Cauliflower Soup, Cheese Toast and a Chilewich Placemat

It was cold here in Charleston, SC this past winter, well… for us anyway! There were several occasions that called for a pot of hot, comforting soup. I ran across this recipe on a blog called The Girl Who Ate Everything – and thought it sounded good, so I gave it a whirl (original recipe via Taste of Home!) – It’s a winner! Click HERE to print my version as shown above… (Thanks Mom for the reminder to actually add the link!) ūüėć Continue reading “Cauliflower Soup, Cheese Toast and a Chilewich Placemat”

Split Pea Soup Recipe with Sweet Potato and Bacon Garnish!

Tyler Florence's Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potato and Bacon Garnish
Tyler Florence’s Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potato and Bacon Garnish

I ran across the best recipe for Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potato & Bacon Garnish¬†in People magazine! Tyler Florence‘s recipes are always fabulous and this is no exception. We had a bag of organic split peas from Whole Foods, yet hadn’t used them… actually, I have never used split peas. Neither of us are big on thick soups. So the one thing I changed? I didn’t blend part of the peas after cooking (which thickens the soup), it still thickened itself somewhat, it was just perfect! The garnish made it over the top good. Cutting up a few slices of good bacon and putting it on a baking sheet along with sweet potatoes cut up small… oooowie, magic happens I’m telling you! It is unbelievable to me how much taste is in split peas! As you see below, in the actual soup part of the recipe, there are split peas, salt, pepper, lemon juice, (I didn’t have thyme leaves, so I did not use, and I only used parmesan once, could barely tell a difference). Yet those pretty green peas are TASTY with a capital “T”!

There aren’t a lot of ingredients – this is simply too easy! There is no soaking of the peas before hand. Another step that makes it that much easier! ‚ú®Just be sure to give the split peas a good rinse right before adding to the pot (rinses away any dirt)…

Click HERE to print the recipe (as shown below!) | barbara stroud

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe – Quick and Easy!
Cooking Light’s Cheesy Potato Soup

Nothing can heat your innards like a good bowl of soup. This is an easy one, and oh so delicious. I double the recipe so we have leftovers. This soup will warm your soul (I’m not being dramatic, really)!

Cheesy Potato Soup – recipe by Cooking Light magazine ( – Click HERE to print.

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chopped red potato (about 1 pound)
1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped green onions



Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender.


Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring onion mixture constantly.


Add potato, milk, broth, and 1/2 cup water to pan; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese and ground red pepper (IMPORTANT NOTE: remove from heat as soon as it melts so that it doesn’t curdle); cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Top each serving evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped green onions.

Note‚Ķ my secret‚Ķ I use a potato masher and squish the potatoes a bit‚Ķ I’m not mashing them per se but breaking down the chunks a bit so they’re smaller‚Ķ this is tasty soup!

The important note above‚Ķ removing the pan from the heat as soon as the cheese starts melting. I didn’t see this note at the top of the recipe and didn’t do it. It curdled‚Ķ tasted great but didn’t look as good as it could have. Next time I think I will just opt to add it to each individual bowl as you can see in the top photo I over sprinkled‚Ķ For as good as this soup is it’s quite hard to believe that it was this quick and easy! Thanks to Cooking Light for yet another great recipe!


O n e  Y e a r  A g o:           Artist to watch… Diane May!

T w o ¬†Y e a r s ¬†A g o: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Vacant officer’s home in Charleston – old Navy base…

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:   Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie Recipe!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Short Rib Vegetable Soup Recipe‚Ķ perfect for a cold day!

Short Rib Soup
Short Rib Soup

This recipe has been a family favorite for as far back as I can remember. My mom and dad are both excellent in the kitchen, and this is one of those soup’s you can throw together with whatever sounds good at the time, which is convenient. Add vegetables that take the longest to cook earlier in the recipe, and others that cook quickly (spinach), towards the end. Any spices that you enjoy will work well. I can remember having this with amazing French bread growing up! Hope you enjoy one of my staple recipes‚Ķ click HERE to print this recipe without photos…


To recap…

Set out your ingredients, wash potatoes, greens, etc. if using…

Brown the short ribs in a little olive oil – use a heavy bottom pan if possible…


Chop, chop, chop‚Ķ Sometimes I saut√© the carrots with the onion/celery, sometimes I don’t‚Ķ whatever‚Ķ easy peasy, no worries!

This time I browned the short ribs and got nice crusties on the bottom of the pan, and THEN I sautéed the onion and celery… Last time I did it all together. No rules… do what you like!


Saute veggies…


Add short ribs back to the pot… when this soup is done the meat will fall off the bone… heavenly!


Add that biggee can of tomatoes and juice, as well as at least one big can of water (or more)…


Add the beef consomm√©‚Ķ. this gives it a nice rich flavor…


Add the big carton of beef broth‚Ķ as the soup cooks down add more broth/water…


And any spices you like…


The secret is the center of the celery stalk with the leaves, throw it in whole…  this will give the soup an amazing flavor!


Now, take the meat off the bone and fat Рtoss it back in the pan… yum!

Now‚Ķ a story about the photo‚Ķ if that baguette looks frozen, it’s because it is! I made soup yesterday for dinner with a hot, crusty baguette. I took photos along the way, but then we were hungry‚Ķ so we ate. Once the soup was in the fridge‚Ķ Dang it! I realized I had forgotten to take a photo‚Ķ so I just had lunch, and snapped a photo‚Ķ baguette was frozen to use at a later date, but it looks nice, huh? Hee‚Ķ.


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…        Featured Artist… Karin Olah Knowlton!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Med Pasta Recipe (shrimp, feta, spinach pasta, artichokes!)

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Kale and White Bean Soup recipe – New Year’s Day!

Kale & White Bean Soup

Well HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 to you! What’s better than starting out the new year with something healthy? This soup is so good on a cold day, it heats you from the inside out! Note that it truly is better made a few days ahead, but it’s perfectly acceptable on day one! Have a small bowl and enjoy your day… then settle down to a big bowl in a night or two, you won’t be sorry! I served it with a small salad and an olive baguette that I heated up from Trader Joe’s… oooowie!

Here’s¬†the printer friendly version from Epicurious, it’s a keeper for sure!

I used Great Northern beans which were so perfect in this soup. Silky smooth without falling apart, even after several days of reheating!

I want to mention that adding the parmesan rind (from all the reviews I read) is IMPERATIVE! Don’t skip that step. We’re fortunate to have a Whole Foods nearby, I bought a container of them for $1.80, enough for several pots of soup!

The recipe says 1 bay leaf (not from California). Not sure where my bay leaf was from, it didn’t say?? It was fine!

For the sausage… I’m not a big smoked sausage kind of gal… wanted something healthier, so I opted for fresh chicken hot Italian sausage¬†and it was PERFECT! Just the right amount of bite that livened this soup up nicely. Mild Italian sausage would be nice as well.

I left out the carrots. They would have been pretty, but my husband isn’t a big lover of carrots in soup, and I thought they could easily be left out of this soup, although I might do a few long shreds into the soup next time for color…

I used local Kale… not sure what variety it was, but it was fabulous!

When I make a recipe I like to have all my ingredients measured out and ready to go…

Soup Ingredients I

Ingredients II

I snip the ends off the sausage and cut longways and the sausage falls right out of the casing… brown it, drain it and set it aside to add near the end of the recipe…

Chicken Hot Italian Sausage

Kale And White Bean Soup

Gourmet | February 2002

Yield: Makes 6 main-course servings
Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 3 hr


1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely choppedAccompaniment:provolone toasts


Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

‚ÄĘSoup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.‚ÄĘLacinato is available at farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores. Be aware that it has many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, and flat black cabbage.

Let me know how you like it! It’s a super tasty, soul warming treat!
Soup anyone?

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Fabulous Bean Soup – it can’t be easier!


This soup is amazing. When it’s cold outside it will warm you. With all the beans it will fill you up and keep you full for a long time. I used a ham bone from Honey Baked Ham and it had a good bit of ham on it. There was the perfect amount, so I didn’t need to buy extra. This soup is outstanding! This is a collaboration of several recipes. Note: I DID NOT USE THE SEASONING PACKET…

Why didn’t you use the seasoning packet you ask? Well, because there isn’t anything that even remotely resembles “ham” and if there was, how would they get it in that tiny little packet? This is what’s in the seasoning “HAM” packet: Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (omg, click orange link to read what it is!), maltodextrin, salt, artificial flavorings (including artificial smoke flavor), silicon dioxide. Ok, what in that list appeals to you? One rule to becoming healthier… don’t eat stuff you can’t pronounce, don’t know where it comes from or ISN’T REAL! Soy protein for ham flavoring? Creeps. Me. Out. All you have to do is add a few spices and this recipe goes from being CREEPY to being a true delight! AND it only takes a minute to add a few spices. Here’s how I made the soup (click HERE to print recipe only):

15 (or 16 or whatever beans you’ve got!) BEAN SOUP


1 pkg of 15 Bean Soup (dried beans only) – approximately a pound, give or take

1 ham bone – whatever size will fit in your pot (mine came from Honey Baked Ham, they sell their ham bones and they have quite a bit of ham, if you don’t have a ham place near you, you can use 1 pound of ham, ham hocks or smoked sausage).

1 large onion, chopped.

1 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes

3 quarts water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 bay leaf

Pepper (I didn’t use salt because of the salt in the ham/bone, it didn’t need a speck!)


Wash the beans and then soak in a large pot of water overnight (or for at least eight hours). Or you can use the Quick Cook Method (which is what I did because I decided to make the soup that day) – to do this rinse the beans then put them in a large pot with 3 quarts of water and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat, cover and continue on a slow boil for 60-70 minutes, and then drain the beans and rinse one last time.

In a large dutch oven, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and celery and saute until translucent. Add minced garlic, saute 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add spices, beans, tomatoes and ham bone.

Cover with about 3 quarts of water, or enough to either cover the bone or fill your pot.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer about 1.5 hours.

Remove the ham bone, let cool a few minutes and cut the ham off the bone into small pieces.

Remove the bay leaf and add the diced ham back to the pot.

Serve… I served with an olive baguette from Trader Joe’s that I heated in the oven, then dipped in olive oil.

TOO GOOD, and it makes a large pot, so there is enough to eat, have lunches, and freeze!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup recipe… (just like grandma’s!)

I’ve made so many different chicken noodle soup recipes. Most were good, a few weren’t great… None were the WOW recipe I had been searching for. Then one day as I sniffled, sneezed and coughed with the crud that’s going around, an email appeared in my Inbox… Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup. JUST WHA T THE DOCTOR ORDERED! What could I lose? I mean chicken noodle soup has been proven to help make you feel better when you’re sick… so off I went to hunt and gather my ingredients and I threw together a perfectly wonderful soup. It was fabulous… I deviated from the recipe slightly… using only chicken breasts (they were GIGANTIC) instead of a whole chicken, which I don’t have a pot large enough to stuff one into… See my notes at the end… Thank you Tyler!

Before you start, watch this video (Food Network, Tyler Florence), it shows in 3 minutes how he made the stock and the soup… it could not be easier – The video begins with a quick commercial and then shows the soup making process in short order.



  • 2 tablespoons¬†extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3¬†garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2¬†celery¬†ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1¬†bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 8 ounces dried wide¬†egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh¬†flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Chicken Stock:

  • 1 whole¬†free-range chicken¬†(about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed,¬†giblets¬†discarded
  • 2¬†carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
  • 2 large white¬†onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 1¬†turnip, halved
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2¬†bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.

Yield: 2 quarts

MY NOTES: I only had 2# chicken breasts with bones and skin, so I made the stock as directed, adding just enough water to cover the chicken. 2 chicken breasts was plenty of meat, however, I had to supplement the stock by using one carton of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock since mine didn’t make as much. I caution against using ALL chicken stock from a carton. By cooking the chicken with these veggies that are unpeeled and quick to throw together it imparts such a fabulous homemade taste, I would not skip that step.¬†

Manischewitz Wide Egg Noodles – Image: Meijer

I also didn’t have fresh thyme or bay leaves. Next time I will use dried bay leaves again, but buy some fresh thyme, it will have a fresher taste. The recipe calls for 8 oz. of dried wide egg noodles. In the video he uses a few handfuls. Since I’ve made soup in the past that has sucked up all the liquid with the noodles I used 3 handfuls, about 1/2 of a 12 oz. package. I also used Manischewitz Wide Egg Noodles, which can be found at your local grocery store, usually in the Jewish section. They are a bit thinner and easier to eat. Very taste.

This soup was fabulous and made quite a bit – hope you enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

TREATS of Maine located in Wiscasset. It’s a tradition!

Oh boy do we ever love this place! TREATS is the perfect blend of, well treats, wonderful desserts, coffee, tea, sandwiches, homemade soups that are unusual and out of this world. We are never disappointed with what we order! When we visit Maine, we land, get in the car and head straight to Treats. If you’re in the area, stop by, say hello and pick up a treat and a coffee. It’s all good! They also have bread, wine, cheese and assortment of other goods. Can’t wait to get back, hmmm, wonder what i’ll order, hee.

Treats is a wonderful place to sit and talk to both locals and tourists, we’ve met some fascinating people!

One of our sandwiches…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A nice warm bowl of comfort food… Cooking Light’s highly rated BAKED POTATO SOUP

Cooking Light's Baked Potato Soup

Sometimes I just want a nice hot bowl of comfort food. This is the ticket. It’s one of the best soup recipes from Cooking Light magazine. The taste is out of this world. It’s not terribly time consuming to make. The last time I made this soup I baked the potatoes while I had the oven on for a meal the day before, so it was quite fast to throw together. This is one of those recipes that makes your eyes roll back in your head, ha ha… too tasty! Trust me, you will love it. The only the I did differently is add more milk and a wee bit less flour so it would be quite so thick. I think the essential part of the soup is adding cheese (I used 2% Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp), crumbled CRISPY bacon and green onions (or chives). Let me know how you like it! Trust me, it’s a winner… Copied from…


Baked Potato Soup


  • 4¬†baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup¬†all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
  • 6 cups¬†2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cup¬†(4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup¬†reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup¬†chopped green onions, divided
  • 6¬†bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • Cracked black pepper (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400¬į.
  • Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400¬į for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories:¬†329
  • Calories from fat:¬†30%
  • Fat:¬†10.8g
  • Saturated fat:¬†5.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat:¬†3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat:¬†0.7g
  • Protein:¬†13.6g
  • Carbohydrate:¬†44.5g
  • Fiber:¬†2.8g
  • Cholesterol:¬†38mg
  • Iron:¬†1.1mg
  • Sodium:¬†587mg
  • Calcium:¬†407mg
Catch you back here tomorrow!