Category Archives: Soup

Cheesy Bacon Corn Chowder

Cheesy Bacon Corn Chowder

I married into a family of 100% Swedish descent.  Being of German/Russian descent, I had never encountered this culture before meeting my husband.  I learned very quickly that the Swedes, at least in my new family, have a major sweet tooth!

Growing up, at Thanksgiving, us German/Russians might have had a pumpkin pie after the feast with a scoop of ice cream, but it was always kind of an after thought.  NOT SO, with the Swedes.  The first Thanksgiving I spent at my in-laws house I thought must have been a mistake.  Someone must have not gotten the memo that the other person was bringing dessert because everybody that came brought a pie.  EVERYONE!  As you can guess, this really isn’t much of a problem.  Is there really such a thing as too much pie?!

The reason that I mention the sweet-tooth Swedes in this post is because my husband’s affinity for sweet carries over in to all areas of his eating.  I, on the other hand, prefer much more savory, salty, or spicy foods.  Because of our opposite flavor preferences, I always try to achieve a balance that we can both enjoy.  This chowder is one of those dishes that is a perfect compromise for both of us.  The corn itself is sweet so the cheese and bacon balance that sweetness and round out the dish.  We ate bowl after bowl of this soup last weekend.  So whether you are craving something sweet or savory, this recipe should hit on all of those notes.  Soup on Swedes.  I love you all!!!

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon fat
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 5 cups corn, frozen
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 (15oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth or 1 3/4 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 8oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper


  1. Fry chopped bacon over medium heat in a heavy skillet until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  Drain skillet reserving 4 Tbsp. of bacon fat.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp. bacon fat to heavy skillet and saute carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a heavy stockpot, add remaining 2 Tbsp. bacon fat and flour over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 1 minute.  Slowly add chicken broth whisking to break up any clumps.  Heat for 2 minutes over medium heat then reduce heat to low for another 3 minutes.
  4. Slowly whisk in milk and cream.
  5. Add corn, vegetable mixture, and potato.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes making sure soup doesn’t boil over.
  6. Turn heat to low.  Remove 4 cups of soup, allow to cool, then blend.  Add back to soup pot.
  7. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.  Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.  Add bacon and serve.

Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Soup, Uncategorized


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Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

It’s’s here…it’s really really here.  SOUP SEASON!!!  I despise winter and am so sad to see summer go, but I do love me some Fall.  Comfy sweaters, cool sleeping weather, lazy Sunday Football Fundays, and SOUP!

Someone asked my mom once what my favorite color was and she replied, “Well for Erin that all depends on the day!”  That is exactly how I feel about soup.  It can fit so many different moods, eating habits, and cravings.  From a comforting chicken soup when you’re under the weather to a silky lobster bisque on date night, soup has many sides and serves many purposes.  It’s great for using up leftover ingredients in the fridge along with being easy on the pocketbook.  Oh soup, I love you!

Today I decided on a chicken wild rice soup.  I happened to have some homemade chicken stock in the refrigerator so I wanted that to shine.  I added a bit of cream but not so much to mask the poor chicken stock that spent so many hours on the stove last Saturday doing it’s thing!

This is one of those recipes that tastes best the next day so feel free to make it ahead of time and eat it throughout the week.  It will get better with some age.  Most things do!

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup Recipe
Yield: 8 Servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 3/4 cup wild rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 8oz portabella mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots or 10 baby carrots, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter + 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 shallot, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 7.5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (rotisserie or poached chicken works great here)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse wild rice and drain.  Heat water with 1/4 tsp. salt and rice until boiling.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Rice is done when it pops open and is chewy not hard.
  2. Fry bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer bacon to paper towel, let cool, then coarsely chop.
  3. Add mushrooms to skillet and saute for 3 minutes.  Add carrots and continue to saute for another 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large stockpot melt 1/2 stick butter over medium heat.  Add shallot until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add flour and stir constantly 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in chicken stock.
  5. Increase heat to a boil.  Add rice, mushroom/carrot mix, bacon, chicken, and thyme.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld and reduce slightly.
  6. Stir in cream and heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Fall, Soup, Uncategorized, Winter


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Beef Noodle Soup (Freezer-Friendly)

Beef Noodle Soup #1

It’s 1 degree today in MN, but with the windchill it feels like -18F.  Brr!!!!!  When the weather is this frigid, I can’t help but think of my mom.  I remember getting off the bus in grade school on a day like this.  I would run as fast as I could into the house to get out of the cold while being careful enough not to biff it on the icy driveway.  As soon as I got inside I could smell the soup.  It was so warm and inviting just like my mom!  She would snuggle me up in a big blanket and feed me this soup with buttered saltine crackers.  It’s not fancy, but it’s comfort and it reminds me of home.  Stay warm people, eat your soup, and call your mother!

Serves: 8


  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless beef roast or stew meat, cut in bite-size cubes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/4 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought reduced-sodium broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (16oz) package baby carrots
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Season cubed beef with salt and pepper.  Add beef to pot and brown on all sides.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add onions cooking for about 5 minutes until they are softened but not burned.
  3. Add flour to beef/onion mixture and stir to coat for about a minute.
  4. Slowly add chicken stock and water.  Scrape up any browned bits from the pan and stir until slightly thickened and raw flour taste is gone.
  5. Add carrots and potatoes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool in an uncovered shallow container.  Once cooled, transfer to freezer-proof container.
  7. Remove from freezer the night before cooking.  Place mixture in slow cooker and heat on low for 6-8 hours.  One hour before serving add egg noodles and parsley.

Note: Soup will keep frozen for 2 months.

Beef Noodle Soup Label

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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Crockpot, Entrees, Soup


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Chicken and Dumplings (Freezer-Friendly)


Serves: 6

Chicken Base:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups chicken, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper


  • 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Chicken Base:

  1. In a heavy pot, melt 3 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and leek.  Cook 3-5 minutes until onions sweat.
  3. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in chicken until cooked thoroughly, ~5 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
* Chicken base can be frozen for 3 months.


  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and parsley.
  2. Cut in butter.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Make 6 equal dumplings.

* Dumplings will keep frozen (uncooked) for 3 months.

DSCN2170 1. Wrap dumplings in wax paper.

DSCN21742.  Next wrap in tin foil.

DSCN21763.  Last place wrapped dumplings in a freezer bag.

To Serve:

  1. Heat the chicken broth mixture slowly on low heat until unfrozen, stir frequently.
  2. Increase heat to medium.  Add dumplings, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until dumplings are puffed and cooked thoroughly.

Chicken and Dumplings Label

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Entrees, Soup, Uncategorized


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White Bean and Ham Soup


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 (15oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound ham, diced
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, strained
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 (15oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Heat oil in dutch oven until hot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic until softened, ~5 minutes.  Add beans, ham, tomatoes, thyme, and chicken broth to pot.  Simmer uncovered until reduced by a third, ~40 minutes.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Garnish with fresh arugula and warm corn bread croutons.
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Soup, Uncategorized


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Butter Bean and Chorizo Casserole

This recipe is so versatile and has so much flavor.  It can be eaten as a casserole, a soup, or even on hashbrowns for breakfast!


  • 1.5 pounds chorizo
  • 2 cans S&W Butter Beans, drained but reserving 3/4 cup liquid
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, cut 1/4″ thick (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Brown chorizo in a large skillet.  Drain fat and set aside.
  3. Saute leek and onions in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper until slightly browned.
  4. Add garlic, tomato paste, and smoked paprika.  Stir to make a paste and then add reserved bean broth, chicken broth, chorizo, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary.  Bring to a boil and reduce until desired consistency is achieved (if you want to make a casserole reduce by almost half, for soup reduce slightly until flavors combine).
  5. Once desired consistency is reached, remove thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary.  Add butter beans and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer ingredients to a glass baking dish.
  7. In a separate skillet, heat 5 Tbsp. EVOO with breadcrumbs until crispy and golden.  Remove from heat and add parsley, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top casserole with breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes covered.  Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until breadcrumb mixture is browned and casserole is bubbling.
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Beans, Entrees, Soup, Uncategorized


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Shrimp Gumbo with Red Beans and Rice


Shrimp Gumbo

Makes 2 quarts


  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp, raw with shells on
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cups shrimp stock
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 pound Andouille sausage, sliced in 1/2″ circles
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 3 cups long-grain rice, dry
  • 1 (15oz) can red beans, drained and rinsed
  • Green onions to garnish


  1. Peel and devein shrimp reserving shells for making shrimp stock.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, paprika, white and black pepper.
  3. Season shrimp with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper mixture.
  4. Next, make a dark roux.  To do this, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add flour slowly and stir very frequently until roux turns a dark-copper brown.  This may take up to 45 minutes, but I promise, it is SOOOO worth it.  The deep intense flavor of this dish comes from this roux.  Don’t cheat and try to speed up the process by cranking the heat up.  This will cause your roux to smoke and then you have to throw it out and start over (trust me, I know from experience!).
  5. When your roux has finally turned a dark-copper brown, add onions, celery, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, remaining salt and remaining pepper mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add both shrimp stock and beef stock and simmer for 1 1/2 hours skimming fat off top as it accumulates.  Save 1 Tbsp. of skimmed fat and saute Andouille on high until browned.
  7. Add Andouille, thyme, oregano, basil, Worcestershire, and hot sauce.  Stir to combine and allow flavors to develop for another hour.
  8. Remove bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Prepare rice and combine with red beans.  Right before serving add shrimp to gumbo and cook until just pink.  Don’t overcook shrimp or they will become tough and rubbery.
  10. Spoon gumbo over rice and garnish with green onions.
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Beans, Entrees, Soup


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