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Soup's on


Mushroom Stroganoff Soup

Cooler weather calls for comfort foods, and it’s hard to top soups. Most families have at least one soup recipe that is handed down through the generations. The ability to balance the flavors and textures that make up a superior soup is also the mark of a great chef. Whether you create the perfect soup at home or sample the delicious soupy selections at your favorite restaurant, fall is the perfect time to get your soup on.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots (about 2/3 cup), chopped
1 package (10 ounces) white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 package (10 ounces) cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole-wheat egg noodles
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
2/3 cup sour cream, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


In soup pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add button mushrooms and cremini mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release liquid and begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to boil. Add egg noodles and boil gently, uncovered, until noodles are nearly tender, 5 minutes.

In pitcher or medium bowl, whisk milk, 1/3 cup sour cream and flour until flour dissolves. Ladle 1/2 cup broth from pot into milk mixture and whisk well then pour milk mixture into pot. While stirring, bring to gentle boil then lower heat and simmer until thickened, 2 minutes. Season with additional salt, to taste.


Curried Butternut Squash 

Mohini Singh’s award-winning Curried Butternut Squash Soup is representative of the Turlock chef’s love for flavor — a soup she believes provides all of the comforts of fall in an American dish, but with some of the familiar spice from her childhood. Singh is the Culinary Arts Instructor for Pitman High School and is married to Leroy Walker, who owns the restaurant First and Main in downtown Turlock. There, Singh serves as a chef and helped to develop the establishment’s Asian-inspired menu, which incorporates her very own line of spices. These influences can be found in Singh's very own soup recipe which will impress guests you may be serving this fall. 

1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically and seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 cups (24 to 32 ounces) vegetable broth, as needed
1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside (about ½ teaspoon each). Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 40 to 50 minutes (don’t worry if the skin or flesh browns—that’s good for flavor). Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering (if your blender has a soup preset, use a medium skillet to minimize dishes.) Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Transfer the contents to your stand blender (see notes on how to use an immersion blender instead).

Use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into your blender. Discard the tough skin. Add the maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the blender. Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the maximum fill line (you can work in batches if necessary, and stir in any remaining broth later).

Securely fasten the lid. Blend on high (or select the soup preset, if available), being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. Stop once your soup is ultra-creamy and warmed through.

If you would like to thin out your soup a bit more, stir in the remaining cup of broth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to taste, and blend well. Taste and stir in more salt and pepper, if necessary.

If your soup is piping hot from the blending process, you can pour it into serving bowls. If not, pour it back into your soup pot and warm the soup over medium heat, stirring often, until it’s nice and steamy. 

White Bean & Kale Soup

Executive Chef Tony Lemens from Rush Creek Lodge shared a White Bean & Kale Soup that is served at the Lodge in the fall and winter to comfort and warm the soul. The recipe was scaled down since Chef Tony usually makes 5 gallons to serve guests at the Lodge. 
Rush Creek Lodge is a contemporary Lodge located next to Yosemite National Park. Set on 20 woodland acres adjacent to the park’s Highway 120 West entrance, the lodge is a “destination within a destination” situated at the doorstep of the park. 

Serves 8

1 cup dried white beans
2 cups water
1 cup diced large onion
1 cup diced celery
1 oz chopped garlic
4 cups finely chopped kale
2 cups diced tomato
2 oz white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 pinch chili flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil


Cook the onions, celery and garlic until softened.

Season the vegetables with salt, chili flakes, oregano and basil. Add the white wine and reduce slightly. Add the beans, soaking water, canned tomatoes, veg stock, and tomato sauce.

Simmer for 60 minutes. Add the chopped kale. Use immediately or cool for later use.