Beet and Tomato Soup

Beet and Tomato Soup

Beet and Tomato Soup

I had a bunch of fresh beets in my fridge and since it’s a little cool today I thought I’d make soup with them. I took inspiration from what I had on hand including onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Adding the tomatoes was a last minute decision and it worked out really well. The tomatoes added just the right amount of tartness/sweetness.  I didn’t add the dollop of sour cream I would normally add. It would make a nice topper for the soup, though. Here is the recipe. It was a small bunch of beets so I just made a small batch of soup, but it could easily be doubled.


Beet and Tomato Soup

1 bunch beets, about 1 lb.


1 onion, chopped

3-4 c. stock- I used chicken

1 potato, cubed

2-3 medium tomatoes, peeled and cubed

1 t. dill

salt and pepper to taste

Wash beets and trim leaving about 1 inch of the stem attached. Reserve greens.  Place beets in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove beets and cool in cold water until you can handle them. While beets are cooling, cook onion in oil until tender. Peel and cube the beets. Add to the onions along with the stock, potatoes and tomatoes and cook until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Rinse and chop up about 1 cup of the beet greens and add them to the soup along with the dill. Cook until greens are tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 3-4.


Basque Soup

Basque Soup

Basque Soup

We made this soup in class last night. This is a vegetarian soup that should satisfy most carnivores. It is made with butter beans, tomatoes, corn and onions. Add vegetable broth and some milk and you have a rich and filling bowl of soup in no time at all. You can also make this soup vegan- we did in class last night- by using almond  milk in place of the dairy milk.

Basque Soup

1 c. chopped onions

1 1/2 c. chopped celery

1/4 c. oil

1/4 c. flour

3 c. milk*

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can whole kernel corn, undrained

3-4 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed

3-4 cups water and 1T. paste-type vegetable soup base

or 3-4 cups vegetable broth

pepper to taste

hot pepper sauce to taste

shredded mild cheese, optional

 Sauté onions and celery in oil until tender. Stir in flour until smooth and add milk, stirring to keep lumps from forming. Stir over medium heat until milk has thickened and begins to boil. Stir constantly as mixture simmers for an additional minute or two. Add remaining ingredients, except cheese and bring up to a simmer. Adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, if desired. Serves 8-10.

Note: You can use almond, rice or soy milk in place of the dairy milk, if you like.

Pantry Vegetable Soup

Pantry Vegetable Soup

Pantry Vegetable Soup

I’ve been using stuff up and not going to the grocery store for almost 3 months now. Sometimes it takes some creative thinking to put an interesting meal together. When in doubt I can always make a good pot of soup. Soup comes easy to me. I grew up with a Mom who really knew how to make great soup. Can’t make a pot of soup without remembering her. I wanted to make a vegetable soup today so I looked around to see what I had on hand and ended up with this. Started with the basics, onion, celery, carrots. Then I added home canned tomatoes and pinto beans. Threw in some dried zucchini and dried mushrooms, too. I had a little  broccoli in the freezer so I tossed that in as well. Some basil from the freezer, dried herbs and some other seasonings and it was good to go. Here is the recipe but this is the sort of soup that can be adjusted according to what you have around.

Pantry Vegetable Soup 

2 T. oil

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 c. chopped cabbage

3 cloves minced garlic

1 pint jar canned tomatoes- or a 14.5 oz. can

6 c. water

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained- I used a p[int jar of home canned beans

1/2 c. dried mushrooms

1/2 c. sliced dried zucchini

2 T. vegetable soup base – I use home made-

1 c. chopped broccoli

salt and pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste

dried and frozen herbs to taste- I used Tuscan seasoning and a frozen cube of basil with olive oil.

Heat oil in soup pot and add the onion, cooking until golden. Add remaining ingredients, except the herbs, and cook, covered, until veggies are tender and dried veggies are re-hydrated. This will take about 30 minutes. Add herbs and let simmer 10 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 4-6.

Spiced Split Pea and Rice Soup

Spice Split Pea Soup with Rice

Spice Split Pea Soup with Rice

I made this soup the other night and a friend requested I share the recipe. I like it because the split peas are cooked until tender- but not cooked to mush. With the addition of spices like cinnamon and cardamom it has a wonderful flavor and is pretty quick to make. This is a vegetarian version, but feel free to use chicken stock, if you prefer.

Spiced Split Pea and Rice Soup

1 c. dried split peas, green or yellow

3 c. water

2 c. chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

2 bay leaves

1/2 t. each cumin, cinnamon and cardamom

1/4 t. cayenne, or more to taste

2 c. vegetable stock

2 t. lemon juice

1/2 c. cooked rice

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. chopped parsley or cilantro

Rinse peas and cook them in the water until tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the spices and cook 5-10 minutes longer, being careful not to burn them. Add this to the peas along with the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 4.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

I love this soup. I’ve had different versions over the years but they all have those wonderful little meatballs in common. This recipe came from the mother of a dear friend. I still have her handwritten copy in a file. Every time I make this soup I think of her.

Italian Wedding Soup


 3/4 lb. ground beef or a mixture of beef, pork and veal or turkey

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. dry bread crumbs

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

1 T. dried parsley or 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. garlic powder or 2 cloves of minced garlic

1/4 t. each pepper and dried oregano

1 T. oil


8 c. chicken stock, not too salty

1 c. thin sliced carrots

1 c. thin sliced celery

1/2 c. thin sliced green onions, optional

1/2 t. dried basil or 1 1/2 t. fresh chopped

1/2 c.  uncooked small pasta, I like orzo

1/2 lb. escarole or kale, cut in thin strips

To make meatballs combine all ingredients except the oil and form into 50 tiny balls. Sauté in oil until browned on all sides. Drain. In large saucepan combine broth with vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered 10 minutes. Add basil, pasta, meatballs and escarole or kale and simmer 10 minutes longer. Serves 6-8.

Note: you can use spinach instead, but add for last 5 minutes of cooking.

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

This is one of the dishes we had in class last night. Great night for soup. It’s an easy soup to make and full of flavor. I like to serve it with hot sauce on the side for those who want a spicier soup.

Tortilla Soup

1 onion, sliced thin

1 T. oil

6 c. chicken stock

1/2 -3/4 c. salsa

2 T. chopped cilantro

1/2 t. cumin

2 c. diced cooked chicken

8 small or 4 large tortillas

Heat oil in soup pot and cook onion until tender. Add stock, salsa and seasonings and simmer, covered 10 minutes. Add chicken and heat through. Meanwhile roll tortillas up tightly one at a time and cut cross wise into 1/2-inch wide strips. Divide strips among 4 bowls and ladle in the soup in the bowls. Serves 4.

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

With the extra cold weather back again I can’t stop making soup. Everyone seems to simmering a pot of it. This is a great soup. Made with yellow split peas it in enhanced with the addition of smoky flavor from either smoked pork or turkey. It is not pureed as many other pea soups but rather served with the yellow peas cooked until tender but still intact. It is filling, rich and light at the same time. Great served alone or with a rye bread.  

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

1 lb. yellow split peas, rinsed

2 qts. Boiling water

1 bay leaf

1 c. chopped onion

1 tsp. Dried marjoram

1/4 t. ginger

dash nutmeg

1/2 t. pepper

1 T. salt, or to taste

Ham shank bone plus 2 cups diced ham or 1 smoked turkey piece (drumstick, thigh, neck or wing) plus 2 cups diced turkey, optional

Note: you can use 1 teaspoon liquid smoke if omitting meat.

Combine peas, boiling water and bay leaf and simmer, covered, about an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Add remaining ingredients, except diced meat and salt, and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1-1 1/2 hours. Peas and meat should be tender. Remove meat and cool, cutting any usable meat off the bone and returning to soup along with additional diced meat, if desired. Season to taste. Serve with a pumpernickel bread or Swedish Limpa bread. Freezes well. Serves 6-8.