Category: Soup

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup!

I can eat soup for every meal in the winter! I usually make broth and then add ingredients accordingly, very rarely making a cream soup. I do love a chowder!


Broccoli Cheese is my favorite to make homemade. I’m sure it has something to do with my Cheese obsession! The cooking tv show I cohost, Between The Eats, partners with Beemster Cheese, so I thought I would try their creamy Beemster Lite this time. Here is the recipe…


Broccoli Cheese Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups broccoli florets
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup half-and-half
4 ounces Beemster Lite Cheese , ribbons for garnish

Heat oil in a pan and add onion and garlic until soft and tender.
Add chicken stock and broccoli and cook until tender.
Pour into blender (I used my Ninja) and blend until fine.
Add in half and half and Beemster cheese.
Garnish with cheese ribbons and parsley.

Zuppa di Vongole! Clams in Broth!

Soup, kind of. This dish is more like clams in broth with some veg. The best part is sopping up the broth with some crusty bread! Clams are my comfort food, linguini clams for Sunday Supper, or just a simple broth warms my belly on a cold winter evening. For some reason the leftovers are even better the next day for lunch!


The base is chicken stock with flavors of garlic, onion, and white wine. The red pepper flakes add the spice!

Enjoy one my favorite recipes ever…


Zuppa di Vongole (Clams in Broth)

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 12 oz. package clam meat
1 cup white wine, I used chardonnay
10 cups chicken stock, homemade or store bought
1 cup Sliced button Mushrooms
2 dozen bottle next clams
1 cup cannellini beans
1/2 cup sliced grape, cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup kale
red pepper flakes to taste
salt/pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Crusty bread

Heat olive oil in a soup pot.
Add garlic, onion, white wine, and clam meat, salt and pepper, and cook until onions are softened.
Add stock, mushrooms, beans, and clams.
Cook until clams open and all are heated through.
Remove from heat and add kale, sliced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve with crusty bread.


Parmesan Princess is the proud US Ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano in Parma, Italy. The real parmesan cheese, make sure its Parmigiano Reggiano.

Homemade Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup!

We all have our own favorite comforting chicken noodle soup recipe. When we crave to feel warm and loved inside, nothing else will really do!  When the air turns chilly and the house is cooler inside than out, it has to be a classic chicken noodle soup!


My grandma’s recipe is the best, with homemade drop noodles and mounds of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!  I remember the smell, the taste, how hot it would be in the kitchen from the stove while eating the hot soup. (My pappap’s loud slurping.) ; ) One thing I still do is eat a few bites and and cover the top in cheese again before it melts back into the bowl.


Is it necessary to make your own chicken broth?  No way!  But in my opinion, if you are going to cook the soup for hours anyway…why not?!  So when you roast the chicken anytime, always keep the bones and drippings.  I freeze them in a ziploc bag.  If you are starting from scratch, you will be roasting the chicken.  After it cools you pull the chicken off of the bones, gather the drippings from the roasting pan, garlic, the bones, the dark meat, bay leaf, and water to make a stock.  This is your soup! Cook the stock for 2 hours, strain and cook the broth with the veggies for the last hour.  If you roast the veggies in the oven at the same time, you get even more flavor without having them just boil.

Shortcuts that totally work; buy a rotisserie chicken and pull the chicken off of the bones, use store bought chicken broth, throw in 1/4 lb. of your favorite dry, fresh noodles.  But when the kids are sick, or when you will be home all day on a rainy Saturday, please try the homemade stock.  It is seriously a game changer.


Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

(Feeds 4 + a bowl or 2 leftover)


1-1/2 tbsp. butter

4 carrots, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 roasted chicken, meat off the bone shredded and chopped

2 quarts of chicken stock (homemade or bought)

Salt (if needed) / Pepper to taste

1/4 lb. Linguini noodles, cut into 3 2-1/2 inch noodles

Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh grated


Cook the stock….


Melt butter with garlic, and onion to a large pot and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add carrots, celery, and chicken and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Add pepper (and salt) to taste.

Add noodles 10-15 minutes before you are ready to eat.

Spoon into bowls and top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!




Enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano, the only Parmesan, made in the PDO zone of Parma, Italy. I am thrilled to be US Ambassador for the brand!

Corn & Chicken Chowder!

Most of the time my menus are planned around the weather. Chilly, rainy Spring days call for a warm and comforting dinner.


The days activities determine the intricacy and time commitment of the prep. There is nothing wrong with taking a few shortcuts, like buying a rotisserie chicken, for example. Hey, we are cooking at home, the number one step towards a healthier lifestyle. It is possible to cook delicious meals for the family. It is impossible to add time to our day.


Sweet corn has just started popping up in my local grocery stores- really early I know, but I have ben totally in the mood, especially after the 78 degree summer teaser days we have had recently. Many of my favorite dishes require fresh frozen or sweet corn cut off the cob. I am a huge salty sweet fan, so anytime corn is roasted with garlic, butter, and salty spices, I cannot get enough. My latest find is a dry sriracha seasoning. I’ve been sprinkling it on everything!


A corn chowder is a perfect example of this mix of flavors. Comforting, with just enough kick to be different, this recipe is a family favorite and my kid’s eat seconds!
Here is the recipe…


Corn & Chicken Chowder
2 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. flour
1-1/2 lbs. chicken breast, roasted (or rotisserie chicken breast shredded)
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 – 10 oz. bag frozen corn or 6 ears of corn cut off the cob
1 14 oz. can cream style corn
salt/pepper to taste
chopped green onions /parsley for garnish
Optional- 3 tbsp. sriracha, dried sriracha, cayenne pepper to taste


Melt butter in a soup pot.
Add onions and cook until softened.
Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Stir in flour until thickens.
Whisk in chicken stock bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes.
Add chicken and corn and cook low to medium heat 10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and top with garnish.



Cajun Corn & Clam Chowder!

Ever find yourself doing a pantry raid at 4:30 because you had no time to make dinner? I did this for Mardi Gras, well because I totally forgot and was completely unprepared for Fat Tuesday. The recipe ingredients were looking like clams, corn, potatoes and some vegetables. Chowder! How do I NOLA- it -up?  I got some tips from my friend Ben at Pittsburgh Po’Boy!



A Pittsburgher with Louisiana roots, Ben prides himself in capturing the flavors of Cajun cuisine. His gumbo is incredible and his shrimp and chicken po’ boys make you feel the music of NOLA. Currently based at the Pittsburgh Public market, Pittsburgh Po’Boy’s food truck will be up and running soon! Ben suggested the typical Cajun vegetable profile of celery, onion, and bell pepper. And seasoning with white pepper, thyme, and paprika. He likes to finish his dishes with some lemon juice , but I was out! Even without it, this chowder was still totally ah-Mazing. Thanks for your help, Ben!

Cajun Corn & Clam Chowder

2 ears corn on the cob
3 tbsp. Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, diced
10 oz. Baby clam meat in juice, precooked
1 Half pint heavy whipping cream
32 oz. Box Chicken stock
4 tbsp. Corn starch
1 tbsp. Red pepper flakes
Thyme,Paprika,Salt/white pepper to taste
6 slices of pancetta, finely chopped and crisped, leave drippings in pan
green onions, chopped for garnish


Heat olive oil and add celery, pepper, onion, and garlic.
Slice corn in strip off the cob, keep the cobs.
When vegetables start to soften, add heavy cream, chicken stock, and corn cobs.
Cover and let it get hot.
Meanwhile, add the corn sliced off the cob to the pancetta pan and char corn.
Add potatoes, charred corn, and clam meat to the hot soup.
Cook until potatoes soften. (If you can cook it longer, great!  I had no time lol)
Season with salt/pepper, thyme, and paprika.
Serve and top with green onions and pancetta.



Visit Ben at Pittsburgh Po’Boy today!


Sicilian Split Pea Soup!

Show winter who is boss with a big pot of hot soup! I think of this soup as a vegetable soup but somehow adding peas automatically makes it…Sicilian Split Pea Soup!


Maybe it is because we rarely add peas to soup. Because they get super mushy, yes. The fix? Add the peas last or start with dehydrated split peas. The broth base can be chicken stock, bouillon, or this recipe can easily be made into a vegetarian recipe. I didn’t have one on hand, but a ham bone is traditionally put in the stock for even more depth of flavor. Stay warm! Enjoy!


Here is the recipe…

Sicilian Split Pea Soup

4-6 cups of your favorite chicken stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 celery stalks, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. ditalini/tubetti pasta
12 oz. peas/ 3/4 cup dehydrated split peas (soaked overnight)
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dried basil

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.
Add onion and shallot, cook until soft.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add carrots and celery and cook for 20-30 minutes until softened.
Season with rosemary, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper.
Boil water in another pot and cook pasta until slightly under, al dente.
Drain and return pasta to the pot, adding 2 ladles of soup broth to keep it from sticking.
If adding cooked peas add them last.
Add 1/4 cup of noodles to a soup bowl.
Pour over 1-2 ladles of soup.
Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve hot with a crusty bread.



Potato Soup!

I am convinced that sometimes we want things only because we can’t have them! I made this creamy and delicious soup last week for Meatless Monday, and all I could think about was adding bacon. Crispy delicious totally crunchy bacon bits were on my mind. Hearty, creamy, and full of your favorite vegetables, this soup is a meal! Think loaded baked potato and add some fun toppings like chives, shredded cheese, sour cream, even chili. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and Enjoy!



Potato Soup
makes approx. 2 quarts

4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, chopped
5 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable stock
4 tbsp. Butter, sliced into tbsp.
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 tbsp. Flour
1 cup heavy cream
Salt/pepper to taste
(Optional- 1/2 lb. bacon/pancetta, finely chopped and cooked until crunchy)

In a large stock pot, add potatoes, carrots, and celery. Fill 4 cups water or to top of vegetables and heat.
Cook in water until tender.
Remove vegetables and set aside.
Add onion and butter to pot and cook until the onions are translucent, add stock.
Stir in flour and Parmesan cheese.
Add heavy cream, little by little, while stirring.
Bring to a boil to thicken, and add vegetables.
Add more vegetable stock until desired consistency.
Salt/pepper to taste

Top with bacon, shredded cheese, any of your favorite baked potato topping would be delicious!

Ham Vegetable Bean Soup!

Easy to make and a great way to use up left over ham, this ham and bean soup is filled with vegetables and chunks of sweet ham. Use your favorite beans! Not a bean fan? You can leave them out and have a hearty ham and veggie soup. The addition of chili powder, cumin, and a squeeze of Sriracha gives the soup a little kick!


When I make a ham we always have TONS of leftovers. I save the bone to make this soup, but it would be just as tasty with just leftover diced ham. Don’t worry if you don’t have the bone! The addition of more chicken or vegetable stock would make up for the missing bone broth.

Homemade soups are easy to freeze and easy to thaw! Perfect for dinner in a pinch!


Ham Vegetable Bean Soup
(Makes a lot!)

1 meaty Ham bone
1-1/2 cups ham diced into bite size pieces
1 cup celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 vegetable broth bullion cube and 4 cups of water
1 14.5oz. Chicken stock
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice
1 16oz. bag 10 bean dry beans, pre-soaked or 3 cans of your favorite beans – kidney beans, canellini beans, pinto beans, etc.
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Chili powder
1/2 tbsp. Cumin
Squeeze Sriracha to taste
Salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil on low in the bottom of a large stock pot.

Add garlic and cook until golden and softened – a few minutes.

Add vegetable bullion cube, chicken stock, and water.

Mix well until cube is completely dissolved.


Add the ham bone, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.

Cook for one hour on medium high heat.

Add diced ham, onions, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans.

Cook an additional 2 hours.

Remove the ham bone. Scrape off any additional chunks of ham.



Serve as a meal or as a yummy starter!


Winter Warm Up: Butternut Squash Soup!


More often than not, the winter days in Pittsburgh are gloomy, cold, and dark. However, we are lucky to have the beauty of all four seasons and even more lucky to have all of the beautiful seasonal food varieties that go along with them!


In the winter our menus consist of comfortable, warm-bellied foods like casseroles, pastas, and my favorite, hot soups! Some soups are a beautiful meal accompaniment and some are simply dinner!

Never a fan of thick, blended soups, I found a wintery, flavorful combination that I love and I hope you do, too!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


1- medium Butternut squash
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 tbsp. Cumin
1/2 tbsp. Onion powder



Cut butternut squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds.

Roast cut side down for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until softened. Check it with a fork 😉


Using a spoon scoop roasted squash from skin.

Blend all ingredients except the milk and Parmesan cheese in a food processor or Ninja. (I used my Ninja)


Heat the mixture in a medium sauce pan on low/medium heat.

Stir continuously and be careful not to burn it, just heat it.

Slowly add the milk 1/4 cup at a time or until the soup reaches the desired consistency.

Continue to stir while heating and add the Parmesan cheese a little at a time until melted and blended.

Remove pistachios from their shells and crush with pinenuts for a beautiful garnish!


Garnish, grab a spoon, and enjoy! Keep Warm!

Stuffed Cabbage Three Ways: No Time? No Problem!

Stuffed cabbage rolls, Halupki or Pigs in the Blanket – for many Western Pennsylvanians- remind us of church festivals, fairs, neighbors from our childhood, and grandparents. I’m not going to lie, the little old Polish ladies make them the best! Halupki can easily be made as a soup, a casserole, or the traditional stuffed cabbage rolls! How much time do you have? With the same ingredients, you can make stuffed cabbage three ways! The only variable is the additon of whole tomatoes. Leave them out for the rolls!


The cabbage rolls are the most work because of the cabbage leaf boil step. You pick how much time you have! No time- soup let it cook all day! Same taste!
The cabbage rolls are the most work because of the cabbage leaf boiling step.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 head cabbage
1lb. lean ground beef and/or ground pork mix
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 28oz. can tomato sauce (keep 1 cup for a sauce for the casserole and the rolls)
1 35oz. can whole tomatoes (except for the rolls)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sauerkraut and extra 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (kept aside for casserole)

For Soup:

Shred or chop with a knife. I draw blood every time I use my box grater.
Shred or chop with a knife. I draw blood every time I use my box grater.

Shred cabbage and throw all ingredients in the crockpot!

Cook 8 hours on high!

The Stuffed Cabbage Soup is amazing and takes no time to prep! Let it cook all day! No babysitting required!
The Stuffed Cabbage Soup is amazing and takes no time to prep! Let it cook all day! No babysitting required!

For casserole:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook rice according to the package.

Brown beef and/or pork in a pan with the onions.

Mix sauerkraut, and cabbage together in a bowl.

Mix tomato sauce and tomatoes in a bowl.

In a 9×13 pan-“lasagna style” -layer ingredients, starting with tomato sauce.

Cover sauce with shreded cabbage mixture, a layer of meat and top with tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Repeat layers until pan is 3/4 full. End with 1/2 cup cabbage on top.(2-3 times)

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Serve with a spoon or a fork! The casserole can go either way!  Don't add too much tomato sauce. Remember, you can and should serve the stuffed cabbage casserole with sauce on the side!
Serve with a spoon or a fork! The casserole can go either way! Don’t add too much tomato sauce. Remember, you can and should serve the stuffed cabbage casserole with sauce on the side!

For cabbage rolls:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil 12-15 cabbage leaves until wilted and softened.

When cool, cut leafy sides from hard stem .

Cook rice according to the package.

Brown beef and/or pork in a pan with the onions.

Mix sauerkraut, and cabbage together in a bowl.

Line a 9X13 baking dish with tomto sauce, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage and 1/2 cup sauerkraut.

Set up an assembly line and spoon rice meat mixtures on leaf.

Salt and pepper.

Roll away from you, fold over the right side, then the left, creating an envelope roll.

Line them in the pan and top with tomato mixture.

Salt and pepper again.

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes-1 hour or until sauce is bubbling and rolls are cooked through.

I do top mine with fresh grated Parmesan! I don't think it's Polish ; )
I always serve stuffed cabbage dinners with fresh grated Parmesan and a beautiful loaf of ciabatta.  I don’t think that’s Polish ; )