Category Archives: Soup

Gluten-Free / Soup / Stay Healthy

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

February 10, 2017

Here in the Netherlands they don’t have ready-made chicken stock like they do in the states — only bouillon (which I assure you, is not the same thing). And while bouillon is fine for some recipes, for others (like Winter Minestrone), I find that it just doesn’t work well. I decided to make my own chicken stock since I have Winter Minestrone plans this weekend, and I have to admit that while making stock is time-consuming, it’s pretty dang basic.

I used chicken carcasses in my stock, rather than whole chickens, because I make roast chicken somewhat regularly and throw the carcass in the freezer until I’m ready to make stock. I do this with my veggie odds and ends as well, which you could totally just throw in with your old chicken bones, but I save mine for when I’m making veggie stock, which is why I opted to use fresh veggies in this.

Here’s the recipe I used, in case you’re looking to make your own stock and/or wondering what you should do with your old chicken carcasses and vegetable odds and ends. Please note that this recipe is totally open to interpretation, so feel free to toss in what you have on hand. Leeks, parsnips, dill, etc. would all make delicious additions.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Active time: 20 minutes / Total time: about 5 hours
makes about 3 quarts

  • 2 chicken carcasses
  • 2 yellow onions, unpeeled, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 4 carrots, halved or quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into thirds
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
  1. Throw it all into a big pot, cover with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.
  2. Remove solids and chill overnight. Skim any fat that has accumulated overnight off the top. Use within a week or freeze in quart containers for up to 3 months.


Dairy-Free / Dinner / Fall / Gluten-Free / Pescatarian / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Soup Recipes for Rainy Evenings

December 3, 2014

Just like I go crazy for salads during the summer, I love making a giant pot of soup when the weather gets cold in the fall and winter.  Soups are so wonderful because they generally require fairly little effort, and have a big payoff with enough food to cover more than one meal.  Plus, it’s an awesome way to get a crapload of veggies into your body (always helpful when trying to fend off the plague when you ride BART).

I’ve posted a lot of my favorite soup recipes on here already, but thought a recap post might be in order (I always like to have a one-stop-shop for the “what am I going to make for dinner” dilemma).

Sooo, here we go!  (Just click on the name of the soup to link to the recipe.)

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

You guys, this soup is the business.  It doesn’t make a TON of soup like some of the other soup recipes, but it’s so delicious and easy to make — perfect for a weeknight meal.  And trust me: you shouldn’t skimp on the toppings!


Split Pea Soup

This is a great, basic recipe for split pea soup; and it’s another nice option if you don’t want to be eating the same soup for the next 7 meals (it makes about 6 generous servings).


Not Your Mama’s Chicken Soup

This soup is a little more time-consuming than some of the others, and makes A LOT of soup.  But it’s awesome if you or someone you know is feeling a little under the weather.  Maybe whip up a batch and give half of it to your neighbor who isn’t feeling so hot.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

This soup is so delicious and comforting — perfect for a cold, rainy night.  I like it with some Grana Padano grated over the top and a big hunk of sourdough bread.  (But really, I like most things with a big hunk of sourdough bread…)


Potato Leek Soup

This soup is so crazy-easy to make.  And it’s just a little indulgent (not quite as veggie-full as many of the others on this list).  It’s so delicious though, and awesome to make for a crowd.

Winter Minestrone

Winter Minestrone

This is my go-to soup during the fall and winter months.  It makes a ton of soup and is overflowing with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients.  Grate some fresh parmesan on top and have at it.

Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I made up this recipe after being dissatisfied with butternut squash soups that were either lacking flavor or wayyy too sweet.  This soup is a good balance of salt, spice and sweet.  It tastes rich and creamy, but it’s actually full of veggies.  Yum!

Spicy Tomato Soup 4

Customizable Spicy Tomato Soup

This tomato soup is great for picky appetites — there’s a million and one ways to modify it.  Make it upscale with spices and some coconut milk, scale it down and make it basic — whatever your little heart desires.  Just don’t serve it without the grilled cheese if you’re making it for me.  🙂

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Soup / Vegan / Vegetarian

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

February 24, 2014

This soup doesn’t need much of an intro from me — it’s crazy easy to make (and quick), and sooo delicious.  It’s smoky, a little spicy, and it will use up an entire butternut squash (which, if you get a CSA box like I do, you probably have like 1,000 of those laying around right now).

Seriously, just take my word on this one and make this soup.

But maybe plan a little bit better than I did and have some ripe avocados on hand…

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

serves 3-4

  • 1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp (a pinch, really) cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • corn tortillas (about 10)

Toppings (all are optional, but they all make this soup especially delicious):

  • crispy tortilla strips
  • minced cilantro
  • crumbled goat cheese (cotija cheese would also work well)
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • diced avocado
  • hot sauce (if you’re a spice fiend)
  1. Place a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add some olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until just softened and very fragrant.  Add squash, cabbage and vegetable stock (salt and pepper as you go).  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through and tender.
  2. Add black beans and spices, then pass a hand blender through the mix to thicken the broth (the soup should still be very chunky, you’re just looking to break it up a bit to thicken things — a couple passes should do it).  Return to heat and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom does not burn.
  3. Check for seasoning (add lots of black pepper to this!), then serve with any or all toppings.

Crispy Tortilla Strips

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Stack tortillas (I used half a pack — about 10 tortillas) and slice into quarters, then into strips.  Toss strips with olive oil, plenty of salt, and a bit of pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake about 15 minutes (check these every couple minutes after 10 minutes — cooking time will vary based on your oven), until just browned and very crispy.

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Split Pea Soup

January 28, 2014

Ever since my beloved Bean Cuisine went out of business, I have been searching for a replacement for my favorite soup — the Thick As Fog Split Pea.  I’m happy to report that I think I have found my replacement.  A bit of tweaking on an old Ina Garten recipe, and this soup came to be.

This soup is super delicious (if you’re a split pea fan), and basically couldn’t be easier to make.  In case you need more convincing, here are some other pluses: it’s gluten free, dairy free, and it can be made to be vegan/vegetarian.  Plus, it makes a lot of soup, but not like the “OMG I’m eating the same soup for lunch and dinner for 4 days in a row because it makes 14 gallons” amount.  Because you best believe that KC and I do that on a semi-regular basis…

Winter Minestrone for dayyyysssss.

This recipe makes about 6 bowls; so, if you’re like KC and I, it will last you for 2 dinners and 1 lunch.

Only downside?  Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry split peas.



Split Pea Soup

serves 4-6

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium to large carrots, diced
  • 3 small red potatoes, diced
  • 1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed (these can usually be found with other dried beans in the supermarket)
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, add some olive oil to the bottom of the pan, then add in onions, garlic, spices, salt (start with 1/2 tsp) and pepper.  Saute until softened and very fragrant (5-10 minutes).
  2. Add in the carrots, potatoes, chicken stock, and half of the split peas.  Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally (especially at the end, to keep the bottom from burning).
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Optional: I like my split pea less chunky, so I generally take a whisk to it at the end to help break up some of the bigger chunks of veggies and potatoes.  You could also take a hand blender to it if you like yours really smooth.  Totally not necessary, just personal preference!

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Not Your Mama's Chicken Soup

January 6, 2014

IMG_0885Ok, the holidays are officially over (sad face) and it’s time to get back to being healthy and not acting like gingerbread is a health food.  (I mean, it does have ginger in it…)

If you or a loved one is suffering from a cold or the flu, this is a nice twist on regular ol’ chicken soup.  Plus, everything is made from scratch (including the broth), so you really know what you’re putting in your belly.  Word of caution though — this soup is kind of time consuming (at least, for me it is) and I haven’t figured out how to make it without dirtying like, 1000 dishes, so… be warned.  It does make a whole mess of soup though, so at least there’s that.

Not Your Mama’s Chicken Soup

serves 6-8 (at least)

adapted from a Real Simple recipe

  • 1 3 1/2 – 4lb whole roasting chicken, rinsed with giblets removed**
  • 1 large bunch carrots (I used the whole bag of Trader Joe’s organic carrots)
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt (I used coarse sea salt)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups dry whole wheat cous cous*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch fresh, flat-leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar kalamata olives (6.5 oz drained) drained, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  1. In a large stock pot, add whole chicken, 3 carrots + 2 celery ribs (rinsed and cut into large pieces), quartered onion, salt and peppercorns.  Cover fully with water (about 8 cups), then bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and simmer mixture until chicken is fully cooked (about 30 minutes).  Skim off any foam that collects on the surface.  While the chicken is cooking, rinse, trim and chop the remaining celery and carrots (large dice), and set aside.
  2. Once chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and set it aside to cool.  Strain out vegetables and peppercorns, then return the broth to the stock pot.
  3. Cook cous cous by adding 2 1/2 cups of water + 1 tsp salt to a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, add the cous cous, give it a good stir, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, remove lid, fluff with a fork and stir in chopped olives and parsley.
  4. Add chopped carrots and celery to the strained broth and bring it to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables have reached desired tenderness  (10-15 minutes).  While the vegetables are cooking, remove chicken from the bone, and shred with forks.  Add shredded chicken and garbanzo beans to the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking time to heat through.

For serving, you can either just stir the cous cous into the soup pot, or spoon some of the cous cous mixture into bowls, then top with the soup.  Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and try not to burn the heck out of your mouth like I did.

*To make this gluten free, you can use quinoa instead of cous cous — just cook according to the package directions.

**To make this veg/vegan, omit the chicken entirely and in its place add: 1 bunch green onions (roughly chopped), 8 cloves garlic (roughly chopped), 1 bunch parsley, 1 bunch thyme, and 2 bay leaves to the water to make vegetable stock.  For more flavor, saute the vegetables in some olive oil until just softened and fragrant before adding in the herbs and water.