Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Shrimp and Leek Bread Soup #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I heart kitchen shops. One of my favorites is the original Sur La Table, in Pike Place Market in Seattle. In my fictional version of the Market, the unnamed kitchen shop is the Spice Shop’s nearest neighbor, just up the hill. So wonderfully dangerous. Since I first discovered the shop, when I lived in Seattle as a college student and young lawyer, it’s gone big-time, with a terrific catalog operation and stores all over. I’ve been in several, but still love the original, cramped and crowded as it is. Many of my favorite dishes and kitchen tools came from its shelves.

But not my newest kitchen tool. When my BFF and her husband visited in September, she served as my prep cook, but she wasn’t impressed by the selection of graters I offered her to zest an orange. They spent an afternoon in the village of Bigfork, aka Jewel Bay, and brought me a micro-plane from our local kitchen shop, Roma’s, home of many treasures and much inspiration. (It's the inspiration for Kitchenalia, in my Food Lovers' Village books.) Mr. Right and I loved how evenly it zested the lemon for this soup, without cutting into the pith, or human flesh! Easy to clean, too.

When you think of leeks and soup, you probably – justifiably – think Potato-Leek Soup. This is a lighter alternative, which I found on the Sur La Table website, from A Pleasant Little Kitchen by Rebecca White. The original called for a combination of fish and chicken stock; with shrimp, that makes sense, but we didn't have fish stock so I simplified that. Toasting the bread gives it an earthy flavor that carries through even after boiling and simmering. To crust or not? Depends on your bread. I used a couple of slices of ciabatta from the Park Avenue Bakery in Helena, Montana, one of the inspirations for Le Panier, the bakery where all of Jewel Bay gathers.

We served this soup with toasted bread – can’t ever get enough – and a California chardonnay.

Inspiration is where you find it. I hope this recipe inspires you, and your taste buds!

Shrimp and Leek Bread Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic gloves, rough chopped
1½ cups sliced leeks
2½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups day-old bread, cubed
½ tsp paprika
1½ cups white wine
6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1¼ pound raw, peeled and deveined shrimp
¼ tsp oregano
Zest of 1 lemon
Fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and fresh black pepper

 In a soup kettle, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic and 1½ teaspoon salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks are softened.

Add the bread and paprika. Stir well to coat. Cook until the bread is lightly toasted, stirring occasionally to prevent the garlic from burning, 3-4 minutes.

Add the wine, stock, and red pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shrimp, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine.

Add the shrimp and lemon zest to the soup and let it cook through, about 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 4.


From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Quick and Light Italian Wedding Soup #Recipe @PegCochran

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling even more stuffed than our Thanksgiving turkey!  So much great food!  If you want to enjoy a few light meals before the Christmas feasting begins, here's a great recipe for a warm and comforting dinner!  Leftovers freeze well or make a great lunch the next day.

I've taken this recipe from the site with a slight adaptation.

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan and more for topping soup
2 tsps. minced garlic
1 egg
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper or several grinds of fresh pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 bunch kale, leaves coarsely chopped (I substituted baby spinach)
2/3 cup ditalini or elbow macaroni (Optional -- this was my addition)

Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, egg, salt and pepper until mixed.  Shape into smallish one inch balls.

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened.  Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and add meatballs. 

Cook, without stirring, for five minutes or until meatballs float to the surface. Add kale (or spinach) and stir gently.  Add small pasta if using.  Cook five to six minutes until greens are tender, meatballs are cooked through and pasta is al dente.

Serve sprinkled with more Parmesan.

Buon Appetito!

Coming next week  -- 
the further adventures of Lucille and Flo!

The USA Today bestselling author of Unholy Matrimony is back with a new Lucille Mystery! This time Lucille must track down the killer of a diet guru who had a lot more to lose than just a few extra pounds.
With her best friend Flo’s wedding approaching, Lucille is desperate to trim down and joins Weigh to Lose, a weight-loss program led by a clipboard-wielding harridan who’s as unattractively thin as she is shrill. When the bossy woman turns up dead with her throat slashed and a tasty-looking cannoli stuffed in her mouth, Lucille figures she got her just desserts.

But when the local police come up empty-handed, Lucille sinks her teeth into the mystery and narrows the list of suspects to a husband with a wandering eye, a sexy young Swedish au pair, and a gambler deep in debt to the wrong people. Until one of the suspects becomes the victim of another gruesome murder.

Afraid she’s bitten off more than she can chew and worried that she might be next on the killer’s list, Lucille puts her own neck on the line with a wild plan to trap the culprit and tip the scales of justice.

If you want a very funny murder mystery, then this book is for you. I’ve never laughed so hard while reading before.” —Goodreads, on Unholy Matrimony, Book 2 in the USA Today bestselling Lucille Mystery Series

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

Follow me on Facebook to learn about upcoming giveaways! 



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Please Welcome Guest Maddie Day/Edith Maxwell! & #Giveaway

We are so pleased to have author Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell) as our guest today.  Please give her a warm welcome!

Thanks so much for having me back, MLK! In the Country Store Mysteries, Robbie Jordan discovers her Italian father. Before When the Grits Hit the Fan opens, she goes to visit him in his home near Pisa, and is served a version of Sullo Scio, a simple soup. It’s so good she makes and serves it for lunch in the restaurant during a snowy winter.

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s Country Store restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer? Robbie and her friend Lou go snowshoeing and find a contentious academic frozen under the ice. Police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff in Pans ‘N Pancakes the night before. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie absorbs local gossip about the professor’s past and develops her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way.

I’ll give away a signed copy of the new book to one commentor today!

Sullo Scio


4 fat cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 T olive oil
1 T minced fresh rosemary
1 large can whole tomatoes
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 quart chicken stock
1 package tagliatelle
1 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in the olive oil until soft. Do not brown. Add the rosemary and tomatoes. Rough chop the tomatoes in the pan. Add the garbanzos and stock and bring to a boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook until al dente according to the directions on the package.


Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan. A glass of Valpolicella and a green salad complete the dinner.

Remember, I’ll give away a signed copy of the new book to one commenter today!


Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals. She is honored to serve as President of Sisters in Crime New England.

A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, and gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. 

Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at

Friday, March 17, 2017

Guest Fran Stewart

Please welcome Fran Stewart to MLK. She writes about a Scottish-themed shop in Vermont, and though it's Saint Patrick's Day today, we won't hold it against her. She's giving us a recipe that is both easy and fun. Plus a giveaway!

Why would anyone wonder why I write not one, but TWO mystery series with a protagonist who either can’t or doesn’t like to cook? Isn’t it obvious?

Peggy Winn in the ScotShop series likes to eat the leftovers from her friend Karaline’s restaurant. Biscuit, the librarian in the Biscuit McKee series, cooks three things – soups, bread, and cookies. Anything else is the responsibility of Bob, her ever-patient husband.

Those two characters just about sum me up. I can’t imagine how much trouble I’d have writing a series if I had to come up with recipes for each book.

That said, I do have a recipe for you, but you’ll have to improvise a lot, since it’s based to a large extent on what was in my cupboard one particular day.

I loved the moment I discovered crockpots. I can throw a whole bunch of ingredients in there in the morning, let it simmer all day long, and have a number of meals to chomp on (like about five of them – supper this evening, lunch and supper for the next two days).

I can hear you asking – “What!!!! Eat the same thing three days in a row?!!!!”

Well, yes. Food is not a high priority for me (as I’m sure you already figured out). If you don’t want to duplicate menus, feel free to freeze meal-sized batches for later.

Now, I do admit that sometimes the crazy combinations I put together end up being, shall we say, less than satisfying. Since I hardly ever cook for company, though, I don’t have to worry about it. I’m someone who can make a complete meal out of fresh homemade bread and creamy butter, along with hunks of cheese and good strong tea. Throw in some soup (even if it tastes a little weird), and the meal is even better.

So, here’s the way my throw-together soup happens:
1. Crockpot, dribbled with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to keep things from sticking.

2. Layer the bottom with a cup of rice (preferably brown) uncooked.

3. Dump an entire undrained can of Italian-cut green beans on top of the rice.

4. Add an undrained can of light red kidney beans (You can use the dark red, but they turn the rice sort of muddy looking. Not too appetizing unless you’re eating by candlelight.) If you’d rather, you can soak dried kidney beans overnight and add them during this step.

5. Chop up a smallish dill pickle and add it on top of the kidney beans. Why, you ask? Why not?

6. Sprinkle with a generous amount of pepper. At this point, I usually throw in some sort of herb or spice. The last soup I put together had a couple of teaspoons of mustard seed. I’ve also been known to add a little cumin and a fair amount of ginger.

7. Chop up some chicken (cooked or uncooked) or fresh salmon and layer the pieces over the rice and such. If you don’t want to chop, four to six drumsticks work just fine.

8. Add another layer of rice – if you make it wild rice, it’ll add a nutty consistency that’s delicious – and one more can of green beans. You could use the French-cut beans, but they’re a little harder to eat without dribbling. Once I used a can of each, and it just looked messy, so now I stick to the stubby Italian-cut version.

8. Top with four or five pieces of pickled okra, sliced thinly.

9. Add enough water to make it sort of soupy.

Cook on high from 4 to 6 hours (or on low overnight). You may need to add more water halfway through.

I almost never add salt – but you might want to in step #6 if you’re a “salty” kind of person.

That’s it. Simple. Quick. Tasty (we hope).

Fran will be giving away one copy of her book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment!

About the book:

The annual Highland Festival in Hamelin, Vermont, means caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder...

Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customer’s family names to their clan plaid.

Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer—because another death would really blow... 

Find A Wee Homicide in the Hotel at:

Books a Million
Books a Million

About Fran:

Hoping to be judged on her writing ability and not on her cooking ability, Fran is the national best-selling author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series (seven books so far) and the ScotShop mystery trilogy; as well as a standalone mystery A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT; and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers, written to help emerging writers use the English language more effectively. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana #Recipe @PegCochran

Earlier this week we had Lucy Burdette's copycat pasta e fagioli recipe from Olive Garden and now here's another copycat Olive Garden recipe--Zuppa Tuscana.  Whenever I go there for lunch and get the soup/salad/breaksticks entree, I opt for this soup.

It's super easy to make and is a great dinner along with some crusty bread!

1 lb. Italian sausage (I chose mild Italian turkey sausage)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 3 large baking potatoes, diced (I went with 3 because I could happily live on potatoes)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional--I left this out but you could also crumble real bacon into the soup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or Swiss chard (I went with the chard--hubby thinks he doesn't like kale)
2 8-ounce cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy cream

Slice sausage (uncooked) into small pieces and brown in olive oil.  Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is wilted.

Add chicken broth, water and potatoes.  Cook until potatoes are tender.

Add salt and pepper to taste and optional bacon bits.  Simmer soup for 10 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add kale or Swiss chard and cream.  Heat until greens are tender and soup is warmed through.

Buon Appetito!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pasta Fagioli, #Copycat Olive Garden-style #crockpot #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I know what you are saying: When is this poor woman going to get her oven back so she can get off the crockpot kick? For almost two months, I desperately wanted the answer to that question, too. (As of last week, I have one, yay!)
Meanwhile, the crockpot recipes continued…this time with a delicious knock-off of Olive Garden-style* pasta fagioli.

My version was lower sodium (you can read more about that below,) but quite spicy and delicious (she said modestly.)

1 1/2 pound ground beef
One large onion, chopped
Three large carrots, chopped
Four stalks of celery, sliced
One heaping teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 to 8 leaves of fresh basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes and sauce
20 oz spaghetti sauce (I used Gia Russo's Hot Sicilian)
2 and ½ cups low sodium beef broth (or 3/5 box of regular broth and add some water)
1 cup Ditalini pasta
One can white or red kidney beans, low-sodium, rinsed
Fresh spinach, about 4 oz
Parmesan for grating on top

Brown the beef and drain grease.
Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot, up to the point of the pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta, beans and spinach.
Serve with crusty bread and grated Parmesan if you wish.

*Soup in restaurants is generally very salty. So naturally I made some adjustments to the recipes I saw on Pinterest.

This entire pot of soup contains roughly 3500 mg of sodium. There are probably 10 servings in the pot, so 350 mg per serving. (This is calculated from the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and beef broth. Read your labels carefully, as these ingredients vary greatly in sodium content. The celery, carrots, and spinach also contain naturally occurring sodium. Tabasco sauce, 35 mg per teaspoon. Ground beef, 450 mg per 1.5 lbs.)

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Harvest Stew

LESLIE: A few years ago, after the epic month in France that turned Mr. Right and me into serious home cooks, we took a knife skills class at the local community college. We’re probably due for a refresher, and maybe the meat and poultry version, but I have to tell you, lining up the veggies for a big soup or stew, or a chopped salad, got a lot easier.

Before the class, we had only one chef’s knife, a lovely 10" from a set of Henckels an old boyfriend had given me. That Christmas, we were definitely on the same page. We each bought the other one a chef’s knife and a French cookbook!

And this soup, based on a recipe published in the Missoulian a few years ago by Greg Patent, a renowned cookbook author who lives in Western Montana, does require a fair amount of chopping. The upside is that it makes a lot, and as with most soups, the flavor improves over time. So you’ll get at least another dinner and maybe a couple of lunches for the extra effort. The flip side is that it doesn’t require a long simmer, so you’ll save a little time that way.

The Parmesan broth is the curiosity here. If, like us, you often buy Parmesan or Asiago in chunks and grate it yourself, toss the rinds and last chunks in a sealed bag in the back of your cheese drawer in the fridge, or in the freezer, and when you’ve got half a cup or so, make this stew. If you don’t have any rinds, use a good vegetable broth and add lots of Parmesan later. The last time we made this, I added about one additional cup of broth to thin the soup.

I’ve always added the kale in the order written, but it might work to add it at the end, with the corn and zucchini, to keep that brighter color.

A mix of red and white potatoes works nicely—not Russets, best for baking, but Yukon Gold or another white with a slightly waxy yellow skin.

If you’re not accustomed to using leeks, be aware that they can hold a lot of dirt, but are easy to clean. Trim the root end and cut off most of the dark green leaves, leaving a couple inches of the paler green above the white. Then slice the leek in half lengthwise. To wash, hold each half under a stream of running water. You’ll see the dirt magically float away.

As Patent notes in the original recipe, you could also use chard leaves, diced sweet potato, parsnip, or rutabaga. A spoonful of basil pesto is a lovely garnish, but not necessary. The bread and wine, however, are essential!

Harvest Stew 

4 ounces Parmesan rinds
4 cups water, plus more as needed (or other broth if you don’t have rinds)
1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed, and coarsely chopped
Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots (8 ounces total), diced
1 large leek, white portion plus one inch of the light green, washed well, sliced thin
1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (peeling isn’t necessary)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried whole thyme leaves
1 pound fresh tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium zucchini (8 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or butternut or other squash
1 cup corn (I used frozen and didn’t thaw it first)
1 cup chopped parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

If you’re using Parmesan rinds, put them into a large microwave-safe bowl and add the 4 cups of water. Cook on high power 4 to 5 minutes, until the rinds are softened and the water has a definite Parmesan flavor. Spoon out the rinds and cheese chunks, and set the broth aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in the kale leaves. Cook, uncovered, until kale is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Allow to drain well.


Pour 4 tablespoons olive oil into a large stock pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, leek, and potatoes. Stir well, cover, and cook 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, kale, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and broth. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and corn kernels, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, just until zucchini begins to brown. Add to soup along with the parsley. 

If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable broth or water. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

A crusty loaf of bread and a glass of wine make this a bit of winter heaven.

Makes 6 servings.

From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.