musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Something Savory, Something Sweet

This week I’m keeping it simple. I’m sharing two recipes that were easy and fun to make.

The first was a new-to-me Broccoli Cheese Soup, the second, a Hot Fudge Sauce that John’s mom used to make. Both, with appropriate accompaniments, can make for a very satisfying winter’s eve meal.

The Broccoli-Cheese Soup (recipe by Daniel J. Van Ackere of America’s Test Kitchen) was pretty, creamy and very satisfying. I added a few twists and turns of my own—some kale along with spinach, and having no cheddar cheese, increased the amount of Parmesan. Then, after I creamed the soup, I added already-cooked fusilli pasta and kidney beans and topped the soup with chopped hard-boiled eggs for more protein and color. It is definitely a new “go-to” recipe for me:. Here’s…

💙Broccoli Cheese Soup

Servings: 6-8


2 T unsalted butter

2 pounds broccoli florets cut into 1 inch pieces,   stalks peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 onion, chopped coarse

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

3–4 cups water

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 cups chicken broth

2 ounces (2 cups) baby spinach

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)

1 ½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (3/4 cup) plus extra for serving


Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to pot, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup remaining water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.


My second culinary adventure was to honor John’s mom (and our desire for sweetness!) by making her Hot Fudge Sauce. I’m not sure whose recipe it was originally, but whoever you are, thank you! I tweaked the recipe a bit by decreasing the sugar amount by a quarter cup, and I think it could even be lowered more. For your enjoyment, here’s…

❤️Del’s Hot Fudge Sauce


3 squares unsweetened bitter chocolate

(I used 3 squares from a Ghiradelli Premium Baking 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Bar)

3 T butter

1 cup sugar (I used ¾ cup)

½ t. salt

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 t. vanilla


Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler. Gradually add sugar and salt. Blend slowly and add milk. Stir constantly. Cook until thick. Add vanilla. Taste. Yum! Thanks, Del!

❤️💙SO…there you have it…simple nourishing fare. Accompany the soup with a warm baguette or whole grain bread, and spoon some of the hot fudge sauce on vanilla gelato. Then all that’s left to do is” mangia bene” and enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Something Savory, Something Sweet”

  • OK Archers….here is my very important question…………
    How do you two not weight 300 pounds?
    All of the amazing things happening in your kitchen over the last year and you both look as fit as ever.
    Please save some chocolate sauce for me.
    Cheers and Hugs.

    • Good one! We usually do have leftovers…and there are definitely those days when the creative spark takes a vacation and then it’s take-out to the rescue! Cheers to you two, too💥

  • Cant wait to try these. I just made a large batch of minestrone from Cook’s Illustrated. Yummy. Cole is arriving from Ca. any minute. I’ve added cross country skiing to my activities.
    Miss you guys.

    • All sounds great, Diana❣️ We miss seeing you, too. Enjoy all the snow and Cole and skiing in all its forms.❤️ AND the minestrone🤗❣️

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