Archive for November, 2012


Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup


1 onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 T vegetable oil

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup pearled barley, uncooked

1 cup pinto or white beans, pre-soaked if dry (see note below*)

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1/4 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1/4 t celery salt

1/2 t dried basil

1/2 t oregano

1/2 t thyme

2 large bay leaves


In a large soup pot, sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and zucchini for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add the broth, all of the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium low.

Simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, until the barley is soft and somewhat fluffy. Add more spices to taste, discard bay leaves and enjoy!

*NOTE: You can soak the beans for 6 hours or overnight. A quicker method is to put the beans in cold water and bring them gently to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow them to remain in the water for 1 to 2 hours only.

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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Boy was this storm a real nightmare. Most of my family, friends and clients in the tri-state area faired very well, all things considered. The biggest obstacle was the loss of power.

The one thing I found consistent across the board was the eating and drinking fest that occurred, much to most people’s dismay. We were stuck in the house, out of our routine, out of work, and bored.  I heard things like, “I gained 5 lbs”; “If this continues I will be a 600 lb alcoholic”; “I drank so much red wine I could float away.” and “Why can’t I stop eating??”

I’m all for healthy eating and drinking in moderation but I think at times like this, we have to succumb and just go with it. Things look like they will start to get back to “normal” soon and when they do, that will be the time for us to re-focus. But for now……….pop the cork and pass the chips.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Warm Spices 

I love this recipe because roasting the vegetables concentrates the flavor.


2 medium butternut squashes, halved and seeded

2 medium onions, peeled and cut into eighths

olive oil

½ t salt

½ t nutmeg

½ t cinnamon

6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Put the squash cut-side-down in a large baking dish. Arrange onions and around the squash. Drizzle the onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Pour in 1 cup of broth and roast in the oven until very tender, about 40-50 minutes, depending on the thickness of the squash.

Let cool slightly. Scoop out the squash flesh from the peel and put it in a blender, along with the onions remaining broth. (If you prefer a thicker soup, add 5 cups of broth—if not add 7.) Blend until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Gently heat. Add the salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and stir.  Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

This makes quite a lot of soup. You can easily cut the recipe in half to make a smaller batch.

NOTE: You can also use a handheld blender instead of a blender. If you have one, transfer the cooked squash and onions directly into the saucepan and blend. Then heat, season and serve.
(Adapted from a recipe found on

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