Category: Uncategorized

Season of Soup

So…spring is not quite here yet and, despite what everyone has been saying, Winter is NOT over 😦 which makes me turn again to comfort foods. And one of the best comfort foods ever is soup of course, warm, brothy, easy to digest, and even easy to eat as leftovers days afterward.

I have tried to be creative in my soup choices and so this recipe involves many vegetables currently in season. I used a version that could be served hot or cold (imagine that!) and I made plenty of it so we could eat for days to come. God bless Winter vegetables! 🙂


Creamed Summer Squash & Leek Soup with Chickpeas, fresh Basil, & Toasted Bread


6 cups chicken broth

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1 bunch leeks, washed & chopped

2 lbs. summer squash, chopped

1 lb. zucchini, chopped

2 cups fat-free half & half (or milk)

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch fresh Chives, chopped

1 bunch fresh Basil, chopped

5 Tbs. lemon juice

cracked pepper & sea salt

olive oil

sliced fresh bread (like country or herb)

(1) Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat; when hot, add the leeks and garlic and cook 10-15 minutes until tender; add the squash and zucchini and let the entire mixture cook another 8 minutes. (2) Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes; working in batches, puree the vegetables in a blender until smooth; return everything to the pot. (3) Add all the chicken broth and chickpeas and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture until chilled. (4) Next, add the lemon juice, fresh herbs, and stir in the half & half until the soup is creamy and mixed thoroughly. (5) Toast the fresh bread and serve with slices. This dish can be served hot or cold, but I think it is best cold 🙂

Serves 8

So as it turns out, I packed the book with this recipe away in one of my boxes, but I had written down the ingredients, so I ended up just winging it entirely. Luckily for me, it is hard to mess up soup.

My question is, what is the best cold soup you’ve ever tasted?

Mine would have to be gazpacho, but that’s just because I love tomatoes…and salsa…and spaghetti sauce, and bruschetta…and, did I mention I love tomatoes? }:-)



Season for the Succotash

Got the love the succotash. My recipe qualifies as simple because it only has 2 steps: combine and heat. I read that the Succotash was most popular during the Depression where it blossomed into popularity because of the cheap use of its ingredients–beans and spices; this was served with whatever meat was available. I served my Succotash with spice-rubbed ribeyes (god bless steak) 😉

This American dish is simple, easy, and tasty and you can use almost any leftover ingredients you have lying around to contribute to the dish, anything like broth, spices, onion, alcohol, nuts, vinaigrette, mustard; there’s plenty of room for some creativity, so I wouldn’t hold yourself back.

I used what leftover ingredients I had lying around, which were dried Fenugreek leaves, Tecante beer, and poppy seeds (ha!) Like most succotash recipes, you just warm the beans and reduce everything up until you’re ready to eat 🙂


Cannellini, Black-Eyed Pea, & Garbanzo Bean Succotash w/Beer & Dried Fenugreek


1 can Cannellini beans, drained

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 can black-eyed peas, drained

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup beer

4 Tbs. dried Fenugreek leaves

3 Tbs. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)

Sea salt & cracked pepper

(1) Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on medium high until bubbling and liquids reduce, about 10 minutes; serve warm with meat entree.

Serves 4

So this succotash proved as satisfying as any other side dish like rice or pasta, except with double the protein. I prefer to use recipes that have versatility and include some of the good things in life, like broth and beer 🙂 According to Wikipedia, the phrase ‘sufferin’ succotash!‘ was coined during this same era as a euphemism of ‘suffering sailor’ and that’s how most Americans know the word Succotash, not because they’ve actually had some 😉  Well, I think we should change the tide of this trend starting with the new slogan: succotash, it’s what’s for dinner.

My question: does anyone have a favorite bean they like to cook? (Mine would have to be fava beansahhh…)