Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

This is “Faux” Pho – a faster, easier weeknight version that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen! Perfect for cold and rainy nights. This turns out different every time I make it, depending on the ingredients.







8 oz rice noodles
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger root minced
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1 onion, sliced thin
8 cups seafood stock or chicken broth
2 strips lemon peel (use carrot peeler)
2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups bok choy stem thinly sliced & leaves roughly chopped
1 lb shrimp raw

It is not traditional but a can of light coconut milk tastes really good in this!

Optional Garnishes
thinly sliced onion, slices jalapeno, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, Thai basil


  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, warm sesame oil over medium heat for 30-60 seconds until it starts to shimmer. Add ginger and chili garlic paste then stir for 30 seconds to release flavors.
  3. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent
  4. Stir in broth, lemon peel, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, hoisin, cinnamon and spices. Bring mixture to a boil then add shrimp and bok choy.
  5. Continue to simmer until shrimp turns bright pink and bok choy wilts – about 3-4 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper/soy if necessary.
  6. Add noodles (and coconut milk if using) to soup and serve immediately.
  7. Serve with optional garnishes.
Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup


There is nothing like a good pot of soup at the end of a cold and rainy day. This is perfect. You can add sour cream, avocado or tortilla chips.







2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 ⁄ 2 medium red pepper
5 small boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cups frozen corn
1 ⁄ 2 cup dry white wine or 1⁄2 cup water
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce


Sauté onion, garlic, pepper and red pepper with olive oil in a large pot until soft.
Add all the rest of the ingredients to the large pot and bring to a boil.
After about 15 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and shred.
Return shredded chicken to the pot and simmer an additional 45 minutes.
Serve, topped with avocado and shredded cheese.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Creamy Broccoli Soup

I am on a soup roll, obviously. My husband likes his vegetables disguised and this did a great job. Broccoli is not his favorite but he loved this. I used an immersion blender but it is smoother if you use a food processor. Just depends on what texture you want. The cheese is optional.




1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme and parsley
8 cups chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
½ cup whole or fat free milk (optional)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until the butter melts. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add carrot and herbs; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Stir in broccoli. Add broth; bring to a low boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until very tender, about 15 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Stir in milk or half-and-half (if using), cheese (if using) and salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This is a wonderful, fairly guilt free soup with tons of flavor that gets the creamy taste by using an immersion blender or food processor. I have made this with and without the cheese and either way is great. This makes about 4 servings.





  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp unbleached or all purpose flour
  • 1 medium head cauliflower – chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • 4 cups fat free chicken broth (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat.
  2. Add the flour and stir about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth, onions and cauliflower and set heat to medium.
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.)
  5. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add cheese if using. Season with salt and pepper.
Crock Pot Lima Bean Soup

Crock Pot Lima Bean Soup



I will be honest. I am not a big bean fan. Especially Lima Beans. My mother will back me up on this. But my husband loves them. I love him. SO I make things that involve beans. This is a great soup even if you are not a bean fan. And it is really great on a cold winter night. I did not have a ham hock so I used cubed ham. You will need to rinse and sort your beans and soak them overnight or at least 6 hours (follow directions on the bag). I used a 6 quart slow cooker but you could probably use a 4. I added the celery because I had some leftover and it was a nice addition but optional. This freezes well.





  • 1 1 b bag Dried Large Lima Beans – Sorted Rinsed and Soaked
  • 2-4 cup Meaty Ham Hocks or 8 oz ham, cut in chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Onions- Chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped (optional)
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • Additional Water
You can skip this step but I find it adds some nice flavor: Add oil to large frying pan and sauté onions until tender, add celery and carrots.
Place beans in crock pot
Add ham hocks and onion/celery/carrots.
Add broth and any water needed to bring the waterline 2 inches above the beans.
Stir in seasonings.
Cook for 6 hours or until beans are tender





Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

I made this with Turkey Kielbasa but you could use Turkey sausage or pork Italian sausage. This is great for a rainy, fall night. I sautéed the veggies and put in the crockpot for an easy weeknight meal. This warms up well and freezes for leftovers.




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cupchopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 quarts beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
  • 1 package of Turkey Kielbasa, sliced (or Italian sausage)


Place the olive oil into a large pot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking add the broth, tomatoes and spices to the crockpot.

Add vegetables to the crockpot.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown the kielbasa or sausage slices.

Add the browned kielbasa, lentils, and stir to combine. Set the crockpot to the desired time. Serve with cornbread or salad.

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

This was inspired by some leftover coconut milk, zucchini in the fridge and the “Cooking Canuck” blog. I served it hot as a first course for a dinner party.







  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (packed) grated zucchini (about 2-3 depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk


  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and  and sweat (cook without browning) until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, add the grated zucchini and chopped mint leaves, and cook until the zucchini is starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. I used a Vitamix but a blender will do the job.
  5. Process the soup in a blender, in two batches, until the soup is almost smooth, but with a little bit of texture. Return to the saucepan, stir in coconut milk, reheat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
  6. This soup can also be served chilled.