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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup Recipe

I’m about to show you the pho-shizzle pho-sure. I mean, this recipe is pho-nomenal. You will keep this one handy pho-ever. Un-pho-gettable. Pho-real. No pho-king chicken broth here. Authentic Homemade Pho Soup is the real deal, baby.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

You will need cheesecloth to drain your broth, so be sure to purchase before making. This is an all day recipe, so you’ll want to begin around 11am for a 6pm dinner.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

Broth Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 quarts water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or cut in half
  • 3 slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce**
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place beef bones and onion on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and simmer for six hours with lid partially covering pot. Broth will slowly reduce to about half of the water you started with.

Lay about 4 layers of cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Remove large items out of the broth and throw away. Gently pour the rest of the broth over the cheesecloth and into a clean pot.

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 – 14 oz.  package pad Thai rice noodles AKA rice sticks (preferably wider, fettuccine-like ones)
  • 2-3 pounds London Broil steak, thinly sliced

After broth is finished cooking, add green onions.

For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for as long as package instructs – most likely about 3 minutes. Add a scoop of noodles to your bowls. The benefit of cooking noodles this way, is they will remain a gorgeous white and they won’t soak in all of your broth, leaving you with just noodles. for this same reason, I recommend storing leftover noodles and pho broth separately.

Lay strips of London Broil steak on top of noodles in your bowls. Pour the hot pho broth over your steak and noodles. The hot broth will cook the meat for you quickly. The eat will be a little pink in the center. Add toppings & sauces as desired.

Pho Toppings & Sauces

  • Fresh* or canned** bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce**
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Sriracha sauce**

Everyone can enjoy the toppings they wish on their pho.

There’s nothing like authentic homemade pho soup. Making pho from scratch with make you a pho-natic. Good pho-you!

*Available at Asian markets

**Available at regular grocery stores in Asian aisle

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Creamy Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Recipe

Soup season is a lovely time of year. A cuppa. A bowla. A cozy mix of whateva’ for whomeva’.



  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut in quarters
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place tomatoes, peppers, onion pieces, & garlic cloves in a cast iron pan (or large oven safe saucepan) and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, & pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove peels from garlic cloves. Place roasted tomatoes, peppers, onion, & garlic in blender and set aside.

Place all remaining ingredients except bacon bits in blender with tomatoes and onions. Blend until saucy.

Pour soup back into cast iron pan (or oven safe pan). Heat over medium heat until hot. Add sea salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with a little bit of heavy whipping cream that can be drizzles on and stirred into your soup if desired… just a pretty little touch of fancy.

You know for when your toes are cold…. or wheneva’.

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Homemade Tomato Bacon Soup Recipe


Bacon is not necessary, but it is always welcome. Amirite? Why not in tomato soup too?



  • 10 medium tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup high-quality real bacon bits or freshly cooked bacon


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place tomatoes, onion, & garlic cloves in a cast iron pan (or large oven safe saucepan) and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, & pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove peels from garlic cloves. Place roasted tomatoes & garlic in a blender and set aside.

Place all remaining ingredients except bacon bits in a blender with tomatoes and onions. Blend until saucy.

Pour soup into a cast iron pan (or another oven safe large pan). Stir in bacon bits. Heat over medium heat until hot. Add sea salt & pepper. Taste test. If soup is still too acidic, stir in a little bit more honey.

Try this little ditty with your favorite grilled cheese. Hint hint: A perfectly toasted grilled cheese on sourdough bread with Beecher’s white cheddar cheese and julienned basil on the inside with crispy garlic butter on the outside. Yes, please.

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How to Make Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe


Canned soup is a nice way to welcome your family home from a long day but homemade turkey noodle soup is outta this world delicious. I still reminisce about my first memory of grandma’s turkey noodle soup and how much better it was than even chicken soup.



  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 turkey carcass (or about 2 cups leftover turkey, chopped)
  • 2 cups flour (plus 1 cup for rolling out noodles)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 ounces frozen peas & carrots
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • House seasoning (optional)
  • 2 stalks fresh sage, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon (optional)


First, just save your turkey bones and you’re halfway there. Place them into a large pot with about 6 quarts of water. Turn heat to high and wait for it to boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes.

Remove all bones from broth and place on a sheet pan to cool. Pick out all turkey pieces you can find and place them back into the broth. Turn heat to low. Throw away leftover bones. If using turkey pieces only, disregard carcass-separating instructions and just leave turkey in broth.

Place flour, eggs, and salt into a bowl.

Mix ingredients until dough forms.

Place about a cup of flour out on counter and place flour on dough & rolling pin.

Roll dough into a long strip. Before folding, make sure dough is well floured so it can be separated again when unfolding the noodles.

Fold rolled dough downward in half a few times.

Cut into thin strips. A pizza cutter can be handy for this. Unroll and place in a pile, again with plenty of flour so they don’t stick together. Set aside & let noodles rest for a few minutes.

Add onion, chopped celery and peas & carrots to broth. Add seasonings like salt, pepper, a house seasoning, and maybe even some of your favorite chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme & sage. Sage will give your soup a similar flavor as traditional stuffing. Stir in some Chicken Better Than Bouillon if soup is bland and needs more meat flavor. Bring broth to a boil again.

Add noodles a few at a time. The reason for the boiling temp and adding a few at a time is so they don’t clump together again when the fall into the pot. Of course, my kids have never complained about clumped noodles. In fact, they have always laid claim to them. Give a gentle stir a couple of times while adding noodles.

After adding noodles, place lid on pot and allow to simmer on low for about another 45 minutes.

Mmmmm… cozy in a bowl.


Chicken: Use raw chicken cut into pieces, boil until chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken to cool, place chicken back into broth and disregard skin, bones, etc.

Beef: Use leftover pot roast cut into small pieces and Better Than Bouillon Beef. This is not a recipe for beef stew. Here is the recipe for beef stew.

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Homemade Minestrone Soup Recipe


Welcome back, soup season. Welcome back. Minestrone is a lovely fall soup that helps gardeners use up all their fresh veggies. When made with vegetable stock, it’s vegan-friendly but you would never know it.

If you’re really missing the meat, you can brown some hamburger or ground chicken and then step back into the recipe. You rebel, you.



    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, Italian cut

  • 2 fresh carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups zucchini, diced (no need to remove skin)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10.75 ounce can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 – 32 ounce containers vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 dried bay whole leaves (to be removed when soup is done)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 – 15.25 ounce can kidney beans
  • 8 ounces pasta, any small pasta works great (ie. bow ties, shells, penne, or rotelle)

Heat olive oil and butter in large soup pot. Add onion, green beans, carrots, celery, zucchini, and garlic. Cook down over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.

Add tomato puree, tomato, brown sugar, broth, spinach, herbs & seasonings, and beans. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add pasta and cook at a simmer for the length of time on the pasta packaging. Ending with pasta is important as you do not want to overcook the noodles. Remove from heat and serve while hot.

Delicious served with a rustic sour dough bread & butter and a tight, loving hug.

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Cornbread Topped Chili Recipe



I heart cornbread. Correction. I heart sweet cornbread. Correction of the correction. I love sweet cornbread that is perfectly baked so it’s not dry.

This is more of a tip than a recipe but it’s one of my favorites. Chili topped with cornbread topped with honey butter. Amen.


  • 2 – 15 ounce cans of chili
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • One recipe honey butter (below)

Divide chili into four oven-safe dishes.

Pour cornbread mix into bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar then continue with instructions on box. After finished stirring together cornbread mixture, divide over chili dishes, leaving room for cornbread and the rising of the cornbread.

Bake on cookie sheet in oven preheated to 350F.

Bake until cornbread edges are golden brown and a fork poked into middle of cornbread comes out clean.

Honey Butter:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

Whip butter using a mixer until it is light & fluffy. Stir in honey until the two become one. Place honey butter on top of cornbread chili cuppers while still hot.

Enjoy on sunshine-y deck, on a picnic, or bake in a 9X13 pan and share at a church potluck. Hallelujah.


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Cheesy Bratwurst & Beer Soup Recipe


This post is dedicated to some of my greatest loves. These ladies…


These are the ladies who taught Sunday School, confirmed the value my mother told me I had, hosted almost every potluck I’ve ever been to and who dressed up like rednecks for a party for me a few, four, five or twenty years ago.

Every young lady on the planet earth deserves to have women like these in their life. One of my most unreachable goals is to honor every minute they’ve spent with me and every ounce of love they’ve poured into me (even when I didn’t deserve it) by passing it on to others of all ages just like they’re still doing in my hometown.


I’m tearing up just writing about them and I don’t have a tissue handy, so I shall go back to my outrageous shower. Hay bales, quilts and clothes lines hung across the room with care and giggles. To this day, this is the most spectacular ladies party I have ever attended. No pink flowers. No white linens. And no stuffy rules. Everyone had a wonderful time laughing at our hosts with blacked-out teeth, hillbilly outfits, and hilarious songs sung almost on tune with washboards and spoons for accompaniment. They blindfolded me and my job was to guess the types of about 10 cheeses. Sweet baby Jesus, I didn’t know my cheeses. I probably should admit here that my favorite cheese 20 years ago may have still been Velveeta. Okay, it was.


So in honor of every real cheese known to man. I present thee with my Cheesy Bratwurst & Beer Soup.


  •  4 cups water
  • 10 Johnsonville Bratwurst (or 2 packages of original, beer or cheddar brats)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 24 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 cups hefeweizen beer
  • 2 cups frozen potato squares
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound block of smokey sharp cheddar cheese, grated (save 2 ounces for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Leaves of 3 sprigs fresh oregano, minced
  • Leaves of 1 large sprig fresh basil, minced
  • Leaves of 5 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • Leaves of 1 medium sprig of fresh rosemary, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Bring water to a boil in medium-large saucepan. Add bratwurst and allow to cook at a rolling simmer for about 15 minutes.

Place olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Remove brats from water with tongs and place in soup pot to brown all sides. Save broth from bratwurst. Place browned brats on a cutting board to cool and place diced onion into soup pot to cook until translucent. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir while cooking for about 2 minutes. Add a little extra olive oil if needed.

Stir in chicken broth, bratwurst broth and beer. After broth thickens, add potatoes, heavy cream, all but a couple of ounces of the cheddar cheese and the herbs and spices. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve in bowls or mugs topped with, perhaps, a dollop of sour cream and some grated smoked cheddar.


And may you rock white tights with navy blue shoes, big bangs in all their glory, and sweaters with shoulder pads forever. And may this soup comfort your soul just like the wonderful, wise hillbillies around you for they are priceless jewels… only, you know, not stuffy.

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Ham and Great Northern Bean Soup


The word “blizzard” has been tossed about in the northwest today. The wind is wildly dancing outside and it is likely that we will get a mix of rain, wind and snow for a few days. The media shall stir things up worse than the mighty wind and midwestern relatives will call to be sure we’re okay. We will tell them we have 2 inches of snow and they will laugh and the world will be okay again. Hot soup is the only remedy.

Ham & Great Northern Bean Soup Recipe


  • 1 pound great northern beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups water for soaking + 7 cups water for cooking
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large smoked ham hocks, (or 1 pound smoked ham, shredded or diced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place beans and 6 cups of water in a large bowl. Discard any beans that float to the top of the water. Soak overnight (or 7-8 hours).

After soaking time is done, drain beans and set aside.

Braise ham hocks in olive oil over medium high heat on all sides (skip this step if not using ham hocks). Remove ham hocks from heat and set aside. Place chopped onion into remaining olive oil and cook until onions are golden or somewhat translucent. Add minced garlic if desired.

Pour about seven cups of water into the pot with onions. Add beans then ham hocks (or ham) back into pan as well.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour. Add celery and carrots. Add salt & pepper to taste. Cook for another 30-60 minutes – until done. If using ham hocks, remove and allow to cool to the touch. Remove ham from them and place ham pieces back into soup.

Yes, we Seattlites will never make friends with the snow. Soup, on the other hand, well, it makes everything okay. Add corn muffins smothered in honey butter and blizzard? What blizzard?

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Cabbage Patch Soup Recipe

In high school, I worked at Scandia Bakery in Stanwood, Washington. One thing that impressed me most while working there was watching the lunch counter ladies make homemade cabbage patch soup. There’s just something about little tiny ladies lifting very large pots of ground meat and slicing vegetables by hand that just says love. Add to that bakers dressed in white with huge pot holders in hand pulling trays of hot Swedish Rye Bread out of the oven – an oven that was the size of Rhode Island – and you have, what I decided, would be my home forever. And it is. In my heart.

Thankfully, I have the ingredients listed on a guest check that is straight from the bakery in the 1980s.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 20 ounces ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • 1 – 32 ounce box of organic chicken broth (Imagine brand is awesome)
  • 1 – 28 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 46 ounce can V8 Vegetable Juice
  • 1 – 12 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans kidney beans
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1/2 a head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas and carrots
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Freshly ground sea salt & pepper
  • Seasoning salt like Johnny’s, Spike or Lawry’s (optional)

Heat olive oil in medium-large soup pot. Cook onions over medium heat until light golden or translucent. When onions are done cooking, remove & set aside. Add meat to the pot and cook until done. If using ground beef, drain excess grease a bit if needed before moving on with the recipe. Add remaining ingredients and allow soup to simmer for up to an hour, depending on how cooked you enjoy your cabbage. If soup doesn’t seem flavorful enough, gradually add salt until you can enjoy all the flavors.

Through the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there but this is the version my family adores. Hopefully when they see this tiny lady making cabbage patch soup in a medium-large pot, it says love.

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French Onion Soup Recipe

Le French onion soup is a very easy soup to make but it is time consuming. The onions are cooked at a very low heat so they can caramelize to a dark brown, yet not burn while on their way to their culinary destiny – a destiny that will make many people réjouissant.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sherry wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 5 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • 8 stalks fresh thyme, minced (plus additional for garnish if desired)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf artisan French bread
  • 4-6 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced thin

How to slice an onion…

Cut top off of onion.

Lay top of onion (which is now flat) upside down on cutting board). Cut onion in half down the middle of the root.

Peel off outer layer of onion skin and discard.

Lay onion with largest flat side down and begin slicing thinly starting at the top.

Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat and then add onions.

Continue to cook onions over medium-low heat for 3-4 hours.

Onions will end up being dark brown and caramelized. Yeah, like that.

Stir in flour and cook for a few minutes while stirring.

Add sherry wine and continue to stir.

Immediately add chicken stock (or water) as well and stir.

Allow soup to heat up and then stir in the beef base. Stir and cook until it is melted into the soup. Salt & pepper soup to taste.

Note: Beef base and chicken broth (or water) can be replaced by the more traditional broth of beef consomme’ if preferred.

Add minced thyme.

Slice bread as thick or thin as you’d like and then place on a sheet pan to broil until golden.

Place soup in bowls and place a slice of bread on top.

Cover with as much lovely sliced or grated Gruyere as you like.

Place soup bowls on baking sheet and broil until cheese is melted fully. Garnish  with a stalk of thyme or minced thyme if you like and serve.

Le destiny of le onions. Le sigh.

Comment on this blog post by noon tomorrow (Sept. 12th) for a chance to win le Girl Scout cookies.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017