Soups & Stews

Asparagus Soup

1 14.5 or 15 oz can of asparagus cuts and tips 
4 cups of milk 
1 cup finely chipped onions 
1 cup butter or margarine 
1 cup flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon 


1. Drain asparagus, reserving liquid. Add enough milk to liquid to measure 4 cups; set aside. In food processor or electric blender, puree asparagus; set aside.

2. In 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft but not brown. Stir in flour, salt, and bouillon. Add mixture and asparagus, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove from heat; serve hot. Garnish with cooked asparagus spears, if desired.

Makes 5 servings, 1 cup each.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup (120 mL) dry white wine
2 cups (480 mL ) 99% fat-free, no-salt-added canned chicken broth
1/2 onion, about 6 ounces (150 g), chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 pounds (840 g) butternut squash, peeled and cubed (cut off the stem and peal with a vegetable peeler; cut into slices and remove any seeds, then cube)
1/3 cup (133 g) nonfat plain yogurt + additional yogurt for garnish
1/3 cup (160 ml) skim milk
2 tablespoons (6 g) chopped fresh chives


1. Place the ginger and wine in a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and steep while you prepare the soup.

2. In a large pot, cook the onions, celery, and garlic in 1/2 cup of the stock until the onion is wilted.

3. Add the remaining stock and squash and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the squash is tender adding more stock or water as needed.

4. Using a food processor or blender, puree squash mixture until smooth. If using a food processor do this in batches so the machine does not overflow.

5. Whisk in the yogurt and milk. Drain the wine and discard the ginger. Add the wine to the soup. Reheat (do not allow to boil to avoid curdling) and serve with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of chives. Makes 6 cups.

This soup is deceiving-looking and tastes rich, yet it has few calories. Excellent for individuals on a diabetic diet. Make it often to enjoy for lunch or as an elegant starter for a gala dinner.

Per 1-cup serving: 93 calories (0% calories from fat), 4 g protein, 0 total fat (0 saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 43 mg sodium.

Diabetic exhanges: 1 carbohydrate (bread/starch)

Carrot Soup

     1 lb (500 g) carrots, peeled and coarsley chopped
     1 baking potato, peeled and diced
     4.5 cups (1.125 L) vegetable stock or water
     3/4 cup (90 g) chopped onions
     2 cups (500 ml) prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
     1.5 stalks celery, chopped
     2 tabs (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
     2 bay leaves
     freshly ground black pepper

Carrot Soup

1. Place the onions in a heavy 3-quart (3-L) saucepan. Stir in the oil, cover, and cook over low heat about 10 minutes, until they are soft but have not taken on any color.

2. Stir in the carrots, celery, and potato, cook for about a minute, then add the stock, 1 1/4 cups (310 ml) of the wine, and the bay leaves.

3. Simmer, partly covered, for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Remove the bay leaves. Allow the mixture to cool briefly, then puree in a blender or food processor.
You may have to do this in 2 batches. Strain the soup.

4. To serve, reheat the soup and season it with salt and pepper.
Spoon it into 4 warm soup plates. At the table, pour 1.5 to 2 tablespoons (20 to 30 ml) of chilled prosecco into each portion.
The soup will froth up a bit.

Serves 4.

Cheesy Potato Chowder
3 medium red potatoes
1 1/2 cups water

1 rib celery, sliced

1 medium carrot, chopped
1/4 cup butter or margarine

3 green onions

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 cups milk

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded American cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Oyster crackers (optional)

Fresh chervil for garnish
1. Peel potatoes.  To cube potatoes cut potato into 1/2-inch slices.  Stack ha;f of the slices, flat side down and make lengthwise cuts 1/2 inch apartr, then make crosswise cuts, cutting potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.

2. Combine water, potatoes, celery and carrot in medium-size saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium: simmer, uncovered.  Boil 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter or margarine in large saucepan over medium heat.  Slice green onions.  Cook and stir onions and butter for 2 minutes or until tender but not brown. Stir in flour, salt and pepper.   Cook and stir about 1 minute.

4. Stir milk and potato mixture into flour mixture:  Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 minute longer.  Stir in cheeses and caraway seeds.  Reduce heat to low:   Simmer, uncovered, until cheeses are melted and mixture is hot, stirring constantly.  Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Chicken Chili  
1 medium onion
1 medium green bell pepper
2 fresh jalapeño peppers 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, cut-up, undrained
1 can (15 ½ ounces) kidney beans, drained
1 can (14 ½ ounces) tomatoes, cut-up, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 

1. To chop onion, peel skin. Cut onion in half through root with utility knife. Place cut side down on cutting board. Cut onion into thin slices perpendicular to root end, holding onion with fingers to keep its shape; then turn onion and cut crosswise to root end. Repeat with remaining onion half. 

2. Rinse bell pepper under cold running water. To seed pepper, stand pepper on cutting board's end. Cut off sides in 3 to 4 lengthwise slices with utility knife. (Cut close to, but not through, stem.) Discard stem and seeds. Scrape out any remaining seeds. Rinse inside of pepper under cold running water then chop. 

3. To chop jalapeño peppers , cut pepper in half lengthwise, remove seeds, cut into strips, then chop; set aside. Wash your hands after handling chili peppers.* 

4. Heat oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and chicken until chicken loses its pink color and onion is crisp- tender, stirring frequently to break up chicken. 

5. Stir in jalapeño peppers, tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin and red pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, for 45 minutes to blend flavors. 

6. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with cheese. 

Makes 6 servings. 

* Chili peppers can sting and irritate the skin; wear rubber gloves when handling peppers and do not touch eyes. Wash your hands after handling chili peppers.

Chicken in Coconut Milk
Tom kha gai (Thai)

2 cups (16 oz/500mL) coconut cream
1 cup (8 oz/125 mL) coconut milk
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
½-inch (12 mm) pieces galangal, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped shallots (French shallots), preferably pink
10-15 small fresh chilies, halved lengthwise

1 cup (4 oz/125 g) canned or 2 cups (8 oz/250 g) fresh straw mushrooms, rinsed, drained and halved
12 oz (375 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce, to taste
3 kaffir lime leaves, stemmed
½ cup (½ oz/15 g) coarsely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 scallions (green onions), chopped


1. In a wok or large saucepan over high heat, combine coconut cream, coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, chilies, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

2. Add chicken, stirring well. Add fish sauce and lime leaves. Return to a boil. Add half the cilantro and turn off heat.

3. Stir in lime juice. Transfer to bowls for serving, garnish with scallions and remaining cilantro, and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Hint: For a less rich soup, replace the coconut cream with an equal quantity of coconut milk. For a less spicy broth, keep the chilies whole.

Note: This is one of Thailand's best-known soups, with a creamy consistency and a lovely lemony flavor. The fibrous ingredients in this soup -- kaffir lime leaf, galangal, and lemongrass -- are not eaten. Just push them aside.

French Onion Soup

3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups beef stock
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
6 slices crusty French bread
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups grated Swiss cheese, or Gruyere


1. Saute onions in oil in Dutch oven over low heat until tender and golden yellow, about 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Sprinkle flour over onions; cook a few minutes more, browning the flour well. Add stock and wine and bring to boil; add thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, spread bread slices with butter and toast under the broiler, watching carefully to avoid burning.

4. When soup is ready, spoon into 6 ovenproof bowls; top each with a slice of toast. Divide cheese evenly into 6 portions and sprinkle one portion over toast in each bowl.

5. Place bowls on cookie sheet and bake in 400F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Makes 6 servings.

Kale and Potato Soup

1 bunch kale (about 1 lb)
2 lbs boiling potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 quarts boiling water
freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Remove the stems from the kale, wash the leaves and cut them into a chiffonade (shredded leaves). You should have about 6 to 8 cups.

2. Peel the potatoes and chop them up very fine.

3. Bring the water to a boil with the salt. Add the chopped potatoes, return to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes, covered.

4. Add the kale and cook 2 minutes more.

5. Add pepper (and possibly salt) to taste.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition facts per 1 serving: 157 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 6 g proteins, 530 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber.

Leek and Potato Soup

4 leeks
2 tbsp (30 g) margarine or oil (30 mL)
4 large russet potatoes
6 cups (1.5 L) water
1 tsp (5 g) salt
1 cup (240 mL) plain low-fat soy milk
1 cup (240 mL) sour cream
freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Wash leeks carefully by soaking them in cold water. Slice the leeks (use both the green and white parts) and return to cold water. Rinse well to remove any grit or dirt. Melt margarine in a large pot (or use oil) and add the leeks. Cook over medium heat until leeks are soft.

2. Meanwhile, scrub and cut up potatoes into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks. Place potatoes into the pot and add water and salt. Cook for about one hour, until the potatoes are very soft and almost falling apart. (This may take less time, depending on the potatoes.)

3. Use a large wooden spoon to break up the potatoes. Add soy milk and cook for another 15 minutes to develop the flavors. Add a little more salt if desired and grind in lots of pepper. Serve with 2-3 teaspoons of sour milk in the middle of each plate -- very decorative.

This soup can also be prepared without the soy milk; a tsp (4 g) or so of vegetable broth seasoning works well too; the soup is less creamy, but it tastes great. You may serve jalapeño peppers and/or potato chips with this delicious soup.

Makes 6 hearty servings.

Nutritional facts: about 123 calories per serving, 3 g protein, 5 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 427 mg sodium.

Oriental Pork Soup

1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ lb lean boneless center-cut loin pork, cut into ¼ x 1-inch strips
1/8 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
6 cups water
2 tablespoons instant chicken bouillon granules
½ cup sliced carrots

¾ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
¼ cup sliced green onions
fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)


1. Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet. Add pork and ginger; sauté over medium heat 3-4 minutes. Drain pork and set aside.

2. Bring water to a boil in a 4-quart Dutch oven; stir in bouillon granules. Add carrots; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, green onion and pork. Simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Ladle into individual serving bowls. Top each serving with a sprig of cilantro, if desired.

Makes 6 servings. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Zucchini Bisque

1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup light cream


1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter. Add zucchini and chicken broth. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add seasonings.

2. Puree on low in a blender. Return to pan. Stir in cream and heat through, up to 5 min.

Total preparation time: 30 min.

Makes 4 servings.

Turkey Soup with Barley
1 turkey carcass
12 cups hot water
1/2 cup pearl barley 
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Cut turkey carcus to fit 5-qt casserole. Place in casserole with hot water; cover.

2. Microwave at HIGH for 1 hour. Remove carcas. Remove meat from bones. Discard bone form skin. Add meat, barley, onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper to water. Re-cover

3. Microwave at HIGH for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until barley is tender.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Total cooking time: 2 hours and 15 minutes.

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