Category Archives: Soups

Beef Stew for a Winter Day

I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold outside, I want soup. So Beef Stew on a Winter day is quite fitting.

My mom makes amazing beef stew. She uses leftover pot roast – and let the world know that she makes the BEST pot roast! She doesn’t use a recipe, but it’s delicious every time.

Last Friday, as I was contemplating what to feed the family, a recipe from the new Taste of Home returned to my mind. Beef Stew and Vegetable Stew? Bay leaves? Perfect. Of course I didn’t follow the recipe perfectly, but close enough to say that it’s a good recipe.

By the way, have you ever noticed that bay leaf recipes command you to remove the bay leaves before serving? It’s a command I always disobey; what’s the fun with taking them out? And besides, at our house, whoever gets the bay leaf gets a kiss from the cook.

On to the recipe. You must make it because it’s delish.

I’ll give you half-my version, half-Taste of Home’s version.

Beef Stew for a Winter Day

1 small onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 T. oil

1 large or 2 small potatoes, cubed

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth

1 can (11-1/2 oz.) can V8 juice or 1 (14 oz.) can tomato juice plus a little lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and some herbs

1 large carrot, scrubbed and sliced

2-3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1 lb. chuck or arm roast, cooked and chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 T. cornstarch

1/4-1/2 cup beef or chicken broth or water

In a large saucepan, saute the onion and celery in oil until crisp tender. Add potatoes, beef broth, V8 juice, carrot, and herbs. Continue to cook on medium-high until potatoes and carrots are almost tender. Add roast, peas, and corn. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and chicken broth until smooth; add to stew. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened and bubbly. Serve with love and cheer. Yield: 5-6 servings.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5


Fiesta Black Bean Soup

You know me. It’s not possible for me to follow a recipe. I don’t think I ever have. Either I replace the sugar with honey, or add extra garlic, or increase the baking time, or something.

I didn’t follow this recipe. It started out as Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans, and I transformed it into Fiesta Black Bean Soup. We didn’t have pinto beans and I didn’t feel like making tortilla strips. Plus creativity. End of story.

Start out with half an onion and two garlic cloves. Gotta love garlic.

Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Saute with a little oil.

Now add diced (or crushed) tomatoes, diced green chilies, and a couple of cans of chicken broth.

Yeah. I know. It looks boring.

Not boring for long. We are getting black beans. Can anything be boring if it has black beans?

I love these babies. I used to think they looked like little beetles. Delicious beetles.

Rinse and drain them and add them to the soup.

You’re thinking, “It looks just as boring as it did before she added the beans.”

It does. But there are beans swimming in this soup now. Before there were no beans swimming in the soup.

Proof? Here is proof.

Add all your favorite seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, sugar, chili powder, and lime juice.

Lime juice. I really added it. But don’t tell anybody. Nobody else knows.

I wanted it a little thicker somewhere around this point, so I mixed a little cornstarch and water to add to the soup. I think it helped a little.

Now for the fun.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. It really is spinach. And you’re going to add it to the soup. Chop it up.

And, right before you serve the soup….

…add the spinach.

Evil laugh followed by an evil chuckle.

Not really.

Let it cook down. You can’t even tell it’s spinach. That’s the beauty of it. You’re getting your Vitamin K and you can’t even tell.

Right. Time to serve it.

Grated pepper jack cheese. Mmmmm….

And chopped avocados. Have I mentioned how much I love avocados?

I do.

And a  little sour cream.

Here you go!

And there you have it, folks. Fiesta Black Bean Soup.

Here’s the full recipe.

Fiesta Black Bean Soup

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 T. oil

15. oz diced or crushed tomatoes

3 whole green chilies, diced or 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies

2 cans chicken broth

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 tsp. each salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, sugar

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. lime juice

2 tsp. cornstarch

1/3 cup water

4 cups fresh spinach, chopped

In a medium-large saucepan, Saute onions and garlic until onions are crisp-tender. Add diced tomatoes, green chilies, chicken broth, black beans, and seasonings. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Add to the soup. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Add spinach; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Serve immediately with cheese, avacados, and sour cream. Serves: 6-8 people

P.S. This soup should be called just Black Bean Soup. But that sounded too boring. So now it’s Fiesta Black Bean Soup. Does that sound a little better?

Oh yes. A little cilantro would be perfect in this soup. However…

You guessed it. I didn’t have cilantro.

Enjoy, though!

God bless!


Black Bean Pumpkin Chili

This is pretty much a family favorite. I made it tonight – ’twas as good as ever.

Black Bean Pumpkin Chili

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium yellow sweet pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. oil

3 cups chicken broth

2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

2 1/2 cups chopped turkey or ground beef/beef sausage

1/2 tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. oregano

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

Saute the onions, pepper, and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until heated through and ready to serve. Yield: 8-10 servings

Don’t be scared of the pumpkin…you can’t even taste it!


Chili Meatball Supper

Or Chili Meatball Lunch. Whatever you want to call it. It’s the perfect cold-day soup!

Chili Meatball Supper

3 cups onions, chopped (about 3 large onions)

3 large green peppers, chopped

3 15 1/2-oz. cans red kidney beans, drained

3 16-oz. cans diced tomatoes

2 12-oz. cans whole kernel corn

1 15-oz. can tomato sauce

2 T. chili powder

3 bay leaves

1 T. salt

3 pounds beef meatballs

Cheddar cheese, grated

Corn chips

1. In a large soup pan combine the onion, green pepper, kidney beans, undrained tomatoes, undrained corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, bay leaves, and salt.

2. Bring to boiling; stir in meatballs.

3. Cover and simmer till meatballs are heated through and vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally. Remove from bay leaves.

4. Serve with cheddar cheese and corn chips.

Yield: 18-20 servings

Note: You don’t have to remove the bay leaves. Whoever gets the bay leaves gets a kiss from the cook! But, please modify this tradition as necessary. =)


Cream of Vegetable Soup


1 1/2 T. butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk celery, diced

4 cups chicken broth

2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup grated carrot

5 cups broccoli and/or cauliflower

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. dried mustard

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup flour

3 cups milk

2 bacon strips, fried and crumbled

2 cups chicken, diced

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion, garlic, and celery. Saute until crisp-tender. Add chicken broth, mushroom soup, carrots, broccoli and/or cauliflower. Bring to boiling as you add the spices (salt, pepper, paprika, oregan, mustard). Reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is tender. In a separate small saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and mix well; whisk in milk. When it thickens, add to vegetable soup. Continue to simmer. A few minutes before serving, add bacon, chicken, and cheese. Continue to simmer until chicken is heated through. Enjoy! Serves: 8-10