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Soups and Stews to Brew This Fall

Food Feature

Written by Kelli Terpsma


With witches’ hats and pumpkin products for sale in every department store, we’re reminded of the annual traditions we keep and the food that comes with them. Like other communities around the world, the regional ingredients we use and the dishes we make help define our culture. While the components may vary, soup and stew style recipes are loved worldwide. As the nights grow longer and the temperature drops this October, try making these communal dishes from north, south, east and west of the United States, and experience what they all have in common: a need to be shared with loved ones.


North: Canada | Split Pea Soup


2 cups green split peas

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 small onion, diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stocks, diced

1 leek, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 bay leaves

½ tsp. dried thyme

1½ tsp. dried marjoram 

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

½ tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste



Heat oil in a stewpot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and leek. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add garlic, herbs and spices and sauté one minute. Add the split peas, vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and blend until smooth. Add additional water, if necessary, until soup is the desired thickness.


East: South Korea | Kimchi Jjigae


1 pound kimchi

¼ cup kimchi brine

¾ yellow onion, sliced

6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced

¾ pound pork belly, cut into half inch pieces

1 tsp. sesame oil

½ tbsp. gochujang

1 pinch hot pepper flakes

1 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt 

1 dried seafood and anchovy pack

3 cups water

Green onions, for garnish



Boil the pork belly in a small pot of water for eight minutes and then set aside. This will help remove some of the meat’s fat. Then, in a large stewpot, add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add in the pork belly. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the anchovy pack and simmer an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions and serve warm with rice.

West: Ireland | Irish Stew


1 pound lamb shoulder, cut into half inch pieces

½ medium yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 c ups beef stock

2½ tbsp. olive oil, divided 

½ tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ tsp. dried oregano 

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg 

Salt and pepper to taste



In a bowl, toss the lamb in one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, brown all sides on medium heat in a stewpot. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain the liquid in the pot and rinse. Then, add the onions, carrots and remaining olive oil to the pot and sauté eight minutes on medium-low heat until softened. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Return the lamb to the pot and add herbs and spices. Cook two minutes and then add the beef stock. Bring to a boil before reducing heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Add potatoes and cook an additional 40 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.


South: Brazil | Moqueca Fish Stew


1 pound seafood of choice, cut into similarly sized pieces (suggestion: 1/3 pound each of cod, shrimp and scallops.)

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 small tomatoes, diced

¾ yellow onion, sliced

½ yellow bell pepper, diced

½ orange bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced finely with seeds removed

1 tbsp. tomato paste

13.4-ounce can full fat coconut milk

2 limes

2 tbsp. olive oil 

1½ tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cumin

Salt to taste



In a bowl, toss seafood pieces in the juice of one lime and dust with salt. Marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator while preparing additional ingredients. In a stewpot, sauté onions on medium heat until softened. Add tomato paste, garlic and spices. After one minute, add the tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers. When vegetables are slightly softened, add in the seafood and marinade. Cook five minutes and then pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil before reducing heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze in one lime. Salt to taste. Serve warm with rice.

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