Mom & Bill’s Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 5 cans (6.5 oz each) chopped clams (not minced)
  • 3 slices bacon – cut into pieces
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped fine
  • 4 medium potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1-1/2 C water (enough to just cover potatoes in pot)
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 C half and half
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Drain clams and reserve the juice
  2. In a 6 q. soup pot, saute cut bacon until crispy, then remove from pot and set aside –  leave the grease in the pot
  3. Over medium high heat, sautee onions and celery in bacon grease
  4. Once cooked (tender), add potatoes, water, salt & pepper
  5. Cover an bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until potatoes are tender – check after 10 minutes
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and half & half together until there are no lumps
  7. Mix in the reserved clam juice
  8. Slowly add mixture to pot, stirring GENTLY (only a few times) until thick, cooking on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERSTIR or the potatoes will turn mushy
  9. Add the clams and bacon
  10. Cook for 2 minutes, just enough to heat the clams through

*Try serving in a small sourdough round bread where you cut out center and fill with clam chowder


Bill’s Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp butter – divided
  • 4 slices medium onion – chopped
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 C milk
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms – coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 C whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon
  • fresh parsley – chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in saucepan
  2. Add 1/2 of chopped onion and cook gently until soft but not browned – about 5 minutes
  3. Stir in flour and seasonings
  4. Remove from heat and slowly add milk, stirring until well blended
  5. Add chicken bouillon
  6. Place over low heat and cook until smooth and thick, stirring constantly
  7. Add remaining 2 Tbsp butter and remaining onion to a new frying pan, add mushrooms and saute until tender
  8. Blend 1/3 mixture in blender until smooth – to use as cooking liquid
  9. Add chopped mushrooms and cooking liquid to milk mixture
  10. Add whipping cream and heat thoroughly
  11. Sprinkle each bowl with fresh chopped parsley

Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes – undrained
  • 2 C fresh basil leaves – thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly
  3. Stir in the broth, salt and tomatoes and bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes
  5. Stir in fresh basil
  6. Place half of the soup in a blender – process until smooth
  7. Pour pureed soup into a bowl, and repeat procedure with remaining soup, OR use an immersion blender until smooth

Chicken Taco Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) sweet corn – drained
  • 1 can (12.5 oz) chicken breast – drained & flaked
  • 1 large can (28 oz) green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 pkg dry taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat
  2. Lower the heat and let simmer for 20 – 25 minutes
  3. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5 Tbsp butter – divided
  • 1/2 medium onion – chopped
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 2 C half-and-half 
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 C fresh broccoli – chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 C grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small fry pan, melt 1 Tbsp butter, add onion and sauté until translucent – set aside
  2. In a large pot, melt 4 Tbsp butter, add flour and whisk over medium heat for about 3 – 4 minutes
  3. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth
  4. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes
  5. Add the broccoli and onions
  6. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 25 minutes until the broccoli is tender
  7. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese
  8. Stir – let the cheese melt and then serve

***For a smoother soup, puree it in a blender, but I love the chunks!


Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes – optional
  • 2 cans (28 oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 (32 oz) container vegetable broth
  • 1/4 C fresh basil – chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1/2 C plain greek yogurt – at room temperature
  • 18 oz fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • parmesan cheese – grated and fresh basil – for garnish – optional

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
  3. Stir in the bay leaves and if using, crushed red pepper flakes
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth
  5. Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and pepper – to taste
  6. Simmer on low for 15 minutes
  7. Remove the bay leaves from the pot
  8. Use a hand impulsion blender to blend the soup – or carefully transfer soup to a blender to blend and return to the pot
  9. Stir in the greek yogurt until well combined
  10. Stir in the cheese tortellini and cook on medium-low until tortellini is cooked, about 7 – 8 minutes (or longer if using frozen)- serve warm

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion – grated
  • 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites

For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Soup:

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion – diced small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 C chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 C acini di pepi or other small pasta
  • 8 oz fresh spinach, chopped

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and shape into small 1/2″ balls
  2. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  3. Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a large stockpot and fill with water until it is covering the chicken by at least 1″
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 15 minutes
  5. Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken to a large plate
  6. Shred the chicken and set aside
  7. Empty water from stockpot
  8. Melt butter in the now-empty stockpot over medium heat
  9. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes
  10. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil
  11. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  13. Gently add the meatballs to the soup and cook for 7 minutes
  14. Add the pasta and cook for an additional 6 minutes
  15. Add spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes
  16. Add the shredded chicken
  17. Cover again and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes or so
  18. You can eat as soon as the chicken is re-heated, but allowing it to simmer for a little longer allows all the new flavors to meld together

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 C carrots – finely chopped
  • 1/2 C celery – finely chopped
  • 1/2 C green onions – finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 8 C chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 C short grain rice
  • salt & pepper – to taste
  • 2 cooked boneless chicken breasts (I use store-bought rotisserie) – shredded
  • 1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven (or heavy duty pot), heat 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat
  2. Add carrots, celery and green onions – stir together and briefly sauté 
  3. Stir in garlic and sauté for another minute or two
  4. Add chicken broth and bay leaves
  5. Raise heat to high
  6. Once liquid has come to a boil, add rice, salt & pepper.
  7. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes (or until the rice is tender)
  8. Stir in cooked chicken

Prepare the Egg-Lemon sauce:

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and the eggs. 
  2. While whisking, add 2 ladles-full of the broth from the cooking pot (this helps to temper the eggs)
  3. Once fully combined, add the sauce to the chicken soup and stir
  4. Immediately remove from heat
  5. Remove the bay leaves and serve with warm bread

Creamy Dill Pickle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5-1/2 C chicken broth
  • 1-3/4 lbs russet potatoes – peeled and quartered
  • 2 C chopped carrots – smaller dice
  • 1 C chopped dill pickles – smaller dice ~ about 3 large whole dills
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 C dill pickle juice*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper – optional

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, combine broth, potatoes, carrots and butter
  2. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender
  3. Add pickles and continue to boil
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sour cream and water, making a paste
  5. Vigorously whisk sour cream mixture (2 Tbsp at a time) into soup  – this will also break up some of your potatoes which is okay – you might see some initial little balls of flour form, but between the whisking and boiling all will disappear – Don’t panic!
  6. Add pickle juice, salt, pepper and if using, cayenne
  7. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat
  8. Serve immediately with, if desired, sliced dill pickles, fresh dill and black pepper

Beef Barley Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stew meat – look for nicely marbled beef chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 10 C water
  • 3 mounded Tbsp good quality beef base – I use Better than Bouillon Brand Beef Base
  • 3 stalks celery – chopped
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 large potato – peeled and shredded
  • 3 large carrots – peeled and shredded
  • 1 C quick pearl barley – rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1. Generously salt and pepper the beef
  2. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat
  3. When the oil is very hot, add 1/3 of the meat
  4. Brown for about 2 minutes per side
  5. Transfer to a plate
  6. Repeat with remaining meat in 2 more batches – if you add it all at once it will steam the meat instead of browning it
  7. When all the meat is browned, add all the meat back to the pot
  8. Add water
  9. Add beef base
  10. Add the chopped celery, onions and garlic
  11. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low
  12. Simmer for 2 hours with the lid on
  13. Check to make sure the meat is tender – with a wooden spoon, test only one piece – it should fall apart easily
  14. If the meat is not tender, continue to cook for 15 minutes and test again
  15. Once the meat is tender, add shredded potatoes and carrots
  16. Bring to a boil
  17. Lower heat to low and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender 
  18. Add barley and worcestershire sauce
  19. Bring to a boil
  20. Lower heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until barley is tender

*If your soup has boiled down to become more stew-like, simply add more water and beef base