Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts

Monday, January 6, 2014

Easy Healthy Lentil Soup

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII GUYS.  Ok, I'm sorry.... I've been MIA, I know, I know.  Bad Jaisa, bad.  But I'm back and am well rested and am ready to bring a whole new slew of recipes your way.

My new years resolution for 2014 is for my body to GET ITS ACT TOGETHER. I'm serous.  It's been a rough six months. I got metal shards in my eye, then I got five teeth pulled where my husband video taped me waking up from anesthesia crying and being obscenely rude to a nurse, then I got the flu, a cold, and then another flu, and then I got pneumonia which absolutely laid me out for 6 weeks and then I went to Mexico and I'm not even going to tell you what happened to me there.  One thing that I learned in 2013, is to take better care of myself - including nourishing my body with delicious and healthy foods that will keep me going when the going gets tough.

There is something about lentil soup that just breathes warmth into my chilly, wintery Chicago soul. Chicago has a bunch of "fast casual" restaurants, like Chipotle, Protein Bar, and my recent fav, Naf Naf Grill.  Naf Naf Grill is a delicious Mediterranean restaurant that serves this lentil soup that could make a grown woman cry.  It's SO GOOD, yet very different from other lentil soups I've had.

It has a ton of brothy goodness and is BURSTING with savory flavors.  I decided to try to make it at home and guess what?  It came out identical.  I'm so impressed with myself.  HOLLA.  Oh and it has 200 calories for a generous 1.5 cup serving. SCORE.

Easy Healthy Lentil Soup 

1 Tsp of Olive Oil 
1 Yellow Onion, Finely Diced 
4 Cloves of Garlic, Finely Minced 
1 Lb of Split Red Lentils 
2 Large Fresh Bay Leaves (or 3 dry)
1/2 Tsp of Kosher Salt  
1 Tbs of Yellow Curry Powder 
1/2 Tsp of Cayenne Pepper 
1 Tsp of Cumin Powder 
18 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock (swap for veggie stock for vegetarian soup)

Warm the olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and a couple tablespoons of stock.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add the curry powder, cumin, and cayenne and a little more stock until onions become become soft and translucent and very fragrant. NOTE: Be careful not to brown the onions or garlic...if they start to stick, just add a couple more tablespoons of stock. Add lentils, salt, and bay leaves and stir.  Turn heat up to high and add 12 cups of chicken stock.  Once soup comes to a boil, reduce to medium heat, stirring every 5-10 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes or so.  Soup will reduce and thicken.  You can leave it like this, or add another 6 cups of stock.  I like a lot of broth so I get more for my calorie buck, but some people prefer it thicker.

Stay hungry!

Monday, December 2, 2013

5 Delicious Chicken (or Turkey!) Soups

A little over two weeks ago, I came down with what I thought was the worlds worst flu - temps ranging from 98 to 104 in a matter of 30 minutes, hot sweats, cold sweats, warm sweats, you name 'em sweats, horrible body aches, and a cough that would rival Walter Whites from the first few episodes of Breaking Bad.  Yeah.  Not.  Cool.  Not cool at all.  Especially because I found out that it wasn't the flu at all - but full blown, knock your winter socks off, pneumonia.  Brute.

In light of my inability to cook and/or blog, or do much of anything for the past two weeks, I thought it would be a fun idea to highlight some soul satisfying soups that one might be craving with the flu, or...pneumonia.  Also, if you have left over turkey, just swap out the chicken for your leftovers from Thanksgiving!  Ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.  Here we go now.

1. Buffalo Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Soup | #tailgating

2. Chicken Pot Pie Soup


3. Chicken Sausage, Kale, and Cannellini Bean Soup

Chicken Sausage White Bean and Kale Soup

4.  Thai Chicken Soup

Thai Chicken Soup |

5. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Never underestimate the power of a homemade soup.  So the next time your significant other or friend is feeling less than their normal fantastic selves, whip them up a batch of one of these soups and leave some on their doorstep or nightstand, depending on if they'll let you see them in their current state. 

They'll thank you. 

Stay hungry (and healthy)!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Melon Peach Gazpacho with Crispy Prosciutto

I had oral surgery last week so this weekend was filled with soft foods and some quality time with my pain medication. We finally ventured out of the house on Saturday to visit the Green City Market in Lincoln Park. It's one of the best farmers markets I have ever been to.  It's just amazing.  Endless stands of farm fresh produce, cheese, and artisan bread.  Anyway, there was this woman Dana who was making Melon Peach Gazpacho.  I saw the sign and bee lined over.  It sounded incredible and was on my approved list of foods. 

 It...was...oh my goodness. You know I grilled her for the recipe.  I was stunned when she told me how simple it was.  It's all about the produce.  You have to get farm fresh fruit - cantaloupe and peaches from the super market just won't do. 

Throw the peaches and the cantaloupe in a blender.  If you don't have a sieve, you can peel the peaches first and skip the straining all together.  Add rice wine vinegar, apple juice, and lemon flavored seltzer water.  Blend 'er up.

If straining, just work the sieve and push the ingredients through until you're just left with this:

The farmers market didn't serve prosciutto with the gazpacho, but I just can't eat cantaloupe without prosciutto so I had to add some.  In order to provide a nice crunchy texture, I crisped up the prosciutto at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

Next, crumble the prosciutto in the middle of a bowl and then drizzle the gazpacho around it.  Or, just pour it in a bowl and sprinkle the meat on top.


I can't leave good enough alone, so I added a drizzle of balsamic glaze.  Sooooooo GOOD.  This makes me want to bottle August up and save it forever.

Here's the recipe:

3 Cups of Farm Fresh Cantaloupe 
2 Peaches, pits removed 
2 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar 
2 Tbs of Apple Juice 
3 Tbs of Lemon Flavored Seltzer Water 
3 Pieces of Prosciutto 

Peel peaches if you don't plan on straining through a sieve.Blend all ingredients, except pork in a blender.  Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Bake prosciutto at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. While prosciutto is still warm, crumble and add to the middle of the bowl.  Pour the chilled soup table side and enjoy.

Stay Hungry!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Low Fat Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli cheese soup is so delicious.  But this could be healthy dish, is often loaded with things like cheese, butter, cream and so on.  Like my friend Katie says, it's "snow suit season,"  not bikini season, but bikini season always tends to sneak up on me like oh, I don't know, 6 months too soon.  I took a chance and gave this dish a little make over and it came out absolutely, smack your lips outstanding.  Give it a try and let me know what yous alls think.  

Here is what you'll need: 

2 Broccoli Heads, Florets Only
4-6 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock (depending on how thick you want it) 
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Jalapeno Peppers, Diced 
4 Cloves of Garlic, Smashed
1/4 Cup of Sour Cream 
1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar 
1 Tbs of Olive Oil
Kosher Salt & Pepper 

Heat up the olive oil and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Season with salt and pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes.  The jalapeno and garlic adds SO much flavor...which we need since we are getting rid of some of the more indulgent ingredients. 

Steam the broccoli for 3-5 minutes in the microwave just to get it going.  Add it to the pan with the onions and add the chicken stock.  

Simmer for 15 minutes or until broccoli is fork tender.  If you have an immersion blender, you can blend it right in the pan.  If not, you can puree this in small batches in either a blender or food processor.  JUST BE CAREFUL.  I have burnt myself many a times doing it this way and finally gave in and bought stole my mom's immersion blender.

Add the chhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze and the sour cream and mix.

Taste it and give it a little more salt and pep.

Well hello there.

Yummy.  This is creamy and smooth and so GOOD FOR YOU!  Next time I'm going to try to skip the sour cream and cheddar in the soup so I can enjoy more on top. :) 

Stay hungry! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five Hungry Worthy Vegan Soups

Wait. What?

Guess who ate vegan all last week?  THIS GIRL.  Well, not the entire week.  Just Monday through Thursday, but still.  That's a big deal for a little carnivore like me.  I watched Forks Over Knives and really wanted to make a few changes, including eating more whole, plant based foods.   Charlie made it to Wednesday afternoon until he sent me a text message, telling me that he would be eating "an entire cow" for dinner.  Baby steps.  Baby steps.

It's been really chilly in Chitown lately, so here is a compilation of delicious, vegan friendly soups that are sure to satisfy.  They are also sure to shove a few more veggies into that husband of yours.

Pad Thai Soup by Domestic Fits:

Four ingredient, Roasted Tomato Soup by Veg Recipes of India:


Quinoa Corn Chowder by Weekly Vegan Menu:

Thai Vegetable Soup by Girl Cooks World:

White Bean Kale Soup by The Curvy Carrot:

Drooling yet?  I can't wait to make some of these. Stay hungry!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sausage and Kale Soup

So it was 78 on Monday.  I had the AC on and everything.  Then on Tuesday, it was Fall.  Chilly, 60 degree, Fall.  I LOVE IT.  

Fall has always been my favorite season.  Don't get me wrong - drinking on a patio is one of my favorite things in the world.  But Fall...I just love it.  It's refreshing, crisp, and a good soup just makes it so cozy.  You know what also comes with Fall?  Colds.  Everyone (including myself) has some kind of something.  My friend Katie, who I work with and who also lives in my building, was feeling particularly not so great.  So soup it is. 

This was a totally random soup.  I'm not sure how I came up with this.  I think I was craving Italian Wedding Soup and was too lazy to roll the meatballs and all that jazz.  This, was delightfully easy, and had deep, tremendous, garlicky good flavor.

Here's how you do dis:

1.5 Lbs Italian Spicy Sausage (without casings)
8-12 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth 
1 Large or 2 Small Dried Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup of Ancini De Pepe Pasta 
4 Large Garlic Cloves (roughly chopped) 
10 Cups of Chopped, Cleaned, Kale (one of the huge bags)  
1/2 Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan 

Brown the sausage in a large pan (mine was 6 Qt) on high for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.  If the sausage sticks at all, add a bit of water.  Drain any excess fat from the sausage by either resting cooked sausage on paper towels, or by carefully pouring the fat out. Add the sausage back to the pan.  Add half of the kale.  Pour in 4 cups of the chicken stock.  Once kale begins to wilt, add the rest of the kale and about 4 more cups of stock.  Add garlic and bay leaves.  Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Next, add 1/2 cup of ancini di pepe.  If you can't find that kind of pasta, you can use ditalini or any other type of small pasta.  The pasta will puff up and absorb a lot of liquid.  Depending on how brothy you like your soup, add more stock accordingly.  I ended up using about 12 cups total to make it stretch.  If you run out of stock, you could easily add 1-2 more cups of water.  It'll still taste great.  Right before you're ready to serve, add the grated parm and stir.  Of course, add more Parmesan on top of each serving.  Serve with some awesome crusty bread or just eat alone.  It's delish. 

Stay hungry! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ribollita Soup

Ah, Ribollita soup.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways. 

Ribollita soup is everything I love about Tuscany, everything I love about Italy, and everything I love about food in general.  I first had ribollita soup ten years ago in Florence and if I close my eyes I can remember that moment perfectly.  Mmmmmmmm.  It was also the first night I had ever had wine so the events after the soup become a bit hazy.  Good thing the soup was the first course or else who knows what kinda soup I'd be posting about.

 It's hearty, soul satisfying, and one of those dishes that warms you up from the inside out.  Nomma nomma ding dong.

So I wish I could tell you to not get overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients because it's so easy and only takes a pinch! That's not entirely true.  This dish does take a little TLC but if you have the time, it's totally worth it.  Also, if you take the time to whip it up over the weekend, you'll have left overs to enjoy over the week.

Cannelloni Beans
Savoy Cabbage
Sourdough Bread
Low Sodium Chicken Stock
Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Olive Oil

I ran out of room in my pic, so here are the last three ingredients.

Heat up the olive oil in a large sauce pan.  I used a 6 quart pan and it worked perfectly.

 Saute the pancetta and onions in the oil until the onions begin to turn translucent.  About 8-10 minutes or so.

Add the chopped carrots and celery and garlic and stir to incorporate.  Cook for another 8-10 minutes. 

While it's cookin' away, coarsely chop the cabbage and kale.

Add the cabbage, kale, and basil to the pot and stir.  You could chop the basil, but I like leaving it whole. 

Add the entire can of tomatoes, sauce and everything.  The juice and weight of the tomatoes will help wilt the cabbage and kale.

Give everything a stir and cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Everything will wilt down and reduce to about half the volume.

Add the beans.  I used canned beans because I don't have the patience or the time to soak beans.  Who soaks beans?  Not me.  Actually my Mom does when she's making baked beans but that's different.  Keep soaking those beans, Mom.

Pour the chicken stock in and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and then simmer for another 20 minutes.

This is what you'll be working with.

Throw in the cubed sourdough bread.  As you'll see it's not really cubed. I just removed the crusts and tore it into pieces.

 ...stir it all together.  This smelled EXACTLY like the kitchen in Tuscany at our cooking class.  Sigh.

At this point, taste for seasoning.  Mine needed some pepper and a pinch of sea salt.

You could leave the soup hearty and chunky like this, but just zapping it a couple of times with the immersion  blender helped bring the soup together.  I still like it hearty and want to see the veggies, so I just blended it a little.

If you don't have an immersion blender, no problem.  Just spoon a couple of cups into a blender or a food processor and blend that and then add it back to the soup.  CAREFUL if you do this though.  Make sure you use a dish towel to hold the top of the blender or the food processor if you are working with hot liquid.  I MEAN IT.  The heat can make the top of the blender fly off and you will have ribollita soup on your ceiling until the cows come home.  Not to mention third degree burns.


For the final touch, add some freshly grated parm.

When I was in Florence, they finished the ribollita soup with a drizzle of olive oil.  This is totally optional, but since I snagged some Tuscan olive oil over Christmas at a gift swap I decided I would put it to good use.  Thanks Lesley for bringing foodie gifts to the swap.  Love you.

Amazing.  This is the definition of Winter comfort food.

Stir in the olive oil and the parm...hello therrrrrrrrrrrre.

If you are really smart like me, you'll pick up some crusty French bread to dip in.  I didn't use my spoon once.

Stir, dip, sop up, eat, repeat.  Boy, I love food.  Stay hungry!

Ribollita Soup Recipe (adapted from Ina Garten)
3 Pieces Celery Stalks, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
6 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Cup Loose Whole Basil Leaves (3/4 ounce plastic container)
2 Onions, chopped
1/4 Lbs Pancetta, chopped
1 15 oz Can Cannelloni Beans
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan, more for serving
4 Cups Savoy Cabbage, coarsely chopped
4 Cups Kale, coarsely chopped
4 Cups Sourdough Bread, crusts removed and bread cubed
6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 28 oz Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Olive Oil, plus more for serving

Saute onions and pancetta in olive oil for 8-10 minutes over medium high heat until onions begin to soften and start to become translucent.  Add celery, carrots, onions, garlic and cook for another 8-10 minutes until veggies begin to soften.  Add kale, cabbage and basil and stir.  Add tomatoes and cook for another 8-10 minutes.  Add beans and chicken stock, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Add bread, stir and cook for another 10 minutes.  If desired, blend part of the soup until smooth, leaving the rest of the soup chunky and rustic.  Add Parmesan cheese to soup and stir.  Serve with more parm and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.  YUM!