Category Archives: soups

Baked Potato + Cauliflower Soup

I had a yet another head of wonderful cauliflower, and no idea what to do with it. A little googling lead me to a baked potato soup recipe where instead of all the cream and butter and half + half, a puree of cauliflower is used. This is a growing trend these days. I’ll take it!!
 
Baked Potato + Cauliflower Soup
(serves 5, adapted from Skinny Taste)
 
Ingredients
Soup:
2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 cup vegetable broth + 1/2 cups water (mix)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste (a lot!)
Toppings:
Chopped green onions (or chives)
Shredded sharp cheddar

Directions:

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes and rough chop them a bit. (You can also microwave your potatoes, but I think the oven makes them taste better.)

2.In a frying pan, heat up the teaspoon of oil for a few seconds and drop in the diced onion. Cook until it is translucent, but don’t let it get brown. 

3. Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender (10-15 mins depending on how small you floret the cauliflower). Drain and return to pot. 
 
4. Warm up the milk in the microwave for one minute (just so it won’t curdle or anything funky)
 
5. On medium heat, add broth/water, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth (no chunks!).
 
6. Give it a taste. If you like sour cream and feel like it needs to be creamier, you can add 1/2 cup to the recipe at this point.
 
7. Salt and pepper it multiple times, this will give it a lot of flavor.
 
8. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into a bowl. Top each serving with sharp cheddar cheese and chopped chives. If you eat bacon, or fake bacon, feel free to add that too. 
This soup is not very photogenic, but it is pretty healthy and low in calories/fat… as long as you aren’t putting an entire brick of cheddar and/or bacon on top. You can also add whatever toppings you would to a regular baked potato to this soup to stir in… sour cream, red onion, greek yogurt, fritos, etc.
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Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup

It is feeling like fall here. I am in a deep denial about this, other than the fact that I had a ton of broccoli and decided it was chilly enough to attempt a broccoli cheddar soup for the first time. I went to Eat Live Run and made the first recipe I saw.

 Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup (adapted from Eat Live Run)

Ingredients
1.5 T margarine or butter
1 bunch broccoli (about 13 oz florets)
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4th tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
8oz grated sharp cheddar cheese (one block)
2 T all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3 cups vegetable broth (i used one cup broth, 2 cups water)

Directions
1. Blanch your broccoli by placing it in boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Chop it in to semi-small pieces and set aside.

2. In a large dutch oven or pot, melt the butter. Peel and chop the potato into small one inch dice. Saute both the potato and the onion in the butter for about six minutes over medium heat, or until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Then, add the cayenne, pepper and salt. Toss to coat.

3. Add the flour and stir well. Pour in the broth/water and add back in the broccoli florets. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.

4. Warm up your milk a bit in the microwave so that it is not freezing cold. Slowly pour in the milk and add the cheese, stirring to melt.

5. Use an immersion blender and process for 10 seconds, or just until slightly smooth with just a few chunks. (Pour the soup into a blender and pulse if you don’t have a stick blender. Or have amazon overnight you one ASAP!)

I realllly liked this recipe. You can taste the broccoli, it wasn’t very creamy/decadent/unhealthy. The potato gets a little lost, but it makes for a good consistency.

This recipe makes enough for 4 or 5 (delicious) servings. If you freeze or re-heat this soup I’d recommend putting the microwave power on low or 50%.

Serve with crusty bread and some chilly summer (not fall!!!) weather.

crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew

Aside from dumping some velveeta + salsa in a crock pot to keep cheese dip warm, I’ve never used a crock pot. I loved the idea of a crock pot though: dump a bunch of stuff in it and your dinner will be ready when you get home from work. Who wouldn’t?

When I saw a vegan crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew recipe on Eat Live Run I knew it would be my first crock pot try. I, of course, modified the recipe because I just can’t follow directions 100%.

Crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew
(adapted from Eat Live Run)

Ingredients
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno, one seeded and minced, one with the seeds/ribs left in and minced
2 tsp garam masala
1 full or 1/2* of a butternut squash (about 3 lbs–avg sized), peeled and cubed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
1 quart (one full box) vegetable broth
1.25 cup red lentils
1 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
fresh minced cilantro for serving

*feel free to use a full butternut squash. i used half as they are very sweet and i wanted to try roasting the other half the next day.

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapenos and saute for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.

2. Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.

don’t be afraid to fill the crock pot up to the tippy top. everything cooks down, and it won’t boil over.

3. Top with cilantro and chopped onion (if you want) to serve when you get home from an 8-10 hour day at work (or a really fun weekend day out. invite me please). This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

So, crock pot verdict: This was just as much work as a normal soup/chili/stew as  I had to chop the veggies up the night before, then saute onion/garlic/etc in the morning. BUT it was really really nice to come home from a long day of work + working out and not have to do much of anything. This especially worked well when Brent + I got home at different times/had different plans for the evening. It forced us to eat at home rather than resorting to getting food out, so it was a bonus. And, we now have about 5 lunches ready to go. I’d totally use a crock pot again. 

The recipe verdict: This was a little sweeter than I’d like. I’d add some heat in terms of spices: maybe cayenne, maybe some curry powder. It tasted good w/some onions and cilantro on top. It made it a little less sweet.

Soup-tacular

What are you eating for lunch today? I’m having a spectacular salad full of CSA veggies- every last one of them is from the CSA box! I already miss our CSA and we haven’t even run out of veggies yet.

But what I really want to be eating is SOUP! Homemade soup! It was dark when I woke up, it feels like Fall and I just saw online that Starbucks will debut their red Christmas cups in just 8 days. All this fall/winterness makes me want soup. And maybe a nap…

…But, just try and tell me this image from Smitten Kitchen doesn’t make you want to run home and slave over the stove for a few… minutes. Instead of taking a lunch break today (still bad at lunch breaks) I decided to collect a list of soups I hope to make this winter.

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup

Spicy Vegan Acorn + Corn Chili

Orzo Soup

Enchilada Soup

Tortellini Garlic Tomato Soup

Minestrone with Mushrooms + Feta

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

and finally, my Mom’s recipe for minestrone soup. No link available until I blog it!

If you have any vegetarian soup recipes, comment and give me a link! I smell a soup party in my future…

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Well, after googling “too much zucchini” I had to start googling “too many tomatoes.” My plant exploded over the last week and left me with about 4 lbs of tomatoes. The weather has also decided to turn into fall, so a soup was the best idea I could come up with.

I also really love tomato basil soups but have found the canned ones taste awful and the ones in restaurants tend to be a little on the creamy side.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes cut in quarters
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (aprpox 2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine (whatever is on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned tomatoes, with their juice (I used diced)
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 quart stock or water

Directions
1.Preheat the oven to 400. Toss together the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet (or two) and roast for 45 minutes.
2. In an big stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 1 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 8 minutes–or until the onions start to brown.
3. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and water or stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.
4. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
5. Use a hand blender to blend together. Taste for seasonings.

It’s really pretty easy. Especially if you order a stick mixer overnight from Amazon.com like I did. I have held out for years on buying an immersion blender for years, but I urge you to purchase one STAT. Maybe skip the overnight shipping…

This soup needs a little something, maybe a tablespoon of cream or milk, but I’ll let my book club tonight be the judge.