Category Archives: Soups

Lemon Chicken Soup

Lemon Chicken Soup / Especially Edible

Cold and flu season is almost over. (Which means allergy season is almost here . . . That’s me, the resident pessimist.) Chicken soup should be on its way out, replaced by lemon bars and bunny-shaped Easter cakes. But for a friend of mine, who has chronic bronchitis, it is perpetually chicken soup season. And this recipe is too good to wait another year to share.

Lemon Chicken Soup / Especially Edible

I’ve made it multiple times for people who are under the weather, and it turns out every time. Because I’ve made more than a handful of changes to the original recipe, I’m also ridiculously proud of my “own” version. I’m no recipe developer, and I don’t know enough about the science of baking to invent a new cookie without relying on someone else for the flour-to-sugar-to-baking-soda ratio. Savory dishes are a bit easier to adjust ; for one thing, you don’t have to worry about something turning out as flat as a pancake or as dense as a hockey puck. Of all savory dishes, soup is probably the most forgiving. Judging by my success with all the modifications, this recipe certainly proved to be.

Lemon Chicken Soup / Especially Edible

Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


1 Tbs. olive oil

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup mushrooms, diced

1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced

1 3/4 cup egg noodles

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 sprig rosemary

5 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley


Boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes, then shred or cut into bite-sized pieces.

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add garlic, onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and mushrooms. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until tender. Add thyme and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour in chicken stock, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Stir in egg noodles and rosemary and simmer for 7 minutes or until pasta is done. Add lemon juice and zest and garnish with parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from foodiecrush via Damn Delicious .

Wild Rice Turkey Soup

What to do with those Turkey Day leftovers.

Wild Rice Turkey Soup / Especially Edible

Turkey Tetrazzini: it’s like the fruitcake of the world of Thanksgiving leftovers, the casserole that everyone pretends to love on Black Friday. Every other day of the year? Not so much. Google Trends, which graphs the popularity of “turkey tetrazzini” as a search term, makes it pretty obvious. Each spike represents a November of a particular year. (FYI, searches for “turkey” alone follow the same pattern.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 10.10.19 PM If you were able to drill down into the data, I bet you’d find that all those searches for the noodles-mushrooms-and-turkey casserole don’t start until Thanksgiving dinner ends. Food Network alone has three recipes for tetrazzini, one from Tyler Florence, one from Emeril Lagasse, and one from Ree “Pioneer Woman” Drummond. Tetrazzini is the namesake of Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, according to Wikipedia, but it’s not the only way to repurpose turkey leftovers.

How about wild rice turkey soup? It’s another recipe that spikes every November, but it’s not as old and tired as tetrazzini, which reminds me of those hashbrowns-and-Velveeta casseroles featured in old issues of Woman’s Day or Family Circle.

My recipe comes from Taste of Home, which, I have to admit, is generally a staunch supporter of tater-tot casseroles and condensed soup sauces. Anything that mimics a hamburger, an enchilada, or a lasagna has a permanent spot in the ToH rotation. But enough snobbishness. The wild rice turkey soup recipe was good, so I really shouldn’t be complaining.

Wild Rice Turkey Soup / Especially Edible

The soup managed to incorporate three different leftovers from my family’s Thanksgiving dinner: turkey from (duh) the bird of honor, mushrooms from my stuffed acorn squash, and wild rice from my dad’s signature stuffing. And trust me, there were a lot of mushrooms left over after I practically cleaned out the grocery store’s supply of creminis. (So sue me – my eyeballing and measuring abilities are decidedly subpar.)

If you still have any turkey leftovers – and I know my slowness in posting this has dramatically increased the odds that they’ve already been gobbled up (no pun intended) in a cranberry-sauce sandwich – this is an easy way to use up the greasy Ziploc of bird meat in your refrigerator.

Wild Rice Turkey Soup / Especially Edible

Wild Rice Turkey Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 people


1 cup uncooked wild rice

7 cups chicken broth, divided

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium onion, diced

3 celery ribs, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground dry mustard

1/2 tsp. savory spice

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 cups shredded cooked turkey

2 cups half-and-half


Cook the rice, either in a rice cooker or on the stove with 3 cups of broth. On the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer for 50-60 minutes or until tender.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Saute the mushrooms, onion, celery, and carrots until onions are transparent and vegetables are fork-tender.

Add the flour and seasonings, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn. Pour in four remaining cups of broth and raise to a boil. Cook for two minutes, or until thickened.

Stir in the turkey, half-and-half, and cooked rice. Heat through before serving.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Sweet Potato Apple Turkey Chili

Perfect for a pre-Thanksgiving football game!

Sweet Potato Apple Turkey Chili / Especially Edible

Yams? Sweet potatoes? At first I thought the difference was pretty clear-cut. I thought that sweet potatoes were the orangey, pink-skinned thingies that went into marshmallow-crusted casseroles. And I thought that yams were . . . well, I didn’t really know what yams were. One was a tuber, I thought, and the other was . . . again, I didn’t know what the other one was. After buying both sweet potatoes and yams from my local Whole Foods-type store, I was convinced that what people had for years called sweet potatoes were really yams. Yams red, sweet potatoes white. End of story. I even took a picture of it and vowed to write a blog post rolling my eyes at everyone whose “sweet potato” recipes – this soup, this salad, and this bread – were clearly made from the beautiful orange flesh of yams.

Sweet Potatoes vs Yams

But then I Googled it, and fell down the black hole of Internet research. The pictures Google splashed at the top of my screen seemed to confirm my white/orange hypothesis, but then I clicked on the Huffington Post’s attempt to provide a definitive answer to “What is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?” and just ended up more confused. (This is often the case with HuffPo articles.)

Sweet Potato Apple Turkey Chili / Especially Edible

The Kitchn does a better job of explaining it: Basically, what we think of as yams and sweet potatoes are two different varieties of sweet potatoes, despite the USDA’s efforts to label all the orange ones as “yams.” True yams come from Africa, have a sort of hairy-looking skin, and bright white flesh with purple highlights. Firm-fleshed sweet potatoes are white inside with white skin, and soft-fleshed sweet potatoes are orange inside with red skin. You can certainly tell the difference when you puree and mash them for recipes – the former mash up like regular starchy potatoes, waxy and stiff, while the latter become soft and fluffy when pureed. “Yams” are what we typically use when we make that marshmallow casserole, and they’re infinitely prettier and easier to use in baked goods, though I did have some success with what I now consider “real” sweet potatoes (the white kind) in a hummus that got its healthy tan color from tahini paste and cumin.

Sweet Potato Turkey Apple Chili / Especially Edible

Going by the pictures, the chili I made the other night definitely incorporated “yams” despite its name. And really, who wants a sweet potato chili that’s stiff and white? If I wanted a blah-looking soup, I’d puree some cauliflower. The name wasn’t the only thing about this recipe that was a misnomer. Called “easy” by the (wonderful) blog Oh Sweet Basil, I had a hard time referring to anything¬† as “easy” that required half an hour of dicing and another fifteen minutes of cleaning up my monster of a food processor. Of course, with my knife skills, I am the slowest cook in the world. You can literally double the prep time on any recipe that requires any of its ingredients to be cut up. My father dices onions like a pro, turning his knife one way and then the next. I, on the other hand, stab away at the thing, flinging stray onion pieces onto the floor and, quite memorably, into my hair.

So maybe we’ll call this chili “Intermediate Sweet Potato Apple Turkey Chili.” No matter what you call it, it has the perfect hint of Thanksgiving while still respecting the fact that it’s only November 10.

Sweet Potato Apple Turkey Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 people


2 medium sweet potatoes (yams)

3 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbs. olive oil or butter

1 large carrot, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

3/4 pound lean ground turkey

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Salt to taste


Cook sweet potatoes: Either bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then peel; or peel and cut into chunks, then steam for 20 minutes until tender.

In a food processor or blender, combine cooked sweet potatoes with broth and puree until smooth.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the tablespoon of butter. Saute the carrots, peppers and zucchini until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey and apple and cook until turkey is brown all the way through, about 5-8 more minutes.

Add the pureed mixture and milk to the pot. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and simmer for 30 minutes. Before serving, season to taste with salt.

Recipe adapted from Oh Sweet Basil


Butternut Squash, Lentil, and Chickpea Stew

A Moroccan-inspired pot of goodness.

Butternut Squash, Lentil, and Chikpea Stew | Especially Edible

My love affair with butternut squash continues. I’ve made bread, I’ve made macaroni and cheese, and now I’ve made stew. If you’re suffering from pumpkin overload (pumpkin lattes, pumpkin Febreeze, pumpkin scones at Starbucks, pumpkin spice in the very air we breathe . . .), you’ve come to the right place. Butternut squash is the unsung hero of fall – and it even comes pre-chopped in plastic containers at my local natural foods store. It’s orange, like pumpkin, but not so obvious. Acorn squash may be more fun – slice one in half and look at the adorable shape it makes – but butternut squash is easy. My first two squash recipes relied on steamed, pureed butternut, but this one keeps the chopped cubes intact. I love anything with lentils and chickpeas – they remind me of yummy, soft hippie food – so this Moroccan-flavored stew is perfect. Plus, it will make your house smell divine as it bubbles on the stove. Coming in from a cold, crisp fall day to a warm butternut squash embrace – there’s nothing like it.

Butternut Squash, Lentil and Chickpea Stew | Especially Edible

Butternut Squash, Lentil, and Chickpea Stew

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 6 people


1 Tbs. olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. saffron

1 15-oz can chickpeas

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes

3 cups vegetable broth

4 cups butternut squash, diced

1 cup green lentils, rinsed

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and transparent. Add garlic and saute for another minute.

Stir in cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and cook until spices are fragrant. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, butternut squash, lentils and saffron. Bring mixture to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash and lentils are tender.

Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Garnish with cilantro.

Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Celebrating fall’s pumpkin obsession with a savory dish.

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My taste-testers – otherwise known as my parents – put up with a lot. I invade their kitchen most nights and muck up their counters with flour and eggs and other various baking supplies. I make them try everything that comes out of the oven or off the stove, because I’m the worst kind of cook, the kind Gordon Ramsay shames every week on Kitchen Nightmares: the chef who doesn’t taste her own food. I’m a longtime anorexic, so my baking is described by my mother as “creepy” and my father as “weird.” It’s probably both, though the friends to whom I deliver weekly muffins and quick bread might disagree.

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

I do know, however, that my mother at least appreciates the Saturday dinners I make for her, the ones that don’t include the chicken- or steak-on-the-grill that my dad serves up during the week. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s not quite a vegetarian – she’ll eat meat, and it’s not that she has some moral problem with eating something with a face, but if left to her own devices I believe she’d be eating tofu breakfast burritos and black-bean rice bowls every day.

2014-09-20 18.39.30

This Saturday’s recipe – a fall-inspired chili – actually did involve chicken, but its inclusion of two cups of pumpkin were enough to scare my father away. So while he made up his plate of crackers, cheese and the dodgy-looking pickled green beans he claims are delicious, I made pumpkin chicken chili for my mother. The reaction of my official Taste Tester #1?

“It’s the best thing you’ve made.”

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It didn’t necessarily scream pumpkin, just a creamy, delicious chili. The tomatoes added bursts of sweetness, and the chicken was perfectly tender. Of course, the next words out of her mouth were, “You should try some.”

Someday. I’m working on it.

2014-09-20 19.23.53

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8 people

Pumpkin Chicken Chili


2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground sage

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

3 cups chicken broth


In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion. Saute for 3 minutes, then add green pepper and carrots. Saute, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender but not cooked all the way through, 5 or 6 minutes.

Add garlic and spices and cook for another minute.

Add chopped chicken and cook until meat is lightly browned.

Stir in pumpkin puree, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and chicken broth.

Bring the chili to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Creamy Corn Chowder

Corn, chicken, and crumbled bacon – it’s summer in a bowl!

corn chowder 2 sharp

Take a stab at the prep time on the original recipe. Got a number? How about fifteen minutes. Sure, the recipe took sneaky shortcuts like calling for already-cooked chicken breast, bacon, and corn. But even without counting the 20 minutes needed to boil the chicken and prep the other ingredients, fifteen minutes is ridiculous. Is this corn chowder, Chopped-style? I know I’m insanely slow with a knife, but unless you’re an iron chef, cutting up the vegetables, potatoes and crumbling the bacon will take you longer than a quarter-hour. It took me fifteen minutes to cut up and crumble the bacon alone. Am I doing something wrong? Probably. My knife skills are pathetic, and I can count on doubling the prep time listed for even a quick bread recipe.

Even if you’re better in the kitchen than I am, I’ll bet readying everything for the chowder will take you longer than fifteen minutes. It will also require a really, really big pot – the big red pot I typically use for soups started to overflow even before the addition of the corn, chicken, and half-and-half. I ended up dumping the entire thing into the my parents’ enormous stainless steel pot and finishing up the chowder in that. All in all, the recipe took me two hours from start to finish. None of the steps were particularly hard – they were just time-consuming. I’d say the taste was worth it, but I don’t think my family was all that thrilled to eat dinner at 9:00 pm. At this rate, I’ll be serving breakfast in the afternoon.

Creamy Corn Chowder

Creamy Corn Chowder


1 lb. boneless chicken breast

8 slices bacon

1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces

1 large red bell pepper, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup flour

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 medium russet potatoes

2 bay leaves

2 1/2 cups fresh corn (about 4 ears)

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper


Boil the chicken breast for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Shred chicken with a fork. Meanwhile, boil ears of corn for 4 minutes. Cool, then cut corn from cob. Cook bacon and crumble. Peel and dice potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.

In a large - and I mean large - pot, melt butter and saute red pepper and onions over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in chicken broth and whisk until well-blended.

Stir in potatoes, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, then turn down heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add corn, shredded chicken, bacon, and half-and-half. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. Serve warm, adding extra chicken broth if the chowder is too thick.

Recipe from Cooking Classy , adapted from Better Homes and Gardens