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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 stew..be 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 http://www.marciaball.com/gumbo.html

                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
                                        1. Here is one we had last night!

                                          Potato Leek Soup

                                          1 leek rinsed and chopped(white and fresh part of green)
                                          4 medium potatoes washed and cubed
                                          1 carrot chopped
                                          1 celery stalk chopped
                                          1 small onion chopped(adds depth to the elegant flavor)
                                          Add all this to a sauce pan that has either 2 T butter melted or oil of your choice. Stir to coat and cover to saute for about 5 minutes.
                                          Add enough stock/water to cover veg(about 2 cups), cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all is soft.
                                          Remove from heat and blend until creamy.
                                          S and P to taste(here and or later).
                                          Add about 3 cups milk and heat on low (careful, it can burn)!
                                          Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for 2 days!!!

                                          1. My favourite basic soup recipe is what I call "Kitchen Sink Soup" because you can throw everything but the kitchen sink into it. It's more of a process than a detailed recipe - you can adjust the ingredients according to what you have. I make this at the end of the week in winter, when I'm using up bits of food before grocery shopping.

                                            Coarsely dice a small onion and a stalk of celery, and saute in a bit of olive oil until they start to soften. Add a handful of mushrooms, sliced. When they are soft, add a can of diced tomatoes with juice, a can of chicken stock (about 2 cups each), and three cups of water, and 1/4 cup of rice (or 1/2 a cup of cooked left over rice) Let simmer. Add a carrot, coarsely diced, about 1/4 cup of corn kernels, 1/2 a cup cooked rice (and simmer for a while more. Add a couple of handfuls of spinach or other leafy green, and a 1/4 cup of green beans or peas. Season with freshly ground pepper, a pinch each of dried thyme, oregano and basil and salt to taste. If you have some leftover cooked chicken or beef, you can toss it in at the same time as the rice. Adjust the liquid at the end - if it's too strong, add a bit more water.

                                            Good served with crusty bread and cheese on the side.

                                            Another soup I've been eating a lot recently is a variation of a Greek recipe.

                                            Put 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water in a pot with 1/3 cup short grain white rice. Let it simmer until the rice is very soft and breaking apart (at least 1/2 hour, more is better). Meanwhile, beat together two eggs and the juice of half a lemon. Pour the egg mixture into the soup, whisking vigorously. Turn off the heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of pesto, stir until it's well mixed. Serve hot or cold. You can adjust the amount of lemon to your taste.

                                            Velvet Squash Soup

                                            Chop a small onion and saute in a bit of olive oil, along with 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (whole) until very soft and starting to brown. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and simmer for a while. Add 3 cups cooked orange winter squash (I cut the squash in half, bake it, and scoop out the flesh), and mix well. Puree with a hand blender, and run it through a food mill or sieve. The texture should be very thick and velvety. Season with 1 teaspoon powdered ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cloves, plus salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice to taste (about 1 T). Stir in a splash of heavy cream (not too much) just before serving.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                              My father in law used to make a similar soup to your "kitchen sink" soup. He would keep a pot going on the back of the stove on low all week. He would throw his kitchen scraps like potato and carrot peels, the root end of a bulb of celery and maybe some bones. At the end of the week, he would strain the stock and start adding whatever he had in the fridge. Leftover rice, cooked chopped meat. He would cut up fresh veggies. Anyway it was a hell of a soup. He said he learned it in the army in WW2 when he was a cook.

                                              1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                That's the best way to make stock, from all the kitchen scraps....that's what I've seen in professional kitchens.....

                                                1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                  our DIL's auntie does a similar thing.
                                                  she calls hers "leftover dinner".
                                                  she grabs stuff from the fridge that's been in there, conjurs up a stock and puts it in.
                                                  our son likes it because he says it's always different, you never know what the predominent flavor will be, sometimes chicken, sometimes perogie stuffed (they're Polish) sometimes, ground beef, sounds fun to me.

                                              2. Favourite stew is a very ordinary beef stew - beef shin, onions, celery whatever root veg look good, stock. Very long cooking. Parsley dumplings added about 20 minutes before we want to eat.

                                                There are fancier stews but none more tasty and satisfying on a cold autumn evening.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Stove top or oven? Just curious ....

                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                    HOw do you make parsley dumplings?

                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                      Stove top.

                                                      Parsley dumplings - 100g self-raising flour, 50g shredded suet, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley. Mix and add a little water to bring the dough together. Makes about eight. Pop them on top of the stew for 20 minutes.

                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                      my husband loves beef stew.
                                                      he loves his mom's best and mine is second < :;-/
                                                      his moms is thin liquid where mine is more of a rich gravy, either way, so good on a cold night.

                                                    3. One of my favorite soups has the BEST name: Cockaleekie

                                                      It's amazingly simple: thinly sliced leeks sauteed in butter, then simmered in chicken broth. Purist put prunes in it, but I think that's weird. There's a bunch of different variations with other chopped veggies and pieces of chicken in it. You know it's spring when I start making cockaleekie.

                                                      1. Well you can tell from the name what my favorite food is......and of course, a well made Clam Chowder......NEW ENGLAND style, of course makes a wonderful Autumn Soup with some crusty bread, now that the summer clamshacks are closing for the season.

                                                        And While I do make mine from scratch, sometimes, I';m in a hurry..so here's my "cheater recipe":

                                                        One can of commercial Clam Chowder
                                                        3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled ( if you can get Linguica sausage, that's even better)
                                                        TBS diced onion.sauteed in the bacon fat or butter
                                                        1/2 tsp minced garlic
                                                        1 can of store-bought can of clams...preferably chopped or whole (drain, reserving TBS of clam juice)

                                                        Mix all together, heat.serve in a bowl topped with a pat of butter and some paprika

                                                        For extra decadence, sprinkle on a TBS+ of shredded cheese

                                                        Far from a purist NE style chowder, but darn good and a surprising notch up from that canned stuff by itself

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                          Yum, thank you for this!! What type of canned do you use? I used to get Snow's on the East Coast, but that's harder to find on the west coast. Suppose I could mail order it....

                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                            somewhere on here there is a thread.......in it, most ppl are saying the Snows of today is nothing like it used to be, and they now shy6 away from it. I just usually grab the hearty Campbells or Progresso Chowders since they are the ones most prevalent around here.

                                                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                              That's too bad, but I guess a blessing for me since I can't find it anyway.... I know my Mom's tried the Bar Harbor brand, and she was not impressed. Too skimpy on the clams & potatoes.

                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                I always get a little leery about those "place-name" things....most of them I think are produced in the the same factory somewhere in the dregs of .....(name of State deleted to prevent griefing). The one BIG exception to that is Bookbinders Lobster Bisque. I use that as a sauce, a soup, a topping, and it always seems to impress.

                                                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                  We had clam chowder at Ford's in Noank, CT, twice last week. I don't think I can ever eat canned clam chowder again. They redefined what it should taste like for me.

                                                          2. I will be posting my chicken stock recipe a little later. Most of you probably don't need to know how to make stock in a crockpot but I need to make some stock anyway. God knows with good chicken stock, you can add rocks, bolts and screws and still get a good soup.

                                                            I have to make chicken marsala this weekend for my grand daughter and I want to make a chicken and sausage gumbo for this thread....I need stock for both.

                                                            1. Crockpot Chicken Stock

                                                              I'm making a dark stock which means I am roasting the chicken. If you wish to make it even darker, you add some onion skins with your onions.

                                                              You may be shocked at how little I add to my stock. I don't want to over flavor my stock with garlic or sage. I want the stock to be flexible. I can add additional flavors later.


                                                              5 lbs. bone in dark meat chicken with large bones. I usually use leg quarters.
                                                              1 medium onion, rough chopped (you can wedge it too)
                                                              1 bay leaf
                                                              2 - 3 quarts water
                                                              1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
                                                              Salt and ground pepper


                                                              Dab the chicken dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in 350°F oven for 1 hour.

                                                              Add onion to crockpot. I use a 6.5 quart oval crockpot. For this much chicken, you will need a large one.

                                                              Add chicken, water, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Add enough water to fill crockpot (should be 2 - 3 quarts).

                                                              Put lid on crockpot and set on low for 10 - 12 hours.

                                                              Skim off excess fat (optional because after the stock is refrigerated over night the fat will solidify on top and can be scraped away). Strain stock into a large container.

                                                              Refrigerate overnight. It should be completely gelatinized. We call this chicken jello. Scrape away any accumulated fat on top and discard.

                                                              Notes: If you want to be able to use the chicken meat in a soup or something, you will want to remove the chicken form the bone after 3 - 4 hours of simmering. Put the bones back in and continue simmering. I usually leave all the meat in for the full 12 hours. The meat will be useless except for the dog afterwards. The meat will make your stock even more flavorful, though.

                                                              If you want to make your stock even thicker, you could add a couple of chicken feet. Chicken feet have lots of collagen which causes the gelatin effect. You could, also break the big bones with a cleaver after roasting the chicken. This is probably not necessary because of the time they will simmer but it would expose the marrow to the stock. That is where the collagen resides.

                                                              If you want to freeze your stock, put it in ziploc freezer bags. This particular batch will be used within a few days so I'm not freezing any.

                                                              1. The first one that comes to mind for me is my cheesy potato soup...probably because we just had it for dinner last night and I loved it. I had to resist from just faceplanting into the crockpot when it was done.

                                                                I made this recipe up, but I'm sure there are countless recipes that are similar to it. But I didn't base mine off of anything and just started throwing stuff together the first time I made it. I make it in a 4qt crockpot, just for reference.

                                                                4-5 medium-large baking potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed (enough to fill the crockpot about 1/2-2/3 full)
                                                                1-2 carrots, washed, peeled, and diced
                                                                1-2 stalks celery, washed and diced
                                                                1 small onion, diced (optional -- I usually use waaay less than this, or none at all since my husband hates onions -- but if I was making it for just myself or friends who like onion I'd add a whole one)
                                                                1 bell pepper (any color but green), washed, seeded, diced
                                                                2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                pat of butter
                                                                Salt, black pepper, & cayenne pepper to taste
                                                                Enough water or chicken stock (or water + better than bouillon) to just cover everything
                                                                1/4 - 1/2 cup grated cheese -- cheddar or monetary jack, or whatever you like/have on hand
                                                                3-4 tablespoons heavy cream, and/or up to 1 cup milk
                                                                Optional: Bacon or ham

                                                                Place the cubed potatoes in the crock pot. Melt the butter in a sautee pan over medium heat and sautee the carrots, celery, onion, and bell pepper until soft. Add the garlic, turn off the heat, and cook for about a minute more in the still-hot pan. Throw the veggies on top of the potatoes, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cover with water/stock. Cover the crockpot and cook until the potatoes are tender -- about 6 hours on low or 4 on high. Using a potato masher, mash the soup to desired consistency (for me, thickened but still chunky.) Add the shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. If soup is too thick, add milk to thin; or just add a little cream to finish it. If using bacon or ham, add it at the end so it doesn't get mushed up when you mash the potatoes.

                                                                1. So yesterday (or rather tuesday night I guess) I made a moroccon style beef stew. I'll paraphrase the recipe since I did alter it some what.. The recipe makes enough to heartily serve two people with some leftovers.

                                                                  Pre-heat your crock-pot or an electric tagine. Start on high.

                                                                  Roughly chop one large onion. Place in a pre-heated frying pan on med-high with 1-2 tsp of olive oil, saute until the onions begin to colour. At this point add in 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 cup diced peppers and carrot and roughly one cup of frozen small broccoli florets. Saute for another minute or so, then add to the crock pot with a large handful of pitted dates (about 1 cup).

                                                                  Combine 1 cup of beef stock with 1 tbsp of honey, 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp tumeric. Then add in 1 cup of chopped tomatoes topped with hot water and 2 tbsp of tomato puree. Add to crock pot and mix.

                                                                  Finally, saute around 1 1/2lbs of beef, trimmed of excess fat and cubed until brown then add into the crockpot and give one last stir. Season to taste. I added in some ground black pepper but went easy on the salt. Turn to low and cook for 8 hours.

                                                                  I served it with coucous mixed with dried mushrooms.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Musie

                                                                    This recipe is rather begging for the lamb shoulder chop sitting in my fridge...

                                                                    1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                      agree Duchess, when I read beef in the recipe, I immediately thought of lamb. it's Moroccan and to me that screams lamb.

                                                                      Musie, you got my attention with the addition of dates.
                                                                      then I read the spices and thought OMGOODNESS........
                                                                      I'll be making this. currently in freezer are 2 lamb chops > the tiny ones, 2 nice boneless strips of pork and a ribeye steak. wondering too much? too much flavor or difference from your recipe? which should I use of these meats or a combination of if any? or should I stick to either lamb or the beef? help, and thanks........... :)

                                                                  2. Last night was White Bean And Chicken Soup from:
                                                                    Unfortunately, when I got home the electricity was out and it was nearly dark in my kitchen. I lit the emergency lantern, a few candles, and rigged up a Craftsman shop light over the stove so I could see what I was making. Fired up the burners and started cooking. Just as I was serving up dinner, the power was restored! (And only suffered one minor cut to my index finger as I struggled with the manual can opener!)

                                                                    1. Just made a vegetable stew for a sick friend. It uses simple ingredients added in sequence to produce a lot of layered flavors. Saute 4 cups mirepoix, 2 stalks fresh thyme, and 2 bay leaves in a heavy pot with a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter. Finely chop 1 small cabbage and mince 1/2 head garlic, and add both to pot when celery is translucent. Mix 2 tablespoons tomato paste into vegetable mixture when cabbage is translucent. Add 1 large can whole tomatoes when tomato paste is cooked to a brick-red color and has lost that raw paste flavor. Break up tomatoes with spatula, then add enough hot beef stock to cover everything to the depth of 1 inch (buillion is fine). Bring to a simmer, then add 2 large peeled white potatoes, sliced into thin wedges so the narrow end of the wedge will dissolve and thicken the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes then add 1 ear of sweet corn cut off the cob, and 2 cups frozen peas. Simmer 15 more minutes then remove from heat.

                                                                      When it's done the cabbage, onion, and celery should have almost completely broken down into the cooking liquid to form a thick, savory broth. If at this point it's not thick enough, use your spatula to mash up some of the potato slices against the side of the pot. As with any stew, it's better reheated the next day.

                                                                      1. My stew is similar to Mike's Gypsy Stew above.  I make it in a small slow cooker.  Here's the version I made recently:

                                                                        Start slow cooker on high with a little oil, to preheat.

                                                                        One medium to large onion, diced.  Put in cooker.

                                                                        One 1-lb roll fresh chorizo.  If you can't find the roll, get it packed in skins, and remove the skins.  Cut into small meatball-sized pieces and add to cooker.  Cover and let cook for awhile.

                                                                        Four large poblano peppers.  Halve and remove stem and seeds.  Remove skins by whatever method works for you.  I put them under the broiler.  Dice and add to cooker.

                                                                        Eight chicken thighs, bone-in.  Remove skin and most of the fat.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and add to cooker.  Add a little water at this point.  If you have a little chicken broth you need to use, you could use that.

                                                                        Several dried New Mexico and Negro chiles.  Clean and chop fine.  Add to cooker.

                                                                        One #2-1/2 can of white hominy.  Drain and rinse.  Add to cooker.  The cooker should be full now, with the hominy making an insulating layer on top.

                                                                        When cooker starts bubbling, switch to low setting.  Let cook until not quite done.

                                                                        Make a roux with masa harina and unsalted butter with a little oil.  Cook for a bit, then add liquid from cooker, blend, return to cooker and stir in, mixing stew ingredients.

                                                                        Stew is done when chicken falls off the bone.  Serve with rice.


                                                                        1. I start with Emeril's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe ( in his cookbook but also on food network) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

                                                                          My changes, I use okra instead of filé, I use Tony Chachere's creole seasoning instead of Emeril's rustic rub. When I lived in Louisiana I used Jacob's andouille sausage but outside of there I'd use keilbasa in a pinch, but it's not the same. I also add tasso ( Jacob's also). I'm always playing with the spicing as it cooks so the recipe is just the basic framework.

                                                                          1. Two weeks ago, I made a butternut squash bisque as I had a ton of home grown butternut squash. I don't normally cook from a recipe but here's what I used. Cut and remove seeds and membrane for a couple medium or one large butternut squash and one cup sliced onion, enough to make about 4 cups or so pulp when cooked. I made a vegetable base, roasted at the same time from about two stalks of celery, carrots and a large onion. Cut up and roast in oven on 375 F. degrees with a bit of olive oil to coat the veggies, cooking for about minutes or until carrots are tender or about 25 minutes. 10 minutes before the veggies are cooked, stir a couple of minced cloves of garlic into the mixture, stirring as it caramelizes. Remove from oven and spoon veggies and any pan juices into a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Spoon puree into a covered dish and set aside.

                                                                            For the bisque, add 8 cups chicken stock (or veg stock if prefer) to a 2 1/2 qt- 3 qt. stock pot; whisk in 1/4 cup of the roasted vegetable base and bring to a simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the squash puree, one cup heavy cream (I used fat free half & half), teaspoon ground cumin, teaspoon kosher salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash onion & herb seasoning blend, pinch black pepper. Continue to simmer for minutes and serve.

                                                                            To complete my soup, I oven dried some slices of prosciutto to crumble over the top; it adds the right amount of salt to the soup (since I only added a bit in the recipe). I like a thick soup but more stock can be added to thin it out and seasonings can be adjusted. Next time, I'm going to make it with some apple cider and use dried apple chips for a garnish. It was delicious! BTW, the remainder of the roasted veg puree can be used in gravies, stirred into rice, used in a rub, etc. I keep a batch in my fridge.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                              OH LAWD...............sounds like pure heaven!.....and if you can get some of those funky acorn -type squash shells to serve it in, it would be fit for a king....or a queen..or a visiting upper management....Oh hell, just serve it to the family.

                                                                              The only thing I'd leave out is the cumin.a personal preference

                                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                It IS delicious; like your idea for serving it in acorn squash shells

                                                                              2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                I love the use of apples and proscuitto. The one thing that's missing for me is sage. Somehow I can't imagine winter squash without sage, preferably fresh and fried.

                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                  this does sound wonderful and I strongly agree with the addition of sage by whoever mentioned that. love the prosciutto crispy effect and flavor. I'm a huge fan of cumin but here I think I'd leave it out so the squash is the star and predominant flavor. no apple in there for me as that's a choice I purposely make-love the FF 1/2&1/2 idea. smart doing that. the whole thing sounds tummy warming to a cold night. wish I could grow winter squash~ dang jealous girl here.

                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                    This was my first year growing winter squash (butternut & acorn)...it grew like weeds! I didn't have to do anything to it at all! Can't wait until next year, I'll be trying other varieties like spaghetti squash and delicata

                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                      that's great Cheryl, what part of the state are you in?
                                                                                      when did start your seeds and how? < in the ground? in a clay pot?
                                                                                      yep! I'd love to try growing them too :)

                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                        Sorry I haven't been back on this thread since Nov 8th; I'm in northeastern NC (zone 8). I started my seeds in a quart orange juice box in April (or maybe end of March) then moved them to the garden in May. I had a ton of squash. Butternut was easier for me to grow than yellow or zucchini squash if you can believe that! Can't wait to start my spring garden...I've already ordered seeds....

                                                                                2. So.....tonight is definitely soup night at our house. We are having a buffet lunch for my mom's birthday on Sunday, and it will feature four kinds of soup and assorted accompaniements. My husband started on Monday, baking whole wheat baguettes, and freezing them fresh out of the overn. Last night, he started making stock, very similar to Hank Hanover's slow cooker stock recipe, except he did it on the stove, on very low heat, overnight, Today we used the stock to make:
                                                                                  1) Barefoof Contessa's cheddar corn chowder
                                                                                  2) Barefoot Contessa's Italian wedding soup, except we ( by which I actually mean my husband, who is retired and has time to do lots of prep!) made beef meatballs instead of chicken
                                                                                  3) Barefoot Contessa's Tomato soup, that was on the cover of Food Network Magazine this month, only we didn't do the grilled gruyere croutons ( although I probably will someday...my all time favortie is grilled cheese and tomato soup, and this recipe has all that:)
                                                                                  4) My very much adapted from some Food Network recipe for Black bean soup....which will be served with lots of "toppings"...shredded Mexican cheese, whole grain tortilla chips, sour cream, homemade guacamole, chopped scallions and cilantro and lime wedges.
                                                                                  We have like, 30 jars of soup, which we will warm in slow cookers, and serve at the buffet with things like chopped fresh dill , shredded cheeses ( appropriate to each soup) bacon cheddar croutons, Rit mini pretzel crackers, oyster crackers, bacon etc.
                                                                                  Tasted them all for supper tonight, and am thinking people will enjoy the soup bar on Sunday!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. This is my favorite most decadent soup, baked right in the pumpkin, really a gratin, but why quibble? It is from Ruth Reichl's first cookbook, also the first one I ever owned, which I still use today, called Mmmmm, A Feastiary.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                      I must admit that sounds interesting. Presented that way would certainly be unforgettable.

                                                                                      Do you serve these in individual pumpkins?

                                                                                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                        You could; I have only done it in one large one .

                                                                                    2. Thee is, on the web, a pic from a 5 gallon tub of Mulligatawny by the soup you know who, of the ingredient label. An excellent cook and I deconstructed the label as best we could and the result was the finest soup I have ever tasted. That man is a soup genius. I'm not sure what I can say about him or that label. His mulligatawny has over 20 ingredients and, as is his M.O., everything floats in the broth after a two hour simmer. He uses orange for the citrus. Gives a wonderful taste. As far as I know there are two full soup recipes he has revealed. Seafood bisque and Mexican chicken stew. Anyone know of any other?

                                                                                      1. Today I made a wonderful Pumpkin soup using a recipe I found in this falls 'Sweet Paul'


                                                                                        Now, I made a few variations, simply because I was making it spur of the moment and lacked some of the ingredients. I used 18% fat cream instead of heavy, and I'm glad I did! Next time I might try it with 10% fat cream. I had run out of thyme, so I used summer savory instead. I also didn't have chanterelles, so I used button mushrooms.

                                                                                        Super easy recipe with some real great flavour.

                                                                                        1. Gaston Stew from the Joy of Cooking. I love this. It's a basic beef stew and has converted the stew and cooked-carrot averse in my life. I think what makes it are A) a night in the icebox and B) cooking the veg separately. I make a point of cooking it when we return to Standard Time-- cheers me up and signals that summer's over. And after all these years, I have no idea who Gaston was!

                                                                                          1. Here is a picture of the gumbo.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                              Wow, looks incredible, Hank. Just like Breaux in Nashville.... Bet it will be unbelievable tomorrow and the next few days.... I am bookmarking your recipe, thank you for sharing....

                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                  Oh God! It tasted even better today. Unfortunately, we only had enough left over for 2 bowls. The wife and I had it for lunch.

                                                                                                  It's definitely on the rotation for the next 5 - 6 months. Now I'm gonna have to try a seafood gumbo.

                                                                                              1. Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Soup
                                                                                                What would you do to make this soup more interesting?

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  Well you could use a little nutmeg. The recipe calls for chicken or vegetable stock so go with chicken or experiment with the contents of the home made vegetable stock. Make it bold.

                                                                                                  The recipe certainly seems savory because they don't add any sugar. I think I would be tempted to add red pepper flakes or cayenne. Cayenne would be easier because you could add a tiny bit towards the end. Just enough to tickle the back of the throat.

                                                                                                  You could add cream to it but if I did that, I would definitely add some cayenne at the end.

                                                                                                  If you wanted the Thanksgiving taste, you could eliminate the Parmesan and garlic add pureed bananas, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar and maybe some pumpkin pie spice mix. I am not a fan of this particular idea.

                                                                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                    Hey I'm loving these ideas, HH. Thank you. I may make a basic base and then experiment with various flavors from there.

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      Sounds like I convinced you to spend a day experimenting but if you come up with something really spectacular, your B&B could become renown for it.

                                                                                                      I would think it would be very profitable to develop a small list of unique house specialties.

                                                                                                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                        Our guesthouse menus are seasonal and prepared by 4 different cooks. My contributions are considered but I'm the one relying ultimately on the skills of others. Personally, I experiment all the time, bake every week and love all sorts of food adventures. Soups and stews this particular time of year work out better for me when I'm on the eastcoast preparing meals for family and friends.

                                                                                                        I have my own "house" specialities with my family but at this stage in our lives we all cook and contribute to the family menu. Thanks, HH.

                                                                                                2. I remember my father adoring ham hocks and (in our case/household) dried white baby Lima beans.
                                                                                                  such a hearty smokey fully robust satisfyingly deliously flavored soup.

                                                                                                  1. Where are the chili recipes? Here is one to get started.

                                                                                                    CHILI CON CARNE with Beans

                                                                                                    2 Tablespoon oil
                                                                                                    1 lb coarse ground beef
                                                                                                    1 lg. onion, chopped
                                                                                                    1 green pepper (or less), chopped
                                                                                                    2 dried chile peppers
                                                                                                    2 bay leaves
                                                                                                    1 large can of tomatoes (lb. 28-oz
                                                                                                    2 Tablespoon chili powder
                                                                                                    1 teaspoon ground cumin
                                                                                                    1 teaspoon cocoa powder, optional
                                                                                                    2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                    1 cups beef broth
                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon pepper
                                                                                                    2 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                    1 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                                                                    3 cups cooked pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained

                                                                                                    Brown the ground beef of medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium and add onions. Sweat the onion until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except the beans. Cover and simmer slowly for one hour. Add beans and cook for another hour. Serve.

                                                                                                    1. this seemed more like a soup but remembered its called a stew. I'll make it one day when I have all the meats. if its anything like her chicken and dumplings I'm going to scream.


                                                                                                      also Chasen's chili is quite good.
                                                                                                      love chili.... I mean LOVE chili


                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                        I looked up that recipe for Chasen's chili. The poster had modified the original recipe by adding more tomatoes and MSG (he did mark it as optional). He also changed the meat from cubed to coarse ground.

                                                                                                        I modified his and Chasen's to suit me. I reduced the tomatoes back to 28 ounces instead of 40 ounces. I agree with the coarse grind meat. I took out Chasen's parsley. Parsley has no place in chili. Chasen had the beef and pork being sauteed in half a cup of butter. That's not appropriate for ground meat (not even sure it is appropriate for cubed meat). I replaced the butter with another 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Modified recipe below.

                                                                                                        Chasen's Modified Chili

                                                                                                        1/2 lb pinto beans
                                                                                                        1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
                                                                                                        1 lb chopped green bell pepper
                                                                                                        1 1/2 lb chopped onions
                                                                                                        2 cloves crushed garlic
                                                                                                        3 Tbsp. oil, divided
                                                                                                        2 1/2 pounds ground beef (coarse or chili grind)
                                                                                                        1 lb ground pork
                                                                                                        1/3 cup chili powder
                                                                                                        1 Tbsp salt
                                                                                                        1 1/2 tsp pepper
                                                                                                        1 1/2 tsp cumin
                                                                                                        1 1/2 tsp MSG (Optional)

                                                                                                        Rinse the beans, picking out debris. Place beans in a Dutch oven with water to cover. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand one hour. Drain off liquid.

                                                                                                        Rinse beans again. Add enough fresh water to cover beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, for one hour or until tender.

                                                                                                        Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Simmer five minutes. In a large skillet, sauté bell pepper in 1 ½ tablespoons oil for five minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic. Add mixture to bean mixture.

                                                                                                        Using the same skillet, add 1 ½ tablespoons oil and sauté beef and pork until browned. Drain. Add to bean mixture along with the chili powder, salt, pepper and cumin.

                                                                                                        Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes more.

                                                                                                        Skim off excess fat and serve.

                                                                                                        NOTE: You can freeze this chili for months. When reheating frozen chili, add a few tablespoons of water.

                                                                                                        I hope you don't mind me being so bold as to modify a recipe.

                                                                                                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                          somewhere on CH I posted the recipe for Chasen's chili years ago.
                                                                                                          this post is because I found it googling Chasen's chili and one came up from CH. that's why I posted 'it'. I don't remember mom's recipe calling for MSG but I don't think she would have used it. either way HH, of course I don't mind you amending anything.


                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                            I may actually use the MSG. It is a flavor enhancer like salt is. I think the health hazards someone came up with several years ago have largely been proven exaggerated.

                                                                                                            I'm sure there are people that are allergic to it and they certainly shouldn't use it.

                                                                                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                              I'm not sure about MSG but I always ask when ordering say Chinese food if there is MSG in it.
                                                                                                              I also check labels on things like mixed spices or jarred food enhancers ex: [Mrs. Dash] to make sure they don't have it, then I'll consider buying it. I really do have a hard time with preservatives. I fainted years ago after eating at a soup/sandwich chain. I should have realized when my tongue started getting fat there was a problem. Anyway was in ClothesTime buying clothes for our daughter and just went down, didn't know what happened but since then, I know things like salad bars that mysteriously last all day long are not good for me.

                                                                                                      2. This is a great okra stew I learned how to make while traveling in Turkey. It's a popular summer dish in southern Turkey along the Mediterranean.

                                                                                                        Domatesli Bamya (Okra Stew)

                                                                                                        1/2 pound okra
                                                                                                        2 medium tomatoes, chopped
                                                                                                        1 small green bell pepper, chopped
                                                                                                        1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
                                                                                                        1 garlic clove, chopped
                                                                                                        3 tablespoons tomato sauce
                                                                                                        juice of 1/2 small lemon
                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon coriander
                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon all spice
                                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                        black pepper
                                                                                                        2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                                                        2 cups water

                                                                                                        Wash and drain the okra.
                                                                                                        Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven.
                                                                                                        Sauté the onion and garlic for about 2-3 minutes, until the onion becomes transparent.
                                                                                                        Add the bell pepper and chopped tomatoes.
                                                                                                        Add in the coriander, all spice, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Cook together for a few more minutes.
                                                                                                        In a separate cup or bowl, mix together the tomato sauce and water and pour into pot.
                                                                                                        Add in the lemon juice and cook together for 2-3 minutes.
                                                                                                        Add the okra and stir to combine.
                                                                                                        Cook uncovered on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
                                                                                                        Reduce the heat to low and let gently simmer for 30-40 minutes.
                                                                                                        Serve with bread or rice.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: limonay

                                                                                                          That's interesting. I have not seen an all veggie stew before.. no stock either...not even vegetable stock.

                                                                                                        2. my girlfriend and I were talking yesterday while I was cooking like a loone.
                                                                                                          she was telling me about this soup she can't wait to make because it's just so darn good, but it has to be freezing outside and it was 104* while we were talking so she was putting it off.
                                                                                                          she said it goes into the pressure cooker and cooks forever.
                                                                                                          it's ingredients she told me were:
                                                                                                          beef with a big round bone in the middle of it [?]
                                                                                                          2 huge potatoes cut in half, then in half again
                                                                                                          carrots, onions, water to cover and just salt, no other spice/herb

                                                                                                          sounds weird to me. she said her mom knows when the time is up for it to cook because of the smell coming out of the pressure cooker, what? if it over cooks the vegs go all mushy, ya think? it's in there for hours. I have no clue but she swore that when she made it next, she'd call me as she was getting ready to make it so I'd better understand.......''ok''.....

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                            I have seen people purposely over cook veggies in soups and stews and especially stocks because they are going to strain them out and put in fresh veggies for the actual soup. The meat with the marrow bone in the center sounds like soup bones which are lower leg and shanks sawed in 1 inch sections or oxtail. either is great for a stock but you could certainly make a good beef soup with them.

                                                                                                            Sounds like your friends mom is making a beef stock. A pressure cooker would eliminate the simmering for 8 hours that beef stock usually takes.

                                                                                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                              she's from a foreign country, born and raised and her way of speaking is so unsual and something I get such a kick out of. she did speak of the yumminess of the marrow but said no to the idea of yanking and pureeing the vegetables that I said had to get very soft and lifeless.
                                                                                                              soon enough I'll know the real recipe as I'll cook it right along side her words. I do need to know the kind of meat though and the exact vegetables used if it's gonna come out the way her memory of it is. we may have to have a 3 way phone conversation with her Bulgarian mom who's recipe it is.

                                                                                                          2. Smilingal's post reminded me of this recipe I posted on another thread~"soup soup soup"
                                                                                                            I'll post it here too as it is worth letting those who missed it- view it.

                                                                                                            my girlfriend sent me a recipe~now understand, when she sends me recipes via email, I usually wonder how two such good friends can have such a difference in what they like to make for dinner.
                                                                                                            I usually don't care for the sound of the recipes as our tastes are not similar.
                                                                                                            a couple of weeks ago she sent me a recipe. I read it and thought it sounded soooooooooooo good. the ingredients were all my favorite things so early in the morning I started. Sent recipe to my vegetarian girlfriend and her reply was same as mine, "this sounds like I'd love it on a cold rainy night." guess what? it's raining ;:-)

                                                                                                            "girlfriend's Lentil Chickpea chili"

                                                                                                            good drizzle of olive oil
                                                                                                            6 cups + veggie or chicken or beef broth/stock [I used my home made chix stock]
                                                                                                            2 T Dijon mustard
                                                                                                            2 T ground cumin
                                                                                                            2 T tomato paste
                                                                                                            1/2 t turmeric
                                                                                                            1/4 t cayenne
                                                                                                            1 1/2 t sea salt
                                                                                                            1 t black pepper
                                                                                                            3 whole bay leaves
                                                                                                            1" fresh ginger grated
                                                                                                            1 onion diced
                                                                                                            1 1/2 carrots diced small
                                                                                                            2 stalks celery diced small
                                                                                                            2 1/2 jalepeno's, cut stems off, then drop in whole
                                                                                                            3 garlic cloves grated
                                                                                                            1 small can diced tomatoes, undrained
                                                                                                            2 cans chickpeas, drained/rinsed OR 2 cups dried/soaked over night
                                                                                                            3/4 cup red lentils
                                                                                                            3/4 cup yellow lentils
                                                                                                            1/2 cup green lentils
                                                                                                            handful of chopped cilantro, optional (used at end as garnish on top)

                                                                                                            1. Dutch oven goes olive oil, about 2 T's.
                                                                                                            2. When oil is hot, put in all vegetables stir/saute for 5 minutes.
                                                                                                            3. Drop in chickpeas and lentils+tomatoes in their juice stir to coat.
                                                                                                            4. Add seasonings including tomato paste/mustard, bay leaves, stir well.
                                                                                                            5. Add stock, stir well.
                                                                                                            6. Cook on low flame partially covered about 6 hours, checking liquid as you stir and adding more if needed, until chickpeas are done cooking < softer.
                                                                                                            7. Weed out jalepeno's and bay leaves and toss.
                                                                                                            8. Adjust salt and pepper, add more if needed
                                                                                                            8. Place in bowl, garnish (if desired) with cilantro on top

                                                                                                            if this sounds good to you after reading the ingredients, please please please make it and report back~maybe my taste buds are not as good as I think as I LOVE this

                                                                                                            1. Beef and Guinness Stew. YUM!

                                                                                                              Has to be one of my favourite stews. I marinated the beef in the Guinness for a few hours, then chopped, browned and slow cooked the beef in the Guinness with some stock, some tomato paste and onions and garlic sauteed then deglazed with a little more Guinness. I added chunky cut mushrooms, spring onions and peas at the end and served with mustard mash.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                I assume the Guinness taste isn't overpowering after a long braise?

                                                                                                                1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                  No, it was there but it was not overpowering.

                                                                                                              2. I did my own take on a few different recipes for this Ribollita Soup and it's excellent, if I do say so myself. :)


                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. This basic master soup guide is from Pam Anderson. It has been paraphrased.

                                                                                                                  Basic Vegetable Soup with Variations

                                                                                                                  The key is to good soup is to have browned vegetables before adding spices and broth. Saute an onion and your choice of vegetable until onion starts to brown. Add a pinch of sugar and a little butter and some thickly sliced garlic.
                                                                                                                  Use the Creamy Vegetable Soup recipe to create any of the variations. You can experiment with spices and veggies. A soup like this benefits from a lot of spice flavor.
                                                                                                                  Creamy Vegetable Soup
                                                                                                                  2 Tbs. olive oil
                                                                                                                  1 1/2 pounds vegetable of your choice, cut into 1-inch chunks or prepared as described.
                                                                                                                  1 large onion, cut into large dice
                                                                                                                  1 Tb. butter
                                                                                                                  1 large pinch sugar
                                                                                                                  3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
                                                                                                                  Dried herbs and/or spices
                                                                                                                  3 cups chicken broth
                                                                                                                  Fresh herbs
                                                                                                                  1 to 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
                                                                                                                  Salt and pepper, to taste

                                                                                                                  Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan until shimmering.
                                                                                                                  Add vegetable of choice, then onion; sauté until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
                                                                                                                  Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a caramel color, about 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                  Add dried herbs and spices; continue to sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
                                                                                                                  Add broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                  Use an immersion blender to purée (adding fresh herbs if called for) until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Return to pan or soup pot; add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike but still thick enough. Season to taste. Serve.
                                                                                                                  Yields 6 to 7 cups


                                                                                                                  Broccoli With Mustard. Use 7 – 8 cups broccoli florets. Add 1 1/2 tsps. dried mustard, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1/4 tsp. oregano and 1/8 tsp. cayenne . Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

                                                                                                                  Butternut Squash With Cinnamon. Use 5 cups butternut squash, plus 1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves and 1/8 tsp. cayenne. Garnish with apple chips.

                                                                                                                  Potato With Rosemary. Use 4 -5 cups russet potatoes, plus 1/8 tsp. cayenne. When recipe instructs to add fresh herbs, add 1 1/2 tsps. minced fresh rosemary. Garnish with crumbled bacon.

                                                                                                                  Beet With Dill. Use about 4 cups raw beets, plus a teaspoon ground toasted caraway seeds and 1/8 tsp. cayenne. When recipe instructs to add fresh herbs, add 2 Tbs. fresh dill. Garnish with chopped hard-cooked egg.

                                                                                                                  Cauliflower With Ginger. Use 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into large florets, plus 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, 1/8 tsp. saffron threads and 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Garnish with 1 seared sea scallop for each bowl of soup.

                                                                                                                  Sweet Potato With Ginger. Use 4 – 5 cups raw sweet potatoes, plus 1 1/2 tsps. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper. Garnish with chopped honey-roasted peanuts.

                                                                                                                  Carrot With Curry. Use 4 – 5 cups peeled carrots, plus 2 Tbs. curry powder. Garnish with chopped roasted pistachios.

                                                                                                                  Corn With Cumin. Use about 4 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained, plus 2 tsps. ground cumin and 1/8 tsp. cayenne. When directed to add fresh herbs, add 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves. Purée soup then strain through a colander (the corn kernels don't purée). Garnish with corn chips and chopped tomato.

                                                                                                                  Turnip With Paprika. Use about 5 cups turnip bulbs. Add 2 tsps. paprika, 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves and 1/8 tsp. cayenne. Garnish with shallot crisps. (Heat 2 Tbs. butter and 1 Tb. olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced. Fry, stirring, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.)

                                                                                                                  Parsnip With Ginger. Use 4 – 5 cups parsnips, plus 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, 1/4 tsp. allspice and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper. Garnish with sautéed hazelnuts and dried cranberries. (Cook 2 Tbs. each coarsely chopped hazelnuts and dried cranberries in 1 tsp. butter until golden, 1-2 minutes.)

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                    ...there's gotta be more than 1 PA because the one I'm thinking of I can't imagine:
                                                                                                                    1. in a kitchen
                                                                                                                    2. eating much food

                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                      LOL... not that one. Pam Anderson wrote
                                                                                                                      "How to Cook Without a Book" and some others. Here is a link to her Bio.


                                                                                                                      She was a chef under Christopher Kimball during the early America's Test Kitchen days.

                                                                                                                    2. Tonight I made a quick tortellini soup (aka "didn't notice it was time to start dinner until way too late soup"!). I defrosted chicken stock in a large pot, added salt, pepper & a couple spoonsful of prepared pesto, then added frozen tortellini. Served it over a handful of arugula, topped with chopped tomato, another drizzle of pesto, and shredded Parm. Great with crusty bread!

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: SAHCook

                                                                                                                        Will have to add that to my repertoire! Sounds delish and fast!

                                                                                                                        1. re: SAHCook

                                                                                                                          I Just Adore those last minute OMG surprises that turn out to be real winners!

                                                                                                                          1. re: SAHCook

                                                                                                                            I make a Tortellini Vegetable soup as well. I like it a little thicker so when it's done (before tortellini goes in), I use the stick blender to puree the vegetables a bit.

                                                                                                                            TORTELLINI VEGETABLE SOUP

                                                                                                                            1T vegetable oil
                                                                                                                            1/2 c sliced carrots
                                                                                                                            1/2 c chopped onions
                                                                                                                            1 clove garlic, crushed
                                                                                                                            2 cans vegetable broth
                                                                                                                            1 can Italian diced tomatoes
                                                                                                                            1 can tomato paste
                                                                                                                            1 c water
                                                                                                                            1 zucchini, diced
                                                                                                                            1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
                                                                                                                            12 oz cheese tortellini
                                                                                                                            1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
                                                                                                                            salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                                                            Grated Parmesan cheese

                                                                                                                            In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Simmer 10 minutes. Add zucchini, beans, tortellini, and seasoning. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan.

                                                                                                                          2. Pea soup.

                                                                                                                            Lots of variance in this, so quantities are approximate & can be changed according to taste.

                                                                                                                            6 qts water
                                                                                                                            3 bay leaves
                                                                                                                            3 cloves
                                                                                                                            2-3lbs smoked turkey wings or ham hocks or smoked pork necks (you get the idea)
                                                                                                                            1/2 lb chopped onions - rather coarsely - to taste - I'll do a big Bermuda/Spanish onion

                                                                                                                            Heat the above in a pot big enough to hold them.

                                                                                                                            Add in 1/2 lb carrots cut in half-rounds (or more, much more) when the water comes to a boil.

                                                                                                                            Simmer until the meat falls off the bone.

                                                                                                                            Pull out the meat & bay leaves - you can leave the cloves in if you like or can't find them. (If you make it in a spaghetti cooker, put the meat in the pasta sieve & you can just pull out the meat in 1 fell swoop! That works for chicken soup too.

                                                                                                                            At this point, add in 1 lb of split green peas or split yellow peas or go half and half.

                                                                                                                            Cook till the peas are done, make sure you stir them occasionally to prevent sticking & scorching.

                                                                                                                            While this is going on, strip the meat from the bones & shred or dice. If you want extra meat add in some diced ham towards the end, but if you used enough meat at the start, you should be OK. You can leave out the turkey skin if you care to since the gelatin has been extracted into the soup.

                                                                                                                            When the peas are done, add the meat back in, salt to taste at this point. Add pepper.

                                                                                                                            Adjust the viscosity if needed by adding some more water. You may need to do that tomorrow after the soup sets up in the fridge.

                                                                                                                            Youze done! Serve with croutons or whatever.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: algct

                                                                                                                              if I loved split pea soup more~no I couldn't love it more ~gosh that's some good heartwarming satisfying food.
                                                                                                                              love the smokiness of your protein additives.

                                                                                                                            2. http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/11/...

                                                                                                                              HH, I hope there's room for a bisque!..'cause this one is darn near perfect. I used chicken stock since shrimp stock wasn't avail to me and the sage garnish as directed and called it lunch. Loved the creaminess of the broth.

                                                                                                                              1. HH~
                                                                                                                                I'm making your crazy sounding soup tomorrow night for dinner.
                                                                                                                                It's the one with sausage and pork and beans.
                                                                                                                                Right now, can't for the life of me find that recipe.
                                                                                                                                Please point me to a link•TIA

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                  Sausage Stew

                                                                                                                                  1/2 lb. Sausage (whatever kind you like, Italian works well)
                                                                                                                                  1/2 C. chopped onion
                                                                                                                                  1/2 C. chopped green pepper
                                                                                                                                  1 can tomatoes (diced)
                                                                                                                                  1 can pork and beans
                                                                                                                                  1 C. water
                                                                                                                                  1 C. dry macaroni
                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp. Basil
                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
                                                                                                                                  1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                  Brown sausage in deep skillet over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium and add onions and peppers. Sweat until onions are translucent.
                                                                                                                                  Add tomatoes, pork and beans, water, macaroni and spices. Simmer until macaroni is tender, salt and pepper to taste. If you like it hotter, a can of Rotel may be added to this. Serve with cornbread or French bread.
                                                                                                                                  If you don’t wish to use pork and beans, you could use a can of cannelloni beans and some tomato based pasta sauce instead.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                                    "tonight, tonight, tonight , tonight....oh oh, gonna be tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight oh oh..."

                                                                                                                                    thanks HH

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                                      I love corn bread but the kid&husband don't so if I make it the guys aren't happy and my hips grow. I'm making pizza dough today so we'll use that to sop up with.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                        that pizza dough might work..or make a quick-bread of cheese and/or Zucchini to go with it

                                                                                                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                          the pizza dough worked perfect, we sorta dug in the stew/soup

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                                                                                        husbands comment after about the 3rd bite..."wow, this is really good honey."
                                                                                                                                        I liked it as well myself HH.

                                                                                                                                    2. A Swiss Cheese and White Wine Soup.

                                                                                                                                      It's a simple recipe I picked up from the internet a few years ago (see link below).

                                                                                                                                      1. Here is my entry from somewhere off the net some long time ago. A regular favourite with us. Sorry, no pic.

                                                                                                                                        Mushroom Soup with Tarragon

                                                                                                                                        1 lb Mushrooms sliced - we use porcini but other would be interesting or even better
                                                                                                                                        2 Onions, diced fine
                                                                                                                                        2 Carrots, diced fine
                                                                                                                                        1 Parsnip, diced fine
                                                                                                                                        2 tbs ± Flour
                                                                                                                                        2 tbs ± Oil
                                                                                                                                        1-1/2 tbs Paprika
                                                                                                                                        1 tsp Sugar
                                                                                                                                        ¼ cup fresh Tarragon chopped
                                                                                                                                        Salt, Pepper

                                                                                                                                        Sour Cream
                                                                                                                                        3 Eggs
                                                                                                                                        1 tbs Flour
                                                                                                                                        Chives (optional)

                                                                                                                                        Heat oil in soup pot.
                                                                                                                                        Add onions, carrots and parsnip and sautee until onions are limp.
                                                                                                                                        Add Mushrooms.
                                                                                                                                        Add flour and stir. There should be enough oil left in pot to make a stiff roux. Add a bit more if necessary. Keep stirring for at least a minute.
                                                                                                                                        Add paprika and stir until mixed through. Don’t allow paprika to scorch.
                                                                                                                                        Add 2 cups of water and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
                                                                                                                                        Add enough water to cover everything completely.
                                                                                                                                        Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
                                                                                                                                        Let simmer for 3 or 4 minutes and then add the Tarragon.
                                                                                                                                        Add water if necessary.
                                                                                                                                        Simmer till done.

                                                                                                                                        While soup finishes mix eggs, beat eggs.
                                                                                                                                        Add flour and whisk in.
                                                                                                                                        Add chives if used.
                                                                                                                                        Pour batter into heated fry pan and cook both sides.
                                                                                                                                        slice into 1/4 inch wide strips.

                                                                                                                                        Dish soup, add cream and then egg strips.

                                                                                                                                        1. Kimchi stew was on the menu tonight. I always crave it when I feel a chill in the air. This is Mom's version..

                                                                                                                                          Sliced pork sauteed in sesame oil and garlic then a splash of soy sauce to taste. Add some older napa kimchi and stir fry for a bit. Added a heaping spoon or two of finely ground red pepper powder then a cup or two of chicken broth. Added more soy sauce and fish sauce to taste. Half of my chopped jalapenos went in at this time. When it came to a boil, I threw in a few rice cakes, some tofu and the other half of the jalapenos. Finished with some green onions and served with a steaming bowl of brown rice.

                                                                                                                                          Happy tummy.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                            I make a really lovely cold soup I got from Mollie Katzen's website a few years ago using pitted sweet cherries, plums, orange (or mango) juice, a little honey and sour cream. Cook it up and blend it and then stir in the sour cream. It freezes well, too. Really good on a hot summer day.

                                                                                                                                            1. I've been reading up on old Avgelomo soup recipes. Love the flavor, but didn't feel it was satisfying enough for a lunch at work. So, I added my version and brought it into work to give to a few co-workers. They all raved.


                                                                                                                                              1. Very few people make their own tomato soup but this one is a winner.


                                                                                                                                                  1. not sure if I read it here or on another soup thread but the sound of a creamy artichoke soup makes me whine..........................................add sourdough and I'm all in


                                                                                                                                                    1. just posted this on another soup thread as it came up first when I put in soup.

                                                                                                                                                      posting here too cause these looked so good on this very cold day.

                                                                                                                                                      catching up on taped shows today so watched David Rocco's soup episode.

                                                                                                                                                      seen it before but it caught my attention watching this one today.

                                                                                                                                                      he made:

                                                                                                                                                      chickpea soup

                                                                                                                                                      tomato soup

                                                                                                                                                      butternut squash soup

                                                                                                                                                      mussels in broth soup

                                                                                                                                                      potatoes and pasta soup


                                                                                                                                                      they all looked simply delicous so onward and upward I hope to duplicate his recipes.

                                                                                                                                                      all very easy, never done mussels before though.

                                                                                                                                                      one thing he did was combining the mussel and the butternut squash soup as yet another soup. he took one and added the other to it making the third soup.

                                                                                                                                                      not sure if butternut squash soup and mussels soup go together but it looked great.

                                                                                                                                                      love this time of year.

                                                                                                                                                      real chill in the air today and a ton of wind.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                        starter for our dinner tonight will be this: shooting from the hip and hoping it works, no recipe just guts...

                                                                                                                                                        "ASYC" soup

                                                                                                                                                        (oven roasted acorn squash/yam/carrot) pear, onion, garlic, my house seasoning, water, chicken broth, lemon juice, light cream + dollop of sour cream on top + extra flavorful extra crisp extra bulky home made bread croutons for crunch texture flavor

                                                                                                                                                      2. A Taiwanese friend showed me her mom's recipe for wonton soup, and now she's ruined me for all other versions. They are truly painstaking to make and take at least a few hours. I usually do an enormous batch and freeze the extras.

                                                                                                                                                        The beauty of her wontons is that the filling is mostly baby bok choy. My mom brought me up thinking that a wonton that was light on meat was a bad thing and cheap in some way. But it was a revelation.

                                                                                                                                                        Basically 4-5 lbs of baby bok choy are blanched, shocked in ice water, chopped very fine and then squeezed until your arms feel like they're going to fall off. Reserve the juice. Combine the 'pulp' with 1 lb of ground pork, some grated ginger, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, and 2 eggs.

                                                                                                                                                        Mix with chopsticks (going in only one direction) until thoroughly combined. Fill the wrappers (usually 2 pkgs) and place on a floured cookie sheet. (Freeze extras at this point.) Heat up some chicken broth, and toss in the reserved juice. In another pot of boiling water, cook the wontons until they float to the surface (usu. 5 min or so). To serve, ladle some broth, a few wontons and top with sliced scallions, cilantro, crispy fried shallots and some pickled mustard greens.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                          oh my gracious soy, looks beautiful

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                            Wow, those look lovely, and sound delicious.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                              Oh lucky you, soypower... yum.

                                                                                                                                                              www.saffron215. blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                            2. One of my favorites is Korean style fishcake soup in just about all it's varieties.

                                                                                                                                                              Here is a recipe for one of my more recent meals -

                                                                                                                                                              Eomuk Guksu - Fishcake and Noodle Soup

                                                                                                                                                              This is a variation of the Korean eomukguk or fishcake soup.

                                                                                                                                                              Servings: 4


                                                                                                                                                              4 to 8 ounces Korean or Japanese tubular fish cake (depends on how much you like fishcake)

                                                                                                                                                              4 ounces Daikon Radish

                                                                                                                                                              2 Green Onions

                                                                                                                                                              7 ounces asian noodles

                                                                                                                                                              2 tablespoons Soup Soy Sauce

                                                                                                                                                              Substitute: Flat fishcake sheet or variety fishcake for tubular fish cake


                                                                                                                                                              1 ounce dried anchovies

                                                                                                                                                              1/2 ounce Kelp

                                                                                                                                                              6 cups Water


                                                                                                                                                              2 large eggs

                                                                                                                                                              1 hot red or green chili pepper



                                                                                                                                                              Slice the fish cake into roughly 1/2 inch thick pieces.

                                                                                                                                                              Cut the radish into into roughly 1/4 inch thick rounds.

                                                                                                                                                              Cut the green onion into roughly 1/2 inch long pieces.


                                                                                                                                                              Bring about 4 cups water to a full boil over high heat.

                                                                                                                                                              Add noodles, reduce heat to medium, and return to a soft boil.

                                                                                                                                                              Cook until desired tenderness. (taste test often to ensure they are not over cooked)

                                                                                                                                                              Remove from heat, rinse in cold water, and drain.

                                                                                                                                                              Place the noodles into serving bowls.


                                                                                                                                                              Add kelp and anchovies to cold water and soak for 1/2 hour.

                                                                                                                                                              Bring to a slow simmer over low heat.

                                                                                                                                                              Simmer for 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                              Strain the broth and discard solids.



                                                                                                                                                              Separate yolks from whites.

                                                                                                                                                              Combine yolks and whip together.

                                                                                                                                                              Pour into a hot oiled pan in a thin layer (tilt pan back and forth to cover bottom of pan).

                                                                                                                                                              Cook over medium heat until top is just firm, but bottom is not browned, flip and cook 15 to twenty seconds.

                                                                                                                                                              Remove from heat and let cool.

                                                                                                                                                              Cut into thin strips about 1/8 inch wide by 1 1/2 inch long.

                                                                                                                                                              Repeat with egg whites.


                                                                                                                                                              Slice the chili pepper in half from top to bottom, remove seeds and any pith, then sliver each half from top to bottom.


                                                                                                                                                              Return the broth to a simmer over medium low heat.

                                                                                                                                                              Add the radish slices and simmer about four minutes.

                                                                                                                                                              Add the fishcake and the soup soy sauce, return to a simmer, and cook for five to ten minutes
                                                                                                                                                              (taste at five minutes, if broth is strong enough for your taste - if not continue cooking, tasting often).

                                                                                                                                                              Add the green onion and cook an additional minute.

                                                                                                                                                              Ladle the soup over the noodles then top with garnish.

                                                                                                                                                              Serve warm with fresh kimchi.


                                                                                                                                                              The fish cake used for this dish is a hollow tubular fish cake which can be found in the frozen seafood section of many Korean or Asian markets.
                                                                                                                                                              Flat fish cake or variety pack fishcake can easily be substituted.

                                                                                                                                                              The noodles for this dish can be found in the frozen foods sections of most Korean markets.