It’s the soup time of the year – Anyone can make delicious soup! Neatsmart‘s Carrie and I had a blast talking wine, soup and organization yesterday. If you missed the Facebook LIVE, here’s the link:

Drink Wine Get Organized

Posted by Nancy Waldeck on Monday, January 22, 2018


Here are the building blocks of soup, along with a “souper” recipe to kick the New Year off Soup-taculary!

THE FIVE building blocks of soup:

  1. THE AROMATICS AND OIL – Onions, Peppers, Carrots, Parsnips, Celery, Fennel, Garlic that are slowly sautéed in oil to create a base for the soup. You can use any kind of oil you choose. Canola, Grapeseed, Olive or Avocado oils are all healthy choices.
  2. THE HERBS AND SPICES – Are added when the aromatics are cooking down. Think about your favorite foods to choose which herbs and spices you want to add. For instance you may be a Pizza lover. Pizza has herbs like Basil, Thyme and Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes. You can use that for a guide to adding those herbs and spices to your soup. (Just remember to use the dried version for soups cooking for over 30 minutes, and then you can use the fresh herbs to garnish.) This is also the stage that you will add salt and pepper.
  3. THE LIQUID – this can be any kind of liquid you want. Chicken, Veggie, Beef, Seafood, even water or coconut milk, dairy or alternative milks, even juices. A can of evaporated milk can add a creamy flavor if you are out of dairy in the fridge – but make sure you add it to a soup with LOTS of flavor already – you don’t want the “taste” of evaporated milk to overpower a delicate soup!
  4. THE VEGETABLES/PROTEIN/BEANS/STARCH – these building blocks are not part of the aromatics, these are added later to create the soup. It can be just beautiful vegetables that are cut into bite-sized pieces, beans or lentils, hearty meats, poultry or fish chopped or shredded, or pasta, grains and/or rice. What you add here makes it a chicken soup, a veggie soup or a bean soup!
  5. THE GARNISH – The final touches to make it your own! You can add layers of flavor by duplicating some or all of the dried herbs that you added along with the aromatics. You’ll also want to taste the soup to see if it needs more salt, remember that a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice can add a pop of flavor like salt, with no sodium. But you don’t have to stop with herbs. Think of texture, too! A crunchy or crispy garnish like a sprinkle of pita or tortilla chips can be just what a pureed soup needs – a cooling plop of Greek yogurt or the creamy dairy of shredded cheese may add lots of flavor and interest to your soup.

Any one can make any kind of soup by following these building blocks – You’re only limited by your own creativity and imagination!

Creamy Cauliflower Fennel and Dill Soup

  • 2 – 3 Cups Coarsely Chopped Fennel – about 1 Large fennel bulb
  • 1 Large Head Cauliflower, with stem and leaves, chopped
  • 2 TB Grapeseed or Olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp EACH Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 2 tsp Grated Garlic
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • ¼ tsp EACH Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 TB Chopped Fresh Dill

Step One

Toss the fennel and cauliflower together with 1 TB of the oil, the coriander, red pepper and salt and pepper on a sheet tray in a 400F oven for about 20 minutes or until browned on the edges and soft.

Step Two

While the veggies are roasting, sauté the onions in the remaining TB of oil until soft in a small stockpot – about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook and stir until aromatic. Add the broth and the roasted fennel and cauliflower to the pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for abou 15 minutes.

Step Three

Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before using the immersion blender to puree the soup – as much or as little as you’d like. Stir the lemon zest through the soup and the remaining salt and pepper. Place in bowls and garnish with dill.


DeChancery Cremant de Loire   Whole Foods – $16

Everyone who loves bubbles should absolutely learn about Cremant! Made in the traditional method – the same way Champagne is made – its sparkly and refreshing! A little less expensive than Champagne, and made with the grapes of the region it is from in France – Cremant de Loire is made with Chenin Blanc, Cremant de Bourgogne is made from Chardonnay, etc.

Racines et Terroirs Riesling

When you are talking spicy – there’s often no better match than Riesling! Fruit forward with peach and honey favors – it is a lovely match to a spicy Asian soup like the one we talked about creating on the FB Live. This one is highly rated and available at Costco for $15

Le Moretti Bardolino Rose

Fun and different this rose has some heft – its made with some of the same grapes that Valapollicella is made with – Corvina, Rondinella and Molinari. From northern Italy, this is my pairing with the Cauliflower soup below. Crisp and refreshing with berry flavors – a good match for creamy slightly spicy soup. Whole Foods – $18.99.

Carrie’s Fun Organizing Tips for SOUP and MORE are here: 012218 DWGO

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