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February 27, 2016

Basic Potato Soup with Options

Everybody loves a good bowl of soup now and then. There are so many recipes to choose from. To help with the decision I've created this basic version with suggestions for making it your own. All you have to do is add a few of your favorite ingredients. You could actually have a different version every week.

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January 30, 2016

Chorizo, Lentil and Vegetable Stew

Rich in flavor and packed with nutrients. Lentils are combined with chorizo and vegetables for a complete meal.

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Chorizo, Lentil and Vegetable Stew

Rich in flavor and packed with nutrients. Lentils are combined with chorizo and vegetables for a complete meal.

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January 27, 2016

Creamy Avocado Soup with Tomato Lump Crab Relish

The Glass Bazaar Cooking classes are so much fun. I really enjoyed our recent Super Soups Class. The avocado soup was one of their favorites. It was served with a Minted Mango, Pineapple and Jicama Salad.

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November 24, 2015

Red Wine Beef Stew

This stew is definitely comfort food. It is richly flavored with wine, beef broth, onions and carrots. Several other cuts of meat will work but for this recipe I selected a chuck roast. I have used left over sirloin steak before and it was perfect.

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November 11, 2015

Brazilian Black Bean and Chorizo Stew

Chorizo is a highly seasoned pork sausage flavored with garlic, chili powder and other spices. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh pork and the Spanish version uses smoked pork. Both sausages were available for the class, creating amazing flavor.

This is one of the tastiest stews I've ever had. I recently featured this recipe in a Foods of Latin America cooking class. The sweet provided by the sweet potatoes and the heat from the sausage makes a great combination of flavors. The stew is served with a mango salsa that adds just the right balance of sweet and sour.

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August 31, 2015

Mom's Beef Stew

Mom always canned tomatoes in the summer and used the juice for chili, soups and sauces. I have been canning for 30 years myself and home made tomato juice makes every dish so much better. If you don't have access to home made, try Campbell's Tomato juice.

Use the Pepper encrusted beef roast from last night's dinner and save time. The meat is cooked, tender and full of great flavor.

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February 26, 2015

Pork and Pasta Stew

This was a left over freezer soup success. I love to make soup out of left overs. So don't ever throw anything away. Put it in the freezer then once a month on clean out day create your own version. Use what you have and save money and time.

I created this dish from left over tomato soup and pork roast. I always have some type of pasta in the pantry. Add a few herbs and spices and you're on your way to real comfort food.

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January 28, 2015

Tuscan Style Beef Stew

My dinner guests loved this recipe. How do I know? Because they said so and they asked for the recipe. Anytime someone asks for the recipe that tells me they enjoyed. It is a favorite from Cook Illustrated, but check out my notes because I made a few notes that might be helpful.
For one, you can use onions if you don't have shallots. Shallots are in the onion family but are formed more like garlic. They are slightly milder than onions and you'll probably notice that shallots cost more.

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January 21, 2015

Curried Bean and Pepper Soup

This isn't your everyday bowl of beans. Curry, allspice and ginger provide a very flavorful soup and the peppers add color, texture and more flavor.

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Beef, Beer, and Barley Stew

Try this uniquely different stew, topped with a horseradish herb relish and roasted beets.
The flavor profile begins with sautéed onions and beef, browning the beef until it has a nice crust on all sides. Barley, a hardy grain is added with carrots and mushrooms.

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December 19, 2014

Bean and Lentil Stew with Sausage

Soup is perfect comfort food especially when it is cold and damp outside and you are feeling chilled to the bone and need to warm up your core.

I signed up at work to bring lentil soup to our annual fund raiser. I had recently cooked a pot of pinto beans for chili and had about 3 cups left so I decided to add that to the mix. When I looked at it, I thought it looked a little out of balance so I added Cannellini beans, a type of white bean. It all came together perfectly.

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November 17, 2014

November food and wine dinner

Our last dinner party featured Argentinian wines. There are many varietals but one of the more popular wines is Malbec. Even though Malbec is a difficult grape to grow, it does very well in the Mendoza area. This wine was served with a Pumpkin Stew.

The stew had so much going on that it was like a flavor party. The pumpkin was roasted with beef broth, herbs and spices that was used as the base for the stew.

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May 05, 2014

Sicilian Tomato Soup with Garlic and Fresh Shaved Parmesan

A richly flavored dish that is simple to make puts this recipe at the top of my list of favorites.
Use fresh tomatoes when in season, otherwise use canned tomato puree. If you like more texture use canned diced tomatoes, they will hold their shape even after several hours of cooking.

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March 17, 2014

Roasted Wild Mushroom Soup

Rather than using heavy cream, this recipe uses a roux and pureed mushrooms to thicken into a rich broth.

Adding a variety of mushrooms will also deepen the flavor profile. Cremini and shiitake are a great choice. If you use shiitake, add them towards the end of the sauté process. They toughen when cooked too long on high heat.

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February 24, 2014

White Bean and Ham Soup

Bean soup is a great way to use the ham bone from a Holiday ham dinner. We usually have a spiral cut ham for Christmas and/or Easter dinner and I put the bone into the freezer until I'm in the mood for a good ole bowl of soup beans.

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February 13, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings are one of the all time best comfort foods. It takes me back to cooking with my grandmother. She taught me how to make Chicken and Dumplings. She called the dumplings "slicks". They were thin, shiny and firm. Although many people are used to doughy dumplings, I think slicks are by far the best.

You can easily make dumplings from canned biscuits. I used to do that when I was in a hurry. My dad uses large egg noodles for his. It is really the easy way and very good. The important thing is to have a rich flavored broth made by cooking the chicken in a stock pot with onions and seasoning.

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December 03, 2013

Chicken Corn Chowder

If a simple, tasty, and comforting bowl of soup for a cold winter day is in order then try this recipe.

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November 25, 2013

Lobster Bisque

Serve something different during the Holidays but be aware, lobster prices are soaring due to its ever increasing popularity. If you take the time with this recipe though you can create amazing flavor with two medium to large lobster tails.

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August 14, 2013

Red Pepper Bisque with Citrus Crab Salad

This soup can be served with or without the salad, or the salad can be served on the side. Either way the colors and textures offer a rich and delicious dish.

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April 24, 2013


Cassoulets create fragrant, mouthwatering aromas and make a sumptuous meal. Originating in southern France, the casserole always contains meat, beans and herbs with many variations each having it's own personality.

To decrease the cooking and prep time use Bush's Best Beans

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January 25, 2013

Cheddar and Ale Soup

Ale is brewed from MALT and HOPS, the hops creates a stonger flavor. A light Ale is used to give the soup the best color.

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January 02, 2013

3 Sausage Lentil Stew

Dried lentils are high in protein and iron, making them a good substitute for meat. If you prefer a meatless dish follow these directions and just simpley omit the sausage.

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April 12, 2012


If you make the stock in advance this soup is very simple to make. Plan ahead and enjoy a unique flavor combination between the rich beef stock and the dill pickles.

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December 28, 2011

Indian Meat Stew

Cardomom, cinnamon and cumin create the flavor profile for many Indian dishes. Lamb or beef can be used depending on your preference.

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Savory Three Bean Soup

cooking dried beans is very cost effective but takes a little more time. It is best to soak them overnight.

Soup beans can be a wonderful vegeterian alternative, they are high in protein and with herbs and spices can be very flavorful without adding meat

Some consider soup beans comfort food dating back at least 4,000 years. Just remember to eat them among friends because the results from the oligosaccharides they produce can be somewhat offensive.

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December 11, 2011

Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Stew

Serve this stew with some crusty bread and a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Follow with curly endive salad, and baked fruit for dessert

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Butternut Squash and Bourbon Bisque

Winter squashes are at their peak during the winter months so enjoy them while they are available. Reap the benefits of winter vegetables and stay warm this season with this delicious, warming soup. Warm up even more with an extra shot of bourbon. The bourbon for this recipe should be aged with rich flavors.

Use a dry to medium dry sherry.
Both bourbon and sherry are optional.

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November 07, 2011

Smoky Beef Chili

The beef broth added to this chili creates a rich and flavorful broth. Any stew or soup made the night before allows time for the flavors to develop.

I also used my home canned tomatoes to replace the store bought tomato products and I added one can of refried beans to thicken the chili.

My secret ingredient was 2 tablespoons Pampered Chef's Smoked Apple wood Rub. This gave the chili a wonderful rich and smoky flavor.

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October 24, 2011

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Parmesan Croutons

I make a large batch and can them in the summer when my tomatoes are in. Garden fresh tomatoes are the best but if they are not in season use Hunt's diced tomatoes.

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Brazilian Feijoada (pronounced fay-zwah-da)

I selected this recipe specifically for the Don Manuel Villafañe Reserve Malbec 2008 featured from the winery of the week at Campbell Station Wine and Spirits. I served it at our last dinner party and it was a hit. The stew is prepared in a slow cooker making it easy for a party or a busy night. The richness of the dish pairs wonderfully with the dark fruit and chocolate flavors of the Malbec wine.


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April 08, 2011

Wild Mushroom and Rice soup

Any combination of mushrooms will work in this soup. Since each mushroom has its own flavor together they will create a wonderful complex flavor. Make it a vegetarian dish by using vegetable broth to replace the beef broth.

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Gorgonzola and White Bean Soup

Gorgonzola is an Italian Blue Cheese that is added at the end of the cooking process. It tops the soup, giving it a creamy texture and a firm, buttery flavor.

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December 27, 2010

Valencia Orange and Ginger Carrot Soup

The flavor combinations in this soup will surprise you it is so yummy and the colors are exciting together.

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Chunky Potato and Bacon Soup

Potato soup is a comfort food favorite especially on a chilly night.
You can select your favorite toppings. I like bacon, chives and cheese.
This soup has an extra splash of favor.

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September 26, 2010

Mediterranean Clam Chowder

I call this Mediterranean Clam Chowder to escape the scrutiny given clam chowder with tomatoes. According to some, adding tomatoes to clam chowder was frowned upon to the point that the Maine legislature introduced a bill in 1939 making tomatoes in clam chowder illegal. I am so glad that today we can eat clam chowder with tomatoes because this recipe is yummy.

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Ginger Pumpkin Bisque

This soup is like eating warm pumpkin pie with a spoon. Try the great garnishing ideas and suggestions for adding a zesty twist.

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September 04, 2010

Lentil and Chorizo Stew with Smoked Paprika

Lentils, a member of the legume family are a great source of protein. They also provide cholesterol-lowering fiber therefore being a special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders. But most importantly they abosorb and release flavors resulting in great soups and stews.

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April 30, 2010

Recipe: Pumpkin Stew

Have you ever noticed how versatile pumpkins are (and I don't mean just around Halloween)? You've probably enjoyed pumpkin pie, but have you ever had pumpkin stew?

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Recipe: Thai Seafood Soup

Thai food has its own delicious taste and flavor, and Thai Seafood Soup is a beloved classic. I use shrimp in my recipe though the soup is often also made with all sorts of other seafood items.

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