Entries Tagged as 'soups'

Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to save those turkey bones!

For the Turkey and Wild Rice Soup of course! [Read more →]

Silky Smooth Creamy Zucchini Soup with “Pan Frito”

Let me just start off right away and say that the pan frito?  Is not optional. lmao  Pan frito, or “fried bread” makes this subtly flavored soup really something special.  As I’m sure you already know, we are soup junkies in this house.  I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and, in fact, do so often.  You see, one of my kids is anti-vegetable.  (the nerve!)  But if I make this?  I sneak lots of veggies into her at once.  mwa-ha-haaa  You can add more veggies to this, spinach is a great addition.  And it’s easy.  I mean *really* easy.

zucchini soup


2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion
2 pounds (1 kilo) zucchini
1 smaller sweet potato
2-3 potatoes
2 carrots
1 double cube of bouillon
water to cover vegetables
1 cup milk or evaporated milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 slices of bread, cubed


Heat oil over medium high heat and lightly brown the garlic.
Add remaining vegetables, roughly chopped (peel the sweet potatoes,potatoes and carrots).
Add enough water to cover the vegetables, and your bouillon cube.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Allow to cook about 20-30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
Remove from heat, and add the milk.
Using an immersion blender, buzz up your soup until smooth.
Serve with pan frito and freshly grated Parmesan.
To make the pan frito, heat the olive oil in a skillet, and toss the bread around until golden.

“French” Mushroom Soup

April is such a fickle month, isn’t it?  I mean sheesh!  A couple of weeks ago, temps were soaring into the 90′sF/30′sC, and this week we are back to cool and windy.  I was all set to buy a pool for the kids to hang out in on the weekends, and now, we’re back to soup and jackets.  I don’t mind the soup part (being a self professed soup junkie and all), but jackets?  I want summer dangit!  Since summer has taken another run for the hills, at least for now, I must console us with soups to warm the heart and soul.  That’s the part I like! lol  One of my best friends in the whole world, (and bratty girl) Lizzie shared her recipe for Drunken Mushroom Soup a few years ago.  It is such a great soup….and of course has my main pre-req’s for most of the recipes prepared in this house…quick, easy, and out of this world delicious.  All of Lizzie’s recipes are so elegant, and generally are light on the workload, but heavy on taste and heavy on ”wow” factor.  This recipe is exactly that…quick, easy, elegant, and WOW! that’s good!  Perfect for company or for everyday (you know I don’t save special foods for special occasions), this little bowl of goodness can be made ahead and simply reheated when needed.  Which for me is right now. lol  Since making this for the first time, I have gradually altered the ingredients and technique just a bit, which is why I’ve changed the name…I prepare this almost as if it were a French Onion Soup, with the addition of a couple of extras and a substitution or two for others. 

french mushroom soup


4 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups onion, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 pound (400 grams) mushrooms, slice some and chop the rest
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup flour
3 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or Maggi
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
6-8 slices baguette
6-8 slices Dutch Gouda
garlic powder, sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish


Melt butter in a 3 quart soup pot (or similar).
Lightly brown garlic, then add onions, sugar, thyme and bay and reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer this mixture about a half an hour, or until beginning to turn golden.
Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
Up the heat a bit, and saute mushrooms with onion mixture about 5 minutes or so.
Add wine and stir around, and let reduce just a bit.
This should take about 3-5 minutes.
Add flour and whisk to combine.
Add remaining ingredients up to baguettes.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, uncovered.
Meanwhile, prepare the baguettes.
Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese, and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Broil until bubbly, about 4-6 minutes.
Serve baguettes with soup.

Potaje Canario de Verduras (Canarian Vegetable Stew)

Potaje (pronounced po-TAH-hay) is a delicious multi vegetable stew very typical of the Canary Islands.  Here, rather than have all the food served at once, meals are served in courses.  Generally a first course, which can be either a soup, stew, salad, or pasta and is then followed by the main course and of course following that, dessert and coffee.  Many restaurants in Spain offer a lunch “menu,” where you can choose a first and second course from the day’s specials, and it comes with a beverage and dessert.  I’m pretty sure that the variety of potajes are as varied as the chefs that prepare them.  There are lentil potajes, watercress potajes (look for this one soon), corn potaje…the limit is your own creativity, much like soups and stews everywhere else in the world.  Let me share with you my mil’s recipe for Potaje Canario….




*note, add or subract at your preference, the amounts are approximate.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smokey paprika
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
a few sprigs of thyme
1-2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cob corn, broken in two pieces
3 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large handful green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large handful of fresh pinto beans, shucked (you can also use canned)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 of a sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 chunk of pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 thick slice of bacon, sliced (omit for vegan/vegetarian)
enough broth to generously cover vegetables (I used about 3 1/2 quarts I’d guess?)


In a large stockpot (this makes a LOT!), heat olive oil and saute garlic just until golden.
Add tomatoes, onions, paprika, thyme and bay, then season with salt and pepper.
Saute until vegetables are tender (this is called the “refrito.”)
Add remaining ingredients and generously cover with stock.
Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and simmer another hour or so, until the stew begins to thicken.
Adjust seasoning.
Serve with Queso Fresco and nice crispy baguettes.

Hearty Lentil Stew with Chorizo and Bacon

So, it’s definitely winter here in Canaryville…you might laugh at me for my idea of winter after having lived in the Minnesota tundra, but even so…winter it is…short grey days, blustery winds and rain.  The temps aren’t overly chilly, but it *feels* freezing…partly because of the humidity, partly because of the structural elements of the house…marble floors and concrete walls don’t lend well to warmth. lol  Here in the city of Las Palmas especially, it’s rare that people have central heating installed, so chilly days really are chilly…even inside!  I generally provide improvisational heat by baking, and making bubbly things on the stove.  I think it’s almost like aromatherapy heat…psychologically, comforting smells warm the soul and therefore, the body. :)  

lentil stew

Lentils have to be one of my favorite things ever.  I like them in just about anything, but in soup or stew they really appeal to my soup/stew addicted senses.  Rich in iron, protein, B vitamins, potassium and calcium, lentils really pack a nutritional punch too.  Spanish chorizo (from Asturias) really deepens the flavor of this stew.  It, along with the bacon add a wonderful smokiness that makes this one of my winter favorites. (Don’t be alarmed at the long list of ingredients, the recipe is actually very easy, just chop and throw everything into the pot.)


2 pounds (1 kilo) dried lentils (I use the tiny dark brown ones)
1 large onion, minced
1 yam, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 zucchini, diced
1 piece of pumpkin, peeled..I used about 2 cups worth of diced
4 Spanish chorizos, sliced
1/2 pound bacon (200 grams), cut into bite sized pieces
beef broth or water and bouillon to cover vegetables completely, and to allow lentils to absorb water.
2/3 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
thyme to taste
2 bay leaves
garlic powder to taste (I actually prefer garlic powder to fresh in this recipe) fresh garlic tends to lose it’s flavor when it’s boiled, while the powder adds a toasted garlic flavor that really adds to this.  Alternatively, you could brown some garlic in a bit of olive oil in the stockpot before adding the other ingredients)
salt and pepper to taste


Wash and sort lentils.
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer, covered for 2 hours, or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove cover and simmer until desired thickness of stew is achieved (I usually leave it another hour or so), stirring occasionally.
Serve with cracked black pepper.
** This stew is even better the next day.

More soup? Why, yes, thank you! Zuppa di Pasta Alfredo

So there’s this train of recipes just patiently waiting to be posted on the site…but the thing is, is that I’ve been busy with the aftermath of the kids being home.  Yes, I am *still* finding remnants of those twisty tie things they so abundantly fasten kids’ toys with today in the strangest of corners.  The aftermath of the holiday vacation has been keeping me busy…everything seems to be out of place.  Like, why on Earth is that sock hanging from the door handle?  Why are *all* of the dvd’s out of their cases?  And OH!  Watch out!  Remote control car on the loose!  So.  My sweet little recipes are all waiting patiently in line at Flickr.  Asking which one gets to be first….”Pick me!  Pick me!” they say.  Hopefully I will be able to post them all over the next week (supposing that I can keep up with the newer things I plan to make, and not perpetuate the queue! haha). 

This recipe comes to us from my Mom, Carla.  She made a similar one over the holidays and sent me the recipe.  It sounded SO good!  And dang…it sure was!  It makes a huge batch, though, so if you’re not feeding a large family or an army, you might want to scale it back a bit.  I sort of took the “idea” of her recipe and ran with it, I looked at the ingredient list added some stuff, subtracted some stuff, and winged it.  This is one of those soups that is a whole meal in itself, hearty, satisfying and oh, so good.  I hope you like it as much as we did! :)

And now for something new…I’d like to suggest a Rosé wine to accompany this soup…something not too dry, not too fruity, with just a hint of a bubble, but not quite…El Coto Rosado.

zuppa di pasta alfredo


2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, peeled and diced
1 pound chicken breast, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
1 head broccoli, in florets
1 head cauliflower, in florets
1 cup peas
4 quarts chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated grana padano cheese
2 cups tortellini


In a large (huge) stockpot, melt butter and saute garlic first, until golden.
Add onions, carrots and celery and saute a couple of minutes more.
Add chicken and brown (good brown bits make for delicious soup!).
Add remaining vegetables and broth and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, prepare alfredo.
Melt butter in a saucepan, then whisk in flour, salt and pepper…throw in some garlic powder too.
Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Stir the sauce constantly until thickened.
Then remove from heat and whisk in cheese.
Adjust seasoning.
Whisk the sauce into the soup quickly.
Add tortellini and cook 15 minutes more.


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