Heirloom Tomato Soup

An easy to make delicious summer soup packed full of tomato goodness.


2 pounds heirloom tomatoes peeled and seeded¹

2 T butter

1 T olive oil

1 medium sweet onion diced

3 cloves garlic minced

1 t sugar

1 T salt

1/4 C  packed rough chopped basil

1 jalapeno diced

1 t tomato paste

2 C chicken or vegetable broth

3/4 C cream or half and half


Heat butter and olive oil into a 2 3/4 quart or size 20 Le Creuset® until melted. Add onions and saute until tender or about 10-15 minutes.

Add garlic and jalapeño and saute until fragrant.


Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, salt, broth and stir. Bring ingredients to boil than simmer for about 30 minutes.

IMG_4134 2

Remove from heat  and puree using immersion blender.

Serve with cream on the side.


1 I blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute or two. Pull them out using slotted spoon and immerse in iced water. Peel and then cut tomatoes in half to deseed. I used heirloom tomatoes but any fresh tomatoes will yield similar results.

Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Chowder

Chunky caulifower cheddar cheese soup that is a favorite on cool fall evenings.


1 carrot chopped

1 medium onion minced

2 garlic cloves minced

2 T olive oil

1 medium cauliflower

4 C vegetable broth

2 T butter

2 T flour

2 C milk

2 C shedded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper


Serves 4-6

Cut cauliflower in half and decore. Coarse chop florets and set aside in medium bowl

Add olive oil to large sauce pan over medium high heat.

Add carrots and onion and saute for two minutes, Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add chopped cauliflower and broth and bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove about 1/3 of the caulifower mixture to bowl and puree using immersion blender and then add back to large saucepan.

Melt butter in medium size skillet and add flour and stir for 3 minutes. Add milk gradually while whisking and cook for 5 minutes.

Add cheese and mix until blended and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add into cauliflower mixture and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Simmer for 15-20 minutes and serve with green salad and crusty rustic bread.


Toppings such as chives, croutons, crispy onion flakes, sour cream, or popcorn can be added.

If you desire a thicker soup. Make the roux with 3 tablespoons of butter and flour.

If I have leftover soup, I cook pasta elbows* and add in the leftover soup. Pour into baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup shedded cheese on the top.  Cook in the oven at 350º F for 15 minutes. I serve this as a side dish.  * Amount of pasta depends on how much leftover soup.



Chicken Barley Corn Soup

A barley corn soup with shredded chicken in a delicate chicken broth with a subtle taste of lime in the background. The chili, avocado and cilantro add creaminess and a bit of heat to the mouth flavor.


Soup Stock

½ medium onion diced

1 carrot diced

1 celery stick diced

½ skinless bone in chicken breast¹

2 C chicken broth

4 C water plus 1 cup.


½ C pearled barley washed and soak about 30 minutes

Remaing soup ingredients

1 C corn

1 medium Yukon Gold peeled and diced

½ avocado diced

2 serrano chilies diced

1 lime juiced

½ C  cilantro chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Condiments optional

½ C sour cream

¼ C capers


Serves 4

Chicken and broth preparation

In large saucepan over medium high heat add vegetables, broth, water, and chicken breast.

Bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender about 45 minutes minutes.

Remove chicken and set aside .

Strain broth through fine mesh strainer to remove fat and vegetables into large saucepan. Add additional cup of water if broth mixture reduce during cooking process.

Shred the chicken when cool enough to handle and set aside.


Bring to boil strained chicken broth in large saucepan and add in soaked barley.

Simmer for thirty minutes.

Add potatoes, corn, and one chili and simmer for about twenty minutes until barley and potatoes are tender.

Add the shredded chicken, lime juice, and remaining chili and combine.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat. Add in the cilantro and serve.

Condiments optional


¹I remove the skin from the bone in chicken breast prior to making the broth,

This soup could be made with boxed chicken broth but I like the delicate flavor of the above broth.







White Bean Chili with Rotisserie Chicken and Orzo



A delcious comfort food with a good balance of spice and especially acidity. This is a great food with a piece of olive bread or corn bread on a drizzly cold day.

4 tomatillos quartered*

2 shallots chopped

1 jalapeno diced

1 rotisserie chicken breat chopped*

4-5 C chicken broth

1 C orzo

2 14.5 ounce cans of white beans drained and washed

1 can of green chilis

1/2 t cayenne

1/2 t Mexican oregano*

1 T cumin

1/4 C chopped cilantro

1/4 C Mexican crema or creme frasiche


In medium pot add tomatillos, shallots, diced jalapeño, chicken, and broth. Cook about 30 minutes until tomatillos are soft and chicken can be shredded. Shred chicken and smash tomatillos.

Add orzo and cook for about 9 minutes additional broth if needed . Add beans, chilis, and seasoning.

Serve with chopped cilantro, crema, and generous slices of artisan bread and a green salad.


* The tomatiilos add a nice acidity to the soup. Canned tomatillos and very green tomatoes with juice of half lime can be used as a substitute for the  fresh tomatillos.

*We use left over roasted chicken as we eat alot of chicken and have leftovers. Fresh chicken breast can add an hour plus to cooking time

*Dried marjoram is substitute for Mexican oregano.

Bean Soup and Hush Puppies


A hearty soup with greens and a side of tasty fritters*


1 pound of navy beans

2 quarts of water  for soaking

1  large onion diced

1 carrot diced

2 celery stalks diced

1 t herbs de Provence

2 boxes of Swanson’s chicken stock

2 t Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base

1-2 C chopped kale*

1-2 smoked turkey legs

Salt and pepper to taste

Hush Puppies

1 C stone ground corn meal

3/4 C all purpose flour

1/2 t baking soda

2 t baking powder

1 C buttermilk

1 egg beaten 

1 medium onion diced

1 jalapeño diced

1/2 t salt

Canola oil


Serves 6

Sort navy beans and place in large bowl. Cover with water and soak over night. Discard water and place beans in large Dutch oven. Add in onions,carrots,celery, herbs de Provence, and turkey drumsticks. Cover with chicken stock to about an inch above the beans.Bring to boil than simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook for about two hours and remove turkey legs. Remove skin and bones and place recovered meat back into soup. Add bouillon and  kale and stir. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with hush puppies.

Hush Puppies

Mix dry ingredients together. Toss in onions and jalapeño. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour oil in large Dutch oven until 2-3 inches deep. Heat to 350-375º F. Drop tablespoon size balls of dough into oil in batches.  Cook until golden brown remove with slotted spoon from oil and place on paper towels. Transfer to serving basket and serve with bean soup.


*I know there will be a debate calling a hush puppy a fritter. Sorry

*I adjust kale amount depending on who eats the soup and if they like kale.


My Bouillabaisse


3 T olive oil

1 onion diced

2 celery ribs diced

1 carrot diced

1 large fennel bulb fronds removed and thin sliced

1 leek white part diced

4 garlic cloves minced

3/4 t red pepper flakes

1 t marjoram chopped

1 t thyme chopped

2 T tomato paste

14.5 ounce can plum tomatoes

1 C dry white wine

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes cubed

6 C fish stock

2 bay leaves

Pinch of saffron

1 1/2 pound halibut cubed

1/2 pound  shrimp

1 pound clams

1 pound mussels washed and de bearded 

1/2 pound scallops

1 3/4 pound Alaska king crab* cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces*


Serves 8-10

Heat olive oil in large pot. add onions, carrot, celery, leek, and fennel. Cook about 7-10 minutes then add in garlic,tomato paste, wine,and plum tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes.Add chopped herbs, saffron, and bay leaves and bring to boil. . Add fish stock and simmer 20 minutes.  Add red pepper flakes and potatoes. Cook  until potatoes are  tender about 10 minutes.

Add clams and cook until they pop open about 3 minutes. Add halibut, scallops, and mussels, and cook about 5 minutes. Then add crab and shrimp and cook for two minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Plate and serve with garlic crostini and a pinch of chopped fennel frond.

Serve  in large bowls.*


*I like the red king more than the golden crab

*I substitute more white fish also in place of the crab.

* I don’t make Rouille

 To make it more affordable I look for fresh white fish and shrimp on sale and clams and mussels from Costco.





Tomato Bread Soup


1 28 ounce can of whole San Marzano(Roma) tomatoes

2 T olive oil

1 T butter

1 large onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 t red pepper flakes

3 sprigs of basil plus 3 T sliced basil set aside

2 C tomato juice*

1 C broth or water as needed

2 C Day old rustic bread chunked*

1/4 C Parmesan grated plus 1/4 C set aside


In 3 quart Dutch oven melt butter with olive oil then add chopped onions and cook 5 minutes then add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Add  San Marzano(Roma) tomatos hand crushed, basil sprigs, and tomato juice. Bring to boil then simmer 10 minutes.

Add bread and gradually  stir in broth just  until bread starts to get mushy. Simmer until thickened. Add chopped basil and Parmesan. Season and serve with additional Parmesan on the side.


I remove the crust. (Alternative way to use leftover bread.)

I have used spicy tomato juice and also spicy  V8®when out of juice.





Potato Leek Soup


A flavorful soup that is creamy yet chunky with a hint of mace.
Great comfort food


4 leeks halved, washed, and sliced*

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes cubed*

1 large onion diced

3 T olive oil

4-5 C vegetable broth

1 C milk*

1/2 t mace*

Salt and pepper to taste

Chives or parsley optional


Serves 6

In large pot add olive oil, onions, and leeks. Cook 10-15 minutes until translucent.

Add broth and potatoes. Cook 25-30 minutes until tender.

Add milk and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender and beat until chunky. Retaste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add the minced chives or parsley  at this step. Serve with rustic bread and a green salad.


* I trim the leaks until I get to the light green stalk and use it and the white flesh. 

*I do not peel the potatoes

*Cream or half and half can be substituted for richer taste 

* Numeg can be used in place of mace.

Dress it up with parsley, seeds, and spiced nuts.

White Bean Rosemary Pasta Soup

A delicious,healthy, easy to make soup with lots of beans and pasta with a delightful rosemary garlic broth. P.S. The conchiglie pasta captures the beans.


1 medium sweet onion chopped

1 cup fine diced carrots

1 cup fine diced celery or 3 stalks

3 T olive oil

2 cans cannellini beans drained and washed

1 can garbanzo beans drained and washed

5 cups vegetable broth* or chicken broth

1/3 cup crushed tomatoes – Pomi Crushed if available

6 rosemary stems tied*

1/4 t crushed red pepper

1 1/2 cup Conchiglie* shells or large shell pasta.

Salt and pepper


In medium sauce pan sauté onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of broth, beans, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 3 cups of broth and pasta. Bring to boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Remove rosemary stems.

Serve with toasted rosemary bread or sourdough for dipping and a green salad.


* We use Swanson’s ® vegetable broth when we are having a vegetarian meal. It does not have a heavy carrot influence.

* I love Rosemary. Most people would use 1 or 2 stems.

* Conchiglie shells are usually hard to find in our grocery stores but are preferred in this soup. The on-line stores have them or use large shells.



Potato Leek Soup with Green Beans

A different approach to potato leek soup. Crunchy vegetables with a velvety broth.


1 T olive oil

1 T butter

1 onion large diced

1 cup leeks sliced

1 red pepper diced*

2 garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup celery diced

1 T parsley chopped*

1 1/2 T flour

4 cups of vegetable broth

2 cups diced potatoes

1 bunch of thyme tied

1 1/2 cup green beans rough chopped

3/4 cup milk*

(Optional) 1 chicken breast left over chopped

Salt and pepper


Melt butter and olive oil in large saucepan. Add in onions,pepper, garlic, shallots, and celery. Sauté 5-10 minutes until vegetables are al dente. Stir in flour. Add broth and stir until combined.

Bring to boil and add potatoes and herbs. Cook medium low for 8-10 minutes.

Add  green beans and cook about 10 minutes until green beans al dente. (Can add chopped chicken at this step) Remove thyme. Add milk, chopped parsley, and  season to taste.

Serve with artisan bread and a green salad on the side.


*Red pepper- Yellow or orange can be substituted

*Parsley-I have substituted cilantro when I have had herbs to be used.

*Milk-I use 2%.

We like our vegetables crispy. I taste during the cooking process so the vegetables do not get soft.