Soup and Salad

Soup and Salad

Soup and Salad Recipes

Through the years I’ve actually enticed Tom to eat salads (even coleslaw).  We both love soups, and every year we vow to make more.  The recipes below are a great way to begin a meal, and some can actually be your meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque with Star Anise

“Deliciously Decadent” Soup Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque with Star Anise Soup In Tom’s prior life (the one where he earned money … I miss those days), he wrote for a number of magazines. Every January, one of the associations he worked with held what could only be called an extravaganza. In the beginning they were formal affairs, but more recently they had a theme, and were held at various venues around Southern California. We have been attending these events since 1990, and I have a closet full of evening gowns to prove it! (This photo is from 2009.) And, here is a photo from the year Tom won the costume contest!  It seems like only … Yesterday. At the Dinner … Read more…

Corn and Clam Chowder

corn and clam chowder

Yell A Little Loudah For My New Favorite Chowdah! Corn and Clam Chowder Soup As the long hot summer faded away to autumn, I was looking around for inspiration when I came across this chowder recipe from Boston chef Matthew Jennings. Once I read it included bacon, corn, and jalapeño, I was in! Chef Jennings uses fresh littleneck clams in his recipe and includes instructions on steaming them (in recipe link at bottom). I took the less expensive and easier route and went with canned minced clams. After making this the first time, I felt it needed more clams and used three cans rather than the two shown in the ingredient photo. Here’s a tip for cutting the corn off … Read more…

Ania’s Polish Potato Salad

Polish Potato Salad Perfection Ania’s Polish Potato Salad Side  Our recipe is courtesy of a former co-worker, Ania, who brought this to a potluck 25 years ago.  It was one of the best potato salads I had ever tasted, but it was different from most potato salads I grew up with. This is really light on the mayo and mustard, so the vegetables and apples really shine. The first thing I noticed about Ania’s salad was how each ingredient was neatly diced.  It looked like it took hours to prepare the ingredients. Ania told me the secret is to use an egg slicer to slice the potatoes and apples evenly.  My salad does not even come close to the appearance … Read more…

Mr. C’s Creamy Coleslaw

Soup and Salad Recipes

It’s All In The Dressing Mr. C’s Creamy Coleslaw Side Here is another fabulous recipe from my late stepfather Mr. C. This dish pairs perfectly with his Grilled Flank Steak with Chile, Cinnamon, and Cumin Marinade. I wish I had more of his recipes, but this is the last one I have been able to locate. The secret ingredient in this creamy dressing is Bernstein’s Italian Salad Dressing!  Since it only calls for five tablespoons, Mr. C would frequently use the remaining Bernstein’s to marinate fish and then grill for yet another delicious dinner. Quick tip on shredding the cabbage: Remove any wilted outer leaves. Cut the cabbage head in quarters and remove the tough white core. Separate the remaining … Read more…

Cream of Celery Root and Fennel Soup

Soup’s On! Cream of Celery Root and Fennel Soup Soup & Salad After a whirlwind 2019 trip to Montreal and Quebec City (Tom is finally back at the computer after knee replacement surgery and will resume the trip report this week), where a chilly autumn had arrived early (33°F in the mornings in Quebec, brrrr!), we were in the mood for soup. Besides enjoying the brilliant red leaves of the Sugar Maple trees and the crisp (who am I kidding, it was COLD) weather, we ate lots of delicious soups.  From a sublime cream of celery and fennel soup to a deconstructed French onion soup (called Cappuccino onion soup as it is topped with an emulsified foam instead of cheese), … Read more…

Watermelon, Feta, Mint, Arugula Summer Salad

Scrumptious Summer Salad  Watermelon, Feta, Mint, Arugula Scrumptious Summer Salad  Soup & Salad Watermelon, Feta, Mint, Arugula Salad is one of my favorite go-to salads for summer.  Recently, we fired up the BBQ and invited some friends over for grilled corn on the cob and Mr. C’s Flank Steak.  To round out the meal, I made this refreshing salad with my absolute favorite salad dressing. I discovered this dressing when I first started dating Tom, so easy and versatile (the dressing, not Tom). It’s made with a package of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing (yes, in a box) dressed up with good quality olive oil and balsamic.  Occasionally, depending on what I am serving, I use flavored balsamic and olive … Read more…

Ham, Cheese & Potato Soup

Amy’s Soup Ham, Cheese & Potato Soup Soup & Salad As some of you may know, I lost my mom earlier this year.  A few days after Christmas, she had a heart attack.  I flew up to take care of her and made a pot of soup with her left-over Christmas Honey Baked Ham.  Using Yukon Gold potatoes with lots of Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese it made for a comforting, make you feel better pot of soup.  We had a big, steaming bowl for my belated birthday.  (Editor’s Note: Amy had no dietary restrictions).  I made this again recently at home, hoping that it really was as delicious as I remembered.  I would have hated for my mom’s last meal … Read more…

Summer Tomato, Strawberry & Mozzarella Salad

Stupendous Summertime Salad Summer Tomato, Strawberry & Mozzarella Salad Soup & Salad In 2014, in anticipation of our 20th Anniversary trip to Paris, Tom and I took a beginning French language class at Le Petite Ecole Française. Our instructor, Caroline, who was French, was excellent and very patient with us (especially Tom).  Caroline also organizes many get-togethers and events for her students and French-speaking people in our area.  One such event which we attended was an unofficial Dîner en Blanc … a secret Dinner in White where the guests must dress entirely in white for a pop-up picnic dinner.                    From Forbes:  “Originated in Paris as a way to celebrate the French ‘art of living’ and the return of sunny … Read more…

Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Fried Goat Cheese and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry and Arugula Salad

Strawberry Fields Forever Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Fried Goat Cheese and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Soup & Salad Nothing says spring has sprung more than when those first big, delicious strawberries start appearing in the market.  And, when I saw the strawberry vinaigrette recipe in Southern Living, I knew exactly what I was going to make for dinner.  I dressed the salad up even more with the addition of some edible flowers from my garden.  This dish could be the prettiest I have photographed!                                 Peppery baby arugula is my go-to green of choice for salads.  We first tasted this on a trip to Italy in 2005 … Read more…

“Melt in Your Mouth” Beef and Barley Soup

There’s The Beef! “Melt in Your Mouth” Beef and Barley Soup Soup & Salad In December I went to visit my dad in Northern California for the weekend, I decided to make a batch of my favorite soup to take to him from my favorite soup cookbook, Sunday Soup, by Betty Rosbottom.  This soup really does melt in your mouth as the beef is sautéed and then simmered with the veggies and barley.  Everything we have tried in this cookbook is great.  Tom’s favorite is the Blue Cheese Apple Soup. (photo below). Because I was flying, I froze the soup and took it in my checked bag.  Previously, Southwest has let me take soup in my carry-on because it was … Read more…

Mango, Arugula, Dragon Fruit Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Tracy’s “Chopped” Salad Mango, Arugula, Dragon Fruit Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Soup & Salad The “Chopped” basket Tom came home with from a Melissa’s Produce event included a box of Melissa’s Coconut Clean Snax with Chia & Flaxseed, Organic Blue Agave Syrup, an Australian Mango and a Yellow Dragon Fruit. What to make that would be a good complement to the Potato, Fennel and Leek Soup with Tarragon, Pancetta and Seared Scallops I made from the rest of the goodies Tom brought home?  I love salad, and I especially love arugula which seemed like the perfect companions for those above ingredients. Australian mangos are small, sweet mangos that are soft and non-fibrous (they are only available here through March).  It … Read more…

Leek Fennel Potato Soup with Tarragon, Pancetta, and Seared Scallops

Supper Soup Leek Fennel Potato Soup with Tarragon, Pancetta, and Seared Scallops Soup & Salad Tom came home from Melissa’s Produce event the other day toting, among other things, fennel, Melissa’s Parisian Potatoes, Melissa’s Coconut Clean Snax with Chia & Flaxseed, an Australian Mango, Yellow Dragon Fruit, and agave syrup.  It was all stacked on the counter when I got home from work like some sort of “Chopped” basket (we’re semi-addicted to that show).  “What are you going to make?” were the first words out of his mouth. Fortunately for him, I was in a good mood I was in a good mood because a new(ish) soup cookbook from Betty Rosbottom had also arrived on this day.  My favorite soup … Read more…

Wedge Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing and Pancetta

Maytag Is Back! Wedge Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing and Pancetta  Soup & Salad Long, long ago (before I even met Tom!), I was lucky enough to work with my friend, Gloria.  On Fridays, Gloria and I would lunch at a restaurant in Long Beach called Simon & Seaforts, and we would almost always start with a salad with this rich and creamy Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing.  Although Simon & Seaforts no longer exists (at least not in Long Beach), I have the recipe card from the restaurant, and while the ingredient list is long, it is well worth the effort.  Simon & Seafort’s served it over romaine greens with toasted slivered almonds, but it is equally as scrumptious on … Read more…

Blue Cheese Apple Soup

Soup With Lots Of A Peel Blue Cheese Apple Soup Soup & Salad I love apples, but I must admit that when Tracy said she had a recipe for Apple Soup, I was a tad skeptical. However, once I took the first spoonful, I knew she had concocted a winner.  It’s a perfect dinner for a chilly night.  Heck, it’s a perfect dinner any night.  We happen to use a variety of apple called Envy, and it is one of the best-tasting apples I’ve ever eaten (yes, even as much as  HoneyCrisp).  If they’re in season (and it’s a nearly year-round season now with apples out of the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand) try one, and if you love them … Read more…

Chilled Carrot Soup with Cumin & Lime

Some Like It Cold! Chilled Carrot Soup with Cumin & Lime Soup & Salad It’s been blistering hot here in Southern California lately, so scorching in fact, that it’s too hot to barbecue or even turn on the oven.  So, what to make for dinner?  Soup…chilled soup that is.  I turned to my favorite soup cookbook, Sunday Soup by Betty Rosbottom, for a recipe.  Tom wanted a chilled cantaloupe soup, but I vetoed that, opting instead to make the Chilled Carrot Soup with Cumin and Lime.   To make this a little more robust for a meal, I added a garnish of diced radishes, cilantro, lime zest and some crumbled Queso Fresco.  Avocado would be a nice addition too, but I … Read more…

Italian Wedding Soup With Orzo & Spicy Chicken Meatballs

A Marriage of Pasta and Chicken Italian Wedding Soup With Orzo & Spicy Chicken Meatballs Soup & Salad Our New Year’s Eve plans changed at the last minute, and as it was an unusually cold and wintry day in Southern California (even rain!), I turned to my favorite cookbook author, Ina Garten, to make her Italian Wedding Soup.  I have made this on numerous occasions and always change it up.  My favorite is to use spicy Italian chicken sausage in the meatballs, pancetta to sauté the veggies, and orzo for my pasta.  If you’re like me and don’t have homemade stock on hand, a little trick I like to use is to add 1 t. Better Than Bouillon (reduced sodium) … Read more…

Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho Soup

The Perfect Summer Soup Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho Soup Soup & Salad While traveling in Spain in 2015, I ordered many versions of gazpacho, and while some were better than others, none were made with watermelon.  When I saw this recipe in Fine Cooking, I was intrigued.   Recently we fired up the BBQ and grilled up some watermelon.  The results were delicious, and Tom has declared it his new favorite summer soup (which is amazing as he claims to hate cucumbers!). After following the original directions, I had leftover watermelon and cucumber, but no actual gazpacho left over, so I have increased the ingredients a tad to yield more servings.   With regard to the watermelon, if you haven’t tried Dulcinea brand, … Read more…

Sweet Summer Corn Soup

Fresh Off The Cob Sweet Summer Corn Soup Soup & Salad Sure it’s autumn, but in Southern California, it’s summer all year long (almost).  I asked Tracy to make this soup after seeing a recipe in the Los Angeles Times from a chef named Gavin Kaysen.   She thought it was going to be bland and had to force herself to restrain from adding any extra spices.  Once we tasted the final product, we were very glad we tried it (mostly) as written.  It was pure, silky corn goodness.   Enjoy!                                 Ingredients: 1 stick unsalted butter 1 cup. thinly sliced leeks, whites only (1 medium … Read more…