Category Archives: Soup

Frito Pie – Texas

Frito Pie is a beloved Texas dish, probably made popular at little league and football concession stands across the Lone Star State. The recipe is simple. Take your favorite chili, slice open a bag of

Frito Pie - Texas

Fritos, ladle said chili on top of the corn chips and garnish with cheese. Think nachos served in a bag but eaten with a plastic fork. Messy but oh-so-yummy.

The origins of Frito Pie are contested but Frito-Lay asserts San Antonio resident Daisy Doolin, mother of Charles Elmer Doolin (inventor of the Frito), came up with the idea in the 1930s to help market the chips. Fun fact: in October of 2102, Frito-Lay set a Guinness World Record for the largest Frito Pie at the State Fair of Texas, weighing in at a monstrous 1,325 pounds. Holy moly, chili willy!

You can make your own chili or pop over your favorite grocery store and pick up some ready-made chili at the soup station. Texas chili traditionally does not have beans but we looooooove us some beans so we added them. Be conscious of the amount of salt you add to the chili when making it since the chips are quite salty on their own.

One of the newest national monuments is Waco Mammoth, so designated by President Obama in 2015. Between 65,000 and 72,000 years ago, a herd of 19 mammoths drowned in rapidly rising river waters and were trapped. You can now see the remains in situ along with a bull mammoth and a camel.

Frito Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 1 hr.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green or red pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 12 oz. bottle of beer
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt (go easy on this)
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 14 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained (optional)
  • 1 14 oz. can white beans, drained (optional)
  • Snack sized Fritos corn chips, one bag per person
  • Cheddar cheese

 Instructions

In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef until no longer pink. Add onions, peppers and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add diced tomatoes and beer, then chili powder and cumin. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Add beans if using. If chili is too thick, add additional beer. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and cayenne if heat is needed. Cook another 15-20 minutes or until beans are heated through.

To serve, cut Fritos bag on the long side. Add a healthy scoop of chili and top with cheese.

Peanut Soup – Virginia (V, GF)

We admit to loving anything with peanuts. And why not? Peanuts are a good source of protein and contain vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and Vitamin E.  Virginia peanuts are

Peanut Soup - Virginia

mostly grown in southeastern Virginia but also in the Carolinas. Virginia peanuts are prized because they are bigger than other types such as Spanish, Runner, and Valencia.

Most peanut soup recipes use peanut butter and add cream — not an option if one is vegan or lactose intolerant. But then we found this recipe from the Washington Post where the peanuts are soaked overnight. It was like the answer to all of our soup prayers. This earthy soup is perfect for these chilly fall evenings or football Sundays.

Great Falls National Park is just 15 miles from Washington, DC and boasts spectacular views of the waterfalls with three overlooks. Activities include biking, boating, hiking, and fishing.

Peanut Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe credit: Washington Post

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts, covered with water and soaked overnight
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple, diced (for garnish)
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

Drain soaked peanuts, set aside. Place oil into large soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the drained peanuts. Add celery seed and bay leaf, cook on medium for about 2 minutes. Add broth. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until the soup begins to boil. Reduce to low and continue cooking about 25 minutes or until peanuts are quite soft. Remove bay leaf and let soup cool a bit.

With an immersion or stand blender, blend soup in small batches until desired consistency is reached. Return soup to the pot and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Heat through. Garnish with diced apple and hot sauce if desired.

Oh, You’re Full o’ Beans: Tortilla Soup – Texas

Let’s talk about Tex-Mex, shall we? The term was coined in 1875 and initially referred to the Texas and Mexican Railroad. Some claim that the cradle of Tex-Mex food is San Antonio where Hispanic women, called “chili queens” began serving chili in the plazas in the 1880s. In

Tortilla Soup from Texas is comfort food at its best

the 1930s, several restaurant chains started and popularized the idea of the combo plate with rice and beans. Then in the 1970s, cookbook author Diana Kennedy asserted that Mexican food made north of the border wasn’t truly Mexican food at all. Even though she offended Texans who liked their nachos, fajitas and cheese enchiladas, she probably cemented the idea of regional dishes with big southwest flavors that came to be known as Tex-Mex.

We’ve been making tortilla soup for years and could probably do it while half-asleep, it’s that easy. Our little trick is to pulverize some tortilla chips in the food processor and add these when the veggies are almost done. They add a bit of texture and thicken up the soup nicely.

The last several times we cooked this soup, we made our own chicken stock by simmering bone-in chicken thighs with veggies (a quartered onion, celery, and carrot) and seasoning (salt, peppercorns, bay leaf) for about 40 minutes. But you don’t have to do this. Leftover chicken (rotisserie chicken is particularly good) and canned stock works just as well.

This recipe is easily adaptable. You don’t like heat? Leave out the jalapeno. You don’t eat meat? Make it vegan by leaving out the chicken and subbing vegetable stock.

If you make your way to San Antonio, remember the Alamo (literally), site of the 1836 battle between Mexican troops under President General Santa Anna and Texian defenders. Visitors can take in the shrine, visit the museum and walk the gardens.

Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, deveined and deseeded, finely diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup corn tortilla chips, blitzed in food processor
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15-oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 15-oz. cans of black beans, drained
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce for garnish (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
  • Tortilla strips for garnish (optional)
  • Avocado or guacamole for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

 Instructions

Heat olive oil in large stock pot. Add carrots and sauté, 3-4 minutes. Add celery, onion, red pepper, garlic and jalapeno if using. Sauté 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add tortilla chips, continue cooking until soft. Add stock, tomatoes, salsa and black beans. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low. Add chicken and season to taste with salt, pepper and cumin. Simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.

Go Wild: Wild Rice Soup – Minnesota

Did you know wild rice is the state grain of Minnesota? Tis true! Wild rice is actually a semi-aquatic grass that grows in lakes, rivers Wild Rice Soup - Minnesotaand bays. Native Americans harvested wild rice in canoes, using beater sticks to knock the seeds into the boat. Even today, by law “wild” wild rice (not cultivated) has to be harvested the same way in Minnesota and only by those licensed to do so, according to the Whole Grains Council.

Nutritionally, wild rice is extremely low in fat, a good source of fiber (3 grams per serving) and has more protein than white rice (7 grams vs. 4 grams per serving).

Residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes love their Wild Rice Soup. We present a vegan recipe but this can easily be adapted for meat lovers. Sub in chicken broth instead of vegetable, add cooked, diced chicken or turkey (about 3 cups) when adding the broth, and then finish with 1 cup whole milk or cream.

Hugging the very western tip of Lake Superior, Duluth, the self-proclaimed beer capital of Minnesota lures beer lovers with its North Shore Beer Trail.

Wild Rice Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 50 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • Olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • Medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Half pound of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

 Make wild rice according to package directions. In the meantime, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, cook 3 minutes. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Add mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook until caramelized and quite brown. Deglaze the pot with white wine, vigorously scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add reserved vegetables back to pot. Add oregano and rosemary. Stir in flour until all vegetables are well coated. Add 4 cups broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then return to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Add additional broth if too thick. Add wild rice, salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 10 minutes or until rice is hot.

 

 

 

Badger State Trinity in a Bowl: Cheesy Brat and Beer Soup – Wisconsin

When you think of the Badger State, you think of three things: beer, brats and of course, cheese. Wisconsin has led the United States in cheese making since 1910, producing a whopping 2.9 billion pounds in 2013. What a lotta gouda! As for the beer and brats, we can thank the influx of German immigrants, who came in waves in the second

Cheddar, Brat and Beer Soup - Wisconsin
half of the nineteenth century. Many of these immigrants were lured by inexpensive farmland, which in turn led to the state’s large dairy production. In 1940, license plates in Wisconsin boasted the slogan “America’s Dairyland.” This soup is a delicious combination of all three Wisconsin products. If you’re cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend or hosting a viewing party for the Final Four, this soup would be a perfect addition.

Get a taste of beer, brats and cheese at the Dairy State Cheese and Beer Fest, April 18, 2015, in Kenosha.

Cheesy Brat and Beer Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe adapted from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 medium onions, finely chopped
• 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
• 14 oz. chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1 cup milk (2 percent preferred)
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 10 ounces Wisconsin cheddar cheese
• 4 links of grilled bratwurst (can substitute Polish sausage), sliced ½ inch thick
• 12 ounces beer (Pilsner style)

Instructions

Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and carrots, cook until they are soft. In a separate bowl, whisk flour into the broth, breaking up any lumps. Stir into the vegetable mixture. Add milk, pepper and mustard. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Gradually stir in the cheese, taking care not to overheat or the cheese will become stringy. Add the sliced brats and beer. Cook until heated through. Top with additional shredded cheddar if desired.

Veni, Vidi, Vici: Chili Verde – Colorado

We came, we saw, and we conquered Chili Verde. Chili Verde is unique to the southwest states and especially popular in Denver.

Chili Verde - Colorado

Made with pork rather than beef, this delicious stew is quite green. Thank the tomatillos for that vibrant hue, along with poblanos and cilantro. Add a jalapeno or two if you want some heat, otherwise leave it out.

This chili is wonderful on a football Sunday. It holds well if you are having people over for the holidays and are not sure what time everyone will want to eat. Serve with homemade corn bread or corn tortillas.

Take a spin around the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park in Denver. Skate rentals are only $2 or bring your own and skate for free!

Chili Verde

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatillos
  • 6 cloves of garlic (not peeled)
  • Cilantro, one bunch, stems removed
  • 2-3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and start the broiler. Slice peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and stem. Smash with the palm of your hand so they are flat. Place on the cookie sheet skin side up. Remove papery husk from the tomatillos and wash them well. Slice in half. Place on cookie sheet cut side down. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves. Broil vegetables for about five minutes until the skin is blackened on the poblanos. Remove from oven. When peppers are cool enough to handle, place in a paper bag. Let sit a few minutes, then remove the blackened skins from the peppers and peel from the garlic.

Place peppers, garlic, and tomatillos into a blender. Blend on high until all ingredients are finely chopped. Add the cilantro. Blend again. The mixture will resemble a green smoothie.

Heat a large skillet or soup pot with olive oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook pork on medium heat until browned. When pork is done, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onion and chopped garlic to the skillet. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits of pork from the bottom of the skillet. Add the pork back to the skillet. Add the oregano and cumin. Stir until fragrant. Add the verde sauce and then the chicken broth, making sure the meat is covered (add a bit of water if necessary).

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on low uncovered for 2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. Season again with salt and pepper before serving.

Chow Down on Chowdah: New England Clam Chowder – New Hampshire

After a brisk day of hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, nothing could be more inviting than a nice, hot bowl of clam

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chowdah. You can find good clam chowder at any clam shanty up and down the Eastern Seaboard, but New Hampshire has an especially strong connection to the rich, creamy soup because it’s one of the first places in the New World to have successfully cultivated potatoes, according to the National Potato Council. In the recipe we’re featuring, we used fresh clams, and it absolutely makes a difference in bringing out a bright, briny clam flavor. If you’ve never steamed clams before, don’t worry – it’s easy. Soak the clams so they filter out the excess salt and sand, then brush them well; then in a large pot bring a few cups of water to a boil along with onion and celery trimmings. Add the clams, cover and let steam until these babies open. You don’t want to overcook them; they’ll cook a little longer in the soup. Use red potatoes which are waxier and hold their shape better than the white variety. The rest is super easy: If you can fry bacon, you can manage. As they say in Manchester, mmm, mmm, wicked good!

Support local artisans and crafters at the Downtown Holiday Market in Manchester, December 11, 13 and 18, 2014.

New England Clam Chowder

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pounds littleneck clams (yields approx. 1 cup of clam meat = approx. 30 clams)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/3 pound bacon
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup reserved clam cooking liquid
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 6 to 8 small red potatoes, diced medium
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

To steam clams: Pick through clams and discard any with cracked or damaged shells. Soak for 20 minutes in fresh water. Lift them out of the water bath (do not strain) and brush them vigorously to get rid of any excess sand. Heat 3 to 4 cups of water in a large pot with onion and celery trimmings until slowly boiling. Turn down heat to medium. Add clams and cover. Steam about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shells start to open. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard any clams that do not open. Once shells are cool enough to handle, open shells, extract and chop meat coarsely. Reserve the cooking liquid.

To finish chowder: Fry bacon until it’s crisp. Remove bacon, add onion and celery. Cook until onion is translucent. When bacon is cool enough to handle, chop and return to pot. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ¾ cup of the reserved clam cooking liquid (skimming off the top to avoid sand from the bottom of the pot), bottled clam juice, water and potatoes. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium. Add chopped clams and simmer until potatoes are tender, approximately 25 minutes. Finish with cream, adjusting seasonings to taste.

Whose Stew is it Anyway? Brunswick Stew – Virginia

Virginia is for lovers and we’re feeling the culinary love for Brunswick Stew.

Brunswick Stew - Virginia

 

Legend has it that Jimmy Matthews, a camp cook, created this stew for a hunting party back in 1828 on the banks of the Nottoway River. Other places have claimed Brunswick Stew as their own, most notably Brunswick, Georgia, spawning some serious stew wars. Georgia versions tend to have beef or pork as the protein while the Virginia version uses chicken. Thankfully for us, neither uses squirrel, the primary protein when the dish was created in the nineteenth century. This stew is hearty thanks to the addition of corn, potatoes and butterbeans, and the Brunswick Stewmaster’s Association asserts that it isn’t done until the spoon can stand up in the middle of the stew pot.

Brunswick Stew - Virginia

Head out to the Taste of Brunswick Festival in Alberta, Virginia, October 11, 2014, where you can sample lots of versions during the stew cook off.

Brunswick Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour, 30 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe adapted from Brunswick Stewmaster’s Association, used with permission.

Ingredients

  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 carrot, cut into large pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) small butterbeans or lima beans, drained
  • 2 cans (7 oz.) white shoe peg corn, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

 Instructions

In a large pot, place chicken with enough water to cover it. Add carrot, celery peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer until meat falls off bone, about 45 minutes. Remove chicken but reserve stock. Shred meat. In a separate pot, sauté the chopped onion in vegetable oil until translucent. Add meat, potatoes, tomatoes and salt and peppers, plus some of the stock to desired consistency. Simmer slowly, stirring often to prevent sticking, until potatoes are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Add additional stock if stew becomes too thick. Add butterbeans and corn, heat an additional 10 to15 minutes or until beans and corn are heated through. Season again with salt and peppers before serving.