Archive for soup

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Probably my last soup for awhile due to the lovely warm weather we’ve been having here in the Garden State. This recipe, Tuscan Vegetable Soup, came from Ellie Krieger’s new cookbook that I recently purchased. It’s been hit or miss with these recipes but some are very good like this one. I love a hearty vegetable soup full of fresh, flavorful veggies. I also added some whole wheat elbows to give it more substance. Not only did I enjoy the fresh veggie flavors of this soup but I felt good eating it because it was so good for you. And it’s very quick and simple to make. What more can I ask for?

Overall rating – 3.5 stars

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Copyright 2007, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional


In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.

Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Nutrition Information
Nutritional analysis per serving Calories 140
Total Fat 4 grams Saturated Fat 0.5 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 310 mg
Carbohydrates 19 grams Protein 8 grams
Fiber 4.5 grams



Comments (7)

Italian Wedding Soup


Recently, my mother was over my house skimming my cookbooks. She asked if I had a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup. I knew I had seen one in Giada DeLaurentis’ book, Giada’s Family Dinners, so I grabbed it off my shelf and she copied it down. Fast forward a few weeks later and I’m not feeling so hot with some sort of flu (despite the darn flu shot!) and I want nothing more than a big bowl of soup. I really wanted Chicken Noodle Soup but I was in no shape to cook so I headed over to Costco and bought a tub of their soup. No good. Very disappointing and very peppery.

A few days later, I’m starting to feel a little bit better and I still want some soup. That Costco Chicken Noodle Soup is fresh in my mind so I can’t even think about making my own Chicken Noodle Soup. I remember now that recipe for Italian Wedding Soup. As I start flipping through Giada’s book, I also notice on the preceding page a recipe for Escarole and Bean Soup. I keep flipping back and forth trying to decide which one to make. I really wanted some meatballs but I wanted that escarole with beans. So, I did what any cook would do. I combined the two and made my own Frankenstein of a soup.

The two soups are very similar with a chicken broth base. I am printing below the recipe for Giada’s Italian Wedding Soup. But here you can find her recipe for the Escarole and Bean Soup. As an added link, here’s Rocco “hottie” Despirito’s recipe for Italian Wedding Soup.

What I did differently is start out by sauteing some diced carrots, onions and carrot in olive oil and caramelizing for several minutes. I then add the escarole for one to two minutes before adding the broth. I also pan-fry the meatballs until they are almost done before adding to broth. I just do not like adding meatballs raw to soup or sauces. Just my thing. I also add a can of rinsed cannellini beans. You could even add some small pasta to this to make it even more heartier.

I loved this soup. In fact, I’ve made it again since these pictures were taken. It’s delicious and filling. The flavors blend very well together and the addition of the egg and cheese at the end is a nice touch.

Overall rating – 5 stars

Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

1 small onion, grated
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 slice fresh white bread, crust trimmed, bread torn into small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
Freshly ground black pepperSoup:
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped (1 pound of escarole would be a good substitution)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet.To make the soup: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and curly endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the curly endive is tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

User Rating: 5 Stars

Episode#: EI1D13
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved


Comments (8)

Cuban Black Bean Soup


I’ve been trying to find a good black bean soup recipe for a few months now. The first one I tried was from the Food Network’s site. Not sure whose it was, but it was baaadddd. So bad, I didn’t even post it here, the pictures alone were horrible and unappetizing. So when I found the recipe for Cuban Black Bean Soup in the January issue of Cooking Light I was hopeful. Granted, the ingredient list was quite long, but if you look closely you’ll see that the last nine ingredients are the toppings, most of which I found unnecessary (which now looking back were probably necessary to help out the lack of flavor of the actual soup….).

My first problem was with the dried black beans. It took longer than 2 1/2 hours for them to soften, more like 3 1/2. My second issue was taste, I found it to be quite bland. I did add some sour cream, tomatoes, and avocado on top to help it out. The husband added some hot sauce which he said also gave it a little boost. There were quite a few negative postings on Cooking Light’s site that were very similar to my complains -the beans, the blandness, etc. Please, someone point me in the direction of a good black bean soup recipe!

Overall rating- 2 stars

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Chef Douglas Rodriguez of DeLaCosta restaurant in Chicago was born in America, but this recipe is inspired by his mother’s black bean soup, which offered robust flavor for people who didn’t have money to spend on meat for stock. Here we use both fresh and dried oregano because each imparts a different flavor to the final dish.

2 bay leaves
1 pound dried black beans
12 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 3 medium)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 2 small)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup light sour cream
10 teaspoon unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (about 2 medium)
Lime wedges (optional)
Place bay leaves and beans in a Dutch oven. Add 12 cups water to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, chopped onion, and shallots to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and fresh oregano; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place vegetable mixture in a blender; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Puree until smooth.Add vegetable mixture, sugar, and salt to beans; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Combine avocado and juice; toss gently. Ladle 3/4 cup bean mixture into each of 10 bowls; top each serving with about 3 tablespoons avocado mixture, about 3 tablespoons red onion, 2 tablespoons ham, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, about 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon pumpkinseed kernels, and about 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño pepper. Serve with lime wedges, if desired. Yield:  10 servingsCALORIES 344 (31% from fat); FAT 12g (sat 3.4g,mono 5.7g,poly 2.3g); PROTEIN 18.6g; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 110mg; SODIUM 637mg; FIBER 14.7g; IRON 6.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.9g Cooking Light, JANUARY 2008

Comments (10)

Stuffed Pepper Soup


Nothing beats a cold, wintry day than a steaming bowl of soup. I’ve been making this Cooking Light recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup for a few years now. My mother often made Stuffed Peppers while I was growing up and still does and it remains one of our family favorites. But who would have thought to make a soup out of it? This recipe was actually a reader submitted recipe and we really enjoy it in our household. I usually double this recipe and then freeze some. I also spoon the rice into the soup once it’s in individual bowls so it does not absorb the liquid. The only alteration I make to this recipe is using brown rice instead of white. On this particular occasion I also used a red pepper because I didn’t have enough green ones. Also, I drain the ground beef after it’s browned to reduce some of the grease even though I usually use the lowest fat content of ground beef. This recipe is definitely a keeper! And yes, it actually tastes like a Stuffed Pepper! Enjoy!

Overall rating – 4 stars


Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

From Cooking Light
“I like this recipe because it’s a good way to get my husband to eat vegetables. This is a comforting soup for a cold day with corn bread or another hearty bread, and it gets better the day after.” -Chris Sunderman, Morgantown, WV

1/2 pound ground round
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cups hot cooked white rice

Heat a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add chopped green bell pepper and onion; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in black pepper, less-sodium beef broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato soup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.Spoon 1/4 cup hot cooked white rice into each of 6 bowls; top with 1 cup soup.

Yield: 6 servings

CALORIES 219 (30% from fat); FAT 7.2g (sat 2.6g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 11.7g; CHOLESTEROL 26mg; CALCIUM 39mg; SODIUM 444mg; FIBER 3.2g; IRON 2.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.5g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004

Comments (5)

Hamburger Soup


I found this recipe while looking through The Good Home Cookbook. I wanted to make soup and this one sounded quick and easy, but odd. I was a little hesitant to make this. Okay, I admit, I was feeling a bit food snobbish when I read it (same way I feel when my husband sneaks a can of Chef Boy-ar-dee in our grocery cart). It turned out to be a decent tasting soup. Didn’t really remind me of having a juicy, mouth-watering hamburger. More of quick and simple veggie soup that just happened to have ground beef in it. I think in the actual cookbook, Richard Perry describes this as a good soup that the kids will enjoy. I think he was right. This is a good, go-to recipe if you have small kids and can tempt them to eat soup by calling it Hamburger Soup. I doubt I would make it again, good, but just wasn’t memorable.Overall rating- 3.5 stars (me – 3, hubby- 4)

Hamburger Soup from The Good Home CookbookServes 4 to 6

1 tablespoon oil

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cups beef broth (page 118) (I used canned beef broth)

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

1 cup elbow macaroni

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen green beans or peas

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional), to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown, about 8 minutes, stirring to break up any clumps. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Drain off any fat.

2. Add the broth, tomatoes, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in the macaroni, reduce the heat, and simmer until the macaroni is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Stir in the corn and green beans or peas. Simmer until tender and heated through, about 10 minutes.

Comments (1)

Pasta e Fagioli



I’ve always been reluctant to try a Pasta Fagioli recipe (I drop the “e”, “and” in Italiano) from a cookbook. Growing up, my grandfather, who passed away last September, made the BEST I’ve ever had. In fact, I go as far to say it was his signature dish. His parents were born in Italy but he was born in the States and also served in WWII where he had kitchen duty. The man could cook and I learned many things from him. Even though he had repeatedly told me this recipe (of course he didn’t have it written down) mine NEVER tasted like his. There were a few differences between the typical Pasta Fagioli and the one my grandfather made. He did not include any kind of broth and he used lima beans.

Because I’ve been craving some Pasta Fagioli I stumbled upon the recipe in my new The Good Home Cookbook. Since all previous recipes have turned out quite well from here I decided to give it a shot. I loved it! It was simple, but tasty, filling and perfect for a chilly night. This was another recipe the writer, Richard Perry, graciously shared his electronic copy with me.

As usual, there were a few alterations to recipe. I subsituted pancetta for bacon because I prefer it. I also used elbow pasta instead of ditalini because grandpops always used elbows. I also used fat-free, sodium-free chicken broth from the grocery store. The one secret trick I used to make the soup creamer and thicker was to use my hand-mixer for approximately 30 seconds BEFORE adding the pasta. I still wanted some whole tomatoe pieces and beans. Make this next time you need a hearty, one-bowl meal and serve with some good, crusty bread. As my grandfather would say, “Mangia!”

Overall rating: me- 4.5 stars (5 is reserved for pops!)

Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4

2 tablespoons oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 slices bacon, finely diced, or 1/4 cup rinsed and diced salt pork

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

4 cups chicken broth (page 119)

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup ditalini pasta

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.2. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the beans, cheese, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 3. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just done. Drain and add the pasta to the soup. Serve hot.

Comments (1)