Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Split Pea Soup

Posted: December 27, 2011 in Recipes

Have you ever bought one of those spiral hams and had all that meat left over on the end of the bone? Well here is a great way to use that bone and get the most out of your holiday ham.

This was the first time we had ever attempted split pea soup. After reading a few recipes and calling mom to find out how she made hers, we then came up with this one using the left over ham bone from Christmas Eve. Let me tell you this came out fantastic … better than we imagined.


2 – 16 oz. packages of dried split peas.

1 ham bone with plenty of meat still on it, or 2 pork shoulders will work as well.

2 – 4 pieces of ham cut from the bone with some fat still on it, or leftover pieces from the ham.

2 onions, finely chopped

3-4 celery stalks, finely chopped

4-5 carrots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbs. ground black pepper

2 tbs. marjoram

2 bay leaves

12 cups of water


Place the peas in a covered pot or dutch oven and just cover with water, refrigerate and let soak over night. Or you can do as we did and bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Then rinse and drain the peas.

Place the 2 -4 pieces of pork in a preheated stew pot. Cook them until the bottom of the pan is covered in a thin layer of the fat, set the meat aside and cut into small bite size pieces, (remove the fat). This will be added later after the simmer is done.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and the garlic and saute until softened, about 8 min.

Once the onion, celery and the carrot mixture is soft. Add everything else to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 hours. Until the peas turn into mush.

At this point you will need to remove the bone and leftover bits of meat floating around in the soup.  You can do this next part  1 of 2 ways –  place the soup in a blender and give it a few pulses, or you can use one of those hand blenders which you stick right into the soup and give it a few pulses. This will get the peas mixed well. Next, cut up the meat that is left over into bit size pieces along with the pieces from earlier and add back to the soup and simmer for 30-40 min more. At this point you can taste it to see if you need to add more pepper and maybe a little salt. The ham has a high salt content and it bleeds into the soup so we did not add any salt until we tasted the finish product.

There you go, split pea soup using the left over ham bone, not wasting a thing. This was also great as leftovers. A real stick to your ribs kind of soup. If you try it out let us know what you think.


Donna and Matt


French Onion Soup

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Recipes

I was wondering how to make french onion soup, so I started breezing thru some recipes and I decided that I would create my own variation of this recipe. After a few tries and tweaks this recipe is now complete and I must admit, it is almost perfect. This is fairly easy to make and very tasty indeed. Great as leftovers, and a perfect recipe for a winter afternoon. Enjoy!


10 onions sliced in long cuts

 2 tsp salt

 4 tbs of butter

 2 tbs of flour

 1 cup of red wine

 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied off with cooking string.

 4 bay leaves

 2 tbs balsamic vinegar

 4 cups of low fat beef broth

 4 cups of chicken broth

 6 Baguette slices, toasted

 6 slices of reduced fat Swiss cheese


Slice your onions into long strips as shown. This may look like a lot of onions, and that is what I thought when I first made this, but they cook down a lot.   You will have about 1/2 to 2/3 less volume when you are done.

Add slivered onions and salt. Cook until browned and carmelized. (about 30-40 minutes). After they are cooked down, sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook in well.

Add the Red wine, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, beef broth, chicken broth. Mix well and bring to boil. Add your sprigs of thyme and bay leaves and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to broil. Remove thyme and bay leaves and portion out the soup into oven safe bowls. Preferably french onion soup crocks. Place one baguette over each bowl, and place a slice of cheese over that. Place in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and brown. (about 10 min.)

French onion soup can look a bit ugly, but I assure you this recipe is great. Even my own mother gave it the thumbs up. She told me it was better than anything you could buy at a restaurant. That is what she said anyway, you be the judge. Let us know what you think.



Donna and Matt

Garden Vegetable Soup

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: , ,

This soup is a variation of a recipe that we got out of one of those supermarket cook book magazines (Cuisine at Home  – Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides  pg 8). This was the first time that we made it and it came out really good. We hope that you like this hearty and healthy soup.

If you count weight watcher points, this one is practically free!


1 cup onion, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 cups vegetable broth

2 cups small red potatoes, quartered

2 cups of cauliflower florets

2 bay leaves

3 cups tomatoes, diced

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of mushrooms (optional)


Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Use a little salt and pepper here. Cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.

De-glaze with wine, simmer until nearly evaporated. Then add the mushroom and cook until the mushrooms start to soften.

Stir in broth, potatoes, cauliflower and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, corn, beans, parsley salt and pepper. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately, don’t simmer for to long because the potatoes will get to soft and they will fall apart.

A few suggestions you can also do with this soup … add rice  or add white beans for added protein and fiber, or  add quinoa. You can change the veggies as well –  use summer squash and/or zuccini (we omitted these because I am not a squash fan). And don’t forget to serve this soup with your favorite whole grain bread.

We hope you like our idea for a garden vegetable soup. Mix yours up, there are limitless possibilities. Let us know what you add to yours.


Donna and Matt

This is a full chicken soup recipe from scratch – from stock to soup. This is a fun recipe, but requires a long amount of time. Approximately 3-4 hours. I hope you like it, because we love it! Keep in mind, as with most of my recipes, the amounts are approximate.  I don’t spend a lot of time measuring out the spices, exactly.



1 whole chicken 4-5 lbs

2-3 carrots chopped in 3rds

2-3 celery stocks chopped in 3rds with leaves.

2 onions quartered

1 bunch of fresh thyme tied

1-2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves peeled and cut in half

approx. 1 Tbs salt

approx. 1 Tbs of whole pepper corns


1-2 Tbs of olive oil

5-6 carrots peeled and sliced

2-3 onions chopped

1 bunch of leaks chopped

1 bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped

4-5 celery stocks chopped

1-2 Garlic cloves crushed

2-3 sticks of fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste



Place the whole chicken in the stock pot.  Add the carrots, celery, onions, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, salt and peppercorns.  Cover chicken completely with water, just enough to cover the chicken (about 3 quarts).  If you use too much water, the stock will be weak.  Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for a few minutes. Then simmer for 1-2 hours until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Simmering is important here.  Over boiling will cause the stock to be  cloudy.

During the simmer,  occasionally scrape off and remove any impurities that rise to the top of the stock and discard.  Add water if needed to keep the chicken covered.  Check the flavor of the stock  and add salt and pepper to taste.  I use a fat separator to remove the excess oils and such.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and set aside to cool.  Using a fine strainer,  drain the stock into a large bowl. Use immediately or place the stock in the fridge over night and skim off the fat before freezing.


In a large stock pot place the olive oil.  Cook the onions over medium to high heat for about 2 min.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the crushed garlic and  leaks and cook for an additional 3-4 min.

Add the carrots, celery and thyme.  Mix well.  Cook for another 1-2 min.  Add the chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 min. Or until the carrots are slightly soft.

Cut up the chicken into bite size strips. Add the chicken and parsley simmer for a few minutes and serve with crusty bread.


This soup came out fantastic. I have a feeling that we will be making more of this all winter long.  Try out this recipe and let us know what you think.  If you have any suggestions to improve on it, let us know in the comment section.   We will remake the recipe with your changes and give you credit in the post.


Matt   🙂