THE KITCHEN DIVA: 2 Soups to Chase Winter’s Chill

By Angela Shelf Medearis

Photo caption: (Photo by Depositphotos)

When the weather outside is frightful, a bowl of soup is SO delightful. Soup is an inexpensive and deliciously simple meal that offers plenty of health benefits. Try these wonderful soups and keep warm this winter!


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 slices (2 ounces) Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion (2 cups), chopped
  • 6 stalks celery (2 cups), diced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (3 large cloves) garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme or poultry seasoning
  • 2 (1 pound containers) frozen clams, packed in their own juice, thawed, juice reserved
  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups cold (1 percent) milk or 1 (12-ounce) can low-fat evaporated milk, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Hot sauce for serving (optional)

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, celery, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and thyme or poultry seasoning, and the remaining salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add 1 1/2 cups water, the reserved clam juice (about 1 1/2 cups), the potatoes and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Whisk the milk, cream and flour in a bowl until the flour is dissolved. Slowly add the mixture to the pot, stirring constantly. While stirring, bring the soup to a simmer (do not boil). Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 8-minutes. Add the clams and simmer 2 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste, as desired. Stir in the bacon. Serve with the hot sauce.


Leftover soup should be reheated in the microwave on the defrost setting rather than the stovetop, where the cheese will “break” or separate from the broth.

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red-skinned potato, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, roots discarded, white and green parts thinly sliced

1. Separate broccoli stems and the florets. Trim and discard the bottom of the stems and peel the tough outer layers. Finely chop the stems and coarsely chop the florets, and set aside separately.

2. Mist a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the broccoli stems, onion and potato, and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, combine reserved florets and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and continue to steam until the florets are bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the entire contents of the pot with the florets to the soup along with the nutmeg. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

5. Stir in the Cheddar, Worcestershire and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the scallions. Makes 6 servings.


Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis



THE KITCHEN DIVA: 2 Soups to Chase Winter’s Chill–