Split Pea Soup With Ham

December 7, 2014 - Written by Buff

This is a reprint from our very first recipe posted in 2007 by Buff (aka Thomas Tilert).  All of the other contributers including Buff have moved on to other ventures but we still value their recipes. No photo with this, but split pea soup is one of my absolute favorites, and if my mom has ham bones, I stick it in a zippered bag and freeze it to take it home with me. An interesting note – when we were kids, my dad used to open cans of pea soup for us to have – before he started making his own. The only way he could get us to eat it was to add hotdogs to the split pea soup which was our own version of a Split Pea Soup With Ham. This is Buff’s recipe:



1. Put the oil, carrots, garlic, onions and celery in a large soup pot; cover and over medium heat, “sweat the onions” – about 5 minutes or so.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until pea soup is thick as fog.

Serve with hardy bread.

This recipe is easily halved, but I like to make a lot so that I can freeze or can the remainder so that I have it on hand.


Chicken, Chard, Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

February 5, 2014 - Written by Diana

I told you I was going healthy for the Superbowl.  We brought this  – Chicken, Chard, Bean and Butternut Squash Soup.  We also brought some berries and greek yogurt with honey – plus vegan chocolate avocado cupcakes.  We did splurge though because my sister in law made some awesome queso with sausage that was great with chips and they also had some Buffalo Wild Wings.  It was a small gathering, but there was plenty of food and even though our favorite team disappointed, we had a good time (well most of us).

I bought my butternut squash last fall at the farmer’s market.  We put them into baskets and stored them on shelves in the unheated basement.  The food doesn’t freeze down there, but it does get rather nippy downstairs. Last year I tried storing them in a warmer spot, but some of my squash went bad.  This year, they are in perfect condition and not even drying out.  I’m thrilled that we put up a nice shelving unit to use for winter storage.

Anyway, I also have been trying to work with beans more, but dry beans not canned beans, and so that was the start of this soup. I roasted most of the vegetables in a glass pan in the oven until almost cooked.  I also baked the chicken breast rather than fry it up.  I wanted the broth to be clear when I served it and not muddied, which is why I did it this way.  And to give it a nice bright taste, I grated lemon peel and squeezed lemon juice into it.  This soup is one of my best tasting, I recommend it for family dinner, or a gathering of friends, or just the two of you.



Turkey Soup – from your home made Turkey Broth

November 29, 2013 - Written by Diana

So you’ve cooked those turkey bones and created the wonderful Turkey Broth, now what.  Here’s a 30 minute (or less) recipe for one of those work or run out quick nights. The key to making it quick is to cut the pieces small enough that they will cook quickly, while at the same time a it needs to be a nice size tasty morsel in your mouth. You can swap out the veggies for ones you like better and customize it.  Crusty whole grain bread with some nice butter would go well with this.

Turkey Soup     Ingredients:


Heat Olive Oil in Pan.  Sauté Onions, garlic, turnips and carrot.  When they seem almost al dente, add the broth.  After the broth heats to a simmer, add in the turkey and potatoes. Throw in the herbs. When the potatoes are the correct texture it’s ready.

Easy Peasy, well it would be if there were peas.  You can add them if you like.


Turkey Wing and Red Lentil Soup

January 16, 2013 - Written by Diana
Turkey Wing Red Lentil Stew

Turkey Wing Red Lentil Stew

Did you know that Turkey Wings have just enough meat for a soup or stew ?  I buy whole turkeys portion the meat out into separate labeled containers or bags and use them for separate meals. The turkey wings were set aside together and tonight used in a really quick and delicious soup.  I am a beef and lamb lover – I also love turkey and chicken, but I forget sometimes that poultry is my husband’s preference over red meat.  He likes red meat a lot, but every so often he’ll whisper in my ear and let me know we haven’t had turkey or chicken lately.  That happened this week, so I today I dug through the freezer found a couple of turkey wings and threw together a delicious stew.  A little bit of meat, a bunch of veggies and red lentils that melt into a thick creamy broth.

Ever since my husband has been on a low sodium diet, we’ve given up the curry powder.  We try to stay away from herb and spice blends that include salt as an ingredient and curry powder included salt.  So instead, I’ve taken the list of ingredients and I throw some or all (minus the sodium) into my recipes.  Ginger and Turmeric have become one of my favorite combinations along with cumin.  Today I also threw in some dried green cardamon pods – which are oh my goodness tasty.

Because the red lentils cook and dissolve so easily – this is a quick cooking stew, easy enough for weeknight dinner.

Turkey Wing and Red Lentil Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A light but thick stew (soup) with lots of veggies, turkey and lentils.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Stew / Soup
Serves: 3
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 large turkey wings
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
  • 1 quart turkey broth
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 parsnip sliced
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • Sage leaves
  • Ground Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • 3 Cardamon Pods
  1. Heat oil in ceramic dutch oven or soup pot.
  2. Place turkey wings into hot oil on one side and after it crisps a little turn the wings over. Add in onion and garlic, saute lightly .
  3. Pour the quart of broth into the pot and add in the rest of the vegetables.
  4. When the vegetables are softened add in the red lentils.
  5. While the lentils are cooking, pull the turkey wings out to cool.
  6. Remove all of the meat from the turkey wing, and then pull off the meat and return it to the pot and add in the herbs and spices.
  7. The lentils will get soft and start to melt.
  8. It's ready.
The recipe only feeds three because of the amount of meat on a turkey wing. If you have a little extra meat to go back in at the end, you can add a few more veggies to make it for four people.



Spring Sorrel and Minty Pea Soup

June 7, 2012 - Written by Diana









I love Peas, though usually when we plant them they usher in the summer closer to the end of the month.  We love fresh picked peas though they can be a chore, picking and shelling take a while.  We usually pick during the day and in the evening shell as much as we can so it can go right into the freezer.  Fresh picked peas are only fresh for so long.

The unshelled peas in our market bag made me smile at remembering the kids gathered around sitting on the floor with paper bags spread out to catch the pods as we shelled the peas, snatching up peas here and there and trying to catch the small round seeds as they tried to escape their snug little cases.  I know someone who says she won’t buy peas from the store because two steps away from the garden they just weren’t as fresh as they were when picked.  It’s true there’s a difference, savor the freshest peas while they’re in season while you can get them.

This soup was made with the peas from my market bag along with fresh sorrel and mint from my gardens.  The sorrel comes back every year and is actually planted in my flower garden.  My daughter planted it there accidentally one year and it’s grown so well I leave it where it is.  The soup is a fresh pea soup not the split pea soup you make with dried peas in the winter.  The recipe makes two servings – but my husband wasn’t around and I couldn’t stop, so I ate it all myself.  If you double the recipe, you’ll just eat four bowls worth instead of two because you won’t want to share, it’s that good.

Spring Sorrel and Minty Pea Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A really tasty spring soup using fresh peas, sorrel and mint.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 2
  • 1 - 2 tbs butter
  • Big Bunch of Sorrel
  • 1½ cups of shelled peas
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • ¼ cup of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 nice bunch of mint
  • ¼ cup of peas
  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan.
  2. Chop sorrel into small pieces and saute in butter until melted. It will look like a lot less after it wilts.
  3. Pour the white wine in the sauce pan and simmer it down.
  4. Add in the chicken stock, the cream and ¾ of the peas.
  5. Simmer on med heat and let thicken a little.
  6. Chop the mint and add most of it to the saucepan.
  7. Pour into magic bullet or food processor and pulse until just about smooth.
  8. Pour back into saucepan add in the rest of the peas and mint and heat through, though don't boil or really simmer.
  9. Pour into bowl and garnish with mint sprig


Cream of Broccoli and Leek Soup

May 23, 2012 - Written by Diana

There was a president (George Herbert Walker Bush) who banned broccoli from the White House while he was in office.  When I first started dating my husband, I made a lovely chicken and broccoli casserole for dinner and was told upon presentation that he didn’t eat broccoli.  He was ill one time while eating it as a child and decided that he was never eating it again.  I batted my eye lashes and pleaded with him to try it, since I worked so diligently to make a delicious meal just for him.  He fell under my spell and warily tried the broccoli, eating mostly rice and chicken, but nibbling at the broccoli. Slowly, I incorporated one of my favorite vegetables into our dinner menus and now we’re all broccoli eaters.

Some days cooking dinner is a really good thing, unless it’s too good and you end up spooning out tastes over and over because it’s so delicious you can’t resist.  I had trouble resisting this soup while waiting for my husband to come home for dinner.  Leeks are so good with broccoli in soup, they’re sweet with a little onion-y type  flavor.  I sauteed the leeks to carmelize them in olive oil and then cut the broccoli florets close to the top and sauteed them for a little bit before pulling them out of the ceramic cast iron dutch oven I was cooking in.

I simmered the rest of the broccoli in home made chicken broth that I canned earlier this year, until they were softened.  I let it cool a little before using the food processor on the broccoli and broth.  If you would like a smoother soup, don’t chop off the flowery tips and set them aside, add them in with the rest, and use a blender instead of a food processor to make it really smooth.  I like chunks in my soup.  I also added cream to the food processor to blend the soup together.  Then reheat and toss in the broccoli florets – pulling it off the heat when it reaches the correct texture.

The soup was good, but we were bad.  I kept taking swipes out of the bowl every time I went by, and I think I went by many times.  My husband and I ate dinner, and then I caught him spooning out more.  We didn’t leave any for my son- seriously, none.  He had a sandwich.  I guess he should have come home on time for dinner.

Cream of Broccoli and Leek Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious Cream of Broccoli and Leek Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
  • 2 large leeks
  • 2 medium broccoli heads
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 pint cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs - thyme, parsley
  1. Heat oil and butter in the bottom of a soup pot or enameled cast iron pot.
  2. Remove tips from the heads of broccoli and toss in oil.
  3. Take out and set aside.
  4. Chop up leeks, leaving green tops and using the white bottom.
  5. Rinse to get rid of sand and grit.
  6. Carmelize in the oil over a low medium heat.
  7. Pour in the Chicken stock and heat to simmer.
  8. Peel the outer bottom of the broccoli - that portion can be fibrous, but underneath is delicious broccoli insides.
  9. Chop the rest of the broccoli up to about 1 inch X 1 inch chunks and throw into stock to soften.
  10. When the broccoli is soft, remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool just a tad.
  11. In batches, puree the broccoli and leeks, add in milk and pulse again.
  12. Pour back into the stock pot, add in the broccoli florets and herbs, then reheat.
If you want a really smooth soup, do not put aside the florets, just add into the soup along with every thing else. Serves 4 if you save it for dinner and don't keep grabbing tastes... Substitute cashew cream for regular cream for a vegan dish, and leave out the butter.


A Tale of Two Soups

January 31, 2012 - Written by Diana

Cold season is here – and we were bit.  Two soups this week.  I made Chicken soup for my husband on Sunday and he returned the favor on Tuesday.  I returned home from work feeling clogged and gunky.  My handsome knight in shining armor, the one who is slowly adding to his cooking repetoire, made some chicken soup for me.  We’re big believers in those natural remedies.  What about you?  What do you do when you are feeling all clogged?

Sunday’s Chicken Soup…



Tuesday’s Chicken Soup…



Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup

January 28, 2012 - Written by Diana

We were supposed to go to our friends house for a potluck dinner last weekend. Then there was an ice storm, and the dog was ill and didn’t eat for days.  The dog also injured her spine and had much difficulty sitting and walking.  Plus I was had a rumbly tummy on Friday night, and by the time Saturday came around my stomach muscles were too sore and not into food too much. Before you ask – the dog is fine.  She is on a little medicine for her spine and an infection, but many vet visits later, she is doing well.  I’m fine too.  But we were very sad to miss out on a friendly gathering.

Anyway, these really cool friends sent a batch of this incredible Albondigas meatball soup home from work with my husband.  So for a few evenings we reheated the soup, plus I took some to work for lunch.  What didn’t I do?  I didn’t take any photos darn it.  My friend was cool enough to share her recipe with us.  I think this would make a great superbowl entree.  It’s not finger food, but the meatball and the peppers make a hearty dish, but not heavy.  That way you can taste some of the other offerings.

We topped the soup with some arugula – it has a bright green color and adds another peppery note to the soup which has a few already.  At work, I tossed some fritos on top for some crunch and fun, but without the garnish, it works well too.  The meatballs are both chewy and dense, but not too heavy.  Just heavy enough to be hearty with the peppers.  Though pepper is the main taste, and there is heat, it’s not too warm.  My son ate it, and he’s not a fan of too much heat, in fact, he finished the container off for us.


Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mexican Meatball soup - peppery soup with chewy meatballs.
Recipe type: Soup
  • Meatballs:
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground sausage
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3 tsp of each: ground cayenne (or chipotle), oregano, salt, pepper.
  • 2 finely diced serrano peppers (or two cans chopped green chilies)
  • Soup:
  • Large can of tomatoes
  • 2 qts water or beef broth
  • 2 diced cloves of garlic
  • 2 diced serrano peppers (or two cans chopped green chilies)
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2-3 tsp of each: oregano, cayenne/chipotle pepper and salt.
  1. Meatballs:
  2. Mush all the ingredients together and finely incorporate everything...form into soup spoon sized meatballs and put into soup as directed.
  3. Soup:
  4. Put tomatoes and water/broth on to boil in soup pot.
  5. In a saute pan cook the garlic, onion and diced peppers in olive oil until tender.
  6. Add the chili powder and ½ cup of the soup liquid.
  7. Stir until smooth and then add to the soup pot.
  8. Add the rest of the seasonings and the meatballs.
  9. Bring to a boil again then simmer for one hour.
  10. You may need to add more liquid to adjust the flavor/heat from peppers towards the end of the hour.
This soup can tend to form a bit of grease from the meat. Skim the top of the soup with a spoon while it is cooking to lessen the amount of grease. Ideally, make the soup ahead of time, refrigerate and remove the grease layer from the top after it solidifies.



Potato, Celery Root and Broccolini Soup

December 16, 2011 - Written by Diana

This is a great farm market soup using vegetables that are still growing in the area as the choices get smaller and smaller at the farm markets.  The number of stalls at some of the farm markets are dwindling, but trying to buy and use local as long as possible also means trying to be seasonal in your recipes.

There are a lot of nice late fall veggies in this potato soup hopefully making it nutritionally filling as well as warming you up on a cold day.  I cut the broccolini into thirds.  The bottom third of the stalk, I put away in the freezer for when I am making vegetable broth.  The middle third I used for the soup and the top third I stir into the pot after steaming in white whine vinegar.  I love having the whole veggie to bite into a nice morsel in the mostly smashed potatoes and celeriac broth. The celeriac I peeled and diced into bite size pieces to fill about 2 cups.  I rough peeled the potatoes – because I’m a fan of skin and had both yellow and redskins – diced to make two cups.

The soup starts with bacon and ends with bacon crumbled over top along with a swish of chopped rosemary.  The bacon came from my favorite butcher, and doesn’t have the nitrate thing going on. The rosemary is part of a present I am giving away for Christmas.  The plants are shaped like a Christmas tree, but they are growing out, so I trim them back and hold on to the leaves and try to find ways to use them.  Throwing rosemary bits into the soup was a wonderful way to do that.



  1. In the bottom of a stock pot, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towel and let drain.
  2. Add 2 tbs olive oil to pan.  Throw in onions, potatoes, celery root and the middle third of the broccolini until onions are translucent.
  3.   Add in the vegetable broth.  Simmer until the vegetables are soft.
  4. While the veggies are simmering in a separate pan – heat up 1 tbs of oil and saute the top third of the broccolini.
  5. Splash the white wine vinegar over the broccolini and toss until steamed.
  6. When the potato mixture is soft, use an immersion stick to blend the vegetables together into a rough mash.
  7. Add in the cream and rosemary.  Toss in the broccolini and serve with bacon crumbled over top.




Easy Ground Beef Vegetable Soup in the Crockpot

November 10, 2011 - Written by Diana

Last Christmas, my sister in law Pam, gave me a copy of a church recipe book – Seasoned With Love that her church had created for a fundraiser.  It’s a fun family recipe book, the recipes were donated by the congregation.  When I was out east taking care of mom, my mother in law stayed with my son.  He’s 19 and old enough to live alone, but we knew that boys with girlfriends who live nearby probably should be supervised.  That, and he doesn’t always eat enough to sustain himself. So we asked mom to come.

Mom made my college son this soup (contributed by Kellie Loudin) and since there were enough leftovers, my husband and I had a bowl when we arrived home.  The soup was delicious but the best part was my son.  He told us his grandmother made this soup that was easy – just cook up the ground beef, dump it and the vegetables into a pot and let it cook.  (more…)