Soups, Broth

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Course: Main Course
Author: Carolyn
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can dark kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can light kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes or chopped fresh
  • celery chopped
  • green pepper chopped
  • onion chopped
  • salt, pepper, sugar to taste
  • 1-2 tsp Chili Spice Mix (see below)
Chili Spice Mix
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp minced dried onion
  • tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  1. Brown ground beef and onions

  2. Add tomato sauce and all other ingredients

  3. Add water to desired consistency

  4. Simmer until done

Recipe Notes

I sometimes use dried kidney beans that have soaked to soften overnight.

Basic Vegetable Soup
Turn forgotten produce and herbs loitering in the fridge into this easy, quick soup.
Course: Soup
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion medium dice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium carrots medium dice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk medium dice
  • 2 cups additional vegetables of your choice such as red pepper, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, fennel, or peas, medium dice
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 1 pinch dried thyme optional
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth optional
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes medium dice
  • Pesto optional, for garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the celery and, if using, any hearty vegetables (such as cabbage and fennel) and the bay leaf and thyme. Season again with salt and pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. If using, add the wine or vermouth (for some acidity) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, potatoes, and any quicker-cooking vegetables (such as asparagus and peas). Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15 to 25 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. If you choose, serve with a dollop of pesto.

Chicken Noodle and Vegetable Soup
Course: Soup
Author: Carolyn
  • 6 Cups broth
  • 1 t onion powder
  • ½ t basil
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • 9 oz mixed vegetables
  • 1 C uncooked medium egg noodles
  1. Stir the broth, onion powder, basil, garlic powder and vegetables in a 3-quart saucepan.
  2. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add cooked chicken pieces if desired.
  4. Stir in the noodles. Cook for 5 minutes or until the noodles are done.
Recipe Notes

June 2013

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
Course: Soup
  • 8 oz fresh noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 4 slices carrot
  • 4 baby bok choy
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 oz chicken boiled, cooked, and hand-shredded into pieces
  1. Prepare your noodles first by boiling the noodles al dente. Rinse the noodles with running water, drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the garlic oil by stir-frying the garlic in the oil until they turn light to golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the broth by bringing the chicken broth and water to boil. Add the mushrooms, carrot, baby bok choy, white pepper, and salt to taste. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat.
  4. To serve, add the noodles in a bowl, and top with the shredded chicken on top. Ladle the soup on top of the noodles and top with the garlic oil. Serve immediately. If you like, you can serve it with cut red chilies in soy sauce.

Chinese Chicken Soup
Course: Soup
Servings: 6
  • 3 cans chicken broth 14-1/2 ounces each
  • 1 package frozen stir-fry vegetable blend 16 ounces
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through. 

Groninger Mustard Soup
Course: Soup
Servings: 4
  • 1 onion cubed
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2-3 Tbsp Groninger mustard
  • 1 pureed clove of garlic
  • 4 Tbsp cream
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  1. Brown onion in butter
  2. Blend in curry powder
  3. Slowly boil the soup for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the soup.
  5. Slowly add chicken stock and keep stirring until slightly thickened
  6. Boil the soup again and stir in Groninger mustard.
  7. Whisk 2 egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of cream. Add 4 tablespoons of the hot soup.
  8. Add the mixture to the soup, stir forcefully and take the pan directly off the heat source.
  9. Add smoked bacon bits / lardons and add them to the soup.

“mediterranean” bean soup
Course: Soup
Servings: 8
  • 1 tb Extra-virgin olive oil; 1 to 2
  • 1 lg Onion; coarsely chopped
  • 2 md Carrots; peeled and chopped
  • 1 lg Garlic clove; crushed
  • 2 c Dried beans; soaked & drained
  • 8 c Boiling water; 8 to 10
  • 1 tb Fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ¼ c Italian parsley ; chopped plus more for garnish
  • Salt; to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper; to taste
  • Croutons for ; for garnish optional
  • Green olive oil ; for garnish optional
  1. In heavy 3-quart stockpot or soup kettle heat extra-virgin olive oil; saute onion, carrots and garlic until vegetables are soft but not browned, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add drained beans and boiling water to stockpot; add thyme, bay leaves and parsley.
  3. Cover and cook over low heat, adding boiling water occasionally if necessary, 1 1/2 – 3 hours or until beans are soft (cooking time varies with age of beans).
  4. When beans are soft add salt and pepper.
  5. For thicker soup remove about 1 1/2 cups of beans, puree in food processor or blender, and return to pot.
  6. For thinner soup add hot water (or crushed canned tomatoes with juices).
  7. Correct seasonings.
  8. Transfer soup to tureen or individual bowls.
  9. Garnish with chopped parsley or croutons and drizzle with a good green olive oil.
Recipe Notes

This recipe can be adapted to almost any kind of bean (cannellini, Great Northern, anasazi, pinto, pinquito, etc. are all possibilities).

Middle Eastern Vegetable Soup
Course: Soup
  • 3 white potatoes chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion cut into eighths
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 celery stalk sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh string beans or canned
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 1 8 oz can tomato paste
  1. In a large saucepan, combine water, tomato sauce and paste on medium heat. Stir well to make a good soup base. Add water or more tomato sauce as desired. Add vegetables and spices.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium (about 3 on an electric range). Simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Serve with pita bread or crackers.
Vegetable Variation:
  1. Sometimes, I like to add or omit vegetables depending on my craving. Fresh or frozen okra really goes well with the tomato base in this soup. You can add corn, peas, and even small macaroni noodles for a variation. The great thing about Middle Eastern cooking is that it’s all about what you have on hand. You don’t have to follow a recipe exactly and it really allows you to be creative.

Minnesota Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
I also add diced carrots and some people add celery and water chestnuts.
Course: Soup
Author: Carolyn
  • 1/3 – ½ C Wild Rice uncooked
  • ¼ C Butter
  • Small Onion
  • 12 oz package fresh mushrooms any kind
  • ¼ C Flour
  • 2 C Chicken Broth
  • 2 C Half and Half*
  1. Cook the Wild Rice until tender (the package has directions. It is usually something like: to 1½ C boiling water add ½ C Wild Rice and cook 50 – 60 minutes).
  2. Melt ¼ C butter in saucepan.
  3. Stir in the flour and Half and Half and stir constantly until thick.
  4. Precook carrots slightly.
  5. Brown onion and sliced mushrooms in fry pan.
  6. Add carrots, onion and mushrooms to broth,
  7. Add Wild Rice.
Recipe Notes

*Half and half has a fat content of between 10.5 percent and 12 percent. This compares with light cream, which contains anywhere from 16 percent to 29 percent butterfat, and whole milk, which has about 3.5 percent butterfat. NOTE: I usually don’t have this around and so have used milk with a few tablespoons of butter. It’s not as rich, but we prefer that.


April 2012

Caramelized Onion & Portobello Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons
Course: Soup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds onions about 5 cups, halved, thinly sliced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 pounds Portobello mushrooms stemmed, caps halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 cups canned vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 18 1- inch -thick slices French-bread baguette toasted
  • 8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese room temperature
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over high heat. Add onions and thyme; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.
  2. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until soft, about 12 minutes. Add Cognac and garlic; stir 20 seconds. Stir in onion mixture, then broth and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until onions are very tender, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Season soup with salt and pepper.
  3. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.)
  4. Preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on large baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on baguette slices, dividing equally. Broil goat cheese croutons until cheese begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Top with croutons and serve.
Recipe Notes

February 2002

Ribollitta (Soup with day-old Bread)
Course: Soup
Servings: 8
  • 4 slices bacon cut in thin strips
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil plus oil for garnish
  • 1 large onion cut in ½-inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery cut into a small dice
  • 2 medium carrots peeled, cut in ½-inch dice
  • 2 large cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 large baking potato peeled, cut in ½-inch dice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5-ounces
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans 15.5 ounces, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard stemmed, roughly chopped
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 slices stale crusty bread about 10 ounces, torn into large bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pesto optional
  1. Place a Dutch oven or a soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon oil and onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add celery, carrots, and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add potato and cook until it has started to soften, about 6 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, wine, broth, beans and water.
  7. Place Swiss chard on top, cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, stir to combine, and simmer gently 45 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and gently stir in salt and pepper. (At this point, soup can be chilled for serving the next day.)
To serve:
  1. Divide bread between serving bowls. Ladle hot soup over bread and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil or top with pesto, if desired.

Roasted Onion Soup
Course: Soup
  • 3 Spanish onions cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 large shallots cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 large head garlic cloves separated, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth divided
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese preferably Reggiano
  1. Set oven rack at lowest level; preheat to 450 degrees.
  2. In large shallow roasting pan, combine onions, shallots, garlic and oil. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, 20 to 30 minutes or until onions are golden. Remove from oven, mash garlic halves and pour in 1 cup of the broth; stir, scraping bottom of pan to loosen and dissolve any caramelized bits. (The liquid will become quite dark.)
  3. Transfer onion mixture to a soup pot and add brandy, thyme and remaining 3 cups broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Recipe Notes

November 2007

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup
Course: Soup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup raw wild rice
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • cup Soup stock
  • 3-4 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 cup whipping cream or half and half
  1. In heavy pan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the wild rice, almonds, onion, celery and carrot for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the soup stock and simmer over low heat for 1 1/4 hours, skimming occasionally.
  3. Thicken with the cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of cream.
  4. Stir in the remaining cream.

Garden Vegetable Soup
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks , white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
  • 2 Tbs finely minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups carrots , peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
  • 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 cups fresh green beans , broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups peeled , seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 ears corn , kernels removed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed , chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.
  2. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice.
  8. Season to taste, with kosher salt.
  9. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

February 2008

Italian Zucchini Soup
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 green onions , chopped
  • 4 c zucchini , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 c beef broth
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  1. Cook oil, zucchini, green onions and garlic for 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper and broth.
  3. Continue cooking for 35 minutes.
  4. Stir in parsley and butter.
  5. Serve with generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup per bowl).
Recipe Notes

August 2007

Leshta (Lentil Soup)
Prep Time
3 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins

Leshta is typically served steaming hot in Bulgarian folkloric terracotta bowls, sprinkled with some spicy chili pepper or with a whole fresh jalapeno pepper to bite into. Some people even put the whole jalapeno at the bottom of the bowl before pouring the hot soup over it. 

Lentil soup is another Bulgarian traditional dish, as in other Mediterranean countries. However, by adding more spices and some vegetables to the lentils gives this soup a quite distinctive taste. Try to use aromatic dried savory, a herb Bulgarians love, and a paprika with a strong taste as the one they make with dried sweet red peppers, as well as garlic, of course, an imperative in Mediterranean diets. 

Another particular ingredient is the cubanelle pepper, the commonly used variety in Bulgaria, that is sweeter and more aromatic than large bell peppers that can be used in replacement. 

Course: Soup
  • 300 g brown lentils dried
  • 6 cup water
  • 2-3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika hot
  • 1-2 tsp dried savory or oregano to taste
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp water
  1. Wash the lentils in cold running water. Then place in a large saucepan and soak in cold water for 2-3 hours, until they start swelling. 

  2. Discard the soaking water. Add 3 cups of clean water to the lentils in the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  1. As the lentils start getting tender, add the oil and the finely chopped onion, carrot, and cubanelle pepper. 

  2. Peel the garlic cloves and drop them whole into the lentils.

  3. Simmer for 20 more minutes. 

  4. Add approximately 3 extra cups of water, until the soup reaches the desired consistency. 

  5. Add salt, paprika, and dried savory to taste. 

  6. If desired, you can now fish out the whole garlic cloves, mash them into a puree in a separate cup and put that puree back into the soup for a stronger garlic flavor. 

  7. At the end, in a cup mix the tomato paste with a little bit of water and add it to the soup. Stir well. 

  8. Simmer for 5-6 more minutes, until all flavors are well-infused. 

Recipe Notes

July 2017