Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl. This soup is loaded with vegetables, beans and barley, packed with fiber and protein.

Dinner, Soup | February 5, 2018 | By

Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl loaded with veggies, beans and barley and packed with fiber and protein.

Most times when I make soup I don’t cook with a recipe. My favorite way is to let the ingredients in the refrigerator tell the story. Try it sometime; soup (unlike baking) is very forgiving. It’s practically goof-proof.

Last week a friend of mine called to see if I wanted to walk along the lake with her. My knee-jerk reaction was um no, it’s too cold, but she’s so dedicated to walking even when the temps are below zero, that I agreed if for no other reason than I didn’t want to be a wimp.

We even convinced another friend to join us and you know how it goes ~ three women walking and talking and before we knew it a few miles were behind us.

By the time I got home I was chilled to the bone and a pot of soup was the only solution ~ a pot of steaming, flavor loaded soup . . . the kind I already had all the ingredients for and that’s how this Vegetable Barley Soup was born.

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Tex Mex Veggie Chili

Tex Mex Veggie Chili ~ spicy, hearty, carnivore approved. Loaded with robust Tex-Mex flavors and packed with beans and vegetables.

Dinner, Soup | January 4, 2018 | By

Tex Mex Veggie Chili ~ spicy, hearty, loaded with robust Tex-Mex flavors, packed with beans and vegetables and carnivore approved.

Many of us are kicking off 2018 with resolutions to exercise more, spend less, eat a bit better ~ or some combination. I got a Fitbit for Christmas that’s become an appendage of  my wrist so you can probably guess where my New Year’s resolution falls: at least 10,000 steps each day. I had no idea how sedentary I’d become but ‘friendly reminders’ to move keep me on track.

Since I’m moving more, I’m also *trying* to eat a little healthier while still enjoying comfort food, especially now that we’re in the middle of a death grip of cold, so if a cold salad is what you’re looking for today, feel free to click out.

Coming up I’ll still be sharing lots of new simple comfort any-night meals as well as a delicious Beef Ragu that’ll be the Sunday dinner of your dreams. It’s all about balance.

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Mushroom Bisque with Brie Cheese

Mushroom Brie Bisque ~ rich, decadent with a creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom flavor. Simple to make with flavors you'll never find in a can.

Soup | December 13, 2017 | By

Mushroom Bisque ~ cream of mushroom soup with brie cheese. Rich, decadent, deliciously rustic. Simple to make with flavor you’ll never find in a can. 

Mushroom Brie Bisque ~ rich, decadent with a creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom flavor. Simple to make with flavors you'll never find in a can.

My husband worked for a company that had an upscale, elegant holiday party every year in downtown Detroit with dinner, dancing and extravagant, over the top giveaways like Caribbean cruises and trips to Vegas. For the record, we never won a trip and at one point I told him he couldn’t retire until we did. I was kidding.  Sort of.

I thought after he retired I’d never taste the holiday party’s Mushroom Bisque again but last weekend on our annual girls’ weekend up north I saw Mushroom Brie Bisque on the menu and decided to try it. I literally scraped the bowl to get the last creamy bite. 

Mushroom Brie Bisque contains some heavy cream but it’s that time of the year to indulge and worry about it tomorrow. Or next year. I’ve been eating Snowball Cookies right from the freezer so attention family ~ by Christmas Eve, there may not be many any left.

Anyway, this Mushroom Brie Bisque is simple and spot on ~ rich, indulgent with a silky, creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom flavor. Kick the can. You’ll never find taste like this there. And go ahead, indulge. I don’t judge. ‘Tis the season.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons. Caramelized oven roasted tomatoes, fresh herbs blended to an easy, creamy delicious comfort meal.

Soup | October 17, 2017 | By

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons. Oven roasted tomatoes, fresh herbs and a drizzle of cream blended into an easy, silky, 0utrageously delicious comfort meal.

It was tough saying goodbye to summer this year (except the bathing suit part), but cooler weather means it’s time for one of my favorite combinations, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.

This Roasted Tomato Soup was made with the last of my garden tomatoes along with some herbs and comes with a modern twist, Grilled Cheese Croutons that have become my new obsession.

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Easy Creamy Clam Chowder

Easy Creamy Clam Chowder ~ hearty, creamy chowder packed with clams, potatoes and bits of smoky bacon. Uses flavorful, budget friendly canned clams.

Soup | September 19, 2017 | By

Creamy Clam Chowder ~ easy, hearty New England style chowder packed with clams, potatoes and bits of smoky bacon.

Easy Creamy Clam Chowder ~ hearty, creamy chowder packed with clams, potatoes and bits of smoky bacon. Uses flavorful, budget friendly canned clams.

You know by now how much I love soup and this Easy Creamy Clam Chowder is one of my favorites. Creamy, with bite size pieces of potato, bits of crispy Applewood smoked bacon and tender clams in almost every bite.

It’s a great one pot meal any time of the year and if you’re lucky enough to squirrel away some leftovers, they make the ideal lunch. 

If you’ve shied away from making clam chowder at home because you think it’s difficult or expensive, Easy Creamy Clam Chowder is your recipe ~ quick enough for weeknights, but is elevated enough to entertain with. 

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Summer Minestrone Soup

Summer Minestrone Soup ~ loaded with summer vegetables plus garbanzo beans, spinach and pasta. It's a taste of summer in a bowl.

Soup | August 29, 2017 | By

Summer Minestrone Soup is loaded with summer vegetables like sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans and bell peppers along with garbanzo beans, spinach and pasta. It’s a hearty taste of summer in a bowl.

It’s no secret, soup’s my jam. Even after all these years my husband still wonders how I can enjoy a bowl of thick chowder in the middle of summer. Simple. It’s sooo good.

I’m also a big promoter of farmers markets and roadside farm stands for locally grown produce. These hard-working farmers are an important part of American culture.

This Summer Minestrone Soup is a combination of both ~ a light, yet somehow filling delicious soup loaded with fresh seasonal veggies like tomatoes, green beans, celery, bell pepper, carrots, the last ear of sweet corn from the frig and zucchini from my friend’s garden. I also added some spinach and garbanzo beans for extra protein and flavor as well as a little pasta. It’s a bowl full of bright summer flavor.

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Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup, creamy, cheesy tasty soup packed with chicken, garbanzo beans, chipotle pepper for smoky heat and topped with tortilla crisps.

Soup | February 16, 2017 | By

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup ~ thick, creamy, cheesy, tasty packed with chicken, garbanzo beans, chipotle pepper for smoky heat and topped with crispy tortilla strips.

My daughters and I are all on the same page when it comes to our taste in movies. We love spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon having lunch at the mall and catching a good flick.

One of our favorite lunch spots is a place with amazing Tortilla Soup ~ loaded with chicken in a spicy broth and topped with crispy tortilla strips.

We all get a bowl and share an appetizer so we still have room for the *required* movie popcorn. Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup is everything I love about the restaurant version but thicker and includes garbanzo beans, chipotle pepper for heat and smoky flavor and even more cheesy goodness. If you like a spicy, cheesy soup this is it. 

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Tomato White Bean Soup

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Soup | January 14, 2017 | By

Tomato White Bean Soup: rich, thick tomato broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables.

This time last year I resolved (in a post no less) to stop wasting food. It’s so darn expensive, right? So I’m tackling this resolution again and I hope you’ll join with me. Kitchen comrades in arms, if you will.

A quick inventory revealed five cans of Great Northern beans (must have been one heck of a sale), a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, two tubes of tomato paste, four containers of chicken stock, an almost empty jar of Nutella (oops), Uncle Ben’s 90 second brown rice, canned artichokes, a jar of pesto and way more I won’t bore you with.

Between the pantry and refrigerator, I had all the ingredients for this Tomato White Bean Soup. . . minus the Nutella (which makes a fine dessert all by itself). You know what they say ~ “happiness is hot soup on a cold day”. 

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Easy Ground Beef Chili

Quick and easy ground beef chili ~ slow cooker and stovetop options. Loaded with beef, beans and bold flavor.

Dinner, Soup | January 2, 2017 | By

Easy Ground Beef Chili ~ loaded with ground beef, beans and bold, spicy flavor.  Quick stove top AND slow cooker recipe options.

It’s the start of fall which means, among other things, pots of Easy Ground Beef Chili. There are quick and easy stove top instructions as well as slow cooker to make at your option. 

I’ve been making Easy Ground Beef Chili for such a long time I don’t even look at a recipe any more. I’ve tweaked it over the years until it’s about as close to perfection as a bowl of chili can be. Once fall hits, it’s always in the dinner rotation. It’s a quick, but hearty and warming weeknight dinner and the additional ingredients make it so delicious it almost takes its own victory lap.

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Smoked Salmon Chowder

Hearty, flavor-packed smoked salmon chowder with bites of tender potatoes. Prepare in 30 minutes. Ideal for weeknights; elegant enough to entertain with!

Soup | December 14, 2016 | By

Hearty, flavor-packed smoked salmon chowder with bites of tender potatoes. Prepare in 30 minutes. Ideal for weeknights; elegant enough to entertain with!

Baby it’s cold outside! We’re in the middle of a deep freeze right now ~ a Polar Vortex. I don’t know what the question is, but soup is the right answer.

On top of temps that include a wind chill factor, Sunday we got 12″ of heavy, wet snow. It was the perfect day to stay home, cook, catch up on some reading and even watch a little bit of the football game.

Monday brought the reality of digging out and thankfully my husband was up to the task because I was ready to just pull the covers over my head and wait for spring. No really.

Smoked Salmon Chowder ~ thick, hearty, loaded with smoky salmon flavor and tender, bite-size pieces of potato ~ just what we needed. You can eat it without good bread, but really. . .why would you want to? 

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