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Laurel Run Cooking School Recipes


Marcia's Featured Recipe


Tuscan Bean Soup
Serves 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2  teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary,  crushed
3- 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained  (white kidney beans...available at all stores)
1-14 or 15 oz can tomato sauce or a small can of paste
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1.    In a soup pot sauté,  the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and herbs. Add the drained beans and the tomato. Stir and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Using a potato masher or spoon, mash part of the beans for  texture. Add the stock and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the cream and stir. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt, fresh pepper, and some fresh nutmeg if you have it.

Marcia's Featured Recipe


This delicious soup can be a first course or a main dish with an added salad. You can also increase the amount of shrimp to suit your tastes. Rembember to buy un-cooked shrimp and do not cook too long in the pot. Seafood is delicate and can become tough if cooked too long.

1 large butternut squash ( you need about 4 cups of cooked squash puree)

½ cup salted butter

3/4-1 cup finely diced onion

½ cup flour

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup dry white wine  (I like an oaky Chardonnay)  (if you choose not to use wine, use all stock)

1 cup whipping cream

1 pound uncooked shrimp, chopped in pieces

2 tablespoons finely minced parsley

(Prep time: approx. 15 minutes)

Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Dice the squash into 1" squares.

Finely chop onion

Clean and chop shrimp, refrigerate until ready to use

Wash & dry parsley; mince very fine

Steam squash until tender. Puree cooked squash and measure 4 cups; set aside. (Using a pressure cooker cuts down the time; cook for approximately 12 minutes after cooker comes up to correct pressure).

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until transparent-stirring occasionally, about 5-8 minutes. Add flour and cook about 2 minutes. Gradually add stock while stirring. Mixture should be smooth. Bring to a boil. Add the butternut squash and stir to blend.

Add wine, stir, then add the cream. Heat until almost boiling.

Add shrimp and stir until just until shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. (Shrimp cooks very quickly and becomes tough if overcooked.)

Adjust seasoning, add salt and white pepper to taste.

Ladle into warm soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6.

Make-Ahead Notes: To make the soup ahead, work through step 2. When ready to complete, continue with steps 3 -5.


Marcia's Featured Recipe

Portugese Soup

This soup is so easy: no sauteeing, just chop and combine, boil and simmer.

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

½ green bell pepper, diced

½ medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped

1 pound smoked kielbasa sausage, diced  (use low-fat kielbasa for just as much flavor without the fat. Make sure it is smoked. )

1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and diced

1-15 ounce can kidney beans

1-14 ounce can tomatoes

6 cups chicken stock

1.       In a large stock pot, combine all chopped and diced  ingredients. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.  Season with pepper.  NOTE: Soup can be prepared 2 days ahead (and is actually mush better).







Marcia's Featured Recipe

Old Fashioned Chicken Soup with Spaetzle

On a cold winter day, this homemade soup in 30 minutes is a hearty meal in itself.

1 # chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon butter or canola oil

8 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 celery stalks, diced

one recipe Spaetzle
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot over medium high heat, add the butter and sauté the vegetables until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and continue cooking until opaque, about 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a medium-rolling boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer for 15 minutes to blend flavors. Make Spaetzle dough and have ready. Bring soup to a boil and add the Spaetzle to the soup, using a spaetzle maker. Cook until they rise to the top and are tender but firm. Stir in parsley and season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Spaetzle Serves 4-6 (SHPEHT-sluh; SHPEHT-sehl; or SHPEHT-slee)

Literally translated from German as "little sparrow", Spaetzle is a dish of tiny dumplings or noodles made with flour, eggs, water or milk, salt and sometimes nutmeg. The dough can be firm enough to be rolled and cut into slivers, or soft enough to be forced through a sieve or special Spaetzle maker. The pieces of dough are usually boiled before being tossed with butter or added to soups. Cook them in chicken broth for a flavorful side dish. Saute them in butter with caramelized onions or add fine minced rosemary to the dough to accompany any roast meat.

2 cups flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

2/3 cup of milk

4 eggs

Have a large pot of salted water boiling. (3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt is a good ratio). Mix all the ingredients together into a soft batter.

Using a Spaetzle maker, add half the dough to the top of the spaetzle maker and push into the boiling salted water. Cook until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Marcia's Featured Recipe

Dutch Oven Cookoff Bean and Bacon Soup


1 large onion, diced

8 ounces bacon, cut in small bite size pieces

1 small clove garlic, minced, optional

Vegetable oil if needed

2# dried Great Northern Beans, pre-soaked and cooked

6-8   cups of chicken stock (more as needed)

pinch of thyme  

 salt, pepper, cayenne

1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (TIP: the vinegar ‘brightens and enhances’ the flavor of the soup; do not omit!)


1.                  Sauté onion and bacon in butter until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic.

2.                  Add the beans and the stock…make sure it covers by 1”. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons ground pepper. Stir well, cover, and cook for about until beans are tender…about 30                       minutes.  Stir occasionally.

3.                  Check soup for seasonings and adjust.  Add apple cider vinegar and stir.  The vinegar helps to bring up flavor and “brighten” the soup.