Category Archives: Soup

Once Around the Kitchen Soup


All this snow and cold weather has me craving soups.  On top of it, my little 3 year old has croup and a fever which always inspires me to make a good healthy soup.

Since soup was not originally on my menu plan for the week, I tossed together a bunch of random things to make it, hence using the phrase  “Once Around the Kitchen” in the name.  I ended up tossing in a bunch of veggies that I had in the fridge.  I was feeling doubtful about how this soup would turn out because it seemed like such a random collection of good from around the kitchen but my husband agreed that it was one of the better soups I have made lately.  So, as we ate, I grabbed a notebook and jotted down all I remember adding in.  Hopefully, I got it all.  And if not, no big deal – this is the kind of soup that you can just grab whatever veggies you have on hand, chop them up and toss them in making your own “Once Around the Kitchen Soup”.


Once Around the Kitchen Soup

Cooked meat of one chicken, shredded*
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 c. chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 parsnips, sliced
4-5 small red potatoes, cubed
1 c. sliced zucchini (I had mini ones on hand, perfect size for soup)
1/2 c. green beans, cut into 1 in. pieces
1/4 c. chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
salt/pepper to taste

*Cook the chicken however you prefer. I cooked a whole chicken as a starter for a new batch of chicken broth. Instructions for how I do that follow the recipe.


In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots, onion, and celery. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except parsley) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. I simmered mine for about 3 hours because I started it during nap time. About 15 minutes before you serve it, add parsley and taste to see if it needs more pepper/salt. Serve hot. Pretty easy! My kind of meal!

Chicken Bone Broth Instructions

In a large stock pot, place whole chicken, one onion (roughly chopped), 2 carrots (roughly chopped), 1 stalk celery (roughly chopped), 1-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs), and water to cover all. Turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer.

During the first 30-45 minutes, watch the pot to skim off any scum that floats to the top. Keep heat at a medium to medium low so that it just barely simmers.

After 1 1/2 hours, check the chicken to see if it is cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the water and turn off the heat. Pull the meat off the chicken putting the meat into a bowl and putting the bones and skin back into the cooking water. Set meat aside for whatever you want to use it for.

After the chicken is cleaned and carcass is back in the water, pour the entire contents of the pot into a crock pot. Set to high and allow to cook for 8-24 hours. I usually alternate between high and low on my crock pot because it seems like the high simmers too high and the low isn’t hot enough to get a good simmer going. Over night I usually leave it at low though.

About 15 minutes before you are ready to finish your broth, add 1 bunch parsley roughly chopped. This step isn’t necessary but I have read that the parsley helps to draw out additional minerals so can be very good for you.

When you are done simmering, strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve. Be sure to press down a little on those veggies to squish out any liquids remaining. Allow broth to cool. A good broth will become gelatinous when cooled. Mine doesn’t always. I haven’t figured out why yet… To store it, I put mine in 2 cup increments in quart sized freezer bags. I then lay them flat in the freezer to freeze. It makes for easy use later on. If you don’t want to freeze it, it can be in the fridge for about a week.

Best broth you can have! I love it and even try to drink it plain once or twice a week for all it’s good health benefits. Enjoy!


Black Bean and Kale Soup

It’s May and thus it is supposed to be Summer-like weather, right? Well, in Minnesota, it seems like that kind of weather is taking its sweet time getting here. I normally wouldn’t imagine making soup for dinner at the end of May but on this cool, rainy day it just hit the spot.

I originally wanted to make my Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup but didn’t have any white beans. I only had black beans. So, things got inventive in the kitchen and this is what I came up with. It was warm, delicious, and filling.

Tip: I used Aidells Manchego Cheese with Fire Roasted Onions Smoked Chicken Sausage (Phew… what a mouthful!). It has a nice smoky adobo pepper taste to it that went really well with the soup. If you can get it, I would recommend it; mine came from Costco. It is nitrate free with no hormones or antibiotics in the chicken, so a relatively natural option.


Black Bean and Kale Soup

1 lb. spicy chicken sausage, sliced (see tip above)
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. chili powder
1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
3-4 c. greens, chopped (I used a combination of kale, spinach, and swiss chard)
6 c. chicken broth
1-2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil or coconut oil

Optional toppings: avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream (or use plain greek yogurt in its place – you can’t tell the difference!)


In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the garlic. Saute for another 30 seconds before adding the chicken sausage. Cook for another 5 minutes or until everything is hot and aromatic. Stir in the greens and cook until just starting to wilt. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring the entire mixture to a boil. REduce heat and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with optional toppings.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup smelled so good throughout the house that I could have just smelled it and been happy!  Fortunately, the taste was as good as the smell.  It was hearty and tasty with a sweet and savory combination that I really enjoyed!  I served it with some flat bread and some oranges on the side.  Yum!


Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, January/February 2012

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 generous tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 c. cubed peeled butternut squash
1/2 c. shelled edamame
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 qt. chicken broth
1/2 c. uncooked Isreali couscous
1 tsp. salt
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
zest of one orange


Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add oil. Saute onion until tender (about 4-6 minutes). Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously for about 1 minute. Add the squash, edamame, and tomato paste. Continue cooking for another minute, stirring continuously. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add couscous and zucchini and simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until squash and couscous are tender. Remove from heat. Add in basil and orange zest. Serve immediately.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

Creamy White Chicken Chili

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law years ago and I still love it!  I made a few modifications to make it healthier than the original version but it turned out delicious!  It had just the right amount of heat to it for my husband and me to enjoy but not so much that the little guys couldn’t eat it.  With some crusty rolls or bread, this is definitely a warm-you-up kind of meal on those below zero Minnesota days!!!


Creamy White Chicken Chili

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. chicken broth
2 cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. non-fat, plain greek yogurt
1/2 c. heavy cream (optional – see Food for Thought)


Heat a large saucepan to medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and saute chicken, onion, and garlic until chicken is no longer pink.

Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt and heavy cream until thoroughly combined.  Serve immediately.

Husband Rating: 7 out of 10

Food for Thought: I don’t know that the heavy cream is necessary.  The chili seemed to be quite creamy before I added it.  I would say that if you are trying to cut fat or make it even healthier, this would be an easy thing to omit.  However, if you like a really creamy chili, stick it in!

Pub Stew

We had a big crowd to the house after church on Sunday and I needed a good simple meal that would satisfy everyone and that could be ready upon everyone descending upon the house.  Pub stew was the perfect answer to that situation!  It feeds a large crowd, is delicious every time, and was easy to throw together the night before and then just pop in the oven Sunday morning before everyone came over.  It was a hit and there was very little left over!   (And, it fed 8 adults, 3 kids, and left about two servings for leftovers.)


Pub Stew

2 lb. top quality beef cut into chunks
1/4 c. butter
2-11 oz. cans condensed tomato soup + equal amount of water (*see note)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 rib celery, cut into chunks
2 large carrots, sliced
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
3 c. frozen green beans
2 c. frozen corn

Preheat oven to 275.
Brown beef, add soup and water and stir well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook 5 minutes.
Stir once more and then cook covered 5 hours.

*I tried today in lieu of condensed soup the following mixed together and it was equally delicious:
8 oz tomato sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

Food for Thought: I will often make an entire batch of this for my little family of four and then freeze at least half of it for a future meal.  It  reheats from frozen really well.  It sometimes even seems to make three meals for our family, depending on how hungry we are…

Beef Barley Soup

    Homemade soup is not my strength. I would like to get better at it but I am just not that good at it. My mother-in-law however is the queen of making homemade soups. Her’s always turn out amazingly delicious without any kind of recipe.  You know, where she just kind of dumps whatever she has in her cupboards and fridge in a pot and it turns out delicious!  And, my husband always rates my soups against what his mom’s are like. No pressure, right?

    (And, by the way, I love my mother-in-law dearly!  She is wonderful, not your typical
    MIL relationship in any way!)  🙂

    So, I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to invite my in-laws over for dinner on a night I decided to make a homemade soup. I mean, really?  Soup???? For the queen of homemade soups???

    Luckily, Iowagirl’s recipes haven’t failed me in the past and this one followed suit.  This Beef Barley Soup was amazing!  Everyone loved it!  The soup was delicious, meaty, hearty, and healthy.  And, we had plenty left over.  I was able to freeze a big batch for another meal for our family in a few weeks.  The best kind of leftovers! 

    Beef Barley Soup

    Recipe adapted from

    1lb lean ground beef

    1 small onion, processed or chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 large carrots, chopped
    3 ribs celery, chopped
    3 c. kale, stems removed and chopped
    1-14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
    3 c. frozen green beans
    1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
    4-6 c. beef broth
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1 bay leaf
    3/4 cup barley
    salt & pepper
    Worcestershire sauce
    Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic, and season with salt & pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add carrots and celery and continue to cook until carrots are tender, about 3-4 more minutes.
    Add in kale, tomatoes, green beans, corn, 4 cups beef broth, basil, bay leaf and barley. Bring the soup to a boil.  Place a lid on top, lower the heat, and simmer for 60 minutes, or until the barley is tender. 
    The longer you cook the soup, the better it tastes.  After the initial 60 minutes of simmering, I left it on low on the stove most of the afternoon before we ate it.  The flavor just kept getting better.  Keep checking to see if the soup needs more broth.  I added as much as 2 cups of broth as I was cooking the soup.
    Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and season with more salt & pepper to taste before serving.
    Husband Rating: 8 out of 10 (highest soup rating possible – in his mind, soups can never be a 10)
    Food for Thought: I had tons of leftover of this soup.  I froze it and plan to simply heat it up again for the meal.  If you are going to do this, plan to have some extra beef broth on hand.  Most likely you will need to add a bit when reheating the soup. 

    Harvest Quinoa Chicken Soup

    Well, my little guys have come down with Fall colds and whenever they get sick, I get motivated to make warm, healthy meals chock full of vitamins to get them back on the healthy track.  I found a recipe that I modified based on what I had around the house and came up with a yummy, healthy, warm-you-to-the-middle soup!  I could almost see the germs running from our house as we ate this for dinner! 🙂

    Harvest Quinoa Chicken Soup

    Recipe adapted from

    1 Tbsp olive oil

    2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    1 small onion, chopped
    salt & pepper
    4 cups torn kale
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    8 cups chicken broth
    1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    1 bay leaf
    1 rotisserie chicken, cleaned of bones and skin and shredded
    1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (2 cups)
    2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
    2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrot, and onion, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add kale and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, then saute for 2 more minutes. Add 8 cups chicken broth, white beans, parsley, dried thyme, bay leaf, and then bring to a boil.
    Add sweet potato, russet potato, and quinoa to boiling broth. Place a lid on top, lower heat to medium, then cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.
    Add shredded chicken to the soup, remove bay leaf, then add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt & pepper if necessary.
    Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
    Tip: Use additional chicken broth when reheating soup, as quinoa will absorb much of the broth as it cools.
    Husband Rating: 7 out of 10

    Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

    Even though today ended up being a lovely day and not all that cool, I am still in fall mode and in the mood for Fall-ish foods.  It doesn’t help that I have family over in Italy right now on vacation.  It makes me want to eat all kinds of Italian style food… So, thought I would give this recipe a try!  The result, a delicious, healthy soup!  I loved it!  And so did the rest of the family, even the kids.  We served it with some yummy garlic bread on the side.

    Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup
    Recipe adapted from (Love her recipes!)

    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    5 large carrots, sliced
    1 medium onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 package all natural chicken sausage, sliced
    6 c. chicken broth
    1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
    2×2 parmesan cheese rind
    1 bay leaf
    6 cups chopped baby kale (see note)
    2 Tbsp. shredded parmesan plus more for garnish

    *Baby kale is more tender.  If using regular kale, be sure to remove tough stems before chopping


    In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds before adding kielbassa.  Cook for another 3 minutes.

    Add chicken broth, beans, cheese rind, and bay leaf.  Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil.  Add in kale and cover with a lid.  Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir in shredded parmesan cheese, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

    Remove bay leave (parmesan rind can stay in as it will continue to flavor leftovers) and serve with additional parmesan cheese on top if desired.  Serve with crusty bread on the side.  Enjoy!

    Husband Rating: 8 out of 10

    Food for Thought: If you want to do this for the freezer, I would suggest cooking it all the way, cooling it, and then freezing.  I have not tried it but it seems like it should work.

    15 Bean Soup

    This recipe could also be known as the “I-needed-a-way-to-use-up-my-Easter-ham” Soup.  As good as our Easter meal turned out, I didn’t think I could do another meal of reheating the ham or ham sandwiches and I know that the kids were getting sick of ham too.  I didn’t want to waste it so needed to get creative on how to use up what was left.   And, thanks to a tip from my mother-in-law about using the ham bone for a soup, came across this recipe. 

    15 Bean Soup

    Recipe adapted from (The Best Bean and Ham Soup)

    1 20-oz. package 15 bean mixture, soaked over night
    1 ham bone
    2 cups cubed ham
    1 large onion, diced
    5 carrots, sliced
    1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
    4 c. vegetable stock
    2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    1 Tbsp. chili powder
    4 bay leaves
    1 tsp. ground pepper
    1 Tbsp. dried parsley
    3 Tbsp. lemon juice
    1 c. chicken broth
    1 tsp. salt


    Put soaked beans in a large pot and fill with water to about 1 inch above beans.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

    Drain the beans.  Return to pot and add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.  If there isn’t enough liquid, add additional chicken broth.  Serve with bread.

    Husband Rating: 8 out of 10

    Food for Thought: Soups are easy for freezer cooking.  For this one, I would just cook it through and then after it cools, put it in a freezer bag.  Double bag it before freezing.  To serve, simply thaw and reheat. 

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Chicken Tortilla Soup


    1 lb. chicken breast
    1 15 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
    1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 small can chopped green chili peppers
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups water
    1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
    1-2 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1 10 oz. package frozen corn
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
    Optional Ingredients:
    tortilla chips
    sour cream
    shredded cheese
    If freezer cooking, place all ingredients except water in Ziploc baggie and freeze.  The chicken does not need to be cooked ahead of time. Then, following cooking instructions below.
    Place all ingredients, including the 2 cups water not in freezer bag in a slow cooker.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high.  Shred chicken and return it to soup.
    Top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese.
    Food for Thought:
    This recipe is great as it is.  So delicious and the chicken stays very tender.  I tend to add more cumin, as it is one of my favorites!  This would also be good with some chopped zucchini or yellow squash added in for additional vegetables. 
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