Chestnut and Cashew Soup

Chestnut and Cashew Soup

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 2 Carrot, diced
  • 1 Parsnip, diced
  • 12 oz. Roasted Chestnuts
  • 1/3 C Roasted, Unsalted Cashew
  • 1 qt. Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • ¼ C Dry Sherry (Optional)
  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the first 5 ingredients to the pot and cook until soft. Add the next 4 ingredients and let simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, remove the bay leaf and carefully blend the soup until smooth. Add a little water if the soup is too thick. Season the soup with salt, pepper,lemon juice, thyme and sherry then garnish with chives.

    How to make Borscht (Beet Stew)

    For all of those who are fans of beets, this soup is for you. As a chef I understand the richness that beets bring to a dish but do not always appreciate the flavor. Lets just say they're growing on me. Even so, a few years ago the mere mention of Borscht used to give me the chills until I tried this simple and healthy recipe.

    The history of borscht dates back to Russian, Eastern and Central Europe. Beets are the main attraction giving this stew a ruby red color. It is also loaded with root veggies like potato, onion, turnips, parsnips and carrots. Tomato and beef broth are big flavor enhancers while a dollop of sour cream as a garnish makes this stew really creamy.

    Mardi Gras Gumbo

    The Mardi Gras season is upon us and that means celebrating with good food, good drinks, awesome music and great friends. If you can't "Let the good times roll" on Bourbon Street, try this recipe and celebrate with your friends and family.

    This gumbo recipe is simple and classic with its roots in French, Spanish, Native American, African and Island cultures and flavors . Though it looks complicated from the start, if you break it down you will have great results every time.

    The cool thing about gumbo is that you can add anything you like. Feel free to add any type of canned, fresh or frozen vegetables, roots (parsnips, rutabaga, carrot, turnips) , and meats and seafood like venison, pork, lamb, crawfish, lobster.

    * Remember to be patient with your roux. It is the basis of the whole dish and adds great flavor, color and thickness to your gumbo. Go slow and low and stir the whole time.

    Homemade Mardi Gras Gumbo

  • 3 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 lb. Andoullie Sausage
  • 2 lb. Chicken thighs, Boneless, Skinless, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1 C Oil
  • 1 C Flour
  • 4 C Onion, chopped
  • 2 C Pepper, chopped
  • 2 C Celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 qts. Seafood Stock
  • 12 oz. Beer
  • 3 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tbsp. Hot Sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Creole Seasoning (See link below)
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1. Make the roux by placing a large pot on low heat. Add the flour and oil to the pot and mix until incorporated. Slowly cook this "roux" for 2 hours, or until it is the color of peanut butter. Stir constantly and do not burn this mixture. Be patient, this is a slow process.

    2. In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Brown the sausage and remove from the pan. Brown the chicken and remove. Set the meat aside and chop into small pieces, reserving all of the juices.

    3. When the roux is done, add the chopped vegetables to the pot and sauté for 10 minutes.

    4. Slowly whisk in the broth and beer so that no lumps form. Add the meat, bay leaf, seasoning and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours skimming of any fat and foam that floats to the top.

    5. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce and mix. Add the shrimp and simmer for 10 minutes. Season the gumbo with salt and pepper and serve with a bowl of white rice. Garnish with parsley and green onion.

    Link for Creole Seasoning:

    Link for gumbo Video with Chef Egg:

    Pasta e Fagioli

    Pasta e Fagioli or (Fazool) is a classic soup/stew from southern Italy. It has a tomato based broth with lots of fresh vegetables, smokey bacon and herbs. The name "Pasta e Fagioli" refers to the main ingredients, beans and pasta. I love this soup because it is hearty, cooks fast and freezes well. You can add pretty much anything you like to this soup and it goes great with hot, crusty bread and a big salad.

    Pasta e Fagioli

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 oz. Bacon, Chopped
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1 C Celery, Diced
  • 1 C Carrots, Diced
  • 1 C Bell Pepper, Diced
  • Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 12 oz. White Beans
  • 2 qt. Chicken Stock
  • 12 oz. Canned Tomato
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Italian Herbs
  • 1C Pasta
  • ¼ C Parmesan Cheese
  • Crusty Bread
  • Optional - Zucchini, Spinach, Peas, Potato, Yam

    Pre heat a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil to the pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Add the next 5 ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Add the next 4 ingredients to the pot and simmer, covered on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and continue to cook for another 7 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

    Serve the soup piping hot with crust bread and parmesan cheese.

    Italian Chicken Sausage, Beans and Greens Stew

    Italian Chicken Sausage, Beans and Greens Stew

    This Italian sausage, beans and greens stew is commonly referred to as "Ribbolito". It is a hearty stew that is great on a cold winters day but can be served all year long. You can add fresh, frozen or canned vegetables to this easy stew and it freezes very well.

  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. Italian Chicken Sausage
  • 1 Onions, Diced
  • 1 Carrots, Diced
  • 2 qts. Chicken Stock
  • 12 oz. Northern Beans, canned, drained, rinsed
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 2 C Swiss Chard or Kale, rinsed well, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Reggiano, Grated
  • Fresh Options - Zucchini, Green Beens, Potato, Yams, Garlic, Chili Flakes, Bell Peppers, Cooked Pasta

    Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown the turkey sausage on all sides and remove from the pan. Add the next 2 ingredients and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and beans then bring to a simmer. Chop the sausage and add it to the pot. Add the tomato and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the kale and cook for 10 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper, garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.

    Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

    Grilled Cheese & Tomato Bisque Recipe -- powered by ehow

    Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque Recipe

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Canned Tomato, 28 oz Can
  • 1 qt. Vegetable Stock
  • ¼ C Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Italian Herbs
  • ½ tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1-3 tbsp. Sugar
  • Place a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the next 4 ingredients until soft. Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Carefully blend the soup with an immersion blender and then add the herbs, balsamic and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 4 Sour Dough Bread, Slices
  • 1/2 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 2 tbsp. Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Basil, Chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Pre heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. Place the cheese and herbs on the bread, then put it in the pan. Slowly brown on both sides and cook until the cheese has melted.

    Easy Taco Soup

    Easy Taco Soup Recipe -- powered by ehow

    Easy Taco Soup

  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 8 oz Chicken Breast, Diced
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • ¼ C Rice
  • 1 qt. Chicken Stock
  • 2 C Water
  • 1 Taco Seasoning, Packet
  • 1 can Canned Pinto Beans
  • 1 can Canned Corn
  • 1 can Canned Tomato and Jalapeño by Rotel
  • ¼ C Radish
  • ¼ C Onion
  • 1 Lime, Sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 4 Corn Tortillas Sliced
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place a large pot over medium heat, add the oil to the pot and brown the chicken well. Add the onions and rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add the next 6 ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. While that is cooking, place the radish, onion, lime and cilantro into a bowl and stir to combine. To prepare the crispy tortillas, place a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and fry the tortillas until golden brown and sprinkle with salt to season. Serve the soup in a large bowl and top with the radish salsa and fried tortilla chips.

    Easy Tomato Soup

    The temperature is dropping and when my bones start to chill the first thing I reach for is a hot bowl of tomato soup. This is a great recipe that uses the spices and flavors in a bottled tomato sauce and mixes is up with canned broth to make a satisfying (better than canned) soup. While this is simmering you can add more flavors like bay leaf and dried Italian herbs for an herbal quality, sugar and chili flakes for a little sweet and spicy and finally balsamic vinegar to boost the tomato flavors. A little drop of heavy cream is added to lighten and enrich the texture and flavor of the soup.

    Garnish this soup with your choice of cooked rice or pasta, chopped jalapeño and avocado, chopped tomato, green onion, blue cheese, parmesan, cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon or chopped basil for an extra special kick!

    Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

    Easy Tomato Soup

  • 1 qt. Tomato Sauce
  • 1 qt. Chicken Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp. Italian Herbs
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • ½ tbsp. Red Chili Flakes (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar (Optional)
  • 4 oz Cream (Optional)
  • Place the first 6 ingredients into a medium pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the cream then season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add a drop of balsamic vinegar to enhance the flavor as well!

    Goodfellas Style Sicilian Gravy

    Goodfellas Style Sicilian Gravy

    For years I have been a fan of classic gangster movies. The clothes, romance, honor, blood, and betrayal brought me in, but I stayed for the food. From the lavish spreads in The Godfather to the "Gabagoo" in The Soprano's you cant beat the flavors and aromas that come out of the screen. The most legendary meal in any mobster movie is the Sicillian gravy from the jail cell scene in Goodfellas. I watched that scene a million times and have wanted to make this recipe for years. Well, last weekend I finally created the perfect Sicilian "Gravy", and it was fantastic.

    The difference between marinara sauce and a "Gravy" is the sheer amount of meat involved. Good gravy starts with a simple marinara base; canned tomatoes flavored with onions, garlic, olive oil, herbs, red wine and a little sugar. The next step is to add browned spicy sausage, bacon, meatballs with beef, pork and veal, and lastly flavorful bone in meat like short ribs or ox tails. The gravy slowly cooks melding together the seasonings, juices, fat and gelatin from the meats and bones. This creates a rich and flavorful gravy perfect for any pasta dishes or on a piece of crusty bread.

    Sweet Potato, Bacon and Beer Soup

    The cool weather is finally here and its time to get some soup on the stove. This great rib sticking recipe for sweet potato, bacon and beer soup is hearty, flavorful and full of healthy vegetables.

    Sweet Potato, Bacon and Beer Soup

    • 4 oz. Bacon, Chopped
    • 1 Onion, Diced
    • 3 Celery, Diced
    • 2 Carrots, Diced
    • 8 C Sweet Potato, Diced
    • 2 qts. Chicken Stock
    • 12 oz. Fall Beer or Ginger Beer
    • 1 tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
    • 3 oz. Maple Syrup
    • 2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 8 oz. Cream
    • I like to start this soup by sautéing some smoky bacon in a heavy pot until it is crispy and then remove. The next step to create a solid foundation of flavor is to sauté the onion, celery, carrots (a mire poix) and sweet potatoes in the bacon fat until they have browned well. This is going to caramelize the vegetables and get the flavors flowing.

      Next, add chicken stock and fall themed beer to the pot, enough to cover the veggies. This is a great season for fall beers and your choice will certainly effect the flavor of your soup. I like to go with the new pumpkin flavored beers that are full with spice and caramel flavors. You can also use IPA's or amber and copper ales that will give the your soup a full robust flavor. If you don't like beer you can add a bottle of ginger ale or ginger beer for a great flavor. Simmer the soup covered for 35 minutes and during that time you can skim off any foam, fat and impurities that may float to the top.

      After the vegetables are soft, you can do one of two things to the texture of your soup. If you like it chunky, leave it alone, but if you like it smooth you can blend it with a hand blender and strain out the solids and will give you a smooth and rich texture. The last step in creating an awesome texture in your soup is to add a bit of cream, which will lighten up the soup nicely.

      Before serving the soup it is important to expand the flavor spectrum. This sounds complicated, but is actually very simple by adding a pinch of salt and warm spices like pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) to your pot. A drop of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup will also bring out the naturals flavors in your vegetables and fall beers. I also like to finish the soup with a pinch of cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. Serve the soup piping hot in big heavy bowl and garnish with your choice of sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, crispy bacon, green onion, chives or a dollop of sour cream.

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