Arielle Yoder

Arielle Yoder


Actress Arielle Yoder enjoys the culinary craft. Although she cooks a lot when she's at home, Yoder also tries to create good meals while on tour.

"It's a little different being on the road. It's the first time I'm doing a tour like this so I'm trying to figure it (the cooking) all out," she said.

Yoder is an understudy for cast members in "The Humans," continuing through Feb. 11 at Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago. FYI: Visit

The actress said when she has access to a kitchen, she makes a variety of  items.

"I make a lot of curries, stews and soups and then take them to the theater," she said. Yoder usually does her meal prepping on Mondays. Then later in the week, she'll make more dishes.

"I try to eat on the healthy side," Yoder said, adding soups are often healthy choices.

A favorite soup she enjoys is a Black Bean Pumpkin Soup, a recipe she found at

Yoder said she learned to cook from family members.

"My great-grandmother grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and she made everything by hand and from scratch," she said.

Some of the first things Yoder said she made were cookies, cakes and cupcakes. "But I don't do as much of that anymore," she said.

Because of her profession, Yoder said she started down the healthy eating path. "I feel better when I eat more plant-based foods," the actress said.

Yoder said she enjoys the act of sharing meals with others.

"For me, sharing a meal is a lot like sharing a moment with an audience," she said.

The following is a recipe from Yoder, as taken from

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained

1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped

1 1/4 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup minced shallot

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

4 cups beef broth

A 16-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup dry Sherry

1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice

3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS: In a food processor, coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.


Features reporter

Eloise writes about food and entertainment for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight children in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.