All Warm Inside
Soups to soothe the soul

By Amelia Rasmus

Grab a bowl and spoon. It’s time to get back to your roots.

Soup is not only the ultimate comfort food, perfect for chasing the fall nip in the air, but also a dish that can tell you where you came from.

Maybe mom used to make it when you had a cold. Or maybe grandma made it to mark an important holiday. Or maybe your ancestors have been making it for generations immemorial.

The ingredients are simple, but the effect is heart-warming.

Even if the only recipe passed down in your family calls for nothing more than a can-opener and a pack of crumbled Saltines, you can still share the warmth with the following soups:

Country Vegetable Soup
Barley Soup Web Extra!
Creamy Pumpkin Bisque
French Onion Soup Web Extra!
Garlic Mushroom Soup
Tried-and-True Beef Stew Web Extra!
Potato Soup
Brotchan Foltchep (Leek, Oatmeal and Milk Soup) Web Extra!
Tell Me It’s Homemade Clam Chowder
Zesty Tomato Starter Web Extra!
Slobod’s Deli Hot Cabbage Borscht
Yummy Lentil Soup Web Extra!
Fisherman’s Soup (Kakavia)
Chickpea and Spinach Soup (Revithosoupa me Spanaki) Web Extra!
Belle’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Stracciatella alla Romana (Roman "Egg Drop" Soup) Web Extra!

“Farmhouse Cooking,”
Edited by Liz Trigg, Published by Southwater

Country Vegetable Soup

1-1/2 cups fresh shelled broad beans, or 3/4 cups dried haricot verts, soaked overnight in water to cover
1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 small leeks, finely sliced
1 celery stick, finely sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 small potatoes, peeled and finely diced
4 ounces French beans
5 cups water
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 small zucchini, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
Handful of spinach leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

For the garlic puree

1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves
4 tablespoons grated
Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make the puree, place the garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and process until smooth.

With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed-tube.

Alternatively, put the garlic, basil and cheese in a mortar and pound with a pestle, then stir in the oil.

If using dried beans, boil them vigorously 10 minutes and then drain.

Place them, or fresh beans, in a saucepan with the herbs and 1 garlic clove. Add water to cover by 1 inch and bring the mixture to a boil and simmer 10 minutes for fresh beans or about 1 hour for dried.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the onion and leeks 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the celery and carrots, with the remaining garlic clove, and cook 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes, French beans and water. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Add the peas, zucchini and tomatoes, with the reserved beans.

Simmer 25 to 30 minutes. Add the spinach, season to taste and simmer 5 minutes.

To serve the soup, season and swirl a spoonful of puree into each bowl and garnish with basil.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Barley Soup

2 pounds meaty bones (lamb, beef or veal)
3-3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
3 carrots, finely chopped
4 celery sticks, finely sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pearl barley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare the meat stock, brown the lamb, beef or veal bones in a roasting pan in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Put the bones in a large saucepan, cover with the water and bring to a boil.

Use a metal spoon to skim off the surface froth, then cover the pan and simmer the stock at least 2 hours.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the carrots, celery and onion about 1 minute.

Strain the stock into the pan.

Add the barley and continue cooking about 1 hour, until the barley is soft.

Season the soup with plenty of salt and pepper, and transfer it to bowls and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

“Get-Togethers With Gooseberry Patch:
Food to Bring Family & Friends to the Table”

By Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin, Published by Gooseberry Patch

Creamy Pumpkin Bisque

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon green onion, minced
16-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cups half-and-half
Thinly sliced lemon, for garnish
Minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender.

Stir in pumpkin, water, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and bouillon until mixture begins to boil. Cook 5 minutes.

Add half-and-half and cook through, stirring constantly.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with lemon and parsley.

Makes 3 to 5 servings.

French Onion Soup

2 tablespoons butter
4 onions, sliced
3 cups beef broth
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon sherry (optional)
1 cup cubed, toasted French bread
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, thyme and sherry. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.

Divide into 4 oven-safe soup bowls and top with the bread cubes and then the cheese.

Place the bowls under a broiler just until the cheese melts.

Makes 4 servings.


“The Old Farmer’s Almanac Blue Ribbon Recipes”
Published by Yankee Publishing

Garlic Mushroom Soup

20 cloves garlic, peeled
1-1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups toasted bread crumbs
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems
removed, finely chopped
10 cups fresh or canned
chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash of Tabasco
Dry sherry (optional)

In a food processor or by hand, finely chop the garlic and 1 pound of the mushrooms. Cut the remaining 1/2 pound of mushrooms into thin slices.

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the garlic and mushrooms 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and saute the bread crumbs.

Add the mushroom mixture to the crumbs, stir in the parsley, and sauté 5 minutes.

Add the broth and simmer, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, Tabasco and sherry to taste.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tried-and-True Beef Stew

1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried summer savory
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dry red wine or water
1quart beef stock (may be made with beef bouillon cubes)
2 or 3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 small carrots
6 pearl onions
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
5 ounces (1/2 package) frozen peas
3 tablespoons sour cream

In a shallow dish, combine the flour, thyme, ginger and savory. Dredge the meat with 2 tablespoons of this mixture, shaking off any excess.

Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven and brown the meat thoroughly. Remove the meat from the pan.

Brown the onion until quite dark and crisp, but do not allow it to burn. Remove from the pan.

Pour the wine or water into the pan juices to deglaze, then add the stock and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put the meat and onion back in the pan and simmer, covered, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

“The Irish Heritage Cookbook”
By Biddy White Lennon & Georgina Campbell
Published by Lorenz Books

Potato Soup

1/4 cup butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
1-1/2 pounds potatoes, diced
7-1/2 cups hot chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Milk, for thinning
Chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan and add the onions, turning them in the butter until well coated. Cover and leave to sweat over a very low heat.

Add the potatoes to the pan, and mix well with the butter and onions. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook without coloring over a gentle heat about 10 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.

Reheat over a low heat and adjust the seasoning. If the soup seems too thick, add a little extra stock or milk to achieve the right consistency.

Serve very hot, sprinkled with chopped chives.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Brotchan Foltchep (Leek, Oatmeal and Milk Soup)

5 cups chicken stock and milk, mixed
2 tablespoons medium pinhead oatmeal

2 tablespoons butter
6 large leeks, sliced into 3/4-inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch ground mace
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Half-and-half and chopped fresh parsley leaves or chives, to garnish

Bring the stock and milk mixture to a boil over medium heat and sprinkle in the oatmeal.

Stir well to prevent lumps from forming, and then simmer gently.

Wash the leeks in a bowl.

Melt the butter in a separate pan and cook the leeks over a gentle heat until softened slightly, then add them to the stock mixture. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the oatmeal is cooked.

Extra stock of milk can be added if the soup is too thick.

Season with salt, pepper and mace, stir in the parsley and serve in warmed bowls.

Decorate with a swirl of cream and some chopped, fresh parsley or chives.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


“From Storebought to Homemade: Secrets for Cooking Easy, Fabulous Food in Minutes”
By Emyl Jenkins, Published by First Taylor Trade

Tell Me It’s Homemade Clam Chowder

2 (15-ounce) cans Snow’s Clam Chowder
1 (6-ounce) can minced clams with juice
1/2 cup cream
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Blend and heat all the ingredients together.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Zesty Tomato Starter

1 (10-ounce) can tomato soup
2 (10-ounce) cans beef bouillon or broth
1/2 cup frozen, diced combo of onion and green pepper
1 heaping teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Sour cream, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the sour cream in a large pot. Stir, and bring the soup to a gentle bubble over medium-high heat.

Immediately turn down the heat and allow the soup to simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream.

Makes 6 servings.


“How to Cook Like a Jewish Grandmother”
By Marla Brooks, Published by Pelican

Slobod’s Deli Hot Cabbage Borscht

2 pounds short ribs
1-1/2 quarts water
1 onion, diced
2 cups canned tomatoes
1 small head cabbage, shredded
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste

Bring meat to a rapid boil in water. Skim off scum, add the onion and tomatoes.

Bring again to boil, lower the heat and simmer about 2 hours.

Add the cabbage to the borscht, cover, and simmer another 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

immer about 10 minutes more, taste and adjust seasonings.

The amounts of lemon juice and brown sugar in this sweet-and-sour soup will vary according to taste.

Some prefer it sweeter and others like it more on the tart side.

Start with the amounts listed above and add more of one or the other to suit your taste.

Makes 8 servings.

Yummy Lentil Soup

1-1/2 cups lentils, washed and drained
2 quarts water
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the lentils overnight in cold water.

Drain the lentils and put them, along with the vegetables, in a Dutch oven or stewpot of water.

Add the seasonings. Bring the soup to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer about 1-1/2 hours or until lentils are tender. Adjust seasoning.

The soup can be served country-style, as is, or put into a blender to make it smooth and creamy.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


“The Greek Mama’s Kitchen: Authentic Homestyle Recipes”
By Rosemary Barron, Published by Thunder Bay

Fisherman’s Soup (Kakavia)

2-1/2 pounds white-fleshed fish (such as snapper, bream, rockfish, monkish, mullet or scorpion), or 1-3/4 pounds fish fillets
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
4 medium carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced
1 celery stalk, strings removed, very thinly sliced
Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves coarsely chopped
6 sprigs lovage or celery leaves, coarsely chopped
5 small boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
Coarse sea salt and finely cracked pepper
Juice of 1 small lemon
Lemon wedges

Scale, clean and gut the fish. If small, leave whole; if large, cut into 2 or 3 pieces.

Set a large, heavy saucepan or casserole over low heat and add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Add the shallots, carrots and celery and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft (don’t let the vegetables brown).

Add half the parsley, the lovage or celery leaves, and the potatoes, and cook 1 minute longer.

Cover the vegetables with water by 1 inch, raise the heat slightly, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place the fish on top of the vegetables, cover the pan, and simmer 15 minutes longer, or until both fish and vegetables are cooked.

Strain off the broth from the pan into a bowl.

Carefully remove the fish from the pan to a board. Remove and discard the bones and heads. (If using fish fillets, remove and discard the skin.) Return the fish to the pan.

Pour the broth over the fish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the pan to low heat and simmer about 5 minutes.

Divide the fish and vegetables between warm, shallow soup bowls and pour the broth over.

Squeeze lemon juice into each bowl and sprinkle with the remaining olive oil and parsley.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 6 servings.

Chickpea and Spinach Soup (Revithosoupa me Spanaki)

2 cups dried chickpeas, covered by 3 inches of water and soaked 6 hours or overnight
1 small onion, peeled
1 pound spinach or young beet leaves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh fennel or dill
Coarse sea salt and finely cracked pepper to taste
Lemon wedges

Drain the chickpeas and place them in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.

Drain and rinse out the saucepan.

Return the chickpeas to the saucepan. Add the small onion and water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 35 to 45 minutes, or until the chickpeas are soft. Drain over a bowl and reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the onion.

Wash (but don't dry) the spinach or beet leaves and strip the leaves from any tough stems. (Discard the stems.)

Place in a large, heavy saucepan or saute pan, cover and cook over low heat 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and, with a wooden spoon, press the leaves against the sides to remove as much water as possible.

Coarsely chop the greens on a chopping board.

Set a heavy saucepan over low heat and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and cook until very soft, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).

Add the garlic and coriander, cook 1 minute longer and add the parsley, fennel or dill, spinach, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute.

Place about 1/4 of the chickpeas and about 1 cup of their reserved liquid in a food processor bowl. Lightly mix.

Add the mixture to the spinach mixture with the rest of the chickpeas and their cooking liquid. stir to mix, and add water to thin the soup to your taste.

When hot, check the seasonings.

Serve with a bowl of lemon wedges.

Makes 6 servings.


“In Mother’s Kitchen: Celebrated Women Chefs Share Beloved Family Recipes”
By Ann Cooper and Lisa Holmes, Published by Rizzoli

Belle’s Chicken Noodle Soup


2 whole chickens
2 whole onions, peeled
4 stalks celery, rinsed
4 carrots, peeled
4 parsnips, peeled
1 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, stems and all
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


2 cups finely diced carrots
2 cups finely diced celery
1 recipe Matzo Balls (see below) or 1 pound egg noodles
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped, for garnish

In a large pot just big enough to hold the chickens (about 10- to 12-quart capacity), put in the chicken, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips and parsley. Use a tall, narrow pot, rather than a wide one, and fill with just enough water to barely cover the contents.

Bring to a boil and skim any scum that rises to the surface.

Turn down the heat so the broth simmers. Rapid boiling of any soup or stock usually leads to cloudy, not clear, liquid.

Season lightly with salt and pepper. (You’ll season again later. Season here just to impart flavor to the chicken.)

Simmer the broth, uncovered, at least 2 to 3 hours. Does it taste like chicken? If not, let it go a bit longer and taste again.

Once the soup is done, turn off the heat, lift the chicken from the pot and set it aside until cool enough to handle.

Strain the broth into a clean 6- to 8-quart pot. You can discard (or nibble on) the strained-out parsnip, carrots, celery to the pot with the strained broth, which will add color, flavor and texture to the final plated soup.

Cook the vegetables in te uncovered simmering broth until just tender.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper, if necessary.

While the vegetables are cooking, pick the meat off the chicken, trying to leave the pieces as large as possible. Discard the bones, and set the meat aside.

Make Matzo Balls, or cook the egg noodles according to the package directions. When the noodles are cooked through, strain them through a colander. Shock the noodles in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain them and set aside.

Add 2 cups cooked noodles or matzo balls to serving bowls.

adle broth, chicken and vegetables into the bowls, sprinkle with fresh chopped dill, and serve.

Makes 10 servings.


Matzo Balls

1/4 cup chicken fat, melted but not hot (you can use the
chicken fat that rises to the top of the chicken soup as it
7 eggs, beaten
7 tablespoons broth from chicken soup (see above)
7 tablespoons soda water
1/2 pound matzo meal (found in the kosher section of the
1/2 tablespoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken fat and eggs. Add the chicken soup, soda water, matzo meal and salt and mix just enough to combine.

Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator 30 minutes.

Bring a large (8- to 10-quart) pot of salted water to a boil.

Remove the matzo ball mixture from the refrigerator. Using a small ice-cream scoop, dip out some of the mixture.

With wet hands, shape each scoop into a ball, then drop the balls into the boiling water.

Let the water come back to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook 30 minutes.

If serving the matzo balls immediately, place one or two in each soup bowl, then ladle hot soup over them and serve garnished with fresh, chopped dill.

If making ahead, remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool a bit.

Lift the balls out of the water with a slotted spoon, place in a storage container and add just enough cooking liquid to cover the matzo balls. Refrigerate.

To serve, lift the matzo balls out of their cooking liquid and place them in a pot with the chicken soup. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the temperature and simmer 8 minutes, or until the matzo balls are heated through.

Makes 1 dozen.

Stracciatella alla Romana (Roman "Egg Drop" Soup)

6 cups strained and defatted chicken stock
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 cups fresh spinach, stemmed, washed and cut into 1/2-inch strips
3 eggs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling over the soup

Bring the chicken stock to a boil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, along with a good grinding of black pepper, until thoroughly blended. Beat in the grated cheese.

Pour the egg mixture into the simmering soup while stirring constantly to break it into "little rags."

Continue to cook, stirring 1 minute, until egg is fully cooked. Check the seasoning, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.