Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Ginger and Pear Butternut Squash Soup

When it comes to winter produce, squash is where it’s at. This season, I’ve made Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone and Fig Jam, and my favorite: Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Gnocchi.

So when KitchenAid sent me their new 5-Speed Hand Blender to try out, I immediately thought of smoothies, soup, fresh salsa and squash.


As a cook with a smaller kitchen, I love appliances that can do double duty. This blender can do a whole lot more. From chopping nuts to whisking egg whites to blending my morning smoothie, the 5 attachments can tackle nearly every kitchen project. Not to mention, it comes in an adorable carry case that keeps everything together (and yes, only I would use the word adorable to describe anything kitchen related). Other features include:

    • 5 Speeds
    • 5 ft Power Cord
    • 8″ (20.3 cm) Removable Stainless Steel Blending Arm
    • BPA-free Blending Jar Material
    • Blend, Puree, Chop, Shred, Mince Froth/Mix and Whisk/Emulsify/Aerate
    • Clean and Store
    • Easy Clean Up
    • FIRST EVER Removable Pan Guard
    • Hand Blender
    • Industry’s First Interchangeable Stainless Steel Bell Blade Assemblies
    • KitchenAid® Hand Blender
    • KitchenAid® Hand Blender with Accessories
    • Quiet, Powerful DC Motor
    • S Blade
    • Stainless Steel Frother Beater Bell Blade Assembly
    • Stainless Steel Multipurpose Bell Blade Assembly
    • Stainless Steel S Blade Bell Blade Assembly
    • Storage Case
    • The premium stainless steel blending attachment reaches an 8″ immersion depth
    • The stainless steel whisk maximizes air in mixtures for fluffier egg whites and whipped cream
    • Twist Lock Blending Arm
    • 3 speeds provide greater processing control that adjusts to handle a variety of foods, beverages and soups
    • Whisk Attachment
    • 1 Liter Pitcher with Splash-Free Lid
    • 1-Year Hassle Free Warranty
    • 2.5 Cup Chopper
    • DC Motor
    • The stainless steel splashguard covers the blending blade to prevent splattering of ingredients
    • Twist Lock Stainless Steel 8″ (20.3 cm) Blending Arm

To really test this hand blender out, I decided to create a new recipe. I love butternut squash soup, but I wanted to add a twist to it. Instead of adding the typical carrot/onion mixture, I wanted to infuse the soup with flavors of pear, ginger and nutmeg. I was going out on a limb with this one, but I love how it turned out.

One of my favorite features of the hand blender is that it comes with a pan guard so the blades don’t scratch your cookware. I also love the fact that I can control the speed. Our old immersion blender doesn’t even have an “on” button, so this is a major upgrade :)


This soup will definitely make it into my lunch this week (and it’s even DietBet friendly!). Although it’s only been in the teens in Wisconsin with several inches of snow, I vow to make as much soup as a can before spring (which is our neck of the woods means May).


Disclaimer: KitchenAid sent me this hand blender for a review. I was not compensated in any other way and not under any contract to write about it. All opinions are my own.

Spicy Tomato Peanut Butter Soup

You know you are addicted to social media when you are gone for just a few short days and the whole world seems to have changed. Not to mention I have no idea what my favorite bloggers have been up to (I’ll catch up over the weekend — I promise!).

I started my new job on Monday and between that, workout sessions with my favorite personal trainer, and getting ready for the holidays, I have been a little overwhelmed to say the least. Speaking of which, thank you all SO SO much for your kind words on Thursday’s post. You make it so easy for me to spill my heart out and share my crazy life with the world.

Since I have been so pressed for time, I’ve been making shortcuts to prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of making Libby’s Pumpkin Roll like I originally planned, I decided to freeze unbaked pumpkin pies like I did last year (learn how to freeze homemade pumpkin pie in part 1 and part 2 of these blog posts). I also made and froze oatmeal raisin cookies a la King Arthur Flour to bring to our festivities as well.

Since I won’t be blogging until after the holiday, I want to leave you with my favorite dish as of lately. It combines two of my favorite foods: peanut butter and tomatoes. Now hear me out on this one…

I clipped this recipe for tomato and peanut butter soup simply based on the fact that I had some Hot Pepper Better’n Peanut Butter lying around and didn’t know what else to do with it.

As it turned out, spicy peanut butter is the perfect ingredient for soup (and Thai foods, like noodles with spicy peanut sauce). Add a slice of homemade bread and you have a meal perfect for fall or winter. And especially after all that turkey, stuffing and pie, you’ll be craving lighter meals. And in this case, you definitely won’t be skimping on flavor.

Question: What are you up to for Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite part of the meal? For me, I love the stuffing. Homemade, I could eat that stuff by the bowlful. I also love pumpkin pie with Cool Whip :)

Milwaukee Empty Bowls 2012

I look forward to Milwaukee Empty Bowls every year. Usually Brenton and I go by ourselves, but this year we were lucky enough to show his parents what all the fun is about. (To read about our experience at Milwaukee Empty Bowls 2011, see this post).

Here’s the concept: You pay $20 and receive a handmade pottery bowl. You then get to sample soups from 30 area restaurants. All the money goes toward hunger programs in Milwaukee.

Since I am a sucker for pottery and soup, this event is right up my alley.

Brenton’s Dad and I

What was so funny about the event this year is that we all picked the grab bag bowls so we didn’t have to wait in line (if you want to pick your own bowls, be prepared to wait at least an hour and a half). Oddly enough, all the bowls we ended up picking spoke to our personalities. Brenton’s mom and I both picked girly bowls (mine is the flower one, hers is the polka dots). Brenton’s dad picked out the super masculine bowl on the bottom left, and Brenton picked out the teal and maroon glazed bowl on the bottom right.

I tried several soups, but the few that I really liked were Saz’s beer cheese soup and Bartolotta’s New England clam chowder.

Le Reve’s potato leek was also delicious.

Sharing a father-son moment at the end of the event.

And a Special Occasion

Today is also our 6-year anniversary! I met Brenton when I was 20 (he was 21), in math class at UW-Milwaukee. It’s probably fate that we met because we were both trying to get out of that class (our teacher was the worst).

When I saw Brenton walking down the street by where I lived, I got up the courage to chat with him before class to ask him where he lived. It turns out we only lived 3 blocks away from each other.

From there you can probably guess what happened. We started officially dating a month later and we have been together ever since….through graduations, getting Oliver, a few surgeries, job changes, moving about 4 times and so many fun adventures in between.

And now some throwback pictures.

My BFF Hillary’s 21st birthday party in March 2007.

At Brenton’s sister’s wedding in June 2007.

Ringing in the New Year, January 1, 2008.

Out with friends on Old World 3rd in Milwaukee, August 2009.

Question: How long have you been with your significant other? What’s your favorite quality about him or her? I could go on and on about what I like about Brenton, but I especially adore his goofy sense of humor.

Food Survey

I’ve been seeing this food survey popping up everywhere (most recently on Erica’s blog). Since I was always a sucker for surveys in high school, I couldn’t resist doing one again.

1) Coke or Pepsi?

Diet coke! (if I’m feeling naughty, if not, it’s water, coffee or tea)

2) Lemonade or fruit punch?

Lemonade. Fruit punch makes we think of Whop (remember that!?)

3) Caramel apple or cotton candy?

Caramel apples! I have to buy these every year.

4) Butterfinger or Snickers?

Butterfinger (too bad they don’t make BB’s anymore!)

5) Pudding or Jell-O?

I’m going gourmet and saying homemade custard – like that used in my Whiskey Tiramisu.

6) Turkey or chicken?

Chicken, because it’s so versatile. In fact, this Mexican Chicken Chowder is one of my favorite soups.

7) American or Provolone?

Neither – Cheddar! (I am from Wisconsin)

8) Crackers or cookies?

Cookies. I love baking them and decorating them (I made these for my sister’s baby shower)
9) Pretzels or chips?

Who am I kidding, chips!

10) Mexican food or Japanese food?

Mexican!! I got my enchilada/tamale/chimichanga fix last week.

11) Chinese food or Italian food?

Italian food is awesome (lasagna, homemade pizza, gnocchi), but I can’t say no to the occasional Chinese takeout.

12) Ice cream or cookies?

Both. Cookies in winter, ice cream in summer.

13) Pasta or pizza?

Homemade pizza

14) Soda or juice?

Trop 50 orange juice

15) Chocolate bars or chocolate truffles?

How about Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles – my fav!

16) Apples or bananas?

I can’t live without either. Bananas are awesome, especially in Chocolate Overnight Oats.

17) Salad or soup?

Soup (except now when it’s 80 degrees and 100% humidity)

18) Cauliflower or broccoli?


19) Onion rings or French fries?

Cheese fries!

20) Blizzard or McFlurry?

Blizzard (especially their xs size)

21) Fried or poached eggs?

Scrambled with cheese

22) Crepes or pancakes?

Pancakes – regular and potato/ Zucchini, Carrot, Potato Pancakes

23) Hashbrowns or roasted potatoes?

I’m on a sweet potato kick

24) Oatmeal or cereal?

Oatmeal when it’s cold, cereal when it’s warm

Your turn…

Pasta or pizza?

Italian food or Chinese food?

Ice cream or cookies?

Chicken Enchilada Soup a la Botanas

My First time at Botanas Mexican restaurant in Milwaukee was well over a year ago. I still remember what I ordered: a cheese quesadilla a la carte and a bowl of their Chicken Enchilada Soup. That soup was so amazing that I have been looking to recreate it ever since.

Today, my coworkers and I headed to Botanas again to welcome our new project manager to the team. I ordered off the lunch menu – a pork tamale and beef enchilada with rice and beans and a side of their chicken enchilada soup.

So I thought it would be fitting to show you my copycat recipe for Botanas Chicken Enchilada Soup. It’s adapted from a few different recipes on (where people said it tastes like the soup at Chili’s). I have to say, it’s pretty close to the original.


Question: Have you ever tried enchilada soup? If so, where? ALSO, if you could recreate any dish you’ve had in a restaurant, what would it be?

Milwaukee Empty Bowls 2011

Milwaukee Empty Bowls is one of the coolest charity events in town. Buy a handmade ceramic bowl for $20 and receive unlimited soup from 50 Milwaukee-area restaurants. According to their Facebook page, they raised almost $43,000 this year for local hunger programs. Wow.

Last year was our first time, and we couldn’t believe how packed it was. So much so that there was an hour wait to pick your own bowl. Therefore, we opted for the grab bag express line (where all the bowls are in a lunch sack and you blind pick one). We each walked away with great bowls, but this year I was really looking forward to picking my own.

The event on Saturday, Oct. 8 started at 10:30 am. So I figured if we got there 20 minutes early, we would be one of the first ones there and would get to pick our own. Well, we got there and the parking lot was packed. According to a volunteer, she saw people lining up at 8:45 am.

In total, we waited for an hour before we got to pick our bowls. We each liked what we picked, but to me it wasn’t worth the wait, so I think we’ll be doing to the grab bag next year (people were walking out with fantastic bowls, so it’s not like they are of a lesser quality).

Some of our favorite soups were a Wild Rice and Sherry Soup from Hotel Metro, a Pancetta and Baked Potato Soup from Alterra Coffee and a Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup (but I can’t remember who donated it).

It was a great event and so much more organized than last year with more seating. Next year’s event is October 13, 2012 at MATC in Oak Creek, WI, so mark your calendars!


His Tater Talk Soup

My perfect day includes a leisurely lunch at a hip bistro followed by a witty movie and maybe a walk by the lake with the pup. Afterward, I’d come home to a beautiful and fragrant homemade meal prepared by my one and only.

Well, there was no lunch (unless you consider leftover enchiladas in my work’s break room) or movie, and my scenic walk took place on a treadmill. But the scent of a homemade meal did hit me in the nose when I entered the house tonight – a slow cooked cheesy potato and vegetable soup.

Of course, I knew it was coming. I did leave the directions on the counter with some of the ingredients. But the fact that I didn’t have to do anything and it turned out delicious makes it a winner in my cookbook.


The Verdict: A
A solid, hearty and satisfying soup. Actually, since it was so thick, it’s more the consistency of a stew. One bowl will kill any hunger pangs and keep you satisfied for hours. The vegetable mix I added contained zucchini, cauliflower, lima beans and green beans. I think a medley with just cauliflower and broccoli would be delicious. Note: Do not add any salt! Between the bouillon cubes, ham and soup, this dish has plenty.

Have a good week!


Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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