Lemon & Curry Asparagus Soup



Michael was asked to take a photo of a farmer for Eating Well Magazines cookbook, “Eating Well in Season.” They generously sent us a copy of the book and I got this recipe from there and have made it several times. The lemon and curry really brings out the flavors of the asparagus and this is a perfect spring time recipe. Enjoy!



2 tbs butter

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon curry

zest and juice of one lemon

2 cups diced peeled potatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup lite coconut milk

2 cups 1/2 inch pieces trimmed asparagus (about one bunch)

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1/4 cup finely chopped scallions or fresh chives


Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until golden. Stir in curry powder, lemon and potatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir broth, coconut milk and asparagus. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, partially cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender in batches until smooth. Season with salt & pepper. Taste and correct seasoning.

Whisk creme fraiche, lemon juice and scallions in a small bowl and garnish with a swirl.

French Onion Soup


Today was the first rain of fall here in Santa Barbara so I thought, “Why not post a soup recipe!?”

For me, there is something so warming and delicious in French Onion Soup. I don’t know who came up with the idea of putting cheese in a clear broth but its seriously genius. The gooey melted cheese coupled with the rich beef broth and bread…ah such a delight. I use to work in a restaurant that served french onion soup and I came home smelling like it every night. But it was worth it because I got to eat it all the time. I hope you enjoy and call me if you make this because I never get sick of it. I’ll be over in a flash!

French Onion Soup Recipe:

Serves 4-6 (depending on the size of your bowls)

2 Large Onions

4 TBS Olive Oil

4 TBS Butter

1 Bay Leaf

1 ½ Cup White Wine

½ Cup Marsala

½ Cup Red Wine

8 Cups Beef Broth

1 tablespoons Salt

½ teaspoons cracked black pepper

4-6 thick slices of mozzarella

Homemade Croutons (recipe to follow)


In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, sauté the onions with the butter, olive oil and bay leaf for 20 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and marsala and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes.

Add the beef stock plus salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and spoon soup into individual oven safe bowls. Top with croutons,mozzarella slices and grated parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted over croutons. Be careful when taking the bowls out of the oven and serve on individual plates. Make sure you let your guests know the bowls are hot. Enjoy!


For Homemade Croutons:

1 loaf ciabatta bread cubed

olive oil

salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To make the croutons, place the cubed bread into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using clean hands toss the bread until its evenly covered with the oil (but not soaked). Season with salt & pepper and toss one more time. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn bread with spatula once during baking to get all sides evenly browned. Set aside.

Chicken Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)

mexican_soup with chicken meatballs

My parents came over for dinner yesterday and so I made this soup for them. My Mom loves soup, my Dad loves mexican food and both of them like eating light. Oh, and my Mom doesn’t eat beef (as some of you know from my Dramatic Holiday  Season Recap post…) SO…I made Chicken Albondigas Soup which is basically a vegetable soup with chicken meatballs. Its so hearty, delicious and it happens to be super healthy. And its amazing the next day so you could make this a day ahead and then just reheat it for a dinner party. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Meatball Mexican Soup:


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped and separated into two parts
  • 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots, cut into rounds
  • 1 serrano chile, whole
  • 2 small Yukon gold potato, skin on, diced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 yellow squash, diced


In a heavy large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add ½ he onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, mix together the sauteed onions, rice, parsley, ground meat, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using wet hands, shape the meat mixture into 20 to 22 (1-inch) meatballs. Set aside.

Sauté the remaining onion in the same pot adding more oil if necessary. Cook until translucent. Combine the carrots, serrano chile, potato  and vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and squash and simmer on low heat until the meatballs are cooked through and rice in the meatball is soft, about 20 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Andouille Sausage and Potato Soup


I am a big fan of hearty soups with a side salad because I love to eat something healthy along side a heavier dish. I decided to put whole broccoli florets on top of the soup to substitute for a salad and it turned out great. This way you feel indulgent while also giving your body a pat on the back. This is the perfect soup for winter because its hearty, warming and just a big bowl of love. Serve this with some crusty bread and butter and dinner is done.

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6-7 Golden Potatoes quartered

4 cups Chicken Stock

1 yellow onion chopped

8 oz sour cream

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

3 andouille sausages (fully cooked) sliced in half moons

¾ cup fresh parmesan cheese

3 cups fresh broccoli

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add potatoes and stir. Add 3 cups chicken stock and simmer until potatoes are soft. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until a chunky consistency. Stir in sour cream, sausage, cheese, remaining chicken stock & salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Steam broccoli and drain. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with a few broccoli florets as an garnish. Make sure they are bite size. Serve immediately.

Celery Root Soup

Celery Root Soup

A celery root or celeriac is a very alien looking vegetable and its hard at first glance to really appreciate how tasty it is. So…if you haven’t already I recommend just coming out of your comfort zone and making this soup as your first experience. This delicious soup is a crowd pleaser and you’ll feel pride in adding a new ingredient into your repertoire of food.


1 Celery Root

¾ Cup Cream

1 ¼ Cup Sour Cream

2 Tbs Butter

2 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Tsp Salt

Dash Pepper

Peel and dice celery root. Saute the root in a saute pan with butter. Coast the root thoroughly with butter and let simmer for 10 minutes with cover on.

Add cream, stock and sour cream. Stir until nicely combined. Simmer for 12-15 minutes unitl root is very tender.

Puree mixture in batches in food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Season to with salt & pepper. Taste and correct seasoning to taste. Serve.

*Note: Celery root can be very fibrous so a food mill would actually eliminate this even more than the food processor if you have one. Still great with the food processor or even a blender.

Vegetarian Chili & Homemade Hummus from Cooking Class

Byron Elton led our cooking class this month and taught us how to make his vegetarian chili (and hummus!). Now, Byron is a dapper dan man. You know, the kind of guy who always says the perfect thing, has finesse and style. He is always up to date on the latest and greatest, loves to be green (environmentally speaking) and is a vegetarian. So it goes without saying that people generally like being around him, basking in his positive aura. Which is why I was of course excited when I heard he would be leading cooking class held at Shannon Sorenson’s home; our gracious host each month. The chili is hearty, satisfying and full of flavor. I was myself was a vegetarian for 2 1/2 years and what I love about eating vegetarian is that flavors that usually take a back seat are highlighted. The fresh bell peppers, hot jalapeños and beans are a burst of flavor in your mouth like a perfectly executed cha cha. And when topped with creamy sour cream, cheddar cheese and guacamole, how can you go wrong?

Byron the chef & Shannon the host

Byron’s Vegetarian Chili

Add the following to a saucepan and sauté over medium heat:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chopped jalapenos
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 chopped red peppers
  • 2 chopped green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons garlic


Next add the following:

  • 2 (28oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28oz) can of kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 1 (16oz) can of black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 (16oz) can of vegetarian refried beans
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Approximately 1 tablespoon of green Tabasco sauce ( or 24 shakes)
  • 1 bottle of Mexican beer (OPTIONAL)

Cook for 30 minutes or to your liking

Serve with sour cream and cheddar cheese

Optional: add corn, yellow peppers or red onions.

(Note: this recipe makes a double serving)

Byron’s Hummus

How to make your own garbanzo beans: 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans will make 2 cups of cooked beans

  • Soak in water for 8 hours (changing water every 2-4 hours.)
  • Add 1 tablespoon baking soda to the water

(8 hours later)

  • Simmer the beans for 20-30 minutes

In a blender or food processor add:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1/3 cup of Tahini
  • Juice from 1 lemon (half if you’d like)

(Blend on low speed)

  • Add 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans and blend to your liking

Serve with pita bread from Trader Joes

Optional: add red peppers, pine nuts or sun dried tomatoes

Hearty Ratatouille

My Grandpa came up with this recipe after eating something similar at a restaurant on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles. He constantly revising it so I’m not sure at what stage this recipe was written down but its delicious nonetheless. Grandpa LOVES food and is where I think I inherited my same love for the culinary arts. This recipe is hardy and comforting and I love to eat it when I’m hungry and in the mood for something fortifying. I added the ground turkey to the recipe to make it stick to your bones that much more.

My husband is NOT one for reheating already prepared dinners. Its funny because there will be all sorts of delicious already prepared meals in the fridge but he’ll just eat cereal or some bread with cheddar cheese melted on top in the microwave. (Don’t ask). But when I made this ratatouille he actually would return to the fridge for seconds, thirds, fourths etc. He cracks me up. If I take something out of the fridge, say leftover lasagna, and heat it up for him – he’ll eat it. Otherwise its too daunting. So basically this recipe is good enough to overcome the exhausting task of reheating food! Enjoy!

Grandpa’s Ratatouille with Ground Turkey

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

1 Pound Ground Turkey

2 Medium Zucchini

2 Medium Yellow Crooked Neck

½ Large Green Bell Peppers

½ Large Red Bell Pepper

2 Medium Yellow Onions

1 Tsp Basil

1 Tsp Oregano

½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt & Pepper

1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes

French Bread

Parmesan Cheese

Heat large skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil. Add minced garlic cloves and add to oil sauteing briefly. Add ground turkey and saute with garlic until turkey is cooked. Take off heat and set aside.

Slice all vegetables into bite size pieces but not too small. Add two Tbs olive oil to a large pot and heat on medium high – add vegetables. Add 1 Tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano. Stir all together and cook until slightly tender. Add large can chopped tomatoes and stir. Add turkey mixture including all pan juices. Add 1 Tbs Salt, a ½ Tsp Cayenne and Pepper to taste. Cover with lid and simmer until tender.  Serve on toasted French Bread with parmesan. Enjoy!

Roasted Potato Soup

When I was growing up my Mom would make potato soup A LOT. This is not her exact recipe (I’m not sure she really has a recipe per-se) but I seem to be able to make a million different versions of potato soup because its part of my physical makeup. This soup has potatoes done three ways: pureed, chunky and roasted and is super duper yummy. Thanks Mom for nourishing me heart, soul and tummy! xoxo

Roasted Potato  Soup

3 Pounds Golden Potatoes Chopped

6 Cloves Garlic Chopped Coarsely

1 Large Onion Chopped

1 Cups Cream

32 oz Vegetable Stock

Pepper to taste

2 Teaspoons Salt

Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and just starting to brown. Add stock and potatoes and bring to a soft boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork. Transfer half the mixture to a blender and mix until smooth. Return blended mixture back into pot and stir. Add cream, salt and pepper.

Crispy Potato Topping

3-4 Golden Potatoes cut in long wedges

6 Cloves Garlic Minced

1 Tablespoons chopped Rosemary

4 Tablespoons Butter

½ Teaspoons Salt

Pepper to Taste

Melt butter in a pan. Add rosemary and garlic. Drizzle over wedged potatoes and mix thoroughly. Place potatoes on a pan uniformly so each side touches the pan and is able to brown.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes on one side. Take out and flip potatoes over. Continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes on the other side. Once cool enough chop wedges into small pieces and sprinkle on top of soup. Enjoy!