Blizzard Worthy Chicken Tortellini Soup

tortellini soup 2

I should call this “Siberian Soup” since this winter in PA has seemed uncomfortably Russian, but I will turn down my dramatic tendencies. This soup came after trying a recipe that was just a bit too heavy for me. Instead of tossing it, I went back into the kitchen and changed the ingredients to make it lighter, and a lot healthier!

Today was certainly the best day to try it, since we are receiving almost 2 FEET OF SNOW! Luckily, my husband was off today, so I could cook warm toasty meals. This soup was a hit! My husband loved it, along with four very hungry little girls, who just came in from the snow.

So, if you are looking for a way to escape the arctic, make a pot of this tasty tortellini soup!


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached & shredded
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh tortellini
  • 2 zucchini cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt & pepper


  1. In a large pot, poach chicken breasts and shred. (You can put them in your mixer with the paddle attachment and turn on low until shredded)
  2. Sautee onions and garlic in the pot until tender. Stir in chicken broth, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in zucchini, cheese, and parsley. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving. Serve with warm garlic bread.

*Note– if you save this soup for leftovers the tortellini will suck up the broth so the result is a more like a stew. Feel free to add more chicken broth if you eat it the next day.


What Leftovers? Mashed Potato & Cheddar Soup with Stuffing Croutons


‘Tis the season for leftovers, because this mama is pretty cooked out. Really, I’ve spent weeks cooking, cleaning, shopping, serving, etc… I just want to plop on the couch and ignore the impending doom that is the end of my long weekend.

Usually, I don’t get into the leftover craze. I either try to plan my meals well enough to prevent a huge surplus of food, or I divvy them up among my guests so that everyone has a second taste of the meal, but this year, I have a lot of stuffing and mashed potatoes. I chose to freeze some, but I was also in the mood for some soup. Potato soup is the perfect dish to compliment a cold beer and a good football game! This soup is so creamy and full of flavor, you will find it hard to believe that it was simple mashed potatoes in a previous life.

Mashed Potato & Cheddar Soup with Stuffing Croutons


2 cups of mashed potatoes (I used roasted garlic mashed potatoes)

1 1/2  cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup of light cream

4 oz. of extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup of leftover Simple Sausage Stuffing

2 scallions, sliced thin


The Croutons—Spread 1 cup of stuffing onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until the bread is toasted and crispy on the outside.

The Soup—Meanwhile, on the stove top, pour cream and broth into a large stockpot and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add mashed potatoes, 1 cup at a time, whisking briskly. Once all of the mashed potatoes have been blended into the soup, simmer until it’s hot.  Chop cheese into small chunks, or shred it, then add to the soup and stir until it is melted and incorporated. Once the cheese is melted, and the soup is hot, it is ready to be served.

Presentation—Spoon the soup into individual bowls, then top with the toasted stuffing and scallions. Serve immediately. This soup pairs well with a fall beer.

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Kelly’s Corn Chowder

Some kitchen creations top all the rest

They hold special weight in your recipe chest.

With creamy fresh flavor

And warmth you will savor

This corn chowder is simply the best!

Ok…so I refer to some of my recipes as “big guns”. These are the greatest recipes in my arsenal, and I am careful not to pull them out too often, in order to protect their special status.

This one is one of the top 5 weapons in my kitchen arsenal.

It happened by accident. I had never had corn chowder before, but after scoring an abundance of fresh corn at the local farm, I had to be creative. I am posting this now, because it is a nice way to warm up on a cold day. Not to mention, it would be a great way to sneak some more veggies into your family’s diet.

Kelly’s Corn Chowder


    • 1 stick of butter
    • 1 small onion
    • 1 small carrot
    • 1 small celery stalk
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
    • 3 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cups half-and-half
    • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    • Salt & pepper


1. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan.

2. Use a food processor to finely dice the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute in the butter for 2 minutes.

3. Add the flour and stir constantly to make a roux.

4. Cook until the roux is a light brown color.

5. Set aside to cool.

6. In another saucepan, combine the corn and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

7. Simmer for 10 minutes.

8. Pour the boiling stock & corn slowly into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump.

9. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture will become thick.

10. In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half.

11. Stir it into the thick corn mixture.

12. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.


Buffalo Chicken Soup

Buffalo Chicken Soup

The best spicy flavor

It is something to savor

With a fresh hot pretzel

Or a cold frosty beer

The new soup of the season

Is finally here!


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 small celery stalks
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 -3/4 C. of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or blue cheese crumbles to sprinkle on top of each bowl
  • Salt & pepper


1. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan.

2. Use a food processor to finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute in the butter for 2 minutes.

3. Add the flour and stir constantly to make a roux.

4. Cook until the roux is a light brown color.

5. In another saucepan, combine the shredded chicken and the stock.

6. Heat until it boils.

7. Pour the boiling stock & chicken slowly into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump.

8. Continue to cook over low heat and bring to a boil. The mixture will become thick.

9. In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half and hot sauce.

10. Stir it into the soup gently until incorporated.

11. Add the salt and pepper, to taste.

Serving Suggestions—Top each bowl with either shredded cheddar cheese or blue cheese crumbles. It would also pair well with a fresh soft pretzel.


Chicken and Orzo Soup


OK…So it is Sunday, my husband is gone all day at the Eagles game, and I am quarantined at home with one barfy child, and two healthy, but very bored other children.

I should take this opportunity to clean my very messy house, and when I say messy, I mean laundry hurricane, tornado looking destruction! I should maybe also grade the papers that I collected on Friday, or organize the garage, which also looks like it has endured a not so natural disaster. But, I will not do any of these things. Today, I have other plans.

On Friday, at work, a colleague told me about a book she was reading. It is called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I read a few lines and decided that I needed to read this book ASAP!

Just to clarify, I believe that I am a happy person. I have a beautiful family, the best friends on the planet, a rewarding career that I really enjoy, a nice house, my health…all the things that I attribute to a happy life. But, I also feel like the ring master at the circus some days, and I catch myself forgetting to appreciate what is really important.

So, when I got a call at 5:00 this morning from my sister to come get my vomiting middle daughter from her sleepover, I started to grumble over what was not going to get done today. Then the words from chapter one of this book started to creep into my head. It was then and there, on a dark back road, dodging deer, and listening to the whimper of my sick little duck in the backseat, that I decided that I would start my “happiness project”.

Today, I will not clean my house! I will let the mess go, and I am just going to love my kids. We are going to snuggle on the couch, make brownies, watch movies, and eat soup! Today is not just about healing my sick baby, but celebrating happiness.

So if there should be some emergency between now and tomorrow, please don’t judge me by the state of cleanliness in my home. Know that the mess is a symbol of how happy we were today. A mama and her girls on a day-long quest to find happy!

Find happy, heal the soul, and eat soup.


  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 pounds of chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2/3 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 cups arugula, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top


In a medium stock pot, bring the chicken stock to a low boil.
Meanwhile, in larger pot, sauté the chicken in the olive oil until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and bay leaf, then stir in the onion, carrots, and celery.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the pan and cook the vegetables until softened, about 5 more minutes.
Add the stock to the vegetables and bring to a boil.

Stir in the orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the arugula and basil to wilt.

discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with lots of grated cheese at the table.

*** you can use leftover grilled, cooked, or rotisserie chicken


Non Dairy Potato Soup

This is a great alternative to the heavy cream based potato soups out there. Don’t worry; there is no shortage of flavor. This is one of my personal favorites. I love to serve it with roasted pork sandwiches on a cold winter day.


5 lb bag of russet potatoes

1/2 lb of bacon

1 large onion

2 large cans of chicken broth


  1. Chop bacon into bits and brown in a stock pot
  2. Remove bacon when crisp and brown diced onion in bacon fat
  3. Once caramelized, add broth and boil peeled, chunks of potatoes. boil until soft. Add bacon bits back to the pot and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Top with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese. Add salt to taste if necessary 🙂



For a healthier option, I left out the bacon and used olive oil to brown the onions. You can also use a bit of tarragon for flavor.


Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

This is hands down, the best butternut squash soup! It pairs perfectly with open-faced brie grilled cheese on a baguette. I also topped mine off with a drizzle of cream, just to add a bit of decadence. Another thing I love about this soup is that it freezes well, so I always make a double batch.



1 cup of chopped yellow onion

1 butternut squash, cleaned & cut in 1/2 in. cubes

3 medium Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, & cut into chunks

32 oz. chicken stock (you can also use vegetable stock)

2 tbsp. of coconut oil

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a large stock pot.
  2. Add onions & squash and cook covered, stirring occasionally for 10 min.
  3. Add pears, stock, & thyme. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 min. until squash and pears are soft.
  5. Puree until smooth. (I use a hand-blender)
  6. Season to taste with salt & pepper or drizzle some light cream on top.

*** Serving suggestion– serve with a toasted baguette topped with melted Brie.