Italianizing a classic soup #recipe

Autumn means nesting, reading by the fire, baking and stirring a pot of love into scrumptious homemade soup.

I’m sharing my recipe for Beef Barley Soup which I have Italianized–something I tend to do with most classics. It’s easy to make, and deliciously warm and satiating.

Get your glow on with


2 pounds of Italian meatballs (your favourite recipe) roll them into ½ inch balls, brown in the oven and set aside

You can also substitute for 2 lbs. of cubed beef, or 2 lbs. ground turkey, whichever meat you choose to use, season with salt and brown in a skillet, then set aside

3 celery ribs, sliced

3 carrots, sliced

6 cipollini onions, sliced and roasted

4 garlic cloves, roasted and mashed

2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped

2 slices Parmesan rind

2 sprigs fresh Rosemary

1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, if whole, chop them up

1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley

6 cups beef broth

1 TBSP olive oil

Fresh basil, chopped finely, optional

Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a Dutch oven (you can use a large pot as well), warm up the olive oil on medium-high heat, then add carrots and celery, stir until the vegetables sweat (about 5 minutes).
  • Add cipollini onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes, stirring, cook for 5 minutes
  • Add broth, canned tomatoes (along with the tomato juice) and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and add: rosemary, parmesan rinds, pearl barley, and the meat
  • Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until barley is tender.
  • During the cooking process, taste to adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • At end of cooking cycle, you can remove the remainder of the parmesan rinds and chop them up to add to the soup bowls, and – optional to top with freshly chopped basil

Cold Weather Comfort Soup



Show your crock-pot and family some love and whip up a batch of hearty, healthy,  soup, guaranteed to warm you up for lunch or dinner.


Yellow Split-Pea Soup





  • 2 cups yellow split peas (uncooked)
  • 8 cups broth (your choice, vegetable or chicken broth)
  • 2 cubes bouillon (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped in cubes)
  • 2 ribs celery (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 1 small Vidalia onion (diced)
  • 1 leek (sliced thinly)
  • 2 cloves garlic (roasted or you can throw it in raw, minced)
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



Rinse the peas in cold water, until the water is clear, then add them into your crock-pot, and add the bouillon cube, broth, and stir it, breaking up the bouillon cube.

Add; potato, celery, carrots, onion, leek, and garlic, and stir.

Sprinkle in; cumin, mustard, thyme, sage, and stir everything together, then add the bay leaves.

Cover and cook on low for 4 – 4 1/2 hours (until the yellow peas are soft)

Once it is finished cooking, remove the bay leaves, then sprinkle in salt and black pepper to taste, and stir well, adjusting seasoning to your liking.

Serve with crusty bread.

Alternative Serving Suggestions:

Using an emulsifier or food processor whiz the soup it so it is more of a creamy consistency and top with croutons.




Eating for comfort—one spoonful of soup at a time

Become the Super-shero or hero of your kitchen with this soup that is guaranteed to bowl your family and friends over.


Broccoli & Cheese Soup
Topped with a Baguette Crouton





3 TBSP Extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Sweet Onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
1 Rib Celery, sliced
1 Medium White Potato, diced
4 Cups Stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 Large Head Broccoli, chopped
Broccoli stalks, sliced
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
5 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled (or you can use Stilton, a milder cheese, or blue cheese—your choice of your favorite mouth-watering, melting type of cheese)

For the Crouton:

1/2 Baguette, sliced
8 TBSP Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


Heat oil in a large pot, add onion and garlic, and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously until soft and onion is transparent.

Add celery and potato, slices of the broccoli stalk, stir, then cover pot with a lid, and lower temperature to simmer and cook for five minutes.

Pour in the stock and turn up heat to medium, and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring, until all the vegetables are soft.

Add the rest of the broccoli, and cook for five minutes (until broccoli is al dente).

Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Taste to adjust the salt and pepper.

Transfer soup to a blender (or food processor), blend until smooth, but you can also choose to blend half the soup and leave the other half allowing for a few lumps.

Transfer soup back to the pot, cover and lower heat to simmer (just to keep it warm).

At this point, make the baguette crouton by heating oil in a pan over medium-high heat, then add the baguette slices, ensuring that the slice is evenly coated with oil.

Fry for 4 minutes, turning them over to brown on both sides. Remove from heat, place on paper towel and return to the soup.

Turn the heat off, and slowly add the grated cheese a handful at a time, stirring to avoid clumpy cheese.

Once all the cheese has been added is melted, remove from heat, and ladle into soup bowls immediately, and top with a toasted baguette crouton.


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Straddle Me Soup

Soup for all of you!” said in the Soup Nazi tone, with a smile.

Eating for comfort—-One soup at a time

We all have our comfort foods, especially when Mother Nature is being such a bitch is being a tad temperamental.

Soup is my go-to comfort food. Yes, I love chocolate. However, for me, chocolate is not my comfort food because it’s in a class of its own, also in a food group of its own and is an essential part of my diet.

I’ll be sharing two soup recipes with you.

Orgasmically delicious tomato basil soup, chock full of vitamin C and topped with crunchy, spicy chickpeas (have to ensure we get some protein in there).

The second soup recipe I’ll be sharing is Straddle Me Soup—which is really called; Stracciatella Soup.

When I was a little girl I would call this soup; Straddle Me Soup (this may have been a foreshadowing for my desire to write steamy romances).

I claim innocent of all inappropriate charges.

Stracciatella wasn’t easy to say for a four-year old. My siblings thought it was funny. My parents—not so much.

Of course once I understood the significance of what I had called this soup, I stopped. Sort of. I did get a kick out of saying it to the nuns in high school. They didn’t find it funny. I reminded them that English wasn’t my first language.Hey, that excuse has worked for me. Not always, but it was my ace in the proverbial hole.

Selena’s Saucy Sexy Best Ever Tomato Soup



4 lbs ripe Roma tomatoes

1 head of roasted garlic

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

4 cups of homemade chicken broth (or vegetable broth or you can use water)

1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1/2 cup 1% milk (or you can use skim milk, almond milk or cream)

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded zucchini

Pot of water

salt and black pepper to taste

Roasted Spicy Chickpeas (recipe below)


Add oil to a skillet and add: shredded carrots and zucchini. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are cooked al dente. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large pot, water to a rolling boil.

In a large bowl, add ice and cold water and set aside.

Place fresh tomatoes in boiling water and allow to boil for 3 – 4 minutes (skins will burst when ready to remove).

Remove tomatoes from boiling water and add them to the bowl of ice water. Let cool, until they are cool enough to handle, then peel off the skins.

Dice tomatoes and crush with a potato masher.

To a soup pot add: broth (or water), tomatoes, canned tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, roasted garlic and 1/2 cup of fresh basil.

Bring mixture just to a boil, while stirring.

Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for one hour.

During the simmering process, taste it, so you can add salt and pepper to taste.

After the hour, stir in the milk (or cream if you are using cream), and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from stove and stir in the remainder of the fresh basil.

Top off with crunchy, spicy chickpeas. Click HERE for the chickpea recipe.

Stracciatella Soup (also known as Straddle Me Soup) Served with Parmesan Crisps


5 to 6 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth (Homemade broth works best)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 roasted garlic (mashed)
Juice of ½ fresh lemon
Parmesan Crisps
Salt & pepper to taste (not too much salt if you are serving with Parmesan crisps)


Put heat on stove at medium-high and in a large pot add: broth, lemon juice, garlic, basil and parsley and bring to a boil.

Add the spinach, stir and cook until spinach is wilted.

Season the soup.

Break the eggs in a small bowl.

Gradually drizzle the eggs into the broth, stirring gently with a fork so that the eggs form a thin strand. Do this for about one minute.

Parmesan Crisps


4 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, or cayenne, optional
Cayenne pepper (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 300 F

Use a non-stick spray (or use parchment paper) on a cookie sheet.

Grate cheese on the small hole side of your cheese grater.

Place a tablespoon of the grated cheese on the cookie sheet, 4 inches apart.

Flatten the mound of cheese with the back of a spoon.

Season with black pepper, (optional: cayenne)

Place baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 – 6 minutes, or until golden.