Category Archives: soups

irish oatmeal leek soup

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, which means a girl named Kelly Jean is pretty much required to cook something Irish!  I’ve been looking for something other than the standard corned beef and cabbage dinner and came across a soup called Brotchán Roy.  Made from leeks and steel-cut oatmeal, it is thought to have been a stable for the ancient Irish culture. 

Well, I feel like I found a four-leaf clover with this recipe!  Everyone cleaned their bowls and my husband scraped the last bits out of the pot on the stove.  This truly tasted like comfort food.  And a bowl of comfort for only 4 PointsPlus to boot.  The texture of the steel-cut oats had just enough “tooth” to give it a good mouth feel.  And I just love the fact that my kids can now say they have had oatmeal soup (check that off the culinary bucket list 🙂 )

I think my soup turned out more yellow than others I have seen because of the brand of vegetable broth I used (the broth was very yellow coming out of the box.  I know, I usually make my own broth, but I didn’t have any in the refrigerator).  Most other oatmeal leek soups looked much more pale and cream-colored.

Irish Oatmeal Leek Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 1/2 cups steel-cut oatmeal
  • fresh ground pepper

In a soup pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add sliced leeks, turn heat to low, and saute for 10-15 minutes or until soft.  Add broth and milk.  Turn heat to high and bring to boil.  Add oatmeal and a few grindings of pepper and return to boil.  Cover, turn heat down to low and cook until oats are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.  Serves 4.

Recipe from  Based on her calculations, each 1 1/4 cup serving has 4 PointsPlus.


Posted by on March 14, 2012 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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vegetarian black-bean chili

I can’t believe it’s already Lent!  Wasn’t it just Christmas???

I can’t believe my daughter is registering for her Junior year of high school!  Didn’t she just graduate from eighth grade???

I can’t believe my 13-year-old just finished the new box of cereal!  Didn’t I just buy it this morning???

Soup continues to be my go-to meal around here.  This one came together in less than 30 minutes, which is great when life is speeding by.  The kids ate it with shredded cheese and tortilla chips on the side.  I just added a dollop of 0% Fage greek yogurt.  Vegetarian black-bean chili would be a great addition to your meatless Fridays in Lent.

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

    • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
    • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
    • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
    • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add beans, tomatoes, corn and 1 cup water.  Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.  Serves 6.

Recipe from

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder:

6 servings= 6 PointsPlus

Using the Simply Filling Technique, each serving has 1 PointsPlus.


Posted by on February 24, 2012 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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indian chickpea stew

I found this recipe on under “Meatless Recipes”.  Having two children eating vegetarian, in addition to the beginning of Lent, has refocused my quest for new meatless recipes.  This one is super easy and I was amazed at how delicious it was.  I ate it with the rice for dinner, then had left-overs without the rice for lunch.  The dollop of 0% Fage and squeeze of lime put it over the top for me.

Indian Chickpea Stew

  • 1 cup long-grain rice (I used brown Basmati)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1/2 cup 0% Fage greek yogurt

Cook rice according to package directions.  Keep warm.

While rice is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender.  Add curry powder and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomato sauce, chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in lime juice.  Serve over rice and top with yogurt.  Serves 6.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder,  each serving has 9 PointsPlus.

Using the Simply Filling Technique, each serving has 1 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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broccoli cheese and potato soup

I’ve been taking a break from blogging and have been cooking up recipes that I have already posted.  There are so many good ones!  If you haven’t tried them yet, check out vegetable enchiladas,  brown rice, chicken and bok choy salad and baked ziti with spinach.

I was so excited to share this great soup this week.  Warm, comforting and a little bit cheesy.  Yum!  So I wrote up the recipe, my daughter took a great picture, and I sat down to finish the post.  And then I realized…

I had already posted it last summer!  (It doesn’t seem like a summer soup to me, but when I remember how cold our summer was, it all made sense.)

Rats.  But then I remembered it’s my blog, so I can do what I want.  And I want to feel productive this week so I’m posting it anyways.  It’s a better picture anyways (thanks Anna!).

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup fat-free evaporated skim milk
  • 3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (I used Coastal Cheddar)
  • 1 Tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, but not mushy.

In a large soup pot, melt butter.  Add chopped vegetables and saute on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt and pepper and stir until smooth.

Add broth, evaporated milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil.  cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well.  Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add cheddar cheese, stir well and remove from heat.

If you desire a thicker soup, blend part with an immersion blender.

Recipe from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder:

4 servings= 7 PointsPlus

5 servings= 6 PointsPlus

4 servings= 5 PointsPlus

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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chicken soup with dumplings

Here’s the next chapter in “Chicken Soup 5 Ways” by Everyday Food Magazine.  Since the dumplings are “hearty”, I didn’t mind that there wasn’t much to the rest of the soup.  The lemon was very good addition.

Only 2 more versions to go!

Chicken Soup with Dumplings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges, for serving

In a large pot, bring broth to a simmer over medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt,  With a fork, stir in buttermilk and spinach to form a dough.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on top of simmering broth.  cover and cook until dumplings are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.  Gently stir in chicken, season with salt and pepper.  Cook until chicken is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 6.

Recipe from Everyday Foods.

Using the Weight Watcher Calculator, each serving has 9 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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chicken tortilla soup

I continue to work my way through “Chicken Soup 5 Ways”, an article featured in this months Everyday Food Magazine.  I already have two great tortilla soups in my bag of tricks, Quick Tortilla Soup and Spicy Tortilla Shrimp Soup.  The chicken tortilla soup recipe intrigued me because of the addition of cojita, a hard cow’s milk cheese.  But I forgot to buy the cheese and when I realized my omission there was 2 inches of snow on the ground and the soup was ready to eat.  It was good without the cheese; however I think it would have added more flavor.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  •  2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 thin corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into thin strips or chunks
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • lime wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large pot, heat oil oven medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and liquid, and chili powder and cook until most of liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.  Spread tortilla strips in a single layer and spray with a Misto filled with olive oil or with a non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Divide chicken, avocado, cheese, cilantro, and green onion among six bowls;  top with broth and tortilla strips.  Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe from Everyday Food.

Using the Weight Watcher Calculator, each serving has 8 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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asian-style chicken soup

Our family is enjoying the new XBox 360 and Kinect the kids received for Christmas.  Yes, it’s all about what the kids want (not really.  I’ve been wanting one ever since our Wii broke.  I miss my Wii Fit!).  Dance Central is a blast and definitely puts us in cardio range.  If the kids secretly filmed my husband or I dancing, we’d be a sure win on America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Everyone loves it, except our 13-year-old.  He doesn’t want to do it since “I don’t know how to dance” (so 13!).  My reply “I’m not sure what we are doing could be called dancing!”.  This doesn’t reassure him though, and he retreats to his lair room. 

Here is the asian-style chicken soup recipe as promised.  Everyday Food’s Jan/Feb 2012 magazine featured chicken soup five ways.  I made this for my first, second, and third versions and the results were spectacular!

Asian-style Chicken Soup

  • 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 4 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • a few slices of jalapeno
  • lime wedges

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ginger is fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes.  Stir in chicken and rice noodles and cook until warmed through, 2 minutes.  Divide soup among six bowls; top with scallions, cilantro, basil, tomatoes, and jalapeno.  Serve with lime wedges.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 7 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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