Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower Soup

Wow, this was really good. I ate it for dinner on Sunday and have enjoyed the leftovers for the last two days for lunch. I feel like we have been eating more meat than I prefer to eat so I was looking for a vegetarian dish (ok, it has bacon, so almost vegetarian is what I ended up with). I found this on Cookinglight.com and my son and I really liked it! Ok, he liked it as long as I added extra cheese and bacon to his… but hey, he is a growing teen! I love how the soup has a very rich and silky mouthfeel, with only a small amount of added half and half (I am considering leaving the half and half out next time and adding greek yogurt instead?). I give all the credit to Cooking Light, I cooked it pretty much as written. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Rich, creamy and still very healthy cauliflower soup with a bit of crispy bacon and cheddar cheese to make it seem decadent


  • 4 thick applewood bacon slices
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • About 1/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place bacon strips on baking sheet and cook until crispy, about 15 minutes. Drain grease thoroughly on paper towels. When cool chop into small crumbles. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on Medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. Add Leek, celery and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover ad reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the majority of the vegetables and liquid to a blender and blend with half and half and blend until smooth. Be careful not to burn your self on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
  5. Return the blended mixture to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese, bacon and chives. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 23, 2018




Miso Soup + Dashi

Tonight my daughter and I made miso soup with homemade dashi. Usually when we make miso soup we cheat and just use some store-bought chicken or vegetable broth and add miso, figuring it was good enough, but wow, this was so much better! There is so much complexity to this soup now that it has the smell of the ocean from the kombu and bonito flakes and the salty/savory flavor from the miso. So Delicious! The added bonus is that we don’t feel like we just ate a salt bomb as we often do after eating miso soup at a restaurant.  I think the sodium levels are pretty moderate in this version. Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures, so will have to add them next time I make this.

Miso Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Savory homemade miso soup

Credit: Bon Appetit and Epicurious



  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 – 6 x 5 inch pieces dried Kombu (a type of seaweed)
  • 1 1/2 ounces bonito flakes (about 3 cups)

Miso Soup

  • 8 cups of Dashi
  • 1/2 cup dried wakame (a type of seaweed)
  • 1/3 cup white miso
  • 1/2 pound tofu (I like firm tofu), drained and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup thinly cut scallions


Dashi Instructions:

  1.  Pour water into a large saucepan. Add kombu and let sit until kombu softens, about 30 minutes.
  2. Bring water and kombu mixture to a slight boil and immediately remove from the heat. Discard the kombu.
  3. Add the bonito flakes and carefully stir once to submerge them. The broth will be clearer if you don’t vigorously stir it. Return to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes, skimming off any foam that might form.
  4. Strain the dashi (broth). You can let it cool and store it in the fridge for a couple of days or use it now to make the miso soup.

Miso Soup Instructions:

  1. Pour the dashi into a medium pot and mix in the wakame.
  2. Heat the dashi mixture over moderately high heat until hot. While the dashi is heating up remove about 1/2 cup of it and whisk it in a separate bowl with the miso until well combined.
  3. Add the tofu and scallions to the broth (dashi). Cook one minute. Turn off the heat.
  4. Mix the miso mixture into the soup and serve immediately. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    March 13, 2018

Dashi and vegetables before adding the miso mixture
Mixing in the miso.
Spoonful of umami heaven!

Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale and Butternut Squash

This is based on an old Cooking Light recipe haven’t made in years but tried it recently when we were in the mountains skiing and thought it was worthy to post. It is wonderful cold weather comfort food that is also healthy and nutritious. I made it in a dutch oven but it also works well to throw it in a crock pot and leave it to cook while you go about your day.

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Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale and Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

Healthy and hearty winter vegetable and chicken stew


  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups of sliced leeks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, plus one tablespoon
  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 5 large cremini mushrooms, sliced in large chunks
  • 8 cups of loosely packed torn kale (one large bunch)
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the leek for about 6 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Spoon leek mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Place 1/3 cup of flour in a shallow bowl and dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess flour.
  5. Heat a little oil in the dutch oven and add half of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to leek mixture and repeat with rest of chicken.
  6. Add the wine to the pan, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits.
  7. Combine 1 cup of broth and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
  8. Add the broth mixture, remaining broth, and mustard to the pot and bring to a boil.
  9. Stir in the chicken mixture, garbanzo beans, butternut squash, and mushrooms and cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  10. Add the kale and simmer for 10 more minutes or until the butternut squash is tender and the kale is wilted. Garnish with crushed red pepper flakes and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  11. Serve in bowls and Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    February 24, 2018


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Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices

Wow, ten days have passed since I last posted a recipe! My daughter was home for spring break and she was bored so she decided she would do a lot of the cooking, so Helpful! But she doesn’t follow recipes or want to participate in my blogging project, so I haven’t had much to post. Thank you again Melissa Clark and New York Times Cooking for this recipe! This is a very healthy and hearty vegetarian soup that can be bulked up further with lentils, grains or sausage (no longer vegetarian then) if one desires. We decided we just wanted a warm vegetarian soup that wasn’t too heavy, so we left it as is except we added a can of chopped tomatoes and some broth to the recipe.

Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich and Hearty vegetarian soup that has a lot of add-in options


  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, oyster, etc. medium dice
  • ½ lb shallots, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (use a little less if dried)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • one 14.5 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • fresh lime juice, to taste (I cut one lime and served the wedges with the soup so people could squeeze in as much as they wanted at the table)
  • plain yogurt, for serving (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread out chopped mushrooms and shallots on a large lightly oiled sheet pan.  Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes and then stir. Roast for another 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have substantially shrunk and most of the liquid has evaporated. You can alternatively do this in the pot you are going to make your soup in by sautéing the vegetables.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add a little olive oil to just barely coat bottom of pot, after that is heated add the mushrooms and shallot mixture, tomato paste, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. If you like a little more spice, add a little more of all spices as I did. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in can of tomatoes including the liquid, 4 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently for at least 20 minutes. I simmered for over an hour because I had the extra time. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Using a blender or food processor, coarsely purée 1/2 of the soup and add back to unprocessed soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of fresh lime, sprinkle of thyme and an optional dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!


March 26, 2017

Simmering soup before spinach was added.
Finished soup (I forgot to add the spinach).


Vegetable, Beef and Farro Soup


Here in the Bay area it has been cold (by our California standards) and SUPER RAINY so I thought a hearty soup would be nice. I made this soup yesterday and I have to admit it took quite a bit of time but it was really worth it.  The soup was very rich, warm and nutritious (I need to work on adding nutritional stats to my recipes!) and it got a thumbs up from both my husband and son. This is after I made a disastrous meal last night with chicken, vegetables, lemon and herbs that was difficult and laborious and just turned out incredibly BLAND! So disappointing, but that happens. Toss it and watch my husband and son make quesadillas because they were still hungry (no joke- that is what they do when they don’t like dinner or if I really under-fed them).

For this soup I started with a Food and Wine recipe and added more vegetables, a little wine, more herbs and a leaner cut of meat. The recipe called for chicken stock, which I found strange, but followed it anyway, and I regretted it. I think beef stock would match the beef and farro much better. Nevertheless, the soup was still very tasty, I just think the beef broth would be better so I am recommending it for anyone following it. Vegetable broth would also be good (I added some vegetable broth at the end since I cooked it ahead of time and the farro had absorbed quite a bit of the broth). I also think that the beef can be left out completely and with some vegetable broth instead of beef broth it would be a very lovely vegetarian meal as the farro has quite a bit of protein and the soup is full of vegetables. I love the addition of the miso, it gave the soup a lot of extra flavor and excitement!

Vegetable, Beef and Farro Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Hearty vegetable and beef soup for a healthy cold evening meal.

Credit: Food and Wine Beef and Farro Soup


  • canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef (I used grass-fed flat iron steak), cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 cups of beef stock (I used chicken stock, but I think that was not a very good idea, beef stock I think would have tasted much better)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut off the knobby top that was attached to the plant and pierce in several places with a knife.
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 leek, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme (or fresh)
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 small bunch of Tuscan kale, chopped (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons of white miso
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish


  1. Heat a dutch oven on medium-high heat with some canola oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the fat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Pour out any extra oil/grease in the pot and then add the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth along with the meat, garlic, onion, 2 carrots cut in thirds, fresh thyme and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, arrange the cut tomatoes, leeks, celery and carrots on a lightly greased pan. Sprinkle a little olive oil, freshly ground pepper, salt, dry oregano and dry thyme on the vegetables and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Set aside the cooked vegetables.
  5. After the soup has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, remove the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and carrot chunks (I actually like to keep the soft carrots). Stir in the roasted vegetables and the uncooked farro and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over moderate heat, or until farro is tender. Add the kale, miso and paprika and cook uncovered on low heat for 10 minutes. Add any additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls with a garnish of the cheese.
  6. Enjoy and let me know how you like it!


January 19, 2017

Adding the fresh thyme
Slicing the leeks
Browned beef


Garlic ready to add to the soup
Carrots, celery, leeks ad tomatoes
Getting ready to roast the vegetables
The roasted vegetables
The finished soup.

Hot and Sour Soup with Vegetables

Cooking the onions, garlic, ginger, scallions and mushrooms.

Tonight is the last night that my daughter is home for her winter break and she suggested we make Hot and Sour Soup. What a great idea! I love soup and I think if you add a little protein and extra vegetables it makes such a nice one-pot meal, although tonight I decided I can’t even try to feed this to my spice-phobe son, so I also marinated a little chicken and steak in garlic, ginger, soy sauce and mirin and then stir-fried it and served it on the side along with some roasted broccoli that I tossed with a little olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper. It all was sooooo warm and yummy!  The soup is basically the recipe from Feedmephoebe.com, with some extra vegetables and I didn’t make it vegan, so thank you Phoebe Lapine for an excellent recipe!

Hot and Sour Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: fairly easy
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Better and healthier than take-out hot and sour soup with added vegetables based on Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup from FeedMePhoebe.com.

Credit: Feed Me Phoebe  


  •  olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (about a 2 inch piece grated)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced and white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, drained and cubed (or chicken, shrimp, etc)
  • 2 teaspoons sambal olek
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of warm water
  • 2 egg whites, gently beaten


  1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium to large stockpot or dutch oven.  Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger and white part of the scallions for 5 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently.Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired while sautéing.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook for another few minutes or until the mushrooms has become soft and released a lot of their liquid.
  3. Add the Sambal Olek and stir. Cook another minute.
  4. Add the soy sauce and vinegar to the mixture, stir and scrape up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Add the broth, bok choy and tofu, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for ten minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. set aside.
  6. Add the cornstarch to the soup and simmer for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat. Add the egg whites to the soup by slowly pouring them into the soup and at the same time carefully stirring the soup in large zigzags to form ribbons of egg whites in the soup. Gently stir in the green onions and serve in bowls.


January 2017

Cooking the soup. So many vegetables!
The finished soup

Beef and Chicken Sausage Chili

Beef and Chicken Sausage Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

Adapted from Cooking Light's All American Chili - really flavorful and lean chili for a cold winter day.

Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2003.


  • olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 or more large jalapeños or serranos, diced
    • NOTE: I do one of two things due to the spice-phobe in my family; either cook without the jalapeños and serve them on the side or after all the ingredients are combined, I separate out a portion that will remain spice-free and then add the jalapeños (or serranos) to the large pot and cook. 
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken breast sausage (or whatever sausage you prefer). If it is link-style, chop it.
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (lately I have used coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups of dry red wine
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of low-sodium chopped tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 can of low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of low-sodium cannellini beans (or great northern or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed


  1. Heat a large dutch oven or pot on Medium-high. Add a small amount of olive oil and coat the bottom of the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and ground beef and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked. Drain the grease from the pot and return it to the heat.
  2. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, sugar, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and bay leaves to the mixture and stir for one minute.
  3. Add the red wine to the mixture. Cook and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the beans, stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally.
  5. Uncover and cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls. Garnish with chopped onions and/or shredded cheese if desired.

NOTE: This also works well to follow recipe up to step 4, then once you add the beans put the mixture into a slow cooker, set on medium and leave it to cook for the day. I do this in the mountains, so it is about 45 minutes preparation and then dinner is ready when I come home from skiing! 


December 8, 2016

Getting my ingredients ready.
chopping the onions and garlic
Cooking the onion, garlic, peppers and meats.
The onion, garlic, peppers, and meat with the spices (step 2).


Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

Cold days call for warm soup, at least in my house. This is the second time I have made this soup, adapted from a Food and Wine recipe, and it is really a lovely warming soup to eat when the temperature drops. I made the recipe with a few modifications. The recipe called for chicken thighs, but I really don’t care for dark meat chicken so I used organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts; I also couldn’t find the specific type of thai chili paste, so I used the one I had in my fridge (Thai Kitchen brand roasted red chili paste); I didn’t have kaffir lime leaves so I substituted a tablespoon of grated lime zest; and lastly Whole Foods didn’t have thai chilies, so I substituted serrano peppers. If I had been more motivated I could have found these items at another grocery store, but I wanted to keep things quick and simple. Despite the substitutions the soup turned out very well, I got a thumbs up from 2/3 of us (I left the serranos out of the spice-phobe’s soup, he found the soup just “okay”). I have no idea why my soup came out whiter than the Food and Wine picture, maybe it was the different chili paste I used? I served the soup with some plain brown jasmine rice and broccoli roasted in the oven with olive oil, squeeze of lime, garlic, salt and pepper.
thai coco soup.jpeg

Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Sweet and spicy coconut chicken soup to warm you on a cold day.

Adapted from Food and Wine magazine, May 2016.


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, trimmed and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Thai chili paste (The original recipe calls for Nam Prik Pao — which is a sweet and spicy Thai condiment. I couldn’t find this at my local store so I used Thai Kitchen brand roasted red chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated lime zest (original recipe calls for 2 kaffir lime leaves, but these are not easy to find, so I use grated lime zest).
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, tender inner white part only, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk (I used the lite type)
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and very thinly sliced on the diagonal, plus more for garnish if desired (original recipe calls for Thai chiles, but they are hard to find).
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Limes wedges, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the fish sauce.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken broth or stock with the chili paste, sugar, lime leaves and lemongrass and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and fish sauce to the saucepan along with the shiitakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the lime leaves (if using lime leaves). Stir in the lime juice and chiles and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle the soup with the cilantro and serve with lime wedges and sliced chiles.


December 5, 2016

Lemongrass. Just use the tender white part you see here.
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Roasted Vegetable Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is another family favorite, originally from Cooking Light, but I tried to deepen the flavor by roasting the vegetables and puréeing them instead of using canned tomato soup as the original recipe calls for. I think the results are pretty good, but I may still tweak it some in the future. I am posting my “new” recipe as well as a link to the original.

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Roasted Vegetables

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Original is a fairly easy to throw in a pot and cook for an hour soup that is a whole meal. Really tasty and a family favorite for years. New version has the same basic recipe but an additional step is taken to roast the vegetables under the broiler to give the soup added depth and eliminate the use of canned tomato soup.

Credit: This recipe is based on this Cooking Light  recipe


  • olive oil
  • 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, quartered (or 28 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 small sweet onion, quartered
  • 1 Anaheim chile pepper,cut in half and de-seeded
  • 1 Poblano chile pepper, cut in half and de-seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in quarters and de-seeded
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, de-seeded
  • 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 ear of corn, husk on
  • 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken breast (I just buy some cooked “perfectly plain chicken” from whole foods to save a little time)
  • sliced lime wedges
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips


  1. Pre-heat oven to broil.
  2. place tomatoes on a baking sheet, skin side up and roast until skins start to blacken, approximately 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, broil cooks quickly. When finished cooking set aside to cool and peel off the blackened skins.
  3. Place fresh peppers skin side up, onions chunks separated, and garlic, on the lightly greased baking sheet and roast until skins start to blacken. Set aside and cool slightly then peel off the blackened skins.
  4. Cook the corn in the microwave, then peel cob and shuck the corn. Set aside.
  5. Purée the majority of the tomatoes, peppers and onions and all of the garlic. Coarsely chop the remaining roasted vegetables and set aside.
  6. Heat a large dutch oven or large pot to medium high. Add the puréed vegetables, chicken broth, wine, chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano and black pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Add the chopped vegetables, corn, dry chipotle pepper and shredded chicken. Mix and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the dried chipotle pepper. Add chopped cilantro. Serve in bowls with crushed tortilla chips and a little shredded cheddar. Enjoy!


November 2016

Peeling the skins off of the roasted tomatoes
Vegetables beginning to roast
Vegetables almost all roasted
The tomato, onion, garlic and pepper purée
The finished soup!

Fresh Mushroom Soup

This soup turned out to have amazing flavor and texture! I started searching online for a mushroom soup recipe and found they tend to have either milk or cream added or a lot of butter and flour, none of which fit into my idea of a healthy soup, so I created my own. I did borrow the idea of roasting the mushrooms from a Food and Wine recipe , but decided not to roast them until they were crunchy, instead I just roasted them until they shriveled down some, lost most of their water and just became little flavor-bombs. When the soup is blended with the cooked vegetables it looks like it might be creamy, but there is no dairy or flour in it! I think the soup is pretty healthy and not too fussy. My picky son actually ate a whole bowl of it and my husband ate a couple of bowls of it (he was hungry?). I served it with a chopped salad of kale, romaine and butter lettuces; chopped carrots, avocado, tomatoes and a hard-boiled egg for a little protein with a little shredded mixed Mexican cheese I had leftover from the enchiladas a couple of days ago and some toasted pine nuts. I dressed it with a very simple dressing made of extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and freshly ground black pepper.

Fresh Mushroom Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy to medium
  • Print

Rich and creamy but dairy and flour free healthy mushroom soup. The flavor comes from roasting the vegetables and blending them into the soup.

Credit: Food and Wine 


  • 1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, tops thinly sliced
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • ½ sweet or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 oz package of dried porcini mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dry oregano) ;  reserve a few fresh leaves (if using) to garnish with.
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups of low sodium vegetable stock or broth


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place about ¼ of the sliced shiitake mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and the carrots on a lightly greased (cooking spray) baking sheet. Drizzle about a tablespoon or so of olive oil on the vegetables and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 10 minutes. Check on them, if they have shrunken and dried out some they may be ready, if not cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Heat 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add chopped onions, garlic and remaining carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining uncooked shiitake and cremini mushrooms to the onion mixture in the pot, season with salt and pepper and add 3 thyme sprigs, white wine and the fresh or dry oregano and sauté with for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add dry porcini mushrooms, water and vegetable stock to the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to gently simmer the soup for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Remove thyme sprigs, peeling the leaves off and returning them to the pot but throwing away the stems. Pour soup into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and carefully blend until completely smooth. Return soup to the pot, add additional salt and pepper if needed. Add the roasted mushrooms and carrots, ladle into bowls and garnish with a little fresh thyme and oregano.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 2016

Mushrooms and carrots before roasting
Mushrooms and carrots after roasting


The soup before puréeing
Finished soup
Simple salad to go with the soup.