Category Archives: soup

White Bean, Kale and Mushroom Soup

It rained almost every day this week, which meant some soggy runs and workout DVDs. Finally one morning, the sun made and appearance and instead of dreading lacing up my damp sneakers, I was glad to. The sun made some neat shadows along the bike path.

Then yesterday, after hours of torrential rain, the sun came out again and I went for a 5.5 mile run along the lake, and strong winds made for nice resistance training. Maybe it’s time to stop pretending I can make it all winter without purchasing a gym membership.

Today, Mark and I went on a gorgeous hike up Nebraska Notch, a glacially formed cirque. Though the hike was significantly less strenuous than we anticipated, the foliage has definitely peaked. On the way home we stopped at the Alchemist Cannery to sample some Heady Topper, an unfiltered IPA that has become a hot commodity in the Burlington area… generally selling out 24 hours after delivery to a location.

We made it home in time for football, and of course had soup for soup Sunday. This soup is hearty and healthy  It has kale, white beans, mushrooms, carrots and diced tomatoes. The balsamic vinegar adds a nice bite and the red chili flakes add some heat. We ate ours with seed bread from O Bread Bakery in Shelburne.

I should also mention Mark and my new obsession: cocktails with apple cider, apple brandy, seltzer, and a squeeze of lemon or lime or both. Or you can omit the seltzer and warm the cider, kinda like a hot toddy but better. Apple brandy is delicious; it’s made by fermenting apples in oak barrels for 5 or more years.

White Bean, Kale and Mushroom Soup
makes 8 large bowls
1 table spoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves or garlic, minced
15 baby carrots, sliced thinly
3 cups of crimini mushrooms, diced
Splash of apple brandy or red or white wine (whatever you have on hand)
1 can of white beans (cannellini) 
1 can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar 
2 cups of low sodium veggie stock
3 1/2 cups of water 
Bunch of kale, stems removed and sliced in thin ribbons
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of black peppers
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add in onions and sauté for 4 minutes, then add in garlic and carrots and sauté another 4 minutes, then add in mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add a splash of brandy or wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Then add in the tomatoes, beans and balsamic vinegar. Give it a stir and add in stock and water. Bring the stock to a boil for a few minutes then add in the kale, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, Italian seasoning and black peppers, and cook for at least another 5-10 minutes at a simmer. Serve with crusty bread. 


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Thai Chili and Lemon Grass Soup

Today was employee appreciation day at Green Mountain Coffee, and even though I’ve only been there a little under a month, they still gave me the afternoon off (with pay!). So I took full advantage of the afternoon. I ran some errands and crossed things off my to-do list.

I went for a 20 mile bike ride (the same one as Sundays) and snapped some pics along the way.

I made pizza dough from scratch… and a delicious pizza.

Our pepper plants are loaded with ripe peppers so I decided to use up some of the Thai chilies to make soup the other night. Some of the ingredients sound exotic but you can find them at your local grocery store and they are pretty cheap and totally worth it.

Thai Chili and Lemon Grass Soup

Makes 4 cups of soup

4 cups of water

1 stalk of lemon grass, outer leaves peeled off and cut into 4 inch pieces

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of ginger

1-3 Thai chilies, sliced very finely (adjust to your desired spice levels)

1 teaspoon of oil

2 cups of mushrooms, washed, stems removed and sliced (I used shiitake)

2 teaspoons of chili paste or sriracha

1/2 cup of corn kernels

3/4 cup of mung bean sprouts

2 teaspoons of soy sauce

1/2 a lime, juiced

Place the water, lemon grass and lime leaves in a pot. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5-10 minutes. While the broth boils, add the oil to a small pan, add in the garlic and Thai chilies and sauté for 1 minute, then add in the ginger and sauté for 30 seconds then remove from heat. After 5-10 minutes remove the lemon grass and lime leaves from the broth. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, mushrooms and sriracha to the broth and bring it back to a boil for 2 minutes. Then add in the corn, mung bean sprouts and soy sauce. Let it boil for another 2 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lime.

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Corn and Potato Chowder

The pace of life has picked up a little bit lately, hence the lack of blogging. Here’s a little recap: 2 weeks ago, Friday, I got a call asking if I could start the coming Monday at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Research and Development Lab as a Test Technician… um yes? They are a temp-t0-hire company, so as of now, until I can prove my skills in the lab and work hard, I’m a “temporary” employee. Which for me, is fine, I am still on my parent’s health care and after 2 months off from work, I’m not really in need of a paid vacation. It’s been going well, I’m enjoying it a lot, but it is a 30 minute commute each way…  which means that 6 am runs are now a part of my life.

On Saturday, to celebrate my employment, we went to Vermont Brewers Fest. You paid 30 dollars, got a souvenir tasting glass and 15 drink tickets. There were 40 craft brewers from Vermont, New England and beyond. It was an awesome time, but let me just say that when you start drinking at 11:30 am and all you’ve had to eat was a banana, you get toasted pretty fast. Needless to say, Mark was more than happy to use up the rest of my beer tickets. Here’s our fav’s of the day:

The next weekend I went home for the weekend for a family reunion, and my mom and I did a 16.5 mile bike ride to meet my friend, Ali, for breakfast at Sunny Side Up Cafe. It was great to hangout with my family for the weekend, especially since my brother is leaving for college in 2 weeks.

On Tuesday, Mark’s Parents came up for dinner and brought us a cooler full of veggies from their garden… it was like a CSA delivery. They brought: yellow squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers. Here’s a look at our veggie packed dinners using their veggies:

And they took us out to the Farm House Tap and Grill for dinner.

Now that I’ve filled you in on the happenings, let me rant about sweet summer corn… can you say Yum?!? We picked up a ton of corn at the farmers market and man oh man was it good. I made a corn and potato chowder after seeing a recipe on Taylor’s Blog.

Corn and Potato Chowder (serves 2 to 3)

1 Hungarian wax pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 ears of Corn

2 potatoes, cubed, skin still on (you can use russet or red or Yukon)

3 cups of water (plus more, depending on how starch everything is)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Lots of black pepper

15 basil leaves

Place the Hungarian wax pepper under the broiler or over a gas burner and char on all sides until the skin becomes blistered. Place in a zip top bag for a few minutes and then run under cool water, removing the skin with your fingers. Pull out stem and seeds. Slice thinly and set aside. While the pepper roasts, remove the corn from the cob, I found that if you invert a small bowl in a larger bowl and place the corn cob on top of the inverted bowl, using it as a stand, you can use a sharp knife and cut down the sides of the cob, and the kernels will be caught by the big bowl instead of going all over your kitchen. Make sure you keep an eye on the pepper though.

In a large pot, add in one tablespoon of oil; add in the garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the corn (reserve one cup of kernels for later), cubed potato and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While the soup simmers, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan, add in in the basil leaves and 1/4 of the wax pepper slices. Sauté until the basil is crisp. Scoop them out of the oil, and onto a paper towel. You can save the oil for pizza sauce or spaghetti, as it’s been flavored quite nicely.

Once the potatoes are tender, remove from heat. Add in the red peppers flakes, black pepper, and the remaining Hungarian wax pepper. Let it cool a bit then, using and immersion blender (or regular blender), blend until smooth. Return to the heat, add in the 1 cup of reserved corn kernels and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve up garnished with fried basil leaves and wax peppers slices and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. I served mine with a side salad and a thick slice of homemade beer-rye bread. (Yes that’s right, BEER-RYE bread, it contains one bottle of lager)


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Chipotle Black Bean Soup

The weather has been crazy the past week… snow one day, 70 degrees the next. Now it seems as if spring is here to stay… at least for the next week. On the few warm days this week, I headed outside for some long runs along the lake

I ran all the way to the canal where they keep the Scandling, which was my home way from home last summer. And, I’ve been getting faster.


I have been quenching my thirst after my runs with some Red Jacket cran-apple juice, water and lemon… it taste like spring in a jar

Another sign of spring… the flowers out back have begun to bloom

Now that spring is approaching, it might be time to kiss Soup Sunday’s good-bye (for now). This soup is filling, one bowl will keep you full for a while, due to it’s protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced

1 tablespoon of adobo sauce

1 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can of fire roasted tomatoes

1-2 cups of water

1 teaspoon of lemon juice


1/2 an avocado, diced

greek yogurt

sweet potatoes, diced and sauteed with cayenne and olive oil

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the pepper, adobo sauce, cumin and cayenne. sauté for 30 seconds then add in the beans, tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. The puree it with an immersion blender until it is smooth. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve it with avocado, sautéed sweet potato and a dollop of greek yogurt

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Carrot, Parsnip, and Leek Soup

Since yesterday was the Super Bowl, it was only appropriate to make soup for a late lunch. This soup is thick, filling and very parsnipy. I roasted the carrots and parsnips in the oven before adding them to the leeks and stock. Roasting the veggies intensifies their flavor. The soup was pureed and spices were added and presto… soup. I paired it with biscuits from my Moosewood Cookbook, except I changed out the scallions the recipe called for with leeks… we have leeks coming out the wazoo. Apparently Wegmans only carries huge bundles of leeks.

I have to admit the atmosphere in our apartment last night was pretty somber when we got home from watching the game… Mark is taking the Patriot loss pretty hard. However, he was rather chipper for our 9 am training run. We met up with the other Lava Tigers (our team name for the Seneca 7) for a team 3.75 mile run. Seneca 7 is a 77.7 mile, 7 man/woman relay race around Seneca Lake in upstate New York. We picked legs last week and I have leg 4, 10.8 miles, and the third longest leg. Mark picked leg 7, 11.3 miles, the second longest leg. We have a little under 2 months left to train… and I’m getting pretty excited, especially since we ran part of our run today in flying V formation.

Carrot, Parsnip and Leek Soup

3-4 large parsnips, peeled and cubed

1/2 pound of baby carrots

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

2 large leeks, cut in half and sliced thinly, only using the white and very light green part

2 teaspoon of curry powder

2 teaspoon of cayenne

1/2 teaspoon more of black pepper

4 cups of water

2 cups of veggie stock

1/4 cup of milk (soy, almond, cow)

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the parsnips, carrots, pepper, Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of oil on a sheet tray or in a casserole dish. Toss the veggies to coat them in the spices and oil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

About 15 minutes after the carrots and parsnips go in, start chopping the leeks, place them in a colander and rinse thoroughly to get the dirt out (they grow up through the ground and trap dirt).

Add a tablespoon of oil to the bottom of a large pot, heat it over medium heat. Add in the leeks and sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the leeks are translucent. When the carrot and parsnips are cooked through, add them to the pot along with the stock, water and spices. Bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes, then turn of the heat and let it cool. Once it has cooled a bit, puree it until smooth. You can add some more water if it is too thick. I used my immersion blender, but you could use a food processor or blender. Then stir in the milk, bring it back to a boil then it is ready to serve.

Leek Biscuits

2 cups of whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of plain yogurt ( I used Greek and a little water)\

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup of leeks, minced

Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, oil and leeks. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients quickly. Dump it out onto a floured surface and shape into a disk 3/4″ thick. Slice into 10 wedges and place on a oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean.

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Navajo Stew

I’m home for Christmas visiting the fam. Let me tell you, it’s been a wild and crazy time…

I did a puzzle (well minus one piece… it’s missing)

I crocheted a head band to keep my ears warm (even though it’s 50 and raining)

I helped my brother pick out an ugly sweater (our resemblance… uncanny)

I’ve logged 20 miles on my parent’s treadmill in the past 5 days (training for the 11 miles I’m running in the  Seneca 7)

And I helped my best friend from home do some Christmas shopping

This recipe for Navajo Stew is from one of my professors. I quickly realized that I already had a copy of this recipe in one of my Moosewood Cookbooks. Mark’s parents got them for me a few Christmases ago.

And sure enough it was one of the pages I had doggie eared. I made this soup during finals. I’ll post the original recipe but I opted for a few changes. I didn’t roast the veggies, I sauteed them and I didn’t pure the veggies… I was trying to conserve the amount of dishes Mark would have to do. I also added some delicata squash and added a bit more spice than the recipe called for.

Navajo Stew (Moosewood Restaurant Ithaca, NY)

Serves 4

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 red bell peppers

1 large onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 15-ounce can of tomatoes

1 tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo sauce

2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained


plain yogurt or sour cream


Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Stem and seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel the onion and cut it stem end to root end into thin wedges. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Stir and continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. While the vegetables roast, puree the tomatoes, chipotles, and cilantro in a blender until smooth. Set aside. When the vegetables are tender, put them into a 2- to 3-quart baking dish, stir in the tomato-cilantro sauce and the beans, and return to the oven until hot, about 10 minutes. A few minutes before serving, warm the bread in the oven. Serve the stew in bowls topped with chives, and yogurt or sour cream,  with warm flatbread on the side.

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Hearty Vegetable Soup

It was so nice to head home to my parents house for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, it’s got all the great food of Christmas minus the pressure of gifts, so you can really focus on what matters… spending time with family. I was so caught up in everything that I only took a picture of the centerpiece. My mom picked it up at the Christmas market in Union Square in NYC when she went last week.

She gave me the centerpiece to take home for my table to make it a little more festive and seasonally appropriate.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself… now we just need some Christmas decorations for our fireplace and we’re all set for the holidays. (We’re not getting a Christmas tree this year since we’re headed home for a few weeks around Christmas, but next year we WILL have a tree)

This soup is “souper “quick to throw together in a big pot on the stove. It’s packed full of vitamins and protein and it’s pretty darn tasty… though, as Mark pointed out, the broth isn’t quite that photogenic. (Sorry for the lame pic this week, no good lighting or adjustment of shutter speed could make the broth look good, but I promise it does taste good). Anywho, after all of the overeating on Thanksgiving, this soup can set you right back on track towards healthy eating. I paired it with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on cheddar bread from Normal Bread, our local bakery… this bread is so good, it super cheesy tasting and it’s made with high quality ingredients, no preservatives and they slice it for you right in front of your eyes. Plus it’s always good to support local food.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium red potatoes, diced

3 cups veggie broth

3 cups of water (maybe a bit more)

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning

2-14 oz cans garbanzo beans

3-4 cups of kale, chopped

1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, include juice

2 cups of broccoli

Black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent. While they sauté, chop all the other veggies. Add in the potatoes and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes. Then add in the stock, water, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then add in beans, kale, tomatoes and broccoli. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then add black pepper to taste.

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Black Bean Chili and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I took a little hiatus from the blogging world. I have been super busy. While everyone else prepared to head home for fall break… I was pulling my hair out trying to get data analyzed and a poster completed for the Geological Society of America Conference in Minneapolis. I was lucky enough to have my summer/fall research abstract accepted for presentation at this national conference. The conference was great… as some friends put it “I got to nerd out with 6,000 other people just like me”. It was a great experience and a serious resume builder.


Then mid-terms hit, during which I ran a 101 fever. Now that all of the craziness is behind me I finally feel like I can breathe. Enough complaining…

Soup Sundays has become a regular thing, especially now that the air has turned cold and damp… and there’s snow in the forecast.. eek! Chile might not be a soup technically speaking but it fills all of the requirements of a soup in my eyes. It’s warm, hearty and filling… and comes with cornbread! Not just any cornbread… jalapeno-cheddar cornbread. I grew up eating Jiffy cornbread from the blue and white box. I have memories of  helping my dad make them when I was really little. However, he likes to add in a few things and stray from the directions on the box, as do I.

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread

Makes 6-8 muffins

1 box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix

1 egg

1/3 cup of milk

1 Tbs of butter

1 jalapeño, diced

¼ cup of cheddar cheese

Line muffin tin with liners and preheat the oven to 400. Mix together the corn bread mix, milk and melted butter. Then mix in cheddar cheese and diced jalapeño. Let stand for 10 mins (so the baking soda can react and you get light and airy muffins). Bake at 400 for 12-15 mins or until the tops are starting to turn golden brown

Black Bean Chili

1 medium onion diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño, diced very fine

1 can of diced tomatoes and liquid (32 oz)

1 cup of water

1 chili seasoning packet (low sodium if possible)

1 can of black beans, drained of liquid but not rinsed

1 can of pinto beans, drained of liquid but not rinsed

1 cup of corn kernels

Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat a soup pot over medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the diced onions, sauté one minute then add in the peppers. Sauté 4 minutes or until they appear soft. Add in the diced tomatoes and liquid form the can. Let it come to a simmer; add in the water and seasonings. Bring back to a simmer, then add in beans and corn, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. If too thick add a bit more water to thin it out, if to thin let it simmer longer. Serve topped with cheddar cheese or your other favorite chili toppings

On a side not… my family went to a Chili Cook-off to raise money for my brothers ice hockey team… I’m so jealous… a whole afternoon of chili, cornbread and beer!

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