Enjoy soup for supper, any time of year



On a cold wintry night, soup is an easy choice. On a hot sunny day, soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be an easy choice. Soup for supper does not heat up the house the way a casserole will, and provides a comfortable meal.

Soup provides health benefits in the summer diet as well. Soup is a great way to add flavor and variety to a weight control plan. Eating soup can be part of a successful weight-loss strategy.  Recent research shows that soup can be a “secret weapon” for safe and healthful weight loss because it helps to fill you up with fewer calories.

Soup provides an easy way to fill up. You can eat larger portions of water-rich foods, like broth-based soups, which have relatively few calories per serving. It adds variety to any diet by adding soup to the menu. Because there are so many soup options, you can enjoy a different soup every day. When counting calories, fat or carbs, soup can add taste, variety and satisfaction for any meal plan.

Soup is not just a diet food. Trendy soup shooters are a fun way for everybody to think of soup in a whole new way. Trendy chefs have given healthy makeovers to shooters, transforming them into appetizer-size soups with intense flavor.  Served in the slim, tube-shaped glasses used for the shooters served in bars, they make novel starters to today’s meals, rich with nutritional benefits.

They are an alluring way to increase the vegetable consumption on festive occasions, whether a wedding reception or a backyard barbecue.  In fact, doing soup shooters is so much fun that they can tempt guests of all ages into consuming a goodly amount of good stuff.

Shooters are served in a two-to-four ounce glass.  It may be any shape, from narrow and tall to a traditional shot glass.  Using plastic is fine, especially since most soup shooters are served lukewarm or at room temperature.  Adding a garnish with visual appeal and that compliments a shooter’s flavor is a nice touch.  It may be as simple as a thin citrus wedge or grated zest, a mini-kebab of cubed veggies on a toothpick, or a small shrimp set on the edge of the glass.


Sweet and Spicy Criollo Coconut Shrimp Stew


2 tablespoons McCormick 1 Step Seasoning: Tex-Mex

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large ripe plantain, or 2 bananas, peeled and sliced


Stir chicken broth, 1 Step Seasoning, sugar, and cinnamon in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Add sweet potatoes; cover and boil 5 minutes or until yams are slightly tender.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink; stir occasionally.

Makes 5 (1 cup) servings

Courtesy of McCormick


White Bean Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 small carrots, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, excess stems removed, torn

1/2 bunch kale, excess stems removed, torn

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes

2 (15-ounce) cans canellini beans, drained and rinsed

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup Barilla Ditalini

1/4 cup chopped parsley, divided

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided


Heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté 3–4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Add greens and stir until wilted. Add tomatoes, squashing them gently by hand over pot to break them apart. Add remaining juice of tomatoes as well.

Add beans and chicken broth.

Add ditalini, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, pepper and salt. Bring to boil and cook 10–12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Stir in remaining parsley and 1/2 cup cheese. Serve with remaining cheese. Serve with crusty bread and drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Courtesy of Barilla Pasta



1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 package McCormick Chili Seasoning

Shredded Cheddar cheese, optional

Sour cream, optional

Chopped green onion, optional

Cook and stir ground beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until done; drain if needed.

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion, if desired.

Makes 5 (1 cup) servings

Courtesy of McCormick


Casablanca soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup chopped celery
16 ounce canned crushed tomatoes in juice
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup garbanzo beans
1/8 cup lentils
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup vermicelli, broken into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, stems removed

In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil until sizzling. Add the onion, garlic and celery, cooking until translucent.
Add tomatoes, chicken stock, garbanzo beans, lentils, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric to the stockpot. Cook over low heat for 40 minutes, or until the garbanzo beans and lentils become tender.
Add the vermicelli to the soup. Mix flour with lemon juice and form into a paste. Add flour paste gradually to the soup until the soup thickens. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and Italian parsley.

Makes 2 servings


Chicken and Noodles Italian Style

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs,* well trimmed

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Season-All Seasoned Salt

1 teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Oregano Leaves

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

3 medium carrots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and thinly sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

6 ounces medium egg noodles (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed


Rinse and pat dry chicken.  Cut each thigh into 4 pieces and place on plate.  Combine seasonings and sprinkle over chicken; gently pat into chicken.

Combine broth, diced tomatoes, carrots and onion slices in 3 1/2 or 4-quart crockery slow cooker.  Stir in seasoned chicken.

Cover and cook on LOW setting for 8 hours.  Raise  heat to HIGH setting.  Stir in noodles, pushing them  down into broth mixture.  Add peas.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 to 20 minutes or until pasta is tender but still firm.

*2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (6 large) will yield about 1 1/2 pounds when skinned and boned.

Note:  If allowed to stand 10 to 20 minutes before serving, the noodles will absorb the broth and delicious flavor of the McCormick seasonings.

Courtesy of McCormick


Italian Wedding Soup

Serve with Italian bread and sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of the soup.

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 egg

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

4 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Collection Pesto Seasoning, divided

2 cups thinly sliced spinach

1 cup orzo or little shell pasta, uncooked

2 tablespoons dry white wine, optional


Combine beef, egg, bread crumbs, cheese and 1 teaspoon pesto seasoning in a bowl. Shape into 1/2-inch balls. Set aside.

Mix broth and remaining pesto seasoning in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Drop the meatballs into the broth. When they rise to the top, they are done. Add the spinach and pasta. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done.

Makes 7 servings

Courtesy of McCormick


Spicy-Sweet Potato Soup



2 tsp. canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large shallot, chopped

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 -1 tsp. green Thai chili paste, or to taste

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 medium sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled

and diced

1 (15 oz.) can fat-free reduced sodium

chicken broth

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (juice of 2 limes)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to


Fresh limes, cut in thin wedges, or lime zest,

for garnish (optional)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onion, shallot and carrots until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until the mixture is orange and the onion is soft, 4 minutes more.  Mix in the chili paste and ginger, and cook until they are fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the sweet potato and chicken broth.  Pour in 1 1/2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes, or until the carrots and sweet potato are very soft.  Let sit to cool slightly.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until creamy.  Add the coconut milk and lime juice.  Whirl just until blended.   Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled, as desired.  For “shooters,” serve in small glasses.  Garnish each serving with a thin lime wedge or a grating of lime zest.

Makes 20 2-ounce shooters, or 5  individual 1-cup servings.

Courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research


Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pull-apart

For Those Who Love Peanut Butter with Chocolate, This is Perfection!

Six Crescents are shaped into a Colorful Pinwheel




Chocolate Always Hits the Spot



Research in health benefits from chocolate was announced this summer in Switzerland, leaving every ordinary person feeling a bit less guilty about sneaking that extra brownie from the snack tray or that extra tidbit from the candy dish.

Molecules in cocoa credited for the “heart-healthy” benefits of certain cocoa and dark chocolate may also in the future help treat diabetes, strokes and vascular dementia, and could soon be available to pharmaceutical companies for development into new medications, scientists announced in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Chocolate has long been known to have heart-healing properties. From that first crush, often hitting youngsters barely past the tender age of toddlerhood, chocolate has always been well-known as the best prescription to cure a broken heart. A box of chocolate candy and a bouquet of flowers have also long been known as the best way to announce the tender feelings in a young man’s heart.

Chocolate is the favorite flavor selected for birthday cakes and rich decadent desserts.

Not only is chocolate wonderful in desserts, but chocolate has moved onto the main-meal dinner plate as well. Chocolate provides flavor benefits to a wide range of foods.

While the science and medical experts from around the world discuss the newest research regarding potential medical benefits from chocolate, kitchen experts closer to home can try out a few new ways to enjoy the benefits of chocolate on their own dinner tables tonight.


Warm Chocolate-Coffee Cake

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

4 ounces butter

2 shots espresso

1/2 cup Starbucks Coffee Liqueur

3 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 tablespoons flour, heaped


Preheat oven to 400F. Cut chocolate into small pieces. Do the same for the butter. Melt chocolate, butter, espresso and coffee liqueur together in a double boiler.

Using an electric mixer, beat whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar until fluffy (about 5–6 minutes).

When the chocolate and butter mixture is melted, combine with the egg mixture (make sure to add chocolate to eggs and not the reverse).

Add flour and mix batter well.

Place batter into six 4-ounce aluminum ramekins that have been well-buttered and floured, and bake for 10–12 minutes in preheated oven. (Make sure not to overcook so that you have a deliciously soft molten cake).

Serves 6

Serve with whipped cream. Garnish with sliced strawberries or mint leaves or drizzled with coffee liqueur.

Courtesy of Starbucks Coffee Liqueurs


Crumb Cake Muffins



3/4 cup applesauce

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup flour

2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

12 paper cupcake liners

1 12-cup muffin pan


1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Message Boards:

1 bag M&M’S® Brand MINIS Milk Chocolate Candies

1 cup vanilla frosting

3 full-size graham crackers

12 graham sticks

Resealable plastic bag


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin pan with the paper cupcake liners.

Combine the applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil and egg in a medium bowl, whisking lightly with a fork. Blend in the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix 1 cup of chopped SNICKERS® Brand MINIS. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.

Mix the topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly on top of the muffins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cut each graham cracker into 4 rectangles. Spoon vanilla frosting into the resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner. Pipe an inspirational message on each rectangle. Use dots of frosting to attach M&M’S® Brand MINIS® Milk Chocolate Candies along the outside edges of each cracker.

Insert one end of a graham stick into the center of each muffin. Pipe a dollop of icing on the top of the stick, and attach a message board.

Makes 12 muffins

Courtesy of Masterfoods USA


Triple Chocolate Gingerbread


1 package chocolate cake mix, any variety
1 package  (4-serving size)  chocolate flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix
4 eggs
1 tablespoon McCormick Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Allspice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
1 cup mini chocolate chips

White Chocolate Drizzle:
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 10-cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray with flour.

Beat all ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until just moistened, scraping side of bowl frequently.  Beat on medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350F for about 50 minutes or until cake pulls away from side of the pan and cake springs back when touched lightly.  Cool on cake rack for 15 minutes.  Invert cake onto cooling rack and remove pan.  If cake sticks to pan, loosen it from side of pan with long skewer or knife.  Cool completely.

White Chocolate Drizzle:  Combine white chocolate chips with milk; microwave on 70% power 1 minute.  Stir.  If necessary, repeat microwave process in 10-20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until morsels have melted and mixture is smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Drizzle over cooled cake.  (If prepared in advance, drizzle will harden in the bowl while cake is cooling, so prepare just before spooning over cake).

Courtesy of McCormick


Blonde Brownies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Courtesy of NESTLÉ USA


Nesquik Neapolitan Pound Cake

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

4 large eggs

1 package (18.25 ounces) white cake mix

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup Double Chocolate Flavor NESTLÉ NESQUIK Calcium Fortified Powder

3/4 cup Strawberry Flavor NESTLÉ NESQUIK Calcium Fortified Powder

Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 10-inch, 12-cup fluted tube pan.
Beat cream cheese and eggs in large mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in cake mix alternately with milk. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thick). Remove 2 cups batter and place in separate bowl; stir in chocolate Nesquik. Remove 2 more cups white cake batter and place in separate bowl; stir in strawberry Nesquik.
Spoon strawberry batter into prepared pan; tap pan on counter lightly. Spoon white batter over strawberry batter covering it completely; spoon chocolate batter over white batter.
Bake on center oven rack for 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 45 minutes. Loosen edges with butter knife if needed; invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Servings: 16

Courtesy of NESTLÉ USA


Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pull-apart

Makes 12 Rolls / Two “Pinwheels”



4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 envelopes Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Peanut Butter Filling

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter


Chocolate Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons cocoa powder*

1 to 2 tablespoons milk


In a large bowl, combine 1-1/3 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt.  Heat milk, water, and peanut butter until very warm (120°F to 130°F).  Gradually add to flour mixture.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half; roll each to 14-inch circle.  Cut each into 6 wedges; place Peanut Butter Filling at wide end of each wedge.  Beginning at wide end, roll up tightly; curve to form crescent.  Arrange 6 crescents, seam sides down, spoke fashion, on greased baking sheet.  Pinch ends at center to seal.  Repeat with remaining crescents on separate sheet.

Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375F for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.  Remove from sheets; cool on wire racks.  Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze.

Peanut Butter Filling:  In a medium bowl, combine chocolate morsels and peanut butter.  Stir to blend.

Chocolate Glaze:  In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk.  Stir until smooth.

If desired, substitute 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter.

Courtesy of Fleischmann’s


Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake


3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 packages Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 large eggs

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Chocolate Nut Topping (recipe follows)


In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt.  Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120 to 130F).  Gradually add to dry ingredients.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.

Add eggs and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in chocolate morsels and remaining flour to make a soft batter.  Turn into greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with Chocolate Nut Topping.  Return to oven and bake additional 10 minutes or until done.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

Chocolate Nut Topping:  In medium bowl, cut 1/2 cup butter into 2/3 cup all-purpose flour until crumbly.  Stir in 2/3 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, and 1 cup chopped pecans.

Courtesy of Fleischmann’s


Individual Chocolate Espresso Soufflés

Makes 8 servings

Nonstick cooking spray

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa

1/2 cup hot water

3 tablespoons instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2/3 cup (5 fluid-ounce can) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Fat Free Milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

4 large egg whites

Pinch of salt

Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375F. Spray eight 6-ounce custard cups with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Combine cocoa, water and coffee granules in medium bowl; stir until smooth. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in evaporated milk and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add to cocoa mixture; stir until smooth.

Beat egg whites and salt in small mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg whites gently but thoroughly. Pour mixture into prepared cups, filling 3/4 full. Place on baking sheet.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out moist but not wet. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Courtesy of Nestlé Carnation Milks


Chicken Mole

4 tablespoons olive oil
2  cloves garlic; minced
6 chicken thigh/leg quarters
1 onion; chopped
1 green pepper; chopped
3 teaspoons canned pimento; chopped
2 large tomatoes; peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 cups  chicken broth
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup  raisins
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
grated rind of 1 orange
2 squares bitter chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup light rum

In casserole, heat oil and cook garlic for a few moments to flavor the oil;
add chicken and brown. Remove chicken.

In remaining fat, cook onion, green pepper, pimento, and tomato over low heat for 10 minutes. To onion mixture, add chili powder, blending well. Add broth, almonds, raisins, seasonings, and rind; simmer, covered, 30 minutes longer. Add chocolate, stirring until melted. Replace chicken, spooning sauce over chicken pieces.
Bake, covered, at 350 F for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender.
Warm rum, ignite it, and pour over contents of casserole; allow to stand
for a few minutes.