Tag Archives: Soup

Sprinkle on Cheese for Added Nutrition and Taste


potato c

Corn Chowder with Cheese

One of the staples I keep in my refrigerator is shredded cheese. Shredded cheese is a tasty way to add calcium to foods. An added bonus is it often adds an extra splash of color such as in this soup.

Other foods I enhance with a sprinkle of cheese include:

  • Salads
  • Omelets
  • Bean dishes
  • Baked potatoes
  • Nachos
  • Tacos
  • Casseroles
  • Pasta

Shredded cheese comes in several varieties and is available in both regular and reduced fat versions.

So … if you’re looking for an easy way to kick up the flavor, nutrition and color of foods, just SAY CHEESE!

(Note: Find the recipe for the Corn Chowder in “What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl. It’s really quick and easy to make and is thickened by the addition of low-sodium cream style corn.) 


Quick Black Bean Soup


This blog was created by guest blogger Rachel Wulf, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

Are you too tired to come home from work and prepare a full-fledged dinner when all you want to do is sit down and relax? This 20-minute recipe makes a perfect quick meal!

The black beans and celery in this recipe provide an ample amount of fiber to help keep you fuller longer. Likewise, the fresh celery, onion, garlic, black beans, and salsa provide an array of essential nutrients, such as Vitamin C, inulin, and several other minerals.


1 cup onion (chopped)
3⁄4 cups celery (chopped)
2 teaspoons garlic (chopped)
1 1⁄2 cup beef broth (fat removed)
2 cans black beans (15 oz. each, drained and rinsed)
1⁄2 cup salsa (thick and chunky)
1 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄4 teaspoon oregano (dried)

Chopped Veggies 2.jpg

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Spice up your soup even further with a little bit of sour cream or shredded cheese and enjoy!


Soup-er Ideas for Turkey Leftovers

Turkey Salsa Soup recipe

Turkey Salsa Soup

Give new life to Thanksgiving turkey leftovers with these turkey soup recipes. They start with the same basic ingredients of 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of chopped, cooked turkey. Each recipe makes about 2 quarts or 4 2-cup servings.

turkey salsa soup

Turkey Salsa Soup recipe

Turkey Salsa Soup

Combine 16 oz. (2 cups) mild, chunky salsa; 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn; 2 (15 oz.) cans black soybeans, rinsed, drained; 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey; and 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, top with grated cheddar cheese.

tURKEY mASHED Potato soup

Turkey Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

Turkey Mashed Potato Soup

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté over medium to medium-high heat in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil: 1 chopped, sweet, yellow onion and 1 cup thinly sliced carrots until the onion is translucent and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth, 3 cups mashed potatoes, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves; continue cooking and stir until broth is smooth. Add 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey; continue cooking on medium heat until mixture starts to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until mixtures is heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


The USDA Food Service and Inspection Service advises the following for storing  turkey leftovers:

  • Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
  • If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.

serving soup – safely

Make a large batch of soup and enjoy some for another meal. Many soups, with the possible exception of seafood soups, may taste better the next day! For best safety and quality, plan to eat refrigerated soup within 3 to 4 days or freeze it. And avoid letting soup set at room temperature for more than TWO hours.

Don’t put a large pot of hot soup directly into your refrigerator. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it would take an 8-inch stock pot of steaming chicken soup 24 HOURS to cool to a safe temperature in your refrigerator. To be safe:

  • To speed cooling, transfer soup to shallow containers, making sure soup is no more than TWO inches deep. Refrigerate promptly. You can place loosely covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when food is completely cooled.
  • When serving soup a second time, reheat it until it’s steaming hot throughout, at least 165 degrees F.

Visit my Thanksgiving Pinterest Board for more general Thanksgiving tips plus more ideas for using turkey leftovers.

Review the leftover section if you’re not sure how long you can store turkey leftovers in the refrigerator.

Homemade Holiday Food Gifts

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

One of my favorite food gifts to give for the holidays is homemade food mixes. Though inexpensive, they are “priceless.”

Here are a few of my favorites …


Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a jar

Cranberry-Oatmeal Cookie Mix. Notice how the covering is placed on top on of the canning jar in this picture and held in place with a rubber band, covered with a pretty ribbon and bow.

While you’re making up jars of this cookie mix, make a few extra for yourself! Obtain the  recipe for this mix in  Mix It Up (to Expand Your Holiday Gift-Giving) Food Mixes in a Jar by Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University Extension Food & Nutrition Specialist.

Check that the baking soda you use in this cookie mix isn’t past its expiration date! For best flavor, use this mix within nine months.

For tips on making baking mixes in a jar, check out my PowerPoint on Food Mixes in a Jar.


Chili Mix in a jar

Country Chili Mix. In contrast to the cookie mix, the covering for this jar is placed under the band. I found it easier to distribute the material around the lid using this method.

There’s something about the flavor and aroma of homemade chili that is hard to beat! And this chili definitely satisfies!

The recipe for this chili, plus recipes for a Homemade Cornbread Mix and a Friendship Soup Mix are also found in Mix It Up (to Expand Your Holiday Gift-Giving) Food Mixes in a Jar.

Imagine your friend (or yourself) enjoying a big bowl of this chili, perhaps topped with some grated, sharp cheese!

Chili made from a homemade chili mix



Give friends a cup of holiday cheer with beverage mixes.

A cup of tea made from Spiced Tea Mix

Spiced Tea Mix.

This sweet, spicy tea will put you in a holiday mood!

Find the recipe in Beverage Mixes in a Jar, a publication also by Julie Garden-Robinson and in part, by me. (I had the delightful task of sampling all the beverages and taking the photos!)

Double Chocolate Peppermint Candy Hot Cocoa Mix

Double Chocolate Peppermint Candy Hot Cocoa

A cup of this hot cocoa is perfect after a chilly afternoon of sledding, or ice-skating, or making snowmen. Or, after a busy day of hitting the after-holiday sales.

Find this recipe, plus two other beverage mixes (French Vanilla Coffee Mix and Mint Candy Coffee Mix) in Beverage Mixes in a Jar.

View all the beverages and some tips on making mixes on our YouTube video, Homemade Holiday Beverage Mix Gifts. (Opens in a new window)


Foods, like homemade granola, are another great food gift. I like this recipe for California Walnut Granola from the California Walnut Commission. Walnuts are especially high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and are unique among nuts as they contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid.

Make this granola shortly before you give it for the best flavor. The California Walnut Commission suggests printing the following tip out on a piece of paper; hole-punch the corner of the paper and attach it to the container with a ribbon:

Storage tip: This recipe will maintain its freshness by storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

California Walnut Granola

California Walnut Granola. When you give this gift, encourage the recipient to  eat it while it is the most tasty, by attaching the following tip: Storage tip: This recipe will maintain its freshness by storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.