Archive for Winter Soups and Sandwiches – Page 2

Turkey Gumbo Soup

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Guess what I found while rummaging around in my freezer?  You guessed it, the carcass from the roast turkey!  Some people don’t like okra; I don’t happen to be one of them! If you don’t have a turkey carcass, simply buy turkey drumsticks and wings and follow my instructions on How To Make Stock** I find it easier to make the stock the day before so the fat hardens up and is easily skimmed off.   If pressed for time used purchased chicken stock or broth and some cooked turkey or chicken.   A note on the salt pork; it can usually be found at a butcher but check your grocery store as they just might have it. Any leftover salt pork can be frozen if need be or you can make my recipe for Tourtiere**

DSC_6456 nx21 Tbsp. butter
¼ lb. salt pork, cut into small cubes
6 – 8 cups of stock
1 medium onion, ¼” dice
1 (19 oz.) tin plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 – 2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 – ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste
½ cup brown rice or long grain rice
1 ½ cups cut up (1/2” pieces) fresh or frozen okra
½ cup corn, frozen is fine
1 green pepper, ¼” dice
½ cup celery, ¼” dice
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp. dried
1 large bay leaf
Cooked turkey removed from the carcass or drumsticks before making the stock.

Heat the butter in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the salt pork & sauté until pork is lightly browned, stirring often, reduce the heat; add the onions, celery & green pepper. Sauté vegetables until they are softened but not browned, approximately 8 minutes. Add the cayenne, thyme & bay leaf, then sauté for a minute; add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the stock, salt & pepper; bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover & allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Now add the rice; cover & simmer for another 20 minutes. Bring the soup up to a boil, add the okra, reduce the heat, cover & simmer approximately 15 minutes, or until okra is not quite cooked through, add the corn and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until okra & corn are cooked. Add the cooked turkey & if the soup appears to be too thick, add more stock to thin it. Warm the turkey through; taste the soup for seasoning adding salt & pepper to taste; add the parsley & serve the soup very hot.

**To make your own turkey stock, please go to How To Make Stock.

**If you wish to make my delicious Tourtiere, please go to Tourtiere.

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Pureed Vegetable Soup

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This is a lovely soup that I like to make with veggies from the Farmer’s Market and herbs from the garden. It’s nice to serve as a first course or as a main course served with wholegrain bread and perhaps some cheese. Once the veggies are prepped, it’s a cinch to throw together! I have been known to chop up the carrots, leeks & celery the day before, then all I have to do is cut up the potatoes & mince the garlic!

DSC_5395 nx2Makes 12 First Course Servings or 6 – 8 Main Course Servings

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. EVOO
3 large carrots, or the equivalent amount of smaller carrots, peeled & sliced
3 large leeks, diced, only using the white parts**
3 stalks celery, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
8 cups chicken stock** or purchased broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh tarragon or 2 tsp. dried
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground white or black pepper

Garnish: fresh dill or cut up chives & or bits of chive blossoms

In a large soup pot, heat butter & EVOO; add carrots, leeks, celery, potatoes & garlic; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often without browning; stir in the tarragon, thyme, parsley, 1 tsp. salt & ¼ tsp. pepper.

Add the chicken stock; bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover & simmer the soup for 30 – 40 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.

Let the mixture cool for at least ½ hour, then puree in 3 batches, pouring the soup into a clean pot as it’s pureed; heat the soup until hot; season to taste with salt & pepper. Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls; top with garnish.

**You can use the remaining light parts of the leeks instead of, or as well as, onions in other dishes & the dark green stalks can be used in making stock (I often throw then into a bag and then into the freezer until I need them).

**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.

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Carrot Soup With Ginger & Lemon

I have been making this fresh tasting soup for many years and it’s always a welcome first course for dinner or as a main course with multigrain bread or soda bread (recipe below), some cheese, perhaps an English cheddar or Scottish cheese.  The addition of ginger & lemon gives the soup a nice zing.  Our local carrots become available in June and I think this is a wonderful way to celebrate the new crop of sweet carrots!  This past Easter we served the soup as a first course made from the last of the absolutely fantastic winter carrots from Nat Bailey Farmer’s Market.

Makes 4 Servings

¼ cup butter
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
1 ¼ lbs. carrots, peeled & chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (approx. 1 1/3 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel (zest)
3 cups low salt or homemade chicken stock
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Garnish: finely chopped parsley or snipped, fresh chives
sour cream or yogurt

Make the Soup:

Melt butter in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add ginger & garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; sauté 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool for 15 – 30 minutes before blending for safety reasons (see below).

Puree soup in batches in a blender. Return the soup to the pot. Reheat until hot, thinning with more stock, if desired. Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt & pepper. Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, parsley or chives or both.

Soup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover & chill. It also freezes well.

Please see about blending hot liquids by going to Blending Hot Liquids in Phyllis’ Kitchen Cooking Tips.

If you would like to make the soda bread, please go to Brown Soda Bread.

If you would like to make your own stock, click Making Stock.

Merv’s Carrot Pumpkin Soup

Whenever I made this soup, there was always a compliment forthcoming from one of the executives I cooked for, which is why I named it after him! He loved it! It’s an easy soup to do & I have substituted cooked, pureed butternut squash for the pumpkin when I happen to have it on hand. Soup is just such a good thing!

Makes 7 or 8 Servings

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. carrots, sliced
5 cups chicken stock** or tinned low salt/no salt chicken broth
¼ tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup tinned pumpkin**

Garnish: sour-cream topping

Stir together 1 cup sour cream & 2 Tbsp. snipped chives or finely chopped green onions. Cover & chill until you are ready to serve the soup.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions & sauté until tender; add the carrots,
Stock, thyme & pepper; bring to a boil; reduce the heat & simmer, covered, 30 minutes or until the veggies are very tender.

Cool the soup for 30 minutes (see below), then puree the mixture in a blender, a third at a time. Return to the pot; add the pumpkin & heat over medium heat until very hot.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls & top with the sour cream topping. If you like, you can simply scatter a few snipped chives or green onions on top of the soup.

**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.

**If you would like to make pumpkin puree, please go to Making Pumpkin Puree.

**To see about blending hot liquids, please see My Kitchen/Cooking Tips.

Shrimp Salad Sandwich Filling

I really like this as a filling for either toasted slices of brioche or for croissants. Add a nice bit of lettuce and enjoy.


¾ lb. medium (90-130 count) shrimp, coarsely chopped or whole if you prefer
4 – 6 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 – 1 ½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 Tbsp. finely chopped green onions, or even better, chives from the garden
¾ tsp. finely grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

Combine 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise with the mustard, green onions or chives, lemon peel & dill. Fold in the shrimp with a spatula; season to taste with salt & pepper, adding more mayonnaise, if necessary. Divide between half the bread slices or croissants; top with lettuce & the remaining bread slices or croissant tops. Cut as desired & serve immediately.

Turkey Or Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling

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Turkey and chicken salad sandwiches are fabulous in my books.  I have made hundreds of chicken and turkey salad sandwiches using various ingredients and this one is a favourite of mine especially if you use fresh crop apples. Add some lettuce, arugula or mizuna and you’ll have a great sandwich!

Makes 4 or 5 Sandwiches

2 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
½ cup, combined, finely diced celery & unpeeled apple
¼ cup snipped chives (or to taste), or 2 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
1 Tbsp. each chopped fresh dill & parsley
1 tsp. or more to taste, finely chopped fresh sage
1/3 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts
¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup mayonnaise (light is fine, you could substitute a bit of sour cream for some of the mayo)
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except mayo & lemon juice in a bowl. Combine the mayonnaise & lemon juice & add to the turkey or chicken stirring well.  Spread your bread of choice with some butter, pile on the filling, top with greens of your choice and enjoy!

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My Russian Borscht

In my mind this is Russian Soul Food.  The recipe came from my cousin, Anne.  The first time I ate this soup,   I was immediately taken back to my childhood.  My Mom used to make hers just like this but then changed things up to suit my meat eating Dad!  More a veggie soup than the usual beet soup, with beets added for colour. I like to make this when the new crop beets, potatoes and cabbages are available. A tip: you can shred the cabbage and chop up the veggies the day before, place in the fridge until you are ready to making the borscht the next day.  My husband doesn’t like beets, so I am not allowed to put beets in the soup!  I solved the problem by roasting a beet for myself, grating it then adding  to my bowl.  Don’t forget the sour cream!

DSC_7185 nx2For the Borscht:

1 small cabbage, finely shredded
2 small beets, well scrubbed, not peeled
1 28 oz. tin Italian plum tomatoes
4 potatoes, approximately 2 lbs.,  peeled & cubed
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 qts. (8) cups water
¼ cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 grated zucchini, grated
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp. parsley, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill**
1 tsp. salt & pepper

(opt.) Sour cream or yogurt

Make the Borscht:

Place water into a large pot; add the cubed potatoes, beets, bay leaf, 1 tsp. salt & garlic. Bring to a boil, place lid on the pot and cook until the potatoes are soft, approximately 20 minutes.

Drain the tomatoes & chop coarsely; then add  to the pot containing the potatoes & their cooking water.

Melt the butter in a very large saucepan. Sauté the onion, green bell pepper, zucchini & carrots. Sauté until soft. Add half the cabbage, turn & combine with veggies, then add the remaining cabbage and combine. Add the tomatoes and combine well. Cover, bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and “sweat” veggies until tender.

Remove the potatoes from the tomato/potato cooking water, using a slotted spoon & place in a large, shallow dish; mash with 2 Tbsp of butter. Add veggie mixture to the potatoes & some of the cooking water to loosen mixture. Add this mixture to the pot with the beets. Bring up to a boil but do not boil. Add boiling water to thin the soup as necessary. Sprinkle with lots of freshly ground pepper, parsley, and dill. Do not stir these ingredients in. Place lid on the soup. Turn off the heat under the soup, but leave on burner. Let the soup rest for 1 hour without lifting the lid. Note this is VERY IMPORTANT and is part of the “religion” of Borscht making.  Before serving, remove the beets & discard.  It’s very important that you do not boil the borscht, just reheat gently until hot enough to serve.

Ladle the borscht into individual bowls &top with a nice dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

I hope you will make this soup & enjoy it as much as I do!

If you would like to see how I buy and store fresh dill to use throughout the year, click Using Fresh Herbs.

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Roasted Winter Squash Soup

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This velvety soup, makes an outstanding first course & is easy to make. All the veggies are roasted together, bringing out their natural sweetness. I mean, you can’t go wrong with roasted garlic. Try & find local garlic, instead of using the imported Asian garlic. You will be surprised at the difference! Perhaps followed by a roast chicken.** The soup can be made the day before, covered & chilled. Reheat before serving.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

1 head of garlic, unpeeled
2 lbs. butternut squash or other orange-flesh winter squash, unpeeled, seeds removed & cut into 8 pieces
1 large onion, unpeeled, cut vertically in ½
2 Tbsp. EVO
8 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 tsp. dried, crumbled
½ cup heavy cream/whipping cream
1 ¾ to 2 cups chicken stock** or low salt chicken broth
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cut 1/3” off top of the head of garlic, exposing cloves. Arrange the garlic,, squash & onion, cut side up in a large baking dish. Drizzle veggies with EVO. Scatter thyme over top. Cover tightly with foil & bake until squash is tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 1 ½ hours. Uncover vegetables & let cool 15 minutes.

Scrape squash from skin into a food processor work bowl. Peel outer layers & trim root end from onions; add to processor. Separate 9 garlic cloves from the head of garlic; peel & add to processor (you can usually just squeeze out the garlic from the skin). Add any juices from the bottom of the roasting dish. Add the cream and puree until almost smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Taste, adding more garlic if you would like a more pronounced garlic flavour.

Transfer puree to a heavy, large pot. Whisk in 1 ¾ cups of stock. Stir over medium heat until heated through, adding more broth if you would like a thinner consistency. Season to taste with salt & black pepper.

Ladle soup into warmed soup bowls and garnish with minced parsley.

**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.

**If you would like to make the chicken, please go to Phyllis’ Roast Chicken.

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“Creamed” Carrot Soup With Cilantro

I think this is not only a beautiful tasting soup but is smooth, creamy & has a lovely colour. If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute it with parsley. You will be missing the boost of exotic flavor though! The great thing about having Farmer’s Markets is the availability of wonderful, sweet carrots from the end of summer until the end of winter.  I think it would make a wonderful first course soup, followed perhaps by a main course of chicken or fish.

Makes 8 Servings

2 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1/2″ dice
4 Tbsp. unbleached flour
3 cups chicken stock** or low salt chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
3 cups water
2 cups homogenized milk, not low fat
1 tsp. salt or to taste
½ tsp. pepper

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat; cook the onion for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the carrots; cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with the flour; stir until well blended. Add the stock & the water to the pot, along with the bay leaf & 2 Tbsp. cilantro, cook, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove bay leaf & discard. Cool the mixture for 20 minutes; then in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Return to the pot; stir in the milk, salt & pepper. Cook on low heat just until heated through. Don’t allow to boil as the milk will curdle. Garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Note: For safety reasons, please do not try to puree hot liquids as you could have a mishap.

**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.

Leek And Potato Soup

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This excellent soup can be made with over-wintered leeks or when the leeks become available at the end of summer/beginning of fall and if you’re lucky, you might find some at the Farmer’s Market in December!   The chives say spring to me, as once February is half way through, I am on watch waiting for mine to appear.  I love serving this with soda bread.**  The soup was a big hit with “my boys & girls” when I was chefing!

Makes 4 Servings

3 Tbsp. butter
3 large leeks, white & pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced**
2 large russet potatoes, approximately 18 oz., peeled & diced
4 ½ cups low salt chicken stock or homemade**

Garnish: chopped/snipped fresh chives or finely minced green onion


Melt butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat. All leeks; stir to coat with butter. Cover pot; cook leeks until tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes; cover & cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until the veggies are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 – 30 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in food processor until smooth.  Return to the pot. Thin with additional stock if soup is too thick. Reheat soup until hot; season with salt & pepper. Serve garnished with chives.

Note:  soup can be made1 day ahead. Cover & chill. Can also be frozen.

**If you would like to make the bread, please go to Soda Bread.

**If you would like to make homemade stock, please go to Making Stock.

**If you would like to ready about blending liquids, please see Phyllis’ Kitchen/Cooking Tips.

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