Soup-er Salads

When the temperature begins to drop and the leaves slowly start to change color and fall to the ground, nothing beats a steaming bowl of soup and a fresh, crunchy salad — a flavorful combo that’s both light and satisfying.

We asked Jimmy Eskridge, an Apex-based personal chef and owner of TasteBuds Innovative In-Home Dining, to create three soup and salad pairings that are easy to make, but taste like you’ve been cooking all day. Eskridge has been in business for more than a decade making meal planning easy for individuals, families, and small groups. He really knows his stuff, and we know you’ll love these recipes!

Jerk chicken and rice soup. Ginger, kale, cucumber, and broccoli salad.

Jerk Chicken and Rice Soup

1 whole chicken
1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
3 bay leaves
1 ½ cups wild rice
2 tablespoons sherry

  • Clean the chicken, being sure to clear the cavity. Rub with jerk seasoning and cover with water in a stock pot. Add bouillon cubes, onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 35-45 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot to cool. Remove bay leaves.
  • Pick chicken off the bone and dice into small pieces. Return to the pot.
  • Bring stock to a boil and add rice and sherry. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Ginger, Kale, Cucumber, and Broccoli Salad

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch kale
1 cucumber
1 head broccoli
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 package ramen noodles
1 can chickpeas
2 teaspoons curry powder
Cherry tomatoes
Ginger dressing

  • Massage kale and then chop.
  • Thinly slice cucumber.
  • Cut broccoli into small pieces.
  • Add sesame oil to a pan on medium heat and add chopped up ramen noodles. Shake around in the pan until brown. Let cool.
  • In a pan heated to medium, add olive oil and drained chickpeas. Shake around in the pan for 5 minutes and add curry powder. Let cool.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and dress with ginger dressing.

Coconut butternut squash soup. Goat cheese beet salad.

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds butternut squash, cubed
2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
64 ounces vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in Dutch oven.
  • Add carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent (about 4 minutes).
  • Add butternut squash, chili sauce, cumin, coriander, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, until squash is tender.
  • Let cool.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Stir in coconut milk; add salt and pepper to taste.

Goat Cheese Beet Salad

Crumbled goat cheese
2 raw beets, peeled and grated
Toasted slivered almonds
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

  • Put arugula in a bowl and spread beets on top.
  • Cover with goat cheese and almonds.
  • Dress the salad with vinaigrette.

Creamy andouille soup. Granny Smith salad.

Creamy Andouille Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups andouille sausage, diced
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 teaspoons paprika
5 cups chicken stock
1 small russet potato, diced
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Cook sausage in olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove and set aside.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of oil in your pot and cook onions, carrots, mushrooms, and red pepper for 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and paprika and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in heavy cream; add salt and pepper to taste.

Granny Smith Salad

6 slices bacon
5 ounces spring mix
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into
1-inch pieces
8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola
Walnut pieces
Blue cheese dressing

  • Cook bacon until crispy and chop into small pieces.
  • Toast walnut pieces in 350 degree oven on a sheet pan for 5 minutes.
  • Add spring mix to a bowl.
  • Cover with apples, bacon, tomatoes, walnuts, and gorgonzola.
  • Dress with blue cheese dressing to taste and toss.

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