Janet's Notebook
"Soup-er" Homemade Soup Recipes


Easy Low Carb Chicken and Mushroom Stew


I love making homemade soup at this time of year. Smelling a pot simmering on the stove is heartwarming to me. Soups can easily feed a crowd, be made healthy or a tad indulgent and are very easy to make.

There's nothing better than soup on a cold day... and Beth Streeter's (Easton, PA) Winter Minestrone recipe will warm ya right up! "My 8-year-old daughter who hates healthy food loves this soup," shares Beth. "It's inexpensive to make and freezes wonderfully!"

Ham and a Parmesan cheese rind add a touch of salt to this soup. Green onions, carrots, celery, kale and tomatoes add tons of flavor. The Test Kitchen smelled wonderful while this was simmering.

"When you are in the mood for an easy to make soup that the whole family will love then you have to try this Minestra," says Tracy Stephan (Gleason, WI). "This has been a family favorite for many years."

The mini-meatballs in this soup are adorable and fantastic. Tracy uses a combination of beef and veal and lets them simmer in chicken stock. Not only does it add to the flavor, but makes the meatballs very moist. If you have a hard time finding escarole, spinach is a great substitution. With a wonderful combination of intense flavors, this soup is a delicious one-pot meal.

A hearty soup is definitely something I crave when the weather turns and Elaine Douglas's (West Vancouver, British Columbia) Easy Low Carb Chicken and Mushroom Stew is perfect for those types of days.

"I developed this recipe to use ingredients that I usually have on hand - it is very flexible," explains Elaine. "You could easily double the recipe for a larger crowd or to freeze for future meals." The chicken thigh meat is so moist and the peas add a pop of sweetness. It's so good, try not to eat the whole pot yourself!

Add a loaf of crusty bread and a fresh salad to Jennifer Darden's (Virginia Beach, VA) Hearty Herb and Cabernet Beef Stew and you have a great winter comfort meal.

"This savory pot pairs tender nuggets of beef, fresh veggies, a blend of herbs, and a Cabernet/Shiraz blend," is how Jennifer describes her recipe. "It's cozy and comforting for your soul by way of your stomach." Boy is this stew yummy!

Cookie Netta's (Saint Cloud, FL) Italian Stew is a very hearty and delicious dish. "This is a stew that my late mom would make us kids when we were growing up," reminisces Cookie. "Back then, we didn't have slow cookers but I remember Mom over the stove making a delicious meal, and it was her stew that had gotten us to eat."

Using a slow cooker, definitely makes this recipe a snap. But, with rustic ingredients like turnips, carrots, potatoes, beef, sausage and lots of seasonings, it takes me back to the days of cooking for lots of hungry farm hands at my grandfather's place. They would have loved this... and I think your family will too.

"I hope you enjoy this as much as our family and friends have for years," says Traci Howard (Red Bluff, CA) of her Traci's Famous New England Clam Chowdahhhh. "The 'chowdahhhh' is even better (if that is possible) the next day, however, it often does not last that long."

Super creamy and savory, I can't wait for it to rain so that I can curl up with a bowl of this stuff. While corn may not be a traditional ingredient, I loved the sweetness it added to this clam chowder. Traci's recipe definitely makes a lot, so I recommend halving the recipe if you're not feeding a crowd. Serve this is a sourdough bread bowl and watch it disappear.

"Raising children on a dime led me to be frugal in the kitchen," explains Joanne Hendrickson. "So I came up with this warm and nutritious Sweet Onion Potato Soup that met with everyone's approval and continues to be a family favorite bringing back fond memories."

The half and half definitely adds decadence to this soup. The combination of spring onions and red onions pack a powerful onion punch. It has a creamy, yet slightly chunky texture that I loved. There were some in the Test Kitchen that thought this had some heat in it. If you don't like a kick, just cut back on the cayenne.

Hopefully, these recipes inspire you to get out your stock pot and create something lovely. Have something simmering on your stove? Share the recipe!



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