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Sep 24, 2012 06:40 PM

Soups and Stews - an unofficial contest

Everyone is cordially invited to submit recipes for your favorite soup or stew. I consider chili and gumbo to qualify. As with most threads, you can pretty much submit whatever you like. However, I would like to encourage you to have actually cooked your submitted recipe. I, highly, recommend adding pictures.

Have fun and tell us about what you did. How you varied from your original recipe. How it turned out. What you would do different in the future.

It's not really a contest. There won't be any winners but there won't be any losers either.

Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions to how this thread and future threads might work.

I will be submitting a recipe soon. However, I want to cook it again before I do it.

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  1. HH~
    love the category Hank. good choice.
    I'll be joining in.

    1. Love the title, HH! Funny, that.
      I'll be working on a pumpkin back soon.

      5 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        our daughter has a special secret recipe she takes every year to her friends houses for their Thanksgiving meals. she goes to 3 houses every year. all her different friends have gatherings: her work friends, her mommy and kids friends and her neighbor friends. every year they all contribute to the meal by bringing a main something. she's never asked but rather always told to being her pumpkin stew and/or her squash casserole. I've never had either or been there when she was prepping it but I'll try and be diligent to steal that pumpkin stew from her secret grasp (shhhhh, then I'll post it here.)

        1. re: iL Divo

          Wonderful, I would love to see her version of pumpkin stew. I've been making notes trying to decide which seasoning direction I want to take. Does your daughter make a meatless version?

          1. re: HillJ

            from what I understand hers is meatless.
            I don't get what the rave is about as I hear it every year from her friends.
            plus it dies not seeming anything she'd like but she says it's crazy good.
            I'll start gentky prying.

            1. re: iL Divo

              GOOD GRIEF! apparently I was not wearing glasses when I typed this out and always admit to having sausage fingers. ID needs a proof reader or no more riding Exercycle bike @ gym while answering posts.

        2. re: HillJ

          On tap for dinner is this pumpkin stew from the Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen" cookbook. Stew the way I enjoy it is served piping hot, nice and thick. There are excellent spice notes here. We plan to garnish with slivers of roasted pumpkin and slices of pumpkin seed bread.

        3. Cool! I have made both a gumbo & a soup relatively recently, but they were dried mixes. I assume you'd prefer them to be completely from scratch?

          I'd like to learn gumbo from scratch for my hubby, just know it will never live up to what he would get at a tiny Cajun place in Nashville..... But he did like the mix.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            recently watched Leah Chase on tv do her version of gumbo from Dooky Chase in New Orleans. gad it looked good. and of course she made it look easy. gotta make gumbo one day soon-

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              Don't let that discourage you! Gumbo is easy to make in a home kitchen and it doesn't take a lot of technical skills, just a lot of patience. Whatever recipe you use it's hard to go wrong if you make sure of four things: 1) Cook the roux at least to a brick-red color, preferably to a chocolate brown, before adding vegetables. 2) Get a good brown on all your meats like sausage, pork, wild game, etc. Never use beef. 3) Use a good homemade stock. 4) Don't rush the steps. there are no shortcuts with gumbo.

              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                au contraire mon frere
                this recipe makes a delicious gumbo

                but I very much agree that making from scratch is best.

                  1. re: AreBe

                    Au contraire? About what? Looks like we are in agreement.

                  2. re: RealMenJulienne

                    Thank you for the advice! And yes, I do know about how dark a roux needs to be, and that you can't rush it at all!

                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                      my husband grew up with a Cajun family for neighbors full of kids that pretty much all became his best friends-girls+ boys. he'd watch the mom cook this crazy food when he'd be there for dinner in their suburb SoCal home. always knew it'd probably be better than the meal before because they were always incredible to this Irish boy who was used to good food albeit bland food. later I met the family too and would sit and watch Thorneida or Darlene do their roux until a dark chocolate color. a typical meal would take the better part of a day to come together. someone was always at the ready to stir or lift lid to check. sooo much flavor.

                  3. here is my all time favorite soup recipe...Avgolemono soup. I have doctored the original recipe but I make a double batch every week and have for almost 2 years. here is my version.


                    1 roasted chicken (meat shredded)

                    2 carrots, finely chopped

                    8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

                    3 stalks celery, finely chopped

                    1 Spanish or sweet onion, finely chopped

                    2 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried leaves

                    3 large sprigs thyme

                    olive oil

                    2 32 oz chicken broth (or homemade if you have it)

                    white wine to taste

                    extra better than bullion to taste

                    1/2 cup orzo

                    4 large eggs room temp

                    1/3 cup lemon juice (or more)

                    fresh dill

                    salt and pepper


                    In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add all the vegetables and cook until softened but not browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and thyme, then deglaze the pot with the white wine and cook until it completely evaporates. add broth and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente (10 min).Turn off heat and remove one cup of broth from the pot (without any orzo in it.) Let it cool for 5 minutes. Put eggs and lemon juice in blender and process until smooth and frothy. With blender on, slowly pour the one cup of cooled broth that you removed from the pot into the blender and process until smooth. This is to thin out the eggs a little more so they will blend in to the soup obediently later on.

                    Add chicken to the broth.

                    Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until orzo is tender. Reduce heat to low.

                    Slowly pour in egg mixture, stirring constantly, until soup is heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

                    This is even better after having sit for 24 hours.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: ctfoodie

                      Nummy! I just recently made a version of it and my boyfriend licked the pot clean! You're has more to it, so I will have to try it next time.

                      1. re: ctfoodie

                        I have one of these recipes for this kind of soup, same name, in my Best of Bridge cookbook.
                        it looks so inviting, thanks for posting your version. getting cooler now, soups will be on the menu.

                        1. re: ctfoodie

                          Sounds so good! Love this soup, and will be giving your recipe a try!

                          1. re: ctfoodie

                            Thanks for the recipe. I made it (with some variations) and loved it.

                            I added the bones of the chicken to the vegetables when they sautéed. I used all homemade broth with a little water.

                            Finally I strained the soup of all bones and veggies before adding the orzo and shredded chicken.

                            It was creamy, rich and complex. I suspect that good broth is a key element but I would use the boxed stuff if it were all I had.

                            1. re: ctfoodie

                              Question for everyone who has made Avgolemono soup before - I have a duck carcass in my freezer that I'm planning to turn into stock. Would duck stock be too rich/the wrong flavor for this soup?

                                1. re: Aravisea

                                  agree it would be wonderful but I'd do one thing if you used the duck, watch the fat of the soup or the fat added, it won't need much extra fat is using duck.

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    Thanks to both of you for the feedback. Since ctfoodie said above that the posted recipe actually improved after a 24 hour sit, that would also allow any fat to solidify for easy removal. Will try it! Thanks :)

                                2. re: ctfoodie

                                  I'm making your recipe tonight for dinner! So excited to try it. I saved this post a month ago and I'm finally getting around to making it. Wish me luck!
                                  Updates to come. Thanks for sharing!

                                  1. re: ctfoodie

                                    I made this recipe last night, exactly as written. It was hands down the best chicken soup I have ever made or eaten! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I will make it time and time again without a doubt!

                                      1. re: ctfoodie

                                        You could seriously publish this recipe. I made it on Monday and it is still a household discussion!

                                    1. re: ctfoodie

                                      I've stated I have a recipe for Avgolemono soup in one of my 8 Best of Bridge cookbooks.
                                      we'll just say I'm addicted to finding the rest of these cookbooks until I have them all.
                                      their recipe is less exciting than your ctfoodie, I must, again on a cold night, whip this up for our taste-buds to revel over. sounds just delightful. thanks for sharing and thanks to pagesinthesun for the positive report.

                                      1. re: ctfoodie


                                        I have a couple of questions about your version.

                                        The word soup or stew always brings me back to threads such as this for ideas and although as stated I have the Best Of Bridge version of this soup, still haven't made it yet.

                                        Do you recall what cookbook you found the recipe in or do you use the Internet or magazines etc? I'm always interested in how others find their favorites as I do all of the above including charity shops where I sit and browse. I know you tweaked the recipe. My cookbook is less ingredients which is why I'll try yours, the more ingredients the better is always what I'm thinking. I have all ingredients except for the roasted chicken (I'll buy a whole chicken&roast) and the fresh dill weed. I do have dried dill, but just chucked the fresh in the frig as it was going south.
                                        Is this recipe for the double batch you mentioned or one batch? It may make a difference in when I do this.

                                        Not sure if tonight will be the night for this, but it 'is' raining after all. I promise to report back and hope it's to the hubby's liking, I know it'll be mine. Thanks again for posting.

                                      2. Gotta go with Gypsy Stew. This is a dish that Rosalie Murphy made famous at the Pink Adobe in Santa Fe. It’s comfort food at it best. This is my adaptation of it.

                                        6 – 8 chicken thighs, bone in\skin on

                                        3 Yellow onions – peeled and quartered

                                        1 head of garlic – peeled and halved

                                        1 carton low sodium chicken broth or 4 cups home made

                                        1 ½ lbs tomatoes – peeled and chopped

                                        10 – 12 poblano chilies – roasted, peeled and coarse chopped

                                        1 /2 cup dry sherry

                                        Jack cheese

                                        Place the thighs, onions, garlic and broth in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 1 hour. While this is going on, roast and peel the chilies. Give a rough chop (1 – 1 ½” hunks) and set aside. After the chicken has simmered, remove from the skin, shred and return to the pot with the chilies, tomato and sherry. Let simmer another 45 minutes. When done, serve in bowls with a chink of jack cheese in the bottom.

                                        1 Reply