Category Archives: Soup

Another High-Fiber Recipe: Three-Bean Chili

This recipe uses red, white and black beans
This recipe uses red, white and black beans

Here’s another high-fiber recipe that was pretty simple to make. I made it while my cassoulet was baking this weekend and froze some for giving away and for later in the week.

I’ve copied their recipe below, but I made my own additions while it cooked because the original recipe seemed a little tart and lacked some depth. I added about two tablespoons of brown sugar and a heaping tablespoon of cocoa to the mix. I also simmered it about 10 minutes longer than recipe called for.

Serving size is about two cups, and each serving has about 16 grams of fiber. It’s only supposed to have 294 calories (and it’s pretty filling for having that much), but if you add the sugar like I did, that’ll obviously add up.

Continue reading

Another Crockpot Soup – Tomato Chickpea Soup

Chickpea soup
Chickpea Soup

Last week I got mired in other work and neglected to post the now weekly Wednesday crockpot lunch recipe.

The title of a "chickpea soup" initially dissuaded me from using this, but I gave it a second glance (plus I really wanted something quick and cheap), and it turned out pretty tasty.

I used dried rosemary instead of fresh, because I had picked extra the week before (but it was fresh dried, so I’ve decided that counts) and I used a bunch of it, crumbling it into the soup. I also added an extra clove of garlic because everything tastes better with more garlic. I also used canned garbanzo beans because I had a heckuva time finding dried when I was stocking up my cupboard with dried beans.

Here’s the original recipe from :

Crockpot Chickpea Soup

2 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans or 3 (15 ounces) cans chickpeas
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
8 cloves garlic (pressed or minced)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water or additional vegetable stock
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 tsp pepper (freshly ground is always better)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 ounces grated fresh parmesan cheese (6 Tbs)

Soak dried garbanzo beans in water to cover overnight. Rinse and inspect the beans and set aside. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Put the onion mixture, garbanzo beans, and next 5 ingredients in your crockpot. Simmer in the crockpot for 2 to 4 hours. (I will start this on low in the morning, and turn up the heat when I come home for lunch). To make the soup thicker, blend 4 cups of the soup in a blender, 1 cup at a time (very carefully, this is hot soup!) then place all 4 cups back into the soup. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and let the soup simmer another 15 minutes. (this is the perfect time to throw together a salad). Place the soup in bowls (1 1/2 cups for 6 servings) and sprinkle with parmesan (1 Tbs).

Next up is this week’s soup: Peasant Stew

Southwest Crab, Pepper Soup – Lunch Group Still Going

Southwest Crab and Pepper Soup
Southwest Crab and Pepper Soup

I wrote a couple weeks back about a little work lunch group we started here, and I’ve got a good crockpot soup recipe addition.

I had initially planned to blog about it every week, but last week’s soup ended up so unimpressive that I just couldn’t bear to. It sounded good. It had Italian sausage, winter vegetables, potatoes. It was edible, but it was undercooked, and by 1:30 p.m., I couldn’t wait for lunch anymore. Lesson learned: pre-prepping the ingredients and refrigerating things like potatoes will affect the cooking time. Also, sometimes the long, slow cooking time is just better.

This week’s offering also could have benefitted from a little longer cooking time, but it still turned out well. I made a Southwest crab soup (recipe below). The soup was intended to be soupy, not a thick chowder, but a little longer with the cream could have helped. A couple of diced potatoes probably would have made the soup more rib-stickingly delicious. I also think I could have stood an extra chipotle pepper. I used homemade vegetable stock I substituted half the crab for imitation crab to cut cost. Continue reading

Wednesday Is Soup Day at the Office

Mediterranean Fennel Soup
Mediterranean Fennel Soup

I’ve started a little experiment at work, now in its second week. We’ve got a little soup group or soup co-op (not quite sure what to call it) going.

It’s a try at a little more of an economical approach to lunch where we’re planning to share the cost of a meal. The idea is that I make the soup, others bring additions or pay in their portion of the ingredients for the soup. One person has suggested a kind of stone soup variation where everyone brings an ingredient the day before and we make something of it. Sounds like it’s worth a try, but I haven’t done it yet.

Here’s how it’s worked out so far:

I hunted down some crock pot soup recipes that can cook in roughly 4 hours or less and whose ingredients don’t present a barrier. I prepare the ingredients the night before and set the crock pot up in our break room. (Note: We can be a little informal and pretty friendly/family-like here, so setting up a crock pot in an office may not be for everybody.)

Our editor has brought in a loaf of fresh bread from Luigi’s Baking, which has been a great addition.

The result? Well, we plan to do it again next week, so it seems like it’s working. I like it more than anything because it offers an excuse to eat together without having to go out. Journalists’ schedules sometimes aren’t very regular things and folks sometimes get in the habit of eating lunch when they can or after finishing assignments, and the often eat alone, at their desks.

I think the smell during cooking drives some folks a little crazy, but no major complaints yet. Oh, and the first day, I left the crock pot on and burned the heck out of my remaining barley soup. I remembered to bring a container to refrigerate leftovers.

I’ve pasted below the recipes I’ve tried so far, and I’ll continue to post the lunch fare while we continue to do this. Continue reading

An Attempt at Cooking Beef Stock

The meat
Roasted meat

This spring, I will end up with a lot of beef in my freezer. My in-laws decided to raise a couple steers in the past year (I’ve been thus forced to work on my more comfortable view of meat being the stuff you buy wrapped in plastic at the grocery store). And since I even know the poor little (OK, not so little) guy’s name, I’m going to feel really bad about wasting any of it.

Add Veggies
Add Veggies

So I’ve decided to work on many things beef, and I decided to start off easy by making my own stock. Chicken and turkey I’ve done do some success in the past, so I assumed beef would just be a small bit of translation for that.

I hunted online for suggestions, put them together and started making away.


I found the bone-iest package of meat I could find and roasted it at 400 degrees for about an hour.

I had been saving up vegetable scraps (onion ends, celery tops, carrot tops) for a few days and added in an extra onion, carrots, a couple cloves of garlic, half a shallot left over from another recipe, thyme and a couple bay leaves and simmered it for about four hours.

Set to simmer
Set to simmer

I strained the broth and refrigerated it. I picked off the remaining beef and froze it for soup and tacos later.

The result? Well, not as good as I had hoped. It tasted OK, but the flavor could have been meatier and it was pretty cloudy. I made soup with it a couple days later and tossed in a little beef bouillon and it tasted great (really , I didn’t even use that much bouillon).

So, here’s where I went wrong: Continue reading

Beer Beef Stew

Beer Beer Stew

Beer Beef Stew. Those three words instantly take my mind to one place: The Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro in Bellingham.

It was a favorite haunt of mine in my college days, and the Beer Beef Stew was a dish not to be missed on a cold November day. And it combines two of my favorite victuals. Beef and beef.

This is a recipe my girlfriend and I printed off a couple of years ago, (we keep a binder of the recipes we like) and can’t seem to find it on the Food Network site any longer. It’s not Boundary Bay’s but close enough to make my stomach happy.

The only changes were the substitution of chicken broth for beef (It’s all we had, and it worked fine.) and of course, I added about five cloves of garlic. Mostly because I couldn’t think of any reason not to.

In the beer department, we used Deschutes Black Butte Porter.

Recipe after the jump:

Continue reading

Stew in a Pumpkin, a Delicious Experiment

pumpkin stewLast week, a co-worker brought in a great little dish of rice and ground beef in a pumpkin. I didn’t get the recipe, but it did remind me of a little experiment I tried last year: Stew in a pumpkin.

I had an extra pumpkin from the in-laws and went online looking for recipes when I ran across an Argentine Stew in a Pumpkin Shell on

It was good, but a little too sweet for my taste. So when I saw a dish-in-a-pumpkin again this year, I determined to experiment a little with the recipe, knowing full well that I’d have to eat or manage to pawn off a whole pumpkin’s worth of stew if I messed it up.

That’s the down-side of food experimentation, but even when I fail, I end up learning more about how different ingredients affect what I”m cooking so that someday … someday, I’ll be able to just whip up something delicious off the top of my head.

Not quite there yet, but my experiments are getting better and better. Here’s how the stew-in-a-pumpkin came out: Last year’s stew ended up being too sweet for my taste, so I cut down on the amount of sweet potato, added a mix of white and red potatoes, and quartered the apricots. I also threw in a little savory cumin and coriander and chiles to play up on the Southern Americas flavors I wanted something from Argentina to have (which, I realize, is not a realistic expectation since Argentine cooking tends to have a lot of Italian influence and there really is no one cooking style for South American or Latin American countries). And since I happened to have a glass of Syrah in-hand (what a surprise!) I tossed in a splash of that too. Recipe and notes follow.

argentine pumpkin stew in a bowl

Argentine Stew in Pumpkin
adapted from a recipe

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
3 tbsp. oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. dried apricots, quartered
4 red (or white) potatoes, peeled & diced
1 sweet potato, peeled & diced
2 red chiles, cut in half
2 cups beef broth
1 medium pumpkin
butter, melted
1/2 cup red wine, optional
2 cups frozen corn

Heat oil over med-high heat in pot and brown beef. Set aside briefly. Saute onion, garlic and spices until onion is translucent. Return been to pot. Add tomatoes, red pepper, pepper, salt, apricts, potatoes and broth. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Scoop seeds and membrane out of pumpkin. Brush melted butter on the inside and season with salt and pepper.

Stir wine and corn into stew and ladel it into the pumpkin shell. Place pumpkin in a shallow pan and bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour, or until pumpkin is tender. Place pumpkin in a bowl in case it has any holes. Scoop out pumpkin as you ladel it into bowls.

Serves 6-8.

It still was sweet, as it was supposed to be, but I liked that the changes I made cut down on it, and that I didn’t get unexpected globs of apricot. Quartering them, however, made them melt, so halving them next time would probably be better. Also, I used up a yellow pepper in my original, but a red would give you similar results and look a whole lot better.

Tomato Soup with Garbanzo and Sausage

Tomato soup with sausage and garbanzo beans

With the cool damp weather settling in, a little bone-warming soup was in order this weekend. This will probably be the first in a string of warm comfort as I play around in the kitchen. This weekend, I managed not one but two.

The inspiration for the first, a hearty tomato soup, came from two places on Saturday.

I checked in on the Orangette , a food blog by Seattleite Molly Wizenburg that’s usually as fun to read as the recipes are to try. She too caught the soup bug and offered an adaptation of a simple, chunky tomato soup .

I had already determined to try it when I went to eat at Amy’s on the Bay in Port Orchard, and the soup du jour just happened to be a hearty, peppery tomato soup, with garbanzo beans and Italian sausage.

After the light bulbs dimmed out, I went home and tried it, and below is the adaptation of the Orangette adaptation of a comfort soup worthy of a rainy day. For personal taste, I doubled the amount of garlic (I could almost eat the stuff raw), I used Italian parsley stems instead of cilantro because I have some weird aversion to cilantro, and used a whole roasted jalapeño to cut down on some of the spice, but save on the flavor. I also added more pepper to approximate

I also added some garbanzo beans and, while I thought about adding regular pork ground Italian sausage, but I’ve been eating such rich food lately that I’m starting to feel like I’m well on my way to being a Thanksgiving Day parade float. So I went with a turkey sausage instead. I also threw in a little kale for some added texture and vitamins.

Tomato Soup with Sausage and Garbanzo beans

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch Italian parsley stems, cut into ½-inch lengths
1 roasted jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup garbanzo beans
2 cups water
splash of white wine – optional
2 turkey sausages (I used Jenny-O), casings removed
1 1/2 cups coarsley chopped kale

Sour cream, for serving

In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic over medium-low heat until onions are transluscent. Stir in salt, pepper, parsley and jalapeno and saute about 1 minute. Strain tomatoes and add juice to the saucepan. Seed tomatoes, chop into large pieces and stir into pan. Add two cups of water and a splash of wine, stir and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add in garbanzo beans and simmer for about 10-15 minutes more.

In a nonstick skillet, brown and break up sausage. Add in kale and cook until bright green and slightly wilted. Add to soup and stir.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a hunk of crusty bread.

In retrospect, I should have either a) turned up the heat on the sausage and browned it longer or b) just used ground pork Italian sausage. The way I made it, the sausage came out a touch rubbery and didn’t break up into the finer bits I had eaten in the Amy’s soup. I also highly recommend adding the sour cream.