Split Pea and Ham Soup

This hearty, frugal soup is a mainstay at my house.  It never fails to impress, which always is a surprise to me.  How in the world can such humble ingredients combine to make something so delicious? I suppose that’s the case with every good soup.  I’m a big believer in the powers of a good soup. You can piece together the base of this soup with a few scraps of leftover ham, a humble onion, and a bit of diced carrot.  Add a bag of dried split peas, some chicken broth, water and a little salt, and you’re done! Split Pea and Ham […]

Light Garlic and Chicken Broth

Once you see how easy it is to make a good broth out of a picked-over roasted chicken, you’ll never throw chicken bits away again.  This broth is useful as a base for many-a-soup, and it’s especially good taken straight-up in the middle of cold and flu season, which, unfortunately is upon us right now.  My whole family has been up, then down, then up, then down.  Having a lot of this broth around has really helped. My teenage daughter especially loves taking this broth to school for lunch.  Only she dresses it up a bit by adding some fresh Asian noodles, a few cubes of […]

Watercress Soup

It’s hard to believe a weedy little thing like watercress can make such an addictive soup. I first tried watercress soup when we lived in England.  It, like the Carrot and Coriander Soup came fresh in little cartons.  I don’t know if I can accurately describe what it was like to bundle into the house on a freezing rainy day, then just pop fresh soup on the stove – make a few slices of toast and immediately be transported to a French bistro. The years we lived in England were particularly intense.  It was in the 2002-2006 range, and as you know, the military was under incredible […]

New Video: Simple Vegetable Soup for Busy People

I keep soup like this in my house almost all the time.  I make a big pot once a week, and I eat it almost every day. It’s great for lunch.  You can add a little leftover chicken if you want to have a little protein.  Or some leftover pasta if you want more carbohydrates.  I also love to add 1/4 cup kidney beans, black beans or chick peas to my bowl of soup.  That’s a great way to bump up the nourishment! It’s really low in calories and it’s filling.  I eat it as a snack in the afternoon to keep me away […]

True Love’s Beef Stew

I met my husband when I was only eighteen.  I may have been only eighteen, but I was smart.  I thought to myself, “He’s the one”.  And then I set about to convince him that I was the one for him. Since my only training in romance had come from Janet Jackson and Madonna songs, and since things didn’t seem to be working too well for those ladies, I decided to just the opposite of what their songs told us all to do. “What Have You Done for Me Lately”, by Janet Jackson made a big impression on me.  It was supposed to be empowering, I suppose, but […]

My 72-Hour Beef Broth

That’s right.  Seventy-two hours.  This is the kind of broth that will make a hundred dishes swoon-worthy.  This is the kind of thing you make when you really FEEL your food.  When you consider yourself an alchemist.  A rogue.  A guns-blazing, ax wielding badass of a cook. If you’re any kind of a pansy at all, turn away.  You can’t handle this truth.  I use two different kinds of soup bones for this broth, and a special touch which I’ll reveal in a minute.   First, observe the above.  We’ve got beef soup bones along with “meaty” beef soup bones.  Basically some ball and socket […]

Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup

Back on my Carrot and Coriander Soup post, I said that almost every soup in the world starts with an onion.  Well, this creamy fresh tomato and basil soup would be the exception to that rule. Soup-making is such an important and useful skill. Clearly, these tomatoes are past their prime.  I wouldn’t want to put them on my salad, would you? That’s why having a few cooking skills in your back pocket is so nice.  You can really reduce the amount of waste your home produces by knowing how to use up fresh ingredients after they get a little wilted and worn. To make a […]