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Category: Soups

White Chicken Chili

3 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat and skin
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
3 medium poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces
3 medium Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces
2 medium onions, cut into large pieces (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup white corn **optional**
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 cup white wine **optional**
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, white and light green parts sliced thin

Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and lightly brown on other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; remove and discard skin.

In food processor, process half of jalapenos chiles, poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions until consistency of chunky salsa, ten to twelve one-second pulses, scraping down sides of work bowl halfway through. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining jalapenos, poblanos, Anaheims and onions; combine with first batch (do not wash food processor blade or work bowl).

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. Add chile-onion mixture, red bell pepper, corn, garlic, cumin, coriander and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables turn translucent, about 8 minutes. Add white wine and cook for2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now empty food processor work bowl. Add 1 cup beans and 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add vegetable-bean puree, remaining 2 cups of broth and chicken breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Stir in remaining beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are heated through and chili has thickened slightly (about 10 minutes).

When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding bones. Stir shredded chicken, lime juice, cilantro, and scallions into chili and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges.


1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups sliced okra (about 8 ounces)
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Heat oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until it is hot and shimmers, about 3 minutes. Slowly sprinkle flour into the pot, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to prevent any lumps from forming. Cook, stirring constantly (and taking care to scrape out the corners of the pot), until roux is dark brown (it should resemble melted chocolate), about 25 to 30 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm.

Over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or other large pot, brown the sausage for about 8-10 minutes.   Remove from pot and set aside.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay and the rest of the herbs & spices.  Cook until vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes.  Add in check and cook 4 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes, cook 1 minute.

Slowly stir in reserved chicken broth, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, then stir in okra and andouille. Slowly pour in darkened roux and stir to mix thoroughly.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste gumbo to check for seasoning. If necessary, add more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over cooked white rice or with french bread, topped with scallions and parsley.


8 cups stock (4 beef and 4 chicken is optimal)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
6 whole cloves  (about 1/2 teaspoon ground clove)
3 star anise  (or 1 teaspoon fennel seed)
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1 (3-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, halved
3 garlic cloves

4 ounces uncooked wide rice stick noodles (banh pho)
Cooking spray
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1.5 lbs sirloin, eye of round, or flank steak sliced very thin against the grain  (or 3 cups shredded cooked chicken/turkey)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 3)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 cup fresh mint sprigs
6 lime wedges
1 jalapeño/chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Hoisin sauce (optional)
Sriracha (or other hot chile sauce; optional)

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes covered. Strain broth through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Return broth to pan; keep warm.

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat a grill or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until charred on each side. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Slice onion thinly; add to broth.

Add meat and next 6 ingredients (through salt) to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Place about 1/2 cup noodles in each of 6 bowls. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups broth mixture over each serving. Serve with cilantro, mint, lime wedges, and jalapeño. Serve with hoisin and Sriracha, if desired.

Other optional vegetables: bok choy, daikon, shitake, bamboo shoots, red bell pepper, red onion, broccoli

French Onion Soup

4 lbs. yellow onion, sliced lengthwise
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1 tsp thyme (several sprigs)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
cracked black pepper and salt to taste
french baguette, 1/2 inch slices
1/4 lb. gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the onions, halve them, and slice lengthwise. Spray the inside of a dutch oven with cooking spray then add the butter, onions, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with the lid and place in the oven and cook for 1 hour.

Stir the onions after the one hour of cooking, being sure to scrape any browned bits away from the edges. Replace the lid, leaving it cracked open about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring again after 1 hour.

Place french bread slices on a baking sheet in the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Move the dutch oven to the stove over Medium-High heat. Stir the onions often and watch carefully while cooking for 15-20 minutes while a fond develops. Add 1/4 cup of water to deglaze the pan and cook until water evaporates and another fond forms, about 5-7 minutes. Repeat this process 2-3 times until a rich, dark mahogany color develops in the onions. Add 1/2 cup dry sherry and cook off the alcohol for about 5 minutes.

Add the 4 cups chicken broth, 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into 6-8 oven safe bowls, float french bread croutons in each bowl, and top with shredded gruyere (about 1/4 cup for each bowl). Place under the broiler until cheese bubbles and begins to brown (about 2-3 minutes).

Garden Minestrone

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped carrot
3 cups chopped zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium)
1 cup fresh white shoepeg corn kernels (about 2 ears or 1 can)
4 cups chopped tomato, divided (2 15-ounce cans diced tomato)
3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
Salt, to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup uncooked macaroni or ditalini pasta
1 (15.5-ounce) can Cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano cheese

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add oregano, thyme, basil, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in zucchini, carrot, and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.

Place 3 cups tomato and 1 can broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add tomato mixture to pan; return pan to heat. Stir in remaining 1 cup tomato and remaining 2 cans broth; bring mixture to a boil. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and let wilt. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese

Mongolian Hot Pot

2 1/2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces flank steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch wide strips and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
6 cups thinly sliced bok choy (about 1 pound)
1 cup (about 2 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup carrot, sliced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups hot water
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
4 ounces uncooked soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil, divided

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 1/2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add beef mixture to pan; stir-fry 1 minute or until browned. Remove beef mixture from pan; set aside.

Add bok choy, mushrooms, carrot, and green onions to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes or until bok choy begins to wilt. Add water, hoisin, soy sauce, and broth; bring to a boil. Stir in noodles. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until noodles are done. Stir in beef mixture and vinegar. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; drizzle each serving with 1/4 tsp sesame oil.

Italian Woods Bean Soup

8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, sliced into small pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (15oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15oz) cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 (6oz) bag fresh baby spinach leaves (about 3 cups)

Heat a large saucepan with olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook sausage for 5-8 minutes, until it browns, and remove from the pan.  Add carrots, onion, and garlic; saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, herbs, salt, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender (be sure there is no sausage in the soup), and process until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to pan and add in the cooked sausage. Simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

North Woods Bean Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces turkey kielbasa, split and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 (15oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 (15oz) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6oz) bag fresh baby spinach leaves (about 3 cups)

Heat a large saucepan with olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook kielbasa for 5-8 minutes, until it browns, and remove from the pan.  Add carrots, onion, and garlic; saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add the broth, herbs, salt, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender (be sure there is no sausage in the soup), and process until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to pan and add in the cooked kielbasa. Simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

3/4 lb. ground sirloin
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste (about 1 tsp each)
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (16-19oz) can kidney beans (red, northern, or cannellini)
4 (15oz) cans low sodium chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1.5 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1.5 tsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup dried elbow pasta
1 cup Parmesan cheese, for garnish
extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
1/4 fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Brown the ground sirloin in a large pot over medium heat. Drain the fat and set the beef aside. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper.  Saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, ground sirloin, herbs, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat then simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Add the beans halfway through to prevent overcooking

Cook the pasta separate and add to the soup at the last minute to warm through (Cooking separate is best if you plan on having leftovers so the noodles don’t turn to mush). Alternatively, you can cook the pasta in the soup pot for 8-10 minutes, until noodles are tender.  Ladle the soup into bowl and garnish with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Chili oil also makes a great topping.

Chili Oil:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper

In a small hot saute pan, add oil and garlic.  Saute until golden, then add chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, Remove from the heat and let infuse.

Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya

2 Tbsp olive oil
8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 cups finely chopped red bell pepper (about 3 whole peppers)
3 cups finely chopped yellow onion (about 2 whole onions)
2 cups finely chopped celery (about 4-5 stalks)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups chopped boneless chicken breast (about 3 breast halves)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup tomato puree/sauce
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (about 2 cans)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until sizzling quiets (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add bell pepper, onion, celery, and bay leaves; cook until vegetables are golden brown, sizzle, and begin to squeak (about 14 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add chicken and next 8 ingredients (through garlic); cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato puree; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is cooked (can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the rice). Discard bay leaves. Stir in green onions. Check for seasoning.