Nov 7, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

recipe from Pam Elder

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup slice carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup wild rice
1/3 cup sliced leeks or green onions
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 teaspoon so it wouldn't be to spicy for people)
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup half and half

1 1/2 cups chicken cooked and cubed (I use rotisserie chicken when I'm in a hurry)

In a large saucepan, mix ingredients broth through pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover, simmer 50 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and stir in the flour, then stir in the half and half a little at a time until mixture is smooth. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 more minute. Then slowly add roux to the rice mixture making sure to stir constantly. Stir in the chicken and heat through.

Make approximately 4 main dish servings

Black Bean Soup

This soup is wonderful! I hope you enjoy it. It is pretty inexpensive and you must use the garnishes!

recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Makes About 9 Cups
Dried beans tend to cook unevenly, so be sure to taste several beans to determine their doneness in step 1. For efficiency, you can prepare the soup ingredients while the beans simmer and the garnishes while the soup simmers. Though you do not need to offer all of the garnishes listed below, do choose at least a couple; garnishes are essential for this soup as they add not only flavor but texture and color as well. Leftover soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days; reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, stirring in additional chicken broth if it has thickened beyond your liking.

1pound dried black beans (2 cups), rinsed and picked over
5ounces ham steak , trimmed of rind (about 3/4 of a small ham steak)
2bay leaves
5cups water
1/8teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon table salt
3tablespoons olive oil
2large onions , chopped fine or processed in food processor
1large carrot , chopped fine or processed in food processor
3ribs celery , chopped fine or processed in food processor
1/2teaspoon table salt
5 - 6medium cloves garlic , minced
1/2teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2tablespoons ground cumin
6cups low-sodium chicken broth
2tablespoons cornstarch
2tablespoon water
2tablespoons lime juice , from 1 to 2 limes
lime wedges
minced fresh cilantro leaves
red onion , finely diced
avocado , diced medium
sour cream (or plain yogurt)


  1. FOR THE BEANS: Place beans, ham, bay, water, and baking soda in large saucepan with  lid. Boil over medium-high heat; remove any foam that rises to the surface. Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer briskly until beans are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (if necessary, add another 1 cup water and continue to simmer until beans are tender); do not drain beans. Discard bay leaves. Remove ham steak (ham steak darkens to color of beans), cut into small cubes, and set aside.
  2. FOR THE SOUP: Heat oil in large pot; add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, bean cooking liquid, and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.
  3. TO FINISH THE SOUP: Ladle 1 1/2 cups beans and 2 cups liquid into food processor or blender, process until smooth, and return to pot. Stir together cornstarch and cold water in small bowl until combined, then gradually stir in the cornstarch mixture into soup; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, to fully thicken. Off heat, stir in lime juice and reserved ham; ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately, passing garnishes separately.

Zesty Cranberry Soup

Recipe from Staff Meals from Chanterelle

This easy, light dessert soup is a staff natural in the fall when cranberries are plentiful and festive feeligns are running high. We like its tart-sweet flavor and usually serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lemon or orange sherbet mid-bowl.

1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches)
6 whole cloves
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled
4 long strips of lemon zest, 1/2 inch wide (peeled using a vegetable peeler)

Tie the above ingredients into a piece of cheescloth. Or place in the pot and make sure to remove then before straining mixture.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 packages (12 oz each) fresh or frozen cranberries
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste 

Place sugar, spice bundle, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar.

Add the cranberries and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the berries begin to burst, 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; you don't want the soup to get too thick.

Let the berries sit for 15 minutes, then strain them through a fine mesh sieve (strainer) into a medium bowl. Press down on the berries as you strain them to release all their juices. Discard the pressed berries (Bean and I actually have been stirring the berries into homemade plain yogurt as a treat!).

You should have about 3 cups of "juice", taste and add fresh lemon juice a tablespoon at a time to get just the right balance of flavors. Cover the bowl and refrigerate to chill the cranberry soup.

When you're ready to serve, pour the soup into shallow bowls (this soup is rich) and float ice cream or sherbet in the middle.


Nov 2, 2010


I've been making a wonderful salad. I have used the basic cranberry vinaigrette and served it over spinach, apples and candied walnuts. Also mixed greens and pears with blue cheese and I've also made the salad as is. This is a really versatile salad with an essence of fall. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!


¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
10 cups mixed baby greens
2 medium red delicious or honeycrisp apples, cored & thinly sliced
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Puree cranberries in processor until smooth. Add vinegar, onion, sugar and mustard and process until well blended. With processor running, gradually add oil and process until well blended. Transfer to medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature and whisk before using).
2. Combine greens and apples in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve, passing remaining dressing separately.

Servings: 6

Cooking Tips
*If you would prefer a cleaner look to your salad, try looking for white balsamic vinegar. The original version, although it slightly coats the apples with the brown balsamic, is still very yummy.
*Add a crumbled cheese- goat or blue, if desired.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit