Category Archives: Soup

Cauliflower Green Curry

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On this wonderful snowy day in Colorado, what better way to keep you warm than a delicious soup.  Nothing warms your insides like a spicy curry.  I fell in love with this soup when I realized how healthy and low fat you could actually make a coconut based curry.  By using a light coconut milk and cauliflower for the base you add all the flavor minus the huge dose of fat and calories.  I would say this is a huge score on the healthy scale.   Eat to your hearts content and still wear your skinny jeans.

Also, I used Doterra lemongrass oil in this recipe, because it makes the flavor outstanding.  Besides, whenever I have bought lemongrass in the store, it always looks like its been sitting there for a month.  Anyone else feel this way?  By having the lemongrass oil on hand, I have immediate access to the most amazing flavors.  It lasts forever, maintains it potency and is cost effective.  However, if you have not yet gotten on the brilliant essential oil bandwagon you could always substitute 1 tablespoon fresh chopped lemongrass.  So go ahead and enjoy, even get a second bowl without feeling guilty.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well.
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro stems (You can use leaves too if you like)
  • 1½ pounds cauliflower, chopped into little florets (about 1 large head cauliflower)
  • 1 tablespoon raw white rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 3 drops DoTerra lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • Cilantro leaves and red pepper flakes to garnish

Instructions:
1.  In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks, cilantro stems, cauliflower, rice and salt; stir to coat. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Place green curry paste, lemongrass essential oil and ginger in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Next add the coconut milk and vegetable broth, then using a whisk stir until combined. Pour this mixture over the sauteed vegetables, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover with lid and cook until the cauliflower is tender.  About 20-25 minutes.

3.  Allow the soup to cool slightly then scoop a few cups of the soup into a blender and process until smooth then return to the pot. Place pot back on stove and reheat slightly.   Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt.

4.  Serve in bowls and top with cilantro and red pepper flakes.

 

If you would like more information on essential oils for cooking or for health please feel free to email me or visit my site.  http://www.mydoterra.com/insightfulgirl/

Adapted from: BeardandBonnet

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

 

So, I have to admit that I have a small love affair with cauliflower.  It is absolutely my favorite vegetable.  I can put it in just about anything.  So, with February as my self proclaimed soup month, I decided to make cauliflower soup. Why, not?  Cauliflower has an unbelievable amount of vitamin C, so with it being cold/flu season, the more vitamin C you can add to your diet the better.  I also learned what a roux was and how to make one.  It is a mixture of flour and butter used as a thickening agent for soups and sauces.  Voila, add it to your cooking dictionary.  Also, if you prefer this to be a vegetarian soup, substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth.  Both are delicious.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, washed and chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat and then adding in the flour.  Stirring constantly for 1 minute.  It will be a paste consistency.

 

2.  Next add in chicken broth, onion, garlic, salt and cauliflower.  Bring mixture to a boil.
Once boiling turn heat down to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

 

3.  In small batches, puree mixture in blender until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from: skinnytaste

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

So, to continue on with my February soup theme, I thought I would incorporate a little Valentine’s Day tribute.  I decided to make a red soup and tomato seemed the obvious choice.  Besides, I had never made home-made tomato soup and the pre-made ones in the store are full of sodium and chemical ingredients.  Then in a moment of genius (or so I thought) I threw in a little extra heart grilled cheese sandwich bonus.  Aren’t tomato soup and grilled cheese a perfect combo anyhow?  Whoever came up with this winning combination should be given an award.  It’s marvelous.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 large slices of sandwich bread, crust removed and torn into 1-inch pieces (I used a dense whole-wheat bread)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

1.  In a large stockpot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf.  Stirring frequently, cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

 2.  Add in tomatoes, including the juice and using a potato masher mash the tomatoes until they are broken down into smaller pieces.  Careful not to break up the bay leaf.  Stir in sugar and bread, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally, cook until bread is completely saturated and begins to break down, about 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.

3.  Turn heat off under pot and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and puree soup using a blender.  I separated the soup into 3 different batches, so as not to over fill the blender.  I always leave the slightest crack in the clear plastic topper of the blender to allow some of the steam to escape.  Do make sure you hold onto it TIGHTLY when mixing, otherwise you will have a big mess on your hands.

4.  Blend each batch for about 1 minute to get as smooth as possible.  After blending, place tomato soup back into stockpot, stir in chicken broth and salt.  Return soup to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in basil and serve.

As an extra bonus, I made grilled cheese and cut them into hearts using a large heart shaped cookie cutter.  It came out too cute for words.  Give it a try.  Show that special someone you care.

                                   

Adapted from:  browneyedbaker

Vegetarian Greek Lentil Soup

Since February is my birthday month and soup is one of my favorite foods, I am declaring February Soup Month.  Besides, it is usually the coldest month here in Denver, so why not warm yourself from the inside with some delicious soup.  So my blog this month will be devoted to yummy soups.  So, here we go.

This recipe came from talking with the girls at work.  The forecast was predicting a cold weekend and I wanted to make soup for the cold weather.  I talked with the girls at work and asked them what  their favorite soup were.  I got everything from clam chowder, butternut squash to a vote for this Greek lentil soup.   I just can’t fathom the thought of clam chowder with all its chewy clams.  Yuck!  I prefer not to have rubber bands in my soup.  Sorry Laurie.   It’s a texture thing for me.  I also wanted something more on the hardy side, since I wanted it to be the main course.  So, here is how the lentil soup recipe was born.  Also, an added bonus to this recipe is the feta.  I usually have it with chicken or on a salad, but why not venture into soup.  Here is the finished product, thanks Lisa for the inspiration.  Enjoy!

Yields: approximately 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown lentils (washed and picked over if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons Greek Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice (or a little less if you’re not that into lemon)
  • crumbled Feta Cheese for serving (optional, but good)
  • pepper to taste

Directions:
1.  Place lentils in colander and rinse with cold water.

2.  In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat, saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
3.  Add chopped celery and carrots, cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

4.  Next add in lentils, vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
5.  Add in Greek seasoning, thyme, oregano and salt.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until lentils are soft.  You can adjust the stock after lentil are done depending on how thick you want the soup.

6.  Once lentils are done, remove from heat and stir in chopped spinach and lemon juice.

7.  Place servings into bowls, pepper to taste and top with crumbled feta.

Adapted from:  kalynskitchen

Curried Red Lentil Soup

 
Now that Christmas has come and gone another year and I am totally “turkied” out, I was craving some type of vegetarian soup for dinner. Something easy to make, full of flavor and healthy.  I settled on this recipe since I had never made a red lentil soup before.  It was a perfect cold winter night dinner.  I have to admit it wasn’t the prettiest soup to take pictures of, but believe me it was delicious.  I will definitely be making this one again.  

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 (32-oz) container vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lb. red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup raw barley, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. In large soup pot heat olive oil.  Add onion and garlic, saute over medium heat until onions transparent, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a rapid boil, then decrease heat.  Cover and simmer until lentils are mushy, about 1 1/2 hours.  Stirring occasionally
  4. When lentils are done, remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  5. This soup thickens as it sits.  If you want a thinner soup, add more water as needed.

Adapted from:  VegKitchen

White Turkey Chili

 

This white turkey chili is a great, tasty alternative to the traditional red chili.  If your looking for something warm to cook on that cold winter night, look no further.  By using green chili, jalapenos, cumin and chili powder, this chili is packed with delicious flavors.  This dish has a unique taste that even the pickiest eater will enjoy.  You can spice this dish to your own taste, by adding more jalapenos or even a little hot sauce to your own bowl.  I served it with baked tortilla chips, but it would be out of this world to dip homemade tortillas in.  This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. It is actually what he requested for his birthday this year.  So, therefore; I am adding it to hubbies favorites. This will be a new category, for my blog.   

Ingredients:

 
 • 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 (20-ounce) package chopped cooked lean ground turkey
• 2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and divided
• 2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, chicken broth *less 1/2 cup
• 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chiles
• 2 cans white hominy drained and rinsed
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
    1.  Melt the margarine in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic, sauté 5 minutes.
2.  Add cooked turkey, 1 1/2 cups beans, broth, green chilies, hominy, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.   Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Mash remaining beans with a fork. Add mashed beans and milk to the turkey mixture.  Simmer uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture becomes slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
4. Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro.
 

 

Adapted from: Cooking Light- November 1998

Fall Vegetable Curry

For those of you who like a meal packed with Indian flavors, this is the dish for you.  It is a quick, easy and delicious curry, that only requires 30 minutes of prep and cook time from start to finish.  Enjoy fall with this flavorful vegetarian dish, loaded with nutritious veggies.  It’s not really a spicy-hot flavor, so I added red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.  If you want more substance to add to the meal, try serving it over brown rice or basmati rice.

Yield: 4 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • red pepper flakes, if desired

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sweet potato and saute for 3 minutes.  Decrease heat to medium and add cauliflower, onion, curry powder and red pepper.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2.  Add broth, salt, garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir occasionally.
3.  Dish into serving bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.

Adapted from: Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010

Filling Low-Calorie Cabbage Soup

When reading about cabbage soup, people claim anything from an age-old folk remedy for curing the common cold, to burning fat.  I don’t know if these stories are true, but hey if it tastes good and has the possibility of keeping me slim or getting rid of a stuffy nose, what do I have to loose?  I do know that it is a very low calorie, filling soup.  I like to eat it for dinner, because I feel full and satisfied without worrying about going to bed with my stomach having to digest a heavy meal. 

Most people think being a good cook is complicated, but when it comes to soup recipes, there is nothing more simple.  This is a very easy recipe for cabbage soup.  And soup recipes are so flexible when it comes to their ingredients.  You may add vegetables you have on hand in the refrigerator, or delete ingredients you don’t like in a recipe, without effecting the taste.  So go ahead and awaken your inner cook and let her run.   Soup is a good place to start experimenting.  Happy Souping!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (32 ounce) containers of chicken broth
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In large stockpot heat olive oil over medium heat.  Stir in onion and garlic.  Saute until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add chicken broth to stockpot and bring to boil.  Stir in cabbage and simmer until cabbage wilts, approximately 8 minutes.

3.  Add in diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper (if desired).  Return to boil and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Salt and Pepper to taste and serve.

Minestrone Soup

 

Minestrone soup is absolutely one of my favorite soups.  It’s a thick soup filed with healthy, low-fat vegetables and an addition of yummy pasta.  I used chicken broth in this recipe, but it can easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.  This is a great light lunch or dinner option, serve with a side salad and you have a fabulous healthy meal.  Go ahead and add different veggies or take some out.  This is such an easy recipe to customize to your own taste.


Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups small-shaped whole-wheat pasta
  • 2 cups cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • grated Parmesan when serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:

1.  Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes, until onion is soft.

2.  Add thyme, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and black pepper to pot.   Stir to coat.

3.  Then add beans, broth and tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, add pasta and cook for 7 minutes.

4.  Next add vegetables and pesto, partially cover pot, cook 5 more minutes, or until pasta is tender.

5.  Place into serving bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy.

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup

I know you,  may want to call me crazy when it is beyond hot outside and all I could think about  making for dinner was soup.  This spinach, leek and white bean soup is so worth the overheating and extra sweating.  It is a healthy and hearty soup.  It is easily made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you desire.  Plus, it is very simple to make.   Leeks have a mild onion-like flavor, usually added to give flavor to soup stocks.  The first time you buy leeks, it is impressive how large they are, but understand you only use the bulb end (or the white part).  I also realized while making this what a beautiful vegetable a leek can be.  Again, call me crazy, but while taking pictures of the leeks they reminded me of a bouquet of flowers, or would that be a bouquet of onions.  Yeah, that probably wouldn’t get you many dates now would it?  So, if you have never cooked with leeks before, give this soup a try.  It’s delicious!  Serve this soup with some fresh French bread and enjoy.

Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 large leeks, bulb only chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32 ounce) container chicken broth
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

Directions:
1.  Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and garlic, saute until tender.  About 5 minutes.

 

2.  Add in chicken broth, cannellini beans, italian seasoning, cumin and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

3.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

4.  Next stir in couscous, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

5.  Remove bay leaves and stir in spinach, season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.