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  1. Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Tuscan Tomato Soup

    My aunt recently sent an email to my extended family inviting everyone over for “amazing tomato soup you don’t want to miss,” or something to that effect. Well, I didn’t want to miss the soup, but I had no choice since I live nowhere near any family! I knew I had to eat this soup one way or another. Thankfully she shared the recipe, saving me a few hundred dollars in airfare.

    tuscan tomato soup web

    This Tuscan Tomato Soup is very yummy.  And easy to make! Quick disclaimer before you start thanking me for sharing a healthy recipe to complement your New Years diet resolutions. Um, yeah, there’s cream in it. But cream has protein and calcium, right? Are you with me, health gurus?

    Tuscan Tomato Soup
    Prepared by Chef Kent Andersen from Chef’s Table in Orem, UT- modified by Jane Maynard (that’s me!)
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 1 Onion, Small dice
    • 3 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes (original recipe: 5 Cups Diced and Seeded Tomatoes)
    • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
    • 1.5 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
    • 1 Cup Basil Pesto (Auntie Barb likes Target’s pesto better than Costco’s; I used Trader Joe’s, which was 1 oz short of a cup but still tasted great; you could always make it, I suppose)
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste
    1. Heat oil in a medium large soup pot. Add onions and cook over moderately low heat until completely translucent. Add tomatoes and allow to warm to a simmer. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes to allow for interchange of flavors.
    2. Add whipping cream. Add pesto.
    3. Blend to desired consistency in a food processor or blender. (Barbara reserves a little bit of the soup un-blended so there are some chunks.) Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.


  2. Friday, October 16, 2009

    Cream of Mushroom Soup

    I know, I know…another soup recipe! Apparently there is a theme to my cooking lately…an unplanned theme, but a good one nonetheless. Tonight I made cream of mushroom soup. This is one of my favorite kinds of soup, and this recipe was perfect.

    cream of mushroom soup 1 web

    Quick note, all of the soups I shared this week can easily be made vegetarian by substituting in vegetable broth.

    Anyway, I’m sure you want the recipe, so here goes! I found it on Simply Recipes…Elise is one of my blogging buddies whom I have had the pleasure of actually spending some time with. She’s a gem. And so is her soup.

    Cream of Mushroom Soup
    Modified from a recipe by Elise Bauer on Simply Recipes – I modified based on what I had in the kitchen tonight, but it was really yummy so wanted to document exactly what I did
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • 1 pound regular white mushrooms, cleaned, quartered or sliced (2/3 of my mushrooms were white, ⅓ were mini portobello)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1tablespoon butter
    • 2 finely chopped shallots (the recipe only called for 2 TBSP”¦I misread it, but the flavor was actually really lovely with two whole shallots, so there you go!)
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I only had about ¼ tsp of thyme left in my shaker, but the soup still tasted great!)
    • ½ bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1½ cups chicken broth
    • 4 tsp Wondra (or flour could work) dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
    1. Coarsely chop mushrooms and lemon juice in a food processor.
    2. Melt butter in (4-5 quart) sauce pan and lightly sauté shallots on medium heat. Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf, sauté over moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms disappears.
    3. Add salt, pepper, cream and chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    4. Add flour slurry and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.


  3. Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Broccoli Cheese Soup

    I will share the following delectable soup recipe with you under one condition: You are not allowed to think about the amount of fat present in the soup when you eat it. It is worth every last calorie. That said…I wouldn’t recommend eating this soup every day. Neither would a cardiologist. But, oh my goodness, you’re going to like it.

    broccoli cheese soup 2 web

    Without further ado…the best broccoli cheese soup recipe around! Oh wait, a bit more “ado”…it’s easy to make with a short list of ingredients and quite fast. However, there is a lot of standing at the stove and whisking involved. Make sure you have some tunes or an episode of This American Life playing when you start cooking. I even do leg exercises while I whisk away…just a little preemptive strike on the butter, cream and cheese.

    Broccoli Cheese Soup
    Creamy, cheesy, and delicious! From my friend Elizabeth Paul
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • ½ C butter
    • ½ C flour
    • 1 Quart Half & Half
    • 3 C cheddar cheese, grated
    • 3 C broth (chicken or vegetable)
    • 1 pkg frozen broccoli (or 2 small heads fresh broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces)
    • 1 tsp salt
    1. Combine broccoli, broth and salt – bring to a boil, simmer until broccoli is cooked.
    2. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour gradually, whisking. Simmer and whisk for a few minutes. Add half & half four times, whisking constantly (make sure it gets thick before each addition of half & half).
    3. Add cheese.
    4. Add broccoli/broth/salt mixture and stir.


  4. Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Butternut Squash Soup

    It is pouring rain today, which means two things. First, I am in heaven. Second, it’s time for a cozy bowl of soup.

    butternut squash soup web

    I know several of you are chomping at the bit for my Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe. The recipe is coming this week, I promise. I just need to take a picture. Until then, I hope my most favorite soup recipe EVER will suffice.

    Butternut Squash Soup
    A cozy delicious soup! From my friend Sarah Covert, with my commentary in italics
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • Soup:
    • 1 large butternut squash, about 3.5 lbs.
    • 1 large leek
    • 2 T unsalted butter
    • 4 tsp. grated fresh ginger (you can use ground ginger – I think about 1 tsp should do it)
    • 5-6 cups chicken stock
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground pepper (this last time I used fresh ground black pepper and 2 shakes of cayenne)
    • Peanuts:
    • (optional garnish that I never make b/c I don’t like peanuts”¦but those who do love these spiced peanuts on top)
    • 1 1/12 C roasted peanuts (not dry-roasted)
    • 2 T peanut oil
    • 1½ t. ground ginger
    • 1 T finely chopped garlic
    • 2 t. finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • ½ tsp. Chinese five-spice powder (in bulk at Henry’s)
    • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
    1. I roast the squash, cut in pieces & wrapped in foil, in my oven at 375 for 40-60 mins. That said, here’s what the recipe tells you to do. With a large heavy knife, cut the squash in half through the stem and discard the seeds. Brush the cut sides with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, indirectly over medium heat until the skin can be easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 1 hour. Remove the squash from the grill and cool”¦ with a large spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash and discard the skin.
    2. Cut off most of the tough green top from the leek. Cut the leek lengthwise and wash under cold running water to remove any dirt trapped. Cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
    3. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add leek and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the looks are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and carefully add the squash. Recude the heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup, in batches in a blender. Return soup to saucepan. If it seems thick, use remain stock as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, garnished with peanuts if desired.
    4. For the peanuts: In a small bowl, combine the peanuts, peanut oil, ground ginger, garlic, cilantro, five-spice powder and cayenne. Toss well to coat the peanuts evenly, then transfer to large sheet of aluminum foil. pull the corners of the foil together and close the pouch. place the pouch over indirect medium heat for 5 minutes. Carefully remove pouch and allow to cool.


  5. Friday, April 3, 2009

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza

    There are a few people in my life who are the source of some of my most favorite recipes and tips. My sister-in-law Cora definitely tops the list, but so does my friend Lindsay. Lindsay used to be my neighbor…those were the good old days. She’d call and say, “I’m making this awesome recipe” and I’d go over with my camera, take pictures, eat her food and get awesome recipes. Alas she lives in Seattle now, but I still use her recipes regularly. One of my most favorite recipes of all time comes from Lindsay and her husband Aaron (one of the few male commenters here on the blog!): Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza!

    One of my favorite dinners, Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Lindsay and Aaron named the soup. The name fits perfectly. This tortilla soup is an extravaganza, filled with all kinds of wonderful ingredients that go so well together. Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite dinners…as long as I’m making it, thanks to Lindsay. (P.S. I think we should add the word “extravaganza” to all recipes. It makes life more festive!)

    Aaron and Lindsay's Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza!

    This recipe is easy to throw together and one that I always make on weeknights. The leftovers are fantastic. Also, the toppings are key! Don’t skimp on the toppings. If you want truly amazing chicken tortilla soup, you gotta make sure you fill the bowl with all of the good stuff. Hence the “extravaganza.”

    Recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup from This Week for Dinner

    Please note: Lindsay fries up her own tortilla strips. Because she’s fancy like that. I am not fancy and always either buy tortilla strip salad toppers in the produce section or just break up tortilla chips on top. It tastes mighty fine even with that shortcut. Promise.

    Homemade fried tortilla strips for Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Have fun making and eating this soup. And be sure to bookmark the recipe, I promise you’ll be back for more.

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza
    A little spicy and a lot delicious!
    Recipe type: Main Dishes, Soup
    Cuisine: Mexican
    • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (I usually just use half of an onion)
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or pushed through a garlic press)
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • A few shakes of cayenne pepper
    • ½ - 1 tablespoon chili powder (depending on your spice level desires)
    • 1 teaspoon or so of ground cumin
    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 2-3 tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
    • Half of a bag of frozen corn
    • 1 large chicken breast
    • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
    • 2-3 limes
    • 2 large handfuls cilantro, chopped
    • 4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
    • A few swigs of canola/vegetable oil or cooking spray
    • Diced avocado
    • Shredded cheddar or jack cheese
    • Sour cream
    • Lime slices
    • Chopped cilantro
    • Tortilla strips or tortilla chips broken up
    2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Add chopped onion and cook until onions soften and become translucent, 3-5 minutes or so.
    3. Add garlic, green onions, cayenne pepper, chili powder and cumin. Sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
    4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to medium low (or the lowest heat that maintains a simmer). Add tomatoes, corn and black beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
    5. The very best way to prepare the chicken is to sprinkle the raw chicken breast with some cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and then grill the chicken. However, you can cook the chicken whatever way works for you. Once chicken is cooked, chop or shred the chicken. If you cooked the chicken another way besides seasoning and then grilling, go ahead and sprinkle those same spices over the cooked chicken to add a bit of flavor.
    6. Add the prepared chicken, juice from one of the limes and one handful of the chopped cilantro to the soup. Heat through for a few minutes and then serve!
    8. Heat canola or vegetable oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Alternatively you can spry the pan with cooking spray. Add tortilla strips to pan and cook until crisp, turning strips every few minutes. Once browned and crisp remove from heat and sprinkle with salt.
    10. Serve soup garnished with avocado, cheese, sour cream, fresh lime and cilantro, and tortilla strips.



  6. Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    I {heart} blog friends…and fantastic recipes! Sausage Potato Soup

    One thing that has been so fabulous about having this blog is “meeting” all of YOU! I love the sense of community and the many friends that I’ve picked up along the way, friends I’ve never actually met in person.

    Lucky for me I had the chance to meet three of my dear blogging friends last week!  Marie from Make and Takes, Allison from Petit Elefant and Lindsey from Cafe Johnsonia. I knew they’d be amazing women, but they exceeded my expectations. If you haven’t been to these ladies’ blogs, go check them out here and here and here. You’ll love them.

    Lindsey was gracious enough to host our get-together at her home, complete with all of our kids in tow.  Which was a lot of kids, by the way.  Lindsey is a fantastic cook (hence her food blog) and made some delicious Sausage Potato Soup (with secret ingredients!!) and homemade Wheat Bread.  It was HEAVEN. In the spirit of recipe sharing, Lindsey shared her soup recipe with me, which you can get below! (Update: I have modified the recipe over the years, adjusting the amounts of ingredients as well as building out the directions in more detail.)

    Thank you Lindsey, Marie and Allison for a perfectly lovely afternoon!

    Sausage Potato Soup
    From Lindsey Johnson (I have modified the recipe a bit over the years from what Lindsey originally sent over, so this is my version below)
    • 1 large or 2 medium potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
    • 1 pound bulk pork Italian sausage
    • ¼ onion, chopped
    • 7 cups chicken stock
    • 1 cup cream
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    1. Add a swig of oil to a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Cook onions for a few minutes then add the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Let the sausage stay in larger chunks rather than totally breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain off excess fat.
    2. While the sausage and onions are cooking, bring chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until potatoes are just turning tender.
    3. Add the cooked sausage and onions to soup. Add the cream and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Add the vanilla and balsamic vinegar right before serving. Sprinkle pepper over the top, taste and add more salt and/or pepper as needed.


  7. Thursday, October 2, 2008

    Featured Recipe: Curried Squash & Chicken Soup

    I’ve been a real slacker cook lately.  I mean, it WAS my birthday after all. But I’m back in the kitchen and, as per Nate’s request, I’ve been trying new recipes more often lately.  The latest experiment – Curried Squash and Chicken Soup, a recipe from my good friend Natalee.

    It was quite yummy and healthy to boot.  And SO EASY.  The only trick is finding the curry paste, which is usually at Asian markets.  But seriously, even on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, this soup added no extra stress whatsoever.

    A few quick notes. Nate commented it would be good on rice if it was a little thicker.  I may try that – I’ll either cut the water or add a little cornstarch at the end.

    And, believe it or not, I have lemongrass growing in my flower garden!  So, I threw a few whole blades of grass into the crockpot and pulled them before serving.  It gave the soup such a great, fresh flavor!

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    Featured Recipe: Curried Squash & Chicken Soup
    From Eating Well via my friend Natalee Maynes
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry
    Serves: 2-3
    • 1 10-ounce package frozen pureed winter squash
    • ½ cup coconut milk
    • ½ cup water
    • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced (can be added to soup raw) (Jane note: I just threw big hunks of raw chicken in that I cut with kitchen scissors, then broke it up with a fork at the end)
    • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach (Jane note – I would chop up the spinach a bit before throwing it in for better texture in the soup)
    • 2 kaffir lime leaves (or 2 T lime juice)
    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • ½-1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    1. Natalee’s favorite way to do this is in the crockpot because it allows all of the yummy Thai flavors to come out. Just throw it all in and cook on high for two or three hours–yummy! A great addition to this (but tricky to find anywhere except an Asian market) is LEMONGRASS!!! It is divine and makes it even that much better.


  8. Saturday, April 7, 2007

    Featured Recipe: Beef Stew

    It’s been cloudy and gloomy here in San Diego the last few days, so I think we’re due for some comfort food. Last time I made Beef Stew, Cate GOBBLED it up! Hopefully other toddlers out there will follow suit…always nice to find something they’ll eat!

    This recipe is from my mom, who is notorious for giving non-recipe-recipes, where you have to guess amounts, etc. Despite the lack of direction, it IS easy to make. Let me know if you have questions! Note: I put the carrots and celery in before the potatoes so the potatoes don’t get too mushy, but some people don’t mind it and like how the potatoes thicken the stew.

    Featured Recipe: Beef Stew
    Hearty beef stew! Yum!
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Meat
    • beef stew meat / round steak (appx amount: 1½ lb)
    • butter/olive oil
    • onion (I chop ½ of an onion)
    • beef broth (appx 4 Cups; mom uses beef concentrate and water, I have bouillon)
    • celery
    • carrots
    • potatoes
    • flour/water thickening
    • salt & pepper to taste
    1. Brown the meat and onions. Add broth to cover meat and simmer for a few hours. Add vegetables. When they’re not quite done, add thickening. Season.


  9. Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Lentil Soup

    If you would like to read more about this recipe, I have written a post about it since originally adding this link to the site. Please click here for the full post!

    Lentil Soup
    Cook time
    Total time
    "This is the BEST." - Amy Kroff
    Recipe type: Soup
    • 1 cup dry lentils
    • 1 cup shopped onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 4 cup beef broth
    • 1 15 ounce can petite-diced tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
    • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or oregano (I usually use oregano)
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ⅛ teaspoon cumin
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ½ cup chopped carrots (I usually do more carrots because my kids love them)
    • ½ cup chopped celery
    • ½ pound fully cooked smoked sausage links, sliced – or chopped ham
    1. Rinse lentils, drain, then soak in water and set aside while you prep the soup.
    2. In a large pot, cook onion garlic in hot oil over medium heat until tender but not brown.
    3. Once the onions are tender, add garlic and stir. Drain off any remaining water from the lentils. Stir in the lentils, beef broth, undrained tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, thyme or oregano, pepper, cumin, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling then reduce heat to low but so that soup is still simmering.
    4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
    5. Add carrots and celery. Return to boiling then reduce heat again and simmer for 15-20 mins or until lentils and veggies are tender.
    6. Stir in meat and heat through. Discard bay leaf.