National Soup Month and Soup Day Giveaway!

I can’t believe January is almost over!  Did you know January is National Soup Month? I’ve been making and eating soup all month with my new Vitamix that my wonderful husband gave me for Christmas.

The cool thing about the Vitamix is that you can throw in a bunch of veggies and liquid into the canister and “cook” the soup as you blend.  The powerful motor is four times as strong as a regular blender and can run for five minutes on high.  This causes friction which creates the heat to “cook” the soup.

I’ve been doing a hybrid of stove top cooking and vitamix “cooking” to make my soups. I love to put caramelized onions and/or garlic in my soups, and I find that cooking them on the stove first with seasonings and then blending makes a tastier soup.

Here are some of the soups I’ve been enjoying and tinkering with:

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Zucchini Soup

White Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

I am celebrating National Soup Month by giving away a personalized autographed copy of  my book, Soup Day (which includes a recipe for Snowy Day Vegetable soup).

To enter the Soup Day book giveaway, do one or all (to increase your chances) of the following:

1.  Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite soup (recipe) is.


2.  Tweet (Hey everyone enter the @meliwai Soup Day giveaway! about this giveaway and follow me on Twitter


3.  Follow me on Facebook and leave me a comment about it.

4. Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page with my link (

Contest is open until February 6, 2012, midnight (EST).
Tuesday, February 7,  I’ll choose a winner using a random number generator and it on the blog.  🙂 I will also email the winner.  You’ll have one week (7 days) to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to anyone in the world.  🙂

Soup Day is also available in stores and online.  I have already written the sequel, and am required to sell a lot of copies of it in order to make that happen! Thanks for your support!

And now, on to the recipes:

Garnished with roasted acorn seeds and crushed pepper.

1 small roasted acorn squash

½ small onion, sliced thinly, about ½ cup

½ teaspoon oil

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup chicken broth (or other broth you prefer)

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon curry

½ teaspoon cumin

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Roast acorn squash and toast seeds.  To see how to do this, check out this post.
  2. Cut roasted acorn squash in to large cubes.
  3. Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt.  Saute until soft and translucent.  Add acorn squash, chicken broth, milk, and spices and simmer for about 10-14 minutes. (Alternatively throw everything in Vitamix including parmesan and blend on high for five minutes.  Serve.)
  4. Blend soup with immersion blender or process in blender in batches, being careful not to fill blender more than half way.  Remove center cap and cover lightly with a towel while blending.
  5. Serve garnished with toasted acorn squash seeds.

Creamy Cauliflower and Zucchini Soup

Garnished with grated parmesan and crushed pepper.

1 half head of cauliflower (about 12 oz.) cut into florets

1 small zucchini (about 6 oz.), cut into slices

½ teaspoon oil

1 small onion sliced thinly, about 1 cup

salt and pepper to taste

Dash of dried thyme

2 cups chicken broth (or other broth you prefer)

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

  1. Steam cauliflower and zucchini in microwave for about 4-5 minutes or in steamer on stove for about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt.  Saute until soft and translucent.  Season to taste with thyme.
  3. Add steamed cauliflower and zucchini and broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  (Alternatively throw everything in Vitamix including parmesan and blend on high for five minutes.  Serve.)
  4. Add parmesan and blend with immersion blender or blend soup in blender in batches, being careful not to fill blender more than half way.  Remove center cap and cover lightly with a towel while blending.
  5. Garnish with extra parmesan if desired.

White Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Garnished with whipped cottage cheese, shiitake, and multigrain cracker.

This is a very thick soup – the consistency is that of condensed mushroom soup.  If you want a thinner soup, use 1/2 the amount of beans.

5 g of dried shiitake mushroom or other dried mushroom such as porcini

1 can of white beans (1/2 can if you want thinner soup)

½ teaspoon olive oil

Dash of kosher salt

Dash of thyme and marjoram

1 small onion sliced thinly, about 1 cup

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ cups chicken broth or more for thinning

  1. Place dried mushrooms in a medium sized bowl and pour about ½ cup boiling water to cover.  I usually place a smaller dish or bowl on top to keep the mushrooms submerged.  Let sit for about 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms, but save the soaking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile rinse beans in colander with water to remove excess salt and drain.
  3. Slice softened shiitake into thin strips
  4. Saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft.  Season with sat and spices.  Add shiitake soaking liquid and braise for until liquid evaporates.  Add garlic and sauté until softened.  Add shiitake and sauté for a few more minutes.
  5. Reserve about ¼ cup of sauted mushrooms and onions and set aside.
  6. Add broth and white beans to pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about fifteen minutes.   (Alternatively, throw everything into Vitamix and blend on high for five minutes. Add reserved shiitake and onion and blend for a few seconds on low to combine.  Serve.)
  7. Blend with immersion blender or transfer soup to blender in process in batches, being careful not to fill blender more than half way.  Remove center cap and cover lightly with a towel while blending.  Add reserved shiitake and onion and pulse to combine.  Add more hot broth if you want to thin soup out to desired consistency.
  8. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream or whipped cottage cheese.


Filed under Art Related, Soup, Soup, Vegetables

42 responses to “National Soup Month and Soup Day Giveaway!

  1. Wow, Melissa! Look at all of those soups! Three in one post. My favorite soup is often the one I’m eating at the moment. I love French onion soup and butternut squash soup made with roasted squash and stock made from the squash gunk, thyme and fresh ginger (You will find that on “The Kale Chronicles” masquerading as “The Soup That Must Not Be Named”) I’d love to win a copy of your book. Be sure to tell us when the sequel is published.

  2. Tracy

    I really enjoy split pea soup with ham. The recipe is usually on the bag of dried split peas. I also enjoy potato soup with cheese. I boil my cubed potatoes in broth with some onion, and when soft, remove some with a slotted spoon onto a plate and mash it with a fork and then return it to the pot. I shred some sharp cheddar cheese into it and add some dairy to make it creamy, and it is delicious. Soups really are wonderful on a cold day and they are also a great source of nutrition. I would like to try some of your soup recipes; they look delicious.

  3. All of these soups do look tasty, but if I had to choose it would be the cauliflower and zucchini-yum!
    I have an extensive cookbook collection, so I will have to pass on your wonderful giveaway. However, I am sure that the winner will really get a lot of good use out of your book! Never knew you had been published, so congrats on that!

  4. Hey Missy,
    I’m such a soup lover. My favorites are ham & lentil, broccoli & cheese, split pea, and barley beef. We eat soup almost every week in the fall and winter. Thanks for some great recipes!

  5. amy marantino

    chicken barley

  6. what a warm and wonderful yum bunch of recipes! might have to get that machine….

  7. I am not entering but you are a very generous person – some one is going to walk away very happy 🙂
    And yum much – national soup month = a very bread rolling me 🙂

    Awesome way to start things off!

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Hi all,
    Those soups all sound SO good and perfect for winter. I’m getting inspired!
    @Choc Chip Uru — Thanks for your note — I opened up the giveaway to “the world” – it doesn’t make much sense to limit it, and I’m glad you commented. Now you will be eligible as well as others!

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  11. These soups look and sound amazing. We are trying to eat healthier and these recipes will work great! Yum. Its cold today and soup would be awesome

  12. Michelle

    I just made Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup for the first time and I think it may be my new favorite. Delicious!

  13. Hi Melissa,
    Although it’s February – – – Happy New Year! 🙂 The Vitamix sounds AMAZING! I need one of those!!! I make a lot of soups but always the same ones. 🙂 I’m gearing up to publish my favorite soups but by far it’s gotta be tortilla soup. I absolutely must try your broccoli zucchini and the shiitake/white bean!!! I have a 1/2 head of cauliflower in the fridge and now I know what I’m going to do with it! Thanks for sharing!
    I wish we could have the chance to meet on your upcoming visit to Lompoc. Any chance you will be in L.A. at all? I’m in O.C. and I think Lompoc might be a little far for us but if you will be in LA or thereabouts – please let me know! 🙂 – judy

  14. All three soups sound so delicious and healthy.

  15. I’m really going for the white bean and shiitaki it looks fabulous, I love beans. All of the soups look delicious though.

  16. My favorite is your Snowy Day Soup. My 2 year old and I have enjoyed cooking together and adore Soup Day. We first found your book in the library and she insisted I read it to her every night. She loves it so much I made sure to purchase a copy before I brought it back to the library so she wouldn’t be without it. We enjoy your book and the yummy recipe.

  17. Amy

    I make a sausage, white bean, kale soup which is a hit around here. So warm and filling on a winter night!

  18. Amy

    I liked you on FB! Soup Day is an often read book here at house and parsley is now always referred to as confetti : )

  19. actorsdiet

    congrats! i just posted about it on my Facebook!

  20. I tweeted and shared to FB; I love soup and children’s books. I would love to win so I could have an autographed copy but will need to purchase a copy for my school library! We have a lot of little would-be chefs at the elementary level! Thanks for hosting a giveaway.

  21. Nooo, I’ve missed Soup Month! D: Big bummer.
    Lovely trinity of soups you have there. Makes me want to have some right now.

    When it comes to my favourite kind of soup I have to say that it depends on the season. I love me some tomato soup in summer but nothing can stop me some pumpkin in autumn and winter. 🙂


  22. Sounds delicious. Do you have a good pumpkin soup recipe you could recommend?

  23. These are all so delightful! I love most any soup, well vegetarian soup 🙂 In fact my favorite is a ginger lavender veggie soup I make every year…will want to try some of these 🙂

  24. Thanks Alisha!
    I’m counting you for three chances -thanks for the tweets, etc.!

  25. I don’t have any recipe I use. I do like the tomato soup at Paradise Bakery and the Cheesy Broccoli soup mix by Augason Farms. Good luck!

  26. Susan Oliver

    My husband makes an awesome: Curried Coconut Squash Soup: roast 1 acorn squash in oven until lightly browned. Puree squash with a well-browned (carmelized) onion. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk, add about 1 cup of water (or milk), add your favorite curry powder, salt and black pepper to taste. Let simmer to your desired thickness. Yum!

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