Category Archives: soup

Tomatillo Bisque with Chicken & Lime Crema

Tomatillo Bisque

Only a few official days of summer left and then we are on to fall. The subtle reminders are there: cooler evenings, the displays of pumpkins and colorful mums at the entrances of grocery stores, and the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks; all clues that we are making the transition into a new season.

Here in the south though, the days can remain quite warm for a while yet, which tends to leave me feeling a bit confused about what I want to eat.  On the super warm days I am still content with  summer food: something right off the grill with crisp garden ready veggies still do the trick.  But then when we have a few nights that get chilly, and days that aren’t so scorching hot, I’m not really sure what I’m in the mood for.

On those cooler days, the first thing I start to think about is soup. Not the stick-to-your-ribs kinds of soups, but definitely something warm and satisfying.

In comes my  Tomatillo Bisque.   I have been making this soup for years. I often serve it as a first course in the winter months as a lead into a southwestern menu, and sometimes I make it with some added chicken and enjoy it for lunch or dinner all on its own like I’ve done here.

This soup is nice and light, with some really good tang from the tomatillos and lime crema…and of course I love the crispy tortilla strip garnish!


You’ll find fresh tomatillos in the produce section of your grocery store. To check for freshness, look for firm tomatillos with tight fitting paper like husks. You’ll want to keep them refrigerated (unlike tomatoes) until ready to use.

Tomatillos are a key ingredient for green sauces in Mexican and Central American cuisine, but they are also offer fantastic flavor for soup!

Tomatillo Bisque

Tomatillo Bisque with Chicken, Tortilla Crisps, & Lime Crema
  • 16 ounces tomatillos, husked, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 serrano chile, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • Canola oil for frying tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced (for garnish)
  • Lime Crema
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  1. Place tomatillos on a baking sheet and broil until lightly charred and softened, about 15 minutes. Remove blistered skin from tomatillos and discard, reserving tomatillos.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, oregano, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, and the chile; continue to cook, stirring frequently, an additional 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Dissolve corn starch in a little cold water and add to the soup and continue to simmer an additional 2 minutes to thicken. Cool soup slightly. Add roasted tomatillos to soup and puree, using an immersion blender, or process in mixer in batches.
  3. (Soup may be prepared 1 day ahead and reheated.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with *crispy tortilla strips, chicken, diced tomatoes, a dollop of *lime crema and remaining cilantro.
  5. servings
  6. *Crispy Tortilla Strips:
  7. Fill a large cast iron skillet with 1-inch of canola oil and heat to 350 degrees over medium high heat. Add tortilla strips, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel lined plate. (May be fried 1 day ahead.)
  8. For Lime Crema: whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

Butternut Squash Bisque with Prosciutto Chips and Crab

It’s 5 star make over time again, and this month’s theme is squash!

 Hosted by: 5 Star Foodie  & Lazaro Cooks!


Right away, I knew I would be doing something with butternut squash.  Sweet, and remarkably vibrant orange in color, it’s definitely my favorite member of the squash family.

Even though it has been more summer like here in Virginia with 80 degree days, the evenings have been cooling off, and the idea of things like soups and stews are beginning  to sound appealing.

I decided to make a bisque for this month’s challenge, showcasing the true flavor of butternut. I roasted the squash along with a red bell pepper to bring out the natural sugars before blending into a smooth puree; the base for the creamy bisque.  Sauteed onions and leeks were invited to the mix, along with some chicken broth and a bit of cream for simmering. I  balanced it out with some crisp salty prosciutto and crab for the  garnish.

After shooting the pics for this post, we ate the bisque for lunch (one of the benefits of photographing food for your blog! );  a nice treat to sit down and enjoy on a busy weekend day. —-really loved this one, yes, butternut squash is still my favorite.

I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with this month! Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Star Foodie or Lazaro Cooks for the roundup this Friday for all kinds of wonderful ideas for squash!




Butternut Squash Bisque with Prosciutto Chips and Crab
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash – halved and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • ½ cup finely diced leek
  • 2½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1⁄2 cup of heavy cream
  • Garnish:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup lump crab meat
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Brush the cut sides of squash with 6 tablespoons of the butter. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme. Place the squash cut side down in a baking dish and bake until tender, approximately 1 1⁄2 hours. Cool, scoop out the pulp from the skin.
  3. Puree the squash in a food processor with roasted red pepper. Reserve.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare garnish. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add prosciutto slices and cook until crisp, a few minutes per side. Drain on paper towel lined plate.
  5. Melt butter in saute pan over medium high heat. Add Panko crumbs and stir until crumbs begin to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add crab, continue to stir an additional minute. Transfer to plate and reserve.
  6. In a large saucepot, heat the olive oil and add the onions and leeks. Sweat over low heat. Add the puree of the butternut squash, and stock. Bring to a boil and then lower heat; simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream.
  7. Garnish with crispy prosciutto and toasted crab crumbs

Chilled Asparagus and Leek Soup with Truffle Whipped Marscapone Cream

    •  In recognition of the longest day of the year, Mother Nature decided to turn up the thermostat here in Virginia on the first day of summer, and she hasn’t looked back. I wish I could call it a heatwave(which would mean at some point that wave would crest and return to normal), but heat and humidity go hand in hand when you are talking about summertime in the south, so with the warm weather here to stay, it looks like it is time to crank up the a/c and make some chilled soup…and just in time for this month’s 5 Star Makeover Event:

 Hosted by Lazaro Cooks! and 5 Star Foodie


  • I think chilled soups are a really nice addition to summer menus; offering a refreshing break from the day’s heat, and  the chance to showcase summer flavors with a different approach to presentation.
  • Another bonus is that the soup will be made ahead and chilled, which means it is ready for a quick bite on the go, or may be added to a complete menu.
  • For this soup, asparagus is quickly roasted to warm up the flavor, then whirled together with sauteed leeks & chicken broth to create the base. Buttermilk and lemon juice brighten the soup, and add a bit of tang. You could stop here and enjoy it just the way it is, but I like to garnish with something like crispy prosciutto or in this case,  truffle whipped marscapone cheese. Either way, this soup will cool you off, and keep you looking pretty good in your bikini!
  • Chilled Asparagus and Leek Soup with Truffle Whipped Marscapone Cream
  • 1 pound  asparagus, trimmed
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup buttermilk


For the garnish:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the asparagus with salt, pepper, two tablespoons olive oil, and one tablespoon lemon juice. Place them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for five minutes, or until the asparagus are tender  and still bright green.

Sauté the leek in remaining olive oil over medium heat for four to five minutes, or until tender. Put the asparagus, leek, and chicken stock in a blender, working in batches if necessary, and purée the vegetables. Pour into a large bowl and add the buttermilk and remaining lemon juice. Combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least one hour. The soup may be made and refrigerated for up to one day in advance.

Whisk the cheese and cream. Fold in the truffle oil. Season with salt and pepper. Put a dollop on top of each serving of soup. Sprinkle with fresh chives.

4-6 servings