All posts in “Hearty Soups and Stews”

Vietnamese Pho Ga

Vietnamese Pho Ga or Oriental Hot Pot Soup

I call it Oriental Hot Pot Soup, but this is my version of Pho Ga (pronounced “fuh-gah”) – Vietnamese chicken noodle soup – except sometimes I make it with tofu. It comes into my kitchen when I need to truly nourish myself. The idea of a gingery chicken broth that caresses bite size morsels of fresh aromatic vegetables and herbs, interlaced with silky rice noodles, and then embraces my palate with it’s rich collection of comforting textures and flavors – it makes me feel good just thinking about it. I love that this noodle bowl can become its lovely self within 30 minutes, and it comes from my normal refrigerated pantry. Fresh ginger, carrots, onion, chicken broth, bites of leftover chicken (or tofu as shown in the video), rice noodles. If you enjoy healthy Asian dishes, these are items to have on hand.

Here is my version. Not fussy or complicated. Flexible depending on what is in my fridge.


Enjoy the recipe and the video and nourish yourself as often as possible!



Vietnamese Pho Ga - or Chinese Hot Pot Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup will caress your palate at the table. The trick is to have everything "mise en place" or - ready and on hand - when you begin cooking. It cooks quickly and should be served as soon as it is done. The ingredients are flexible - you can substitute tofu for the chicken, cabbage for the spinach, and zucchini or other green vegetable for the asparagus. I recommend using whatever is in season or that you happen to have on hand.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • ¼ medium Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2" piece of Fresh Ginger, thinly sliced into "matchsticks"
  • 1 c. Carrot slices, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tsp. Asian Soy Sauce
  • 1 qt. Chicken Stock (homemade or packaged organic broth)
  • 2 c. poached of cooked Chicken, thinly sliced or cubed. - or - cubes of tofu.
  • 1 c. Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced (not too thin)
  • 1 c. Asparagus Spears, sliced into ½" slices on the diagonal
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 pkg. Fresh or dried Rice Noodles
  • Garnish
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Sriracha
  • Lime Wedge
  1. In a heavy stock pot, warm the peanut oil and add the sliced onion and ginger to begin to sweat. After two minutes, add the carrot and celery and continue to saute for two more minutes.Add the dark soy sauce and stir to coat the vegetables.
  2. Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked chicken and simmer for two minutes.
  3. Add the shiitake mushrooms and asparagus to the pot. Simmer for two more minutes.
  4. Add the rice noodles and simmer for two more minutes.
  5. Add the spinach just before serving, stirring into the soup just long enough to wilt the spinach and maintain it's vibrant green color.
  6. Season the soup pot with sea salt and red pepper flakes.
  7. Serve the hot soup into shallow bowls garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime and a dash of sriracha, if desired,
The protein choice here is yours to make. Sometimes I use tofu with great results - especially if you follow the marinade/cornstarch method (see my video of this recipe using tofu).

Vegan tuscan white bean stew

Butternut Squash and Sage Tuscan White Bean Stew

Tuscan white bean stew


I’ve had a bit of a time getting myself organized to actually share recipes the past few weeks. Sometimes the world gets squarely and firmly planted between me and my camera. So annoying! BUT this does not mean I haven’t been cooking and eating, of course, and I am super focused on eating healthy. I am not in the midst of a cleanse or anything right now, but I know that I feel SO MUCH BETTER when my meals revolve around veggies with lots of colors! I know many of you are the same way and you may be actually committed to a cleanse diet right now.  If you are, this recipe will make you forget you are on a cleanse! It is totally in line with what you should be eating and it is amazing, if I do humbly say so myself!

There is a short list of ingredients here and the whole dish comes together in less than 45 minutes! One of the things I loved about this recipe is that it is truly “one-pot”.


Tuscan white bean stew with sun-dried tomatoes


The veggies – onion, carrot, celery, and sun-dried tomato – are simply chopped and sauteed in olive oil for about 5 minutes. I like to add the seasonings next – sage, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

Seasonings are added into the saute pan before adding the liquid.

Add the cannellini beans and butternut squash and broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Vegan Tuscan White Bean Stew

Add the chopped swiss chard near the end to retain it’s color.

Add the swiss chard at the very end of cooking.


I adjusted the seasonings and added a sprig of fresh thyme to the stew pot and then it was like magic as the flavors came together and a beautifully complex dish was ready to enjoy. The earthy and smokiness of the sun-dried tomatoes adds an amazing depth to the flavors. It’s scrumptious.



Perfect when it’s cold outside…




Butternut Squash and Sage Tuscan White Bean Stew
  • 2 cup Butternut Squash
  • ½ cup Sweet Onion
  • ½ cup Celery
  • ½ cup Carrot
  • ½ cup Sun-Dried Tomato
  • 1 can Cannelini Beans
  • 4 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cup Swiss Chard
  • 2 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon White Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small Sprig of Fresh Thyme
  1. Saute mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot) and sund-dried tomatoes in olive oil over medium-low heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add sage, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and stir to coat.
  3. Add the cannellini beans, butternut squash and vegetable stock and allow to simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add swiss chard and a small sprig of fresh thyme to the pot and continue to simmer for about 10 -15 more minutes.
  5. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
Asian noodle salad with carrot ginger soup

Carrot Ginger Soup with Soba Noodle Salad

It seems I have a bit of a ying/yang situation going on with my food cravings during this time of year. I really look forward to the season that draws us close in to comfort foods and foods that are a celebration in and of themselves.  Thanksgiving with the roast bird, creamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie. We love these foods so much.

But to set them apart, it’s nice to balance the celebration with foods that nourish.

Continue Reading…

Curry of Potatoes, Apple and Greens

Coconut Curry of Potato, Apple, Kale and Garbanzo Beans





Coconut Curry of Potato, Apple, Kale and Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 tablespoon Curry Spices
  • ½ cup Onion
  • 3 small Red Potatoes
  • 2 medium Apples
  • 1 small Bumch Kale
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans
  • 2 cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 tablespoon Sliced Almonds
  • 1 dash Ground Coriander
  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven style heavy pot on top of the stove over medium-low. Add curry spices to the oil and allow to simmer a few minutes to release the flavors.
  2. Add sliced onion to the curry oil and saute slowly to cook the onion down to almost caramelize it - about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the peeled and diced potato cubes to the onion mixture and allow potatoes to soften and even begin to brown just a bit. Allow to cook until potatoes begin to soften - about 10 minutes.
  4. Toss chopped kale leaves and diced apple into the mixture and stir, mixing the ingredients and allowing the kale and apple to begin to cook very gently for about 5-7 minutes. Season the pan with salt and white pepper at this time.
  5. Add coconut milk, along with the garbanzo beans, to the pan. Stir to combine all the ingredients and allow the curry to simmer on very low to combine flavors and complete the cooking of the ingredients. The elements of this curry dish should have some texture of the ingredients in tact when served.
  6. Serve over a scoop of jasmine rice and garnish with sliced almonds and a dusting of ground coriander.



Chipotle Chili for Football Sunday Suppers

Chipotle Chili Sunday Football Supper

It’s that time of year! Enjoy this healthy version of Football Sunday Supper Chipotle Chili and make everyone happy!

Chipotle Chili for Football Sunday Suppers
  • ½ cup Sweet Onion
  • 1 Poblano Pepper
  • 1 lb Chipotle Chicken Sausage
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Tomatoes
  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • 1 cup Butternut Squash
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  1. Saute diced onion and fresh poblano pepper in olive oil on medium-low heat until tender - about 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate saute pan, brown the fresh sausage over medium heat. Transfer to a colander to drain any fat that renders away. Add drained, cooked sausage to the onions and peppers. Add a dash of salt and red pepper flakes at this time.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer on low heat for about an hour. Adjust seasonings to your tasted.
  4. Serve the chili with diced, fresh sweet onion and dollop of plain greek yogurt (or sour cream) with a spritz of fresh lime juice.
I make a summer chili and a winter chili and this one is the winter chili - the difference is the squash. I like to add vegetables to a pot of chili, and a winter squash such as butternut is perfect.  The chicken sausage can be substituted by a healthy meat protein of choice (I love the chicken chipotle sausage) or it can be prepared as a vegetarian chili.  Make a pot and have it for a packed lunch.

Healthy Turkey and Veggie Chili

Brrrr… It’s cold outside today and guess what?  The farm has recently picked up GROUND TURKEY from the meat processor.  Turkey chili for the coldest day of the winter in the southeast so far this year? Perfect, I think. And healthy. I hope you enjoy the inspiration. Stay warm.

turkey vegetable chili


turkey veggie chili


turkey vegetable chili

Here’s a pic of Romeo. This morning he is celebrating winter because he loves the cold. We are in NC today and yep, there’s a little snow on the ground.  Sigh…. can we stay?

(recipe is below…)


Healthy Turkey and Veggie Chili with a Dollop of Avocado and Yogurt Topping
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • ½ small Yellow Onion
  • 2-3 clove Garlic
  • 1 cup Carrot
  • 1 medium Poblano Chili
  • 2-3 cup Cooked Beans of choice
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 Avocado Slices
  • 1 wedge Fresh Lime
  • 1 imperial quart Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tablespoon Greek Yogurt, plain
  1. 1. Season ground turkey with salt and pepper.
  2. 2. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil to medium-low temperature in deep sided pan on stove top. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Increase heat under the pan to medium and add ground turkey and stir until browned. Should not need to be drained as has very little fat.
  4. 4. Add chopped carrots and stir until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. 5. Add cumin and chili powder and stir to toast the seasonings and adhere them to the vegetables and meat, about 3 minutes.
  6. 6. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and allow to return to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until colors deepen.
  7. 7. Add beans and fresh squeezed lime juice and adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.
  8. 8. Serve in soup bowls with plain greek yogurt, avocado and slice of lime.
This light and healthy chili is a wonderful meal for lunch or dinner.  Make a double batch and have leftovers!!

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