Showing posts with label soups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soups. Show all posts

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Visit Our #Thanksgiving Recipes Page!

Do you need some ideas for your Thanksgiving feast? 
Let the crime-writing cooks of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen help!

Our Thanksgiving Recipe Page is now LIVE
and includes plenty of recipes for you,
including tips on choosing and cooking
the perfect Thanksgiving bird.



Have a
Happy Thanksgiving,

The Cooks of 
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Saturday, November 14, 2015

SWEET POTATO AND PEAR SOUP FOR A CROWD #recipe #Thanksgiving @AbbottMysteries

For Thanksgiving this year, we updated a version of one of our favorite soups, which MJ introduced to Mystery Lovers Kitchen a few years ago: sweet potato and pear, with a hint of cream and maple and extra lime for zing.  This version makes a much bigger batch, has more intense flavors and gives you more options for modifications to suit allergies.

We confess that we are head over heels in love with this soup.

 As you know, Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated the second Monday of October.  We liked our soup so much that we’ll serve it again on November 26th.  Yes, we’ll have turkey and trimmings too.  We have lots to be thankful for.

The recipe made enough for twelve people. If you have a crowd around your table, this will make an excellent first course. Anytime you have a crowd these days, there are often food intolerances. The good news is that this soup is gluten-free and if you leave out the optional cream, it could be dairy-free too. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and it will be vegetarian as well. 

Even if you don’t have a crowd, this soup freezes beautifully and is terrific when you need something special in a hurry. In fact you can make it ahead, freeze it and make your life easier on the big day. Or   serve half and keep the rest for surprise guests.  We produced the second half of ours for an impromptu lunch last week and got raves. Or you can simply make half.




5 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
2 cups chopped onion
½  cup chopped carrot
¾ cup chopped celery
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 ripe pears, peeled and diced
1 ½  teaspoon dried thyme
2  teaspoons paprika
10 cups of chicken broth. We used homemade but good quality low-salt purchased broth would be fine too
½  cup whipping cream, optional
1 ½ tablespoon of maple syrup (or a bit less if you don’t like sweetness)
Juice of two limes, or to taste. 
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
12 sprigs fresh thyme


·        Chop pears and veggies. 

      Heat butter or oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, pears and thyme and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add paprika and chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potato is soft.

·         Purée with immersion blender right in the pot (or use a food processor or blender and then return to the pot.  Blend well because the pears take a while to break down.


·         Add cream, maple syrup and lime juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. If soup is too thick add a little extra broth, cream or lime depending on your taste test.

·       Season with salt and pepper to taste.

·        Serve with a sprig of fresh thyme or a dollop of whipped cream.

      Have a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day.

     Victoria Abbott is actually the mother-daughter collaboration between artist and photographer, Victoria Maffini and her mother, Mary Jane Maffini, award-winning author of three other series and two dozen short stories.   
We wish all of you and your families a wonderful and tasty time on Thanksgiving!
If you are looking for a mystery that takes place at Thanksgiving,  we think you'll enjoy

The Wolfe Widow, our third book collector mystery. 

 Leave a comment here by Sunday November 13th and we'll put your name in for a draw for a copy of your own. If your name is drawn and you already own a copy, we'll cook up another deal for you!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Cold Day Soup by the "Brooklyn Knight" C.J. Henderson

Piers Knight—SWM, over 30, enjoys sushi, works in a the world’s only chance for survival...

Please welcome my friend and fellow foodie, the multi-published SF, paranormal, and mystery author C.J. Henderson. Tor books has just launched C.J.'s fantastic new paranormal urban mystery series: Brooklyn Knight. (You don't have to take my word for it. Check out the praise below.) ~ Cleo Coyle
Library Journal: "...Henderson revives the fast-paced action and smart, quippy dialog of the best pulp fiction in his urban fantasy debut, which features a truly likable hero, a resourceful and surprising heroine, and a plot that combines wizardly battles with today's headlines."

Hugo Award Winner Mike Resnick: "Brooklyn Knight is everything a thrilling old-time pulp adventure should be, but told with thoroughly modern skills. As urban fantasies go, Brooklyn Knight is as breathlessly exciting as they come."

William Shatner: "C.J. and I have worked together before on a series of books called MAN O’ WAR. I know his expertise, his storytelling ability and love of words. I believe you will enjoy this book every bit as much as I enjoyed working with him."

Hello, all, C.J. Henderson here. Since I've always seemed to have put eating scenes into my novels, this web site is just the perfect place for me. It's a wonderful idea, but for a moment I was a bit worried when I was invited to share a recipe from my latest book to hit the stores, Brooklyn Knight. This is the first book in a new series, and I don't really know the characters yet the way I do in some of my longer running series. Since the two main characters meet for the first time here, they take most of their meals in restaurants. What to do? Luckily, I remembered that this book does have one home-cooked scene in it...
Piers Knight is a touch older, a curator at the Brooklyn Museum and a long-time New York City resident. He initiates most of the eating in the story, and apparently he likes to eat out. But, his new assistant, Bridget Elkins, is a small town girl from Montana. When it falls to her to raid Knight's fridge and try to find something for them to eat, she makes soup. And, from what she says in the book, I know she's making a favorite of my family, one they insist on every other week in the fall.

Now, for those of you that end up reading the book, Ms. Elkins is like a lot of cooks. She doesn't mention one of the main ingredients. But, you know how it is when you want to impress someone with your cooking. However, no such tricks will follow. Here, for the first time ever, I present the full and complete recipe for...

Cold Day Soup


Turkey or Chicken (note: we're talking bones, leftover scraps, feet and butts and all the stuff that's still on the cutting board after chopping or still on the platter after a meal. Remember, dried out, tough scraps of meat left on bones make great soup)

Ham (note: same as above. Yes, you can go to the store and just grab a slice, or you can use the bone or the shank from some dinner where you put out a whole ham) Amount of meat left up to chef. For me, the more bones, the better.

3 pounds Potatoes (dealer's choice. Eastern potatoes are the safest. If you like something better, you can't hurt this soup by changing the type of potatoes)
1 head Celery
2 pounds Onions
1 small head Cabbage
2 pounds Carrots


NOTE: First off, understand that all quantities above can be raised or lowered without substantially altering the taste. 5 pounds of potatoes instead of three and only half a head of cabbage ... makes very little difference. This is a "grandma" soup, the kind of thing that you make out of what you have. The work here is not so much in the preparation as it is in the endurance of cooking to completion.

(1) First, in the biggest pot (or two) you have, get your bones and meat inside, covered with water, and get them to boiling. It takes a good while to soften and loosen all the meat on the bones, and certainly a while to start dragging the flavor of the marrow out of the bones. So, meat in pot, water on meat, pot on stove and let the simmering commence.

(2) Second, at your leisure, it's time to clean and chop the vegetables. You can easily let the meat slow boil for an hour before you throw in the rest. The cabbage is the hardest to get to break down after the meat, so it should go in first. After that, it's as-you-like-it.

(3) You're not going to be serving the veggies with the soup, this is mostly a broth only dish, so size of chunks is up to you. Your job is to get the water and the meat/bones simmering. Then, you clean and peel and chop and throw in the veggies. After that, the waiting game begins. Once the soup has everything inside and has come to a boil once more, turn down the fire to where it will keep a mild boil going, and then let it sit and cook. Check it every twenty, thirty minutes. Stir, see what's happening in the pot. After two hours a lot of juice should have boiled away. Let the soup cool a while, because you're going to have to take a spoon and get the grease off the top. It's the ham. It's going to leave too much grease floating on top for most people. So, you'll take a spoon and, as it begins to congeal on the top, you'll get it out of there before it ends up in your family's bowls.

After that, it just heat and serve. And, salt to taste (or let folks do it at the table--you know how salt conscious everyone is these days)

And, here's that next day note: If you're willing to do the work, once all those left-over soup stuff has cooled, go through it and pull out the potatoes and the meat. The meat will be soft and filled with good soup juice. Throw the cabbage, onions and carrots away because they'll be too mushy to be of any good. But, the meat and potatoes will fry up into something that, with a little salt and pepper will make everyone happy.

Thanks again for joining us today, C.J.! To find out more about C.J., his new series Brooklyn Knight, or his other books, visit his official web site by clicking here.

Our Iron Chef Contest Continues! Send us your idea for our next "Secret Ingredient" and you could win a great prize! Send your suggestions to One entry allowed per person, per day. The winner will be chosen among blog followers only, so if you're not following yet, be sure to click one of the "follow" buttons in the right column. We'll be choosing the next winner very soon! ~Cleo

Comments for C.J. Welcome!