TASTE | Soups & Salads

Soup & Salad – October 2020

Stuffed Pepper Soup

by Michelle Fierek

When fall is upon us and the farmers markets have their baskets full of colorful peppers, onions, and garlic bulbs, I know it’s time to make my husband’s favorite – stuffed pepper soup! This soup has all the hearty ingredients and flavors of traditional stuffed peppers; beef, rice, tomatoes, and bell peppers all in one pot!  A sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese melted on top makes an irresistible meal, satisfying even the hungriest of appetites!


1 lb ground beef

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes 

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

2 cups beef broth, plus more if needed*

2 tsp Italian seasoning

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup 

2 cups cooked rice 

Salt & pepper, to taste

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese  



1) In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the meat with the onions, peppers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and drain off fat.


2) Return pot to heat and add tomatoes, sauce, broth, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire, and ketchup.  Simmer about 20 minutes.


3) Stir in rice. Taste for addition of salt and pepper. Top with cheese.


*This soup thickens as it sits. Add extra broth, as needed, for desired thickness. You can also choose to add rice to the soup pot OR individual bowls.

Soup & Salad – September 2020

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

by Michelle Fierek

This colorful salad is the perfect way to celebrate fresh, clean flavors. It features sweet corn on the cob, garden-ripe tomatoes, and creamy avocado, all dressed in a light and refreshing cilantro-lime dressing. It’s an easy side for anything you’re grilling or pairs well with enchiladas, tacos, or even scooped up with your favorite chips!


It will definitely be a new favorite!


1 large cooked/grilled corn on the cob, kernels removed

1 medium avocado, diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 T red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

Juice of one lime

1 tsp kosher salt, to taste

1/4 tsp pepper, to taste




Toss all ingredients together in large bowl and stir gently to combine.

Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Soup & Salad – August 2020

Summer Citrus Salad

by Michelle Fierek

Here is a refreshing salad, sure to cool you down during these hot summer months. It’s simple and light, perfect to have along with your barbecue or weekend brunch. A quick honey dressing and a sprinkling of fresh mint gives this salad a touch of tangy sweetness! Experiment with different varieties of citrus to make it colorful and interesting.


1 pink grapefruit

1 navel orange

2 cara cara oranges

1 lime (for garnish)

1 T shallot, finely chopped

3 T olive oil

1 T lime juice, freshly squeezed 

2 T honey

Pinch of kosher salt, optional

Fresh mint for garnish


1) Wisk olive oil, lime juice, honey, and shallot. Set aside.

2) Peel and slice fruit into 1/2-inch round slices*

3) Arrange slices on a platter, drizzle on desired dressing, and sprinkle with fresh mint.


* Cut off ends and lay fruit on the flat side. Use a knife to carve away the peel and pith, but don’t cut away the flesh. Then slice fruit into ½-inch rounds, discarding any seeds.


Soup & Salad – July 2020

Summer Green Soup

by Michelle Fierek

This soup is a beautiful celebration of summer as our green vegetables take shape and we can enjoy time in our gardens. Made with seasonal green vegetables like asparagus, peas, leeks, and spinach, we can add creamy white beans for extra protein in this vegan and gluten-free soup. Be sure to cook it with just enough time to soften the vegetables and retain the desired bright green color.  Experiment with sizes and textures of the vegetables to make it fun and interesting! For example, cut the pea pods diagonally to expose the line of peas or keep out a couple of asparagus spears for garnishing. A splash of lemon heightens the vibrant color and fresh flavor.


1 T olive oil

1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, washed, and sliced

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

6 cups vegetable stock

3/4 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (15 oz) can Cannellini beans, drained

1 cup sugar snap peas, pods cut diagonally or in thirds 

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 cup packed, fresh spinach, chopped

1 tsp salt, to taste

1/2 tsp pepper

Juice of 1/2 lemon


1) Heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
2) Add zucchini and minced garlic. Stir and cook for another minute.

3) Add vegetable stock, asparagus, pea pods, and beans. Simmer until tender and bright green, approximately 5-7 minutes.

3) Stir in the spinach and peas, remove from heat, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice to taste.