Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Ill tempered Shrimp Soup

Our fridge was pretty bare late last week and I was NOT in the mood to drive to town to hit the grocery to make dinner.  I had a bag of shrimp in the freezer, a loaf of bread, and a very well-stocked pantry and spice cabinet, so I decided to try a shrimp soup.  I found a Killer Shrimp Soup recipe on line and decided to use that as my guide.  I think it turned out pretty darn good!  Let me know what you think!!

Bon Appetit!

Ill-Tempered Shrimp Soup

6 Servings

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 T fresh chopped rosemary
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t fennel seed
  • 1 t thyme
  • 2 c clam juice
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c Budweiser
  • 2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 2 # uncooked shrimp with tails
  • cilantro garnish
  • avocado, chopped for garnish

Add all ingredients sans the shrimp to a stew pot and cook, covered for 2 hours.  Add the shrimp 10 minutes before you are ready to eat!  Serve with a crusty french bread and a nice pinot noir or Tank 7 Boulevard!

Bon Appetit!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Although it was a tough year for the garden, we actually ended up with a pretty good early butternut squash and pumpkin harvest–both of which I absolutely love!  I have several wonderful squash soup recipes, but I wanted to try something a little different this year, so I went searching my favorite sites.  I quickly found a squash and corn chowder recipe from Cooking Light that had really good reviews so I thought I would give it a try–of course, with many edits!   Serve this dish with a warm crusty french bread and a big green salad.  A glass of pinot noir is a great accompaniment to this really tasty and hearty meal!  Forget the bacon–use veg broth and add some smoked paprika to make this a very tasty and filling vegetarian stew!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Servings 5-6

  • 2 slices of hickory smoked bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 c green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped celery
  • 2 butternut squash, peeled cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 # frozen sweet corn (or fresh if you are so lucky)
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1-2 T chopped fresh rosemary (or 1-2 t dried)
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 32 oz chicken broth (or more, depending upon desired consistency)
  • 1 c soy milk
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese sounds good)

In a big stew pot cook the bacon on medium low for a couple of minutes to render some fat.  Add the butter, 1/2 of the green onions, all of the celery and jalapeño and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add the herbs and the corn and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the squash and stir in until the herbs and veggies are covering the squash.  Add the chicken broth and soy milk and turn the heat up to boil.  Once you achieve a nice boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the lid and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add the cheese and let it melt in and thicken the broth.  NOW it is ready to serve!  Add the green onions liberally to garnish.  Serve this stew with a nice wit beire or a glass of your favorite wine!

Bon Appetit!

Spicy thai chicken and potato soup

This is a nice change from traditional potato soup and will warm your belly nicely, I promise!

Spicy thai chicken and potato soup

Servings 4

1 # chicken thigh cut into bite-size pieces

1 onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1-2 T garlic

1 T oil

1 T red curry paste

1/2 T tumeric

1 T + curry powder (your favorite blend)

1 T fish sauce

1 squeeze ginger

1 T lime juice

2 t sriracha

28 oz chicken broth

14 oz coconut milk

Sweat the onion in oil in the stew pot for 5-10 minutes over med-low.  Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes (until soft).  Stir in the chili paste and chicken and cook for 5 minutes.  Add all other ingredients, turn heat down to low and cover.  Cook for at least one hour.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.

This would also be good with carrot coins to sweeten the broth a little more.  Eat this as a soup garnished with chopped cilantro and/or green onions or over a nice coconut rice!  Serve with a dark, heavily hopped beer or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Bon Appetit!


This soup will warm your belly and your heart!

I LOVE seafood Stew.  Being a mainland girl, this was a special treat for me  consumed only on a coastal holiday or company trip.  NOT ANYMORE!  After a fantastic hiking vacation to Estes Park, CO (I know, still mainland!) and some of the best Cioppino ever at Mary’s Lake Lodge, I went searching for the PERFECT Cioppino recipe.  After much experimentation and disappointment, I finally found it!  This stew could be served in the finest seafood restaurant and it is SUPER EASY!  I get all of my seafood in the frozen seafood section of SAMS, and it works beautifully in this stew!  Serve with a big chunk of gluten free bread and a glass of Pinot Noir.  Close your eyes and you will be taken away to that tranquil and exotic Mediterranean destination of your dreams!

My very favorite stew!


Serves 4?

1 stick of butter

1 onion, chopped

10 cloves of garlic, diced

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (diced)

1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes

1 14 oz can chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 T dried basil

1/2 t thyme

2 bottles clam juice

1 T whole black peppercorns

1/2 t dried oregano

1 c dry white wine

3/4 # large shrimp–raw, peeled and deveined

3/4 # bay scallops

9-10 mussels

3/4 # crab leg (don’t buy the fake stuff!)

3/4 # cod, cubed

2 fennel seeds

1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more for added heat!)

In a big stew pot, sweat the onion and garlic in the butter for 5-10 minutes over low/med.  Add the parsley and dried herbs and cook for another 5 minutes.  Drop the temp to low and stir in the tomatoes, clam juice, and chicken broth, cover and cook for 1 hour.  Add the white wine and stir well.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the fish and crab leg.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the shrimp and bay scallops and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the mussels and cook for another 5 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook the seafood or it will get a rubbery texure.  Serve the stew immediately.

Bon Appetit!

Roasted Garlic, lentil, white bean and black pepper soup

Here is the recipe for one of our favorite vegan soups.  The original recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz (love her!!) in Vegan with a Vengeance.  The orginal is pretty good, but we like this version better!  It is rich, creamy and PERFECT on a cold and snowy day-LIKE TODAY!  Serve it with a nice green salad, a big slice of vegan cornbread, toasted french bread or a homemade vegan scone.  Of course a nice cold Saison or glass of Chard is the perfect way to wash it down!

Cheers!  Bon Appetit!

Roasted garlic, lentil, white bean and black pepper soup

Serves 4

1/4 c diced parsnips

2 T minced garlic

1/2 c chopped celery

1 c dry northern white beans

3 fennel seeds

2 bay leaves

2 T dried sage (or more to taste) or 1/4 c chopped fresh

2 T peppercorns

2 t freshly ground pepper

1 T evoo

2 heads of roasted garlic mashed

6 cups veg broth

1 c red lentils

1-2 T lemon juice

In a stock pot sweat the celery, parsnips, garlic in the evoo for 5-10 minutes until tender.  Add bay leaves , sage, beans, peppercorns, and 4 c veg broth.  Simmer partially covered for 1-2 hours, until beans are soft.  Add the lentils and 2 c veg broth.  Simmer 1 hour.  Add lemon juice and cook another 15 min.  Add more broth if needed to achieve desired consistency.  Garnish with ground black pepper and herb sprinkle or cilantro.

Rustic Tomato Stew

This is one of my hubby’s favorites.  This is often what he requests when I ask “honey, what do you feel like for dinner tonight??”.  It is thick, rich, easy to make, vegetarian, and hearty enough to be the main course!!  I love that you can enjoy it in the heat of the summer or in the harsh cold of the winter.  A simple green salad and a  full-bodied red are great accompaniments with this classic!

Pappa al Pomodoro

Servings 6-8

1/4 c EVOO, plus 2 T

1/2 large onion chopped

10 cloves of garlic, diced

1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more, to taste)

6 oz very dry (hard as a rock works best) sour dough bread cut into 1/4″ cubes

3 # roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 1/2 c chicken stock

lots of freshly ground pepper

1 c fresh basil leaves, torn

1/2 c grated parmigiano-reggiano plus more for serving

Heat 2 T oil in a med stock pot.  Add the onion and sweat it for about 5 min.  Add the garlic and hot pepper and cook until soft and translucent.  Add remaining oil and bread.  Let the bread slowly take up most of the oil, this should take about 5 min.  Do not break apart the bread cubes with aggressive stirring.  Add tomatoes, stock and black pepper.  Cook for about 15 min.  The soup should be very thick and the bread pieces should be more like baby dumplings now.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  Garnish with a drizzle of evoo a basil leaf and some parm/reggiano shavings.

For a vegetarian meal, just sub in a good quality veg broth for the chicken stock.

Bon Appetit!

Sweet Cornbread

Did I ever think that I would buy a box of Jiffy mix?  That very cheap, small, blue box that sits on the grocery store shelf collecting dust–no way!  Well my dear reader I changed my tune several years ago after eating a rather unimpressive meal at a chain restaurant.  The only food on my plate that I really enjoyed was the cornbread.  I liked it so much that I told the server I thought it was delicious.   Over her shoulder, as she was walking off with our empty plates, she mentioned that Jiffy was responsible for the cornbread.  WHAT?!  Yep, I learned through this very nice gal that it was just 1:1 ratio of Jiffy cornbread mix and Jiffy white cake mix-made according to the recipe the boxes.  I wasn’t sure that I believed her, so I stopped at the store and tried it for myself.  She wasn’t making it up!  So easy and really delicious on its own or with chili or stew.  Guests just rave over my cornbread…even the VEGAN version!!  Thank you Jiffy!!

Sweet Cornbread

Servings 8 (?)

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

1 box Jiffy white cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 c milk

1/2 c water

Mix all ingredients together.  Try not to eat too much of the batter!  Pour into a greased baking pan.  Bake according to the time/temp provided on the box.

Alterations to this recipe:

For spicy cornbread:  add chopped green chilis, japs, or hotter pepper as you like!

Corny cornbread:  add frozen or canned corn.  You will want to cut back on the water that you add to the mix if you use corn or it will take forever to cook and have an odd texture.  Throw some cheese on top to make it really good!

For vegan cornbread:  Skip the eggs.  Replace the milk with soy milk. In a separate bowl mix together 2 T ground flax seed and 2 T water.  Let sit for a minute or two.  The consistency should be similar to egg, if not adjust the water/ground flax seed accordingly.  Add to the mix and follow the remainder of the prep directions according to the box.  I absolutely LOVE the vegan cornbread!  The flax seed gives the sweet mix a nutty flavor and helps keep the cornbread nice and moist!  YUM!


Kahlua stored in Stranahans bottles! Look at the great color and the vanilla seeds on the sides of the bottles!

We have the most awesome neighbors here at 488.  You will hear Celine’s name often as she is a wonderful and creative cook and good friend.  She and her husband Doug often enjoy lively conversations about politics, building, farming and life over a refreshing beverage with Andy and me.  One afternoon she poured a small glass of Kahlua for each of us.  This is not normally something that either of us would choose, nor enjoy…but boy did we!  It was fantastic and HOMEMADE!!  She willingly gave up the recipe.  Andy and I whipped up a batch just as soon as we were able.  We couldn’t believe how simple it was to make and then all you need is a couple of old liquor bottles (or like) for aging.  We have a couple of 8 month old bottles in our liquor cabinet as I type.  Maybe I will end my afternoon with a little nibble of this sweet, brown liquid!?!  Cheers!


2-750 ml bottles

4 c H20

4 c sugar

1/4 c instant coffee

1 qt vodka

1 vanilla bean

Boil the water and sugar for 5 minutes and add the coffee.  Boil another 5 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Add the vodka and vanilla bean and let cool.  Bottle.  Leave alone for a long time (at least 6 months).  Drink with delight!

Kahlua Chili

My mother-in-law, Brenda, makes this AMAZING chili.  A few years ago, after much begging, we finally convinced her to share the recipe.  Our tradition is that we make it on the day of the first snowfall of the year.  It is sooo  delicious, we are often found making it just as soon as the thermometer drops below 60!  Serve it with sweet cornbread!  Check out my other posts for the cornbread and kahlua recipes!

Kahlua Chili

Servings 4-5

1-2 T EVOO

1 large onion chopped

3-4 garlic cloves diced

2# ground beef

1 red bell pepper chopped

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 small can of tomato paste

1 t dried marjoram

1 t ground oregano

2 t cumin

3 T chili powder

salt to taste (1 t is probably good)

1 t cayenne — or more if you like it HOT!

1 can chili beans with the sauce (we like it hot)

1/2 c kahlua

Sweat the onions in the oil in a stew pot for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, bell pepper, chili powder, hot pepper, salt and herbs.  Stir well and cook for another 5 min or so.  Add the ground beef and brown.  Add the crushed tomatoes and paste.  Cook for another 5 min.  Add the chili beans, cover, and cook on low for 20 min or so.  About 5 min before you are ready to serve, add the kahlua and stir in well.

Top with green onions, sour cream, cheese, and/or cilantro

Don’t forget the Beano!!