This is a delicious soup – summer or winter.  My friend Jean Baird makes it almost every time I drop in for dinner! Lucky me!

The pear taste is so subtle and the Stilton, the perfect “pearing”.

Jean Baird’s Spinach, Pear and Stilton Soup

2 – 3 Bartlett or Bosc pears
2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 firm ripe pears, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 oblong baking potato, peeled and diced (why oblong??)
1 pkg spinach
3/4 cup whipping cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 oz Stilton cheese, crumbled

1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add leeks and pears, stirring for 1 minute. Reduce heart for   about 10 minutes or until leeks are very soft,. Stir in stock, water and potato and bring to boil over high heart. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Stir in spinach just until wilted.

2. Using a blender, in batches, puree until smooth

3. To serve, heat until steaming. Stir in cream and return to steaming. Sprinkle with Stilton

Avgolemeno Soup (Greek Chicken Soup)

Mmmmm… Served with a hearty loaf of multigrain bread or a cheese scone or all on its own, this soup is a fantastic way to turn the carcass of a roast chicken into bliss.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups rice (brown long grain or white rice)
2 litres chicken stock
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
2 large lemons
3 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes, then add celery and carrot. Stir for another few minutes and then add chicken stock. Add rice and cook gently for about 45 minutes (brown rice) or 20 minutes (white rice). Add the cooked chicken. Take pot off the stove. Mix eggs with juice of two lemons. In a steady stream, add the egg-lemon mixture, stirring the soup well as the egg is added. The soup will thicken and turn creamy with the addition of the egg. Add salt and pepper to taste along with the fresh parsley and heat gently for a few minutes, stirring over a low heat till the flavours are blended. Serve with a few leaves of parsley to garnish.

Hearty Beef Barley and Vegetable Soup

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This soup recipe makes a big stock pot of yummy beef vegetable goodness. Cut it in half if you aren’t planning on feeding a hungry crowd or freezing it in batches for those cool winter nights. Makes enough for about 30 servings…

Step 1: Tenderize and flavour the beef

  • 2 lbs roast beef (round roast is fine and often cheaper than stewing beef)
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • tsp each dried basil, rosemary and oregano

Cut beef into ½ inch cubes and then marinade in red wine, garlic and herbs overnight.

Step 2: Make beef soup stock or use pre-made stock

6 beef bones; 2 onions; 2 carrots; 1 stalk celery and 12 cups of water – bring a boil and simmer overnight. Drain stock through a sieve, save for the soup, and make the dog happy for days with the soup bones!

Step 3: Put the vegetables and meat together

Saute in 3 tbsp olive oil:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, white part chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

add the beef, wine, and continue sautéing as the beef browns

then add…

  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 8 cups water

and then…

  • 4 large potatoes, diced
  • ¼ – ½ cup pot barley

finally add…

  • 1 650 ml jar good tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp good salt

Bring to a boil and then simmer for two hours.

Step 4: Just before serving, add fresh herbs

  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil
  • 4 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley

Cook for another five to ten minutes and serve.

The soup is hearty and full of goodness. It freezes well and feeds a crowd. Fresh biscuits alongside or a loaf of multigrain bread works well but the soup is robust enough to stand on its own merits. Enjoy!

Chicken or Turkey Noodle Soup

This soup has healing energy! Not only is it a great way to transform that turkey carcass into soup-rich meals, but folk medicine indicates that chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory properties. Cooking bones slowly for a long time also increases the amount of calcium in the soup. Best of all – this recipe tastes great! Lemon mixes with chicken broth and fresh vegetables in a tasty elixir.

Making Chicken Noodle Soup

Making Chicken Noodle Soup

 

  •  2 onions, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, garlic minced
  • ½ head of celery, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, diced or two cups green beans, sliced
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 roasted medium chicken, deboned and meat diced, or a leftover turkey carcass, deboned with meat diced
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 tbsp fresh oregano or tbsp dried oregano
  • bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (half added to the soup at the beginning and half added at the end)
  • 6 cups chicken or turkey stock:

Place the chicken or turkey in a large pot along with an onion stuck with 8 whole cloves, 2 carrots, 2 cloves garlic and 2 stalks celery and 12 cups water. Bring to a boil and then slowly simmer overnight. Drain stock, set aside, and pick meat from the bird.

  • 8 oz egg noodles, cooked, drained and kept in a separate bowl.

Saute onions with garlic in a little olive oil. Add the celery, green peppers or beans, carrots. Add the chicken stock, white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then simmer gently for about an hour. Add the chicken or turkey meat and the ½ bunch reserved Italian parsley. Season with a little salt, more lemon juice to taste (if preferred), and fresh ground pepper.

When ready to serve, add a handful of noodles to the bowl, and ladle hot soup over top. In this way, the noodles won’t get mushy.

This soup freezes well, tastes wonderful, and is definitely a healthy meal!

Chicken Noodle Soup!

Chicken Noodle Soup!

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