Soup and Chili Recipes

Lasagna Soup


I have quite the love affair with both soup and lasagna. (My husband is fully aware of these ongoing affairs and he’s cool with it.) Even though my lasagna love is strong, I don’t always have the motivation or time to make it. So I improvise. Case in point, lazy ravioli lasagna,  individual spaghetti squash lasagnas, and now this delicious lasagna soup.

One of the main pluses of this dish, other than that ricotta cheese, is that the noodles are cooked on the side. Thus, you can add as much or as little pasta to your bowl as you want. Works for the portion controllers and the carb cravers. Also, with the pasta on the side, soup leftovers are plentiful. You know those soggy noodles in left over soups? Not happening here.

Beautiful and delicious. I love it.




  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. mild Italian chicken sausage (pork sausage can also be used)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you prefer spicy)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, I used a combo of basil and parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ricotta Cheese Mixture:

  • 8oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 1lb. fusilli pasta cooked, drained, rinsed, and tossed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, I used a combo of basil and parsley


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add Italian sausage, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, and brown until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and red bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 additional minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate and cook for 2 additional minutes.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  3. While soup is simmering, cooking the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, toss with olive oil, and reserve. Also prepare the ricotta cheese topping. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  4. To serve, ladle soup into a large bowl, and add 1/2 -1 cup cooked fusilli, a dollop of the fresh ricotta cheese mixture, a sprinkle of mozzarella and Parmesan, and some fresh herbs.
Soup and Chili Recipes

Italian Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

Italian Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup


(New Years day, 2013)  While watching his beloved Stanford Cardinal lose in the Rose Bowl, our friend declares, “this is the best soup I’ve ever had.”

(I can’t remember the specific below zero windchill day in the month of February, 2014)  My fiance came in from the cold to find this soup cooking. He consumed it. He smiled, then he DIDN’T complain about the weather.

(Two weeks ago) I was tense. I made this soup. I ate it. I relaxed.

This soup has powers. Powers that can change your state of mind. Make you forget about your team losing a big game. Make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, even on the worst of days. Make you involuntarily exhale an audible “Mmmmm” after your first spoonful. Make you relax away the days tension in your shoulders and jaw. Make you smile.

Doesn’t take long to make. Doesn’t take long for the robust aroma to permeate your kitchen. Doesn’t take long to realize … This soup is powerfully, comfortably, so very … good.

Italian Sausage, White Bean and Kale SoupItalian Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup



  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cleaned, ribs removed and diced
  • 1 28oz can chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 2 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 boxes fat free chicken broth (8 cups)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig rosemary, left whole (I have a rosemary plant on my windowsill.  Rosemary can easily left out if you do not have it readily available)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 lb dried pasta (I used medium shells)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, plus more for garnish, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Additional chicken broth, if needed


Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook for 6-8 minutes until no longer pink while breaking up the sausage into bite sized pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Add onions, celery, carrots and red bell pepper, and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, oregano, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  (Note: Cook the soup at this stage for as long as you can. Sometimes I let the soup simmer away for several hours.)  During the last 10 minutes of cook time, add kale and cook for 10 minutes. Remove rosemary stem and adjust seasoning for salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup fresh parsley.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve.

Add the cooked pasta to the soup pot, simmer for a few minutes, and ladle into bowls. Top with Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.

Note: If you plan to have leftover soup to eat later in the week, do not add the noodles to the soup pot. Instead, add 1/2 cup cooked pasta to individual bowls and ladle pipping hot soup on top. (When noodles are added straight to the pot, they will adsorb the broth and leftovers wouldn’t be much of a “soup” anymore.)

Soup and Chili Recipes

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup with Homemade Turkey Stock


Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup with Homemade Stock


Of all the life lessons I was taught, this is one of the most important.

Never throw away the bones and carcass from the Thanksgiving turkey.

I prefer to make my stock on Thanksgiving night.  Turkey bones, veggies, and aromatics are placed in a stockpot.  Simply covered in water, brought to a simmer, and left to work their magic.

If you aren’t going to make the stock immediately, put everything into a zip-lock bag.  Keep that bag in the refrigerator for a couple days.  While your relaxing and listening to holiday music, throw the contents of the bag in the pot.  Let it simmer away.  Easy peasy.

Soup is always made with my homemade stock.  Onion, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, turkey, and noodles.  Add a squeeze of fresh lemon, or a pinch of parmesan cheese to the finished product.  Healthy, hearty, and soul warming.  The best use of leftovers.  Adhere to the delicious life lessons.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup with Homemade Stock


Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, left whole
  • 2 quarts homemade turkey stock, recipe below  (Note: You can supplement with store bought stock if you do not have enough homemade.  You can solely use store bought stock, if needed.)
  • 2 cups shredded turkey (Note: Use the turkey you reserved after making the stock.  If you do not have 2 full cups, supplement with leftover turkey.)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Noodles, for serving
  • Fresh parsley, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes until onions begin to look translucent.  Add garlic and cook 2-3 additional minutes.
  2. Add bay leaf, rosemary sprig, and turkey stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  At this point, you want to taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as you see fit.
  3. Add turkey and fresh parsley and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles.  (Note: I do not like to add my noodles directly to the soup, as they absorb too much broth.)  Drain noodles and reserve.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of noodles into serving bowl. Top with turkey soup and garnish with fresh parsley.


Homemade Turkey Stock


  • Turkey carcass with some meat still intact and reserved neck
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2-3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 2-3 carrot sticks, cut in half
  • 1 garlic head, cut in half crosswise
  • 10-12 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large stock pot and cover with water by 2-3 inches.  If you do not have a large enough pot, you can use 2 pots.  Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2–3 hours.  Skim off any foam or fat that rises to the surface as needed.
  2. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve or colander into a large bowl.  Allow to cool down completely.  Remove any fat that rises to the top.
  3. Do not toss out the bones and veggies yet.  Once cooled, pick through and remove any meat.  Reserve this meat to be used in the soup.

Note: You can also make homemade stock in the Crock Pot.  Place all of the ingredients in a large Crock Pot and cover with water.  Cook on low overnight or for 12 hours.  Strain stock through a sieve or colander into a large bowl.  Follow additional instructions, per the above.

Note: Once cooled, Turkey stock is more gelatinous than chicken stock.  Do not be alarmed.  This thins out when cooked.  The stock will last a few days in the refrigerator and freezes well for up to 6 months.


Soup and Chili Recipes

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup


Is it weird to coin a phrase referring  to your style of cooking?  Is it weird to coin a phrase on your own blog?  Is it weird to coin a phrase using your own name?  Is it weird that, when I asked myself these questions, I found none of the above weird?  No to all.

To “Emilyize” a dish, is to pack the dish full of fresh, flavorful, and wholesome ingredients.  Stuffed pepper soup was a recipe I stumbled upon a couple years ago.  The idea of having a stuffed pepper without the hassle of preparing it was appealing to me.  I just wish I would have thought of it first!  I Emilyized this old recipe and made it my own.

As Autumn gently pokes her way through summer, you’ll be well fitted with a bowl of this stuffed pepper soup and plenty of easy Emilyized Autumn meals.  Stay tuned!

Stuffed Pepper SoupStuffed Pepper Soup



  • 2 tbsp, plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 lbs ground sirloin
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage (Chicken sausage can also be used.)
  • 28oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 15oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, left whole
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (I added 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 head of napa cabbage (approximately 1 1/2 pounds), finely sliced
  • 3 cups cooked long grain white or brown rice
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant.  Add bell pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened.  Add Italian sausage and cook for 5 minutes until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.  Note: If you are using sausage links, remove casing.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate pan heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium high heat.  Add ground sirloin and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and cook 8-10 minutes until cooked through breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.  Drain any grease and add to stock pot.
  3. To stock pot add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, oregano, parsley, rosemary sprig, 2 tsp salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, decrease heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add napa cabbage, cook an additional 30 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and top with 1/3 cup cooked rice, fresh parsley, and sour cream (optional).

Servings: 9

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste

Soup and Chili Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Crushed Lentil Soup

crushed lentil soup


Of all the wonderful recipes my Lebanese mother has given me, this one is my favorite. Healthy, filling, and extremely flavorful, this classic Lebanese comfort food is something you can feel good about serving the entire family.  If you’ve never made homemade lentil soup, now’s the time to start.

Lentils come in many colors.  Brown, green, red, and plenty in between.  For this soup, make sure to always use red lentils.  Don’t be fooled by the name. Red lentils aren’t actually red. Instead, they are a bright orange color. Don’t ask me why.  Red lentils are ideal for a crushed soup because of their sweet, nutty flavor and the creamy texture they achieve when cooked.   This soup is extremely easy to make.  Saute your veg, add seasonings, lentils, and broth…and simmer away.  After a quick buzz with the blender, and a touch of lemon juice, your soup is ready to go.  Total cook time is only 45 minutes.

This soup is easy to make. This soup is healthy.  This soup is extremely delicious. This Lebanese comfort soup will be an instant family favorite.

prep1prep 2Crushed Lentil Soup



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots (2 cups), chopped
  • 4 celery ribs (2 cups), chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (use less if you’re not using low sodium chicken broth)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb red lentils ( 2 1/4 cups dry)
  • 6 cups low sodium organic chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • Lemon wedges and pita chips, for garnish


Add olive oil to a stock pot and heat to medium.  Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.  Add salt, pepper, cumin, bay leaf, lentils, and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.  (Note: Only small bubbles should be prevalent. If broth starts to boil, reduce heat.)  Check to make sure lentils are fully cooked. If more time is needed, allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Puree soup with an immersion blender to your desired level of smoothness.  I like a few chunks left in the soup, but feel free to puree it all the way for a smooth consistency.  If you do not have an immersion blender, puree soup in a standard blender and transfer contents back to stock pot.  Add lemon juice, and additional salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with pita chips, or fresh bread and a lemon wedge.

Crushed Lentil Soup

Soup and Chili Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup


Should I struggle to find the words to describe this simple, luxuriously healthy soup?  Nope.

Let’s get right into how awesome and easy it is.

High in flavor and low in effort.  At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all aspire towards? This soup achieves both.  Combine a variety of roasted vegetables with spices, broth, and a touch of heavy cream.  You could use any vegetables you want in this recipe, I often add roasted cauliflower or fennel into the mix.  As a rule of thumb, use approximately 6 cups of roasted veggies to every 4-5 cups of chicken broth.  You’ll end up with a velvety bowl of soup every time.  The croutons are a must.  They add a wonderful crunch contrast.  Don’t leave them out!

Aren’t you always looking for something healthy, simple, and delicious to make?  Yes, you are.

Here ya go.

Roasted Vegetable SoupRoasted Vegetable SoupRoasted Vegetable SoupRoasted Vegetable SoupRoasted Vegetable Soup



  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small white onion (non-sweet variety), peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (more may be needed if your soup is too thick)
  • 1 head roasted garlic  (Note: I like to roast 2 heads of garlic at the same time.  Use 1 for this recipe and put 1 in your refrigerator to use in recipes later in the week.)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Homemade croutons, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine vegetables on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toss with olive oil, cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked back pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes. Toss vegetables well, and roast for another 10-20 minutes until tender and cooked through. (Note: Cook time will depend on the size of your vegetables.  After the first 20 minutes of roasting check them every 10.)  Remove vegetables from oven and reserve.

Combine broth, roasted vegetables, roasted garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper in a stock pot.  Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until soup comes to a simmer.  At this point transfer contents to a high powered blender and blend until a silky puree forms, about 3-4 minutes (you may have to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your blender pitcher).  You can also use an immersion blender and puree the soup directly in your stock pot.  If the soup is too thick, add more broth.

Add heavy cream (you could easily leave this out, but I like how the little bit of cream mellows out the sweetness of the soup), taste, and season as necessary.  Serve hot with fresh parsley and homemade croutons.

Servings: 12 (serving size: 1 cup)

Note: This soup stores very well and will last up to 4 days in your refrigerator.  It also freezes well. If you plan to freeze the soup, refrain from adding the heavy cream until you thaw and reheat it.

Soup and Chili Recipes

Southwestern Chicken Soup

Southwestern Chicken Soup


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m a soup girl!  I make homemade soup once a week.  Call me obsessed, go ahead, I won’t be offended…just make sure to be truthful and call yourself jealous at the same time.

Soup is the quintessential one pot meal.  Healthy, comforting, and delicious…every time.  It’s also customizable and perfect for those with picky eaters in the house.  Pack it with your favorite fresh veggies and lean proteins, fat free broth, herbs, and spices.   Another underrated plus = minimal cleanup.

This recipe is hearty, spicy, and full of southwestern flavor.  Plenty of typical chili flavors are prevalent,  but this is lighter and “brothier.”  Serve this addicting soup with lots of tortilla chips on the side for dunking and scooping.   Oh yeah, don’t forget the cold Mexican beer with a lime wedge.  This soup-obsessed girl gives this recipe her ringing endorsement!

Southwestern Chicken Soup



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 4oz cans chopped green chilies
  • 2 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch (more if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken (3-4 chicken breasts or 12 chicken thighs)
  • Fixing suggestions: shredded monterey jack cheese, scallions, cilantro, avocado, lime wedges, sour cream, tortilla chips


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add red onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent and peppers are cooked through.  Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot (be sure to nestle raw chicken into the center of the pot).  Allow soup to come to a light boil then reduce the heat to simmer, cover pot, and cook 1 hour.  Remove chicken, allow to cool, and shred with 2 forks.  Return shredded chicken to pot and cook for an addition 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste (I sometimes add more lime juice or crushed red pepper flakes at this point).

Serve with desired fixings.

Servings: 8 – 10 (Serving size: 1 – 1 1/2 cups)