Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 1.53.47 PM

I just ♪ put another log on the fire ♪ (did you know that Shel Silverstein wrote that song?), and I’m getting ready to make soup.  It’s January.  I’m looking forward to spring and re-birth – in our yard and elsewhere.  Andy is having lotus/Lotus fantasies.

Soupcon.  I love that word.  Yes, soup’s on in our house, but our portions will be small.  Could we say a soupcon of soup’s on?  Admittedly, our kiddos think we underfeed them proportion-wise when they’re here.

In 1996 The Washington Post had a review of the film, I Shot Andy Warhol.  The title of their review? “A Soupcon of Warhol in Every Scene.”  To tie that into today’s world, the woman who shot Warhol – in 1968 – was Valerie Solanas, described by the Post as: the founder and (apparently) sole member of a revolutionary feminist sect called the Society for Cutting Up Men (a k a SCUM), and the author of “The SCUM Manifesto,” a rabid yet frequently hilarious polemic proclaiming the natural biological superiority of women and urging the eradication of the male sex. “Just because men, like disease, have been with us forever is no reason they should continue to exist,” she wrote.

But again I digress.

For your own personal SoupsOn evening, we have three suggestions.

First: a wonderful and easy clam chowder that is just ever-so-slightly adapted from my brother’s sister-in-law, Joyce.  We like to keep things all in the family!  Joyce reports that she in turn found the recipe in a 1967 edition – 1973 printing – of Sunset’s Seafood Cookbook….and has been making it on Christmas Eve ever since.   It’s a go-to for us.

Or how about a red lentil soup?  It’s Super Simple, quick to fix, healthy, pretty, delicious.  What more could you want?  Plus, you can tweak it so many ways.

And finally, a perfect chili for a cold winter’s night, one which we adapted from one of our favs – Melissa Clark from the NY Times.

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 2.17.44 PM

1967 Sunset Cookbook

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 8.38.50 PM

Joyce’s Clam Chowder

Joyce's Clam Chowder


  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 T green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c bottled clam juice or water or a combination
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans chopped clams, including liquid
  • 2 c half and half
  • 4 drops hot pepper – such as Tabasco – or more, if you’re from Louisiana (optional)

Saute the bacon until crisp; add the green onion, potatoes, green peppers, celery, carrots, and garlic and saute for another minute or so.  Pour in the 2 c of clam juice or water, all the seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are done.  Add the clams to the mixture; pour in the half and half and heat until hot.   Stir in the hot pepper and serve.  Enjoy.

Recipe brought to you by Joyce in Washington and and Andy and Ann

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 12.07.51 PM

Super Simple Red Lentil Soup

Super Simple Red Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print
This is a basic recipe, just asking for you to tweak it.  But it’s delicious as is – and so quick to fix.

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 c vegetable broth (or chicken broth – or water, in a pinch)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • parsley or cilantro, minced, to serve on top (optional)
  • a pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • a squeeze of lemon or lime, if you’d like a bit of tartness (optional)
  • a tsp or so of garam masala or curry powder, if you want to lean it toward Indian  – – or a pinch of sumac for a Middle Eastern flavor(optional)

In a medium saucepan or dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, and onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and stir for another minute.  Add the salt, the lentils and the bayleaf and broth and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  They will break down completely.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 4.19.41 PM

Lamb and White Bean Chili

Lamb and White Bean Chili

adapted from a NYTimes/Melissa Clark recipe

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced (my poblano was huge – about 7″ long and hot, which is not typical, so I only used one); green bell peppers work here too
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (optional – and taste it before adding the whole thing)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T chili powder (note: you don’t want ground chiles here; you want a mix with cumin – such as Spice Islands Chili Powder or Simply Organic Chili Powder, both recommended)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano (I like to use Mexican oregano, but regular works too)
  • 1 1/2 T tomato paste
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped – about 1 c
  • 1 12 oz bottle of beer (such as Fat Tire!) plus 2 1/2c water – or 4 c water, if you don’t want to use beer
  • 2 15 oz cans navy beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • lime wedges (optional)

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the lamb and 1/2 tsp salt and saute until the lamb is slightly browned.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and drain all but about 1T of fat from the pan.

Add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste and saute another few minutes.

Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the cilantro, beer and/or water, and beans.  Add salt to taste.  Simmer – uncovered – over medium low heat for about 45 minutes, adding more water, if the chili gets too thick.  Serve, adding lime wedges, if desired.

Chili will freeze well and also keep well for several days in the fridge.  Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: