Thursday, April 14, 2016

Last winter soup fling! @LWiken + book #giveaway

This is it, my first post as a regular member of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I've been delighted in the past to contribute a guest post but now, I'll be posting every second Thursday, opposite Lucy Burdette. The first in my brand new series, the Dinner Club Mysteries, will hit the bookshelves this summer on July 6th. I can hardly wait! And just to be a part of those double-ID set, I write the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries as Erika Chase. Both series are from Berkley Prime Crime. Enough about me! Let's get down to the fun stuff, the recipes!

Winter -- I know, how dare I mention it -- has been a trickster this year for us. We're feeling it's gone and enjoying spring sun and temperatures, only to have a dump of snow. And worse. Freezing rain. So, playing it safe and not believing it's spring until at least two consecutive weeks of warm temperatures, here's my final (I hope) go at  a bone-warming hot soup until, well, next winter.

I'm a great believer in just throwing together whatever is left over in the fridge but you have to start with a stock. And I've found the most amazing chicken stock starter ever! Truly. Such a flavorful start to any homemade soup and it tastes even better than stock from boiling up the bones. This is it and if you can't find it on your local shelves, I feel for you.

So, starting with this and I go by the suggestions on the jar, adding 1 tsp. of mix to 8 oz. of boiling water. Of course, you'll want larger quantities of both. Then, just go nuts and have fun with whatever you want to add.

This time, I added barley which I'd already cooked, to the broth. And then, out came the celery, carrots and onions. And, since fresh peas aren't yet on the shelves, some I added some frozen ones to the mix.

And what's chicken soup without the chicken?  Sometimes I'll saute fresh chicken breasts and cut them up. But this time, I used frozen chicken breast strips, diced them and just threw them in the pot without defrosting.

I love playing with various spices, experimenting with flavors. Each time it's a different combination but for this I used fresh rosemary, and dried dill, thyme leaves, turmeric (something I add to almost every recipe because of it's natural anti-inflammatory properties), a touch of Himalayan salt, freshly ground pepper, and some hot chili flakes.

It all goes into the pot and after a quick boil for five minutes, it simmers for another twenty. How easy was that! And, after adjusting a the pepper content, a hearty and tasty chicken barley soup to usher out winter!

To celebrate my first day with the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen gang, I'm giving away any book of your choice from the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries. There are five in the series -- A Killer Read, Read and Buried, Cover Story, Book Fair and Foul, and, Law and Author. Just leave a comment and using my totally unbiased winner-choosing method, will draw a name at the end of today. Be sure to leave your email so that I can contact you.

  TOASTING UP TROUBLE the first in my new Dinner Club Mystery series (includes recipes)
is coming July, 2016!

To pre-order, click here 

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 


  1. All of the books sound amazing!

  2. Welcome to the site! Glad to have you here! This looks yummy! And what a great giveaway! Thank you for the chance!

  3. Soup! I love soups. The weather has been showers for April, and soup has been a perfect meal. This recipe is great! How marvelous to offer a great giveaway! I am new to this series, and would love to join in. Thanks.

  4. I love that brand of stock...I use the beef flavored one with a beef roast in my pressure cooker and some herbs and red cooking wine to make a great pot roast. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  5. I have never tried that brand of stock but I will look for it. Thank you for the recipe and the giveaway!
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Welcome to MLK, Linda/Erika! We both live in the same city, so I know what you mean about winter not giving up here, so a good soup recipe is always welcome!! I usually make my own stock from scratch but it's nice to know about good commercial options when I'm in a rush and don't have any homemade stock left.

    grace dot koshida (at) gmail dot com

  7. I've been using Better Than Bullion low sodium versions for a few years. I love them for any recipe where I need broth - not just soup.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  8. I think I need to look for that Better Than Bullion, it looks great and soeasy to use! I am looking forward to your new series and welcome! Thanks!

  9. Welcome aboard! I must have five different kinds of stock/bouillon in my house--cubes, boxes, cans, etc. Probably even some Better Than Bouillon--I know I've tried it. It definitely tastes fresher than the cube kind.

  10. hooray Linda! so glad to have you aboard--and happy to share my Thursdays! xo Lucy

  11. I'm always looking for new soup recipes. Going to look for the Better than Bouillion so I can make this soup.Looking forward to reading this series.

  12. amy guillaume lindermanApril 14, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    mmmmm soup and a good book!

  13. I add the Better Than to my chicken pot pie along with vermouth and cream. It really makes it. Welcome.

  14. Thanks, Liz and Karen K. Hope you'll try the series.

    Kathleen C -- I'm with you about soup and showers, too.

    Kuzlin -- what a tasty idea. I'll be sure to try it!

    Jen -- I'm sure you'll like it.

    Hey, Grace -- isn't it crazy! We might be eating soup until June.

    Good to know, Sandy.

    Thanks for the welcome, holdenj.

    Sheila and Lucy -- such great company to be in!

    Thanks Diane and Amy.

    Sue F -- great idea. Will give that a try, also.

  15. Just added this to my TBR list. Can't wait to read it.

  16. I am so excited to try the better than bouillon. My soup is always lacking that extra chicken flavor, I have to figure out where it is sold. If I can't find it I will just have to get it off Amazon.

  17. Welcome, Linda (and Erika)! What a lovely post and great recipe. We are so glad to have you. MJ/VA (off to share the news!)

  18. Welcome, Linda! So happy to have you join us, and see what's cooking in your kitchen and your books!

  19. We're so happy that you have joined us, Linda! I love that you put turmeric in the soup. I have it but never know quite what to do with it!

    1. It doesn't need a lot and it's so good for you! Give it a try, Krista.

  20. Welcome to the group! Thanks for the chance to win. I did not realize there is a B&B low sodium variety. I'll have to check it out. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

  21. What a delectable soup. Soup is a staple all winter long. Soothing and ideal. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. And, if it's anything like here where you live, traveler, that adds up to a lot of soup for a long winter.

  22. Your creative soup is so appealing and special. Soup is something which I enjoy all year and your flavors are unique. Thanks for this lovely post. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com