Tag Archives: soup/stew

Cream of Spinach Soup (Gunflint Lodge Cookbook)

5 T butter

1 medium onion, chopped

5 T flour

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

10 oz. spinach, if frozen – thaw and squeeze to removed most of the moisture

1 cup half-and-half (or whatever milk you have on hand)

salt and pepper


In medium saucepan, cook onion in butter until translucent. Stir in flour. Cook slowly, stirring for 1 minute to cook the flour. Whisk in chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Stir in spinach, remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Puree and add half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can add a little nutmeg if you’d like or garnish with parmesan cheese.

Carrot Soup (Anne Spencer)

1 cup thinly sliced onions

4 cups thinly sliced carrots

6 T butter

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp thyme

3 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

1/2 cup rice


In a large saucepan cook onions and carrots in 4 T butter for 1 minute. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, thyme, chicken broth, and water, heat to boiling. Sprinkle in rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Puree the soup mixture. Stir in remaining butter until melted.

Corn and Cheddar Cheese Chowder (Anne Spencer)

Saute in 2 T butter or olive oil:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
medium onion, chopped
4-5 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2″ dice, approximately.
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp cumin

Barely cover with water. Bring to boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Add 1  pck frozen corn (you can add straight from the freezer). Cook until corn is thawed.

In the meantime, prepare a cheese sauce:

4 T butter
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2  cups whole milk
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6oz)
1/4 cup white wine

Make cream sauce with butter, flour and milk. Pour into potatoes and corn mixture.
Add cheese and wine, salt and pepper. Stir and heat. You can also add a bit of red pepper flakes.

This is also good with bacon (fry and then add at the end) or ham – added anytime.

Thai Chicken Soup

6-8 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course

If you want a soup with less fat, it is possible to substitute light coconut milk for one or both cans of regular coconut milk. Fresh lemon grass can be omitted, but the soup will lack some complexity. Don’t be tempted to use jarred or dried lemon grass-their flavor is characterless. If you want a spicier soup, add more red curry paste to taste. For a more substantial meal, serve the soup over 2 to 3 cups of cooked jasmine rice. The soup can be prepared through step 1 up to one day ahead of time and refrigerated, but it should be completed immediately before serving, as the chicken and mushrooms can easily overcook.


  • 1teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3stalks lemon grass , tough outer leaves removed, bottom 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
  • 3 large shallots , chopped
  • 8sprigs fresh cilantro leaves , chopped coarse
  • 3tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk , well-shaken
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2pound white mushrooms , cleaned, stems trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts , halved lengthwise and sliced on bias into 1/8-inch-thick pieces (see illustration below)
  • 3tablespoons fresh lime juice from 2 to 3 limes
  • 2teaspoons red curry paste (Thai)
  • Garnish
  • 1/2cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 serrano chiles , sliced thin
  • 2 scallions , sliced thin on bias
  • 1 lime , cut into wedges


  1. 1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add lemon grass, shallots, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2 to 5 minutes (vegetables should not brown). Stir in chicken broth and 1 can coconut milk; bring to simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until flavors have blended, 10 minutes. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer and discard solids in strainer. Rinse saucepan and return broth mixture to pan.
  2. 2. Return pan to medium-high heat. Stir remaining can coconut milk and sugar into broth mixture and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove soup from heat.
  3. 3. Combine lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce in small bowl; stir into soup. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chiles, and scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Helen’s Chicago Cassoulet

The Cassoulet Helen made for us in Chicago.

NOTE: The recipe can be halved.

2 cups dried canellini or great northern beans, soaked overnight or quick-soaked
Pork shoulder or fresh ham cut into large chunks and trimmed
6-8 brats, cut in 3rds
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, in 1/2 inch pieces
1 TBS thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
2 TBS tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups broth
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
olive oil

In large dutch oven, brown pork in olive oil.  Remove from pan.  Add onions, celery, carrot, and saute until translucent over medium heat.  Add tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and saute for 3 minutes.  Add canned tomatoes, broth, wine, bay, salt and pepper, and stir until combined.  Add beans and meats.  Bring to simmer, then place in preheated 325 oven, uncovered, for 2 hours.

Increase oven to 375.  Combine bread crumbs with 2-3 TBS olive oil, sprinkle on top of cassoulet and return to oven for 1 hour.

Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Gunflint Lodge Chili

1 lb ground beef

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced green pepper (I use red if I have it)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, crushed

1 (14 oz) can tomato puree

1/2 cup hot water

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T salt (0r less)

2 T sugar

5-6 T chili powder, or to taste

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

3-4 (15 oz) cans of kidney beans, drained (I sometimes use a combo of kidney and black beans)

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, brown ground beef with celery, onions, peppers and garlic. Drain fat. Add tomatoes and tomato puree. In small bowl, combine hot water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and sugar; stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Add water mixture to beef and tomatoes. Stir in chili powder, oregano and cumin. Bring to a simmer; cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add additional seasonings as needed to taste. Stir in kidney beans; reheat to a simmer and serve. Makes about 3 quarts.

Tomato soup–cream-less version

Serves 6 to 8.   Published September 1, 2008.   From Cook’s Illustrated.

If half of the soup fills your blender by more than two-thirds, process the soup in three batches. You can also use an immersion blender to process the soup directly in the pot. For an even smoother soup, pass the pureed mixture through a fine-mesh strainer before stirring in the chicken broth in step 2. Serve this soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for a Crowd or topped with Butter Croutons (see related recipes).


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion , chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
Pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread , crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
Table salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain. Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  2. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add 1 tablespoon oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil. Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth and brandy (if using). Return soup to boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in individual bowls. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives and drizzle with olive oil.

French-style beef stew (a.k.a., Daube Provencal)

Serves 4 to 6.   Cooks Illustrated November 1, 2005.

Serve this French beef stew with egg noodles or boiled potatoes. If niçoise olives are not available, kalamata olives, though not authentic, can be substituted. Cabernet Sauvignon is our favorite wine for this recipe, but Côtes du Rhône and Zinfandel also work. Our favorite cut of beef for this recipe is chuck-eye roast, but any boneless roast from the chuck will work. Because the tomatoes are added just before serving, it is preferable to use canned whole tomatoes and dice them yourself–uncooked, they are more tender than canned diced tomatoes. Once the salt pork, thyme, and bay leaves are removed in step 4, the daube can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Before reheating, skim the hardened fat from the surface, then continue with the recipe.


3/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms , rinsed well
1 boneless beef chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces salt pork , rind removed
4 large carrots , peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds (about 2 cups)
2 medium onions , halved and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
4 medium cloves garlic , sliced thin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 bottle red wine (bold, such as a Cabernet)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 strips orange zest (from one orange), removed with vegetable peeler, each strip about 3 inches long, cleaned of white pith, and cut lengthwise into thin strips
1 cup niçoise olives , pitted and drained well
3 anchovy fillets , minced (about 1 teaspoon)
5 sprigs fresh thyme , tied together with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes , drained and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. 1. Cover mushrooms with 1 cup hot tap water in small microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife, and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms from liquid with fork and chop into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 4 tablespoons). Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer lined with 1 paper towel into medium bowl. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.
  2. 2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking; add half of beef. Cook without moving pieces until well browned, about 2 minutes on each side, for total of 8 to 10 minutes, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke. Transfer meat to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and remaining meat.
  3. 3. Reduce heat to medium and add salt pork, carrots, onions, garlic, and tomato paste to now-empty pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Slowly add wine, gently scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Add broth, water, beef, and any juices in bowl. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to full simmer. Add mushrooms and their liquid, orange zest, 1/2 cup olives, anchovies, thyme, and bay, distributing evenly and arranging beef so it is completely covered by liquid; cover partially and place in oven. Cook until fork inserted in beef meets little resistance (meat should not be falling apart), 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  4. 4. Discard salt pork, thyme, and bay leaves. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup olives; warm over medium-high heat until heated through, about 1 minute. Cover pot and allow stew to settle, about 5 minutes. Using spoon, skim excess fat from surface of stew. Stir in parsley and serve.

Burmese chicken coconut soup

4-½ cups Basic Chicken Stock, divided (recipe this page)

2 cups cubed or shredded chicken

1 large onion, halved

2 teaspoons minced ginger

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons corn or peanut oil

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

About ½ to ¾ kosher salt

1 cup coconut milk, regular or low-fat

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided


2 cups lo-mein-type noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained (see Kitchen Note *)


Crispy fried noodles (see Kitchen Note **)

Lime or lemon wedges

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1. Prepare Basic Chicken Stock. Reserve 4-½ cups stock and 2 cups cubed or shredded chicken for the soup. Have fried noodles ready for the accompaniments.

2. Coarsely chop one of the onion halves; slice the other half thinly and set aside. Put the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and ½ cup stock into a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Put the flour into a bowl. Very slowly whisk in 1 cup broth, mixing thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Pour oil into a medium pan and set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add sliced onions and fry, stirring, until they begin to turn brown at the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cayenne, paprika, turmeric and salt, stirring once. Add remaining 3 cups broth and onion-ginger purée. Pour the flour mixture through a strainer into the pot. Add 1 tablespoon cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add some of the hot soup to the coconut milk, then pour it back into the soup. Stir in cooked chicken along with the cooked noodles and simmer very gently on low heat 5 minutes. Watch carefully; if the coconut milk becomes too hot it will curdle. Stir in remaining cilantro.

4. Serve soup with accompaniments on the side.

Times Kitchen Notes:

* Besides the lo-mein noodles, Madhur Jaffrey also suggests using rice stick noodles, angel hair, capellini or spaghettini, cooked according to package directions. We used precooked packaged yakisoba noodles.

** To prepare crispy fried noodles, add about 2 cups precooked yakisoba noodles to the boiling water when cooking 2 cups noodles for the soup. Drain well; spread 2 cups on paper towels for a few minutes to dry. Heat about ½ inch vegetable or peanut oil in a large heavy skillet, such as cast iron, over medium heat. When oil is hot, drop a fourth of the noodles into the oil; fry until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining noodles, adding more oil as needed.


1 pork shoulder, 4 to 7 pounds (or use fresh ham)

4 or more cloves garlic, peeled

1 large onion, quartered

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ancho or other mild chili powder

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil as needed

1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar

Lime wedges for serving.

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Score meat’s skin with a sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern. Pulse garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, chili, salt and pepper together in a food processor, adding oil in a drizzle and scraping down sides as necessary, until mixture is pasty. (Alternatively, mash ingredients in a mortar and pestle.) Blend in the vinegar.

2. Rub this mixture well into pork, getting it into every nook and cranny. Put pork in a roasting pan and film bottom with water. Roast pork for several hours (a 4-pound shoulder may be done in 3 hours), turning every hour or so and adding more water as necessary, until meat is very tender. Finish roasting with the skin side up until crisp, raising heat at end of cooking if necessary.

3. Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it up; meat should be so tender that cutting it into uniform slices is almost impossible; rather, whack it up into chunks. Serve with lime.

Yield: At least 6 servings.

Beef stew carbonnade

Top blade steaks (also called blade or flatiron steaks) are our first choice, but any boneless roast from the chuck will work. If you end up using a chuck roast, look for the chuck eye roast, an especially flavorful cut that can easily be trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. Buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes make excellent accompaniments to carbonnade. The traditional copper-colored Belgian ale works best in this stew. If you can’t find one, choose another dark or amber-colored ale of your liking.



3 1/2 pounds  blade steaks , 1 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 1-inch pieces (see illustrations below)
  Table salt and ground black pepper 
3 tablespoons  vegetable oil 
2 pounds  yellow onions (about 3 medium), halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
1 tablespoon  tomato paste 
2 medium cloves  garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons  all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup  low-sodium chicken broth 
3/4 cup  low-sodium beef broth 
1 1/2 cups  beer (12-ounce bottle or can)
4 sprigs  fresh thyme  , tied with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves 
1 tablespoon  cider vinegar 

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; add about one-third of beef to pot. Cook without moving pieces until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes; using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until second side is well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned beef to medium bowl. Repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and half of remaining beef. (If drippings in bottom of pot are very dark, add about 1/2 cup of above-listed chicken or beef broth and scrape pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; pour liquid into bowl with browned beef, then proceed.) Repeat once more with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef. 2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until onions have released some moisture, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in broths, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, thyme, bay, vinegar, browned beef with any accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to full simmer, stirring occasionally; cover partially, then place pot in oven. Cook until fork inserted into beef meets little resistance, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 3. Discard thyme and bay. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; reheat over medium-low heat.)

Tomato soup

Its easiest to make this recipe (and other pureed soups) with a hand blender. We have a $20 Braun model from Bartels that works great.


  • ~28 oz tomatos (canned with juice, or peeled fresh)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
  • ~1 qt stock
  • 4 T butter, plus extra for sauteing onion if using
  • 4 T flour
  • bay leaf
  • sugar (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

If using an onion, sautee in extra butter until limp. Add stock, tomatos, and bay and bring to a simmer for at least 10 minutes. In another small saucepan, melt 4T of butter, and add flour to make a roux. Add roux to tomatos and stock, remove bay leaf, and puree off heat. Return to heat, and add salt, sugar, and pepper (and other spices if desired) to taste.