Butternut Squash Chicken Stew

  • 1½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool enough to shred.
  6. Return the saucepan and chicken broth to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add salt, pepper; oregano, tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, and mashed butternut squash.   Stir to combine.
  7. Shred the chicken and stir into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5-10 minutes.


Minestrone with Pesto Sauce | Soups and Stews

Adapted from Wolfgang Puck Makes it Easy


1/2 cup navy beans, soaked and drained
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp evoo
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 small potatoes, cubed
1 medium zucchini, cut into small pieces
3 springs fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup pesto sauce (recipe follows)

*This soup can be cooked on the stove, but cooking it in a pressure cooker increases the flavors.  


Heat pressure cooker over medium heat, add oil and pancetta, browning about 5 minutes.  Remove pancetta pieces, leaving liquid behind.

Stir in tomatoes, 3 cups of broth, beans, carrots, parsley, zucchini, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.  Allow pressure to release, adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve topped with pesto sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Pesto Sauce
Adapted from Cuisines of the Alps


1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup evoo


Combine basil and cheese in a food processor and process until relatively smooth.  With motor running, add in evoo in a stream until desired consistency.

Tuscan White Bean Stew

This stew is warm, comforting, and super simple.  You can use dried cannellini beans in place of the canned, as long as you cook them ahead of time.

Tuscan White Bean Stew
adapted from Food to Live By


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat.  
  2. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 mins.  Remove the bacon bits, but keep leave the grease in the pot.  Add carrots and cook about 5 mins.  
  3. Add the stock, 2 cans beans, tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.  
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until heated through.  
  5. Meanwhile, puree remaining can of beans and stir into soup.  
  6. Add the balsamic vinegar and top with bacon bits..  Serve hot.

Pumpkin, Black Bean, And Corn Chili

With Forrest out of town for a few days, I decided to make myself some chili.  I wanted to use ingredients that I had on hand, so I came up with the idea to make black bean chili.  I consulted Dara over at Cook in Canuck, because I’ve liked some of her soups before.  As luck would have it, she has a great recipe for Smoky Black Bean and Corn Chili.  I used her recipe as a template and modified it to both fit my tastes and what I had in my pantry.  While this isn’t a traditional “chili,” it hit the spot to satisfy my craving!

Pumpkin, Black Bean, & Corn Chili
Adapted from Cook in Canuck


  • 3/4 pounds dried black beans, cooked with water in pressure cooker
  • 2 10 oz bags frozen corn
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipolte powder
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • sour cream
  • spicy cheese blend
Combine all ingredients except sour cream and cheese in a large dutch oven.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until heated through.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Mozzarella

Tomato plants love dry heat, so ours have been thriving with this heat wave.  As Forrest doesn’t eat raw tomatoes, and there’s only so many Caprese salads that I can eat in a day, I started to plan other ways to use the bounty, which of course led me to tomato soup.  There’s something about roasting the tomatoes first that brings out the best flavors.  Don’t let that part scare you, it actually makes the soup easier, but it does take a bit longer.

This recipe is easily adaptable based on the ingredients you have on hand.  I typically follow strict measurements, but in this case, it’s really just a work as you go kind of recipe.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Mozzarella

6 lbs. fresh tomatoes- any variety will do
vegetable oil
fresh ground pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves
32 oz. chicken broth
3 fresh bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. shredded mozzarella


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut tomatoes into quarters or halves, depending on size.  Place tomatoes on foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about an hour, or until caramelized & browned.

Pour tomatoes and juices into a blender, add basil leaves and puree.  I then poured them through a strainer to get out the seeds, but this isn’t necessary.  Pour puree into a medium pot, add about half of the chicken broth and bay leaves, stirring to combine.  Continue to add stock until desired thickness is reached.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place handfuls of shredded cheese on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure the cheese is piled, but not too high.  Place under broiler until browned, about 5 minutes.  Let cool slightly to become crispy.

Garnish soup with mozzarella and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup

Historically, I prejudged Split Pea Soup.  I mean, come on, who wants to eat a bowl of muddy, smashed green peas.  It certainly doesn’t look good.  And then we went to Colorado, specifically to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.  We’d just finished a few days of camping in the rain, sleet, and snow and all I wanted was a delicious homemade meal.  The Princeton Club offered Split Pea Soup as the soup of the day. After one bite, I was hooked, I couldn’t get enough of this green mush.
Once I got home, I forgot about the soup.  The food memory was overshadowed by all of the delicious meals I had during the rest of our trip.  And then I stumbled across Whole Food’s recipe for Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup.  A homemade soup with under 10 ingredients, including spices?!  Count me in.  Of course, I chose to adapt the recipe to our tastes and what I could buy organically, which got it down to 7 ingredients.  Oh, and I chose to use the electric pressure cooker, which meant the soup could be prepared, start to finish, in about 45 minutes.
Forrest asked me the other day why I was making so much Split Pea Soup.  I told him, it’s simple, it’s cheap, and it’s delicious.  What more could you ask for?

Recipe: Split Pea Soup
Adapted from Whole Foods
Click for Printable Recipe
  • 16 oz. split peas
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 1 meaty bone (frozen is ok)
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp dried spices
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Layer ingredients in electric pressure cooker.  Set to high pressure for 25 minutes.
  1. Layer ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Black Eyed Pea and Lentil Soup

We love Black Eyed Peas, but other than as I side dish, I have no idea what to do with them!  I made these tasty Black Eyed Pea and Quinoa Patties, but this time I wanted a warm soup for lunch.  While not the mostly well balanced soup, the resulting recipe was pretty tasty for such a simple lunch.

RECIPE: Black Eyed Pea and Lentil Soup
Adapted from Cooks.com


  • 1 cup black eyed peas
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in electric pressure cooker.
  2. Set pressure to high for 40 minutes.  Let pressure release naturally.

This recipe is linked to Easy Natural Food’s Sunday Night Soup.