
1.5 liters stock

3 Cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed (That’s about 2 cans if you use canned or 1.5 Cups dried. If you cook them from dried, use only water to cook them. They will make the soup slimy if you cook them with the soup.)

If your stock is fat-free, add 1/4 C olive oil.

Simmer all ingredients for an hour OR place in crock pot for 3+ hours.

Rice Noodles in Miso Broth

Hooray! I visited the Asian market today! In the produce section, they sell fresh rice noodles. These are soft and raw and cook in just a few minutes, just like fresh Italian pasta.

2 liters filtered water
3 TB red miso paste
1 lb fresh rice noodles
6 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
6 oz carrot, julienne
1 bunch spring onions, sliced into thin rounds
2 TB ponzu sauce

optional: 1 lb thin sliced beef, shredded cooked chicken or pork, tofu cubes, peeled shrimp

Place water and miso over a high burner to bring to a soft boil. Add in carrots, mushrooms, and meat/tofu. Stir gently to prevent protein from sticking. When broth begins to boil again, add fresh rice noodles. Simmer for 4-6 until rice noodles are cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in ponzu sauce and onion. Serve immediately.

For added nutrition, you can add in additional vegetables. These veggie suggestions are grouped by cooking time.

Add any of these vegetables with the carrots and mushrooms: shredded red or green cabbage, baby corn, thin sliced Thai eggplant, Asian long beans

These vegetables should be added with the spring onions before serving: mung bean sprouts, shredded napa cabbage, shredded bok choy

Chicken and Rice Soup

Hail to the chicken carcass! I roast a chicken now and then. We actually prefer to use the meat for salads and sandwiches then make soup rather than eat it roasted with traditional sides. Poultry cooked on the bone has a richer flavor. And since these chickens worked hard to grow tasty, I feel obligated to cook them to their tastiest.

Place chicken carcass in a large (8 qt) stock pot and fill with filtered water 2 inches shy of covering the chicken. Put the lid on and set to simmer for about an hour. You can also do this in your crock pot for 3+ hours.

Once broth has reached a rich color, remove bones, leaving behind chicken bits. Add to your pot:

2 onions, chopped

1 stalk celery, cleaned and chopped (I include the leaves)

1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced

3 TB butter (Since there was no skin, the extra fat makes a world of difference to the flavor)

4 cloves garlic

3 bay leaves

2 TB thyme

1 tsp celery seed

2 1/2 Cups rice

Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Or, in a crock pot, let soup cook on low for up to 5 hours.

Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Turkey Chowder

I’m on a mission to keep your family from saying “Turkey again! Ewww!” so you can eat up all your food, waste less, be greener, and impress them with your versatility and kitchen prowess.

Soup base:
1 Turkey carcass, meat trimmed
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic left whole

Cover carcass ¾ of the way with water (about 8 cups). Boil this (right in the roasting pan if you’ve got a nice one) covered until liquid is cloudy and carcass is falling apart, about 1 hour. Remove carcass, bay leaves, and garlic cloves. Separate out 4 cups of soup base for future deliciousness. It freezes well. Little floating bits of meat should stay in the pot. You can also make this in your crock pot. Allow soup based to simmer for about 2 hours.

Add to the pot:
2 cups left over corn
2 cups left over white potatoes (au gratin, mashed, hash browns, or how ever your family prepared them)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup left over carrots
¼ cup diced onion
2 cups left over turkey, shredded
1 TB Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.

Depending on the thickness you prefer, you may need to add back more of the soup base.
Bring to a boil then simmer 20 minutes or until celery is tender. Awesome served with cheddar croutons.

Slice left over rolls or bread into ½ inch rounds. Top with shredded cheddar and bake at 375 degrees while the soup is simmering. Croutons are ready when cheese is bubbly, bread is crispy brown.

EASY Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean soup is really perfect. Here is a recipe that gives you all the flavor right out of your pantry and is easy for students and moms who don’t have time to cook. This is a great dish made from stuff you most likely have on hand right now. It can be made in the slow cooker or stove top. And it’s frugal!


1 lb dried black beans, soaked (for a quick version used canned, see note)
1 red onion diced
3+ cloves of garlic
2 TB butter or vegan butter substitute
1 TB oregano
1 TB cumin
1 TB paprika
1-2 cubes herb bouillon (or tomato, chicken, or other flavor you have on hand)
8 oz salsa

In an large stock pot, saute onions, garlic, and butter with dry spices until onions sweat and soften. Add beans, broth cubes, and salsa. Yes, use that half jar of salsa in your fridge because you ran out of chips. Now add water just below covering the beans. You should have about 15 beans not submerged. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until beans are soft.

Crock pot method: Saute onions, garlic, butter, and dry spices on over medium heat. Transfer to your crock when they sweat and soften. Add remaining ingredients. Cover with water by 1/2 inch. Set crock to low for 6-8 hours.

* Cooks tip * Sauteing dry seasonings in fat with the veggies will help pull out the flavor. This can give you a “slow simmered” taste even in quickly prepared foods.

Quick version: Substitute 6 cups drained and rinsed black beans for dried beans. Add water to 1/2 inch below the beans. Simmer for 20 minutes covered then serve.

Toppings include cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, avocado chunks, salsa, olives, or crushed tortilla chips!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This is a simple and quick soup that is creamy and thick and totally gluten-free! Also, try it as a make-ahead, freeze, and reheat dish for holiday entertaining.

Veggies should always look this good

In a large stock pot make a blonde roux from

2 TB butter

3 TB rice flour

Whisk over medium heat just until the butter is fully melted. Add in

3+ cloves garlic
1 TB thyme
Drizzle in


2 Cups skim milk


While whisking constantly. When mixture comes to a bubble add


2 Cups water or veggie broth
4 oz Cream Cheese
20 oz broccoli bits, fresh or frozen


Stir to combine ingredients as cheese melts. Bring just below a simmer to avoid scalding the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Fish Stew

I like bouillabaisse, but it’s time consuming. And I don’t do time consuming. I do fish stew.

Get out the big stock pot: 8 qts or more. Get your saute on:

1 Cup WASHED and slivered leeks

1 spanish onion, diced

2 TB olive oil

4 bay leaves

1 TB dry basil

1/2 Cup diced carrot

When the onion carmelizes ADD:                                    

28 oz quality canned diced tomatoes

1/2 an orange rind (keep it in tact so you can remove it later)

4 Cups fish, chicken, or veggie stock

12 oz haddock

Stir and break up haddock. Simmer 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Before serving ADD:

1 lb cleaned scallops (frozen are fine)

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (frozen are fine)

Bring back to a boil for 5 minutes.  Fish out orange peel and bay leaves. Serve with bread, grated parm, lemon wedges, or croutons.

Published in: on October 17, 2009 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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