Summer-like weather finally(!) arrived in northern Wisconsin this weekend, with temps “soaring” into the upper 70s. It was a perfect opportunity for the first gazpacho of the year. This Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho features a wealth of green vegetables and can be put together quickly. No cooking is required and all the ingredients can be dumped together into a food processor or blender for a soup that comes together in about 1 minute.
There are many variations on gazpacho, but this easy recipe for gazpacho is one of my favorites. It’s bursting with freshness and I love the cool flavors of the cucumbers fighting it out with the spicier jalapeno pepper and bit of hot sauce. If you prefer your soup mild, feel free to leave the jalapeno out – it will still be delicious.
And even if you think you don’t like cold soups, give this one a try. I bet it will change your mind about cold soups and give your something else to enjoy throughout the summer months.
Here in Wisconsin, the Bloody Mary cocktail is serious business. Many bars and restaurants fiercely defend their reputation for serving the “best” or “biggest” bloody in the area. Some of these cocktails are taken to such prodigious levels that the beverage becomes almost a meal in its own right. Overstuffed glasses brim with everything from hard-boiled eggs and cocktail shrimp to beef sticks and pickles.
With a bit of creativity you can customize the drink to your exact specifications, and that’s the inspiration behind this Bloody Mary chili.
Starting with a “base” of spicy hot vegetable juice, I toss in a handful of additional Bloody Mary ingredients, including celery, celery seeds, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and pickle juice!
The result is a nicely balanced and delicious chili that has plenty of spirit and flavor.
Two, 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed thoroughly with cold water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon pickle juice
In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage and ground beef or turkey over medium heat
Remove meat when cooked
Drain all but approximately 1 tablespoon of the fat and heat again over medium
Drop in the onions, celery and soup bone (if using) and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until vegetables turn soft
Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, celery seeds and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently
Pour in 16 ounces of the vegetable juice and stir to remove any solid bits in the pot
Return the meat to the pot along with the remaining vegetable juice, tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce
Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour
Stir in the beans, horseradish, black pepper and simmer for 30 minutes more
Pour in the pickle juice, give everything a final stir and serve
Looking for the perfect soup pot to cook up your next batch of chili? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors, and I was surprised at how cheap I was able to buy it from the listing on Amazon.
Ever wonder what to do with a pile of leftover mashed potatoes? Make soup, of course!
This Mashed Potato Ham and Cheese Soup is a very easy recipe to use up the stragglers in the refrigerator, including ham, cheese and corn. And it’s very versatile, too. If you don’t have ham, substitute chicken or bacon. The corn could be replaced with peas, broccoli or cauliflower – whatever you like.
Don’t let the simplicity of the preparation fool you. It is an excellent potato soup outright – rich, creamy and hearty.
In my opinion, almost any recipe can be transformed into soup, often with just a simple tweak or two. For Sloppy Joe Soup, I take an old favorite and replace the bun with broth for a hearty bowlful of sloppy goodness. It couldn’t be easier!
Rich, creamy and slightly decadent, this cheesy broccoli cauliflower soup is nonetheless absolutely delicious and sure to impress your family and friends. If you like broccoli or cauliflower, then you’ll need no convincing here. But if not everyone shares your love of cruciferous vegetables, this is the soup to bring them on board. Serve this to those who say, “I don’t like broccoli,” or “Cauliflower is gross,” and get ready for a change of attitude!
You can use fresh or frozen broccoli and cauliflower with equally excellent results. Don’t worry about chopping the vegetables too fine if you plan to blend them later as this recipe suggests. The salmon seasoning might seem like an odd thing to include in a non-seafood soup, but it goes very well with cauliflower and rich, cheesy dishes. If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to substitute an equal amount of Old Bay, Cajun or creole seasoning. The lemon juice, added right at the end, helps temper the richness of the cheese and gives the finished dish a nice bit of brightness.
This simple oyster soup recipe calls for canned oysters, which are always in season, and can be put together in a flash. For canned oysters, I recommend Crown Prince Whole Boiled Oysters. Here in northern Wisconsin, fresh raw oysters can be difficult to find, but if you have access to fresh oysters use them. If you want to turn this soup into chowder; first, dice a large potato and cook it in the water mixture before adding the oysters, cream and crackers.
Potatoes and corn are a classic pairing in chowder, featured in hundreds of home-style chowder concoctions. This simple chowder recipe features those two traditional ingredients and then ups the ante with the addition of sausage, celery and jalapeño pepper. Toss in a bit of seasoning, and you’ve got a hearty chowder that appeals to anyone craving a comforting a bowl of warmth on a cold afternoon or evening.
I made this rib-sticking chowder during the coldest weekend of the northern Wisconsin winter thus far in 2015. With evening temperatures falling to 18 below zero and daytime highs struggling to achieve positive numbers, the time was just right for hot and tasty soup. This easy chowder recipe is thick with vegetables and sausage and made rich and velvety by cream-style corn and evaporated milk. I use a standard breakfast-type sausage in this recipe, but you could easily use Italian sausage or bratwurst in its place.
This pumpkin soup recipe brings together the homey and familiar taste of pumpkin with the heady flavors of curry powder into an easy-to-make dish that can be easily tweaked to your liking. Don’t be put off by the jalapeno pepper – it provides a very subtle heat but more of a clean taste than anything. The toasted pumpkin seeds add a rich and meaty flavor. Don’t skip this step as these seeds are utterly delicious. Any leftovers will quickly be munched up!
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.
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.