Monthly Archives:

Avocado Soup Hot

Hot Avocado Soup

Avocados were on sale at the grocery this week. There were two loaded bins with hundreds of not-quite-ripe avocados marked at 77 cents each, so I grabbed four with plans to use two of them for a Hot Avocado Soup Recipe. The majority of avocado soup recipes suggest serving the dish very cold, and the soup is undeniably delicious and refreshing when served in that manner. But in northern Wisconsin in January, my mind is on hot soups – anything to take the chill off – so I researched dozens of recipes to come up with what I believe is the Best Hot Avocado Soup. It is rich and creamy but also extremely fresh tasting, thanks to the tangy flavors of lime juice and cilantro. Make sure you use perfectly ripe avocados, with bright greenish-yellow flesh and no mushy or dark spots. With a pair of perfect avocados, there’s little more to making this soup than blending some ingredients together and whisking them into hot broth.

Avocado Soup Hot
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 pickled jalapeno pepper slices
  • 2 small slices white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 dozen cilantro sprigs
  • 2 dashes Mexican-style hot sauce
  • Freshly cracked Black pepper
  1. Put all ingredients except for chicken broth into a food processor or blender
  2. Season with a couple cracks of ground black pepper
  3. Puree for 30 seconds, until mixture is smooth
  4. Pour the chicken broth into a small Dutch oven or soup pot and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the avocado mixture until fully incorporated
  6. Let soup warm through for a minute or two
  7. Serve topped with more fresh chopped cilantro and corn chips


Hot Avocado Soup Ingredients


Ripe Avocados


Dice Avocados, Onion Slivers and Garlic


Add avocado, onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers to food processor


Salt and Chili Powder


Add Chili Powder and Salt


Pour Cream into Food Processor


Add some freshly cracked black pepper


Mexican Hot Sauce


A couple dashes of hot sauce


Add a dozen cilantro sprigs


Blend for 30 seconds


Avocado mixture


Bring Chicken Broth to a Boil


Whisk avocado mixture into broth


Hot Avocado Soup


Easy Turkey Noodle Soup

Easy Turkey Noodle Soup Ready To Eat

I went to the grocery last weekend and purchased some rotisserie-roasted turkey breast at the deli. The turkey was cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices and looked like the perfect mate for some bread loaded up with my favorite fixings. After bringing it home, I couldn’t wait to make a turkey sandwich. I opened the refrigerator and grabbed everything I needed – loaf of pumpernickel rye bread, a wedge of extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard, alfalfa sprouts and a jar of pickled jalapeno peppers. Everything went to the counter and I dropped two pieces of bread on a plate, shook the mustard up and gave each piece of pumpernickel a generous squirt. With a butter knife, I spread the Dijon evenly over the bread right to the edge of the crusts. I then shaved off some cheddar and placed the cheese atop the mustard and plopped several chunks of turkey over one half. A liberal blast of ground black pepper went onto the bird and then I placed three large jalapeno slices and a nest of sprouts on top of it all. Lone bread slice brought down to cover it all and dig in. My initial reaction was mixed. The tangy mustard and cheese tangled with the crisp spiciness of the jalapeno and the subtle crunch of the sprouts in perfect harmony, but the turkey was not ringing any bells. In fact, it was dry and not giving up much flavor so I decided to make soup out of the remainders. That was a good call.

Turkey soups are all the rage right after Thanksgiving, when we’re all looking for ways to use up the oftentimes ample leftovers from the roasted bird. But there’s no reason to limit yourself to turkey soup once a year; nor do you have to cook a whole turkey to make this soup. And even though my rotisserie turkey proved to be disappointing on a sandwich, it made for an awesome turkey noodle soup.

This is a very easy turkey noodle soup recipe; however, my secret here is to first saute the veggies in duck fat, which gives this soup a huge boost of poultry flavor. If you don’t have duck fat, you can substitute butter or olive oil. But you really should get a jar of duck fat and give it a try. It makes everything from roasted potatoes to soups like this one even better. I’ve had great success using Rougie Duck Fat, an excellent product from Quebec, Canada. I keep it in the fridge and pull it out whenever I need to take things to the next level. You can buy duck fat online here.

Easy Turkey Noodle Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup turkey breast, cut into ½-inch cubes (use whole breast meat, not shaved cold cuts)
  • 1 cup egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon duck fat (or butter or olive oil)
  • 1 onion (yellow or white), diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (reserve celery leaves to top soup)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed fine (I like to grind it using a mortar and pestle - it makes it nicer to eat and helps build the triceps!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, melt the duck fat over medium heat
  2. Toss in the carrots, celery and onion and cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are soft
  3. Add the turkey, garlic, thyme, marjoram and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring to get everything nice and coated with the herbs
  4. Pour in the broth, salt and bring it all to a boil
  5. Stir in the egg noodles, reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 15 minutes
  6. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste
  7. Top with a few chopped celery leaves and a crack or two of black pepper
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled to feed 8 to 12 people as needed


Easy Turkey Noodle Soup Ingredients


Rougie Duck Fat


Melt Duck Fat


Add carrot, celery and onion


Cook vegetables until soft


Add turkey


Thyme and Marjoram


Add herbs and garlic


Stir to coat with herbs


Pour in chicken broth




Bring to a boil and add egg noodles


Cook for 15 minutes


Easy Turkey Noodle Soup

African Peanut Soup with Beef

Serve soup topped with cilantro and peanuts

Peanuts are used in the cooking of many countries in West Africa, and African Peanut Soup is one of the region’s tastiest dishes imaginable. There are many different peanut soup recipes, some contain chicken; other recipes, like this one, use beef. And for a bit more flavor punch I added a beef soup bone. Try to find a natural peanut butter that does not contain sugar. You can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter, depending on your preference – or a combination of both! Increase the amount of crushed red pepper if you want a spicier soup. And although it is not traditional in West African cooking, I like to finish this soup with chopped fresh cilantro for a bit of Caribbean-style flair. And to make it extra good, I spoon on some chopped roasted peanuts as well!

African Peanut Soup with Beef
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: African
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound stew beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 beef soup bone (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons palm oil (if you don’t have palm oil, you could substitute peanut oil or canola oil)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound tomatoes,diced (I used Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅔ to ¾ cup natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 large sweet potato (approximately 1 pound) cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 6 sprigs of cilantro
  1. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon palm oil over medium heat
  2. Add half the beef and cook until browned
  3. Remove beef and set aside, again add 1 tablespoon palm oil and brown the remaining beef and set aside
  4. Add the final tablespoon palm oil to the pot and heat over medium
  5. Dump in the onions and bell pepper and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables become soft
  6. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two
  7. Put the beef (and soup bone if using) into the pot
  8. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, crushed red pepper, coriander and chili powder
  9. Pour in the beef broth and bring to boil
  10. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until beef is tender
  11. Add the sweet potato
  12. Stir in the peanut butter and bring to a boil once more
  13. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender
  14. Serve topped with some freshly cracked black pepper, chopped cilantro and a spoonful of peanuts

Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.

Heat Palm Oil
Cook beef until browned








Add onion and red bell pepper








Cook onions and bell pepper until soft








Stir in garlic








Stir in beef and tomatoes








Pour in salt, crushed red pepper, coriander and chili powder








Add soup bone








Pour in beef broth








Simmer for 1 hour








Add sweet potatoes








Add peanut butter








Let simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked








Peanut soup is ready to serve







Serve soup topped with cilantro and peanuts

Mustard Soup with Crispy Bacon and Pan-Fried Leeks

By | January 21, 2015
Mustard Soup with Bacon and Fried Leeks

I love mustard and have used it for decades as a condiment on sandwiches and subs, slathered over grilled bratwurst and for dunking pretzels. It never occurred to me that mustard could be used in soup, let alone serve as the primary ingredient! Well, I since discovered that mustard has been used in the soup cookery of Poland and the Netherlands for years and years. This is a mustard soup recipe with Dutch origins that highlights the earthy flavors of whole grain mustard, bacon and leeks and made rich and velvety with the addition of cream. I was very pleased with this first-time attempt at mustard soup and recommend it highly. The soup has a nice piquant mustard flavor, but is not overwhelming at all – just very pleasant. Scooping up spoonfuls of soup dotted with the whole grain mustard seeds floating in the mix is really cool and delicious. And the bacon and leeks really bring everything together. This soup would make an elegant first course or a great stand-alone light dinner. I paired the soup with a crunchy baguette, apple slices and havarti cheese studded with caraway. Fantastic!

Mustard Soup with Crispy Bacon and Pan-Fried Leeks
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Dutch
Serves: 6 to 8
  • ¼-pound bacon, diced
  • 1 leek, washed thoroughly and the white part sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard (I used 4 tablespoons Ingelhoffer Original Stone Ground Mustard for my soup, but you might start at 2 tablespoons and go from there)
  • ½ cup cream
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp and remove to drain on paper towels
  2. Fry bacon in skillet until crisp
  3. Remove bacon from skillet and let drain on paper towels
  4. Add leeks to bacon grease, increase heat to medium-high and saute until translucent and showing some crispy brown edges, about 5 minutes
  5. Remove leeks and let drain on paper towels
  6. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat
  7. Add the flour, stirring slowly and continually until the butter and flour form a golden-colored roux
  8. Pour in the chicken broth and stir to fully incorporate the roux into the liquid
  9. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes; reduce heat to a simmer
  10. Stir in the mustard and whisk until dissolved and let cook for another minute or two
  11. Pour in the cream and continue whisking, making sure the soup does not boil
  12. Taste for salt, pepper and mustard, adding as desired. You will likely not need any salt.
  13. Serve soup topped with bacon bits and fried leeks


Mustard Soup IngredientsFry Bacon in Skillet

Fry Bacon Until CrispLet Bacon Drain on Paper TowelsAdd Leeks to Bacon GreaseCook Leeks for 5 minutes on medium-high heatRemove leeks and let drain on paper towelsAdd butter to Dutch ovenAdd flour to butterMelt butterRoux should be golden colorWhisk in chicken brothPour in Mustard

Whisk mustard until dissolved

Pour in cream

Mustard Soup with Bacon and Fried Leeks

Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.

Chili Con Carne 1970’s Midwest Style

Chili Con Carne


This is a recipe for chili very similar to what I ate at home and at my grandparents’ table while I was growing up in Ohio during the 1970s. There are probably a thousand different versions of this mildly spiced chili that were made in homes all across the Midwest during the decade of leisure suits – and chili like this is still being made today in small-town diners and kitchens across the nation’s breadbasket. It is a very basic bowl, with ground beef, kidney beans and tomatoes serving as the foundation with just enough chili powder sprinkled in to make it “chili” without making it spicy. This is a great chili con carne for kids or anyone with a low heat tolerance.

Chili Con Carne 1970's Midwest Style
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Chili
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and brown the beef, onion and pepper
  2. Drain excess fat and add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, adding water if needed
  3. Remove bay leaf and serve with saltine crackers and any toppings you like


Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.


Chicken Coconut Soup with Couscous and Cilantro

Chicken Coconut Soup with Couscous and Cilantro

Coconut and cilantro are two of my favorite flavors ever, and they complement each other amazingly well so I wanted to cook up something that brought these two awesome tastes together. This recipe was inspired by the fish stews of the Bahia region of eastern Brazil. My wife does not like seafood but loves her soups thick, so I replaced fins with feathers and added couscous for a trans-African-Brazilian taste. Bahia residents maintain strong culinary ties with Africa, from the regrettable days of slavery, and that is reflected here in the use of palm oil and coconut milk. Palm oil is available at many health food stores and better grocers, at African and/or South American markets or on the web. You could make this dish extra fiery by substituting a habanero pepper for the jalapeno. This soup has a deliciously bright citrus tang and a blast of fresh flavor from the cilantro. One cup of couscous makes this a pretty substantial brew – perfect for winter. You could easily use 1/2 cup couscous for a thinner soup with equally excellent results.




2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1 & ¼ pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 cup coconut milk
½-half bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup couscous
2 tablespoons palm oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt to taste
¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed into pieces with a mortar and pestle or flat blade of kitchen knife

How to make Chicken Coconut Soup with Cilantro

In a Dutch oven or soup pot heat the coconut oil over medium heat

Heat Coconut Oil


Stir in the chicken, onion and celery and cook about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent

Add chicken, onions and celery


Cook until vegetables are translucent


Add the jalapeno pepper, garlic and tomato and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring frequently and increase heat to high

Add tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno


Add the palm oil and pour in the chicken broth

Stir in palm oil and broth


Add chicken broth


Bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce heat to simmer

Bring everything to a boil


Continue simmering for 15 minutes and add couscous

Stir in couscous


Let cook for 10 minutes, until couscous grains become soft and fluffy

Couscous grains become fluffy


Pour in the coconut milk, add half the cilantro and let simmer for another 5 minutes

Add cilantro


Stir cilantro into soup


Stir until blended


Stir in the lime juice and taste for seasoning, adding salt as desired

Pour in lime juice


Serve topped with additional chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and a few roasted peanut pieces

Crush peanuts in mortar and pestle


Top with more cilantro,lime juice and peanuts


If you like it spicy, add a splash of hot sauce – it’s all good!

Spice it up with a splash of hot sauce










Angel Hair Pasta Soup

By | January 9, 2015

Angel Hair Pasta Soup

This Italian Angel Hair Pasta soup is really just noodles and broth but the final flavor is bigger than the sum of its parts. It is very tasty and handy when your cupboard is getting bare or you just want something quick and easy. If you don’t have angel hair pasta, use spaghetti. To make it easier to eat in the bowl, you can break the dry pasta in half before cooking.

3 quarts chicken broth
1 pound angel hair pasta (1 box dry)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh rosemary or parsley

Angel Hair Pasta Soup Ingredients








How to make Angel Hair Pasta Soup

Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil

Boiling Salted Water








Add the pasta and cook for about 5 minutes

Cook Pasta in Salted Water for 5 Minutes








While the pasta cooks, bring the chicken broth to a boil

Heat Chicken Broth to Boiling








Drain the pasta (do not rinse it!)

Drain Pasta








Add pasta to the broth and stir the mixture

Add Pasta to Chicken Broth and Stir








Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired

Add Salt and Pepper to Taste








This Angel Hair Pasta soup is fantastic topped with a good dusting of grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh rosemary or parsley. I used rosemary for this example and it imparted a wonderful flavor.


For a smaller quantity, just cut the ingredients in half.
6 cups chicken broth
½ pound angel hair pasta (1/2 box dry)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.

6 Dried Herbs Every Soup Maker Needs

Dried Oregano is used in many types of soup


When making soups, I believe that fresh ingredients generally yield the best results. But there are many times when we don’t have ready access to fresh herbs or only need a small amount for the job at hand, so we reach for a jar of dried herbs. Fortunately, many dried herbs maintain much of their true flavor and are excellent to use in soups and other dishes. You’ll notice that several popular herbs – and favorites of mine – did not make this list because the dried versions are poor substitutes for their fresh variety. These include basil, cilantro and parsley. We are left with the “go-to” herbs that every soup maker should keep in stock. Here are 6 dried herbs that taste great and belong in the kitchen of every soup maker.

  1. Oregano – there are actually two main types of dried oregano: Turkish and Mexican. Turkish oregano is what flavors many a tomato sauce, often bound for pasta and pizza. It has a very identifiable aroma and subtle sweet flavor that goes well in a variety of soups, from chili to Italian sausage soup. Mexican oregano, on the other hand, has a much earthier flavor and lacks the sweetness of Turkish oregano. The Mexican version is great to keep on hand for everything from taco soup to chicken tortilla soup.
  2. Thyme – this could be the most important dried herb to keep in the cupboard. Thyme is an incredibly versatile and flavorful herb that helps make old favorites such as tomato soup or vegetable beef soup taste so amazingly good.
  3. Bay Leaf – Bay Leaf could be considered the soup maker’s best friend and secret weapon. Used in countless soup recipes, bay leaf requires no prepping, chopping or mincing – just add a leaf or two into the soup pot and let it work its magic.
  4. Dill Weed – This sweet and slightly pungent herb is used frequently in Scandinavian cuisine and is a favorite of mine for topping off fish chowders and potato soups.
  5. Savory – if there is a “dark horse” herb for soup making, it is savory. I believe it is greatly underappreciated considering its assertive yet pleasant flavor. It is absolutely outstanding in bean or split pea soup. Give it a try if you haven’t yet.
  6. Marjoram – here is another herb with a flavor profile that complements many types of soup. Marjoram has been described as tasting like a cross between basil and oregano (Turkish), so it goes well with everything from carrot soup to chicken-rice soup.

Remember, just because these herbs are dried does not mean they last forever. Over time they lose their potency and should be replaced, at least yearly. I have had great success using dried herbs from Simply Organic and Penzeys Spices and can recommend the quality of their products. The herbs from both providers are more expensive than the bargain basement herbs sold in most grocery stores, but the quality is superior.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Soup

Cheese soup is a rich indulgence that can help chase the winter blues and blahs away. There’s little more comforting than a hefty bowl of melted cheesy goodness to bring out the inner kid in any of us. There isn’t a lot to this recipe other than lots of dairy! But the key is the cheese. Use great cheese! Don’t skimp and expect greatness.

Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese










I prefer sharp, aged cheddar for my cheese soups (such as the Irish Cheddar from Kerrygold pictured above) as it has more punch and flavor than its milder brethren, but feel free to use the cheddar (or cheese) you like. There are many great locally produced cheeses these days, so take a chance on something beyond the supermarket shelves.


1/4 pound butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

How to make Sharp Cheddar Cheese Soup

  • Melt the butter in a small Dutch oven or soup pan over medium heat
  • Gradually add the flour and stir constantly for about 5 minutes
  • Add paprika and cook for another minute or so over low heat
  • Slowly add the milk and cream, stirring continually to prevent boiling
  • When the mixture is creamy add the Cheddar cheese and continue cooking over low heat until cheese is melted
  • Stir in the dry mustard and Worcestershire
  • Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required
  • Serve in warm bowls

This soup is great as it is, but I like to add some bits of crumbled bacon on the top and a splash or two of Tabasco sauce. A baguette of French bread or a crusty roll is a natural “dipper” for this dish. Put a few slices of Honeycrisp apple on a plate alongside the bread for a real treat.

Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.

Cocka Leekie – 14th Century Scottish Chicken and Leek Soup

Here is a fun recipe for Cocka Leekie soup from a cookbook written by Adelaide Keen titled With A Saucepan Over The Sea (Quaint and Delicious Recipes from the Kitchens of Foreign Countries) and published in 1910. At the time, the author asserted “This is the oldest recipe for soup known, as it dates back to the fourteenth century.”

CockaLeekie Soup








Many recipes from cookbooks of the late 19th century and early 20th century don’t use exact measurements, which can make them difficult to follow. This recipe for Cocka Leekie soup, however, can easily be replicated in today’s kitchens. As the name suggests, this soup is primarily a chicken-leek soup with little other than a bit of celery and carrot to give it more body.

Here are Keen’s instructions for making this ancient soup of  Scotland:

  • Wash and trim 1 dozen leeks, cut them in pieces half-an-inch long, discarding roots and tops, then fry them 1 ounce of butter, with 2 stalks of celery and 1 carrot, cut fine
  • When brown but not burnt, add 1 and 1/2 quarts chicken broth and 1 cup of cooked chicken, cut into dice
  • Simmer, covered, 2 hours
  • Then add salt, pepper and yolk of an egg, blended with a little of the broth, first, before adding to the soup

Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.