Category Archives: Soup

Butternut Squash Soup with Jalapeno

Bnut soup 001

This summer, one of the vegetables I raised was Butternut Squash. It did very well. As I wrote my different relatives, I got over 12 squash that weighed at least 4 pounds each. My sister said she had been able to taste a Butternut Squash soup that was good, and sent me a pointer to the recipe.

This year, I am finding many Butternut Squash Soup recipes. There are several things they all seem to have in common; they use fresh ginger, and coconut milk. And they add capsicum heat. That is the burn from hot peppers. Caprial Pense’s recipe (Curry Winter Squash Soup) gets it heat from the peppers in the curry powder, while this recipe goes straight for the hot pepper by adding a Jalapeno. Finally, they all seem to use a cream product as a garnish- sour cream, cremefraiche, … And as a result, all the photos of the different soups look exactly alike!

Butternut Squash Soup with Jalapeno

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 16 oz. chicken broth
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • sour cream for garnish when serving

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat; stir in the onion, ginger and jalapeno pepper; cook until the onion turns transparent.
  2. Add the squash and broth and raise the heat to high to bring the pot to a boil.
  3. reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer until the squash is tender- about 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the evaporated and coconut milks, and sugar; cook for another 5 minutes. Puree the soup** (see below)
  5. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and stir well into the pureed soup.
  6. Ladle the pureed soup into bowls and garnish with a large spoon of sour cream to serve.

**To puree the soup, if possible, use a stick/immersion blender. If not, then do the soup in batches in a blender as follows:

  • ladle some soup into the blender, do not fill the blender more than half full.
  • hold the lid on the blender with a towel so you don’t get burned; then pulse the blender a few times to break up the chunks before turning it onto Puree.
  • Pour the pureed soup into a clean pot, and continue to puree the soup in batches until it is smooth.

When I seed a squash, I always save the seeds and roast them. That is so easy, and they are a good snack.

Since I also grew my own Jalapenos this year, I was finishing my last harvest of the jalapenos and saved two out for making this soup. So I added extra heat by using both the jalapenos instead of just one. It was okay, and the sour cream garnish gives you a chance to cool your mouth from the heat if necessary.

Dill Pickle Soup

pickle soup 001

What do you do with the juice in the jar of dill pickles? Marlys loved dill pickles, and there was always a jar of some type of dill pickles in the refrigerator; whole, spears or slices. And, after obtaining this recipe from the Trianon restaurant, we always seemed to have a jar of the juice from the dill pickles. Whenever we finished a jar of pickles, the juice was collected for making soup.

For the record, Trianon was a local restaurant that didn’t make it, and has long since disappeared.

This soup has body from the thickened flour and heavy cream, but it retains the dill pickle taste.

Chef Otto’s Dill Pickle Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup onion, cut julienne
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dill pickle juice
  • 2 4-inch dill pickles, cut julienne
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or dried dill weed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • > Poultry Seasoning to taste
  • > salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • > croutons for garnish

Directions

Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add wine and continue cooking until almost all liquid evaporates. Reduce heat and stir in flour. Do not brown. Cook awhile to make sure flour is not pasty.

Combine water and pickle juice and whisk into the mixture all at once. Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until soup thickens. Add pickles and dill weed. Stir in cream. Season with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

Serve hot. Garnish each serving with croutons.


I made my own croutons by toasting bread and then cutting off the crusts and slicing the toast into small squares.

I always heat the water I am going to add so that the soup does not lose too much temperature when the water is added; I keep a tea kettle on the stove.

My herbs are not yet mature enough that I could collect fresh dill from the garden, so I used the dried dill.

I dislike the directions of adding spices “to taste”; my taste might be very different from yours. But, I also don’t have a good answer for how much to add. I think I had about 1/4 teaspoon of each of the three ingredients- Poultry Seasoning, salt, and white pepper.

Curry Winter Squash Soup

Last year, when I was making my favorite soups, I knew that I wanted to give you this recipe. I just remade myself a batch, and I have to say that the kitchen aroma was almost enough to sell me on this recipe. The aroma of the dry sauted curry is heavenly. And of course, the soup isn’t bad itself.

Curry Winter Squash 4

When I knew I would be giving you this soup, I wrote Caprial Pense and asked permission to republish the recipe. I don’t want to just give you URLs to the recipe and make you find it. Caprial gave me permission, and so the whole recipe is as follows:

Curry Winter Squash Soup

Caprial Pense

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) mirin wine or sweet cooking wine
  • 4 lbs. winter squash, peeled and diced **
  • 3 cups (24 fl. oz) chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz) coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Options:

  • 2 Tablespoons roasted squash seeds, for garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons Creme Fraiche, for garnish

Directions:

In a large saucepan over high temperature, heat the oil. Add the onion, shallots, garlic and ginger and saute until they begin to give off their aroma, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until half the liquid has evaporated, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the diced squash and stock. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and continue simmering for 5 more minutes.

While the soup is simmering, place the curry powder in a small saute pan over high heat. Dry-saute the curry until you can smell its aroma, 1 or 2 minutes. Add it to the soup when it has finished simmering.

Puree the soup in a blender or in batches in a food processor. Add the chile powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

**If you have a squash that’s difficult to peel, cut it in half and remove the seeds and strings. Roast it, cut side down, for about an hour in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Then scoop out the flesh and add it to the soup just before you put in the coconut milk.

I have included recipes for Roasted Squash Seeds and Creme Fraiche below.

A Butternut Squash is hard to cut, but I have a hint that might make it easier. Before you try to cut the squash long ways, first cut it into 2 or 3 shorter sections. I found that the moisture in the squash grips the knife very strongly making it difficult to push through the vegetable. So, by making the squash into shorter pieces, you are cutting pieces that are only about half the length of your knife, and the grip of the squash on the knife is much less. This is true when slicing all vegetables; I know that slicing potatoes has the same tight grip on the knife if you are trying to go lengthwise.

September 21, 2015, NOTE: I made the soup again today, but with a difference. Jenn and James brought me 3 squash that are an off-shoot of acorn squash; the total weight of the three was 5.5 pounds. Because they are the thick skin type of squash, I had to roast them and adjust the recipe for the pre-cooking of the squash; it is in there as a footnote. But, when I scooped the flesh out of the roasted squash, I only had 2 3/8 pounds; there is more shrinkage than with the larger butternut squash. I had some butternut squash left over from last time, and added in enough to make the 4 pounds. This meant that I had to treat the squash in two ways; some went in with the stock and simmered while the rest went in after most of the simmer and with the coconut milk.

I discovered in the grocery store cooler a tube of fresh ginger! I used that rather than buying the knob of ginger and peeling and grating it. This is quite a time saver- and probably more economical since you have to buy a larger knob than you will use, and then freeze the remainder and hope you get back to using it before it dries out.

In a couple cases, I deviated slightly from the recipe; I used the full can of coconut milk (15 oz.) and 2 full cans of chicken stock (29 oz.). I had two butternut squashes and was surprised that after peeling them, I had almost exactly 4 pounds.

I have never tried to puree the soup in a food processor; I have an immersion blender- also known as a hand blender or stick blender. I can only warn you to be careful if you need to use a regular blender or food processor to puree the soup; it is hot and I wouldn’t want you to get burned.

September 9, 2015, Note: I made this soup again today with Butternut Squash, and measured the shrinkage from peeling and de-seeding. I started with 7 pounds of squash, and had 6 pounds when I finished prepping it. I did not peel it overly heavy; I took off just one layer with a vegetable peeler and left a yellow layer. I did not take that layer or go down to the deep orange of the center of the squash. The 4 pounds of prepared squash that I used made about 7 pounds of soup, which measured to just over 12 cups

Most of the recipes I find on the internet for Creme Fraiche use buttermilk. I don’t normally have buttermilk in the fridge, and tried making it with a buttermilk substitute – milk and vinegar. I don’t think it worked and I am not certain why I tried since Marlys’s recipe for Creme Fraiche has always worked for me.

Creme Fraiche
Marlys Crary

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Mix in a sealable container for about 15 seconds. Then, leave at room temperature for the next 24 hours. Stir once or twice during that time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
While I am giving you a recipe for the roasted seeds, be certain to read my notes following the recipe because I learned a few tricks to make the job easier.

Roasted Winter Squash Seeds

  • 1 cup winter squash seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Remove the seeds from the squash, rinse with water, and remove any strings and bits of squash. Pat dry, and place in a small bowl. Stir the olive oil and salt into the seeds until evenly coated. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake 15 minutes, or until the seeds begin to pop. Cool on the baking sheet before serving.


Okay, my hints and suggestions. I didn’t bother to measure the amount of seeds I had; I knew I would use them all, and couldn’t do anything about being less than a cup. I did measure the oil and salt. I washed the seeds in a strainer; then dumped them out on a couple paper towels to absorb as much water as possible and to thin them into a layer so I could remove anything that was still orange. I patted them dry with another paper towel when I felt I had just seeds left.

I put dried seeds, oil and salt into a plastic storage bag, sealed it, and massaged it to get all the seeds coated with the oil and salt. Unfortunately, some of the salt also sticks to the inside of the baggie, so it might be easier to just use the oil with the seeds in the bag.

Now, instead of using parchment paper or foil to line the baking sheet, I just used one of my silicon mats. I dumped the oiled seeds onto the mat, then used a spoon to press down where ever there was a pile until the pile slid around and left only a single layer of seeds. Finally, because of the loss of the salt in the baggie, I sprinkled the salt on the single layer of oiled seeds on the baking sheet. I had to bake the seeds for more like 25 minutes- longer than the suggested 15 minutes, and took them out when they were golden brown; I never did hear any pop.

Mulligatawny Soup

I received this recipe from my sister Rachael after telling her about the Mexican Soup I make and we use to have almost every lunch. I found this soup quite different from most Mulligatawny, and asked Corbin’s Grille for permission to publish the recipe on the WidowerRecipes web site. If you are in the northern Utah area, you might stop in at the Corbin’s Grille and try their cooking.

The notes in the recipe are by Rachael.

Mulligatawny 002

This recipe is published here with the permission of Jake Garn, Owner/Operator of Corbin’s Grille.

Mulligatawny

  • © 2007 Corbin’s Grille, LLC
  • All Rights Reserved. Copies and all other uses besides private in-home use strictly prohibited.
  • Corbin’s Grille
  • 748 W. Heritage Park Blvd.
  • Layton, Utah 84041
  • Corbin’s Grille’s web site

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Carrots 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Celery 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Onions 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Leeks sliced 1/4″
  • 3 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoons Curry powder (note: Madras)
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 oz White wine
  • 5 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy cream
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked rice (note: risotto also very good- drain & rinse)
  • 1/2 Cup Diced ham
  • 1/2 Cup Diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 Cup Corn (note: frozen)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot sauce (note: Cholula)

Directions

Cook carrots, celery, onions and leeks in bacon grease and butter over medium heat until soft. Add curry powder and cook for an additional minute. Stir in flour and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes.

Add white wine and chicken stock. Reduce heat to simmer and whisk continuously until thick. Add rice, ham, chicken, corn and hot sauce. Stir in heavy cream and adjust seasonings and thickness.

I have reviewed several other recipes for Mulligatawny and find they are missing ingredients that are in this recipe. The most obvious examples are the leek, the bacon grease, the wine, the ham, the corn and the hot sauce. While these make a more complex recipe, I liked the results and think you will, too.

At first pass, I thought the soup would be difficult to bring together because of all the ingredients. The hard places for me would be the meats, and the bacon grease; my chicken and ham are frozen in 8 ounce pieces and so I would have to defrost pieces and cut them, and then determine how to use the rest. And, I separate my bacon into packages of 4 pieces each as soon as I get it home, and then cook it in the microwave on paper towels, so I don’t have bacon grease in the freezer. My sister suggested buying the meat at the deli section of the grocery store and asking for them to cut 4 ounces as a thick slab. For the bacon grease, I fried a package of bacon and used that grease; it was probably 2-3 Tablespoons. I used the bacon elsewhere, but I wonder if maybe I could have just crumbled it right into the soup.

If you have not worked with Leek before, then the rule is to separate the leaves and wash them several times to get all the sand and mud off them. Swish them around in a sink of water, changing the water two or three times as the mud settles out.

My other area of desiring to experiment is with the rice; the recipe calls for cooked rice, but we see in the Mexican Soup recipe that the rice is put into the soup and cooks as the soup simmers for an hour. I wonder if something similar could be done here; for example, cook the rice in some of the chicken stock on the side. Most white rices (Arborio, white) cook up at a ratio of 1 to 3; i.e., 1 cup of rice grains makes 3 cups of prepared rice. (For brown rice, the ratio is 1 to 2.5.) So, using white rice, you would need ½ cup / 3 or 1/6 cup of rice grain as a starting point. If my math is correct, this is 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of rice grain. I need to test this idea. Rachael says that she always has a pot of cooked rice in her refrigerator, but I don’t and am looking for a way to not make extra cooked rice. If I learn something, I may update these comments at some future date.

Risotto rice is different in that it is cooked with flavorings, but I would think most of those are lost in the soup, so I don’t know if that makes a difference.

According to Rachael, the amount of hot sauce to add also seems to be very personal. Her friend only uses ½ teaspoon, while Rachael uses 2 teaspoons; I feel it could even use more and would probably try a full Tablespoon next time. And, I bought the Cholula hot sauce just for the soup, but I think you could use your own favorite brand. I did find the Madras curry to be hotter than what I had been buying as a curry powder; it seems to be more true to the tastes of India.

I think with these hints and suggestions, you should be ready to try this wonderful, hearty soup.

Mexican Soup

Mexican soupThis has been our go-to soup for several years. It is where Marlys slowly taught me about cooking. I started as the carrot-peeler and the can-opener, but then slowly got to the place where I was chopping and dicing all the fresh components, and then finally making the soup by myself.

The trick is to do all the slicing and dicing before you turn on the heat and brown the meat; it takes time. I use two large dinner plates- one for the onion, garlic, jalapenos and taco sauce, and one for the carrots. I don’t peel and chop the potatoes until after I have slid the content of the first plate into the soup pot. I salt and pepper the fresh components while they are on the dinner plates. While the recipe says the carrots are chopped into ¼ inch rounds, you may need to make those half-circles or even 1/4-circles; you don’t have much control over how fat the carrots are. The original intent was to have the rounds about the size of a nickel or quarter, but thicker.

Marlys had a thing about kidney beans, and so we went to the pinto beans. Actually, I think you could even use black beans or any other if you have a favorite.

For rice, I have used brown rice.

I no longer measure the hot water; I fill a tea-kettle when I start cooking and turn it on to boil. Then, when the time comes to add the hot water, I fill the soup pot to about 1 ½ inches from the top. Be certain the water is hot, or you will be struggling with getting the boil back.

While the soup is simmering, I set a timer and go back every 10 minutes to check on it, and give it a stir to make certain nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pot where it could burn.

Mexican Soup

  • 3 Tablespoons oil (we use olive oil)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb.s ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded, de-veined, and diced
  • 1 package (4 Tablespoons) Taco Seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 2 or 3 carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (~22 oz.)
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 1-2 large potato, 1/2′ dice (~ 22 oz.)
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) garbonza beans
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) kidney beans (or pinto beans)
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) corn
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup rice

In a large Dutch Oven or soup pot, brown the meat in the oil.
Continue to saute and add the onion, garlic, jalapenos and Taco Seasoning mix. Add salt and pepper.
When onion is opaque, continue saute-ing and add carrots. Re-season with salt and pepper. When carrots start to wilt, Add potato and again re-season with salt and pepper. When potato starts to turn translucent, add the canned ingredients with their liquid- both beans, corn, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add hot water, cover and bring all to a boil. Then add the rice. Reduce to a simmer and cook at least one hour covered to blend flavors. Check occasionally and add more water if it is too thick.

* Each of these times, I am adding about 2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper
A soup cup (about 14 oz.) is about 242 calories.