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The Soup Lady loves to get email. A lovely surprise came into the mailbag from Denmark and a reader named Birthe.

Dear Soup Lady,

I’m a foodie from Denmark and I have my own
foodblog on
: www.newyorkerbyheart.blogspot.com
  You are welcome to stop by if you feel like it.
It’s in Danish, but has a LOT of pictures of the food I make – and the latest
recipes are translated to English.

My best, Birthe

And so stop by I did and I picked up a little something for you all while I was there.  Birthe is a lovely person and has agreed to share one of her recipes here.


Ingredients for broth:

  • 4 onions, cut in half and sliced very thin
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 50 g butter
  • ½ big potato (baking potato)
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1,2 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage, chives or flatleaved parsley

Ingredients for spicy meatballs:

  • 200 g minced beef
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 shredded onion
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp. chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • salt, pepper

Soup – Melt the butter in a big pot. Add the onions and the garlic at let them simmer at medium temperature for 4-5 minutes, until they’re soft and clear. Stir often.
Shred the potato and add it with paprika, soy sauce, chili powder/cayenne pepper and chicken stock. Put a lid on and let it simmer for about 18-20 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cayenne/chili to taste.

Meatballs –
Stir the minced meat with all the ingredients. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Make 20 small meatballs and fry them on a pan in olive oil, until they’re crisp on the outside.

Serving – Chop the herbs right before serving and add with the meatballs. Serve with some bread.

The Soup Lady loves this soup and has spiced it up just a bit more by making a mixture of the milk and egg and adding about 7 drops of hot sauce to the meatballs and putting just a pinchof red pepper flakes into the broth. I was also a bit reluctant to shred the potatoes for fear they’d dissolve in the broth. I wanted to make a small dice, but I put my faith in Birthe and she was right – the shreds held up nicely and were still visible in the serving dish. Next time I make this, I’ll be using 2 potatoes because that’s what I like.  I’d advise you all to  go visit New Yorker By Heart to see what else Brithe has on the menu.

Need help with measurement conversion?
Click here: Conversion Table for Cooks

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Spicy Green Tomato Soup

Are you tired of looking at everybody else’s garden leftovers yet?  Now that the days are getting shorter and a chill wind is starting to blow,you might think that you’ve seen the last of the zucchini, the eggplants and the tomatoes. Let me tell you soemthing -there’s never an end to the tomatoes. Fallen leaves are piling up on the lawn and the home gardeners are still trying to get you to take those hard little green tomatoes off their hands.

Fried green tomatoes – the scourge of the autumn kitchen everywhere. first of all, they’re not so easy to make without burning the coating. Second, any flavor comes from the grease, not the tomato itself. While I am a big fan of grease in all its yummy forms,  there’s a limit to how many fried green tomatoes can a person eat even if you get it right.

So what to do? Make soup!


3 tablespoon  oil      

1 cup  diced onions

2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2   cloves  of finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons curry powder

3 cups chopped green tomatoes       

1 diced green pepper          

2 cups diced potatoes      

2 cups  vegetable broth

1 tablespoon of honey

2 tablespoons red pepper flakes, finely chopped

1/2 cup coconut milk   

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts    

In the bottom of a soup pot, heat the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and curry powder over medium heat until the fragrance is released. Stir continuously.  Then add  the  onions and the salt and stir to coat.  Add the oil and cook until the onions are soft. Add the  tomatoes, pepper, potatoes, broth, honey, and hot pepper flakes. Bring  to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30  minutes. Puree the soup using a hand-held blender. Stir in the coconut milk, then heat just to a simmer. Ladle into serving bowls and top with 2 tablespppons of yogurt and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

How fortunate that this recipe comes along at just this time. The Soup Lady is having a love affair – a love affair with curry.  Some like it hot but you already know that the Soup Lady likes it hot and sweaty. I would put a picture of Fabio here but he’s not sweaty. Just hot. Oh, what the heck:



Soup? What soup?

Oh, yeah – the green tomato soup. It was okay, but it was completely unappetizing to look at – a pale blend of iffy coloration that did not provide enough contrast with the whiteness of the yogurt on top. There was a nice spicy tang to it but it lack muscle, if you know what I mean. It was more of a liquid heat instead of the robusto performance you want from a soup when the chilly weather starts to come around and the sweetness of the coconut milk and honey only served to get in my way.

So when all is said and one, this soup was good for a laugh  but it’s not something that you’d want to get involved with any too often. It’s a good thing that green tomato season is so short.

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St. Patrick’s Day Soup

Faith and begorrah! It’s St. Patrick’s Day and the idea of boiling up a giant stock pot full of corned beef and cabbage makes you blanch! Maybe you don’t really like corned beef and cabbage but you feel the need to go with the flow. Your family insists on being festive but changes their minds when faced with the reality of a pot full of floating fat blobs. That leaves you – the under-appreciated cook – to consume the whole pot by yourself. What to do?

Here is the answer: Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup. The same traditional ingredients, the same great taste, but shortened cook and prep time, less greasy, more economical and has an easily adjustable yield.



1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan. Cut one large onion into a small dice and saute over medium heat until tender. Add 1/2 head a medium-sized green cabbage which has been shredded and turn in pan to coat. Add salt and pepper and let this heat for 2 minutes.

2. Transfer to stock pot and add 6-8 cups of chicken broth. Dice 3 large potatoes into 1/2" dice and slice 5 baby carrots into coins, then add both to the pot.

3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Cut 1/2 pound of lean corned beef from the deli counter into julienne strips and add to soup pot to heat through.

5. In a saucepan, make a roux by melting 2 tablespoons of butter, then stirring in 2 tablespoons of flour to make a paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add one cup of hot soup stock from the pot and blend. Cook to boiling while continuously stirring – mixture will thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of brown mustard and one tablespoon of white horseradish.

6. Add 1/4 cup of the horseradish sauce to the stock pot and mix thoroughly. Taste and add more, up to 1/2 cup.

Ladle the soup into bowls for individual serving and place a tablespoon of the horseradish sauce in the center. Serve with rye bread.

The Soup Lady likes a lot of the horseradish sauce, but that’s just me. Taste this soup before you add the horseradish sauce – it might be enough flavor for you. Not for me, begorrah, but maybe for you. For those faint of heart, omit the mustard and horseradish and use salt and pepper to taste. Only use this version to add to the stock pot, it won’t add much to the experience by dolloping into the serving bowls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For those of you who go ahead and make the real deal and find that you have a lot of your own corned beef left over, along with soggy cabbage wedges and overcooked potatoes, please be my guest and transform it into an appealing soup:

  • First get rid of all the pot liquor, save one cup. The broth the stuff was cooked in is just too greasy to contemplate. Replace all that liquid with chicken broth, plus the one cup of cooking liquid. Strain the cooking liquid if there are floaters in it. In fact, just strain it anyway.
  • Drain the vegetables as well as you can. They will be sodden and hard to hold onto, but do your best to chop them into soup-spoon sized pieces.
  • Remove as much of the fat from the meat  as you can. This is essential. No fat globs are to be found in the soup bowl at all. While a little fat from the broth will add flavor and body to the stock, no visible fat globs can be tolerated in the bowl.
  • Shred the meat and return it to the pot, along with the chopped vegetables.
  • Heat through.
  • If you’ve spent your St. Patrick’s Day without the horseradish sauce, make it now. You won’t be sorry.


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Sausage and Lentil Soup

The first significant snow of the season has fallen upon New Jersey and if that isn’t a call to make a hearty soup, I don’t know what is. As a general rule, the Soup Lady tries to avoid restaurant soup. I know I’m not the only one who thinks that’s how they get rid of yesterday’s leftovers. The one soup in this category that cannot be resisted is Carrabba’s Sausage and Lentil Soup.

The soup is spicy (another tip-off that the ingredients are not quite fresh)  but in this case I chose to ignore that. It’s not hard to reproduce at home – this is my stab at it. A small green salad, some nice bread  and some fresh fruit at the end is all you need to make this a completely satisfying meal.

Sausage and Lentil Soup

1. In a large saucepan, heat one tablespoon of oil. Add one carrot – diced, two stalks of celery– diced, one large onion– chopped  and two cloves of crushed garlic.  Saute until tender.

2. Remove vegetables from the pan and and add one pound of hot Italian sausage, removed from the casing, to the pan. Brown the drain off fat.

3. In a large stockpot, place eight cups of chicken broth, the sauteed vegetables and the sausage meat.  Open two cans of whole tomatoes, break them up by squeezing them with your hands and add to the soup along with the juice. Add two cups of dried lentils which have been washed according to package directions.

4. Season with one teaspoon of salt, 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds and one bay leaf.

5. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes. Remove 1/3 of the soup and puree it using an hand-held blender, then return it to the pot. Correct seasonings and remove bay leaf.

The Soup Lady likes it hot, so I added a bit more red pepper. Sometimes I like to add  a 10 oz. package of frozen spinach to the pot, or to serve it with some red wine vinegar floating on top. 


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Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Soup

Now we find ourselves at the end of Halloween week and more than a few of you are eyeing up the old Jack O’Lantern and thinking what a waste it is to just throw it out.  What with all that wholesome apple harvesting and hay riding going on right now, you might get to thinking that you can turn your decorative pumpkins into pies. It’s not your fault- even the most reluctant cooks can be overcome by the heady scent of cider – who wouldn’t start thinking that?

Do you know any first-time pumpkin converters who had the delusional notion that they could (a) be clever (b) be thrifty (c) be old-fashioned by hacking up their old Jack O’Lanterns before they go moldy and turning them into pies?  Has anyone of them ever reported a different result that "it was all stringy and didn’t tasted awful"?

There’s a reason for that – the pumpkins that are cultivated for appearance and size are not the ones that are cultivated for taste!  Shocking!  Haven’t we already learned this lesson with the Red Delicious Apple and the American Beauty Rose? Composed of one part appearance, one part  extended shelf life , there’s nothing else to recommend them? Form triumphs over function yet again.

This illuminating article about  pumkpin puree informs us that :

"Over the years, Libby’s used agricultural research and selective systems to develop a special variety of pumpkin (a type of squash) ideal for canning and consistent quality. That would be the Dickinson squash with rich, golden-orange color and creamy texture.
These are very different from Halloween field pumpkins; the Dickinsons are smaller, squat, meatier, heavier, sweeter and more dense."

And, my dears – pumpkin is  a superfood.

"Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A … It’s an excellent source of fiber and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals — even if the pumpkin comes right out of a can."

This rich soup comes from the Libby’s web site where other of their corporate brand products are included in every recipe. Less obedient recipe readers might substitute  their own chicken broth and heavy cream. There is no substitue for Libby’s pure-pack pumpkin and that is as it should be.


1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 1/2 cups water 
2 teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 can (12 fl. oz.) CARNATION Evaporated Milk
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 large green onion, finely chopped


COOK pumpkin, water, bouillon and sage in large saucepan, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.

STIR in evaporated milk and cheese. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring frequently, until most of cheese is melted.
SPRINKLE with green onion before serving.
SEASON with ground black pepper.

recipe from VeryBestBaking.com

I read the consumer reviews on the webiste before I made this soup and heeded the warning that the recipe as written delivered a bland result, so I added dried oregano, ground nutmeg, salt and lots of ground black pepper. I also incorporated  two  sliced green onions into the soup as it cooked.

Also, please note that LIBBY’S Pure Canned Pumpkin shares supermarket shelf space with LIBBY’S Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix. The cans are similar in size and heft – read the labels to be sure you are getting what you want – the pure pumpkin puree.

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The Soup Lady recently had occasion to visit King’s Fish House in California and ordered some White Bean and Salmon soup.

The menu proudly announces that the soups are made fresh daily from scratch. It remains unclear what exactly they were scratching when they made this one because it was a huge disappointment.  Although the chunks of salmon in the bowl were sizable and plentiful, I don’t recall any actual beans in there and the tomato-based broth was quite watery.

Never one to give up at the first skirmish, the Soup Lady continued to think about just how good this  could be. A little internet research turned up a few recipes that were surprisingly different beyond the basic beans and fish ingredients. After a week in the test kitchen, I find that this one is the best of the bunch.

The recipe comes from  Prevention.com so you know it’s got to be good for you, too. The website says:  "The ingredients in this hearty meal not only help prevent cancer and heart disease–they also stave off ulcers."  Stave off more than that, I bet, with its double whammy of cabbage and beans in the same pot. Have mercy!


White Bean Soup with Cabbage and Salmon

1 cup navy beans, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight
2½ cups water

2 cups chicken broth

6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
½ pound skinned salmon fillet, cut into 1" chunks
2 ounces (2 thick slices) Canadian bacon, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the beans, water, broth, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes, or until the beans are very tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

2. In a food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the cabbage and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.

4. Add to the soup.

5. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the salmon and bacon. Sprinkle with the thyme.

6. Cook, stirring gently, for 3 minutes, or until the salmon is lightly browned and just opaque.

7. Gently stir the salmon mixture into the soup.         
Makes 4 Servings

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Queen Victoria Soup

Without any explanation but this: “A modern adaptation of a rich and famous English soup”, the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook (1951 edition) gives us this recipe for Queen Victoria Soup. How famous could it be, really? I couldn’t find a single reference to it anywhere else. This must have come from the era of Frech Toast and Belgain Waffles – the time when stay-at-home Americans, perhaps influenced by the returned soldier boys of WWII, fancied themselves to be sophisticated familiars with all things European. Thus, not just English soup, but historical English soup.

It makes a damned fine soup wherever it really came from. It hearty enough to be a meal on its own with just a nice crusty bread to go along with it and a piece of fruit for dessert.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 cup mushrooms, cut fine
1 cup diced celery
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon tapioca
1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup cooked ham, diced
salt and pepper
sage, nutmeg and onion salt
2 hard-cooked eggs
1 or 2 cups cream
chopped parsley

Melt butter, add onion and cook until yellow. Add mushrooms and celery; cook 10 minutes. Add stock, tapioca, chicken, ham and seasonings. Cook 20 minutes. Add eggs, chopped fine, and cream. Serve in big bowls with chopped parsley on top. serves 7-8
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Now comes the scary part: a post-script at the end of the recipe says:
“To simplify, use canned cream of mushroom soup in place of fresh mushrooms, and cream and canned luncheon meat in place of ham. Not the same, but still very good and a thought for the emergency shelf.”

When they say canned luncheon meat, they mean Spam. See? WWII, just like I said.

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