Weekend Cooking: Soup

Welcome to Weekend Cooking – a weekly meme sponsored at Beth Fish Reads which “is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

I have been in New Hampshire since January 7th – spending time with family, especially my older sister who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and had surgery right before Christmas (she is doing REALLY well and has an excellent prognosis for full recovery). I knew I wanted to make some good food for her and a recipe in the February edition of Every Day with Rachael Ray caught my eye.

What tastes better than homemade soup when you aren’t feeling 100%? And is there anything more yummy than than a combination of chicken, lots of vegetables and pasta? Rachael Ray’s Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup (page 89 in the February 2010 print edition) fit the bill. Although there is a bit of prep time involved, this was a quick and easy soup which uses toasted orzo, finely chopped zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper, onion and garlic, fresh lemon and parsley, and of course chicken to make a delicious, rich soup. We had ours with a loaf of garlic rosemary bread, and we also topped the hot soup with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (an edition to the original recipe) that added some saltiness. I doubled the recipe so we had leftovers…which were actually more tasty than the first day.

I just started getting Rachael Ray’s magazine which my sister gave me as a gift – and I have to say, I’m impressed so far with the number of recipes I want to try. She also has a great website, and if you are interested in soups which warm body and soul…check out this page on the website that includes numerous 30 minute soup meals.

Do you like to make homemade soups at this time of year? What are some of your favorites? Do you subscribe to a cooking magazine that you absolutely love? Please share in the comments!

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    • Molly on January 16, 2010 at 07:09

    I LOVE soup – but for some reason rarely take the time to prepare them. I will definitely check out the website for inspiration!

    When I first married I obtained a subscription to Bon Appetit and for several years made a minimum of one recipe from each month’s publication. I have let that component of my life slip over the years, but look forward to cooking again sometime soon.

    I am so sorry to hear about your sister, but thankful that the prognosis is so positive. Keep us informed of her continued healing, won’t you?

    • caite on January 16, 2010 at 07:16

    Glad your sister is doing so well…

    and you are right. There is nothing like a nice chicken soup.
    As I wrote in last weekend cooking post, my favorite food magazine is Cook’s Illustrated. I love that magazine.

    • Kathy on January 16, 2010 at 07:17

    We love soup this time of year, too.

    I’m sending positive thoughts to your sister. Both my father and father-in-law have had colon cancer and recovered 100% – it’s been over 20 years for both of them, and I’m sure they’ve made improvements on treatment since then.

    • carolyn on January 16, 2010 at 07:48

    I love soup because although I’m not a big vegetable lover, I enjoy almost any type of vegetable soup, so it’s a good way to eat healthy. Also, most soups you find ready-made are loaded with salt (like 20-30% of your RDA) so when you make your own, you get more flavor, less salt. I’ve had great success with all of Martha Stewart’s soup recipes, but our favorite is still the Sunset magazine recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup topped with cilantro and avocado. Thanks for the tip on Rachel Ray’s page — I don’t have much experience with her, but I will definitely check them out, as I’m always looking for more great soup recipes. Best wishes for your sister; glad to hear she’s doing so well.

  1. I love to make soup, especially this time of year. I like the variety of flavor mentioned in your recipe. With the garlic bread, it sounds like the perfect winter or get well meal.

    • Beth F on January 16, 2010 at 08:28

    My best thoughts to your sister and your whole family for a speedy recovery.

    I have seen Rachael Ray’s magazine but for some reason, I’ve never picked up a copy. I’ll have to take a look.

    I absolutely love soup. I could eat soup every day! With the ingredients you listed, that soup had to be a winner. A little warm bread . . . and you have the perfect meal.

  2. I LOVE homemade soup and try to make it as much as possible. I have lots of recipes for soup (and more coming…) on our cooking blog. Please check it out!


    • Melanie on January 16, 2010 at 08:58

    I like soup, but I like a really thick soup. This week I made our favorite – white bean and spinach with pasta. It is so good a filling. Sometimes I add some chicken, but with the beans and pasta it doesn’t need meat.

    • Lisa on January 16, 2010 at 10:55

    I LOVE soups! I make them all the time. One of my favorites is a Chicken Taco Soup I make in the crock pot. It’s always a big hit. I found it on the Lawry’s website a few years ago. It’s great as a leftover too because its such a versatile dish that you can do so much with. I hope your sister continues to feel better and better. I will keep you both in my prayers.

  3. We enjoy soup this time of year but I have never made home made soup. I am just intimidated by it I guess – I’m not much of a cook. My husband works with chefs though – I should really go in someday and see what tips and tricks I can pick up.

    • Staci on January 17, 2010 at 14:59

    So glad to hear that your sister is well on her way to a clean bill of health!! I just made a huge pot of soup today. I got the recipe from JoAnn’s blog and it was awesome. Nothing like soup!!!

    • Lori L on January 17, 2010 at 15:12

    All my best to your sister!
    I LOVE soup and we always make huge pots of soup to eat some and freeze the rest for a later couple of meals. Last week we had a chicken vegetable soup with spicy sausage. Yum! This weekend I made a huge pot of French Onion soup. We sort of do our own thing as far as serving French Onion soup here. We do add the cheese on top, but we have garlic toast on the side.

    • Wendy on January 18, 2010 at 09:39

    Molly: Thanks for your good thoughts for my sister – it means a lot. I used to get Gourmet magazine and did the same thing you did – made at least one recipe from every edition. Now, I tend to cut out recipes and put them in a big loose leaf binder using clear sleeves to hold them…it is bulging!

    Caite: Oh, I love Cooks Illustrated too…I like all the technical information in that one.

    Kathy: Thanks for sharing the positive information about your family members who have survived colon cancer…those stories make me feel SO good. It is a scary thing…but of all the cancers out there, colon cancer has very good prognosis (thankfully).

    Carolyn: Thanks for the good wishes for my sister. I also love Sunset magazine…especially this time of year because they seem to have so many comfort foods which are healthy. My sister swears by Martha Stewart…but I haven’t tried a lot of her stuff. Will have to do that some time!

    Margot: The flavors in this soup were really great…

    Beth: Thanks for the well wishes…and yes, soup is GREAT this time of year. I had never checked out Rachael Ray’s magazine before…but she really has some good looking recipes, and they are all relatively quick to make too.

    Elysabeth: Thanks for the link to your blog – I’ve subscribed!

    Melanie: That sounds delicious! The soup I talked about is pretty thick (especially the next day because the pasta really swells up), so I think you might like it.

    Lisa: Thanks for your prayers – means a lot to me AND my sister. I love making crock pot soups too…yummy!

    Angela: There are a lot of simple soups which don’t take long to make – don’t be intimidated…you can do it!!! Once you start making soup homemade it is hard to go back to the canned stuff *laughs*

    Staci: Thank you! Oh, I’ll have to go check out JoAnn’s blog now 🙂

    Lori: Thanks for the good thoughts! I love to double soup recipes and freeze them too. I LOVE French Onion Soup…it is so delicious, isn’t it?

    • jill on January 18, 2010 at 16:38

    This one’s going in my file! RR’s magazine is one of my absolute favorites…it’s just visually appealing, with great tips and bits of information, and her recipes, for some reason, read easier/better in her mag than her cookbooks. Go figure.

  4. First things first. My brother was diagnosed with rectal cancer four and a half years ago. After two rounds of chemo, one round of radiation, and a radical resectioning surgery, resulting in a colectomy/colostomy, he is now cancer free! As a result, my siblings and I are on a five year colonoscopy “plan.” Better safe than sorry, right? I do send positive thoughts and good wishes your way and hope for a full recovery for your sister. I’m so glad to hear the prognosis is positive!

    And now to that delicious soup! I love soup and try to make a big pot every weekend. Rod & I like to take it for lunch during the week and this one sounds like a winner. I love orzo! You’ve inspired me to post a blog entry with all of my favorite soups that are over on my food blog (which is in desperate need of updating!). No magazine subscriptions here anymore. Too much guilt when they sit around. However, I love perusing the various food mags at work. Love Cooks Illustrated and Eating Well.

    Thanks again for the delicious-looking recipe. I’ll try it out this weekend.

    Keep us posted on your sister. I’ll keep her (and you) in my thoughts, Wendy.

  5. I made this soup last night and it was delicious! Thanks, Wendy.

    • Kristen on January 24, 2010 at 08:36

    I made this one last week and found it strangely bland. I spent a lot of time wondering how to jazz it up a bit and wish I’d come up with the easy option of adding grated Parm to the top.

    • Wendy on January 27, 2010 at 08:36

    Jill: I have yet to get one of her cookbooks, so thanks for the heads up that the Magazine recipes are better than the cookbook ones! Weird, huh?

    Les: thank you so much for sharing your story about your brother – it is good to hear the positive and I am so happy your brother had such a good outcome…and thank you for the positive thoughts and good wishes too! Glad you liked the soup! I actually made this again last night for me and Kip and it was a big hit 🙂

    Kristen: Bland? Really? Hmmmmm, well, I am liberal with salt and pepper and often add more spice than the recipe calls for, so maybe that’s the difference. The cheese also adds a lot of flavor.

    • Kim on February 8, 2010 at 21:31

    I should be studying but this is more fun. This was time well spent…Thank You.

    • Wendy on February 15, 2010 at 10:59

    Kim: *laughs* I agree – blog reading is way more fun than studying 🙂

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