8 thick slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for toasting bread 
Salad Supreme garlic bread sprinkle
2 tablespoons salted butter OR 2 seasoned butter cubes (see notes)
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced OR 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces 
1 LARGE shallot, diced 
2-3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste  (I use Classico sun dried tomato pesto)
14-ounce can QUALITY diced tomatoes 
14-ounce can QUALITY tomato puree 
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 tablespoons honey 
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, plus whole sprigs, for garnish 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper 
One SMALL 6.52-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained 
Mini QUALITY Mozzarella balls 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Lightly coat the bread with oil on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted and browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over a medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the chicken (if you’re using the raw thighs otherwise rotisserie chicken pieces are added later), onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to brown and the chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir until everything is well coated.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken broth, beans, honey and oregano.
  • Add in rotisserie chicken pieces, if using.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, stirring well and bringing to a simmer for 10 minutes or so until flavors are well blended.
  • Add the marinated artichoke hearts to the soup and stir to combine.
  • Tear the toasted bread into large chunks and place in the bottom of soup bowls OR use grilled cheese croutons for an extra yummy plus.
  • Ladle the soup over the bread.
  • Top each bowl with several mini Mozzarella cheese balls, chopped oregano and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

NOTES: When I buy FRESH herbs (thyme, tarragon, oregano, basil…), I chop them up and make butter cubes in my lidded silicone trays to freeze and have on hand for recipes just like this. It adds another layer of flavor.


1 Johnsonville beef sausage, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1-2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks **(see notes)
2 + 1 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 onion, chopped or 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved and sliced into half moons
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped FRESH parsley
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH thyme
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can white Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 cups chicken broth **(see notes)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Garlic salt
1 baguette, cut or torn into bite sized pieces
Parmesan cheese, garnish

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add sausage pieces and cook 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from pan to drain off excess grease.
  • Season chicken pieces with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add to pan and sear 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Remove chicken pieces and add to sausage to drain.
  • Add remaining oil to pan along with the onions, carrots and celery mirepoix to saute 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes with their juice, rinsed beans and chicken stock, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, turn down heat and simmer 10-15 minutes more.
  • Return meats to pan along with Parsley and Thyme, stirring to blend and coat meat pieces with sauce.
  • While stew is simmering, make the croutons.
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Melt butter and whisk in garlic salt.
  • Toss croutons to coat in butter mixture.
  • Transfer bread pieces to sheet pan. Broil until golden, about 2 minutes, but watch closely to prevent burning.
  • Serve with croutons and Parmesan sprinkle.


  • If you prefer a soup to a stew, use the 4 cups of chicken stock.  Otherwise use 3 +/- cups to your desired consistency.
  • Often I substitute turkey breast or even rotisserie chicken pieces. If you use rotisserie chicken pieces, wait to add them until you are adding the sausage back in.


Is it a soup, a stew, a bisque or a chowder? And what is the difference between them? After a little research I realized that there are specific reasons for each name, mainly regional cultural and/or the type of cooking vessel.

So let’s check out a few “definitions” or descriptions that I wish I’d had years ago!

  • BISQUE – A French style cream base soup whose main characteristic is a smooth and velvety texture that uses seafood as the protein. This dish is simmered SLOWLY over a low heat which results in the tender meat and rich broth.
  • BOUILLABAISSE – A Mediterranean based fisherman stew.  Traditionally it is made with a mixture of garlic, tomatoes, saffron, fennel, fish and shellfish.
  • BORSCHT – A Russian style stew whose main ingredient is beets.  Traditionally it also contains tomatoes, cabbage and many times chunks of meat.
  • CASSEROLE – a kind of stew that is cooked slowly in the oven in a “casserole”, a large, deep dish. The casserole dish is typically a dish used both for cooking the food in and serving it in also. Casseroles are of global origin and use. Here, in America, the casserole typically has three components; a meat or protein component, a vegetable and a starch, usually a potato or rice and often there is a cheesy or crunchy topping.
  • CHOWDER – Chowder is French in origin and refers to “chaudiere”, a type of “cauldron” used to cook for large gatherings.  Many times chowders are made from household staples. Early settlers used ingredients like salt pork, locally caught fish, bread or biscuits. Centuries later potatoes replaced breads or biscuits and milk or cream was added to create rich flavors and thickening of the sauce.
  • ETOUFFEE – A spicy Cajun braising process to cook proteins, usually a single meat, in a small amount of liquid making a thick stew with a spicy sauce or gravy. The meats are stuffed or smothered with aromatic vegetables and herbs, covered and SLOWLY simmered until the vegetables flavor has become one with the meat. Cooking this way ensures a flavorful, moist dish that is usually an entree versus a side dish.
  • GAZPACHO – A pureed mixture of raw summer vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Classic versions are thickened with breads and include some form of peppers. This is also served cold most often. Gazpacho is considered Spanish, but originated in Greek or Roman times and was brought to Spain the the 1500’s.
  • GUMBO – the word gumbo iteself is derived from the African congo word Quingombo for okra, one of the main ingredients used to thicken gumbo.  Ground sassafras root or file’ powder is another common thickener. variety of meats served WITH rice unlike Jambalaya that rice is IN the dish – RICE IS THE COMMON COMPONENT – it is just the way it is used in the dish is different – Rice is a VEHICLE for gumbo, but an integral COMPONENT of Jambalaya. Gumbo has a variety of meats/proteins (a fish, poultry, sausage for example) whereas Jambalaya uses a single meat, usually a fish of some sort.
  • JAMBALAYA – A pilaf style main dish with a rice like a Paella (probably its early ancestor), but with a Creole Cajun, New Orleans style flavor influence. Traditionally Jambalaya is made with a combination of pork, chicken, shrimp and a variety of herbs and spices.
  • MINESTRONE – An Italian vegetable bean soup made with combinations of pasta, cheese, pesto and primarily FRESH seasonal produce.
  • MULLIGATAWNY – An Indian soup that almost always contains a chicken stock with curried meat or seafood that is smothered in a coconut milk or cream and lentils, carrots or apples.
  • PAELLA – A Spanish dish whose name primarily refers to the style of pan used that is  broad and shallow. Traditionally this was made with rice, chicken, rabbit, beans and sometimes snails. Nowadays the “traditional” ingredients have varied to include fish, shellfish, vegetables, pork and sausage.
  • POSOLE – A hearty Latin stew that is a blend of chicken stock, chicken or pork, chile peppers, vegetables and hominy. This stew is usually served on special occasions or days of feasting. By many this is considered the gringo version of Menudo that uses a less appetizing (to gringos) cut of meat, the cow stomach.
  • POTAGE – is a French soup made with a coarse thick cream and primarily vegetables. It translates into “special of the day”, but NOT the blue plate special as it is traditionally made with the freshest of seasonal ingredients.
  • POT PIE – Pot pies have been around for centuries with quite a history from being called Sea Pies made aboard ships or from Roman times with live birds that flew out of the pies to eventually becoming a comfort food traditional in America. Pot pies to me are one of the BEST comfort foods. There is nothing better than a flaky crust filled with a mixture of chunks of chicken, peas and carrots in a rich gravy like soup. A great cousin to the pot pie is a Shepherd’s pie that has a topping of mashed potatoes or a cornbread, biscuit topping.
  • SEVICHE – A FRESH, raw seafood in a marinade made from tomatoes or lemon juice.  The acids in the tomato or lemon juice “cook” the seafood, removing the raw taste and leaving you a flavorful dish.
  • STEW – Stews are found all around the world by many names, each dealing with regional cultural ingredients. Some of those examples are Hungarian Goulash, Italian or French Ragout and American Brunswick stew from Virginia or Burgoo from Kentucky. Stews are made up of the browning of small pieces of meat in a hot fat, poultry pieces or chunks of fish that then simmers with vegetables, herbs and spices in enough liquid to cover everything in a closed vessel of some sort (dutch oven or stock pot). A stew can be simmered over low heat on the stove top or baked in the oven also at low heat and when left alone allows the flavors to blend naturally while also tenderizing tougher cuts of meat. The sauce that develops as the dish cooks may be thickened by pureeing the vegetables or by incorporating flour or egg yolks.
  • VICHYSSOISE – A classic French soup that is made with potatoes, leeks, herbs, chicken stock and a heavy cream. This is typically pureed and served chilled with a FRESH chive garnish. Shhh… don’t tell anyone, but I like it warm and hate it cold, but love the flavor mixture.


Need a FRESH start to the new year?  Try this soup full of tender chicken, crunchy snap peas and a tangy lemon bite to wake up your senses.

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
3/4 cup small diced red onion
2 1/2 cups chicken bone broth
Juice of 2 LARGE lemons
2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups trimmed and halved sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian leaf parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

  • Melt butter in sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, sauteing 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Sprinkle with flour and stir well until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and broth gradually.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until it begins to thicken.
  • Stir in chicken and peas, simmering another 5 minutes until chicken is warmed through and peas are crisp-tender.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in cream, simmering just until the cream is blended in and heated through.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: I like to serve it with my Savory Chicken Bread 😀 That recipe will post tomorrow.



1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
4 cups chicken broth
1 can white shopper corn
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped FRESH cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken
4 soft corn tortillas (5 to 6 inch), cut into 1-inch strips
chopped onions for garnish
sour cream dollop for garnish
drizzle of hot sauce for garnish
chopped cilantro for garnish

  • Add everything except chicken to a large sauté pan or soup kettle.
  • Cover, cooking over medium heat and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Lower heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add chicken, stirring to blend.
  • Serve immediately with toppings.


2 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH thyme
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, halved and chopped
2 turnips, peeled and chopped (see notes)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup JIF creamy peanut butter
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
Chopped peanuts for garnish
Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

  • Melt butter in large dutch oven.
  • Add parsnips, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add carrots, turnips and onions, sauteing 3-5 minutes more.
  • Add onions, thyme leaves and FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Stir in chicken broth, tomato paste, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper, simmering 30-40 minutes.
  • Stir in peanut butter and lemon juice, simmering another 15-20 minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and chopped peanuts.

NOTES:  Butternut squash is a great substitute fr a different flavor profile.


Oh my this is my new favorite soup! I could eat this EVERY day!

RUSSIAN CABBAGE SOUP adapted from The Sophisticated Cavemen  serves 8

1/4 cup avocado oil
1 LARGE onion, diced
4 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
1 SMALL head of cabbage, large chopped
1 pound turnips, diced
8 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, to taste
1 1/2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken pieces
2 tablespoons FRESH Tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons FRESH Parsley, chopped

  • Heat the avocado oil in dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook 3-4 minutes until it starts to brown.
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add the cabbage and cook until it is slightly tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the turnips and pour in the stock.
  • Season again with the caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and bay leaf and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce the heat to LOW, cover, and simmer until the cabbage and turnips are tender, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add chicken pieces (see note), stirring well.
  • Stir in apple cider vinegar.
  • Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the the fresh tarragon and parsley.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste.

NOTE: for a different flavor profile substitute 1 pound of browned ground beef.


This easy, full of flavor, rich and creamy potato soup recipe is truly the best!  It’s quick and easy and always so cozy and deliciously comforting.

6 slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons bacon grease
1 LARGE sweet onion, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped red, orange and/or yellow peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups WHOLE milk, warmed
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 cup shredded SHARP cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, or to taste

Thinly-sliced green onions or chives
extra shredded cheese
extra bacon
A dollop of sour cream

  • Sauté bacon in a dutch oven until well rendered and crispy.
  • Transfer bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • To the reserved bacon grease sauce the onions until softened.
  • Add pepper pieces and sauté a couple minutes more.
  • Add garlic and saute’ until fragrant.
  • Stir in flour until smooth to create your roux.
  • Stir in milk and chicken broth, bringing to a SLOW simmer.
  • Add in potatoes, cooking and stirring often 20-30 minutes until potatoes are softened and tender. The smaller diced your potatoes are, the faster your soup will cook.
  • Taste and season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Fold in chicken pieces.
  • Stir in cheese, sour cream and crispy bacon pieces.
  • Serve warm with desired garnishes.

This soup makes an AWESOME base for all sorts of flavor variations! Just add 1 tablespoon of your favorite flavor of seasoning.

Some of my favorites are:

  • ITALIAN seasoning blend or FRESH chopped Basil, Parsley, Oregano
  • TEX-MEX seasoning blend or FRESH chopped jalapeno or similar type pepper
  • CAJUN – I like SLAP YOUR MAMA and/or chopped Okra
  • Or make it LOADED with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions
    Or add in your favorite veggies!

Changing up the type of potatoes is another way of amping the flavor – try sweet potatoes or baking the potatoes first.


  • I only use center cut bacon for ALL recipes because it has less fat, cooks up nice and evenly and usually tastes the best too!
  • I also use WONDRA for my flour because it is much finer so it makes a much smoother roux and creamier soup base.


1 tablespoon avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 pound pork loin, cut into large chunks
3-4 LARGE garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 ounces taco sauce
8 ounce chopped green chilies
1 can ROTEL original fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles
2 teaspoons cumin
1 bunch green onions, chopped or sliced thin (reserve some for garnish)
1 can Bush’s black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can S&W Cattle beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup FRESH chopped Cilantro + a few sprigs for garnish
sour cream, for garnish
shredded cheese, for garnish
GRANDMA Ware’s skillet corn bread

  • Heat oil in skillet.
  • Generously season pork roast with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add pork pieces to skillet and sear on all sides.
  • Transfer pork pieces to slow cooker.
  • Add onions to skillet and saute’ until softened.
  • Add garlic, green chiles, taco sauce, cumin, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, ROTEL tomatoes and most of the green onions to the skillet, blending well and cooking until fragrant. Add to slow cooker and stir well with pork pieces.
  • Cook on HIGH 90 minutes.
  • Lower to LOW and cook 6 hours more until pork is tender.
  • Add beans and cook another 30 minutes.
    Serve with a dollop of sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, chopped green onions and shredded cheese PLUS your favorite corn bread!



1/4 cup butter
3 pounds golden potatoes, washed and diced
1/2 LARGE Vidalia onion, diced
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken broth, preferably FRESH made
20 ounces frozen corn
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish

  • Spray LARGE crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cube butter into bottom of crock pot.
  • Add potatoes and corn, stirring to combine.
  • Pour in chicken broth, cover ad cook on high 4 hours.
  • Whisk together cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Stir slurry into soup.
  • Gently stir in cream, recover and cook another 20-30 minutes until soup has thickened.
  • Fold in chicken pieces cooking another 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
  • Serve warm with Parmesan Cheddar biscuits.
  • Garnish with green onions, bacon pieces and shredded cheese.



Years ago my niece “renamed” or “nicknamed my winter soup to Wagon Wheel because I used a round pasta that resembled wagon wheels.  Whatever you call this soup, it’s a hearty rib-sticking soup that makes you want to sop up the very last drop with a warm bread.

1 1/2 pounds coarse ground hamburger, ground pork or combination of both
1 cup cooked rice or uncooked pasta of your choice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, FINELY chopped
2 cups V-8 juice
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 cans original Rotel tomatoes with juice
+/- 8 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 small head cabbage, chopped

  • In a large dutch oven, brown hamburger.
  • Drain hamburger in colander over a paper plate and paper toweling to catch grease.
  • Add onion and garlic to dutch oven, sautéing until soft and fragrant.
  • Add V-8, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth, stirring to blend.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer over low heat 1-2 hours.
  • Add cabbage and simmer 1 hour more.
  • Add  pasta and simmer 20 minutes more until pasta is tender or add cooked rice and simmer 5 minutes until rice is heated through.

NOTE: If you like it thinner like soup, add more broth.

ORIGINAL POSTINGS: CML 1-20-2015, 1-28-2018 SKT 1-20-2015 3SOC much earlier, but no longer accesible


Pozole or Posole can be prepared in many ways, but all variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Hominy is produced from dried maize (corn) kernels.

Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. The traditional spelling with the “z” is the Mexican spelling and the Americanized spelling is usually with the “s”.

The three main types of pozole are white, green and red. White pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients including tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños or pipits. Red pozole is made by adding a red sauce made from a combination of chiles like ancho, piquin or guajillos.

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH ground sea salt
1 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 7-8 pieces
2 tablespoons avocado oil
8 cups chicken broth (I like homemade bone broth)
7-8 Chiles de Arbol, stemmed (seeded if you like)
1 large white onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 large can white hominy, chopped (you don’t have to chop this if you like the large pieces – we don’t though so I chop them smaller)
1-2 cans white shopeg corn

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the cumin, oregano and sea salt.
  • Rub pork with seasoning mix, pressing into the meat.
  • In a large dutch oven (cast iron if you have it), heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.
  • Sear pork on all sides until browned.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth.
  • Cover and bake 2 hours.


  • Remove pork from broth and strain liquid, discarding solids and skimming fat from the top.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks.
  • Add chiles to the now empty pan and cook over medium heat until they puff up.
  • Transfer chiles to blender and add 2 cups of broth. Process until smooth.


  • Add remaining oil to the pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Add pork, reserved cooking broth, pureed chiles, tomatoes, shoepeg corn, chopped hominy and remaining broth.
  • Simmer 45-60 minutes.
  • Garnish as desired.

chopped avocado
shredded cheese
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions
sour cream


  • Substitute the pork for shredded rotisserie chicken. This step saves 2 1/2 hours!
  • Substitute the individual spices for a Taco Bell Pork Carnitas or Carne Asada seasoning package.