African Sweet Potato Soup
10 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled
3 large onions, finely chopped
4 qts. plus 2 c. purified water
1 c. room-temperature peanut butter
2 rounded tbsp. garam masala
lb. fresh ginger
3 heaping tbsp. salt
Cut the sweet potatoes into small, bite-sized cubes. Sauté the onions until soft. Add the sweet potatoes and water to onions. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until tender, but don't undercook. While sweet potatoes are cooking, put remaining ingredients into a blender, adding a couple ladles of the water from the cooking pot. Blend well.
When the potatoes are soft, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter mixture. Using an immersion (stick) blender, pulse the mix, but don't completely puree. You still want some identifiable pieces and some element of creaminess, too.• • • • •
This is a spin-off from a random recipe we read many years ago, with more ginger, peanut butter and sweet potatoes than originally called for. This thick and hearty soup has become the favorite among many of our customers, some of whom ask us to notify them when we'll have this on the menu for the day. Tummies and taste buds are more than satisfied by this year-round crowd-pleaser. There rarely are leftovers when we make this soup, a sign that it continues to hold its place as the winning soup at Naturally's.
— Submitted by manager/chef Laura Deck and owner Ronda Burke
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
1½ c. flour (for roux)
1 c. vegetable oil (for roux)
"The Trinity": 2 c. onions, 1 c. celery, 2 c. bell pepper, all chopped
¼ c. garlic, diced
2 whole chickens, cut in to pieces (optional to substitute duck or any wild fowl)
10 chicken livers (optional; can include the ones that came with the chickens)
½-¾ lb. Poche's certified Louisiana Cajun Andouille Smoked Sausages, sliced
3 or 4 bay leaves
3 qts. chicken stock
4 c. chopped okra (frozen OK)
2 c. green onions, chopped
1 c. parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat flour and oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot. Using a wire whisk, stir until dark golden brown. It will take several minutes, so if you don't stir constantly, you'll burn the roux and have to start over. Once you are satisfied with the color, you can sweat the onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté approximately 5 minutes, until vegetables are wilted.
Add chicken, livers, Andouille sausage and bay leaves to roux, and sauté approximately 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock one ladle at a time, and continue stirring until the mix is all even. Bring to boil, then add okra. Simmer approximately 1 hour on burner, until chicken is cooked and tender. Add green onions, parsley, salt and pepper, and cook another 5 minutes. Once done, serve over hot steamed rice with a French baguette.• • • • •
I have always said, "If you have 100 top chefs in New Orleans make gumbo, and if any one of their gumbos taste exactly alike, it would be like the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl back-to-back." This recipe is as authentic as it gets. You start with a good roux, add the best Louisiana Andouille, okra and the holy trinity. C'est si bon! (It's so good!)
— Submitted by proprietor Martin Allred
Family-Style (mild) Green Chili
3-4 lbs. boneless whole pork loin, diced
2 large yellow onions, diced
1 c. fresh garlic
4 oz. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
2 oz. cumin
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
2 gallons water
2 oz. chicken base
6 large tomatoes, roasted, peeled and chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
5 lbs. fresh Pueblo chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
4 tomatillos, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, roasted and peeled (optional)
1½ c. corn starch
½ c. cold water
salt to taste
sour cream, for garnish
Sauté pork, onions, garlic, oregano, black pepper and cumin with oil on medium heat for 10 to 20 minutes. Add 2 gallons water and chicken base, and continue to simmer. Then add tomatoes, cilantro, chiles and tomatillos (and jalapeños if using), and simmer for 40 minutes. Dissolve corn starch with the ½ cup cold water, add it, and simmer for 10 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.• • • • •
This is an all-around great green chili that pairs well with summer and fall activities, especially tailgating parties and Sunday afternoon football. We like to serve ours with shredded cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and a sour cream garnish, with two large flour tortillas on the side. It also pairs well in a meal with calabacitas, cornbread and cool, fresh melon.
— Submitted by owner Jackie Houston
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 chopped ribs of celery
2 large cans crushed tomatoes, with juice
½ gallon water
½ bunch green onion, chopped
1 tbsp. dry basil
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
2 tbsp. granulated garlic
2 tbsp. granulated onion
1 large handful spinach, julienned
4 oz. beef base
1 large can red kidney beans
chopped parsley, to garnish
Sauté onions, bell peppers and celery until tender. Add tomatoes and water, then bring to a simmer. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
Note: Diced stew meat may be added.• • • • •
This minestrone is a recipe I created and have served for years, at the Ritz and MacKenzie's and now at Oscar's. It's always been very popular and a crowd-pleaser. We make it year-round, and it's a light and hearty soup that holds well, which is good for restaurants and great for home. Enjoy!
— Submitted by owner Phil Duhon
Pork Green Chili
5 lbs. pork loin, diced
¼ c. garlic
½ lb. butter
3 poblano chile peppers
2 jalapeño chile peppers
10 roasted green Anaheim chile peppers
1 c. all-purpose flour
pinch garlic powder
pinch chili powder
¼ c. lime juice
6 qts. pork or chicken stock
12 oz. tomato juice
cilantro, cheese or chips (for garnish)
Dice pork loin into ¾-inch squares. Mince onions and garlic. Put pork, onions and garlic in a pot with the butter and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat.
While your pork is cooking, roast, peel and seed the poblano, jalapeño and Anaheim peppers. Then dice them into half-inch pieces and add to pork mixture. Let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the flour to the pot, and let cook in butter for another 5 minutes.
Next, add all spices, lime juice, chicken or pork stock, and tomato juice, and let simmer for 20 minutes, then enjoy. Top with fresh cilantro, cheese or chips.• • • • •
Our green chili at Phantom Canyon is distinct, and we use fresh local chiles when in season. The key to the flavor of our soup is in the roasting of the ingredients. It brings out a natural smoky flavor. Our green chili is served with flour tortillas for dipping.
— Submitted by sous chef Matthew Brotherton and prep supervisor Jimmy Dodge
Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef and Vegetable Soup)
2 lbs. beef stew meat
2 cubes beef bouillon
10 c. cold water (adding more as needed)
salt and pepper, to taste
4 whole garlic cloves
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
2 c. carrots, each cut into three equal pieces
5 quartered Roma tomatoes
2 c. large chopped calabacitas (Mexican squash, purchased mainly in Mexican stores), or large chunk of zucchini
2 large peeled potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 c. cabbage, roughly chopped
6 medium Anaheim chiles
½ c. roughly chopped cilantro, or more if you like
For the soup:
In large pot, boil beef with bouillon cubes until foam comes to top, then remove all foam. This takes about 20 minutes. After all foam is gone, add salt and pepper to taste. You will probably be adding salt and pepper later to taste, too, so go easy at first. Cover until tender.
When meat is just tender, add garlic cloves, onion, carrots and tomatoes, and almost completely cover the pot with a lid. When carrots are just tender, add calabacitas or squash, potatoes and cabbage, and heat them together until all are cooked through.
For the chiles:
Roast chiles in oven or under broiler, turning until nicely charred. Put in bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap for a good 30 minutes or more, until skins are easy to remove. Then take out seeds and stems, and cut into large chunks.
Add roasted chiles to the soup. Serve alongside tortillas in large shallow bowls, and top with cilantro. Serves 6.
Note: This can also be done with chicken and chicken bouillon. Quarter the chicken and give each person a quarter of chicken in their bowl. Do not cut up or shred. Cooking chicken will take a little less time.• • • • •
Growing up, we hardly had any meat. When there was a fiesta in our family, someone had a cow or chicken killed. We were thrilled to have some meat, and my mother did wonders with it.
— Submitted by owner Rudy Escobedo
Oyster Rockefeller Soup
3 tbsp. bacon grease
8 oz. yellow onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
6 oz. fresh spinach
6 oz. Pernod
1 qt. heavy cream
1 lb. oysters, with liquor
2 tbsp. Creole seasoning blend
2 tsp. hot sauce
green onion, for garnish
Heat bacon grease in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic, and sauté for two more minutes. Add spinach to the pan, and stir until wilted. Deglaze pan with Pernod, but use caution, as the pan may flare up at this point. Cook for another minute to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add heavy cream and bring to a slow simmer. Add oysters and all oyster liquor (the residual liquid in the shell).
Once the soup begins to boil again, remove from heat. Purée using an immersion blender, or in small batches in a tabletop model. Season with remaining ingredients. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion, and serve with crusty French bread.• • • • •
This is a real "special occasion" soup. It's quite rich, but that's really the beauty of it; please don't try to "lighten" the recipe, as you will always be disappointed with the results.
A lot of oyster purists have commented in the past that the shellfish should remain whole in the soup, but I find that the texture becomes too chewy way too quickly. If you're still looking for more oyster, try flash-frying one per bowl, as a garnish.
— Submitted by chef tournant Jason Miller
Smoked Pheasant Chowder
1 onion, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1½ lbs. smoked pheasant, cubed (chicken can be substituted)
2 c. flour
1 gallon chicken stock
3/4 tbsp. black pepper
1/3 tbsp. sage
1/3 tbsp. thyme
3 potatoes, diced
½ c. frozen corn
1½ c. heavy cream
Cook onions, celery, carrots and garlic in the butter, in a large stockpot, until soft and translucent. Add pheasant and cook another 5 minutes, then add flour; stir and cook another 5 minutes, until a roux forms. Finally, add chicken stock, pepper, sage and thyme, and cook over high heat until it comes to a boil. Lower the heat, add the potatoes and corn, and simmer 20 minutes. Then add the cream, stir, and enjoy. Serves 8 to 12.• • • • •
Classics never die, and this smoked pheasant chowder is a classic. I brought the recipe to Stagecoach Inn as one of the signature soups I created while working as the sous chef at our sister restaurant, Craftwood Inn, years ago. I've perfected the recipe, making it ideal for a cozy night next to the fire. Its hearty nature makes it a meal in itself. True Colorado comfort food!
— Submitted by chef Bob Swain
Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 small can coconut milk
3 small cans chicken stock
2 c. heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp. curry powder (or to taste)
toasted coconut flakes, for garnish
Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds and coat in oil. Roast for 90 minutes at 300 degrees, until soft.
Dice onion and carrots, and chop garlic. Sauté onion, carrots and garlic together for 8 to 10 minutes. Add coconut milk, chicken stock and heavy cream. Scoop out the squash into the pan and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper and curry powder to taste. Purée all ingredients in blender. Put in saucepot to reheat. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.• • • • •
This is a twist on a classic French recipe that I thought would give the soup more personality and depth. I like to get the squash from the local farmers market, to keep it local and support small business. This is a very simple but flavorful soup good for all seasons. I still get lots of requests for the soup, but sometimes I like to make people wait — the anticipation makes it tastes better.
— Submitted by chef Mark Gagnier
Classic Spanish Gazpacho Shooters
5 large cloves garlic, unpeeled, plus oil for roasting
½ English cucumber, peeled
½ small red onion
1 small red bell pepper, seeds and white ribs removed
1½ c. Italian plum tomatoes (San Marzanos best), with juice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. Amontillado sherry
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
½ tbsp. Tapatio or other hot sauce, or to taste
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
2 c. ice water
lime wedges, tortilla chips and/or cilantro (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss unpeeled garlic cloves with oil and wrap in foil. Roast until soft and just golden, checking frequently, then set aside to cool. Peel cloves when cool.
Roughly chop the cucumber, onion and bell pepper and place in a large bowl along with the tomatoes and their juice, the olive oil, Amontillado sherry, sherry vinegar, Tapatio, salt and the cooled and peeled garlic cloves. Stir to mix.
Ladle half the mixture into blender jar and blend smooth before adding half the ice water. Blend again until smooth, seasoning with additional salt, sherry and/or sherry vinegar to taste; pour into small cups or shooter glasses and garnish with lime wedges, tortilla chips and cilantro as desired. Makes 10, 4-ounce servings.• • • • •
This authentic Spanish gazpacho recipe is adapted from a recipe used by the chef at the Torrejon Air Base Officers' Club outside Madrid, Spain, in the mid-1980s. Perfect as a tapas option, appetizer or breakfast drink, it also makes the world's best Bloody Mary when you add a shot of vodka. Serve ice cold.
— Submitted by owners Dave and Laura Brackett and chef Hilary McCandless-Beard
1 lb. pinto beans
½ lb. bacon or ham, cooked and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp. of your preferred oil
2 tomatoes, diced
6 sticks celery, diced
5 medium carrots, diced
6 jalapeños, de-seeded and diced fine
1 bottle Tecate or your favorite Mexican cerveza
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, cover beans with water. Cook for 2½ hours, or until soft. Do not drain off the water. Cook bacon or ham, and set aside.
Sauté garlic and onions in 2 tablespoons oil. Add all your chopped veggies and jalapeños to garlic and onions. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add beer, veggies and bacon to the beans, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Serves the whole family.• • • • •
Borracho beans, or "Charros," are popular throughout Mexico. Growing up in Jalisco, we ate this dish at all our family functions and at Christmas time. I enjoy preparing dishes that remind me of home.
— Submitted by chef Heron Villarreal
Ethiopian Grand Lamb and Vegetable Soup
½ lb. (up to 1 lb.) boneless lamb, trimmed to reasonable size
½ tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. cumin
cubed veggies of your choosing, such as carrots, leeks, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes
½ c. olive oil (can substitute ghee)
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves, ground
¼ c. cilantro
½ tsp. turmeric
salt to taste
4 c. water (or lamb broth)
Trim the meat into small pieces and mix with the ginger and a ½ tsp. each of cardamom and cumin. Leave it for at least 3 hours, or overnight if you will be cooking the next day.
Chop the onion and cube the vegetables of your choosing. Brown the lamb meat in olive oil or ghee, remove, and put aside.
Use the same oil or ghee to cook the onion until it's soft and light gold. Add to it the lamb and stir for about 5 minutes, then add the veggies and continue to stir for another 5 minutes.
Add the remaining cumin and cardamom with pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cilantro, turmeric and salt, and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add 4 cups of water (or lamb broth if you have it), and cover it. Let boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to the lowest and let cook for 30 to 40 minutes until meat and veggies are tender. When stirring, be careful not to break the veggies. Serves 3 to 4.• • • • •
Back in my family home in Ethiopia, we'd eat this comforting and mouth-watering soup with Harar bread that my grand mama and my mama used to make in the family oven. The oven was built in the ground, and the bread was cooked against the wall of it.
I am sorry that we can't build this kind of oven here in Colorado Springs. (Maybe I should ask for a permit to build one, and let people enjoy the healthy and wonderful bread of my childhood.) But without Harar bread, you can use any multigrain, wheat or gluten-free bread with this soup. Enjoy it with your family and friends!
— Submitted by owner/chef Maya Hetman
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 3-lb. chicken
1 gallon water
3 chicken-flavored bouillon cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
cilantro and scallions, for garnish
1 16-oz. bag rice flour
1 14-oz. bag tapioca starch
3 c. hot water
For the noodles:
Mix rice flour and tapioca starch in bowl. Add hot water and knead until dough is ready. Separate dough into five portions and roll until ¼-inch thick. Cut into noodle strips.
For the stock:
Add all ingredients to soup pot. Cook on medium-high about 30 to 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. When chicken is cool enough to touch, remove skin and bones. Pull chicken apart into smaller strips. Add noodles to pot and frequently stir, over 5 to 7 minutes, so noodles don't stick. Add chicken and continue to stir. Adjust seasoning, if needed, with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and scallions. Serves 8 to 10.• • • • •
My family used to make this soup after long nights of fun and spending quality time together. It was a process to make, but when you have your first sip, you can taste the homemade touch and feel your energy coming back. This is such a simple recipe, but boy, does it taste so good! This is definitely a comfort food to have in your comfortable home on your comforter with loved ones. Cherish the moments.
— Submitted by owner Khon Onexayvieng