Tag Archives: soup

Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho


I am one of those people that enjoys soup year round. Similar to my Auntie M who drinks hot tea 365 days a year no matter what the temperature is outside. Of course on the hottest of days in the summer when I have a craving for soup, I prefer a gazpacho style soup.


Gazpacho is a soup made with raw veggies and is usually served chilled but can be warmed. Most gazpacho soups have a tomato base with multiple layers of flavor and textures. The ingredients and thickness of the gazpacho often depends on the region in which it is made. While researching the history of gazpacho I learned that in Spain some of the original recipes included bread, vinegar, water,oil and garlic. Other recipes added fruits and nuts to the recipes.


I decided to create a very simple version of gazpacho that would be delicious whether served chilled or slightly warmed. Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho fits that description as both black beans and corn are good when served hot or cold. The best thing about this soup is that it is relatively light and is very flavorful with fresh corn. So, the next time you have a craving for a nice healthy soup in the middle of a hot summer day think about making some Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho. Hot or cold you can’t go wrong with this soup.


Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho

3 15.5 oz cans black beans rinsed
1 small onion diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
½ cup fresh salsa or diced tomatoes
¼ cup half and half
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Place beans, onions, broth and seasonings in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook for 20 minutes until beans and onions are tender. Remove from heat and puree beans using a hand blender or in a regular blender. Place pot back on the heat and reduce to a simmer. Stir in sour cream and half and half. Simmer for another 5 minutes then stir in corn and salsa. Continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

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Butter Bean and Kale Soup with Smoked Turkey


For me, eating soup is something you do all year round. Especially, during the winter months when the weather chills your bones and makes your teeth chatter kind of like today. I was up and out of the house early this morning and the thermometer was in the single digits. At that point, I knew I would make a hearty, healthy pot of butter bean and kale soup with smoked turkey.


I am not sure of why I thought of this combination for the soup but since I love beans and I love kale I figured why not put the two together. Both the beans and the kale are very healthy and full of vitamins and minerals that help increase energy and help to fight against many diseases. Smoked turkey is also a healthier choice compared to beef and adds a ton of flavor.


If you are looking for something unique and flavorful to fix the next time you want a hearty soup, try making a butter bean and kale soup. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good butter beans and kale are together.


Butter Bean and Kale Soup with Smoked Turkey

3 cans butter beans undrained
3 cups fresh kale
4 cups water
2 smoked turkey legs
1 tbsp roasted garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tsp Adobo
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook turkey in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain 4 cups of broth into a large pot (may need to add a little more water). Add butter beans, kale, roasted garlic and sea to the broth. Stir and let simmer over medium heat for 25 – 30 minutes until kale is done.

Optional: If using dried butter beans prepare according to package and use the turkey broth as the liquid for cooking. Add other ingredients half way through the cooking process for the beans.

May also cook smoked turkey on the stove for 1 to 1 ½ hours until turkey is tender.

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Red Split Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup 5

Simple says it best when making homemade soup. Red Split Lentil soup is a nice comfort food on cold days or any day you want something quick and easy to make. It takes only 6 simple ingredients to make this soup and it tastes great with a piece of crusty buttered bread. Of course the wonderful thing about this soup is that it is full of vitamin C and is heart healthy.

Lentil Soup 3

When it comes to soups I like to experience the different textures and layers of taste. This Red Split Lentil soup is smooth yet has layers of subtle textures from the carrots, onions, peppers and diced bacon. If you are not a fan of pork you can substitute it with smoked turkey or go meatless.


I was surprised when my youngest son was eager to try lentil soup. Most kids hear the word lentil and immediately make a face followed by “blah”. I guess the day I made the lentil soup was one of his more adventurous days. Surprisingly, he loved it even with the cooked carrots which he claims to dislike immensely. My son reminds me of a character in a book I recently read called “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yoko Ogawa. In the book, the housekeeper is constantly trying to find new ways to hide carrots in the professor’s meals but he always seemed to find them.


Adding lots of vegetables to soups are a great way to get kids (and some adults) to eat veggies and develop their taste buds for new foods. Start with a simple soup and then pair it with something they like. Try a sandwich, crackers or warm crusty bread. They will not be able to resist.


Red Split Lentil Soup

1 16 oz bag of red split lentils
2 strips of bacon diced
1 10 oz bag of shredded carrots
2 green scallions sliced
½ medium onion diced
½ red pepper diced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp dill
¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Over medium high heat, slightly brown bacon in a large pot until fat is rendered. Add onions and scallions sauteing until soft. Add red peppers, carrots and seasonings. Stir to mix veggies then add bay leaf, chicken broth and water. Let simmer about 5 minutes then add red split lentils and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the lentils are soft. Approximately 30 minutes. Remember to stir the soup to make sure the lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pot. If necessary, add additional broth to thin out the soup and ensure the lentils are cooked.

Serve with a piece of crusty bread and enjoy!

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Chicken Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage


Light, bright soups are fun to make and wonderful to eat. I recently wanted to make a light chicken soup to take away the chill on a cold winter day. I didn’t want to use pasta and thought Quinoa would be a great substitute for noodles.


Quinoa has a unique texture and is easy to use in recipes. I have made salads using Quinoa and even created a Spinach Quinoa Cake that was delicious (check it out at dmariedining.com). Adding Quinoa to the chicken soup definitely kept it light and adding Napa Cabbage helped kick up the flavor and nutritional value.


Next time you have a desire for a quick tasty soup or just want to use the leftover chicken in the frig think about making a nice Chicken and Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage.


Chicken and Quinoa Soup with Napa Cabbage

2 cups chicken pre-cooked
2 cups Napa cabbage shredded
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups Quinoa rinsed
1 bay leaf
½ cup baby carrots thinly sliced
½ cup slice celery
¼ cup red peppers thinly sliced into strips
¼ cup red onion chopped
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp seasoned salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp cilantro
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook Quinoa according to package. Set aside.

Place chicken in a small bowl and season with seasoned salt and onion powder. Set aside.

Add chicken broth, onions, peppers, celery, carrots, bay leaf and seasonings to a large pot on medium high heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium then stir in chicken, Quinoa and cabbage. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with crackers.

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Daddy’s Butternut Squash and Mixed Baby Kale Soup


For a while now my hubby has been asking me to make a “brothy” soup. My most recent soups have been thick and rich like my Carrot soup and my Leek and Potato soup.


Vegetable soup seemed a simple choice but I wanted to make a soup that reminded me of the fall weather and colorful changing leaves. I love to see the trees speckled with orange, red and green leaves. That was the inspiration for the butternut squash and mixed baby kale soup. The soup is full of fall colors from the orange of the butternut squash, the red of the tomatoes and the bright green leaves of the mixed baby kale.


I know. Daddy’s Butternut Squash and Mixed Baby Kale Soup is a long name. But, it would have been even longer if I added the names of some of the other ingredients that make this soup so delicious. I added Daddy’s to the title because my hubby claimed it to be his soup once he tasted it.


Butternut squash is quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables. It is great all by itself or tastes even better when paired with vegetables like sweet potatoes or in this case mixed baby kale. The sweetness of the butternut squash along with the slightly bitter kale and spicy Italian sausage created a wonderful combination of flavors that swirl in your mouth.


It’s the little things in life that often inspire us whether it is leaves changing colors in the fall or a nice pot of hearty soup.

Daddy’s Butternut Squash and Mixed Baby Kale Soup

1 lb Italian hot sausage
2 14oz cans of cannellini beans rinsed
1 14 oz fire roasted tomatoes
2 bags mixed baby kale
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 lb butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 medium red onion diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp thyme
3 lemon slices
In a dutch oven or large pot brown sausage then drain on a paper towel. Set aside. Pour off grease from the sausage and add olive oil to the pot. Add onions and Add broth, water, seasonings and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat. Add beans, tomatoes, sausage, butternut squash and lemon slices. Stir and cook for 25 minutes. Add baby kale and cook an additional 10 minutes then turn off heat. Serve with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese.

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Leek and Potato Soup


Many, many years ago I had a bad reaction to cream of potato soup. It really was not the soup’s fault because it just happened to be the last thing I ate before I came down with the flu. Enough said.


So, it took me a long time to try leek and potato soup. Once I mustered up the nerve to try the soup I was pleasantly surprised at the delicious combination of leeks and potatoes. Since my hubby and I are fans of all kinds of soups I thought I would create my own version leek and potato soup.


The result received a thumbs up from all of my taste testers including me. Rich and creamy with tasty bits of potato,this soup easily fits into the category of comfort food.


Topped with sauteed mushrooms and drizzled with melted butter, all I could say was um um good when my spoon hit the bottom of my empty bowl.


Keeping it simple. Keeping it easy. Keeping it good!

Leek and Potato Soup

2 – 3 leeks cleaned and sliced (white and light green part)
1 medium onion diced
2 large potatoes peeled and diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp parsley chopped
2 tbsp butter melted
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp roasted cumin
½ tsp chives
¼ cup assorted mushrooms
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup half and half
1 small hot pepper sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
5 dashes hot sauce
To clean the leek leaves remove the hard bottom then separate the leaves and rinse with cold water.  Saute mushrooms in a 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

Place leeks, onions, potatoes and peppers in a large pot. Add seasonings and broth then stir. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes until leeks and potatoes are soft and tender. Remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, cream and half and half. Puree mixture leaving a few chunks of potato. Stir in hot sauce. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Place soup in a bowl and top with mushrooms then drizzle with melted butter.

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Carrot Soup

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Who knew carrots came in different colors? I didn’t until a recent trip to Trader Joe’s. I was surprised to see something other than orange carrots and of course intrigued with the thought of what I could do with them. A nice soup came to mind and I could only imagine what flavors the various carrots would produce.

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Soups are one of those dishes that no matter what you throw into the pot it can come out all right. I have had a few failures when making soup (my first attempt at miso soup with rice noodles) but most of the time it works as long as the soup is full of flavor.


The carrot soup I created was a winner with the family using only a few basic ingredients. Keeping it simple also works. Especially in this case.

carrot soup 10_1

If you like carrots and you like soup, try bringing the two together for a delicious appetizer or meal. If you are willing to walk on the wild side, try mixing up a variety of carrots to brighten up your pot of soup.

Carrot Soup

2 lbs mixed carrots sliced
1 large onion diced
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup ½ and ½
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp smoked cumin
½ tsp cilantro
3 dashed hot sauce
1 baby hot pepper sliced thin (optional)

Place all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium high heat for 30 – 40 minutes until carrots are fork tender. Turn off heat and puree carrots with an immersion hand blender or place in a blender and puree. Add cream and stir until well blended. Add a little more salt if needed. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Corn Chowder

corn chowder 8_1

I don’t know about you but I can eat soup any time of the year. Winter, spring, summer or fall it does not matter what the weather is on any given day, soup can be a tasty appetizer or a full meal. During the summer when corn is plentiful, sweet and delicious it is a great time to make corn chowder. I love creamy soups but soups made with a flavorful broth is wonderful too.

corn chowder 9_1

I have to be honest. I just started making corn chowder. I have been happy through the years to just eat corn chowder whenever someone else made it. I finally decide it was my turn to try and make a delicious soup that others would love to eat. I really like what I created but I want to hear from the other amateur chefs and soup lovers of the world.

corn chowder 5._1.

As with most of my recipes I tried to make this one simple but full of flavor. If you can, let it sit overnight. You will find the flavors really come together and burst in your mouth. The first time I made corn chowder my hubby and son loved it so much I had to make another pot of soup the next day. Thankfully, I had bought extra corn!

corn chowder 4_1

Since this is the height of corn season try blanching a few ears of corn then cut it off the cob and freeze the kernels. That way, you can make corn chowder winter, spring, summer or fall.

Corn Chowder


5 ears of corn

3 slices of bacon chopped

4 cups chicken stock or broth

1 tbsp butter

1 medium potato peeled and diced

1 cup onion diced

2 stalks celery sliced

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp parsley

½ tsp Adobo

1 cup half and half milk or heavy cream

Shuck the corn and strip the kernels with a sharp knife. Set aside.

Place bacon in a large pot and cook over medium high heat until it starts to turn brown. Reduce heat to medium and add butter, onions, potatoes, seasonings and diced celery stalk. Stir to coat veggies with bacon fat. Cook for 5 minutes then add flour. Stir constantly for 2 minutes then slowly add chicken stock. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat.  Let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in half and half. Add corn and let simmer 5 more minutes. Taste and add a little more salt if necessary.

Sprinkle each bowl of soup with fresh chopped basil, parsley or cilantro.