cheesy vegetable soup

Today’s Tuesday To Do list is short and sweet because we’re living it up “Pura Vida!” style in Costa Rica: MAKE THIS SOUP!

It’s cheesy. It’s vegetables. It’s all yours.


1 large package frozen vegetable medley

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1-2 cups stock (chicken or veggie)

1 can condensed milk

cheese(s) of choice, shredded

sriracha or other hot sauce

butter or olive oil

salt & pepper


  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter to Dutch oven or large pot (I call mine “big blue!”) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add diced onion and stir occasionally while onions soften.
  3. When onions just start to brown, add garlic and stir into onions.
  4. Dump bag of frozen veggies in and one cup of stock. (you may want to add more depending on size of bag — I used a jumbo bag and just added more liquid. You can also wait until veggies have cooked to decide if you want/need the second cup of stock.)
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until veggies are softened, but not mushy.
  6. Remove from heat. Either use an immersion blender (worth the buy!) to partially blend soup, leaving chunks of veggies OR allow soup to cool a bit then blend in batches until you’ve done about half of the soup and return to chunky veggie mix.
  7. Pour condensed milk into pot and stir — remember you don’t have to use the entire can. It all depends on how thick you like your soup. You can’t really mess this one up!
  8. Add CHEESE. I just grab a few different kinds (cheddar, pepperjack, etc.) and add a handful at a time until it’s as cheeeeeeesy as I’d like it. You can also skip the cheese, up to you.
  9. Season to your liking with salt & pepper, add a little sriracha or other hot sauce, a few drops of lemon juice if you’d like (this really brightens it up!) and top with ANYthing you can think of: bacon, green onions, croutons.
  10. EnJOY.

Sarah’s Notes

  • Use regular milk if you do not have condensed milk — although I have not made it with alternative milks, you could substitute your milk of choice as well.
  • The cheese is up to you, I like to use a couple handfuls, but I’ve also made it with a couple slices of cheddar when I was low, and that worked too.
  • If you don’t have stock, you can use boullion as well, just prepare with water.
  • ANY veggie combo works, but I like the one with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and squash.
  • You can purée part of it like I do and leave some veggies whole for texture, or purée all of it for a smooth, creamy soup. (or purée none!)
  • As with all my recipes, use this as a guide — you may like your soup thicker so you choose to use a bit less stock and/or milk. After you make it a few times, you’ll figure out just how you like it!

Soup’s On Sunday: Zesty Corn Tortilla Soup

Social media is blowing up with talk of SNOW in southeastern Wisconsin this morning.

What the what?

No thanks, you can keep the snow.

I’m not ready for it. My current heat bill is a-okay the way it is, thank you very much. People need more time for leaf raking. And finding their hats and mittens from storage.

Jack isn’t ready to take on the role of Frosty. He can keep his November/December reservation and give us a couple more weeks, can’t he?

Well, just in case…

If there’s going to be crazy snow nonsense, let’s at least be prepared.

Let’s make some soup!


My mother-in-law made this soup for a Packer game a couple of years ago, and we lucked out by showing up to watch the game with them that day. She went all out and made fried tortilla strips to top it off, plus sour cream, cheese, the works. I couldn’t stop talking about it and have been making it at our place ever since. 

It’s a versatile soup. Forgiving too. If you cook the veggies too long, or don’t chop the onions like a pro? It doesn’t matter — they are all getting puréed anyway, so you can’t really mess it up. And if chicken isn’t your thing, skip it and go heavy on the veg. 

The chicken you use is up to you — for the best flavor, cook the chicken pieces (3 thighs or 2 breasts) in the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, (the same pot you’ll be using for the soup) browning both sides, before adding the other vegetables. Then remove the chicken before puréeing the soup to shred it, and then return chicken to the pot after you have puréed soup. Leftover roasted chicken meat works like a charm, but you can do any cut of chicken for this recipe. If you use leftover chicken pieces, wait to add them in until after you have puréed the other ingredients. 

1 dried ancho chili                                          2 heaping cups chicken, shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil                                    4 corn tortillas

1 large onion, chopped                                  6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)

2 carrots, chopped                                         2 stalks celery, large dice

3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered            2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 large can (28 oz.) chopped tomatoes -we used stewed tomatoes, frozen from the garden

½ cup cilantro leaves

First things first, we need to activate the flavor in that dried pepper — put it in a bowl and pour a cup of boiling water over it, and let it soak for at least a half hour, while you prep the other ingredients.

IF you need to cook your chicken, do that now, using the olive oil, over medium-high heat.

Grab the pepper that has been soaking and drain the water. Remove the stem and the seeds from inside and slice it into strips.

Add onion, carrots and celery to the pot.  (if using leftover chicken, add the olive oil now for cooking veggies) Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add in your garlic and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir in broth, chili, tomatoes and cilantro and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Tear tortillas into pieces and add to soup.  Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. (*If you still have your chicken in the pot, remove it now and shred it.)

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it’s nice and smooth. Return/add the chicken to the soup and salt and pepper to taste.

Toppers: sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, tortilla strips or chips, avocado, cilantro, or anything else that makes you happy.

Stay warm, my friends. I’m headed back under the covers — with fingers crossed that this talk of snow was just talk. (and that the Packers win today!) 🙂

PS: It’s my brother’s birthday today — no clowning around… Happy Birthday, Jamie!

Friday Photos featuring “Mashed Potato” Soup

Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.)

I’m playing nurse again for my guy — nothing too serious, but it’s tooth related, and you and I both know how much dental pain can ruin a Friday night.

Since he’s on a soft foods diet for the next day or so, I thought I’d throw together some soup with what we had in the kitchen. The first time I made Potato Leek Soup was several years ago when my nephew was visiting for the week — man was he a picky eater! Had to get a little creative and leave out the part where there were leeks and onions involved. (they were on his “I’m not eating THAT” list)

Once he tasted it though, he was sold. He absolutely loved it, said it tasted like mashed potatoes, then went home and kept asking my sister for it — which led to a her calling me to figure out the secret to this so called Mashed Potato Soup.

The secret is out.

Tayden’s Mashed Potato Soup

1 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed (Yukon Golds work nice)

3 leeks, washed well and sliced

1 medium onion, diced

6 cups chicken stock (vegetable works too)

2 tablespoons butter or oil


Heat butter over medium-high heat, add onions and leeks and cook for 5-7 minutes, until leeks become soft. Add potatoes and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes have softened.

Using a hand blender, puree until nice and smooth. I added a tablespoon of butter while doing this and more salt and pepper to round things off. This soup is pretty thin, if you prefer it more thick, you can use a tad less stock or return it to the heat and reduce it down some.

I grabbed some chives from the little “herb garden” we have going in the kitchen to top it off.


What else did this week bring?

  • Putting the recipe to good use — not only did we scoop up that super simple and oh-so-tasty applesauce as a side, I used it in my breakfast combo this week.

This is really the only product (except for the allergy-free chocolate chips) from Enjoy Life that I can tolerate. These crunchy bits give a great crunch to yogurt — and in this case, mixed in with honey sweetened yogurt, the slow cooker applesauce and cinnamon.


  • More breakfast options — poached eggs with roasted red pepper hummus and grapefruit. (sans sugar!)


  • Keeping it real with real food and no Diet Coke — this Honest Tea with lemon has been a treat!


Wrapping up Week 5 of the Couch to 5k tomorrow morning — time to hit the hay!