Roasted Pear-Butternut Squash Soup with Stilton

This is one of our all-time favorite soup recipes...I first made it a few years ago as a starter for Thanksgiving but it’s been popping up a few times a year since.  The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it is so easy...chop up some veggies, roast them at a high heat, cool and puree.  Done!  And any soup that has a little cheese sprinkled on top has a fan in me...I love me some cheese, the stinkier and stronger the better! Makes ~ 4 entree sized servings, serve along with warm crusty bread
Eva Longoria’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

So if you ever needed proof that I’m not a food snob, here it is.  This Tortilla Soup recipe is ripped right out of a trashy People magazine that I bought for a flight (it’s my guilty travel pleasure!).  Looked yummy enough despite it’s non-chef celebrity roots so I decided to give it a try and boy am I glad that I did.  That Eva Longoria knows her Tortilla Soup!  I guess this shouldn’t be surprising since it’s her signature dish at her Hollywood restaurant, Beso.  But still, I was surprised at how super yummy and authentic tasting this was...better than many that I’ve had at restaurants which is always satisfying when it’s homemade.

A few adaptations that I made to the recipe below are as follows:
Garlicky Red Lentil Soup

This is one of our favorite lentil soups. If you've never cooked with red lentils before, they may be a bit harder to find but they are worth the hunt. They cook up softer than green or brown lentils and I think they have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Most health food stores carry red lentils these days, including Whole Foods.

This soup recipe is from the cookbook, Soup; Superb Ways with a Classic Dish, and is super easy to make...well beyond mincing up two onions. Get out those swim googles so you don't cry like a baby and risk chopping your fingers. It does take about 90 minutes to cook though, so best to make it on a weekend and eat it as leftovers during the week. It holds up well for about a week and also freezes perfectly...I often make a double batch. 
Chicken & Chickpea Stew

I love chickpeas, soups and pretty much anything spicy...so seeing that this dish has all three going on it's really no surprise that it's one of my favorite winter dishes. It's one of those rustic dishes that kind of tastes like home, no matter where you're from.  Super simple ingredients, relatively easy preparation and delicious. One thing to note though...I would consider this more of a soup than a stew because the broth is thin, but since it's served over bread I've stuck with calling it stew.

The original recipe, shown below, is from the Bon Appétit February 2012 issue and I've pretty much been making it consistently since then. Usually when I share recipes here I like to share my own adaptions that I think make them even better, but to be honest this one is so good in it's original form that it's pretty much identical to what you'll find here on the Bon Appétit website.

Two changes I do usually make though;  I double the recipe below since it only makes about 4 servings and I roast my own peppers instead of buying pre-roasted peppers. Roasting your own peppers is so easy, cheap and makes your house smell so good that I strongly recommend it. As long as you have a gas stove you can follow my tutorial for how to do it included in this recipe...and then I promise, you'll never pay a premium for roasted red peppers again!

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with Spring Peas

I know, I know...soup often isn't top of mind as we head into the warmer Spring and Summer months but this soup is so refreshing because of the fresh lemon that it really works all year long.  The original Bon Appétit recipe doesn't call for the addition of Spring peas but I think they brighten up the dish even more. I also made a few other small tweaks, so my adapted version is below:

Chicken Corn Soup with Chile Mint Salsa

Christian and I often joke that we must have been Mexican in our past lives because we absolutely love anything Mexican inspired...and the spicier the better! We've mastered our very own version of Posole and make Eva Longoria's Tortilla Soup, which is always quite a hit. While we love both of these soups, we've been making them for years so when I first saw this recipe in Bon Appétit described as a fresh new take on Tortilla Soup, I knew we had to give it a try. I sure am glad that I did, because it is fantastic.  Pretty different from your traditional chicken tortilla soup but still spicy and super satisfying.  The chile-mint salsa is a winner and really makes the soup, but beware because a little bit goes a long way!

Since we enjoyed this dish so much I know we're going to make it pretty often, so I would likely adapt the original recipe to make it a bit quicker and easier without sacrificing too much taste (in my opinion). So while the core of the original recipe is based around cooking the whole chicken in the broth you'll see below that I'm making a few adjustments to make it easier and healthier. Otherwise, this recipe is just perfect and delicious as is!

SavoryGirl’s Tortellini Soup

I’ve been eating this soup since I was a kid, my mom used to make it all the time and it’s still to this day it’s my go-to food when I need some comfort or I'm not feeling well.  Back when my mom used to make it we always used the frozen Angelino tortellini, but I haven't been able to find those (or any frozen tortellini other than cheese for that matter) in years.  They were pretty awesome because they were meat tortellini...but now we have to use the more gourmet and expensive fresh kind since that's all we can find.  Although the newer dried tortellini in the pasta aisle work quite well also.  The beauty of this dish is that it’s SUPER quick & easy!
Chickpea Obsession…

We have recently become obsessed with chickpeas.  I'm not sure exactly when or why it happened, but somehow I keep finding recipes with chickpeas on my weekly menus.  Not only are these chickpea dishes making their way on my menus like some sneaky guest you don't remember inviting, but they're becoming the star of the party!  Week after week these seemingly simple dishes have blown both Christian and I away, becoming our favorite dinner of the week.  You know, the kind where you're excitedly awaiting the leftovers.  Don't get me wrong...we've always liked chickpeas, but all of a sudden we love chickpeas!

Since they've been such a welcome part of our dinners lately I thought I'd share a few of our favorite dishes that feature chickpeas. The name of each dish is linked to the recipe so you can make them yourself.  Besides all having chickpeas, the other commonality that these dishes have is that they are all super simple as well.  What could be better than simple and delicious?!  Oh....healthy.  Yup, these dinners fit that bill as well!
White Bean & Kale Soup

This is an oldie but a goodie...filed away in my “Suz’s Recipes” document that I've been creating for as long as I've been cooking. So old that I can’t even recall where it’s from, so apologies if I’m not giving credit where it’s due! It’s a super basic recipe but really yummy, healthy and soul satisfying!
Khao Soi – Northern Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

This might have been our favorite discovery in Thailand.  I had read about this soup, that was mostly found in Chiang Mai, before we even left the U.S. and I knew I had to try it.  I’m a sucker for regionally specific foods and I love me some noodles.  When we got to Chiang Mai a local friend we made at the hotel told us of a place around the corner where we had to go to get Khao Soi...funnily enough it was also in my guide book and the place that I had earmarked.  So my choice being corroborated by a local, we headed to Huen Phen for dinner, our bellies growling with excitement.

Unfortunately we missed the memo...Khao Soi is a lunch time dish only, so we were out of luck for dinner.  We ate there anyway and had a fabulous meal, but my mind was nervously churning.  We only had one day left in Chiang Mai and we were in a cooking class from 9am until 1:30pm and Huen Phen was only open for lunch until 3 everyday.  So our only chance was to force our already over-filled bellies coming from our cooking class to stretch a little bit more so we could try the famed Khao Soi from the best in the area.  Were we up for the challenge?  You bet!  And we’re we ever so glad that we didn’t give up our quest for Khao Soi...it is now one of our absolute favorite Thai foods and I think it will be yours too!