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Filtering by Category: soups and stews

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Patricia Reitz

When I was a kid and someone in the family got sick, homemade chicken soup was the go-to remedy. I don’t know why it worked so well, but it did and I’ve continued that tradition by feeding it to my own family at the first sign of any illness. So, last week, when my son unexpectedly came home with a sore throat and deep cough, I immediately started making a batch of my homemade chicken noodle soup. When I realized I was out of noodles, I added wild rice instead. It was a nice variation and I’m happy to report his cold immediately started to go away, and even better, it didn’t spread to anyone else in the house. I’m convinced the magic to this soup is the homemade chicken stock. Here’s to healing what ales you.

For this recipe you’ll need about 3 cups of cooked wild rice.

On a side note, check it out - this company uses a kind of velcro instead of a pesky zipper-top so their bags can be resealed easily. I wish every company would do the same. Big shout out to LUNDBERG FAMILY FARMS!


Ok, back to the recipe. Cook your wild rice according to the package directions. OR cook its really fast in an electric pressure cooker (instant pot). Here’s how.


Place 1 cup of wild rice in the pressure cooker.


Add 1 quart (4 cups) of chicken stock (I used my own homemade chicken stock, but you could use store bought stock, or even plane water).


My stock was unsalted so I added 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Be careful not to add too much salt if you use store bought chicken stock.

Set the cooker to high pressure for 15 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes.



To assemble the soup - place the wild rice in a 5 or 6-quart stockpot.

Add the chopped or shredded chicken.

Add the frozen mixed vegetables.

And add more homemade chicken stock. Heat through and adjust salt and pepper if needed.


Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

makes 2 quarts

printable Recipe


  • 3 cups cooked wild rice (directions below)

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken

  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste


  1. place all ingredients in a 6-quart stockpot and heat thoroughly. Taste carefully and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Note: To cook wild rice in a pressure cooker (instant pot), place 1 cup dry wild rice in pressure cooker with 4 cups water or chicken stock, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using store-bought stock). Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes and allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Alternatively, cook according to package instructions.

Broccoli Stem Soup

Patricia Reitz

 Broccoli Stem Soup - ButterYum

Broccoli Stem Soup - ButterYum

I don't know if you celebrated Valentine's Day this week or not, but we ate our weight in steak and seafood.  We didn't lose complete control thought - we managed to abstain from sweet treats this year, but I know many of you indulged in copious amounts of cream and butter and chocolate!  Time to lighten things up a bit.  

Enter the humble broccoli stem.  Do you say stem or stalk?  Anyway, my grocery store had a great deal on fresh broccoli last week so I bought a small forest and, after cutting all the florets away, I was left with all these lovely green tree trunks.  If I had just one or two, I'd cut them into coins or sticks and toss them into a salad, but since I had 1 1/2 pounds worth, I decided to make a batch of broccoli stem soup.  This is how it's made. 

 what to do with broccoli stems.  what to do with broccoli stalks.

To start, trim the dry ends from the broccoli stems, but that's all - no need to peel them.   

 how to make broccoli stem soup recipe with photos

Chop the broccoli into 1/4-inch dice.  Onions too. 

Heat a large heavy-bottom skillet with a good drizzle of olive oil.  (this is the skillet I used)

 how to cook with broccoli stems

Add the onions, broccoli stems, salt, and pepper.

 what to do with leftover broccoli stems.  what to do with leftover broccoli stalks.

Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to caramelize.

 how to use broccoli stems.  how to use broccoli stalks.

You'll notice a nice brown layer of "fond" will form on the bottom of the skillet.  Mmmmm! 

 is the stalk of broccoli edible?  Yes, and here's a great recipe to try - complete with how to photos.

Add chicken stock and scrape up the fond from the bottom of the skillet.  That's going to add wonderful flavor to the soup!  

Uh, you do make your own chicken stock, right?  No?  Try my recipe here.  It's about a gazillions times better than store bought.

 how to cook broccoli stems.  how to cook broccoli stalks.  broccoli stem soup.  broccoli stalk soup.  recipe with how to photos.

Bring the chicken stock to gentle boil and throw in a whole clove of garlic.  Continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

 turn those leftover broccoli stems or stalks into the most delicious soup - recipe and how to photos.

Remove skillet from heat and puree to the thickness you desire.  I like some texture to remain, so I used an immersion blender (like this one), but you could also puree the soup in batches using a blender or food processor.  

 Broccoli Stem Soup.  Broccoli Stalk Soup.  RECIPE and HOW TO PHOTOS.

That's all there is to it.  A healthy, frugal soup that's gluten-free, dairy-free, and practically fat-free.  Want to make it vegan too?  Just use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.  

Here are links to some of the items used for this recipe:

Broccoli Stem Soup

makes 6 cups

Printable Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli stems, diced
  • 1 pound onions, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock (try my homemade)
  • 1 whole clove of garlic, peeled


  1. In a very large skillet over medium heat, saute broccoli stems, onions, salt, and pepper in olive oil until caramelized.
  2. Add chicken stock and garlic clove; bring to a gentle boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and puree to desired thickness.
  4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. 


Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls

Patricia Reitz

  Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls - ButterYum

Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls - ButterYum

When one of my daughters visited Japan, she brought home a package of pink noodles (ume somen).  The noodles get their lovely color from plums and they have a delicately sweet flavor.  The noodles are hard to find in the US, but if you come across them, do yourself a favor and grab several packages.  If you can't find them, you can make the same tasty dish by substituting white somen or buckwheat soba noodles. 

If you're interested in seeing how these noodles are traditionally used, check out my recipe for cold ume somen with spicy dressing.

For this recipe we'll need the noodles, edamame (soy beans), instant dashi granules, shredded crab meat, salt, and scallions.

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water - they don't take very long to cook so keep a close eye on them.  3-5 minutes is all it takes.

Drain and rinse to stop the cooking process. 

Although the leftover cooking water is a lovely pink color, discard it and fill the same pan with 4 cups of fresh cold water.

Add instant dashi granules to taste - they are VERY STRONG so start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more if needed.

Stir and bring to a simmer.

 how to make hot ume somen noodle bowls - recipe and how-to photos

Ladle hot dashi broth into bowls and divide remaining ingredients between the bowls.

Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls

makes 2 servings

Printable Recipe


  • 8 ounces Ume Somen (plum noodles) or other noodles
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • instant dashi granules
  • 8 crab sticks, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. In a large pot, 8 cups of water to a boil; add salt and stir to dissolve.
  2. Cook noodles in boiling water, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes until soft, but not mushy.
  3. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process; set aside
  4. Discard the water used to cook the noodles.
  5. In the same large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  6. Add instant dashi granules to taste (I start with about 1/4 teaspoon or so).
  7. Ladel hot dashi into soup bowls.
  8. Add noodles, crab, and edamame to the bowls; sprinkle with sliced scallions.