Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Soup’s on for 15 years of good taste

Cathi Litzenberger celebrates 15 years as a columnist with The Morning Star

This weekend will mark 15 years that I’ve been writing this column and, as is my habit, I always offer soup recipes to mark the occasion (they never make me a cake, after all). I love making soups from scratch. There is just something wonderful about the flavours, the lack of artificial additives and, I like to think, the love stirred into mine, that bring smiles to all who enjoy a steaming bowl.

Today’s recipes are  two that you may like to try. Chicken soup has long been fabled to have healing properties and today science now agrees. The second recipe is a quick, tasty, and super easy vegetarian tortilla soup. Perfect for lunch, add a small salad and some corn bread and call it dinner!

Lemon Chicken and Spinach Noodle Soup

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 sweet red pepper, diced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. pepper

8 cups home made chicken stock*

4 cups packed leaves of fresh spinach, trimmed and chopped

2 cups cooked small pasta (such as stars or small shells), 1 cup uncooked

2 cups diced cooked chicken

2 tsp. grated lemon rind

1/3 cup lemon juice

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, carrot, celery, red pepper, cumin and pepper, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes.

Pour in stock and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in spinach, pasta, chicken, lemon rind and lemon juice; simmer for 5 minutes.

Note: To freeze some of this hearty soup for up to one month, omit spinach and pasta, then add them when reheating.

*If you don’t have homemade chicken stock, use 6 cups sodium-reduced chicken stock plus 2 cups water.  — Recipe from Canadian Living 1997.


Tortilla Soup

1 (19 ounce) can green enchilada sauce

1- 1/2 cups water

1 cube vegetable bouillon

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup vegetarian chicken substitute, diced (optional)

4 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn into strips

1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, mix enchilada sauce and water. Dissolve bouillon cube in the liquid, and season with garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Mix in the beans, tomatoes, and corn. Simmer until heated through. Mix in vegetarian chicken and tortillas, and cook until heated through. Stir in cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to serve. Serve with sour cream, sliced green onion and cheese if desired.

Editor’s note: Our sincere thanks to Cathi for the hundreds of recipes and a job well done over the past 15 years — no cake, but the coffee and doughnuts are always on! Cathi Litzenberger appears every Wednesday and one Sunday per month.