Fight Winter’s “Brrrrrr!” with Johnnie’s “Mmmmm!” Soups

That Brrrrr sound you hear — well that’s the sound of Winter in Chicago.  So, how’s about we try to turn down that Brrrrr sound and, hopefully, replace it with the Mmmmm sound from sampling some tasty homemade soups.

Johnnie's Sweet & Sour Cabbage, Loaded Potato and Chicken & Brown Rice Soups.

Johnnie’s Sweet & Sour Cabbage, Loaded Potato and Chicken & Brown Rice Soups.

Yes, they’re Gluten-Free.

Chicken & Brown Rice Soup

Boil 6-7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in 4-6 cups of water.  You can use chicken with skin on, but you will need to skim fat from the skin off the broth.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the water and set chicken aside to cool.  Skim any fat or foam off the chicken broth.

To the broth add a cup of carrot coins, 1 small sweet onion chopped, 3 stalks of celery sliced and 1 heaping TB of “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base.  This is available in small jars in the soup/broth aisle.  I don’t use low sodium since I don’t add salt to the soup.  While the vegetables are cooking in the chicken broth, chop chicken thighs.  Add chicken to the vegetable broth.  Mix well and lower heat to a simmer.

Taste the broth.  If it needs more chicken flavor add the chicken base by teaspoons until you’re satisfied with the chicken flavor.

Add 1 cup of brown rice OR 1 cup of elbow macaroni OR 1/2 box of spagetti noodles.

Cover and cook until rice/pasta is done.

Now it’s ready to eat, but it is always more flavorful and rich tasting on day 2.

Loaded Potato Soup

To 1 box of chicken broth add 6 small/medium size peeled red potatoes.  Cut the potatoes into small cubes.  Add 1 small chopped sweet onion.  Bring to a boil and boil until the potatoes are soft.  Lower temp. to a simmer.

With a potato masher mash potatoes in a broth.  Add 1 small package of cream cheese cut into cubes.  Stir or use an egg beater or frother to blend the cream cheese into the potatoes.  Add 1/2 package of grated sharp cheddar cheese OR 6 slices of sharp cheddar.  Stir til the cheese is melted and blended.

If you find the soup is too thick you can slowly add milk and mix well, but simmer, don’t boil.

To serve:

Microwave one scrubbed medium potato with skin on.  Remove and carefully chop into bite size pieces.  Fry 6-8 slices of bacon til crisp and drain.  Add chopped potato and chopped bacon to soup.  Mix well.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions, more grated cheddar and even save a few slices of bacon to chop and serve on top for a true loaded potato soup.

This is NOT a diet soup!  It’s a stick to your ribs, fill you up nicely soup.

Sweet & Sour Cabbage Soup

In the pot the soup will be made in heat a Tb of oil and saute small sweet onion chopped.

While that is cooking add 2-3 cloves crushed garlic. I start with 2. Add 1/2 tsp-1 tsp red pepper flakes. (I go light and add more for kick after its all put together.)

Watch onions and garlic so they don’t burn while you mix 1/3 c of dark balsamic vinegar with 1/4 c of brown sugar. Put that into onion/garlic mix and stir. Add a 32 oz. box of chicken broth.

Next, chop a small/medium head of cabbage. Don’t use the core. Add that to both mix and stir well. Add one large 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and 1 smaller 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes. (You can also use 1 lg 28 oz. can diced tomatoes and a small can of v8 juice or small can of tomato sauce.)

Mix well and taste broth while the cabbage is simmering.

Too tart…more sugar…too sweet add v-8 or tomato sauce or more chicken broth. Simmer til the cabbage cooks down and is soft.

Enjoy!  And, stay warm.


About steveandjohnnie

Award winning Chicago Broadcasters, inducted into WGN radio's Walk Of Fame. Authors of the Les Paul memoir, "A Little More Les." You'll find even more about us at
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6 Responses to Fight Winter’s “Brrrrrr!” with Johnnie’s “Mmmmm!” Soups

  1. Mary Schmitz says:

    Looks like it’s Potato soup for tomorrow’s supper! WOW!!! Thanks for sharing, they all sound delicious but I’m a cream soup lover. Could I please just make one suggestion?……..Put the size of the box of the chicken broth or stock in the recipe. I don’t usually buy it because I make my own (I’m a senior citizen so I have more time than money!) but every now and then I will get a box to keep on hand and they are different sizes here in Milwaukee. Anyway, thanks again and take a day off once in a while!!!!!!!

    • Done! Thanks for the suggestion, Mary. If you refresh your browser and check the recipes now, you’ll see the sizes have been added.

      • Marcia says:

        Hi, Johnnie, I didn’t see this til now in September and still don’t see the size of the box in the recipe and I don’t know how to refresh my browser so could you add another comment with the size in it some place where we’ll find the info? Thanks and sign me off as MDA.

  2. fran hopper says:

    thanks a lot will try all of them as I am a soup fiend

  3. Marcia says:

    Do you have a rough estimate of how many servings each soup makes? I’m looking forward to trying them soon.

    • Hi Marcia,
      If soup is our main course and we are using large soup bowls I typically get 6 hearty servings. The richer soups like the potato might mean we eat smaller cereal bowls full and that means we’ll get 8 servings.
      Hope that helps!

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