Tag Cloud
1950s television Alsace animal behavior Asbestoses Bakewell Tart baking banana coconut upside down cake bananas Barefoot Contessa beach beans beauty beer can chicken Ben E King blueberry Book Review Boom De Ya Da Bradenton Florida cabbage cake canine lung worm carrot salad casserole cassoulet Celebrity Constellation Celebrity cruiseline cheese chicken chicken and dumplings chicken fricasse'e Chicken Salad chicken thighs chihuahua chocolate christmas pudding coconut commercialization of Christmas Condor Ferries contrived ignorance cooking video Cornwall COSTCO cottage pie couscous Cream of Tortilla Soup Cream Recipes cream teas crockpot croutons cruise ship menu cultural awareness current event Curry Dauphinoise Potatoes decorating desserts Dick and Jane Ding Dong School Dinner Discovery Channel diversity dog psychology dogs Easy Recipes eggs enamel coated cast iron English Cooking English trains Enzos on the Lake Epcot extrovert Fall Food Fast Easy Fresh Fennel Recipes fish florida food preparation France Frances Horwich French cooking fresh green beans Fresh Market fresh pasta fresh vegetables fruit tart gardening genital euphenisms George Pullman grandchildren greek yogurt grilling ground lamb ground beef guardian ad litem ham hocks Handicaps Havanese healthy food home decorating how to clean leeks I Have a Dream Ina Garten Indian food introvert Italian Cooking Italian Food IVIG Kix Cereal lamb lamb curry lamb palak lamb shahi khorma lamb shanks Lasagna leek and potato soup Leeks leftovers literacy love song low-carb main course Mallomars Marissa Tomei marriage Martha Stewart Martin Luther King Mary Oliver Meat Recipes meatloaf mental illness Michael Portillo Mickey Rourke Miss Frances modern omelet monkey bread Moroccan muffins Mushroom Recipes Mushrooms Nelsonian knowledge New England Style Cooking Nixon NY Times Obama one dish meal onion tart onions oscar nominated pack dominance pack leadership pakora parenting Parmesan Recipes pasta pate brisee Paula Deen peach cake Peeps peppermint bark photo photography photos pina colada monkey bread pineapple poached poem polish cooking politics poverty pullman dining car raspberries recipe recipes refrigerated rolls riding the rails roast chicken Rush Libaugh RV lifestyle salad Sally Field salmon Samsung Appriances Sand Hill Crane Sand Sculpture Sausage Recipes sausages Schizophrenia school children hear Obama speak self-perception shepherd's pie Siesta Key Florida snails souffle soup South Florida spaghetti squash Spinach St. Malo Stand By Me Whistle Blower summer meal sweet bread Taffy Tandoori cooking Technology Ted talks The Help theme park This Was the Week That Was Tin Can Tourist Tom Gross transatlantic cruise travel trailer tropical plants UK UK Guardian article urban blight Valentine's Day vegetables vegetaria video VIMEO viseo welsh terrier white blood cell count wild salmon Willful Blindness Willful Ignorance wood look porcelain tile World Showcase Youtube Youtube video zucchini Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken

Entries in soup (3)


Leek and Potato Soup


 It rained almost all day yesterday. It was darkish and sort of dreary. So, even though the temperature hovered around ninety degrees, it felt like a soup kind of day.  I had been to the Mexican vegetable stall the day before and could not resist buying 3 beautiful leeks.  I had one huge Russet potato and two shallots in the veggie bin and one getting stale Hoagie Roll taking up residence in the refrigerator.  It was a no brainer.

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup


3 leeks, split, cleaned and finely sliced (see video below)

1 huge or four medium potatoes cubed small

3 shallots diced

3 cloves garlic finely  minced

1 qt/4 cups chicken stock



celery salt

a kiss of dried tarragon

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick butter divided

home-made croutons

2 finely sliced scallions


Sautee shallots, leeks and garlic in half the butter in soup pot

add chicken stock and cubed potatoes

simmer for 45  mins or until potatoes are soft

There are several ways you can proceed at this point:

You can set a sieve over a bowl, strain  the broth into the bowl, transfer vegetable to another bowl and mash them with a potato masher (extra dirty dishes, extra work).

You can try mashing them right in the broth (lots of work, you can't really see what's going on in the broth)

You can transfer vegetables to a blender or food processor to puree (more to wash)

Or, you can be lazy like me  and just shove an immersion blender into the whole mess and zip, it's pureed.


Next add your cream and remaining butter, cook gently over low to medium heat until piping hot.

Meanwhile drizzle bread chunks with olive  oil and brown at 400 degrees.

Slice 2 scallions paper thin.

Top individual portions with croutons and scallions.

This recipe will serve 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course accompanied by a salad and rustic boule'.



Cream of Tortilla Soup

I cannot go to Costco without buying a rotisserie chicken.  They are the best value around.  I often get four meals from one chicken.  Also, I can't make a chicken that moist and tender unless I do a beer can chicken on the grill.  Last night we had sliced chicken breast, homemade stuffing with sausage and pecans, tomato slices and more of the fantastic Costco asparagus roasted in the oven.  Today, I turned the legs and thighs into Cream of Tortilla Soup.  I used an old recipe from a 1991 issue of Bon Appitite Magazine.  As always, I made adaptations.  My adaptations are in bold.

Also, before the recipe sharing, I want to show you how I cook.  Some of you know that I am handicapped, some don't.  It's not just my hands that are shot, it starts with my shoulders, goes to my arms and then to the peripheral nerves of my hands.  I cannot lift my arms above my waist.  In order to cook, I hop up and down on a stool hundreds of times a day.  I must defy gravitional pull by getting higher than I need to raise my hands and arms.  This is an ugly photo.  I'm dressed in my "kitchen rags" and the photo makes me look fat, but I asked husband to take the photo so that you can see how I cope with my handicap and how I still indulge in my joy of cooking.  All the hopping up and down does give me great calves, though!  I have stools in every room, in the RV and even at my son's house.  The grandkids love it!  When I cook at son's home, they drag their own stools over to the counter and "help" me.  Don't ever let an infirmity take away the joy of something you love doing.  Joy is what separates us from the Beasties.  Or, at least I think so.


Cream of Tortilla Soup



  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth (I used 4 cups homemade stock)*


  • 1/2 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery  (I used 1 cup and used leaves and all)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (I used almost 1 cup of diced cilantro)
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed unsalted tortilla chips
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour  (I used 3 tablespoons)
  • I added 1 carrot, peeled and then done into ribbons with the peeler)


  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (I used 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Crushed unsalted tortilla chips
  • salt and pepper to taste


Bring chicken broth to boil in small saucepan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon chopped tomato and 2 tablespoon chives for garnish. Add remaining tomato, chives and 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips to saucepan and sauté 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over and stir mixture for 2 minutes.

Stir chicken broth into tortilla mixture. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Stir in whipping cream. Add grated Jack and cheddar cheese and stir mixture until cheese is melted and well blended. Add chili powder and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Rewarm soup over low heat, stirring frequently.) Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle each with some of reserved tomato and chives and crushed tortilla chips and serve.  Easily (using my quantities) serves six.

* I save chciken carcasses and also any bones from other chicken dishes, boil them up with chunks of carrot, celery, onion and bay leaves to make a robust chicken stock.  I strain it and freeze it in 2 cup portions and then use it as needed when broth is called for.  It's a great way to use up getting old carrots and celery and I can control the sodium etc..  Seems a no brainer to me.





Pasta E Fagioli


"The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again."

~George Miller


Pasta E Fagioli


1 1/2 cup small shell or ditalani pasta

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/4 lb finely chopped salt pork or bacon

1 large onion finely chopped

1 Tablespoon minced parsley

1 Cup celery finely diced

1 cup prepared spaghetti sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 quart water

1 can EITHER white cannellini or dark red kidney beans, undrained

Grated Italian cheese for topping


Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add salt pork/bacon and braise for a few minutes. Add onions, celery and garlic; brown well. Add sauce, salt and pepper; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add warm water and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in macaroni and boil uncovered until macaroni is cooked. Stir frequently to keep prevent macaroni from sticking. Serve piping hot topped with a good quality grated Italian cheese.