Chowders Bisques And Gumbos | The Daily Dish

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Chowders Bisques and Gumbos

Holiday Favorites Week 5 “Soups and Stews” Winner

2 Comments | Written on November 18, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Time to announce another winner!  Meet Cheryl Woodson, the creative cook behind the top recipe in our “Soups and Stews” week.

Cheryl says,  “I like to serve soups, especially creamy ones, as a course for special occasions.  This recipe is easy to make for a crowd or an elegant gathering.”

I agree!  The flavors in this dish would compliment any Thanksgiving menu.  If you are looking for an elegant starter next week, give this winning recipe a try.

This is such a sophisticated dish, yet the preparation is not intimidating.  How did you become interested in cooking?

“I feel so lucky to have grown up in a family that loved food. I got my first cookbook at the age of five and fell in love with recipes and cooking at a young age. (I still have the cookbook. It was Buffy’s Cookbook, after the character in Family Affair).  I have a sign in my kitchen that reads “Cooking is love made visible” and that is how I feel. There is nothing more satisfying than making a dish and seeing the instant gratification on the faces for whom you’ve cooked!”

Tell us how you came up with your winning recipe.

“Several years ago I made a butternut squash soup for Christmas that was very similar to the yam soup I entered. However it was a lot more work to roast the squash and then puree it. So, I decided to swap the squash for the yams and then added the spices and chipotle pesto.  I thought it was a versatile dish that would have a wide appeal.  The spicy flavors can be adjusted easily, as well.”

What advice would you have for others who enter Better Recipes contests?

“Think in terms of unique flavor profiles, fairly easy preparation, striking presentation and first and foremost spot on taste. Most amateur cooks know when they have made something exceptional…enter those dishes!”

Great advice!  You still have time to upload your favorite “Thanksgiving Dessert” recipes this week.  Willl YOU be the next weekly winner?  Enter today!


Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, roasted garlic and tangy buttermilk are the secrets to this creamy yam soup. Serve with a spicy pesto, lime sour cream and chives for garnish.


1 head of garlic
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 40oz can of yams, drained & juices reserved
2 14oz cans chicken broth
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sea salt
Reserved yam liquid, about 1 1/2 cups

For Pesto:
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tsp adobo Sauce
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lime
Fresh chives for garnish, optional

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut top off of garlic and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil and roast for 30 minutes. Allow garlic to cool. In a stock pot, add drained yams & chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Squeeze garlic cloves from bulb and add to yams and stock. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a conventional blender, puree mixture till smooth. Return puree to pot if using a conventional blender. Add buttermilk, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, white pepper, salt and reserved syrup to puree. Mix all ingredients well and return to medium low heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare pesto by placing parsley, cilantro, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground. Scrap down sides and pulse again. With processor on, stream in 1/4 cup olive oil and process to pesto consistency. Set aside. Combine sour cream and lime zest, and set aside. To serve, ladle soup in bowl and place about one tablespoon of pesto in the middle. Add a dollop of lime sour cream next to the pesto and garnish with chives.

Number of Servings:  8

If your crowd does not like spicy food, omit the chipotle pepper from the pesto and the chili powder from the soup.

Hearty Cheddar Chowder

No Comments | Written on October 11, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Hearty Cheddar Chowder…even the title sounds like a warm hug!  I have to admit, the real reason I wanted to make this particular recipe today is because I couldn’t wait to use this innovative soup and crackers bowl.  Check out the comfortable handle, a perfect single serving size bowl and then a convenient holder for crackers.  It is designed to enjoy while cuddled up with a blanket in front of a warm fireplace!  I love to serve this recipe with a handful of oyster crackers.  They absorb some of the cheddar broth and add a bit of crunch!

Cheddar Chowder


3 cups chicken stock

4 cups peeled, diced potatoes

1-1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots

1 cup chopped onion

2/3 cup diced green bell pepper

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

3-1/2 cups milk

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons chopped pimiento

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1.  Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.

2.  Add potatoes, carrots, onion, and green pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

3.  While soup is simmering, melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Gradually add milk and cook until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in pimiento and hot pepper sauce.

4.  Stir cheese sauce into vegetable mixture and cook over low heat until heated through, but do not boil.

Serves 8.

Pumpkin Bisque with Wild Rice

13 Comments | Written on October 6, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Autumn is officially here!  There is a chill in the air, pumpkins are available in the markets and Halloween is right around the corner.  I was in the mood for a slow cooking meal from the crock pot and that’s when I stumbled upon this fantastic recipe from Better Recipes user robin.haas.   A bisque with pumpkin puree, white beans and wild rice?  I am in!  The result is a hearty and satisfying meal that filled my kitchen with the aroma of fall.

With a few twists, the recipe can be made vegetarian as well as non-fat if you prefer.  In addition, pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals.  Check out these health benefits from pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin is very rich in carotenoids, which is known for keeping the immune system of an individual strong and healthy.
  • Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, is a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps prevent build up of cholesterol on the arterial walls, thus reducing chances of strokes.
  • Rich in alpha-carotene, pumpkin is believed to slow the process of aging and also prevent cataract formation.
  • Pumpkins have been known to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.
  • Pumpkin is high in fiber.
  • Loaded with potassium, pumpkin is associated with lowering the risk of hypertension.
  • The presence of zinc in pumpkins boosts the immune system and also improves the bone density.

Pumpkin Soup


Pumpkin puree is combined in the crock pot with rice, onion, white beans, seasonings and cream. Vegetarians may wish to substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.


  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 15-ounce cans canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain and wild rice
  • 2 tsp cooking sherry, optional
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley


Combine all ingredients, except cream and parsley, in a 5-6 quart crock pot. Cook on high heat setting for 3 1/2 hours or on low for 7 hours. Ten minutes before serving, stir in cream; cover to heat through. Sprinkle with dried parsley before serving.

Number of Servings: 6-10

Note:  If you want to make this as a nonfat recipe, you can omit the cream altogether.