How could a spoon give one so much joy? When it’s in a bowl filled with one of my delicious soups; that’s how.

Soups/Salads / November 8, 2017

Four years ago, when I innocently started blogging about food and posting my own stories and recipes, I wasn’t much of a soup aficionado. Like most of you, I assumed it was a difficult process even though everyone said it was easy. I heard the words mire poix, and layering flavors and began to panic.And when I was twelve, I worried that my first kiss would be a disaster.

I was wrong on all accounts.

Few things are easier, as versatile, or provide the opportunity for so much creativity than soups or stews. Warm, slurpable, spicy or mild, chunky or smooth; they’re all part of my most favorite moments in the kitchen. It helps me transition from warm months to cold by allowing one to hunker over a stoneware bowl with intention and love, and begin to long for the hearth, instead of the beach.

Here I share FOUR new creations. All of them easy, all tested by my panel of happy tasters, (which is everyone so far…) All here for you:

Halloween “Ghoul”ash

Vegetable, Chicken Sausage, Cajun Seasoning with Rice
Serves 8


2, 12 oz. pckgs Johnsonville Apple Chicken Sausage (use only 6 of the 8 links, sliced thin)
3 large celery stalks, sliced thin
1/3 C white onion sliced thinly
1 very large sweet potato peeled and cut into small cubes, about 2 ½ C worth
2, 15.5 oz. cans corn, drained
2, 15.5 oz. cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz. can petit diced tomatoes, plain, with liquid
4 C chicken stock, low sodium (not bullion, or make your own)
½ C orange juice
¼ C packed light brown sugar
3 T oil
4+ t Cajun seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste, about 3 t salt and 2 t pepper +/-
1 bay leaf
4-5 stalks fresh thyme
1 C jasmine or other white rice
Italian parsley to garnish


  • Chop and prep all ingredients. In a large stew pot heat the oil to medium high. Add the onion and celery, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato and sauté for about 4 minutes. Deglaze with the orange juice and stir in well, letting it simmer for a minute or so. Add about 1 t of salt and pepper and blend. Add the Cajun seasoning, being generous with measurements. Stir. Then add the stock and stir. Let come to low boil. Stir in the brown sugar, nestle in the whole stalks of thyme, and then add a bay leaf. Let simmer on low, but still bubbling, for about 40 minutes. Remove lid and stir in sausage, let bubble for about another 10 minutes. I add the sausage last so it doesn’t shrivel up and get too cooked. While stew is cooking, make the rice. You can make more if you’d like. When the stew is done, remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls over the rice, or serve without rice if preferred.
  • A note about seasoning: I find most inexperienced cooks, even those who cook all the time, do not add enough seasoning. Especially salt. It is odd because restaurant and processed food is so over salted and our palates have become used to it. Here is how I do it. I have sea salt in a dish, so it’s easy to grab a pinch. I add a generous pinch (1/2 t) at the time I do the celery and onions, again with the stock, and then again before I let it simmer. It will taste different after it has simmered so don’t add too much. At the end is where you’ll know. To taste, put some in your mouth and then suck in a bit of air through your mouth and slap your tongue on the top of your palate so the food gets all around your tongue. Assess then if all the flavors seem balanced.

Spicy Maple Baked Bean and Burger Soup

Serves 4 – 6


1 lb lean hamburger meat
3 celery stalk chopped (about ½ C)
2 large carrots chopped (about ½ C)
½ large white onion (about 1 C)
1/3 C packed brown sugar
¼ C red pepper jelly
1 heaping T Horlacher’s seasoning
1 C water
2 t salt 1 t pepper
1 28 oz can Bush’s maple, bacon baked beans
1 28 oz can Bush’s original baked beans
2 T oil
3 sprigs of fresh thyme


  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until hot. Add the mirepoix, and cook until onions are slightly translucent. About 3 – 4 minutes. Add the hamburger and break up just a little. Cook with the vegetables until meat is cooked. Add the red pepper jelly, brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Stir and combine and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cans of beans, the water and nestle in a sprig of thyme. Bring to simmer, cover and let cook for an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove thyme sprigs and serve with crusty bread.

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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!


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