Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

This is a thick and creamy chowder without all the added fat that chowders are usually prepared with.  Using a combination of chicken broth and low-fat milk lowers calories, and blending part of the soup helps thicken it.

Great flavor is achieved by sautéing lots of celery and onion in a small amount of butter till softened, then adding the flour and cooking to incorporate it.  Add the corn, diced potato, chicken broth and seasonings and cook until potatoes are tender.  Then about 1/3 of this mixture is blended in a blender and returned to the soup kettle along with the milk and shrimp.


To make this a gluten-free meal, omit the flour.  The soup may be a tiny bit less thick, but still deliciously seasoned and filling.  This makes four generous servings with calorie count only 394/serving, and fat at 8g.

We love this soup, and summertime is the perfect time to make it with summer corn at it’s sweetest.  However I made it recently because I ended up with an opened package of frozen corn to use up.  Mr. D. suggested I make corn chowder, so that’s the back story of why I made it now.  Although frozen corn is not ideal, it still gave thickness and corn flavor that was satisfying.


At serving time I added some chopped green onion, (green parts only) and chopped celery leaves for garnish.  A salty cheese would also be good sprinkled on top such as queso fresco, cojita or feta.  This will add calories and fat so be mindful of that if you are counting calories.


Yield:   Makes 4 servingsIMG_9182


  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 medium or 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepperIMG_9184
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • celery leaves, chopped



1.  Melt the butter in a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in the celery and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

2.  Stir in the corn and potatoes, then stir in the flour until incorporated.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaves, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook until potatoes test done.


3. Remove bay leaves;  transfer about 1/3 of this mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.


IMG_9187 Return to a simmer, add the milk, and shrimp.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes.  Season with additional salt if needed.  Soup may be thinned with additional chicken broth if it’s too thick.

4.  Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped scallions and celery leaves.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder


SOURCE:  a major adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light



Lasagna Soup

IMG_9054       IMG_9053

Here in Ct. we’re having what has been predicted as “the Blizzard of the Century”, although at the half-way-point it seems to have lost some of its strength, at least where I live. The snow is no longer falling, but there is a lot of it out there.  On such a day as this I’m making soup for dinner.  That should come as no surprise, as my mind and taste buds turn to a good hot soup on a cold and wintery day, as many of you well know.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

In my opinion there is no  better way to keep warm than with a bowl of steamy, hot soup!

Within the past few days two different recipes for Lasagna Soup have come to my attention, so I feel that I was destined to make this soup.  It’s so nice when you decide on the spur of the moment to make something and find everything that’s needed right in your refrigerator or cupboard.  Lucky me, since cars are forbidden on the roads, no trips to the grocery store are allowed.


In a bowl of this soup, you will find everything you love about lasagna….sausage, lasagna noodles, marinara and cheese.   It’s filling, easy to make, and hearty.  Everything you want in a soup and perfect for a cold winter’s night.  It’s also family friendly–kids will love it.  The dollop of cheese on top really makes it.  You can use regular Italian sausage, sweet or spicy, or chicken sausage, any of which will give it great flavor.


Two other benefits of this soup;  there are fewer calories than eating “for real” lasagna, and it’s all made in one pot.


Yield:  Makes about 8 servings


For the soup:

  • cooking sprayIMG_9049
  • 14 oz.- 1 lb. Italian sausage, pork or chicken, casings removed
  • 1/2 a large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups low-sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 2  1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups jarred marinara sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh black pepper
  • 6 oz. broken lasagna noodles, regular, whole wheat, or gluten free

For topping:

  • 6 Tbsp. part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • basil leaves for garnish, if desired


1.  Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, spray with cooking spray and add the sausage.  Cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 4 to 5 minutes.


2.  Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes.


3.  Add the broth, water, marinara sauce, parsley, bay leaves and black pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.


4.  Add the broken lasagna noodles and cook uncovered according the package directions.



While noodles cook, make topping:

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, and parsley and stir to mix well.

To serve:  Ladle soup in bowls, and top each serving with 2 Tbsp. ricotta cheese mixture, some mozzarella, and fresh basil on top.


SOURCE:  adapted from  Skinny Taste

Here’s  a selection of some other easy, healthy soup recipes that are in the recipe index:

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom-Barley Soup

Mushroom-Barley Soup

Here I am in my kitchen on the first really frigid day we’ve had.  The wind is blowing and  there’s a light cover of snow on the ground. We’re in for some bitter cold weather…..the Canadian Clipper has arrived.  (Canadian friends, thanks a bunch!).   I’m going to indulge myself today and wear my warm leggings, a sweater, heavy socks and slippers. And as you can probably guess I’m making…..soup!

This is excellent, excellent soup.  If you like mushrooms and you like barley, this combination in a soup can’t be beat. It’s very easy and economical to make and only takes about an hour.


This is a hearty soup with rich depth of flavor.  It’s even better the next day.  If it thickens up too much you can always add a little water or more broth.  I used two kinds of mushrooms;  baby bella(s) and porcinis that I cut rather thick, so biting into them is like eating meat.  The flavor is outstanding!!

Be sure to taste before adding salt as broth will have some salt in it, even if it’s lower in sodium.  I thought that the 1/4 cup olive oil was a bit too much so only used about half that amount, and the veggies sautéd just fine.  If you use regular barley instead of pearled, it will cook quicker if you soak it overnight.  Pearled barley cooks in about an hour or a little more.  When making soup it’s always best to plan a little extra time, but keep it 98% covered so the broth doesn’t evaporate away while it simmers.



Yield:  Makes about 6 servings


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups beef broth  ( Vegetarians use vegetable broth.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (use 2-3 different kinds if possible)
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme



1.  Heat oil in a large soup kettle over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic;  cook and stir until onions are tender and transparent.

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil.

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil.

2.  Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook for a few minutes longer.

Add in the mushrooms.

Add in the mushrooms.

Pour in the beef broth and add the barley and thyme.


3.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cover and keep at a low simmer until barley is tender, about 50 – 60 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

Hearty and delicious.  Full of umami flavor!

Hearty and delicious. Full of umami flavor!


SOURCE:   Slightly modified from

Tomato, Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Tomato-Tortilini-Spinach Soup

Tomato-Tortellini-Spinach Soup

Soups are pretty mundane.  They don’t garner all the razzmatazz that entrees do in a fancy restaurant.  Soups sit quietly in the back row, never speaking unless spoken to.  I think of soups as kind of shy.  They mind their own business, but if you seek them out, well then….they love to be noticed, and they can charm you, but quietly.

I made this soup on a day when I needed soup….and on a day when I needed the soup to be easy, but captivating.  This is a soup that shines when you taste it, but not before.


The savory onions and garlic go from sautéing, into a pot of hot broth, to which diced tomatoes are added and the seasonings.  Add some fresh cheese-filled tortilini,  cook a few minutes till done, add some spinach, and there it is.    The dried basil and oregano are essential.  They are what makes this soup have that wonderful Italian flavor.  The only thing that can make it better is a shaving of Parmesan cheese on top.   Oh, and a loaf of crusty, crunchy bread to soak up the broth.    Listen closely, and  you will hear Andrea Bocelli singing.


Yield:   Serves 4


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp, dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (vegetarians, use vegetable broth)
  • 9 0z. pkg. refrigerated 3-cheese tortellini
  • 3 cups baby spinach, or 1 box frozen spinach, squeezed dry
  • grated Parmesan for serving


1.  Heat the olive oil in a large soup kettle.  Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.

Sautéing the onions and garlic.

Sautéing the onions and garlic.

2.  Add the tomatoes with their liquid, the chicken broth plus 1 cup of water, all the seasonings, the tortellini and salt and pepper to taste.

There's all those lovely seasonings.

There’s all those lovely seasonings.

3.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until the tortellini is tender, about 5 – 6 minutes

4.  Stir in the spinach and cook for 2 – 3 more minutes to heat through.


5.  Ladle into bowls and serve with  shaved Parmesan cheese as garnish.

Warming, captivating, delicious!!

Warming, captivating, delicious!!


SOURCE:   adapted from Cooking Classy


Soup’s On


A pot of soup for a cool fall evening.

A pot of soup for a cool fall evening.

With Fall just a few short weeks away, and school back in session, many of you (me included) are thinking about warm bowls of soup for cool autumn evenings.  Soups can be the main course or served as a starter.  Making a pot of delicious soup is easier than you may think with prepping being the most time consuming aspect of the whole thing.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while are familiar with the fact that I’m a soup lover, and have produced quite a number of them to share in this space.  New readers, however, may have missed seeing some of them, so today I’m going back into the recipe files and pulling up some of those nice warming bowls of soup for you to review.

With so many vegetables available now, make sure you use the freshest ingredients you can get and also be sure to include grains, pasta and beans for great variety.  Originally soup was made up of anything that was left over, so don’t be afraid to toss in bits and pieces and get creative with your leftovers!



Bacon and Corn Chowder


Broccoli-Cheddar Soup


Butternut Bisque


Fall Minestrone Soup


Mexican Ham and Bean Soup


Tomato Curry Soup


Tuscan sausage and bean soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Gad-Zooks!   You planted a few seeds, a harmless enough activity, hoping to get a few zucchini to enjoy over the summer, and suddenly you’re up to your ears in zucchini.  You’ve already been through zucchini bread, zucchini casserole,  zucchini with peppers and onions, zucchini muffins, and stuffed zucchini.  What’s left to make?  zucchini fudge?  zucchini frosting for that chocolate cake?  zucchini ice cream?   Here’s a novel idea, how about zucchini soup?


I’ll admit it’s weird thinking about soup when its so warm outside.  Hot soup.  I didn’t even have the decency to make cold soup.  It’s just in-your-face hot–smack dab in the middle of a July summer.  That takes some nerve!

But please forgive me because this soup is sooo good!  My family loves it and it is so easy to make. With only 5 ingredients,  it takes only about 30 minutes start to finish, and one large bowl is only 60 calories, or 1 WW point.

I often serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh grated cheese, but that’s completely up to you.  You can add fresh herbs, yellow squash, or some cauliflower, or whatever you wish.  Served with some crusty bread or a salad and it’s a complete meal, or make it as a starter to any meal.  To make it vegetarian use vegetable broth.  I usually make it with chicken broth.


Make this soup and stay cool;  maybe eat it sitting in front of the refrigerator with the door open……..enjoy!



Serving:  4   size, 1 1/2 cups,  calories, 60,  fat 1g,   carb 10 g,


  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3-4 cloves garlic,
  • 3 medium zucchini, leave skin on, cut into large chunks
  • 32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh grated cheese (Parmesan or asiago) for topping (optional)


1.   In a large pot, over medium heat, combine the chicken broth, zucchini, onion and garlic, and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

2.  Puree with an immersion blender, add the sour cream and puree again until smooth.


3.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.  Serve hot.



SOURCE:   Skinny Taste


Egg-Drop Noodle Soup

Egg-Drop Noodle Soup

Egg-Drop Noodle Soup

Oodles of noodles is what’s in this soup.  And vegetables, asian seasonings, and eggs all swirled together in a chicken broth.  A light meal to be sure, one to have on hand for when you’re not starving,  just feeling a little peckish, and need something to stimulate your taste buds.   This is what I would want if I had been sick, and was just getting my appetite back.


With healthy ingredients going into it, you’re bound to feel healthy after eating it.  Rich chicken broth, green onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, noodles and eggs.  Sounds like a prescription to me, but certainly not a bitter pill to swallow.  Think of it as a dressed up chicken soup.


This recipe makes a large quantity of soup, but it keeps well refrigerated.  I’m not sure about freezing it–I think the already cooked noodles might get mushy, but have not tried it.


Yield:   Makes 8 – 10 servings


  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth

    Healthy ingredients, so good for you.

    Healthy ingredients, so good for you.

  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 2 packages ramen noodle soup, flavor packets discarded
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water, or use 2 teaspoon saved chicken broth


1.  In a large saucepan or soup kettle, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil.   Bring to a boil.

2.  Add the piece of ginger, garlic cloves, carrots, and all of the green onions, except for 2 tablespoons green parts–save these for garnish.   Return to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until carrots are tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the ginger and garlic and discard.


3.  Mix together the cornstarch and water to dissolve the cornstarch.  Pour into boiling broth and stir to combine.  Add the noodles (minus the flavor packets), and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together with a little salt and pepper to taste.  While gently stirring the soup, pour in the egg mixture and stir to swirl and cook the eggs.  Remove from heat and serve with reserved green onions as garnish.

Served with a sandwich, this makes a light meal.

Served with a sandwich, this makes a light meal.


SOURCE:   adapted from




Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta

Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta

I love this meal served over polenta or pasta but I make it rather infrequently because it takes quite a bit of time to make.  Especially when you slow cook it the way I usually do. This past weekend I decided to try this recipe that is prepared using a slow-cooker.  By using boneless chicken thighs, the chicken doesn’t need all day to become falling apart tender.  A cooking time of 4 – 5 hours is perfect.


Starting around noon, I browned the chicken as the recipe directs, made the sauce and put it all in the slow cooker and in about 4 hours it had reached saucy perfection, and the aroma in my kitchen was wonderful.  I continued with the “quick” approach and made instant polenta to serve the cacciatore over.  That  along with an inventive green salad and a glass of wine was a perfect ending to a busy weekend.


When I make polenta I usually use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Polenta which takes about 30 minutes to cook, and requires constant attention and stirring.  This time I opted for  Scalafani Instant Polenta, that cooks in only 3 minutes.  You still need to stir it constantly, but for a much shorter time.


Hint:  when making polenta always use a long handled spoon ( wooden is best) for stirring, because as it thickens it will “pop” as it boils and can burn your hands. (Ask me how I know.)


Yield:   Serves 8


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red or white wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree ( 1 6-ounce can tomato paste)IMG_6906
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


1.  Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

2.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat pan.  Add half of chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

Browning the chicken.

Browning the chicken.

Place chicken in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.  Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.  Reduce heat to medium.

3.  Add a drizzle more oil if necessary.  Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic, sauté 4 minutes.

Saute onions, pepper and garlic.

Saute onions, pepper and garlic.

Add wine and tomato puree, stirring to blend ingredients.

Add puree and wine.

Add puree and wine.

Bring to a simmer, adding diced tomatoes, capers, salt , peppers, and oregano.

Add tomatoes and seasonings.

Add tomatoes and seasonings.

Heat through.  Add to slow cooker, pouring over chicken.

4.  Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Slow-cooker chicken cacciatore.

Slow-cooker chicken cacciatore.

.Serve it over polenta or pasta.

Serve it over polenta or pasta.



If you have leftovers, they can be easily transformed into soup:  Shred the chicken, and place in a pot with sauce.  Add unsalted chicken stock, diced zucchini, and diced carrots;  simmer until veggies are tender. Add in any leftover pasta at the end.  Serve with a little grated cheese on top.      One meal becomes two.  YUM!

SOURCE:   Cooking Light


Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

A cold stormy day calls for hot soup. We were hit with an unexpected snow storm the other day that threw everyone into a tizzy. What is it that is so often said about the last day of March, “out like a lamb”?  Not this one. The lion roared again and tied up traffic for miles with multiple accidents. What did I do? I stayed home and sent a barrage of e-mails to the Weather Goddess. Enough is enough, Mother Nature. Check your calendar; it’s Spring!!  😀

Mr. D was so thankful for a steaming hot bowl of soup. He said it hit the spot. This soup is healthy and light. It has a creamy texture from the cauliflower and would lead you to think it was loaded with cream, but there’s not a drop of cream in it. I served it with a drizzle of olive oil on top. It would make a light lunch or first course or serve with a sandwich for a full meal as I did.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

A serving of this soup is 1 3/4 cup, with 93 calories, 3 g. fat, 12 g carbohydrate.


Very few ingredients.

Very few ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
  • kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste


1. In a large saucepan or soup kettle, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook about 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth and cauliflower and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.) Turn off the heat.

Cook the cauliflower in the chicken broth.

Cook the cauliflower in the chicken broth.

3. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, or use a regular blender and puree in small batches. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Puree the cooked cauliflower with a blender.

Puree the cooked cauliflower with a blender.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup


SOURCE: adapted from Skinny Taste

Fire-Roasted Manhattan Clam Chowder

Fire-Roasted Manhattan Clam Chowder

Fire-Roasted Manhattan Clam Chowder

There are two well-known kinds of clam chowder;  New England Clam Chowder, and Manhattan Clam Chowder.  As I’ve written about here, the New England style is creamy, thick and white with lots of clams and potatoes.  The Manhattan style chowder is made with a tomato broth and contains tomatoes, usually bacon, onions, clams and potatoes.  It’s a matter of taste and preference which one you like best.

In my past experiences with chowder, New England style was homemade, but Manhattan always came out of a can, and I didn’t like it.  That changed several years ago when I happened on this recipe for a homemade version, that Mr. D. and I think is fabulous.  It’s a much lighter soup, still warming on a cold day, but fewer calories to drag you down.  Try this with some savory scones or biscuits to go with it.  I think you’ll be glad you did.



Yield:   Makes 4 – 6 servings


  • 6  slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch stripsIMG_6345
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy greens, stalks and leaves finely chopped separately
  • 1 large, or 3 smallish baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • One 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • One 14,5 – ounce can chicken broth
  • Two 8-ounce cans chopped clams with their juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


1.  In a large saucepan or skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat renders, about 6 minutes.  Discard the fat, and place the cooked bacon in a soup kettle.

Frying the bacon.

Frying the bacon.

2.  Add the olive oil to the saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped celery and onion and cook stirring, until softened.  Add in the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.   Add this to the soup kettle.

Saute onions, celery and garlic.

Saute onions, celery and garlic.

3.  To the contents of the soup kettle add the potato, the tomatoes and their juice and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add broth, potatoes and tomatoes.

Add broth, potatoes and tomatoes.

4.  Stir in the clams with their liquid and cook to warm through.  Stir in the chopped celery leaves and season with salt and pepper.  Taste before adding salt as the tomatoes likely have salt in them as well as the clams and chicken broth.  Most times I do not add any salt, just a little black pepper.


A bowl of hot chowder is so warming on a cold day.

A bowl of hot chowder is so warming on a cold day.

SOURCE:    Cooking Light