Tag: soup

An open letter to Bears

Dear Bears,

twobearsYesterday I pulled out the slow-cooker to make some turkey soup with my Thanksgiving leftovers.

I make the soup in the garage so the whole house doesn’t smell like soup (I’ve had issues in the past – some experimental soups that didn’t smell too great).

This morning I stepped into the garage and I was struck by this wondrous aroma – turkey, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, sea salt, black pepper, poultry spice, rosemary, thyme, a hint of oregano – – the smell is fantastic. I think to myself “this must be driving the bears nuts”.

I know you guys are in the neighborhood, I’ve seen you going through the trash containers left out at night. I’ve seen your poop in the morning.

The garage door opens…

Not one bear.

No sign of a bear.

Be honest – you guys have licked clean the inside of a mushroom soup can that’s covered in coffee grounds that’s lying beside a diaper…

… but you weren’t enticed at all by the aroma of my soup? ūüôĀ

That hurts.

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Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

Here’s the recipe for a Moroccan Red Lentil Soup I found online at CanadianLiving.com with my notes in red (link).

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

Brilliant red and filled with the spices of the country it represents, this soup is a definite crowd-pleaser – perfect for this big-batch recipe. Of course, you can always just halve the ingredients if you want to make less. Also, it freezes really well. By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Source: Canadian Living Magazine: October 2003

  • Portion size 8


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil (I think mine was just regular olive oil)
  • 2 onions, chopped (Gordon Ramsay’s How To Chop An Onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
  • 1 Pinch saffron, (optional) (Nice for colour,¬†but¬†I couldn’t find any.)
  • 8 cups (1.5 L) water (and stock – to taste) (I did¬†2 tetra packs of broth and a cup of water)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) red lentils
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used cooked potatoes and added them near the end so they wouldn’t get too mushy.)
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas (Add near the end, the mushy thing.)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) light sour cream (When serving.)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh parsley (Garnish.)


In large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven (I did it all in my soup pot), heat oil over medium heat; cook onions, garlic and celery, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron (if using) (didn’t have any saffron…); cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes (or 3, or 4, or 5…).

Add water, lentils, tomato paste, potatoes (later) and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with spoon; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes (Mine simmered for an hour, then I added the cooked potatoes and peas…).

Add peas; simmer until lentils, vegetables and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes (25 minutes for me).

I let mine cool a bit, then took out the kitchen wand (hand blender Рimmersion blender) and pureed the soup until it got to a pea soup consistency.

Didn’t hurt to add a splash of Frank’s RedHot.

(Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate, uncovered, in shallow airtight container until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat to serve.) Ladle into bowls. Dollop each with sour cream; sprinkle with parsley.

Complete recipe here…

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Princess Mary Clam Chowder

Here’s our version of “Victoria’s Official Clam Chowder”. Our recipe is based on the original recipe from The Princess Mary Restaurant in Esquimalt, which closed it’s doors February 27, 2014. (Here’s the ‘Times Colonist’ article).

Our version has a few modifications (mushrooms and Clamato) and is delicious!!

Princess Mary Clam Chowder v1.0

3 slices of bacon
1 tsp thyme
1 cup sliced/diced onions
3 cups uncooked potatoes (diced)
1/2 cup celery
5 cups hot water
1 tbsp parsley
1 can sliced mushrooms
a pinch of curry
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
28 oz canned tomatoes
1 1/2 cups carrots
3 cups clam juice (or Clamato Juice)
1 tin of clams

1. Slice bacon (small pieces), saute bacon, thyme, onion
2. Add potatoes, celery, hot water, salt, pepper
3. Cover, simmer 5 minutes
4. Add tomatoes, carrots, clam liquid (Clamato)
5. Simmer, 1 hour
6. Add clams (at the end)
7. Thicken with flour if desired…

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Hot and Sour Soup with Noodles

Photography By Ryan Szulc
Photography By Ryan Szulc

My simplified version of Michael Smith’s “Hot-and-Sour Broth ‚Ä®with Asian Noodles” (Michael Smith) comes from his “Back To Basics” cook book, but you can also find it on-line here.

This recipe makes 4 servings and can be successfully doubled for 8 servings.

The original recipe calls for shiitake mushrooms, but I’m not crazy about mushrooms in soup (or edamame), so I added bamboo shoots instead.

The cornstarch/vinegar mixture is also not essential (I’ve made it with and without).


225 g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 can if bamboo shoots (thinly sliced)
2 carrots, grated
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp 
sambal oelek or your favourite 
chili-garlic sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch*
2 tbsp rice vinegar*
340 g udon noodles
1 2-inch piece frozen ginger, grated
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Back To Basics
Back To Basics


In a large soup pot combine the mushrooms, carrot, edamame, chicken broth, soy sauce and sambal. Bring the works to a simmer over medium high heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and rice vinegar in a small bowl. When the soup is simmering, gently 
stir in the cornstarch mixture; continue to simmer, stirring, until it thickens 
the soup, just a minute or two.*

Add the udon noodles (I’ve used other rice noodles as well) and continue cooking and stirring until they‚Äôre soft and tender.

To finish the soup, stir in the grated 
ginger, green onions, and sesame oil.

Add thinly sliced beef or pork to the hot broth, just before serving! Yum!

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Simple Black Bean Soup

The original recipe from¬†Whitewater Cooks with Friends is called “sopa de black bean with salsa crema”.

My version is slightly less spicy and I go with croutons as a topping, so I dropped the “with salsa crema“…


  • 2 cups dried black beans (soak them overnight)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 med onions
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce (any good bbq sauce)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro (a little less is okay too)


  • Saut√© onions in the oil in a soup pot
  • Add peppers and spices
  • Add stock, bbq sauce & tomatoes
  • Drain beans, add beans to pot
  • Bring to boil, then simmer for 2 hours (until the beans are soft) or maybe even 3 hours
  • Let it cool a bit, then puree with a hand blender – immersion blender
  • Add juice, cilantro… Salt and pepper.


  • Top with a few croutons (or sour cream and salsa)
  • It freezes really well
  • This soup serves 8 to 10
  • Black beans are turtle beans (same thing)
  • More about Black Beans here and here


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Stupid Simple Pea Soup – Recipe

You will need…

  • Not my pea soup.1 soup pot (a pot that can hold 10 cups of liquid)
  • A kitchen wand (hand blender – immersion blender)
  • 2 1/2 cups of dried split peas
  • 2 cups of leftover cold ham, chopped up in small cubes
  • 2 cups of chopped up onions (2 medium onions)
  • 2 cups of chopped up carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped up celery

* chopped up = cut into really small pieces. The size isn’t that important, but all veggie pieces should be about the same size so they cook at the same rate.

  • A teaspoon of Olive oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 9 cups of liquid

* liquid = you can use prepared stock (2 tetra packs is 8 cups, so use 2 tetra packs and then add 1 cup of water). -or-  make your own with chicken stock powder (8 teaspoons of powder for 9 cups of water).

  • Salt, Pepper and 1 teaspoon of Oregano. Maybe a Bay Leaf if you have one.
  • Croutons (your choice).


  • Place pot on stove.
  • Add oil to pot.
  • Turn heat to medium.
  • Add the veggies and heat them for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the 9 cups of liquid.
  • Add the 2 1/2 cups of dried split peas. Rinse the peas in cold water then add them to the liquid and veggies in the pot.
  • Season with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Add a Bay Leaf if you have one (be sure to remove it BEFORE you go at it with a kitchen wand)
  • Bring to boil, then reduce to a low temp (lowest setting), cover with lid (leaving a small gap for steam to escape) and let it simmer for 2 hours.
  • You will be able to tell when it’s ready by tasting.¬† If the peas are still crunching or hard, keep cooking.
  • Remove Bay leaf.
  • Let it cool a bit, then use your kitchen wand (hand blender – immersion blender) to puree.¬† Work the wand around the pot (careful not to splash the hot soup on yourself) until you get the consistency you want.
  • Return the soup to low heat and slowly heat it to desired temperature for serving. Stir it once in a while to stop if from globbing on the bottom of the pot.
  • Serve with croutons on top!


  • Serve with croutons on top.
  • It freezes really well.
  • This soup serves 8.

That beautiful photo of pea soup & croutons is not mine, it’s from here.¬† I hope you don’t mind me using it. It’s what I would like my soup to look like.

By: Mike Benny

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