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Soup for the Soul: Four Kid-friendly Recipes

Soup for the Soul: Four Kid-friendly Recipes

Soup has a way of bringing people together.

A group of Denver moms started swapping soups to give their kids’ lunchboxes some variety, and found their meetings meant as much as the soups.

Inspired by a monthly neighborhood soup potluck in her town, Portland author Maggie Stuckey wrote “Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup” (Storey, 2013, $19.95).

In “Soup Night,” Maggie Stuckey offers recipes and stories of how communities, including a Loveland neighborhood, come together around soup. The West Endies, usually between 25 and 40 people, meet a couple of nights a month through the winter. The host provides two soups, and the guests are reminded to BYOBS (bring your own bowl and spoon).

“Everyone needs support and friendship — everyone. I believe that if everyone had a Soup Night to go to, there would be no more crime, no more war,” says Loveland artist Regina Wirisch Robertsin “Soup Night.”

When Andra Zeppelin’s daughter Lulu got bored with her lunches, Zeppelin, who is editor of Eater Denver (, started Soup Group.

“I emailed five friends who had kids of similar ages and said, ‘Let’s do this swap.’ Each one of us was going to make one soup and put it in six containers,” says Zeppelin. “We would hang out and get our soups and leave with six different soups. It started as ‘we’re doing this for the kids,’ but then the ladies started eating the soups for themselves and exchanging recipes.”

In the spirit of community, the chefs share their favorite soup recipes here.

Kristen Browning-Blas

Potato and Maui Onion Soup

“Vegetable stock only takes about an hour to make,” says Jeff Osaka, right, of Twelve. He simmers carrots, onions and celery with thyme and bay leaf. “You just have to cook the ingredients long enough to bring out their natural sugars.” At the restaurant, he garnishes the soup with shallots, scallions and pickled pearl onions. Serves 4-6.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large sweet onion, such as Maui, Vidalia or Walla Walla, peeled and sliced

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Set a medium-large saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Add the onion and turn heat to low. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until onion is softened.

Add the potatoes and stir to combine. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a low boil. Turn down heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

Working in batches, blend the soup (with an immersion blender or regular blender). Strain through your finest mesh strainer into a clean soup pot. Reheat and taste for seasoning. If it’s too thick you can add more stock to desired consistency. Whisk in butter to finish, and serve warm.

Tomato Soup

From chef Gabe Godell of The Kitchen, serves 8-10.


One-third pound (about 1¾ sticks) butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced


3 16-ounce cans of good-quality canned tomatoes (look for San Marzano or Muir Glen)

One-third cup heavy cream

Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish


In a large pan, melt butter over low heat. Add onion and a good pinch of salt. Sweat onion 30 minutes or until translucent and soft. Add tomatoes and simmer 25 minutes. Using an immersion mixer, add cream while blending. (Or transfer half the soup to a blender, and add cream while blending on low. Return to pan and stir.) Taste and adjust seasoning. To serve, drizzle each bowl with a little olive oil.

French Lentil and Roasted Tomato Soup with Cumin Yogurt

“Please support your local food economy, make friends with your local farmer, rancher and neighborhood grocer. Enjoy good food and good company, and pour yourself a glass of the same wine you’re cooking with,” says chef Justin Cucci. From Root Down, makes about 2 quarts, serves 8.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon chipotle powder

¼ cup white wine

¼ bunch cilantro stems, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups water

1 quart vegetable stock

14 ounces chopped fire-roasted tomatoes (Such as Muir Glen)

1 cup organic french green lentils

Salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons tamari

teaspoon sugar


½ teaspoon cumin

1 cup Noosa Honey Yogurt

Sliced scallions, optional

Fresh lemon juice, optional


Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and caramelize the onions and carrots for 15-20 minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and chipotle powder and cook for 5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add cilantro stems and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add water, stock, tomatoes and green lentils; bring to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.

When the lentils are cooked, add the remaining ingredients (salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, tamari and sugar) and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a blender, purée 2 cups of the soup mixture until smooth. Incorporate this purée back into the soup and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed for desired flavor profile.

Combine the cumin and yogurt. To serve, garnish with yogurt, scallions and lemon juice, if desired.

Carrot-Orange-Ginger Soup

Regina Roberts of Loveland recommends using organic carrots and oranges. From Roberts, in “Soup Night,” serves 6.


2 pounds carrots

3 cups water or vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1½ teaspoons salt

2 oranges

1 lemon

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

One-third cup chopped almonds

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, or more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Sour cream or plain yogurt

Sliced almonds, toasted

Orange zest strips

Chopped fresh parsley


Scrub carrots but don’t peel them, and slice thinly. Add water or broth to a large soup pot with the carrots, bay leaf and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay leaf, and let soup cool to room temperature.

While carrots are cooking, prepare the oranges and lemon. From 1 orange, remove the zest in strips, then slice into thin matchsticks; reserve for garnish. Grate the zest from the other orange and the lemon. Then slice all three fruits in half and squeeze juice. Reserve zest and juice.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and almonds; sauté until golden. Add to soup pot.

Using an immersion blender, begin puréeing the soup in the pot. Meanwhile, gradually add the orange and lemon juices and the grated orange and lemon zest. Add enough juice to create a soup that is creamy and not too thin.

Stir in maple syrup and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Keep soup warm over low heat, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the pot.

Just before serving, stir in the parsley.

Garnish each soup with a swirl of sour cream, a sprinkle of almonds, orange zest and parsley.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

1 Comment

  1. YUM!

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