Tag Archives: soup

Hutterite Bean Soup

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

I haven’t posted in a while because of some life changes so I was excited to try a new recipe and have the time to write about it!

Hutterite Beans from Shady Side FarmI’ve never made Hutterite Bean Soup. I had never even heard of Hutterite beans until I saw them at the Holland Farmers Market. Locally grown by Shady Side Farm, the Hutterite variety is a white bean that’s not quite as soft as a navy bean.

Inspired by a recipe I found online, I took the Tuscan route, as I once did with another bean recipe I made.

First I soaked the beans overnight. If you don’t have the opportunity to plan ahead, you can always do the quick soak method, which is written on the back of the bean bag. Just put the beans, well covered in water, into a large pot. Bring to a boil for two minutes and remove from heat. Cover pot and soak for an hour. It’s a handy trick!

Hutterite Beans

Here they are all plumped up with water, rinsed and drained.

Hutterite Beans

In the stock pot I sautéed a whole onion (chopped) and a couple cloves of garlic (minced) in olive oil.

Chopped onions and garlic

Then I added a ham hock. This one happened to be fresh, not smoked, so the meat looks more like pork than ham.

Fresh ham hock for Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

I browned the ham hock in the olive oil after pushing aside the onions and garlic. Then I added about 2 1/2 quarts of water. It would be great to use stock if you have it. Instead, I added a teaspoon of organic chicken bouillon, which is my back-up plan when I don’t have stock on hand. I also added dried sage (fresh would have been better!). Then I simmered the soup on the stove about two hours, until the ham hock meat was tender.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Once the meat was done, I removed it from the pot, pulled the meat off the bone, and returned the meat to the soup.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Then I added a bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Simmer another half hour or so until the kale is tender, and it’s soup! Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This could easily have been an excellent vegetarian recipe. With the beans and kale, you have a very nutritional meal easily devoured from a bowl.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe


Martha Rose Shulman’s Moroccan Fava Bean and Vegetable Soup

Photo via The New York Times

I wish I had thought of this recipe. It seems I haven’t had a lot of time for trying new dishes lately, but at least I can share a delicious-looking soup recipe from one of my favorite cooks.

Martha Rose Shulman is a writer whose cookbooks are devoted to eating well, meaning food that is delicious and that makes you feel good. She’s also a regular contributor to The New York Times.

This recipe for Moroccan Fava Bean and Vegetable Soup was inspired by a Sephardic Passover meal, so it has ingredients and flavorings from the Mediterranean region. And, it’s vegetarian!

Martha says, “I expected the fava beans to color this soup a pale green, but the other vegetables – the carrots, leeks, turnips and onion — and especially the turmeric contribute just as much, and the color of the soup is more of a burnt orange.” Isn’t it gorgeous?

Split Pea Soup in a Crock-Pot

It doesn’t take much to make Split Pea Soup, especially if you have a slow-cooker, such as a Crock-Pot. If you work full-time, you can throw all the ingredients into the pot in the morning and have dinner on the table when you get home.

Seriously, it doesn’t take long to chop up a few veggies, but if you really don’t have much time in the morning, you could chop them the night before and then combine everything in the morning.

I found my trusty Crockery Cookery book to be very helpful with recipes that I can make in the pot, which I’ve had for more than 30 years.

For split pea soup, all you need is an onion, a carrot, and a stalk of celery. Chop each one and add it, along with the dried split peas and 8 cups of water to the pot. Turn it on  low for 8-10 hours. (You may need to change the temp. to high at the end if the peas aren’t falling apart.)

This soup makes a good one-dish meal and it’s a great choice for vegetarians.

Mark Bittman’s Potato and Leek Soup

Bill and I wanted grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch on Day 4 of our challenge, “How to Eat Healthy on $5.00 a Day.” So I was trying to think of an easy soup to make as an accompaniment. I knew some of last summer’s leeks (one of my favorite veggies) were in the freezer.

And we had some potatoes that Bill picked up at the Fulton Street winter farmers market last weekend.

Since my favorite recipe for leek and potato soup has several ingredients, which would complicate the process and add to cost, I decided to look in my trusty Mark Bittman cookbook, How to Cook Everything. There it was: a simple recipe for  Potato and Leek Soup.

That’s what I love about Bittman. If you want to learn–or relearn–how to cook, get this book. You won’t regret it.

An avid home cook, Bittman has filled his book with easy recipes and many variations, suggestions, and techniques for simple, healthy cooking.

His book may even be a replacement for the standard cook’s “bible” in my kitchen, The Joy of Cooking.

Anyway, here’s how  you make the soup:

Saute the potatoes and leeks in olive oil until slightly tender. Add stock or water, bring to boil, and simmer 20 minutes. When I made it I used water since the goal is to reduce costs. And it was still very tasty–a great soup for vegetarians. Normally, I’d use fresh leeks from the farmers market but that’s just not an option in Michigan in February!

Borscht Without Beets

The weekend before Thanksgiving I attended the Kalamazoo Russian Festival with my niece and there were a variety of Russian foods on the lunch menu. I really enjoyed the pierogi, pumpernickel bread, and borscht. Except–I forgot–borscht usually has beets in it. (If you saw my post about Martha Rose Schulman’s recipe for Grated Raw Beet Salad, you’d think she won me over as a beet-eater but that’s about the only way I can handle them–smothered in citrus.)

The borscht was tasty, but it still had that beety edge to it. That’s because borscht, according to Wikipedia, is traditionally a soup made from “trimmings of cellared vegetables consumed throughout the winter months.” While its origins are in the Ukraine, the soup is popular throughout many Eastern and Central European countries. And one of the primary vegetables of the Slavic diet that’s consumed during the winter months is beets.

Cabbage is another vegetable found in borscht. So I thought: Can you make borscht with cabbage and not beets? That got me searching for a borscht recipe without beets. And, indeed, there are quite a few.  The recipe that inspired my borscht is called Cabbage Borscht Mennonite Soup. Here’s my adaptation:

Borscht Without Beets


  • 2 pounds beef soup bones
  • 2 quarts water, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 head cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for drizzling


Bring beef soup bones and water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding more water, as necessary, to maintain the 2 quart level. Remove and discard the soup bones, then strain the broth into a fresh pot, and return to the stove.

Saute carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil until tender. Add garlic and saute two minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, cabbage, allspice berries, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the tomato puree and return soup to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle with olive oil when served.

Celery Root and Parsnip Bisque

Today I found a celery root in the fridge and remembered a delicious Celery Root Bisque recipe I made once from the November, 2005, issue of Bon Appetit.

However, the recipe calls for a russet potato, which I didn’t find in the fridge, or anywhere in the house. And with temps in the single digits, plus a very snowy day ahead of me, I opted not to worry about the potato.

Instead, I substituted a few parsnips for the potato.

Since my celery root (also known as celeriac) was just under a pound, I cut the recipe in half. I got this celery root, along with the parsnips, last fall from Visser Farms and have been storing them in the fridge. These root vegetables keep well for a long time. When you peel the celery root, it’s amazingly earthy, as if you just dug into the garden in the middle of summer.

Other adjustments, besides using parsnips for the potato, include:

  • Dried thyme for fresh (use half the amount)
  • Omitting the cream due to Bill’s cow dairy allergy and adding a little rice milk

All you do is saute the celery for a few minutes, then add the shallots and saute a few minutes longer.

Add the celery root, parsnips, stock and thyme.

Simmer 40 minutes. Puree the soup in batches. Add some rice milk for smoothness. Season with salt and pepper.

This soup is a nice accompaniment to Lamb Chops with Cumin, Cardamom, and Lime, braised Lacinato kale, and White Beans and Onion Confit.

Root Vegetable Soup

Inspired by Bon Appetit’s recipe, Potato, Carrot and Parsnip Soup, and the bounty of root vegetables at the Holland Farmers Market, I came up with this variation that really hits the spot on an autumn day.

The original called for two things that Bill can’t eat: butter and half-and-half. I’m always intrigued by the myriad soups that list cream or half-and-half in the ingredients, especially one that already has potatoes. The starch in potatoes helps to thicken the soup so I don’t think the dairy component is necessary. Unless it’s a way to take the edge off a flavor or spice. In the end, I did add rice milk to the soup, but I’m not sure it made much difference. And, I substituted olive oil for butter in the saute process.

This year in Michigan has been a bad one for yellow onions for some reason. Two of the big vendors at the market that usually carry them either completely ran out of onions by August or have very small yellow ones. But I didn’t have any trouble finding good sized red onions, which I tend to prefer most of the time anyway. So I used half red and half yellow.

Also, the original recipe says to puree half the soup and add it back to the remainder but I really thought this combination of vegetables would taste best blended together in a puree, so that’s the way I made it.

Root Vegetable Soup

3 T. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions and 2 medium red onions (about 4 cups), sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
4 large parsnips, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
32 oz. organic or homemade chicken broth
About 8 medium to small red potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
¼ cup fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme
½ cup rice milk
Salt and white pepper to taste

Sauté onions in large stock pot over medium-high heat until golden, about 15 minutes.

Add carrots and parsnips and cook 10 minutes.

Add broth, potatoes, parsley and thyme.

If I can’t use my own homemade chicken stock, this organic free range chicken broth from Pacific Natural Foods is a good back-up. 

Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

In batches, puree soup in blender, then return to pot. Stir in rice milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.