Category Archives: Soup

Four Cold Soups

fcsAs we enter the dog days of summer, with the scramble to get kids (and adults) ready to return to school, easy meals feel like a critical need. And with the heat, cool entrees also seem like a good idea.

To that end, I’ve compiled some of my favorite chilled soups for you.

Cold Cucumber Mint Soup – Cucumber, mint, a little cabbage, buttermilk and yogurt, combined into a creamy and very refreshing summer soup. Are you still inundated with cucumbers? This will help you use some of them!

Cool Cucumber Watercress Soup – More cucumbers, this time with watercress! Another way to use up those cucumbers!

Chilled Green Bean Soup – This one takes a little more prep, as you have to cook the beans. Of course, if you have some frozen beans, or leftovers, this will also come together very fast for a nice easy, pre-school supply shopping meal.

Chilled Fruit Soup – Any post about cold soups would be incomplete without a chilled fruit soup. this one was so fun to make! The raspberry half was and remains my favorite chilled fruit soup ever.

I hope these soups help calm your nerves on these last days of summer and bring you a cheerful, relaxed beginning to the school year.


Gazpacho with Crab

Original Post Jun 4, 2013

Sunday, Wegmans was sampling Gazpacho with Crab. It was delicious. But I wasn’t going to pay their prices for a little cup of it when I knew, for a fraction of the price, I could make it myself.

When I got home, I poured through all my cookbooks looking for a recipe for this Spanish classic. Can you believe, everything I found was two pages long? Really! Who has the patience to prepare a recipe that is over half a page. Not me!

I got the gist of the recipe. Tomatoes, spices, cucumber, garlic. Easy. Here’s what I came up with. The crab is a little Maryland addition. It adds some protein. Good stuff!

Gazpacho with Crab
2-10 ounce cans Rotel tomatoes with lime and cilantro
1 can of water
8 oz crab meat
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Dash of cayenne
Juice of 1 lime
Top with fresh cilantro

1. Blend the tomatoes with the water, garlic, lime and cayenne. If you aren’t clear on what I mean by one can of water, I mean dump the tomatoes into the blender and then fill the empty can with water and dump that in next.
2, Add the cucumber and crab.
3. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Serve topped with chopped cilantro, parsley or even chopped peppers.

Not even close to two pages!

I ended up with four servings of gazpacho. Let’s calculate the cost per serving together! Two cans of Rotel were $3.38. Eight ounces of crab was $5. One cuke was $1. One lime was .20. Total cost per serving is about $2.40. I didn’t count the garlic, pepper or cilantro. That’s a pretty good price for a hearty soup. I hope you’ll consider adding it to your summer party menu.


Three Irish Recipes


Original Post 3/17/2014 – I admit, I am not Irish. But it’s St. Patrick’s Day so I offer you a few of my favorite Irish inspired recipes. If it’s too late to have them tonight, maybe you can have one or all of them later this week. Or maybe you can just save them for next year.


First off is my Loaded Potato Soup. Potato soup is so great for making in so many varieties. I think you’ll find my version of it nice. I use milk and broth and very little cream so it’s not overly filling. And it’s very fast to make! If you don’t have mashed potatoes on hand, you can chop up some potatoes and cook them for about ten minutes in the microwave. You’ll have dinner ready so fast!

igmpNext is some truly delicious Irish Guinness and Meat Pie. I used ground chicken but you can certainly use whatever meat you like. We have meat pie pretty regularly in our house. I like to grind some veggies into my pies. I will do whatever it takes to get veggies into my boys. They’ve stopped resisting. Resistance is, after all, futile.

bcsLast but far from least is Really Excellent Beer Cheese Soup. I have such fond memories of this soup. My mouth waters when I think about how great it tasted. You have to really like Guinness to appreciate this soup. If you have any doubt that anyone will not like the strong stout flavor of the Guinness, you can use something more like a pale ale. The longer it cooks, the more it mellows and the more the alcohol burns off. Really good stuff! I have no idea if Beer Cheese Soup has any Irish origin but I made it with Irish ingredients, so it’s Irish to me!

The last (and I mean it) snow of the season has been cleared from the driveways and walks. The kids are savoring the last hours of the last snow day, hoping that the aren’t in school until July because of it.

I should throw some Irish ditty in here but I don’t know any. So enjoy the recipes! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Green Lentil and Leek Soup

gllsThree years ago, one of our pastors was sick. How did I remember this? I didn’t. Facebook did though, and showed me a sweet little thank you post from said pastor because I brought her a little Lentil Soup.

Well coincidentally, she’s sick again. There is a nasty upper respiratory virus going around. It’s the kind that leaves you with zero energy. And it’s laying people up for a week at a time.

I knew what I had to do. Time to make more soup. And since it is Lent, it was quite obvious that Lentil Soup was in order once again.

Green Lentil and Leek Soup
2 quarts water
2 cups green lentils
1 leek, chopped and rinsed
1 half onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Cayenne Pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

  1. Combine everything but the apple in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Add the chopped apple. Allow to simmer for another 30 minutes, just long enough for the apple to warm but not get mushy.
  4. Serve!

I had just enough soup for me for lunch and my pastor and her husband for dinner. I was very pleased with this soup. I usually use broth or stock for my soups but I wanted to make this one vegan and I don’t really love any vegetable broths so I figured the leeks and everything else would be enough flavor. I was right. Very flavorful indeed!

I didn’t measure the spices. I would say I used equal amounts of cumin and turmeric; no more than a teaspoon of each, and about half of that amount of cayenne. There was a nice little zing, but not too much. This upper respiratory thing is causing a terrible cough and I didn’t want to make it so spicy that it set off a coughing fit.

I hope my soup brings a fast recovery, because Sunday is Confirmation and there’s cake. No one, especially the pastor, should miss church cake.


Chilled Fruit Soup

Original post March 30, 2013

Ah, Spring! We shed our heavy clothes and heavy food and look forward to pretty dresses, pretty salads and even pretty soups!

I have made Strawberry Soup several times, but have always used either half and half or heavy cream. The soup is fantastic and tastes a lot like melted strawberry ice cream.

I wanted to make something that was healthier and didn’t have the flavor of the fruit hidden by the cream. After browsing online and going through cookbooks, I came up with something that is light and emphasizes fruit  and not fat.

Chilled Fruit Soup
12 oz bag of frozen fruit
1 TBSP of water
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP corn starch
1/2 or more vanilla
1 cup vanilla yogurt

1. Put the fruit in a saucepan with the water, sugar and vanilla and cook on medium-low until the fruit is soft.
2. Add the corn starch and stir until the liquid starts to thicken.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes
4. Blend in yogurt with a regular blender.
5. Serve chilled with fruit or mint leaf garnish.

I made two kinds of this soup; Peach with Ginger and Raspberry. I slowly poured the two soups into my bowl from opposite sides. I love the contrasting colors! Did you notice that I added very little sugar to my soup? If you want to, you can leave it out entirely.

You could serve this with brunch or as a luncheon dessert in tiny little bowls with dainty little spoons.

Double Alert: If you’re increasing this recipe, be sure to let the fruit soften before you add the water. I made a very small portion of this recipe. Depending on the water content of the fruit you choose, you may not need to add extra water.