Sausage Spinach Bean Soup

This soup is so perfect on a cold and rainy day like today. I love the hearty flavor and between the sausage and the beans it’s a filling meal. Just add some biscuits or a slice of homemade bread.

The recipe is from the Cook Once – Eat Twice Cookbook. It has all kinds of recipes that you can fix one day and turn into a different meal the next day. This is a great example. I make a big pot of beans one day and serve them with cornbread and then use the leftovers in a yummy pot of soup like this the next day.

Sausage Spinach Bean Soup
  • 8 oz. pork sausage
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 (19 oz.) cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cup fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, fine shredded
  1. Crumble the sausage into a soup pot, stir in the onion.
  2. Place the pot over medium heat.
  3. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the sausage is cooked.
  4. Add the beans to the pot and stir.
  5. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, add the thyme.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
  7. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the spinach and continue cooking 5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
  9. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese before serving.
  10. Makes 4 servings.

Add some spiral pasta during the last 10 minutes of cooking time for a more filling dish.

Bowl of kielbasa bean and spinach soup

Simple Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I am in love with cauliflower right now. I like it raw, I like it steamed, I like it turned into fake mashed potatoes and I love it in soup. The recipe below couldn’t be any simpler. It’s just a handful of clean ingredients most of which I usually have on hand. Speaking of which, if you don’t have one of the oils used, feel free to use just olive oil or just coconut oil. Just melt the coconut oil before drizzling it on the cauliflower.

I often roast 2 heads of cauliflower when I roast a chicken and then use the bones to make chicken stock. I serve the chicken with half the veggies, setting the other half aside to make this soup the next day along with the chicken stock. Works like a charm.

You can also play around with spices. This is a very basic soup. Add some fresh herbs to make it interesting, or stir in a can of coconut milk in the end and season with plenty of your favorite curry powder. Yum!

Simple Roasted Cauliflower Soup
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • More salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coarsely chop the cauliflower and set it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Back at 400F for 25 minutes or until your cauliflower is pretty soft.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Chop the onion and cook it until it becomes translucent (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the cauliflower and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until everything is very soft.
  7. Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in your kitchen blender until smooth.


home made cauliflower soup

Cool Minty Sweet Pea Soup

Sweet peas and mint are one of those combinations that, once you know about it, you’ll be looking for all kinds of ways to put them together.

This recipe is unusual (especially in my family) because it’s a cold soup.  I don’t make many cold soups, but this one is on the top of my list now. The sweet peas and mint mix perfectly with the cream and turn into a delicious spring treat. This would also be great in late spring and early summer made with fresh sweet peas.

Sweet Pea Soup With Mint
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cups frozen sweet peas
  • 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of creme fraiche (or heavy cream)
  1. In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then stir in the green onions and cook for 2 minutes, then add the sweet peas, stir and heat for 2 more minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and the chopped mint, turn heat down to low, and simmer slowly for 10 minutes.
  2. To puree, use an immersion blender or let cool slightly then put in blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold.
  3. To serve, spoon into pretty bowls and add a drizzle of creme fraiche or heavy cream. Top each serving with a sprig of fresh mint and serve cold. Will make 2 to 4 servings.


Pea soup with mint

Potato Leek Soup Recipe

My mom used to make a soup similar to this (without the spinach) but I never got around to getting her recipe. Instead I browsed through a few different online recipes and came up with this version which we love. I serve this with some homemade biscuits or a slice of sourdough bread fresh from the breadmaker. It’s a perfect cold winter evening meal.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Potato Leek Soup Recipe
Prep time
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Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2-3 leeks, cut lengthwise, then rinsed and sliced
  • 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 7-8 cups of vegetable stock
  • A handful of spinach or other greens, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, cauliflower and garlic and stir to coat with oil. Jamie Oliver recommend putting the lid on askew and letting the ingredients cook for about 10 minutes this way.
  2. Add the potatoes and soup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, put on the lid on the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
  3. Finally, add the spinach or greens and let cook for another 3 minutes or so, until they have softened. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Leek and Potato Soup

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Fall is perfect soup weather and there isn’t much that’s better than a nice cup of pumpkin soup. I love the sweet and savory combination. Add a slice of homemade bread and you have a great lunch or light dinner to warm you up on a cold day.

You can use canned pumpkin as outlined in the recipe, or cook up some fresh pumpkin and puree it, then follow the recipe as outlined below. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Pumpkin Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ¼ C. Margarine or Butter
  • 2 t. Brown Sugar
  • 1 14½ oz. Can Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ½ C. Water
  • ⅛ t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz. Can Pumpkin
  • 1 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk
  1. Chop the onion and garlic while you melt the margarine in a soup pot. Cook the onion and garlic until they are soft and fragrant. Add the sugar and cook until it's melted into the butter/onion mixture.
  2. Add the chicken broth, salt, pepper and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer everything for 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin and stir it until everything is well combined.
  3. Stir in the evaporated milk and cinnamon and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the contents to a blender or food processor and process it until it is smooth.
  5. Place the smooth soup back in the saucepan and warm it up.


Spicy Chicken Tomato Soup

I needed a quick lunch yesterday and started to dig through my pantry. I came up with a large can of diced tomatoes, a can of chicken and a can of green chili… thus my spicy chicken tomato soup was invented. I love these simple, throw-together recipes and this one will quickly become a family staple. Serve it with a slice of homemade bread or some cheese quesadillas for a filling lunch or a simple dinner.

Spicy Chicken Tomato Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 large (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of chicken (8-10 oz depending on brand)
  • 1 small can of green chilis (4 oz)
  1. Put the tomatoes, chicken and chilis with juice and everything into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and if desired a little chicken bullion powder.

Chunky Tomato Soup

If you’re not a big fan of spicy things, add a few diced bell peppers or some chopped celery to the soup. Turn it into a vegetarian version by using tofu instead of chicken. This recipe will work well with any type of canned tomato product. Feel free to use whole tomatoes and break them up a bit as  you cook, or go with crushed tomatoes for a smoother soup.

The Hillbilly Housewife Recommends:

Cooking from the Pantry:  The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creating Fabulous No-Fuss Meals in 30 Minutes or Less

Cooking_from_the_Pantry_Kindle_Cover_625x1000As a busy mom, you know that sometimes dinner time rolls around and you have no clue how to answer, “What’s for dinner?”.

Tracy Roberts knows how that goes but she’s figured out a way to make delicious meals, in 30 minutes or less, that her family enjoys so much that they ask for more.  She shares her strategy in her Kindle ebook, Cooking from the Pantry: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creating Fabulous, No-Fuss Meals in 30 Minutes or Less.

Included inside are Tracy’s basic grocery list, a list of meals she creates from it and a few of her family’s favorite recipes. Click here to get your copy today

Simple Chicken & Dumplings




Tracy Roberts over at Moms In A Blog is putting together a sweet little Kindle ebook called Cooking from the Pantry:  The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creating Fabulous No-Fuss Meals in 30 Minutes or Less and I get to show you a sneak peek.

Here’s a quote from the ebook:

Organization Isn’t The Problem

I am a:

  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Online Business Owner
  • Keeper of My Home
  • Homeschool Teacher

Those things keep me pretty busy.  There are things I choose not to focus on because other things are more important.  For instance, I’d rather sit on the floor playing with my kids than sweep or mop it.

I am not an overly organized person. That doesn’t mean I don’t have structure to my day, it simply means that I don’t take the time to do extensive meal planning, cut coupons or spend a ton of time at the grocery store.

I do, however, cook pretty good meals that my family likes to eat in less time than it takes to watch an episode of your favorite TV show.
I suppose you could call it a system of sorts that I fell into based on the foods I was cooking that actually got consumed.  You know the drill.  Figure out what’s working (or what they’ll eat) and do more of that.

After a bit, I realized the same items kept cropping up on my list so I was able to just stock up on items as needed and when they went on sale I bought extra because I knew I’d be using them.

Can you relate?  I know I can.  In fact, I couldn’t wait to get a few of her yummy sounding recipes so she agreed to share one of her family’s favorites.

Simple Chicken & Dumplings

  • 1 bag Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) Chicken Tenders (or whatever chicken you’d like to use)
  • 1-2 medium Onions, Chopped (We like onions)
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • Chicken Bullion
  • Bisquick
  • Butter
  • Carrots (optional-I add them because the kids will eat them.)

Add a stick of butter to a large pot, melt.
Add bag of chicken and chopped onions.  Cook until chicken is browned and most of the butter is gone.
Break up chicken into pieces/shreds.  I just use the wooden spoon I’m cooking with. Now, add enough water to cover the chicken.  Add bullion, to taste.  I use a powder since it disolves better.  Add the can of evaporated milk.  Adjust water levels & bullion, if needed to create the amount of servings you need.

Mix Bisquick with water and follow the instructions on the box for dumplings, if you prefer to roll them out.  More often than not I just do drop dumplings (like drop biscuits).  I mix the Bisquick & water together and then drop into the pot of boiling soup.

Add carrots, if you’d like and then cook until thickened.

Once thickened to your liking, dinner is ready to be served.

Perhaps I can get her to share a couple more of her recipes to tide you over until the ebook is ready.  In the meantime, please enjoy and let me know what you think.

By the way, you can use the recipe for my Homemade Biscuit Mix instead of Bisquick.  ;-)

Simple Chicken And Dumplings

Irish Coddle Recipe – Perfect For St. Patrick’s Day Lunch

Coddle is a traditional Irish dish and makes a perfect hardy lunch on St. Patty’s Day. It is considered a comfort food in Ireland and is typically eaten during the winter months. Coddle is steamed not boiled so a tight fitting lid on the soup pot is essential. Remember to check your coddle during cooking to ensure it is not boiling. Should it begin to boil, lower your heat to the lowest setting and adjust your cooking time to 2 hours.

  • 1 (1 lb.) pkg. of bacon
  • 2 (1 lb.) pkg. sausage links
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thick
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chunked
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 4 C apple cider
  • 2 t parsley flakes

Place the bacon in a skillet positioned over medium heat. Fry it until it’s nice and crispy. Remove it from the pan and allow it to drain on some paper towels.

coddlePour most of the bacon grease out and brown the sausage links in the same pan. When they are done, remove them and set them aside with the bacon.

Cook the onions in the same pan drippings.  Adjust the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes or until just beginning to soften.

Crumble the bacon into the bottom of large soup pot. Place the cooked sausage into the pot with the bacon. Add the softened onions and garlic cloves. Place the potatoes and carrots into the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour enough of the apple cider over the mixture in the pot to just cover.

Cover the pot and cook over medium low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle the parsley over the coddle  just before serving.

On St. Patrick's Day Everyone Can Be IrishOn St. Patrick’s Day Everyone Can Be Irish

St. Patrick’s Day gives us all an excuse to have some fun and eat delicious comfort foods.

Just thinking about corned beef, cabbage & soda bread give me goose bumps.  Those classic Irish dishes are among some of my favorite but it’s fun when you can find new recipes that make your tummy happy.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be nice to put together some recipes and crafts and create a kindle ebook to celebrate.

You’ll find delicious Irish food along with a bunch of crafts that your family will enjoy creating together.

And remember, with all Kindle ebooks, you don’t need a Kindle to download them. Amazon makes it easy to put right on your computer, laptop, or other e-reader or device. And the price is right, too!

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Luck of the Irish Kettle Soup

Corned beef was originally substituted by the Irish Americans for bacon in the late 1800′s. Many believe that eating corned beef with cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day brings good luck throughout the year. A great way to do that is to make a big pot of this yummy soup.

Irish Kettle Soup

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 1/2 C white onion, chopped
  • 1 C celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 C chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 C carrots, chopped
  • 4 C cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t parsley flakes
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 2 1/2 C cooked corned beef, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 t salt

Luck of the Irish Kettle Soup RecipeMelt the butter in a kettle placed over medium heat.
Add the onion and celery and stir to coat with the butter.
Cook 8 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender, stiring often.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Pour the chicken broth into the kettle.
Carefully stir in the carrots and cabbage.
Add in the bay leaf, parsley, thyme and pepper and stir to incorporate.
Bring the soup to a steady boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and cover the kettle.
Allow the soup to simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Up the heat to medium then stir in the corned beef.
As the soup begins to boil carefully add in the tomatoes.
When the soup has returned to a steady boil reduce the heat again to medium low.
Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Sprinkle in the salt and stir to combine.

On St. Patrick's Day Everyone Can Be IrishOn St. Patrick’s Day Everyone Can Be Irish

St. Patrick’s Day gives us all an excuse to have some fun and eat delicious comfort foods.

Just thinking about corned beef, cabbage & soda bread give me goose bumps.  Those classic Irish dishes are among some of my favorite but it’s fun when you can find new recipes that make your tummy happy.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be nice to put together some recipes and crafts and create a kindle ebook to celebrate.

You’ll find delicious Irish food along with a bunch of crafts that your family will enjoy creating together.

And remember, with all Kindle ebooks, you don’t need a Kindle to download them. Amazon makes it easy to put right on your computer, laptop, or other e-reader or device. And the price is right, too!

Pork and Potato Stew Recipe

This cold weather we’ve been having is making me crave soups and stews. Here’s another quick favorite, a pork and potato stew recipe. It’s a filling one pot meal that makes for easy cooking and cleanup. Give it a try.

Hardy Pork Stew With Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: stew
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 pounds pork stew meat
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, or as needed
  • 8 red potatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1 (14 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup cream of anything soup (or 1 can of your favorite condensed cream soup)
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 2 cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable... homemade is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  1. Start by chopping your vegetables. I cut the potatoes into large bite-sized chunks, and dice the peppers and onion. Set them aside while you brown the stew meat.
  2. Heat the oil in large stock pot. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder and corn starch and use this mixture to coat your stew meat. Cook it in the hot oil until it is browned on all sides.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring the stew mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for about an hour or until the meat is cooked all the way through and the potatoes are tender.
  4. Serve with your favorite homemade bread.

Don’t forget to check out “Soups, Stews and Supper Stretchers” for more delicious recipes.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew

I make this particular chicken stew quite a bit when I can find chicken and bell peppers on sale. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual chicken pot pie, chicken dumplings and or chicken noodle soup.

You can make it with chunks of chicken breast, chicken tenders or my personal favorite boneless, skinless chicken tights. Use whatever is on sale that day. I’ve also made it with pork instead of chicken, but prefer the chicken version.

If you’re craving Chinese food, skip the takeout menu and make a batch of this delicious stew instead.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 5 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or whatever you can find on sale)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1 (10 oz) can of pineapple chunks
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock (homemade is best)
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup of water
  1. Start by cutting your vegetables into small chunks and set them aside. Next, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heath the oil in a large pot and cook the chicken and onion until the chicken is completely browned and the onions are starting to get tender.
  2. Pour the pineapple chunks (with juice) in the pot. Add the vinegar, sugar, and broth. Simmer for 30 minutes. At this point the chicken should be completely cooked.
  3. Add the bell peppers and garlic and simmer for a few more minutes until the peppers are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Last but not least, mix the cornstarch and water together to make a slurry. Pour this mixture into the stew pot and cook for another minute or two until the sauce thickens. Make sure you stir the stew frequently after you add the cornstarch.


This is a great Asian inspired meal. I like the fact that it’s cheaper and healthier than takeout Sweet and Sour Chicken. Stretch this meal by serving it over cooked brown or white rice.

This also freezes really well. I usually make a double or triple batch of this, serve one portion for dinner and freeze the rest. To serve, I put the frozen stew in a pot with a little bit of water in the bottom and allow it to thaw on medium low heat. If the sauce seems too think, add a little more cornstarch to help it thicken. To do this I mix a teaspoon or two of cornstarch in a little cool water and add it to to the stew mixture.

Don’t forget to check out “Soups, Stews and Supper Stretchers” for more delicious recipes.

Sausage Kale Soup Recipe

The latest HBHW Kindle Cookbook came out today and it is full of Winter soup and stew recipes. I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you here. It’s a hardy kale soup with plenty of yummy sausage in it. I love making it with smoked Kielbasa sausage, but it’s also great with a leaner turkey version.

If you’re not a big fan of kale, I encourage you to give it a try anyway. My husband and daughter usually groan whenever there’s Kale on the menu, but both love this dish. Of course you can easily replace the kale with spinach, collard greens or something similar.

Sausage and Kale Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz. smoked sausage, chopped
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 8 oz. coarsely chopped kale
  • 1 16-oz. can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic and sausage and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans and kale. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the kale is tender - approximately 15-20 minutes.

Don’t forget to check out “Soups, Stews and Supper Stretchers” for more delicious recipes.

Tomato Dumpling Stew

One of our readers was looking for a recipe for stewed tomatoes with dumplings.  The following is the recipe a commenter suggested, but I tweaked it a little (major difference is reducing the sugar quite a bit.)  You can also use fresh tomatoes, diced up with liquid from the tomatoes reserved.  If you do, you may have to add a little water (or broth) to the stew to make up for the liquid that you would have from the canned tomatoes. If you have basil or oregano handy that would also be tasty.

Comment in the space below if you try this recipe and let us know what you think.

Tomato Dumpling Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Stew
Serves: 2
  • 1 (14 oz size) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar, more or less to taste
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup biscuit baking mix*
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  1. In a soup pot, put the diced tomatoes (along with all liquid in can), add the sugar, salt, black pepper, and butter, stir.
  2. Put on medium-high heat and bring mixture to a gentle boil, then turn down, cover, and simmer slowly for 15 minutes or until creamy and bubbling hot, stirring often.
  3. Prepare the dumplings in a separate bowl by mixing together the dry biscuit mix with milk until just combined - don't over mix - the dough should be slightly lumpy.
  4. Uncover pot and divide the biscuit dough into 4 sections and drop onto the tomatoes. Cover pot and continue simmering slowly for 10 minutes - do not peek! Uncover and test dumplings for doneness by inserting a toothpick into a dumpling; it should come out clean.
  5. Spoon into 2 bowls, each bowl getting 2 dumplings.


*Can use prepackaged biscuit baking mix or you may want to make your own homemade biscuit mix.

Cold Tomato Basil Soup

Our farmers market in town is overflowing with fresh garden-ripe tomatoes and of course I couldn’t resist. Here’s what we had for lunch a few days ago. It’s a cold tomato basil soup, perfect for a warm day. I did the cooking early in the morning while it was still cool and then stored it in the fridge until we were ready to eat. Add cheese sandwiches or buttered toast to round out your meal.

For more delicious tomato recipes, check out The Tomato Cookbook on Amazon Kindle

Cold Tomato Basil Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
  • 3 pounds tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth*
  • 2 yellow onions
  • ¼ cup tomato puree
  • 7 to 10 basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash your tomatoes and cut a small X at the bottom of each. Drop them into boiling water for one minute. Use a slotted spoon to dorp them into a bowl of ice water. The skin should start to come off. Peel your tomatoes and cut them in half. Squeeze out any seeds and roughly chop the tomatoes. Drop them into a large pot.
  2. Add your chicken broth* to the pot. Chop the onion and basil and add it to the pot as well. Last but not least add the tomato puree and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Turn it down and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender to blend up your soup. Don't have one of those? Allow the mixture to cool and then process it in your blender in batches.
  4. Season with balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. My husband also likes quite a bit of pepper in his.
  5. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then move it to the fridge and allow it to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  6. * For a vegetarian version use vegetable broth. If you don't have homemade broth on hand, use water and bullion cubes or powder.

This soup freezes well. Pour leftovers into freezer containers and freeze for up to a year. Thaw in the fridge overnight to use it.

This is a great recipe to use when you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with and it’ll also use up some of your basil. I  have a potted basil plant on my patio and it is growing out of control (which is a good problem to have).

Depending on how many tomatoes you have, make a double batch of this soup and freeze it to use throughout the year.

Classic Cream Of Carrot Soup

  • 4 strips of bacon, diced small
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 lbs carrots, scrubbed or peeled and diced small
  • 10 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot over low heat, cook the bacon and onion together until the fat cooks off the bacon and the onion is soft and transparent. This should take about 10 minutes; be sure you keep the heat low.
Add the carrots to the pot, cover the pot and continue to cook over very low heat for 10 minutes.
Pour the vegetable stock into the pot now, cover the pot, and over very low heat, continue to simmer for 50 to 60 minutes.
When soup is done, pour the soup through a wire mesh colander over a another soup pot and let liquid drain through. Then take a spoon and press the solids in the colander gently to press what you can through the mesh. Whatever doesn’t squeeze through, you can leave and discard.
Into the strained soup, stir in the heavy cream and put back on low heat and stir, heating until just warm enough to serve, but do not boil.
Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
You will have enough for about 4 to 6 bowls of soup, depending on what else you’re serving.

If you like, fry up some crispy bacon to garnish the soup. A little sprinkle of fresh chopped dill is also a nice touch, and maybe a swirl of yogurt. Golden raisins is another garnish you might want to consider, especially for kids!

Making soup with vegetables and cream is a classic French dish, especially in the country. Even though I have made my share of cream-based vegetable soups, carrot soup is one that I’ve skipped for some reason. If you’re like me, you will be pleasantly surprised when you find out just what you’ve been missing. Give this recipe a try and I bet you’ll add it to your favorites list.