Category Archives: Soup

Next-Day Turkey Soup with Mashed Potato Polpetti



Here is a perfect recipe for the weekend after Thanksgiving. It involves a homemade turkey broth, so I suggest that you approach this one in stages. Make the broth and prep the potato patties one day, and finish up the next. A super way to use the turkey carcass and some of the leftover veggies, potatoes, and gravy.



  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 turkey carcass, all meat removed
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 stalk, minced
  • 1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups dark turkey meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • Mashed Potato Polpetti (Patties), for serving, recipe following

Ingredients: Mashed Potato Polpetti (Patties)

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • Grey salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Leftover gravy, for serving


  1. Put the chicken broth, turkey, carrot halves, celery stalk, onion halves and 1 bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Dice the turkey meat. Make sure the meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soupspoon. (If preparing the soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. Top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep the meat moist.)
  3. Before straining the broth, remove the large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve covered with wet cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Transfer the broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.
  4. In a large soup pot, heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Allow to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the minced carrots, celery and onions. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, 7 or 8 minutes.
  5. Dice the leftover Thanksgiving vegetables. Add the sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add the Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam, 5 to 7 minutes. Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve with the Mashed Potato Polpetti.
  6. Re-season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese. Take a mayonnaise or peanut butter lid and line with plastic wrap to use as a mold. Pack the potato mixture into the lid, unwrap it and place the patty on a baking sheet. You may refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap until the next day, or fry immediately.
  7. To cook, dredge the patties in flour. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Just before frying, dredge the patties again with flour.
  8. Add the patties to the oil without crowding them (you may have to cook them in batches). Cook until the underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown the other side. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with leftover gravy. Makes 6 servings.

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Italian Orzo Tomato Spinach Soup



What a wonderful treat this Italian soup was — and ready in only 30 minutes! It takes one bag of baby spinach, two cans of fire roasted tomatoes, vegetable stock, orzo, and some chopped veggies to create this fantastic soup. I topped each serving with some homemade croutons that I had on hand.  I like to freeze a quart or two every time I make a pot of soup. It is so easy to take some out and put together a healthy meal on evenings when you are short on time.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1//2 cups chopped onions
  • 1¼ cup carrots, sliced into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 cup celery
  • 6 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 6½ cups of vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1½ tablespoons pesto
  • 1½ cups orzo (whole wheat or regular)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups baby spinach, packed
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté them for 4-5 minutes until they get soft. Add the carrots, celery, and roasted garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Add the stock, along with the tomatoes, pesto, orzo, thyme, Italian seasoning, and oregano, stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and let the orzo pasta cook to al-dente, about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
  2. Just before serving, add the baby spinach and continue to cook for 1 minutes or until the spinach gets nice and bright green and wilts down. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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“Bridges of Ashtabula” Bean Soup



Purely American is a little company out of Norfolk, Virginia that provides my favorite bean soup mixes — all natural, no additives. The “Bridges of Ashtabula” is a hearty nine bean soup mix that celebrates Ashtabula County, Ohio — America’s covered bridge capital. Each soup mix comes with a wonderful recipe attached that turns the beans into something beautiful. We used the bone from our Easter ham along with crushed whole tomatoes, onion, celery, garlic, potatoes, sweet corn and a nice, fat chicken breast to create this heart healthy, high fiber, low fat soup. To get the best result, purchase a can of whole skinless tomatoes, drain the liquid into your soup pot and crush the tomatoes in your hands right into the pot. Feel free to use any bean mix that you have on hand, but check out the wonderful selection that Purely American offers.  A perfect meal for a breezy Sunday.



  • 2 Quarts of water
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 meaty country ham bon (3/4 lb.)
  • 1 Bouquet Garni
  • 1 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery (including some leaves)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. fresh chicken breast
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1 cup sweet corn


  1. Sort through and thoroughly wash beans. Soak beans four hours or overnight in water to cover by 2 inches.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans. In a large pot (6-8 quart capacity) combine the beans, 2 qts. of cold water, black pepper, ham bone, and Bouquet Garni. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook 1 hour.
  3. Add salt, tomatoes (including all the juice), onions, celery, garlic and chicken breast. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. For the best flavor, prepare onions, celery and garlic just before adding them to soup.
  4. Add potatoes and corn. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for additional 30 minutes.
  5. Remove ham bone and chicken onto a cutting board to cool. Carefully locate and discard bones and fat. Dice meats fine and return them to soup. Remove and discard Bouquet Garni.
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Irish Bacon And Cabbage Soup


cabIrish bacon is cut from both the pork belly and the loin producing lean, meaty pieces. This type of bacon is not readily found here in the South so I used a lean, uncured center cut bacon instead. The preparation of this soup moves along quickly with a nice hot bowl ready in about an hour. I found that I really needed closer to three cups of chicken broth instead of the one cup as listed below. I used one cup to deglaze my stock pot to incorporate all of the bacon bits into the mix and the other two to bring the liquid level up to cover all the goodness. The end result is a flavorful and hearty soup — a delicious way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. Perfect served with a thick piece of toasted bread.



  • 1/2 pound Irish bacon, diced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or as needed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups thinly sliced dark green Savoy cabbage leaves


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep stockpot or saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain off any excess fat.
  2. Stir in potatoes, tomatoes, and enough chicken stock to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes longer before serving

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Colonial Virginia Country Style Bean Soup



A good pot of soup is a great vehicle to use up some of the leftovers and extra ingredients after the holidays. Of course, I want to put the bone from our Honey Baked ham to good use — this year it is in a Country Style Bean Soup. Soak about 2 cups of your favorite bean mix for a few hours before adding it to your stock pot with fresh spring water, a ham bone or ham hock, freshly ground pepper and a bouquet garni. Over the course of the next couple of hours you will add chopped celery, onion, whole peeled tomatoes, garlic, corn, diced potatoes and a chicken breast. Once everything has had a chance to cook up the ham bone and chicken breast are removed, and the meat is diced and returned to the pot. I think my favorite thing about making this soup is the enticing aroma that fills the house. Of course, we think that this soup is even better the next day, and I always freeze a quart or so to enjoy on a cold, winter evening.



  • 2 cups of assorted beans and peas
  • 2 qts. cold tap or spring water
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 meaty country ham hock (3/4 lb.)
  • Bouquet Garni
  • 2 tsp, salt (or to taste)
  • 1-28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 c. chopped onions (2 medium onions)
  • 2 c. chopped celery (include some leaves)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. diced potatoes
  • 1 c. corn
  • 8 oz. (1 medium) fresh chicken breast
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)


  1. Sort through and thoroughly wash beans. Soak beans four hours or overnight in water to cover by 2 inches.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans. In a large pot (6-8 qt. capacity) combine the beans, 2 qts. cold water, black pepper, ham hock and bouquet garni. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook 1 hour.
  3. Add salt, tomatoes (chopped, including all the juice) onions, celery, and garlic. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. For the best flavor, prepare onions, celery and garlic just before adding them to soup.
  4. Add potatoes, corn and chicken breast. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for additional 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  5. Remove ham hock, chicken breast, and bouquet garni. Carefully locate and discard bones and fat. Dice meats fine and return them to soup.

From Purely American

Red Beans and Rice Soup


red beans

This is one of those recipes that is even better the next day. It has lots of great ingredients with a few steps using just one pot. This take on red beans and rice uses most of the traditional ingredients — sausage, red bell pepper, celery, diced tomatoes, tabasco. I added some rich chicken stock to the pot along with a bit of brown sugar and some garlic and thyme.  Just perfect for the chilly fall days ahead. Served here with Sour Cream Cornbread.



  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. diced kielbasa
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce(optional)
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 6 cups cooked red beans
  • 2/3 cup converted white rice
  • Chopped scallions


  1. Saute kielbasa in a large pot over medium heat, 4-5 minutes. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and seasonings. Cook, stirring constantly 3-4 minutes.
  2. Deglaze the pot with vinegar and Tabasco.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, beans and rice. Partially cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  4. Garnish servings with chopped scallions.


Chicken Stock



images (5)I recently bought a couple of rotisserie chickens for a quick family favorite (Chicken Broccoli Divan). After cutting away most of the breast meat I decided to make a nice chicken stock to reserve for the next time I made soup. I particularly like this recipe — I was able to substitute chicken carcasses for the chicken bones, it uses roasted vegetables, doesn’t require a lot of prep, it uses the stems of the parsley leaving the rest for other uses, and I was able to use the bottom end of the celery and save the tops.  . . . And of course, I picked through to salvage as much chicken as I could for sandwiches or the pups.

CHICKEN STOCK (Yields about 1 Quart)


  • 4 pounds chicken bones, chopped
  • 3 large onions, quartered
  • 1/2 head celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup whole peppercorns
  • Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems only
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine onions, celery, and carrots in a pan; toss with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until the vegetables are a rich golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken carcasses and vegetables to a large stockpot, add 12 cups cold water, and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 4 hours.
  4. Remove from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer into a clean pot. Place back on the stove over high heat and cook until reduced by half,  skimming the scum that rises to the top with a ladle every 20 minutes.
  5. Use immediately or let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.