Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Lentil Soup: A potassium-rich environment

She says: This soup is a cinch to put together.  It also gives your body a nice break from the rich, sodium-laden food from the holidays.   But instead of eliminating salt, I prefer to balance things with potassium-rich foods like potatoes, parsley, lentils, and leafy greens, all of which play a role in this hearty restorative.   Double the recipe!  Freeze it, use the leftovers for lunches, or heck … share a quart with a neighbor!

Serve it with a loaf of crusty bread and a mess of Parmigiano for a perfect winter meal to warm you and your family from your head to your toes.

He says:  Whoa, that’s a wealth of lentils in there! And that shot looks positively professional. Guess that makes you a…

…Lentil wealth professional.

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Matzo Ball Soup



I can’t quite remember the first time I tasted matzo ball soup.  However, it must have happened at a very young age as most of the surrounding details have since been forgotten.  It must have also been something I missed dearly.  In my teens, before I knew how to cook anything but Lipton butter noodles and Rice-a-roni, I’d attempt to recreate matzo balls by crushing entire sleeves of saltines in my canned soup.  Thankfully, we live and learn…

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Chicken Stock


Some folks wonder how we get so much chicken stock.  The quick answer:  I make it.   It’s cheaper and better than anything you can find in a can or box.  While homemade chicken stock is great for recipes, it also makes for a terrific hot beverage.  I’ve even taken a thermos of it to work on occasion.

The longer answer is that it all starts with Sunday dinner, which is often roasted chicken.  I roast two.  We eat one for dinner.   The other is used in other recipes and even lunches for the week.  Stock is made from the remaining bones, scraps, drippings, and any leftover veggie scraps (typically carrot, celery, and onion ends along with any parsley that no longer looks pretty and fresh).  The following recipe outlines quantities for fresh vegetables, but I usually have enough scraps accumulated in the freezer to be used in stocks.

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Middle Eastern Lentil Soup


Near my husband’s workplace is a little place called Pita Land.   It’s located in Brookline and is my primary source for beans and lentils (among other things) when making recipes such as ful medames and this lentil soup.

It’s simple, nutritious, and packed with flavor.  Make a batch for weekday lunches.  Or, serve for dinner as a comforting end to a hectic day.

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Thai Coconut Red Curry

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Thai Coconut Red Curry

Yield: 6 servings

Thai Coconut Red Curry

I love everything about this stuff. Not only is this a quick meal, but it's flexible. Adjust the spice level by adding more or less of the curry paste. Use any colorful vegetable you have on hand: red cabbage, red pepper, green pepper, carrots, eggplant, long beans, snow peas, kale. Likewise, use any protein you like: chicken, pork, tofu, etc.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste (or to taste)
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 Thai eggplants, quartered (or about 8 oz American or Italian eggplant)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 4 oz carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves (about 20 leaves)


  1. Heat oil and red curry paste in a wok over med-high heat, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add chicken and stir fry until 80% cooked through.
  3. Add coconut milk and vegetables. Cook until crisp-tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in basil leaves, fish sauce, and sugar.


430 calories; 23g fat; 1087g sodium; 695g potassium; 12g carbs; 3g fiber; 34g protein

Cream of Asparagus Soup


So, I forgot about the two pounds of asparagus that I purchased on sale a few weeks ago.  It was found languishing in the bottom of the vegetable bin.  We’ve all been there, yeah?  So, I pulled it out for inspection.  Thankfully it was still good, but it didn’t look stellar in its current form.  It was, however, perfect for a pot of asparagus soup!

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Beef and Guinness Pot Pie



So, my son wanted Guinness stew for his 21st birthday.  Not knowing how exactly it differed from my normal beef stew recipe, we did some research.  As it turns out, Guinness stew is very similar to my beef stew — though quite a bit thicker … and flavored with Guinness.  Eventually, I stumbled upon an incredible recipe from Jamie Oliver who included cheese and a crust in his version. I quickly followed suit.  How could I not?  Cheese? Crust?  Yeah!

I did, however, use some variations in ingredients (porcini, for example) and technique.  This gal is a huge fan of porcini as they lend a good deal of umami to a dish.  Porcini mushrooms are something I frequently use to boost flavor and sometimes meaty texture to savory dishes.  If you’re not looking to add or alter texture to a dish, dried porcini can be ground into a powder and used to simply boost flavor without altering texture.

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