Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

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My kids are on a broccoli kick. A few nights ago, they both refused everything else that I had on offer; Tito munched on a bowl of buttered broccoli like it was a bowl of popcorn while he was watching soccer with daddy. Lili ate her tiny broccoli florets by the fistful. So when it was time to decide what to make the little one for her first birthday, I went with something I hoped she’d love: broccoli cheese soup (and she did).

Cheeseburger Soup (gluten-free, Velveeta-free)

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You guys, this soup was such a pleasant surprise, although after making it, I can’t imagine how the original poster of the recipe managed to make it photogenic. The recipe caught my eye on Pinterest and I’d planned to make it for a Happy Hour night a few weeks ago, but then T got a flu bug and we cancelled so as not to share the buggy love, and then we had things going on for the next two weeks, and so here we are, three or four weeks later and I’ve got the meat already-browned in one bag in the freezer and the veggies all chopped up in another bag in the freezer, and I’d even frozen part of a bag of shredded cheese from Costco, so I pretty much just had to throw things together and put them on the stove.

Chipotle Chicken Soup

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What do you do when you unexpectedly end up with a Costco box of tomatoes? When you have a soup blog and a crowd of people for whom you make soup (and chips, salsa and margaritas) every Friday evening (click here for more info), you decide to make those tomatoes into soup!

This is a great recipe from a somewhat unexpected place, my trusty old Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. I wish I remembered who had given me this cookbook or when. I just know that I’ve had it since about the time I graduated from college and I used it for a lot of basic recipes and instructions when I was learning to cook. It’s got all the basics, and every once in a while, I happen upon a gem like this light and tasty Chipotle Chicken Soup.

Chicken, Cabbage and Apple Stew

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“You need to put this on your soup blog:” a good way to tell when a soup has hit the spot.

Another way to tell is when the pot of soup is literally scraped clean by the guests. I think we have a winner, folks.

Cream of Spinach Soup

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Does anybody else feel like they’re being tossed around in a storm at sea when they read information on the Internet about what to eat and what not to eat? I read a great satirical post a few weeks ago about that phenomenon – check it out here if you’ve ever been like, “I eat pretty healthy” and then discovered that everything you supposedly thought was healthy is actually eventually going to kill you. Or if you have friends who are telling you that.

Slow-Cooker Chili

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Serving slow-cooker chili to guests (along with chips and salsa and margaritas — what a perfect meal for a 0-degree day!) almost seems like cheating. You throw everything in the pot and, viola! dinner is ready when the guests show up. Just be sure you have cheese and tequila on hand.

Creamy Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

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You can make anything in the slow-cooker if you’re lazy enough.

This soup is probably supposed to be “quick and easy,” but sometimes even quick and easy isn’t enough because dinner time happens to be precisely when everything else in this house goes to, um, well, when everything deteriorates and it’s impossible to do much more than keep myself alive and  keep from strangling the small one. Not the smallest one; put her in a swing and she’s good. It’s the next one up.

Just keepin’ it real here.

Anyway, I crockpot-ized this soup, AND I’m blogging about it while it’s still cooking (so sue me). I’ve made it before, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to turn out okay.

Martha Stewart’s Chicken Posole

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Now that I am a mother of two, I have several more reasons to love soup. One is that it can be made in steps depending on when you get windows of opportunity throughout the day. So if, for example, one child wakes up and needs to be nursed right after you put the chicken stock and the frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot, you’re set for a couple of hours. And then if the other child (hypothetically) wakes up cranky and clingy from his nap, you just have to throw a few more ingredients in the pot and you’re covered.

The other reason I love soup is that you can make a huge batch and be set for lunch for the rest of the week. This works especially well if your toddler likes the soup and will happily eat it every day for lunch. And soup re-heats beautifully for those times when you, the mom, don’t have the chance to sit down and eat a full meal at once (it is a drawback of soup that it’s difficult to eat while holding an infant without dripping on said infant).

This soup meets both of those criteria. (Of course, you don’t have to be the mom of two under two in order to enjoy both of these benefits of soup.)

Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Bacon

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I’m not a pumpkin person. I can eat maybe one or two pumpkin items per year, and then I’ve had my quota (this is a 2x increase over the number of pumpkin products I used to eat each pumpkin season).

So bear with me even if you’re not a pumpkin person wither; this soups taps into the “squash” side of the pumpkin’s personality, rather than the “spice” part. If you like a good butternut squash soup, consider giving this a try. The reason the recipe caught my eye was for the “sage” and “bacon” part. You can never go wrong with sage and bacon, right? (I have been having a several-year love affair with sage, ever since I discovered it in a butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli recipe.)

Spiced Lentil Soup

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I’ve made two soups lately … one was pretty good and the other was really good. This one was the “really good.” I’ll post “pretty good” later, since it’s still worth sharing, especially with a few tweaks that I would recommend.

Lentils are such a great ingredient. They are amazingly good for you, they are cheap, they cook quickly, you can always have them in your cupboard since they don’t go bad, and they work well with a variety of flavors. I haven’t been able to get enough coconut curry lately (our local restaurant Taste of Asia has a great red curry coconut soup that has just enough heat to clear out this sick lady’s sinuses).