Posts Tagged ‘Soups’
February 18, 2014
I shared some things I have learned since living up north earlier today, and making homemade soup last for days should have definitely been included!
Soup has been such a lifesaver during the past freezing months. When I am craving comfort food (which seems to be all the time when it’s cold out), I turn to soup and when I create a new recipe, I purposely make enough servings to last Scott and I a few days. Lucky for me, neither one of us gets sick of eating something if it’s good enough!
I hate writing this, but I have to preface this recipe by telling you it is one hundred percent the best recipe I have ever made. Really.
As some of you know, Scott often helps out with the seasonings and spices of things, but I came up with this one completely on my own by tweaking several other ones already out there.
Vegetable minestrone is my absolute favorite and I am happy to report that this one is also very healthy!
Healthy, Hearty Vegetable Minestrone Soup
2 1/2 cups whole wheat or veggie noodles
(you can also make this recipe gluten-free by choosing GF noodles!)
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups tomato juice
1 can (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup (2 medium) carrots, sliced
1 cup (2 medium) celery stalks, sliced
1 cup (half a) zucchini squash, sliced and halved
1 cup (half a) yellow squash, sliced and halved
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans
1 (15 oz.) can cannelini beans
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil (for cooking vegetables)
total prep + cook time: 90 minutes
1. In a large pot, cook carrots, celery, onion, and garlic on med-high heat in olive oil until soft. (About 5 minutes.)
2. Add diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add vegetable broth and stir well.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the rest of your veggies. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add noodles and beans, then cook another 15 minutes.
If you want to add a protein punch, I’m sure Italian or spicy chicken sausage would taste great. I named it hearty minestrone soup, however, because it packs plenty of substance with all of the beans!
This batch was enough for Scott and I to enjoy for a few days, but if you don’t know what to do with the leftovers, freeze them.
I always look forward to defrosting a pre-made soup on days where I don’t feel like cooking.
Serve on it’s own, topped with Parmesan cheese, and/or with soup crackers and enjoy!
January 27, 2014
Hi friends! I hope this week has gotten off to a great start for you all. How was the weekend? Short? Yeah, I feel ya.
I spent the majority of mine cleaning the house and car shopping. Both during a crazy snowfall. It sounds weird, but I think I am actually getting used to the frigid temperatures and sideways snow when it makes it’s uninvited way into our area. As much as someone can get used to that, anyways.
The one thing that has pushed me through the insanely cold mornings and nights of this not-so mild winter season is warm, comforting beverages and meals. And when I say comforting, don’t think that they have to automatically slip out of the healthy category, either.
You have probably already picked up on my obsession for hot coffee and tea, but I have always had an equal place in my heart (and belly!) saved for soup. I would be completely okay with enjoying a cup a day, and this year has been all about the chili.
About a week ago, I came home from the gym with quite the appetite. I also had a hungry husband to feed and my sources were limited.
I’m not even sure where the inspiration came from, but after rummaging through our empty pantry, I somehow pulled together the easiest, healthiest chili five ways I have ever dug into!
This recipe uses a handful of ingredients and only takes about fifteen minutes to put together. For the amount of preparation and effort I put into it, I was surprised of how awesome it turned out.
Today I am excited to share it with you!
Healthy, Easy Chili Over Noodles
One sure-fire way to lighten up any hearty chili is to substitute the ground beef for a lighter one. This time I used ground turkey, but you can also use ground chicken.
Also, if you are going to serve something over noodles, try to go for a whole wheat, veggie, or even gluten-free pasta. You’ll be amazed at how satisfied you feel without all of the empty carbs and bloat afterwards!
1 can (21 oz.) fiesta black beans (try Bush’s Fiesta Grillin’ for flavor!)
1 1/2 cups salsa (more if you like a liquidy chili)
1 lb. ground turkey
noodles of choice (I used Garden Delight Trio Italiano)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (for topping)
cook time: 15 minutes
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large saucepan. Drain, but no need to rinse.
3. Combine meat, beans and salsa in a large saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally until ready to serve.
4. Plate by layering noodles, then chili, and top with shredded cheese.
For the cheese, I shredded up what we had left of our jalapeno cheddar block. It’s completely optional, but it certainly gave the extra spicy kick I was looking for.
Hope you are all staying warm out there. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!
Question of the Day
• Are you a chili fan? What are some of your go-to ingredients?
November 19, 2013
Yesterday I mentioned how Scott is a bit of a gourmet chef, while I am more of the quick and healthy kind of recipe creator. Over the weekend I told him I wanted to make butternut squash soup and he took it upon himself to find and tweak a recipe to deem his own.
While I normally look right past ones that involve more than a handful of ingredients, he looks at them with “the more flavor the better” thinking and in most cases he’s right.
Here is his latest creation that will warm you up on chilly fall or winter day. We might even make it again next week for his parents, and maybe even for a Thanksgiving appetizer if we feel like getting crazy. Who knows!
*And for the health nuts out there, make sure to look for my healthier substitutions + suggestions at the bottom.
2 medium whole butternut squash (about 4 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium Granny Smith apple
1/2 medium yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider
*if you don’t have apple cider you can leave it out and use 2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp. ground pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg
prep + cook time: 2 hours
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Make sure rack is in middle. Cut squash in halves, lengthwise. Remove seeds by scooping with a spoon.
2. Place squash pieces cut-side up on a baking sheet. Melt 1 Tbsp. of the butter and brush all of it over the tops of the squash halves. (You can use your fingers if you don’t have a brush.) Generously season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
3. While squash is baking, peel, core and dice the apple. Dice the onion. Melt the remaining Tbsp. of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
4. Add the apple, onion, and sage. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
5. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until it is cooled. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sauteed apples and onion. You don’t need the skins.
6. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
7. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Served garnished with pumpkin seeds for more of a fall flare! We looked for them at a few stores, but came home empty handed. I used sage for the picture instead.
Healthier Substitutions + Suggestions
Things I would have modified, if I was allowed to touch the recipe:
• coconut oil instead of butter
• add more chicken broth instead of the creme (consistency would be less thick), maybe also experiment with almond milk
• for vegetarians: use all vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
• sneak more vegetables in like carrots and celery
• cut back on the amount of salt
Other “Gourmet” Recipes by Scott:
October 22, 2013
Good afternoon! I can’t believe it’s already that time. Wow, today sure flew.
This week is a busy one loaded with home games and practices, so I have a feeling my next batch of meal plans will include a lot of pre-made meals like soups and salads.
I have always been a huge fan of soup, especially chili. I grew up with my mom serving ours over noodles, which I am now learning isn’t a southern thing. (She’s actually from Minnesota!)
Scott has become known for cooking a mean spicy brisket chili, and when I got the craving for it the other day I decided to take matters into my own hands by making a less involved, lighter version of it.
This recipe calls for the crockpot and is meant for you to be able to throw everything in and forget about it for a few hours. Ahh, perfect for the cold weekends we’ve been having up here.
While it was cooking, I actually had to leave the house for a few hours and ended up getting home two hours past the time I thought I would. If I was home, I would have checked on the flavor tweaked it a little every so often.
The next day, I heated up the leftovers on the stove top, added a few more spices and got finally got my winning combo!
1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz.) can black beans (look for low sodium)
1 (14 oz.) can garbanzo beans (look for low sodium)
1 (14 oz.) can great northern beans
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. cheyenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 cups of water (depending on how watery you like the base)
salt and pepper to taste
low fat grated cheese (for topping)
1. Brown ground turkey and chopped onions in a large skillet. Add the green pepper, jalapeno and garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes.
2. Transfer meat mixture into crockpot. Add drained black, garbanzo and great northern beans. Add tomatoes and half of the cilantro (1/8 cup).
3. Add seasonings and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for about 6 hours. Serve with low fat grated cheese and cilantro sprinkled on top!
This recipe made about six hearty servings, which was plenty to last Scott and I a few days. I’m thinking I might just have to re-make this one to freeze and have on hand with the winter weather creeping in.
The best part? The husband had no idea how good it was for him. #sneakyhealthyrecipeforthewin
Question of the Day
• Do you like to substitute beef recipes with ground turkey? If so, how does your spouse or family respond to it?
• Favorite kind of chili?
There isn’t a chili out there I wouldn’t love. Seriously. Growing up, I always requested chili over noodles as my dinner of choice. There’s just something so comforting about it.
I have yet to try a white chicken chili, so that’s up next in my kitchen. Also, a taco chili sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try!