Soups Feed

Three Chile White Bean Chicken Chili

White bean chichen chili

White Bean Chicken Chili is a great alternative to traditional chili and makes a great dish for Super Bowl Sunday.  Adjust the heat in this dish by adding the minced ribs and seeds from the jalapeño as directed in step 6. If Anaheim chiles cannot be found, add an additional poblano and jalapeño to the chili. Serve chili with sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges.

Download Three Chile White Bean Chicken Chili recipe

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 medium jalapeño chiles

3 poblano chiles (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces

3 Anaheim chile peppers (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces

2 medium onions, cut into large pieces (2 cups)

6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon aniseed or fennel seeds

3 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans , drained and rinsed

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

4 scallions, white and light green parts sliced thin

1.  Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and lightly brown on other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; remove and discard skin.

2. While chicken is browning, remove and discard ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeños; mince flesh. In food processor, process half of poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and 1 cup of onions until consistency of chunky salsa, eight to ten 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of workbowl halfway through. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions; combine with first batch (do not wash food processor blade or workbowl).

3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. Add minced jalapeños, chile-onion mixture, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, aniseed, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

4. Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now-empty food processor workbowl. Add 1 can drained beans and 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add vegetable-bean mixture, remaining 2 cups broth, and chicken breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes .

5. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Stir in remaining beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are heated through and chili has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

6. Mince remaining jalapeño, reserving and mincing ribs and seeds (add ribs and seeds to taste – depending on how hot you like your chili), and set aside. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding bones. Stir shredded chicken, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and remaining minced jalapeño (with seeds if desired) into chili and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve.

Easy “Creamy” Leek Potato Soup

Leek Potato Soup Croutons



Potato and leek soup is a classic French recipe that couldn’t be more comforting on a cold winter day. It’s an easy recipe that requires only a few ingredients. The addition of a bread slice is typical in gazpacho recipes and adds to the “creamy” texture of the soup without using cream.  In addition to garnishing the soup with traditional croutons, Jacques Pepin - in his book Chez Jacques - recommends using chopped chervil as a garnish which adds a nice anise taste.

Download Easy Creamy Leek and Potato Soup recipe

4 medium leeks, white and light-green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and sliced thin (about 4 cups), dark green parts halved, washed, and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 medium onion, chopped medium (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Table salt

1 small russet potato (about 6 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 large slice high-quality sandwich bread, lightly toasted and torn into 1/2-inch pieces

Ground black pepper

1.  Bring dark-green leek pieces, broth, and water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; set aside. Discard solids in strainer and rinse out saucepan.

2.  Melt butter in now-empty saucepan over medium-low heat. When butter foams, stir in sliced leeks, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

3.  Increase heat to high, stir in reserved broth, potato, bay leaf, and herb sprig and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add toasted bread and simmer until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes.

4.  Remove and discard bay leaf and herb sprig. Transfer half of soup to a blender and process until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot (which is probably the best method if you have one).Return soup to saucepan and bring to simmer; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnish.

Leek potato soup dark greens
Leek potato soup chopped leeks
Leek potato soup cooking

Rustic Butternut Squash Chowder with Apples and Sage

Rustic Butternut Squash Soup
Rustic Butternut Squash Chowder with Apples and Sage

I recently watched Mark Bittman make this on the Today show and thought it sounded like a great recipe. It’s so easy to throw together because it all cooks in one roasting pan and does not require pureeing. The apples lend a nice sweetness and the sage works perfectly with the butternut squash. I served it for lunch with whole wheat grilled cheese sandwiches – it would also be a great first course for Thanksgiving.

Download Rustic Butternut Squash Soup recipe

Serves 4

1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

1 large onion, chopped

2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped

2 bacon slices, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Salt and black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1/2 cup dry white wine or water

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spread the squash, onion, apples, bacon and garlic in a deep roasting pan or on a baking sheet.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the oil.

4. Roast, stirring every now and then, until the squash, onion and apples are tender and browned and the bacon is crisp, which takes about 45 minutes.

5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven.

6. Stir in the sage and white wine and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom.

7. If you're using a roasting pan that can be used on the stovetop, position the pan over 2 burners and put both on medium heat. Otherwise, transfer the contents of the pan to a large pot or Dutch oven and set it over medium heat.

8. Add the stock and cook until the squash, onion and apples break apart and thicken and flavor the broth, which takes about 25 minutes. You can help the process along by breaking the mixture up a bit with a spoon.

9. If desired, garnish with crisp sage leaves - just heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add whole sage leaves and cook for 15-20 seconds, and then transfer to paper towel.

Butternut Squash Roasting
Butternut Squash mashed
Butternut Squash Sage

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Sugar Spiced Croutons

Butternut squash soup bowl

You usually see this around Thanksgiving – it makes a great first course – but it’s also perfect on a cold winter day. I think the most impressed I’ve ever been with this soup was the first time I had it at Spago’s in Beverly Hills. Wolfgang Puck serves his signature soup with a cranberry relish and cardamom infused cream. I love the taste of cardamom – though a little goes a long way –  it definitely adds a new dimension to both sweet and savory dishes. When makes this at home,  I skip the relish and cream, but I do garnish the soup with sugar-spiced croutons – a worthy substitution!  Spago’s recipe also uses baked squash that is then pureed, but I opted for the method in Cook’s Illustrated which uses the seeds and fibers to build flavor, then steams the squash in a flavorful liquid.

Butternut Squash     Download Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

5 tablespoons butter

2 ½ - 3 pounds butternut squash (about 1 large), unpeeled, squash halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and reserved (about 1/4 cup), and each half cut into quarters

1 chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)

½ small brown onion or 2 shallots, finely diced

1 apple peeled, cored, chopped

2 cups good quality chicken or vegetable broth

3 cups water

1/2 cup heavy cream 

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar 

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


Sugar Spiced Croutons – recipe follows

1.    Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until foaming; add leek, onion (or shallots) and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups broth, 3 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, place squash cut-side down and chopped apple in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot.

2.    Cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes. Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid. When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin.

3.    Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl; discard solids in strainer. Rinse and dry Dutch oven.

4.    In blender, puree squash, apple and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth. Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir in cream, brown sugar and spices; heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add salt to taste.

5.    Serve immediately with Spiced Croutons

Sugar-Spiced Croutons

2 slices white sandwich bread (thick cut)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar 

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1.    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove crusts from bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (you should have about 1 1/4 cups). Toss cubes with melted butter. Combine sugar with spices, and toss bread cubes with mixture. Spread cubes in even layer on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Spiced Croutons:

Butternut squash soup croutons

Best Traditional Beef Stew

 Beef stew bowl

Best Traditional Beef Stew


Download Traditional Beef Stew Recipe

3 pounds stew beef

1 ½ teaspoons table salt 

1 teaspoon ground black pepper 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil 

2 medium onions, chopped coarse (about 2 cups)

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

4 ½ tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 ½ cups red wine (like a Cotes du Rhone, Merlot or Pinot Noir)

3 cups homemade beef broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth 

2 bay leaves 

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

8-9 small red potatoes,(about 2 pounds) peeled and halved

4-6 large carrots, (about 1 ½ pounds) peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 ½ cups frozen peas (6 ounces), thawed

¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves 

1.    Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and place beef cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in large nonreactive soup kettle; add 1/2 beef to kettle. Let meat sear in pan without moving for 2 minutes and then brown meat on all sides, about 3-5 more minutes per batch, adding remaining tablespoon of oil as needed. Remove meat and set aside.

2.    Add 1 T oil to now empty pot and add onions and 1/4 tsp salt; sauté until almost softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and tomato paste; continue to sauté about 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour; cook until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to kettle.  Add stock, bay leaves, and thyme; bring to simmer. Add meat; return to simmer. Cover and place in oven; simmer about 1 hour.

3.    Remove kettle from oven, add potatoes and carrots, cover, and return to oven. Simmer until meat is just tender, about 1 hour. Remove stew from oven. (Can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days.)

4.    Add peas and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve.


Beef Stew Ingredients

Beef stew ingredients





Browning the meat in Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Beef stew browning


Best Traditional French Onion Soup Gratinee

French onion soup 


This is one of my favorite soups – and unless you’re in France, it’s best to make it at home. Pungent yellow onions work best, and cooking them to a dark caramel color gives the soup depth and color. Tie the parsley and thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine so they will be easy to retrieve from the soup pot.



Download French Onion Soup Gratinee  



4 tablespoons unsalted butter 

6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), sliced thin


7 ¾ cups homemade beef or veal broth (see recipe below)

1/4 cup dry red wine 

2 sprigs fresh parsley leaves 

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together 

1 bay leaf 

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

 Ground black pepper 

1 baguette, cut on the bias into 3/4-inch slices (2 slices per serving)

5 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese

1 1/2 ounces grated Asiago cheese (about 3/4 cup)



1.    Melt butter in large soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to coat onions thoroughly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are reduced and syrupy and inside of pot is coated with very deep brown crust, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, red wine, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, and bring to simmer. Simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes, and discard herbs. Stir in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 days; return to simmer before finishing soup with croutons and cheese).


2.    Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven. Turn the oven to broil.


3.    Set heat-safe soup bowls or crocks on rimmed baking sheet and fill each with about 1 1/2 cups soup. Top each bowl with two toasted baguette slices and sprinkle Gruyere cheese evenly on bread, followed by 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese over each serving and broil until well browned and bubbly, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.




Homemade Beef Stock 


Makes 2 quarts

8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 dried bay leaves

2 whole cloves

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 pound beef-stew meat, cubed

2 pounds veal bones, (Ask your butcher to cut the veal bones into smaller pieces)

2 pounds meaty crosscut beef shanks (preferably 1 inch thick)

1 large onion, peel on, quartered

2 large carrots, cut into thirds

2 stalks celery, cut into thirds

2 cups water (or dry red wine)


1.    Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Make a bouquet garni by wrapping parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine, and set aside. Arrange meat, veal bones, onion, carrots, and celery in an even layer in a heavy roasting pan. Roast, turning every 20 minutes, until the vegetables and the bones are deep brown, about 1- 1 ½ hours.  

2.    Transfer meat and vegetables to a 6- to 8-quart stockpot. Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners, then add 2 cups water (or wine) and deglaze pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Add deglazing liquid to stockpot along with 14 cups water, celery, salt, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and skim froth. Reduce to a simmer, liquid should just bubble up to surface. Simmer over the lowest possible heat for 3-4 hours; a skin may form on the surface of the liquid; skim off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. Add water if at any time the level drops below the bones. 

3.    Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing hard on solids, and discard solids. If using stock right away, skim off and discard fat. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, before skimming fat (it will be easier to remove when cool), then chill, covered.



World’s Best Chili Con Carne



Download Best Chili Con Carne recipe


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped fine

1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

1 pound ground beef

¼ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

¼ cup chili powder (Penzey's makes a great one)

2 tablespoons cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

2 teaspoons oregano

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 can – 28 oz. – diced tomatoes

1 can – 28 oz. -  tomato puree

2 cans -15oz - red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can - 15 oz. - black beans, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro



1.     Heat oil in large pot and sauté onion and pepper over medium heat for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.


2.     Add tomato paste, cocoa, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.


3.     Add sausage and cook for 10 minutes and break up sausage. Add ground beef and cook for 10 minutes more, breaking up meat with wooden spoon.


4.     Add tomatoes and puree and stir to combine, scraping up any bits that may be stuck to bottom of pan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about an hour.


5.     Stir in kidney beans. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour longer, until chili is dark, rich and slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings with additional salt to taste. Serve with jack cheese, cilantro, scallions, and sour cream.




Spanish Gazpacho

Spanish Gazpacho  

This is a photo of the Gazpacho served at Mesón de Cándido in Segovia, Spain. Traditionally, the Gazapacho is served with garnishes made from the same ingredients in the gazpacho.


Segovia is also know for its incredible roast suckling pig. It's an easy day trip from Madrid, and the Mesón de Cándido is just steps from the incredible Roman Aqueducts.



3 slices day old French bread, crusts removed

2 pounds vine-ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 small Kirby cucumbers, coarsely chopped

2 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (such as Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla)  

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 cups tomato juice

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Spanish paprika

2 tsp. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced


•Chopped tomato

•Chopped cucumber

•Chopped bell pepper

•Chopped onion

•Croutons from day old french bread

•Lemon wedges


Soak the bread in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes, and then squeeze out the excess water. Place the bread in a blender or food processor; add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Puree the ingredients until almost smooth, leaving a little texture. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl; stir in the tomato juice, sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, parsley, and lemon juice until well combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days; the flavors will develop as it sits. Season the gazpacho again with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve in chilled bowls or tureen and top with desired garnishes and extra virgin olive oil.


Segovia Aqueduct


Aqueducts Segovia

Hearty Chicken Soup with Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken soup  


I always have homemade chicken stock on hand. It’s easy to make with leftover roasted chicken. Just throw the roasted chicken into a pot with an onion, carrot, bay leaf, cover it with 4-6 quarts of water, and simmer for a couple of hours. Strain broth with fine mesh strainer and discard solids. Before using, defat stock. After stock has been refrigerated, the fat hardens on the surface and is very easy to remove with a spoon – then store in freezer safe containers.

Hearty Chicken Soup

3 tablespoon unsalted butter 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped 

3 celery ribs, sliced thin 

4 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds 

1 parsnip, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme  

3 strips of lemon peel

 Salt and pepper  

8-10 cups low-sodium chicken broth (preferably homemade)

1 rotisserie chicken  , skin discarded, meat shredded into bite-sized pieces (about 3-4 cups) 

¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

2-3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

1. Melt butter and olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook onion, celery, carrots, parsnips, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in broth and lemon peel and simmer, covered, until vegetables are softened, 10 to 15 minutes.  

2. Add chicken, parsley, and dill and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken soup vegs