Apple Rutabaga Soup

Adapted from Chef Patrick O'Connell, The Inn at Little Washington

Makes 6 to 8 servings



  • 1 stick (1/4 pound) butter
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup rutabaga, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 quart good chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste



Step 1: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, apple, rutabaga, squash, carrots and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
Step 2: Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
Step 3: Puree the vegetables in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into the same pot you used to cook the vegetables. Add the cream, maple syrup, salt and cayenne pepper.
Step 4: Return the pot to the stove, bring the soup to a simmer, and serve.


Chilled Avocado Soup Shooters with Spicy Breadcrumbs

Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2010



For the Soup:

  • 1 large ripe avocado (11 to 12 ounces), halved, pitted, peeled, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Generous pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 4 x 4 x 1/2-inch slice soft white sandwich bread with crust
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Step 1: For the Soup: Place diced avocado in blender. Add 1 1/2 cups broth, whipping cream, lime juice, and coarse salt. 
Step 2: Puree until smooth. Transfer soup to 4-cup measuring cup; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup, if desired. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Soup can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Step 3: For the Breadcrumbs: Finely grind bread in processor. Melt butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs to skillet; stir until golden, about 1 minute. Add paprika, coarse salt, and cayenne; stir until crumbs are crisp, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to small bowl and cool. DO AHEAD Breadcrumbs can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.
Step 4: Pour cold soup into eight 1/3-cup glasses or other small glasses. Sprinkle each serving lightly with breadcrumbs.

Cold Almond and Garlic Soup with Figs and Marcona Almonds

Adapted from Jose Andres: Made in Spain, Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen


  • 1-1/2 pounds blanched almonds
  • 6 cups of flat mineral or filtered water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup aged sherry vinegar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2-1/2 cup spanish extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 slices of rustic bread, crusts removed about 2 ounces
  • 4 fresh black figs, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped spanish Marcona almonds
  • 1 tablespoons chopped chives


Step 1: Put blanched almonds into a bowl, cover with mineral water and let soak overnight.  Soaking the almonds overnight brings out the natural milk of the almonds. 
Step 2: Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot over high heat. Add the garlic and boil for 1 minute, then drain the garlic and cool.  
Step 3: Drain the soaked almonds, reserving the soaking liquid.
Step 4: Put drained almonds in a blender or food processor.  Add the garlic, reserved soaking liquid, 3/4 cup of the sherry vinegar, 2 1/2 cups of olive oil, and bread. Puree until smooth. 
Step 5: Place a colander over a large bowl and line it with cheesecloth. Pour the soup into the colander. Alternatively, if you have a chinois, you can use this to strain your soup (see picture below).  
Step 6: Once most of the liquid has passed through the colander, gather the cheesecloth around the remaining solids and squeeze gently to release as much of the liquid as possible. 
Step 7: Discard the solids. Pour the soup in a pitcher and chill for 30 minutes.
Step 8: To serve, divide the fig pieces and Marcona almonds among soup bowls. Pour in the cold soup, sprinkle with chopped chives, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil.


I love this gazpacho recipe by Jose Andres. I have had it at Jaleo in Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD and it is close to the best gazpacho I've ever had. I got together with my friend, Amy to see if we could re-create Jose's gazpacho. On this particular Sunday, Amy was the chef de cuisine, and I served as sous-chef de cuisine and photographer. Our version was delicious. The taste was pretty darn close to the original.



For the Gazpacho: 

  • 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 10), cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces cucumber (1 cucumber), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 ounces green pepper, in large pieces
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

For the Garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice rustic white bread
  • 6 plum tomatoes, with the seeds, prepared as "fillets"
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 pearl onions, pulled apart into segments
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 4 chives, cut into 1-inch pieces


Step 1: To make the gazpacho: In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, garlic, water, and sherry vinegar and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. 
Step 2: Taste for acidity; this will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes. If it's not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar. We used Roma tomatoes that were not very sweet so we had to add somewhere between 2 and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Add the olive oil, season with salt, and blend again. Strain the gazpacho into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Step 3: While the gazpacho is chilling, prepare the garnishes: In a small pan, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat and fry the bread until golden, about 2 minutes. Break into small pieces to form croutons and set aside.
Step 4: Place 4 croutons, 2 "fillets" of tomatoes with seeds, 4 cherry tomato halves, 3 cucumber cubes and 3 onion segments into each bowl. Add a few drops of olive oil to each onion segment and drizzle a little more around each bowl. 
Step 5: Add a few drops of vinegar to each cucumber cube and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Sprinkle sea salt on the tomatoes.To serve pour gazpacho into each of 4 bowls containing the garnishes.  
Step 6: Sprinkle the chives over the soup.  You can simplify the garnishes: Just use a few cubes of cucumber, tomato and green pepper. Serve when the gazpacho is refreshingly chilled.
And here's a picture of Jose Andres, the master himself!

Hearty Bean Soup


  • 1/4 pound cooked ham, in one piece
  • 2 medium-size celery stalks
  • 2 medium-size carrots
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 medium-size zucchini (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 15 to 19 ounce cans white kidney beans (cannellini) rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive or salad oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14-1/2 to 16 ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 13-3/4 to 14-1/2 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1/2 medium size bunch spinach, chopped, with tough stems removed (about 1 cup packed)
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (optional)


Step 1: Cut ham into 1/2" pieces; dice celery; thinly slice carrots; chop onion; dice zucchini. 
Step 2: Remove 1-1/2 cups white kidney beans to medium bowl; with potato masher or fork, mash beans until smooth. In 5-quart Dutch oven, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add ham, celery, carrots, onions, zucchini, basil, and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender and begin to brown, about 15 minutes. 
Step 3: Stir in stewed tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped spinach, mashed white beans, and 2 cups water, using spoon to break up tomatoes; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in remaining beans; heat through.
Step 4: To serve, spoon soup into large soup bowls. Sprinkle each with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Adapted from Tyler Florence's Dinner at My Place




For the chicken stock:

  • 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3-1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
  • 2 large white onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

For the chicken soup:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 8 ounces dried orzo
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Step 1: To make the chicken stock: Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. 
Step 2: Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. 
Step 3: As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Step 4: Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
Step 5: Strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids.
Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.
Step 6: To make the chicken soup: Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. 
Step 7: Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 7 minutes until tender. 
Step 8: Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Italian Wedding Soup



For the Chicken Stock:

  • 4 chicken breasts with skin
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • salt to taste
  • 3 quarts of water
  • 4 or 5 chicken bouillon cubes

For the soup:

  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup pastime or 3/4 pound of thin noodles

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • About 1/2 to 3/4 cup waters to make the meatballs soft


Step 1: For the chicken stock: Wash and clean chicken breast. Soak in salt water for 1/2 hour. Drain and place in large kettle with rest of ingredients for the stock. Cook until chicken is tender. Remove chicken breasts and strain broth.
Step 2: For the meatballs: Mix all ingredients together and add enough water to make the meatballs soft. Roll out miniature meatballs. 
Step 3: For the soup: Add 3 stalks of chopped celery and the chopped onion to the strained chicken stock and cook until tender. To make a larger amount of soup, you may add canned chicken broth.
Step 4: Add raw meatballs to the chicken broth containing the celery and onions.  
Step 5: Cook 3/4 to 1 cup pastime or 3/4 pound thin noodles as directed on package. 
Step 6: Add cooked pastime to broth. If soup is not served immediately, do not add pastime to broth. When ready to serve soup, cook pastime or noodles, place in soup bowl and add broth to each bowl.
Step 7: Add one package fresh spinach or frozen spinach to the soup. If using frozen spinach, cook separately, rinse and add to soup. You may substitute endive or escarole in place of spinach. 
Step 8: Add shredded chicken and parsley.  Serve immediately.

Pappa al Pomodoro (Chilled Tomato and Bread Soup)

Adapted from Mario Batali: Molto Italiano 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home



  • 3 to 4  pounds very ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 1-1/2 cups torn up day old bread
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices baguette, toasted and cooled



Step 1: In a food processor, blend tomatoes until liquid. 
Step 2: Add day old bread, basil, thyme, olive oil, water, and generously season with salt and pepper. If too thick, thin with more cold water. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Divide cool tomato soup among 4 bowls. Place 1 slice baguette in center of each bowl, and top with the scallions.


Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Lentils are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. On top of all of their nutritional benefits, they cook quickly. So this is the perfect soup to make when you are in a hurry for dinner and you want something nutritious to eat. This particular lentil soup is like no other I’ve had before. A pinch of cayenne and chili powder gives the soup just the right amount of spice, and a vibrant splash of lemon is added at the end to perfectly finish the soup’s flavor.
Adapted from Melissa Clark's Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, published January 2008 in the New York Times



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chile powder
  • Pinch of cayenne, more to taste
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro



Step 1: In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
Step 2: Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
Step 3: Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Step 4: Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
Step 5: Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.


Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Adapted from the Slow Roasted Italian's Slow Cooker Potato Soup 



  • 10 slices cooked bacon, diced
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: extra shredded cheddar cheese and bacon, and fresh parsley



Step 1: Add potatoes, onion, garlic, bacon, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 hours on high, until the potatoes are fork tender.
Step 2: After the soup has cooked for 3 to 4 hours and once the potatoes are tender, add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt. Whisk in the flour until completely combined.  Gradually add the evaporated milk.
Step 3: Whisk the flour and milk mixture until smooth. With the heat on the lowest stove setting, let the mixture cook until it starts to simmer and is getting thicker, stir occasionally.
Step 4: Add the thickened milk-flour mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Step 5: Using an immersion blender, puree about 1/2 of the potatoes.
Step 6: Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking the soup on high for 15 minutes.  If the soup is too thick, add more chicken broth (or water).
Step 7: Garnish with bacon and cheddar cheese.


Tom Kha Gai (or Tom Yum Gai)


  • 4 cups chicken stock (canned or home made)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, crushed and cut into 1-inch sections
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 slices galangal root
  • 1 teaspoon roasted chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 green onion sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms or 1 can straw mushrooms, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups cooked chicken meat, diced
  • 1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 can coconut milk 
  • To make Tom Yum Gai: Omit the coconut milk in the above recipe


Step 1: Pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan.  Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal.  Bring to a boil, cover, and boil for 5 minutes.  
Step 2: Stir in 1 teaspoon of chili paste.  Add coconut milk, fish sauce, lemon juice, green onion, mushrooms, cilantro, cooked chicken meat and raw shrimp. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Watermelon Gazpacho

Adapted from Tyler Florence: Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Anytime 
Makes 4-6 servings


  • 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes (about 6 large tomatoes)
  • 3 cups cubed and seeded fresh watermelon (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more sprigs for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta


Step 1: Puree half of the tomatoes, watermelon, and cucumber in a food processor.  
Step 2: Chop the remaining tomato, watermelon, and cucumber into a small dice and add to the puree.  
Step 3: Finely mince the red onion and jalapeno peppers and add to the soup mixture.  
Step 4: Add sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt/pepper to taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste  

Step 5: Sprinkle the soup with feta cheese and garnish with dill.  The soup should be served at room temperature. 

West African Chicken Soup




  • One 3-pound chicken, neck reserved
  • 3-1/2 quarts water
  • 2 medium onions, 1 unpeeled and quartered, 1 thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 celery ribs, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro



Step 1: In a stockpot, combine the chicken and neck with the water, quartered onion, chopped carrots and celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley springs and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. 
Step 2: Transfer the chicken to a plate. Discard the skin. Pull the meat off the bones, cut it into 1/2-inch pieces and refrigerate.
Step 3: Return the bones to the pot, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour, until the broth is richly flavored. Strain the broth into a clean heat proof bowl and rinse out the pot. 
Step 4: Return the broth to the pot and boil over moderate heat until reduced to 8 cups, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.
Step 5: In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the sliced onion, ginger, minced jalapeno, tomatoes, curry powder and tomato paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. 
Step 5: Stir in the broth, and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Season with salt cook over moderate heat for about 30 minutes. 
Step 6: Add the chopped chicken and cilantro and simmer until just heated through.
Step 7: Ladle into bowls and serve. Serve with white rice.