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Soup’s On!

With the dip in the temperature, you’re no doubt increasingly in the mood for warm comfort food. So I ask–what can be better than soup? I’m thrilled to share two delicious soup recipes from the great new book, Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for DUMMIES. The book describes what the Mediterranean Diet is, why it’s healthful, and how it can help you achieve and maintain a healthful body weight. It walks you through the process of planning meals, shopping for groceries, and mastering Mediterranean cooking techniques. The book helps you put a Mediterranean Diet into action with more than 160 delicious recipes for everything from appetizers, sauces and salads to soups, stews, side dishes, entrees and desserts, all inspired by the cuisines of Italy, Greece, Morocco, and Spain. I especially love Part V that features 10 tips for incorporating more plant foods into your diet and a review of 10 myths about the Mediterranean Diet. The book is an easy, informative read, and makes you want to jump on the very healthful and sensible Mediterranean Diet bandwagon. I give it two thumbs up!

Here are two soup recipes to try on for size…please check back with me and let me know how you enjoyed them!

Italian Leek and Potato Soup

Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 large leeks (about 1 1/2 lbs) thinly sliced

1 sweet or yellow onion, chopped

3 lbs Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled, large dice

1 cup dry white wine

5-6 cups chicken stock

½ cup whipping cream

Salt and white pepper, to taste


In a large stock pot heat the olive oil and butter until foamy or medium heat.  Add in leeks and onions and sauté for 10 minutes.  Add wine and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Add in diced potatoes and 5-6 cups of stock (enough to cover potatoes). Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.  Using a blending stick puree mixture until creamy.  If you do not have a blending stick place 1 cup of soup in a blender and blend in small batches.  Add in cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Season with salt and white pepper and serve.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 2-3 minutes, just to warm through.

Note: soak leeks in water and drain twice to ensure all of the sand is off the leek and pat dry prior to adding to pan.



Chicken Stew with Chick Peas and Plum Tomatoes

Prep time: 12 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 chicken thighs

1 small onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ginger

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp salt

1 (14.5oz) can chickpeas, drained

1 large can (28oz) plum tomatoes

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

¼ cup red lentils

½ cup long grain rice

¼ cup lemon juice


½ cup cilantro, chopped


In a large stock pot heat olive oil over medium high heat, add in chicken thighs and cook for 3 minutes on each side.  Add in onion, celery, spices, and chickpeas and cook for 3 minutes to heat spices.  Pour in tomatoes and chicken stock and then add in lentils and rice.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat and then cover and drop to a simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve. Garnish each bowl with 2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro.

Source: Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for DUMMIES by Meri Raffetto, RD and Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD.

Full disclosure: I was send a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher, but made no promise to promote or endorse…but I do love it!

Do you follow a Mediterranean Diet? What do you love best about it?

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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