Cheddar Cheese Soup


It’s been so cold here over the past few days like it has been in many places.  Soup seemed like a logical choice for dinner so off I went to search out a recipe in my cookbooks.

This recipe has a lot of ingredients but they all work together to make a wonderful, flavorful soup.  This recipe is not hard to make and it helps to get all the ingredients ready before you start since it cooks up quickly.

The croutons are from my recipe that I posted yesterday and they are great in this soup!  Here’s the link ~ Make Your Own Croutons

Cheddar Cheese Soup

Cheddar Cheese Soup

6 tbsps butter
3/4 cup minced onion
3/4 cup minced carrot
1/2 cup minced celery
4 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps dry sherry
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 chopped parsley for garnish
Croutons, optional

In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onion, carrots, and celery for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and all the seasonings and blend. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cream and sherry, stirring. Add the cheese in cupfuls, stirring each until melted into the soup.

Garnish with parsley and croutons, if desired, and serve at once.

Cheddar Cheese Soup 2

Makes 4-6 servings.

Source:  Lagniappe

Happy Cooking!

My signature

Garden Minestrone from Fresh from the Farmstand


Here is another recipe from Gooseberry Patch‘s Fresh from the Farmstand cookbook.  Don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway of a copy of this cookbook!  To enter, go to  THIS POST!  Entries on any other posts or on Facebook will not be counted!

I LOVE minestrone soup!  I also have a terrible habit of NOT reading a recipe through until I’m ready to start dinner.  I read the ingredients and that’s as far as I go.  I don’t see myself changing any time soon so I spend some time trying to figure out how I can change it up to work for me.  And that’s what happened with this recipe.  I didn’t start with dried beans so I used two cans of navy beans, rinsed.  My celery was so limp, I couldn’t stand to touch it so I threw it out and subbed fresh green beans.  Mr. Meat Eater refuses to eat anything with cabbage in it so I subbed spinach.  In place of the water used to cook the dried beans, I used chicken broth.  I also used 2 cans of diced tomatoes with the juice since tomatoes at this time of year are awful. I also threw in some oregano and basil. Soooooooo…same recipe?  I followed the recipe just using my substitutions.  You can make any recipe your own and this is just a good example of it.  This particular recipe is so good and that makes it easy to add your own ingredients.  My photo isn’t very good either, sigh ~ the white stuff is Parmesan which I have to have with minestrone.

The recipe was submitted to Gooseberry Patch by Kay Marone of Des Moines, Iowa.  Here is her recipe the way it is in the book.

Garden Minestrone

2 cups dried navy beans
10 cups cold water
2 to 3 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups ditalini, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large soup pot over high heat, cover beans with water. Bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain; rinse beans well and return to pot. Add 10 cups cold water; bring to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, saute onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes or until onion is lightly golden. Add this mixture along with the tomatoes to the simmering beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for another hour.

Stir in cabbage, zucchini, pasta and parsley. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

Makes 8-10 servings.


Happy Cooking!

Hearty Lentil Soup


This really hit the spot on a cold, cold day.  It’s easy to make but plan ahead as it takes some time to simmer.  I used red wine vinegar and I sprinkled with Parmesan since everything tastes better with cheese!  This recipe makes loads of soup so I tossed the leftovers in the freezer and we’ll see how that works.

Hearty Lentil Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups dry hearty lentils
8 cups water
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender. Stir in garlic, oregano, bay leaf, and basil and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Happy Cooking!

Minestrone Soup III

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I think this is the third minestrone soup reciep I’ve posted.  Minestrone is probably my favorite soup and I’m always trying new recipes for it.

You can easily make this vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken ~ one of thie reasons why I love this soup is because is so versatile.  You can adapt it to suit your needs.  This particular recipe called for 2 potatoes.  I’m sure they were added to helop thicken the soup but I don’t like it thick and there are already a bunch of carbs so I just left them out.   It also called for cabbage but I used spinach. I liked this version with just a smidge of tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes just for a change of pace.

Minestrone Soup III

Minestrone Soup III

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1/s tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup pearl barley (I used quick cooking barley and it was fine)
3 carrots, chopped
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
2/3 cup small shell pasta
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups baby spinach
Grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top, if desired

Heat the olive oil in a soup por or Dutch oven and saute the onion, celery, garlic, and spices for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add the barley, carrots and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Stir in the beans, pasta and tomato paste. Simmer until the pasta is al dente. Add the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes longer or until the spinach is tender.

Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Shrimp and Crab Chowder


Chowders just seem to hit the spot, don’t they?  This one is easy and I actually made it for lunch yesterday.  I used fake krab in my effort to use lower fat products and it worked great. I also decided to leave the peel on the red potatoes because I like the way it looks.  The recipe calls for 5 potatoes, diced,  but I found that three were plenty.


Shrimp and Crab Chowder

1 pound medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound fresh crabmeat or fake krab
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1 (8-oz.) bottle clam juice
3 red potatoes, peeled and diced, use up to 5 if you want
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley, I used fresh cracked black pepper instead

Sauté onion, garlic, and celery in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in broth and next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in shrimp, crabmeat, and heavy cream or half and half. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.

Garnish, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!


Tavern Soup


I’m guessing this is called Tavern Soup because there is beer in it.  It’s a very simple soup that you make in your crockpot.  You can drink it from a mug so it’s great on really cold day.


Tavern Soup

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (12 ounce) can light beer, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine celery, carrot, green pepper and onion in a slow cooker. Add broth, beer, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours.

After 5 or 6 hours, remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and process in a blender or food processor in batches until pureed and return to cooker with broth (I just use a stick blender and blend in the crock and it works great). Turn control to HIGH. Dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into pureed mixture. Add cheese gradually, stirring until blended. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Happy Cooking!


Chicken Tortilla Soup


This is one of my very favorite recipes on Recipezaar ~ it’s one I make often.  For the chicken I just buy a couple packages of raw chicken tenders and cube them up.  Then I toss them into the soup.   I add a can of black beans, rinsed, and I usually use a can of green chilies instead of the jalapenos.  I also use fire roasted diced tomatoes.  Sometimes I make corn tortilla strips to use on top, or use crushed tortilla chips or I buy tortilla strips.

The link to the recipe ~ Amazing Chicken Tortilla Soup!

I served it with My Mexican Salad

Happy Cooking!