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Vintage Soup Spoons and Two Favorite Soup Recipes

Vintage soup spoons white tureen

Several years ago I pinned a picture of some vintage soup spoons, the kind with round bowls (I think these are sometimes called gumbo spoons), on Pinterest. I loved the round shape of them…a shape you don’t see much of anymore.

I made a mental note to look for some of these spoons in my antique booth and estate sale travels, but despite keeping my eyes peeled, I never ran across any. Not any that weren’t part of a larger set of silverware anyway.

monogrammed vintage soup spoons

So last winter I did some searching on Etsy and found this set of four silverplate spoons. They happened to be monogrammed with the first letter of my maiden name but, as I’ve mentioned before, I love any monogram. Any one at all. They’re so classic and charming.

vintage soup spoon buffalo check napkin

My husband, Tom, is a big soup eater and even though I regularly make stew and chili in the wintertime, I hoped that having these spoons would inspire me to make other soups more often. I’ve done a little better, although there’s still lots of room for improvement.

Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

In the spirit of soup season, though, I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorite soup recipes, starting with my go-to chili. I found this recipe eons ago in the booklet that came with my slow cooker, which actually has quite a few good recipes in it.

Favorite Slow Cooker Chili

2 – 16 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 – 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 lbs. ground beef*, browned and drained
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, crushed
2 to 3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 – 8 oz. can tomato sauce (optional)*

*I’ve been using ground turkey lately and it works great with this recipe. I wouldn’t use ground turkey breast, however, as it’s a little too lean.

**I added the tomato sauce because I like my chili very tomato-y. Feel free to omit this.

Directions: Sautee the green pepper, onion, and ground beef together until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are slightly softened. Put the beef/pepper/onion mixture in a slow cooker, add all other ingredients and stir once. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.

Kansas City Plaza III Steak Soup Recipe

The other recipe is a killer steak soup recipe from Kansas City’s Plaza III Steakhouse. My mom gave me a photo copy of the recipe, which ran in Midwest Living magazine years ago.

Kansas City Steak Soup

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 – 14.5 oz. cans beef broth
1/2 of a 10 oz. pkg (1 cup) frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
3/4 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. beefsteak, ground or cut into small, coarse chunks
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 of 8 oz. can (1/2 cup) tomatoes, cut up


1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Sitr in flour until smooth. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Add beef broth all at once. Cook and stir the mixture until bubbly.
3. Add frozen vegetables, carrot, onion, celery, Kitchen Bouquet, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, quickly brown the beef in cooking oil. Drain off fat. Add meat and undrained tomatoes to the soup mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Makes 4 servings.

Vintage Silverplate Soup Spoons

Are you soup fans at your house? What’s your favorite?

P.S. I’ve started this Pinterest board of soup recipes if you’re interested.

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  1. I have the Plaza Steak Soup recipe from probably 40 years ago but mine called for ground beef. What cut of steak do you use and how small are you cutting it? Fond memories of that soup. Wonder if it’s still as good now.

    1. Nanci, I usually use ground sirloin, but sirloin tips work well too. I like them cut very small.

  2. We’ve been eating soup more lately, and I love it too. We like Italian Wedding Soup (I like to use fresh spinach), Taco Soup, and if it counts as soup Chicken and Dumplings. I’ve finally found a chili recipe that we all enjoy that is similar to yours except that it calls for 1 cup of water and only 1 can of tomatoes (so I guess the liquid is about the same). Boy I’m getting hungry!

    1. Those sound great, Karen. And chicken and dumplings are definitely soup in my book.

  3. I want some soup spoons like that!!!! I do have some in my mom’s set of sterling that I used at Christmas…….hmmmmm….maybe I should just pull those out to use all the time. Or maybe I’ll go hunt Etsy!! Thanks for the info.
    I made a huge pot of bean, sausage, rice and mustard green soup today!! So Yummy. Will be posting recipe on my blog tomorrow!!

    1. Janey, yum! So cool that you have your mom’s sterling.

  4. Julie, the spoons are beautiful, and I agree with you about loving monograms. I do enjoy making soups, stews and chili. If I may, I’d like to share one of my many favorites I recently made again. ~Jillian

    Spinach Meatball Minestrone With Cheese Tortellini

    Note: Any favorite meatball can be used. The soup is best made a day or so ahead and reheated. Don’t add the tortellini until you reheat it. You may need to add a little more stock when reheating in order to have enough for the tortellini.

    For Meatballs:
    1 lb. ground beef (can also use half ground beef/half Italian sausage)
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 T. minced onion
    About 1/4 cup bread crumbs (fresh or dried)
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 large egg, slightly beaten
    1 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry (I use a potato ricer to squeeze out the liquid.)
    Pinch of nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. dried basil
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. pepper

    Combine and lightly mix well with your hands. Heat 2 T. olive oil in large soup pot. Make one bite-size patty and brown in olive oil till done. Taste for seasoning and correct rest of meatballl mixture, if necessary. Form rest of mixture into bite-size (about 1″) balls. Saute in soup pot until brown and done. Remove from pot and set aside.

    For Soup:
    2 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
    2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped
    1 14- or 15-oz. can diced tomatoes and juice
    1 15-oz. can kidney (or cannellini) beans and juice
    8 cups beef or chicken stock (or more, depending on amount of tortellini used)
    1 tsp. dried basil
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1/2 to 1 whole pkg. (8.9 oz. size) dried Three Cheese Tortellini (I use Barilla’s…any brand is fine)

    For serving: freshly grated Parmesan and/or pesto.

    Add carrots, celery, onion and zucchini to the same pot you used for the meatballs, adding more olive oil, if necessary. Saute until tender, scraping up any bits from meatballs. Add tomatoes, beans, stock, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and meatballs. Stir and bring to low boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Stir in tortellini, adding more stock, if necessary. Bring to low boil and cook just until tortellini is done (al dente). Serve sprinkled with fresh Parmesan and/or dollop of pesto.

    1. Jillian, this sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to print this off to keep with my recipes. Many thanks!

  5. You’re welcome…hope you like it! As with most soup recipes, it’s very tweakable to suit your own taste. I looked at your soup recipes on Pinterest, and they ALL look and sound great!

  6. sharon Johnson says:

    Thank you for this piece of history. I have a recipe and was looking around to see how close it was to the original. I found your post. I loved the newspaper clipping also. I made this and added a few touches of my own. I like more tomatoes and fat free cream of mushroom soup and 2 Tbs of Lipton Onion soup mix. My husband loves it. Thanks for the memories.

    1. So glad you found it, Sharon. Love the changes you made. My husband is a big fan too!

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