With a cold bite in the air there’s  no better time for an easy killer soup.  So let’s do two EASY RECIPES this week!


Serves 4 as main dish.


1 lb. Italian Sausage

1 14.5 oz can Beef Broth (fat free)

14 oz water (use the beef broth can)

1/2 C Pale Dry Sherry

2 15oz cans Cannellini Beans (white beans)

1/2 Green Bell Pepper – diced

1 Medium Onion – diced

1 Celery Rib – sliced down middle and diced

1 Bay Leaf (remove before serving)

1/3 Tbsp Oregano (dried)

2 Tbsp Fresh Basil – chopped

4 Mushrooms – sliced

2 Cloves Garlic

1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Blue Stilton Cheese – grated – as topping for soup

Whole Fresh Basil leaves for garnish


Brown the sausage in a large fry pan. When browned, drain most of the grease and then remove sausage to a large pot.  To the remaining grease in fry pan add onion, pepper, celery, garlic, and saute’ for few minutes to soften.

Add the saute’d items to the sausage, add chopped basil, beef broth, Sherry, water, bay leaf, brown sugar, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and bring mixture to boil while stirring frequently.  Reduce to strong simmer for twenty minutes.

Rinse the white beans to remove the packing juice and then place beans in the simmering soup. Raise the heat to bring to boil, stir and reduce heat to strong simmer.  When beans are soft (maybe 15 to 20 minutes) the dish is ready to serve.

After placing a serving in soup bowl, top with a little Blue Stilton cheese and garnish with a basil leaf.

There you go, with very little effort or cost you just made a wonderful easy home cooked soup that friends and family.


While in Ketchum, Idaho for a little skiing we would from time to time check out the town.  We happened onto a restaurant called The Moose Girls Cafe and decided to have lunch. The restaurant was packed, but we were eventually seated.  After being seated we noticed, and enjoyed looking at, the wonderful paintings on the walls done by a local artist.  And then our waitress appeared.  In a funny outgoing way she advised us that this was her third 14 hour day and she could be a little forgetful.   We examined the menu and everything looked good.  I settled on the Tuscan White Bean and Chicken soup. The soup was absolutely tremendous. We round tabled what we thought the ingredients might be, and the following recipe is pretty close in appearance and taste.

I don’t know how hard the Moose Girls recipe is to make, but I can tell you that my Easy White Bean and Chicken version is easy and will produce a great main dish or starter.

Servings: 4


1/2 chicken breast – boneless and skinless

2 – 15oz cans of cannellini beans

1 – 14.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth

3 slices bacon

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/4 tsp anise seed

1/2 onion diced

1 1/2 celery stock

1/8 C Madeira

3 cloves garlic – smashed

1/2 tsp  fresh flat parsley – minced

1 bay leaf


In a large pot bring water to boil, add chicken, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to maintain low boil, and proceeding with the next steps.

Dice onion, slice celery, and smash the garlic (or use prepared garlic).

In a fry pan cook the bacon making certain to remove it while it is still tender. In the bacon grease saute’ the onion and celery. Add the garlic and the Madeira, simmer briefly and remove from fry pan.

Check the chicken to see if it is cooked (poke it to see if any blood comes out) and if done remove it from the water.  Continue boiling the water until it is reduced to a couple inches, and then add the can of chicken broth.  Bring to a strong simmer.

Strain out the packing water from one can of beans, adding only the beans to the broth and smash the beans or use a small hand held mixer to break the beans down.  Next add the vegetables. Finally  add the thyme and anise and simmer the soup.

Cut or tear the chicken into small bite size pieces and add it to the soup.  Chop the bacon into small pieces and add it to soup.  Cook soup at high simmer for five minutes.

Drain out the packing water from the second can of beans and add beans to the soup (do not smash second can of beans) continue cooking at high simmer until beans are tender. Just prior to serving add the flat leaf parsley.

And just like that you have made a wonderful home made soup that your family or friends will love!

Good Eating and Table Talk,


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