Perfect French Onion Soup

french onion 1

French Onion Soup is one of my sisters favorite soups of all time and when we went to dinner at her favorite steak place that has French Onion Soup after 30 years of eating there the soup was nasty!  I could not stop thinking about it and made it my mission to create a yummy and perfect French Onion Soup at home!! It is a little time and a bit labor intensive, but it was WELL worth the effort!! First thing, if you have a mandoline this is the perfect time to use it! It will insure that all those onions are the same width and it makes it look beautiful! Second, I searched pintrest and lots of websites to see how everyone made theirs and then picked apart the recipes and created my own version. Super thanks to the Pioneer Woman for the idea of cooking the onions in the stove! She is a genius!!

Start with lots of onions!

onion raw

Saute’ them for about 15 mins

onions cooked

then cook them to death! not really, just a hour!

onions oven

Perfect French Onion Soup

2 T olive oil

2 T of olive oil

1 bag (6-8)  sweet onions  (my personal favorite), cut in half and sliced thin but not too thin!

several dashes of Worchestershire sauce

several dashes of Balsanic vinegar

1 T brown sugar, sprinkle over onions

lots of fresh Thyme

24 oz chicken broth

24 oz beef broth

1 or 2 cups white wine

Preheat oven too 400. In a heavy pot ( I use my Dutch oven) add olive oil & butter saute onions for about 15 mins add chopped garlic, worchestershire, balsamic, sugar & thyme. Place Dutch oven in the oven partially covered for 1 hour and watch the magic happen! Stir axp every 20 mins. After the hour remove from the stove and place back on stove top. Don’t freak out as it will look a mess and there will be black bits all over your pot, this my sweet friend is what you want and makes it DELISH!! Pour in the white wine and begin scraping down the onions, the wine will losen all those bits! Allow to alcohol to cook off, axp 5 mins then  Add chicken and beef broth. Cook for about 45 mins or longer won’t hurt!

french onion











linking up




Mema’s Potato/Tomato Soup

Growing up, my memema made her “famous”
Potato/Tomato Soup
when it snowed, when I had a cold, when she didn’t know what else to make.
Now, my Mom, Aunt, cousins we all make it, a little different.
As every time you would ask Mema how she made it she would tell you the way she had most recently made it. I think it was based on what she had in the fridge/pantry at the time.
Much like the way I cook!
So feel free to tweak the recipe based on what you have on hand, from my families kitchen to yours.
This is the original recipe card that I wrote back in the 7th grade! That was when we moved to G’boro and I was in charge of cooking dinner. Started with the family favs.
3 medium baking potatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t garlic
Cover with water, salt, pepper & garlic.
Simmer until fork tender.
In sauce pan mix:
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 c milk (she always used whole I use 2%)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c catsup
3 T mustard
2 – 28oz cans tomatoes
(I prefer whole,plum tomatoes to rough chop. you can use diced, whatever you like!)
Melt butter, mix in flour, add milk; mix well (adjust to make thick) Blend in remaining ingredients EXCEPT tomatoes and stir for 5 mins.
Add to potato mix and add tomatoes
It gets better the longer it sits! And it makes a ton!
I hope you enjoy, as it sure reminds me of my Mema,
snowy days, football games, curling up on the couch!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Cheeseburger Soup

Photo: Snow day = yummy soup!
I had soup on my mind and when I saw a recipe in my pintrest feed for Cheeseburger Soup and thought it sounded yummy. I researched several recipes and blended several ideas to create this gem. And boy is it a keeper!! It is really all the components of a cheeseburger in a bowl! YUMMY

Cheeseburger Soup
1 lb of ground beef
2 T butter
1 onions. diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 carrots. diced
16 oz (apx 1/2bag) of hash brown potatoes
1 T catsup
1 T mustard
1 T worchestire sauce
1 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can rotel, drained
16 oz chicken broth
1 cup beer, opt you could add more broth or milk, etc
1 small box Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup milk
Brown ground beef, drain and set aside. Add butter, onions, celery, carrots, sauté until onions look translucent; add potatoes thru spices and allow to simmer until potatoes are warm and soft. Apx 20 mins. Add tomatoes, broth and beer and allow to heat thru then add cubed cheese, stir to melt and add milk and heat another 20 mins or so. It is SO rich and filling but really YUMMY!!
My family gobbled this up. ENJOY!!
xoxo, Mama Bird

I’m linking up to the weekend potluck go by and check out all the great recipes!!

Cindy C’s Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup


We had this soup tonight, and my tummy is feeling blissful…  thankful for my sweet Cindy  for creating the recipe and thankful for Carol  for sharing it on facebook! I immediately knew this would be yummy! First off everything that Cindy makes is delish and the ingredients just screamed comfort, which I was in need of!  This recipe makes enough soup to share or perfect to eat and freeze (my small family of 3, ate it twice and froze a batch!) We are big veggie lovers so I added more veg, note my tweaks)

Cindy C’s Creamy Chicken & Rice

In a frying pan:

1 stick butter

1 onion chopped (2 sweet Vidalia’s)

1 carrot grated (I used 3, diced)

Also add to frying pan:

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t marjoram

Pepper (white and black)

1/2 cup flour

Mix and cook until light golden brown.

Set off burner and wait until you see ****

further in the recipe.

In Stock Pot:

Bring 1 gallon of chicken stock to boil

3/4 cup wild rice.

After 15 minutes:

Add 2 cups white rice

after 30 minutes:

Add diced cooked chicken

1/2 cup peas (used a whole bag, apx 2 cups)

After 15 minutes:

When it returns to a boil


Add butter/flour mixture from before.

Stir until well blended.

Turn off burner or put on very low.

Add 2-4 cups half and half or cream at the end and heat through.

This is heaven in a bowl! I don’t know about you but, I am hoping that Cindy will share some more of her recipes!

xoox, mama bird

Incredible tortellini soup


This soup is so freaking yummy, my family gobbles it up and I have taken it to several friends who also loved it!  So easy! You can have this made in less than 30 mins. Score!

This past Monday I made it again without the sausage for our new Meatless Monday and it was DELISH with or without the meat!!

tort soup

3 Italian Sausages, casing removed, brown and drain

1 28 oz basil & garlic diced tomatoes

1 32 oz low sodium chicken broth

4 oz cream cheese

1 package fresh or frozen tortellini

1 bag of  fresh baby spinach

parmesan cheese, for topping

Brown sausage, drain, add tomatoes and broth. Bring to simmer, add tortellini simmer for apx 10 mins, stir in cream cheese. Once it is thoroughly incorporated and soup is a creamy orange shade add bag of fresh spinach.  Serve topped with fresh grated parmesan. ENJOY!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Split Pea Soup


After the Christmas gathering we had a ton of leftover Ham and the ham bone which I had always heard made amazing soup. Split Pea kept coming to mind, but I had only ever had good Split Pea soup once so I was a bit hesitant to try it. Boy am I glad I did! It was so good and I can not wait to make it again! YUMMY!!  It was creamy and just was delish!!

1 large onion. diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 red potatoes, cubed

olive oil

1 t thyme

1 t salt

1 t pepper

16 oz bag split peas, rinsed and picked

32 oz chicken broth


Add a swirl of olive oil to your heavy pan, I use a coated cast iron pot, toss in onion, carrot  and celery allow to soften apx 10-12 min; add garlic,spices, potatoes and split peas allow to get a nice coating of the olive oil and seasonings. Add ham bone and broth. Simmer apx 1.5 hours. Remove ham bone. Iprefer a smoother pea soup so I used the immersion blender and blended soup.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt or a swirl of cream or half and half. For a even richer more velvety soup at 1/2 to 1 cup half and half or go for the gusto and use full fat cream!

It is awesome. Perfect on a winter day. Perfect with a grilled Sammy, fresh salad or ohhh a slice of tomato quiche!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Souper Sunday {Chicken noodle}

chix noodle

What to do on a day where the whole family feels like poo?Make soup! Today I am making old fashioned Chicken Noodle.

My roommate in college, Riley was really sick one winter  and his Mom called and dictated his favorite chicken noodle soup recipe. I have been making this for almost 20 years. Mrs. Hall lost her battle with cancer 12 years ago. I have such amazing memories of her.  When living in DC she would  invite me over on Sundays for “family” dinners. great lady who is missed!

I make the biggest pot I can and then freeze it so I have it on hand. I do not freeze with the noodles. I always add those with each individual pot.


Mrs. Andi Hall’s (feel better) Chicken Noodle Soup:


Start with lots of water & add one whole chicken or split chicken breast, 1 stalk of celery, outside of onion, peel from carrot, 3 cloves of smashed garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric  and lots of dill. Bring to boil. Simmer until chicken is cooked apx 40 mins. Take chicken out and put skin, bones and any part of chicken you are not using in soup back in the pot. Add box of chicken broth. Simmer on low all afternoon. (4-6 hours) Then pour broth thru a mesh strainer and toss everything. You will have a beautiful clear broth.



4 carrots, sliced

3 celery stalks, sliced

onion, diced

Dill weed, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme

Simmer until veggies are tender; apx 45 mins. Add

egg noodles just prior to serving.



Allow veggies to soften apx 30mins, add noodles or you could use rice and enjoy. This soup always makes my family feel better!!

*cooks note: want to make this in a hurry? use a rotisserie chicken and cut time in half!

xoxo, mama Bird

Souper Sunday {Italian Chicken Noodle}

italian soup

Today I give you my take on Italian Chicken Soup, as comforting as the original just with a few more flavors.  Basically I used what I had on hand and this is what I came up with! It was really yummy and I enjoyed it a lot. I will definitely be making this again! I also made a huge pot so that this can be either frozen for a meal later in the month or eaten on all week long!

olive oil

onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 t thyme

64 oz chicken broth

2 chicken breast, shredded

28 oz can whole tomatoes,drained and diced

1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

1/2 to 1 cup small pasta, under cooked

Dice onions, celery and carrots, sauté in olive oil until tender; add thyme. Add chicken broth and allow to warm, flavors with combine. Add shredded chicken, tomatoes and beans. Simmer on low for 15-20 mins  add pasta just before serving. Top with shredded parm, ENJOY!!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Lackey’s Ragu


Talk about yum-o, lick the bowl clean this is so good!!

Thanks to a family friend, Kipper Lackey for sharing this recipe with me years ago. I am re-posting since now I have a pic and it is so worth sharing again! ENJOY

I have shared this with many of my friends, all who have raved. It’s sort of a soup, a stew & a pasta. It is just yummy! Perfect for a cool fall day!

Lackey’s Ragu:

2 Tb olive oil

1 lg onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground turkey

3-4 Italian sausage, casings removed (I use 2 hot, 2 sweet)

2~ 14 1/2 oz cans tomatoes in juice with Italian spices

2~ 14 oz cans chicken broth

1 can Cannellini/white beans, drained

2 t oregano

2 t basil

1/4 t crushed red pepper

1/2 c small elbow macaroni

1~ 6 oz bag FRESH baby spinach

1/3 c grated Romano cheese

Heat oil, add onions & garlic. Saute 6 mins add ground turkey & sausage crumbles. Brown. (Put in warm crockpot and) Add tomatoes w/ juice, broth, spices, (I waited to add beans until 2 hrs prior to eating) beans and simmer at least 20 min. Add pasta cook 12-14 mins. (if using crockpot pasta may need a little longer) Add spinach & cook apx 3 mins (just before serving) Season with salt & pepper and serve with fresh grated cheese. (again, if using slow cooker… cook on low all day and add spinach apx 10mins before serving.) Yummy!!

Please note: I have adapted this for my CROCKPOT~ See notes in RED!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Roasted Tomato Soup

tomato soup 2

Today was nasty, rainy, gloomy day and what is best on a yucky day? SOUP! My friend Ashley mentioned that she would love some tomato soup and just like that the seed was planted! I was a woman on a mission. And I must say, MISSION ACCOMLISHED! This soup was DELISH!! And aside from waiting for the veggies to roast it came together rather quickly.

tom grid

Roasted Tomato Soup

3 lbs Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1 large Vidalia onion, quartered

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

splash of balsamic vinegar

salt & crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

1 t smoked paprika

1 t thyme

32 oz chicken stock

1 T tomato paste

2 t sugar

1/2 cup half & half

Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise, quarter onions & peel garlic; toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and spices. Place on rimmed cookie sheet; roast at 375 for 35-45 mins. Puree in food processor to desired texture add chicken stock, tomato paste and sugar. Allow flavors to combine for at least 30 mins. over low heat. ENJOY!!

xoxo, Mama Bird