1 of 11
Kimball F. Phillips
Valerie Phillips is the author of "Soup's On! 100 Savory Soups, Stews and Chilis Made Easy," published by Covenant Communications. Phillips is the former Deseret News food editor and blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com.

With outside temperatures dropping, it’s time for warmer food, like soups, to shine.

A pair of recently released cookbooks — “Soup’s On!” by Valerie Phillips (Covenant Communications, $19.99) and “Lion House Soups and Stews” (Deseret Book, $19.99) compiled by Brenda Hopkin, the Lion House head baker, and David Bench, the Lion House executive chef — include recipes for soups, stews, chowders, bisques, chowders, chili, gumbos and a few cold soups. Both Phillips and Hopkin love soups, especially this time of year.

“Soups are winter’s answer to salads,” said Phillips, who was the Deseret News’ food editor for 10 years and who now blogs at chewandchat.blogspot.com.

Growing up, she grew tired of sandwiches in her school lunches so her mom started putting soups in a Thermos. Also, when she, her husband and their young son were living in Saudi Arabia and traveled through parts of Asia and Europe, many times, cooked soups generally seemed safer than fresh salads.

In “Soup’s On! 100 Savory Soups, Stews and Chiles Made Easy,” Phillips developed 75 recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or fewer (in testing them, she set her timer for 30 minutes to see how it would work) and 10 are slow-cooker recipes or put-in-the-oven-before-church recipes like the Root Beer-Braised Beef Stew.

She uses shortcuts like using pre-cut, dried or frozen ingredients, like frozen hash browns instead of chopping potatoes and freeze-dried onions from food storage. Phillips also includes other soup-cooking tips, like making a weekly menu to efficiently use ingredients, be flexible and stock up on convenience items when they are on sale so things are in the pantry when needed.

While precut fresh vegetables are more expensive, “it’s worth if it you do use it,” Phillips said. Getting some precut fruits and vegetables from a grocery store’s salad bar can be an option.

She recommends having a smaller cutting board that can fit in a dishwasher for the things that do need to be chopped. Also, she worked on ordering the ingredients to make sure the ones that needed to be cooked longer went in first and the ones that needed to be crisper went in last.

“I like peas nice and crisp and so I add them toward the end,” Phillips said.

Phillips includes several recipes and the short stories behind them that she picked up during the time she was food editor at the Deseret News, including Larry H. Miller’s Seafood Gumbo, the Biggest Loser Resort’s Roasted Red Pepper Bisque, the Hotel Utah Borscht, and RJ’s Stuffed Pepper Soup from the now closed RJ’s near Kirtland, Ohio.

And there are few others inspired by restaurants, like the Roasted Garlic Bisque inspired by one at Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA restaurant in New Orleans; the Creamy Pear, Blue Cheese and Bacon Soup was inspired by a soup served from the hands of Victor Durrant, chef of Red Rock Junction in Park City at Salt Lake City’s annual Art and Soup fundraiser; a Chickpea and Spinach Soup inspired by soup at the Oasis in Salt Lake City and the Presto Zuppa Toscana inspired by Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.

Unlike baking cookies and treats, there isn’t an exact science to soups.

“The beauty of soups is that you can be creative and add things that most of the time not hurt it,” Phillips said.

“If something doesn’t turn out quite right, something else can be added to it, Hopkin said. “There’s always something to do to fix it.”

If there is a little too much salt, then add some sugar to counter it, Hopkin recommended.

“Lion House Soups and Stews,” includes about 80 soup recipes, with about 20 that have variations for a slow cooker, and 10 bread recipes, including bread bowls, drop biscuits and the Lion House Dinner Rolls.

Lion House Pantry staff tested each recipe to ensure the adjustments for a home kitchen worked. The ones taken from previous books were updated and simplified.

They include some old favorites that have been served at the Lion House for years, like the Lion House Tomato Bisque, Split Pea Soup, French Onion Soup and the Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup, along with some new ones, including Pozole or Mexican Stew, Sausage Soup with Pinch Noodles, Brunswick Stew, and step-by-step instructions on making Beef Stock.

“I fell in love with Pozole,” Hopkin said of the Mexican stew with pork and hominy, with shredded cabbage and onions that makes a light, broth soup.

She heard about the Brunswick Stew while on vacation in Tennessee and asked for the recipe.

“It’s different than most soups and stews,” she added.

The accompanying DVD includes demonstrations from her and Bench on chopping and preparing ingredients efficiently, making stock, rouxs and white sauces, along with making some of the breads.

Soup recipes can be long with lists of ingredients, but don’t be intimidated, as most are seasonings and spices. Most the preparation for soups is in the chopping and peeling. And many of these recipes can be easily doubled, or tripled, too.

“Warm your heart by making soup,” Hopkin said.


Prep time: 30 minutes

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 cup frozen chopped onions

5 cups chicken stock (or 3 cans chicken broth)

1 29-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

1 2.5-ounce package cooked bacon pieces (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup cream, or half-and-half (or fat-free half-and-half)

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

1. Add oil to pot and turn heat to high.

2. Add onion and sauté, stirring, until it begins to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in stock, pumpkin, bacon, sugar, and thyme. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer about 5 minutes.

4. Remove the soup from the heat and add cream, nutmeg and curry powder, if desired.

5. Puree soup in two or three batches in blender, leaving the middle of the lid open to avoid pressure build-up of steam. Start on low speed to prevent splashing. Or, use an immersion blender.

6. Season with salt and pepper. When serving, spoon a little of the cheese on top of each bowl of soup. Garnish with pumpkin seeds if desired.

Options: Substitute Parmesan cheese for the cheddar topping.

— "Soup's On!" by Valerie Phillips, published by Covenant Communications

POZOLE (Mexican Stew)

Makes: 10 servings

2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut in 1-by-2-inch pieces

1 pound boneless port butt, cut in 1-by-2-inch pieces

14 cups water

4 teaspoons salt

¾ cup diced onion

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 sprig cilantro

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 (14 ½-16 ounce) cans hominy

Red sauce (see below)

1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce, optional

Shredded cabbage, for garnish

Chopped onion, optional, for garnish

Lime or lemon wedges, optional, for garnish

Tostadas, for garnish


10 chiles guerillas (dried chiles)

½ cup water

¼ onion

4 cloves garlic

For the pozole: Place pork in a large soup pot and cover with water. Add salt, onion, oregano, cilantro, and garlic and bring to a boil. As it boils, skim top layer of foam off surface of soup. Cook over medium heat until pork is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Do not cover with a lid while cooking. Add hominy, Red Sauce, and Cholula hot sauce, if desired, and cook another 15 minutes.

For the red sauce: Boil chiles in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree with onion and garlic. Add to the Pozole.

Garnish with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, a wedge of lemon or lime, and tostadas.

— "Lion House Soups and Stews," compiled by Brenda Hopkin and David Bench, published by Deseret Book


Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 1 ½-cup servings

Thanks to O'Brien-style frozen hash browns, you can avoid peeling or dicing potatoes, onions and peppers. Packaged bacon bits eliminate the messy job of bacon-frying, and they contain 50 percent less fat than regular bacon. Using fat-free half-and-half further slashes the fat and calories without losing flavor. You could also use skim milk, but your soup will be less thick and creamy. The rosemary gives a subtle pine-ish flavor.

2 14-ounce cans chicken broth (or 4 chicken bouillon cubes and 1 3/4 cup water)

1 28-ounce package O'Brien-style diced hash brown potatoes

1 3-ounce package shelf-stable bacon bits (or about 3/4 cup of cooked, chopped bacon or 1 cup finely diced ham)

1 15-ounce can corn, drained

2 teaspoons dried rosemary or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ cup water

1 ½ cup half-and-half, fat-free half-and-half, or milk

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Optional garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, bacon bits, rosemary sprigs

1. Place chicken broth, potatoes and bacon in a large pot over high heat.

2. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to keep the soup gently boiling about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add corn.

3. Mix cornstarch and water to a smooth paste. Stir cornstarch mixture into the gently boiling soup, and continue stirring until soup thickens.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in milk or half-and-half and pepper, until mixture is well-blended and the soup re-thickens.

5. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as desired. Ladle into serving bowls; garnish each with a teaspoon of shredded cheddar, bacon pieces or a rosemary sprig.

Slow cooker directions: Place all ingredients except cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water in a slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours, on low for 5-6 hours. Mix cornstarch and water into a smooth paste and stir into the soup. Turn the soup to high and leave the lid off, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, until soup thickens.

— "Soup's On!" by Valerie Phillips, published by Covenant Communications


Makes: 10 to 12 servings

12 to 15 Roma tomatoes, reserving 1 roasted tomato for garnish

4 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup beef stock

1 (2 ½-ounce) bunch fresh basil, or 2 tablespoons dried basil

1 cup sugar, to taste

2 to 3 cups cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup sour cream, for garnish

2 tablespoons milk, for garnish

Place tomatoes on baking sheet and roast in oven at 350 degrees F. until tops blacken. Combine tomato soup, chicken stock and beef stock in large soup pot. Place roasted tomatoes and basil in blender and puree until smooth. Fill blender only one-third full and repeat until all tomatoes are pureed. Vent lid of blender so steam doesn't build up. Add puree to pot and simmer. Add sugar until mixture is slightly sweet. (Don't skimp on the sugar — it may take more or less, depending on the tomatoes.) Add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For garnish, stir sour cream and milk together until well blended. Place in a small zip-top bag and seal. Cut off a small corner of the bag and squeeze 8 to 12 small drops onto individual servings of soup. With a toothpick in the center of a drop, pull a line out, making it look similar to the picture. Continue with all drops of sour cream. Chop reserved tomato into fine pieces and place a few pieces in the center of each bowl.

Chef's tip: The soup should not taste like marinara sauce, but should have a slightly sweet, creamy flavor.

— "Lion House Soups and Stews," compiled by Brenda Hopkin and David Bench, published by Deseret Book


Prep time: 30 minutes (fewer minutes if using canned chiles)

Makes: 6 1 1/2-cup servings

This is a great holiday tradition, but don't limit yourself to Thanksgiving. You might even want to roast a couple of turkeys when they are at bargain prices during the holidays, and freeze the meat for later use. Then use the carcass to make Turkey Broth, another recipe in this book.

1 tablespoon butter

2 cup frozen onions, partially thawed

2 4-ounce cans diced mild green chiles

2 cans Rotel tomatoes and chiles, original

4 cups diced turkey

3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed, or 4 cups cooked beans

3 ½ cups homemade turkey stock (or 2 14-ounce cans of turkey or chicken broth)

1 tablespoon cumin (or substitute 2 tablespoons chili or taco seasoning instead of the cumin, paprika and chile powder)

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder, optional

¼ cup fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon sugar

1 envelope turkey gravy mix (optional)

½ cup sour cream

1. Melt the butter in a nonstick 4-6-quart stock pot over high heat.

2. Add the butter and onions to the hot pot and stir, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chiles, tomatoes, turkey, beans, stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Ladle each serving and top with a heaping spoonful of sour cream to swirl into the soup.

— "Soup's On!" by Valerie Phillips, published by Covenant Communications


Makes: 4 servings

3 cups sliced onions

¼ cup butter

2 cups beef stock (or 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons beef soup base)

2 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons chicken soup base)

½ teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon pepper

Parmesan Toast Slices

1 loaf French bread

Butter, room temperature

Parmesan, Swiss or favorite cheese, shredded

Sauté onion in melted butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until dark golden brown (caramelized), but not burned. Add beef stock, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan Toast Slices just before serving.

For toast slices: Slice French bread into thin slices and place on a large baking sheet. Spread each slice with softened butter. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Place slices under broiler and toast until light brown. Serve whole or sliced.

— "Lion House Soups and Stews," compiled by Brenda Hopkin and David Bench, published by Deseret Book


Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 1 ½-cup servings

Many tortellini soup recipes call for cooking the pasta in a separate pot. This recipe eliminates that step by cooking the tortellini in broth, then adding the rest of the soup ingredients. The cream cheese thickens the soup and adds richness. You can use lite cream cheese, but plan on whisking it longer to remove any lumps.

2 14-ounce cans (or 4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth

1 9-ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 15-ounce diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon basil

1 tablespoon dried chopped onions

1/3 cup frozen chopped green pepper (or about 1/4 cup fresh)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup milk

8 ounces cream cheese (or lite cream cheese)

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup shredded cheddar or Parmesan, optional

1. In a large pot, bring broth to a boil. Add tortellini to broth and cook 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomato paste and tomatoes, milk, onion, peppers, sugar and garlic. Turn heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer about 10 minutes.

3. While soup simmers, cut cream cheese in several chunks. Add the chunks to the soup, and whisk until they are thoroughly incorporated.

4. Let the soup simmer about 5 minutes more to allow flavors to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with chopped green peppers, herbs, cheddar or Parmesan cheese.

Options: Add 1 to 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

— "Soup's On!" by Valerie Phillips, published by Covenant Communications


Makes: 6 servings

1/2 pound dried pinto beans


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion

½ pound smoked sausage

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ teaspoons paprika

5 cups water

1 or 2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in thing, 2-inch-long strips

1 small parsnips, peeled and cut in thin, 3-inch-long stips

1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar

½ cup sour cream, plus more for garnish


½ cup flour

Pinch of salt

1 egg

2 teaspoon water, optional

Place beans in colander and rinse well under cold running water. Drain beans, please in a medium bowl with enough water to cover them, and soak overnight.

The next day, drain beans in a colander and set aside. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and sausage and sauté until onion is translucent and sausage is browned. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is light brown. Stir in beans, paprika, 5 cups water, bay leaves, salt, carrot and parsnip. Cover and simmer over low to medium-low heat about 2 hours. Bring soup to a boil, add Pinch Noodles, and boil gently until noodles are tender. Reduce heat and continue simmering, if necessary, until beans are tender.

For noodles: Combine flour, salt and egg in a medium bowl. Knead until stiff dough forms. Add 1 teaspoon water, if necessary. Flatten dough between your palms until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Pinch off 1/2-inch pieces of dough and drop into boiling soup.

Just before serving, stir in vinegar. Place 1 cup hot soup in a small bowl; add 1/2 cup sour cream, and stir until smooth. Add sour cream mixture to soup pot and stir well until heated through. Do not boil. Garnish individual servings with a dollop of sour cream.

— "Lion House Soups and Stews," compiled by Brenda Hopkin and David Bench, published by Deseret Book

If you go ...

What: Valerie Phillips book signing and soup samples

When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 4-5 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Also ...

What: Really Big Cooking Show (class, samples and book signing)

When: Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: Show Barn, Thanksgiving Point, Lehi

Web: thanksgivingpoint.com, www.eventbrite.com/event/2101292021#

Note: Tickets are $16

Also ...

What: Valerie Phillips book signings and soup samples

When: Saturday, Nov. 10

Where: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Orem Seagull Bookstore, 331 E. University Parkway, Orem, and 1:30-2:30 p.m., Lindon Seagull Bookstore, 677 N. State Street, Lindon

Email: rappleye@desnews.com