White Bean Barley Soup with Kale

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I just love soup season!  I’ve made this simple, hearty soup with few ingredients that make for a very satisfying, healthy meal.  I especially love the barley in this because of the great texture it adds, not too mention it’s a whole grain with abundant health benefits.  Lower cholesterol, anyone?  It’s packed with fiber and phytonutrients like Continue reading “White Bean Barley Soup with Kale”

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

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My favorite thing about pureed soup is that I don’t have to worry about chopping up the garlic and veggies into little bits because it doesn’t matter in the end.  🙂  What else makes this soup awesome is the roasted flavor from the red pepper and tomato.  The ratio I’ve used here has a nice balance.  You can definitely taste the red pepper but it’s not Continue reading “Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup”

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup

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Broccoli cheese soup is one of my favorite all time soups.  I have always loved broccoli, even as a child and I love soup all year round.  I’ve worked on making a healthier version without the heavy cream.  This uses cashew cream instead and Continue reading “Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup”

Warm Me Up Tortilla Soup

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It’s still pretty chilly here and I’ve been craving soup and this one is one of my favorites.  The flavors really are warming, especially if you add the jalapeno!  I also love cumin so I add more of this than the chili powder but you can adjust to your tastes. Continue reading “Warm Me Up Tortilla Soup”

Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup

This is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made.  It’s one of those “wow this is so good I can’t believe I made this” moments.  It’s crazy flavorful and it’s easy to make.  Proof that amazingly delicious good food doesn’t have to be complicated with fancy schmancy ingredients and techniques.  One of my secrets to this is a good vegetable broth.  Some have zero flavor.  I happen to love Edward and Son’s Not-Chick’n bullion cubes that I get at Whole Foods.  I use one cube dissolved in three cups of water for this recipe (package says one cube in two cups water but I reduce the sodium).

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

5-6 baby carrots diced (that’s what I always have on hand or use 1 carrot)

3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1 Tbsp tomato paste

3/4 cups red lentils

3 cups vegetable broth (see note)

Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)

Method

Add olive oil to saucepan and heat over medium-low.  Add onion and carrots with a dash of salt and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and cook 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and the lentils, then add the broth and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.

Season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.

Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Note: recommend using a quality, flavorful broth such as Edward and Son’s Not-Chick’n bullion cubes. Dissolve one cube in three cups hot water for this recipe.

10 Vegetable Soup

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A hearty, veggie packed with soup with carrot, celery, onion, tomato, potato, cauliflower, zucchini, kale, peas and lima beans (I guess these are technically a legume but I’ll just count them as a vegetable too).  This soup will freeze well too! I created a batch with 6 servings and for some of the vegetables I only used smaller amounts so here are some tips to getting the most out of some of the fresh vegetables:

Carrots:  With a bunch of whole carrots cut up the extra for snacking or use baby carrots.

Celery: I get it off the salad bar because I never end up using a whole bunch.

Zucchini: I also got this off the salad bar but if you don’t use a whole zucchini, saute extra with olive oil and add to pasta and sauce.

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Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 cup diced zucchini

1 small yukon gold or red potato, cubed (about 1/2inch)

1 can diced tomato w/ juice

4-5 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 cup small cauliflower florets

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen lima beans

1 large kale leaf, rib removed, chopped into small pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Add oil to a large soup pot and warm over medium heat for a minute.  Add onion, celery and carrot with a pinch of salt.  Cook 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and basil and cook another 2 minutes.

Add zucchini, potato, cauliflower and toss to coat; cook for a minute.  Add tomatoes and 4 cups of broth.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add peas and lima beans, cook 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in kale. Season with salt and pepper.

Frontier Soup Enchilada Mix Gone Vegan!

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I love soup and I often make from scratch but sometimes on a weeknight I just don’t have the time or patience to cook up a homemade soup. I recently tried this soup mix from Frontier Soups and made it not only vegetarian but also vegan!  I subbed beans for the chicken and omitted the cheese and instead topped with tortilla chips and avocado, plus some fresh cilantro and green onion.  It was delicious, easy and quick to make and still felt homemade.

Note: I found these soup mixes at Whole Foods and I also bought there my favorite vegetable broth which is the Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n bouillon cubes.  Trust me, you want a good vegetable broth because it can make or break your soup. This one has been a long time favorite of mine.

Here’s my vegan version

Ingredients

6 cups vegetable broth

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (sub for the chicken)

1 package of Frontier Soup Enchilada Soup Mix

1 cup salsa verde

Omit the cheese if making vegan

Toppings: avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro, green onion

Method

Just follow the simple instructions on package and add desired toppings!

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Gazpacho

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I’m a soup addict, to the point I’ll even eat hot soup during the triple digit heat of DC in August.  However, it is a nice treat to have a flavourful soup that is cold and refreshing!  I came across this recipe in my Vitamix recipe book and made some tweaks based on what I had available.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

3 cups V8 original or plain tomato juice

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks

1 small zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into chunks

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks

1 garlic clove, peeled

Dash of hot sauce (or more)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Add all ingredients to blender in order listed.  Puree to desired consistency and serve topped with avocado or croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

Potato & White Bean Soup with Kale

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This is a hearty soup complete with a protein and starch, and it is also really comforting on a cold day.  Mushrooms add a little extra savory flavor, as does the nutritional yeast if you choose to use it.  It also adds nutritional benefits such as vitamin B12 (learn more).

Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 heaping cup of chopped mushrooms (i like shiitakes)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

6 cups good vegetable broth (recommended – Not Chick’n Broth bullion cubes)

1 can navy or great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 sprig rosemary

3 large kale leaves, thick stem removed and chopped (i prefer lacinato kale over the curly kale)

Method

Add enough olive oil to cover bottom of a stock pot and heat over medium low heat for a couple minutes.  Then add onion and mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt.  Saute 5 minutes or until softened.

Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes.

Stir in nutritional yeast to thoroughly mix.  Then add wine stirring and scraping bottom to get any bits on the pan (that’s all the good flavor).  Simmer about 5 minutes until reduced by half.

Add potatoes, broth, beans, and rosemary.  Increase to high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 20 minutes.

Remove rosemary sprig.  Transfer 1-2 cups of bean and potato mixture with a little of the broth to a blender.  Puree then add back to pot.

Stir in kale and simmer 5 minutes longer.  Transfer to bowls and serve with a yummy crusty baguette!

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

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Serves 3-4

Ingredients

1 heaping cup of grape tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

2 Tbsp live oil

1/2 large onion, diced

Pinch of salt

3 large garlic cloves

1 tsp dried thyme

1 28oz can whole plum tomatoes

2-3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup fresh basil leaves (or about a handful)

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss grapes tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add to parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While tomatoes are in the oven, add olive oil to saucepan and heat over medium-low.  Add onion and pinch of salt and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme; cook 2 minutes.

Add whole can of tomatoes with juice, 2 cups of the broth and basil. Break up the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.

Let cool slightly and add to a blender along with roasted tomatoes.  Puree, add more broth if you like a thinner consistency.  Transfer back to pot and season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.

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