Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup *


This is a must!  This soup actually has a lot of flavor and you will enjoy it!  Give it a try!  I added potatoes for extra flavor and bulk – it turned out to be a good decision!



*Onion and chicken stock can be irritating to a sensitive bladder. I use the least amount of onion possible and I make sure I’m either using homemade chicken stock or organic high quality chicken stock that doesn’t include soy or other irritant ingredients.    


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion in hot butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk 1/4 cup melted butter and flour together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until flour loses it’s granular texture, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk if necessary to keep the flour from burning, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Gradually pour milk into flour mixture while whisking constantly. Stir chicken stock into milk mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook until flour taste is gone and mixture is thickened, about 20 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots, sauteed onion, and celery, (add optional potatoes here!); simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir Cheddar cheese into vegetable mixture until cheese melts. Season with salt if desired. 

Chicken Wild Rice Soup


🙂  Behold, my favorite soup!  I have always loved cream of chicken with rice and especially when wild rice is added.  This recipe has been one of our soup favorites for years.  It always turns out great.  Be sure to add the chicken fond (crusty brown bits on the bottom of your saute pan to the soup).  I usually shred my carrot, but I forgot this time, and chopped it.  It was just fine.  I used red bell pepper instead of green.  Do your own thing with this recipe but follow the basic rules of the amounts of butter, flour, broths etc. I didn’t plan for this recipe and had just milk on hand, so I subbed that for the half-and-half.

For the wild rice, it can be difficult to find.  I found my Lundberg’s wild rice blend (with brown rice) at Whole Foods and later at Jewel.  It’s also available on Amazon.

Use the amount of chicken that works for you.  It doesn’t have to be 3-4 cups.

This recipe makes a lot – but that’s great because you won’t be able to get enough of it.  For single people, you may need to freeze some.

I used my Lodge 7.8 QT. Dutch oven for this recipe for maximum space – Available here on Amazon.  I’m sure the 6 QT. would have fit this recipe well, also.



  • 3-4 cups cooked, cubed chicken 

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (I used 3 T. unsalted butter)

  • 4 stalks celery, sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely shredded (2 cups)

  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup), or powder

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

  • Heaping 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • ½ tsp. pepper (freshly ground, please!)

  • 3 cups cooked wild rice (1 cup dry=3 cups finished rice)

  • 2 cups water

  • 3 cups chicken broth (I prefer this brand, if not homemade: Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base).

  • 3 cups half-and-half (or milk).  

  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional but awesome

  • ½ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley


  1. Begin by getting a head start on cooking your wild rice.  You will need the wild rice pretty soon in step #4.

  2. In a large pot or large Dutch oven, melt unsalted butter over medium heat.

  3. Cook celery, carrots, onion, and bell pepper in butter about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.

  4. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper.  Keep it moving to cook the flour but not too long it burns.

  5. Stir in cooked wild rice, water, and broth.

  6. Heat to boiling, reduce heat.

  7. Cover and simmer 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

  8. Stir in half-and-half or milk, almonds, and parsley. Add cooked chicken.

  9. Heat just until hot (do not boil or soup may curdle and you don’t want to over-cook chicken.)

  10. Serve hot with fresh parsley snipped on top, with crackers, bread, etc.



Delicious Won Ton Soup



We are huge fans of won ton soup and have purchased too many containers of it from take out, so I wanted to learn how to make it myself.  I have been making this a few years now.  It fills your home with a wonderful aroma of simmering broth, sesame oil (a must!), and authentic Chinese flavors.  This recipe is from’s Chinese cooking section, by Rhonda Parkinson.

**I usually double this recipe because it goes so quickly.** 


    • 18 – 24 won ton wrappers


    • 1/2 pound boneless lean pork, chopped finely (I used ground pork for ease)
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • a few drops sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon sherry
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 green onion, finely minced
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • 2 dashes of white pepper


    • Water for boiling won tons
    • 4 1/2 – 5 cups chicken stock
    • green onion, thinly sliced, as desired
    • a few drops sesame oil
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Lay one won ton skin in front of you. Cover the remaining won ton skins with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
Filling the won tons: Moisten all the edges of the won ton wrapper with water. Place a heaping teaspoon of won ton filling in the center. (My tip:  Don’t overfill wonton or it’ll burst).  If these directions are too confusing, look at the graphic on the won ton package on how to fill and seal.
Fold the won ton wrapper in half lengthwise, making sure the ends meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal.

Use thumbs to push down on the edges of the filling to center it. Keeping thumbs in place, fold over the won ton wrapper one more time. Push the corners up and hold in place between your thumb and index finger. Wet the corners with your fingers. Bring the two ends together so that they overlap. Press to seal. The finished product should resemble a nurse’s cap. Repeat with remaining won tons.

Alternate method: Place the teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and twist to seal. The final result should resemble a money bag or drawstring purse.

Boiling the won tons: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the won tons, making sure there is enough room for them to move about freely. Let the won tons boil for 5 – 8 minutes, until they rise to the top and the filling is cooked through. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

To make the soup: bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the won tons and bring the soup back to a boil. Add the green onion, remove the pot from the heat and add the sesame oil, stirring.

My tip:  To save effort I’ve boiled the won tons in the actual chicken stock, but to each his/her own.

Ladle into soup bowls, allowing 6 won tons per person.

Crock Pot Cannellini Minestrone Soup

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

This recipe came out of a Crock Pot branded book.  It was fantastic and very healthy.  Don’t be scared of using the escarole.  It looks like lettuce; just rinse and dry it well (or use a salad spinner), and cut into ribbon strips as directed.  It really adds a lot to the appearance and provides healthy vitamins and nutrients.  Make sure you cook on low for at least 6 hours+ as you’re using hard beans.  If you don’t want to do that, get a can of the beans, drain, rinse, put in fridge.  Then add in the 30 mins to one hour of cooking.

Makes 6-8 servings, depending on serving size.


  • 4 cups chicken broth*
  • *(If not homemade broth, make sure the first ingredient is chicken, not salt!  If not making it myself, I buy “Better Than Bouillon”) 
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 oz) tomato-vegetable juice *****
  • 2 cups escarole, cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1/4 cup dried cannellini beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I used dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta

*****I didn’t buy the tomato-veg. juice; I used a 1/2 can of 14 oz. tomato sauce and added 1 cup vegetable broth.


  1. Place all ingredients except pasta into slow cooker.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cover, cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
  4. Stir in pasta.  Cover, cook 20 minutes or until pasta is tender.


Kate Gosselin’s Two-Meat Chili * (Not IC Safe)

Kate-gosselin-chili-9-23-3rdKate-gosselin-chili-9-23 Kate-gosselin-chili-9-23-2nd

Update: We decided to throw out our other chili recipes.  This is a KEEPER and the sauce/broth is wonderful and thick!

I am very happy with this chili out of Kate Gosselin’s book “Love Is In The Mix”.  There’s a lot of people that hate her, but ‘haters gonna hate’.  I’m just looking for another rendition of a quality chili, and I don’t care who it comes from.  (I like her and give her the benefit of the doubt, btw).  I really like this one, it mixes low fat ground turkey with higher fat ground beef.  I used 85% fat ground beef and drained off some of the fat.  The only confusing part was if the meat should be browned first.  It didn’t say, I lightly browned both the ground turkey and beef first for safety reasons and I don’t like putting raw ground products into the slow cooker.  I didn’t overcook the meats on the stove though, just enough to brown it and get it safe.

Corn: It wasn’t part of the recipe but I had some to use up.  It was the only change I made.


  • 1 LB. ground beef
  • 1 LB. ground turkey
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce**
  • 1 (29 oz) can kidney beans with liquid**
  • 1 (29 oz) can pinto beans with liquid
  • 1 cup diced onion (I used onion powder, but I have issues)**
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup diced green pepper (I used one cup)**
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes)**
  • 2 tsp. cumin**
  • 4 T. chili powder**
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper**
  • 1 T. garlic powder or salt (I just used a few shakes, I didn’t use the full tablespoon)
  • Added at serving time: grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for garnish.

**Known IC irritants! Please tread carefully!


  1. Place all of the ingredients, (except the cheese!), in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Serve with white rice, if desired, and top with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

Roma Tomato, Fresh Basil, & Tofu Soup

tomato basil tofu soup


This tomato basil soup made with tofu was shockingly good.  I found this recipe in my Ninja blender recipe booklet.  I’ll post the original recipe, but I had to substitute the 4 roasted garlic cloves for garlic powder, to be safe.  It’s a quick, simple lunch soup or a dinner starter.  You can’t even taste the silken tofu, it just adds an awesome creamy consistency!  Enjoy!


  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 6 oz. silken tofu
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped


  1. Place the tofu and broth into the blender pitcher and blend on medium until smooth.
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, paste, olive oil, salt, and pepper into the pitcher.  Blend on medium until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a large saucepan and add basil.  Warm over medium-low heat for about 15 mins, or until heated through.

Italian Tortellini Garden (Slow Cooker) Soup

garden-tortellini-soup5SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We absolutely loved this slow cooker soup – Dave said it was my best slow cooker soup ever!  It’s chock full of healthy veggies, like awesome zucchini, and has the creamy tortellini for a unique flavor.  Don’t skimp on the diced tomato can – make sure you get the one that has basil, garlic, and oregano in it for FULL flavor!  Instead of the onion, I added more bell pepper and celery.  I couldn’t find navy beans in a can so I subbed red kidney beans.


  • 1 T. extra-virigin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans, thawed
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 package (9 oz) refrigerated sausage or cheese tortellini pasta (I used frozen cheese tortellini and let it come to room temp).
  • 3 T. chopped fresh basil
  • Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese



  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add bell pepper, onion, and celery.  Cook and stir 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, zucchini, green beans, broth, and garlic powder.
  3. Cover, cook on low 7 hours, or high 3.5 hours. (Your slow cooker will vary).
  4. Turn slow cooker to high, add tortellini and cook 20 -25 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.
  5. Stir in basil.  Garnish each serving with cheese.

Vegetable Minestrone Soup *



This soup is a winner.  I have ALWAYS wanted to make minestrone soup and usually the 20-30 ingredient list scared me off.  Finally, I found a recipe that looked similar to an Italian restaurant we recently went to.  It’s perfect.  I just suggest cooking it longer than the recipe states to meld the flavors more and make the veggies more tender.  If you use veg. stock instead of chicken stock and omit the cheese, it’s vegan.  As usual, I omitted the onion and garlic and opted for powder.  For ease I used the crushed tomato can. Enjoy!



  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped, or onion powder**
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced, with some celery leaves chopped thin
  • 1 potato (any kind), peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 T. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 4 med. tomatoes, peeled cored seeded and chopped – or 1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, with juice**
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 4 oz. rotelle or other tubular pasta (I used 2 oz. uncooked pasta and boiled it separately).
  • 2 cups cooked and drained white beans, such as Northern beans
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 3 T. minced parsley

To make this IC safe, definitely omit the tomatoes and increase chicken broth to 6-7 cups.  


  1. In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over low heat 1 minute.
  2. Add onions and garlic, saute 5 mins or until soft.
  3. Increase heat to medium and add carrots, celery, potato, zucchini, basil, and oregano.  Cook, uncovered, 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Then reduce heat, simmer uncovered, 20 minutes.
  6. Add green beans, cover and simmer 10 mins. or until beans are tender but still crisp.  Remove bay leaves.
  7. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
  8. Drain and add pasta to soup along with beans of your choice.
  9. Cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.  Simmer more if potatoes are not tender. 
  10. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese and parsley. 




Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup Angie

We really love this savory recipe!  It’s basically everything that’s great about stuffed pepper soup with less work.  The original recipe called for 2 cups raw rice, but after making this recipe with 1 cup raw rice, you will find it is more than enough!  ENJOY!

Serve 6
398 cals 5.6g fat (1.9g saturated) (without cheese)


  • 1lb LEAN ground beef
  • 1 lg onion, diced (WE USED ONION POWDER)
  • 1 cup white or wild rice
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Hunts flavored diced tomatoes (Red pepper and fennel, roasted garlic, sweet onion etc) (I USED PLAIN JUST FINE)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (14.5oz can)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 box chicken stock (32oz)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp powdered beef stock
  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  • Cheese for topping (optional)
  • Fresh cracked black pepper for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large soup pot coated with cooking spray, over medium-high heat, brown the grown beef with the onions and rice. I know that sounds odd, but browning the rice gives it a nice nutty flavor – do not allow it to burn!
  2. Meanwhile dice your peppers into small ½” pieces, set side.
  3. Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, chicken stock, water, and powdered beef stock, then allow it to come to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and allow it to cook 20 minutes then add the peppers and allow it to cook another 20-30 minutes (some types of rice may need longer cooking times).
  5. Serve with cheese on top (optional).

Black Bean Vegetable Soup * (Not IC Safe)



This is a really tasty black bean soup that is vegetarian.  It is healthy and hearty but it’s on the lighter side since it doesn’t have meat.  My husband and I love it!  I used green onions and garlic powder.  Plain or topped with sour cream and cilantro works well too! Enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (ONION POWDER IS FINE, OR GREEN ONIONS)**
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (GARLIC POWDER IS FINE)
  • (You can add other veggies like celery and green pepper like I have and it works wonderfully).
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder**
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (I USED 1/2 TSP)**
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I USED LOW SODIUM)**
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper**
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes**

**Known IC irritants, tread carefully!


  1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, and carrots, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is softened.
  2. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock, 1 can of the beans, corn, and pepper; bring to boil.
  3. Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, puree together tomatoes and remaining can of beans; add to pot.
  4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.