Week of Soup

Published 12:38 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Check out these recipes from our own kitchens

One week every year, the staff at Albert Lea magazine have a week set aside in the middle of winter to enjoy soup. Here are some of the recipes from our kitchens this year. We hope you enjoy them!

Slow cooker ham and potato cheese soup

Email newsletter signup

Recipe from Kim Ehrich

Serves: 6


1 (32-ounce) bag frozen southern style hash browns

1/2 cup diced onion

1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth

1 1/2 to 2 cups diced ham

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 (8-ounce) box 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (don’t buy pre-shredded, it won’t melt as well)

Bread and butter for serving


In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the frozen potatoes, onion, chicken broth, ham, pepper, thyme and garlic powder.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.

When the cooking time is up, add the cream cheese to a blender and scoop some broth and hot potatoes into the blender with the cream cheese, just enough to get the blender moving. Cover and blend until smooth. Add this mixture back to the rest of the soup in the slow cooker. Add the shredded cheese and stir.

Serve with bread and butter.


Recipe from Melissa Goodwin


2 (15-ounce) cans of chili beans

2 pounds ground beef

1 (24-ounce) jar of mild chunky salsa

1 (28-ounce) can of whole tomatoes

1/2 of an onion, chopped

Chili powder


Brown ground beef and chopped onion. Pour 1 can of the chili beans in the Crockpot. Drain the liquid from both the salsa and whole tomatoes. Pour the salsa into the Crockpot. Cut the whole tomatoes in half and put into Crockpot. Once browned, drain the grease from the ground beef and onion mixture and then pour into the Crockpot. Depending on the amount of the liquid, drain the juice from the second can of chili beans before you pour it into the Crockpot. Mix together ingredients. Put small amount of chili powder (the amount depends on how hot you will like the chili. More can be added as the chili mixture warms up). Turn the crockpot on to heat the chili.

Zuppa Tuscana

Recipe from Angie Hoffman


2 quarts chicken broth

1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled

5 bacon slices, fried and crumbled

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups kale, shredded

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

5 medium potatoes, diced

1 cup heavy whipping cream


Combine broth, garlic, onion, potatoes, sausage and bacon and simmer until onions and potatoes are cooked. Add kale and whipping cream and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more. Serve with parmesan and crusty bread.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Recipe from Kelly Wassenberg


1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can enchilada sauce, mild or hot depending on your preference

1 can Campbell’s fiesta nacho cheese soup

2 1/2 cups of milk

1 small can chopped green chiles

1 to 2 cups of frozen fajita chicken strips


Combine all ingredients in a Crockpot and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, occasionally stirring.

Top with tortilla strips.

Chicken tortilla soup

Recipe from Rich Mirelli

Serves 6 to 8


1 (46-ounce) can low sodium chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can organic tomato sauce or enchilada sauce

1 (15-ounce) fresh or canned organic diced tomatoes

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1 to 3 Anaheim chiles, diced (amount depends on preference)

1 to 2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced 

1 cup diced yellow onion

4 to 6 large fresh tomatoes, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons chipotle tabasco sauce

Garnish suggestions:

Avocado, diced

Green onion, chopped

Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved

Cilantro leaves

Lime wedges

Crushed blue tortilla chips


Place everything except the garnishes in the Crockpot and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Ladle into serving bowls. Let everyone garnish as they choose, and add a good squeeze of lime.

If you are not using a Crockpot, sauté the garlic and onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil in hot stock pot, before adding the remaining ingredients.

Simmer on medium heat for at least 1 or 2 hours so that the flavors combine.

White chicken chili

Recipe from Jessica Glassel

Serves 8


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground chicken breast

3 medium poblano chile peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

2 medium onions, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 cups less sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup finely chopped cilantro or fresh parsley, divided

1 cup crumbled tortilla chips

Kosher salt, to taste

Shredded monterey jack cheese, for serving

Lime wedges, optional


In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, chile peppers, onions and garlic. Cook for 8 minutes or until chicken is brown, stirring occasionally.

Add broth, cumin and coriander to Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add cream cheese and beans. When cream cheese is melted, stir in 3/4 cup cilantro and tortilla chips. Cook for 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt.

Serve chili topped with cheese and remaining cilantro. If desired, serve with lime wedges.