Tag Archives: soup

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

I hope you’ve had a great 2016. Every year has its ups and downs. But hopefully the ups were high enough to offset the downs. I wish you all a Happy New Year this weekend.

One quick recipe to end the year – vegetable chowder. Hopefully it will be helpful in clearing out your fridge of any remaining holiday foods. And keeping you warm, as I see the forecast for many early next week is rather cold.

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for awhile, and I’ve made most of my batches with leftovers from holiday veggie trays, cheese trays, etc. It is great for just cleaning out the fridge and pantry, which is great any time of year. Enjoy!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder (Serves about 8)

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

4 cups low sodium vegetable (or chicken) stock
4 cups vegetables, chopped (broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, zucchini, etc)
1-2 cups small diced potatoes
2 tablespoons no salt added butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk (preferably skim)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)
2 cups shredded cheese (something more flavorful than mozzarella)

1. Heat stock to a boil in a large stockpot. Add potatoes and other long cooking vegetables (carrots, celery). Add other vegetables sporadically so they all finish cooking about the same time (total time, 15ish minutes).

2. When the vegetables are almost done, heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add in flour. Stir for 1 minute. Add in milk, pepper, and thyme, stirring frequently. Cook for a couple minutes, until beginning to thicken.

3. Add milk mixture to vegetable pot. Cook until desired consistency (about 5 minutes or so). Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted throughout.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 236
Protein: 13 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 36 mg
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 491 mg

Recipe Notes: Sorry the recipe is a bit vague in places. It really depends on what vegetables you have, how big you cut them, and how crunchy/soft you like your veggies in the soup. If you have leftover cheese slices from a cheese tray, just crumble them up or dice them up small. They’ll melt faster that way than in slices.

Source: adapted from my mom’s broccoli cheese soup recipe

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Favorite Tomato Soup

Growing up, I don’t think my mom ever made tomato soup. I don’t remember ever seeing cans of it in the house even. I was on the fence on tomatoes as a kid, so I never felt neglected. It wasn’t until college that I even tried tomato soup with a grilled cheese. A great combination that hits the spot, although it still probably isn’t my favorite soup ever. My husband on the other hand, it is one of his favorites.

This recipe is everything great soup recipe should be. One pot. Minimal effort of chopping. Doesn’t require hours of simmering. Makes a ton to freeze for later. And it’s good for you. With four new inches of snow at my house, this plus grilled cheese will hit the spot.

Enjoy!

Favorite Tomato Soup (Serves at least 12)

Favorite Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
5 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
8 cups tomato juice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ – 1 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
1 ½ cups fat free half and half

1. Heat olive oil in LARGE stockpot over medium heat (this recipe fills my 8 quart stockpot). Saute onion, celery, and carrots for 3-5 minutes, until begins to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minutes. Add in remaining ingredients. Stir.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Puree or blend. Over low heat, add 1 ½ cups fat free half and half. Heat on low until warmed through.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 96
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 649 mg

Recipe notes: I use an immersion blender, so my soup stays hot while I’m blending. The half and half doesn’t cool it down enough that it needs any warming time. If you are using a regular blender or food processor, you would need to let the soup cool a bit to blend it, then reheat it with the half and half. Whole milk or evaporated skim milk also work instead of half and half. You could make this recipe smaller, but I just like to use up a whole container of tomato juice.

Source: adapted from my college dietetic’s cookbook

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Shells and Veggie Soup

Have you heard the phrase “Indian Summer” as much as I have lately? I was curious what it actually means. According to Wikipedia, Indian summer is a period of unseasonably warm weather in autumn. Sunny, clear skies and above normal temperatures after a killing frost are the characteristics. You and I both learned something new today.

Our “Indian summer” ends today. It is cloudy and windy, bringing snow overnight. Thankfully, a friend of mine just had a soup recipe swap just in time. I dug the dust off this recipe and couldn’t believe I haven’t made it in ages. Almost as good as my minestrone, but this soups is ready so much faster. And it doesn’t make a ton, if you aren’t into leftovers.

Shells and Veggie Soup (Serves 6-8)

Shells and Veggie Soup

½ tablespoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups low sodium beef broth
2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
8 ounces pasta (preferably whole wheat)
1 zucchini, sliced or chopped
2 cups spinach, chopped (or 1 cup frozen spinach thawed and drained well)

1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add garlic, cooking 1 minute more.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 5-7 minutes.

3. Add pasta and zucchini. Simmer for shortest time on pasta package (about 9 minutes usually). Add spinach 2 minutes before pasta is done. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 192
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 49 mg

Recipe Notes: I clearly did not use shells in this photo. I’ve been trying “fun” pasta shapes to get my daughter to eat pasta again, since she recently boycotted my favorite food. Any pasta shape will do, although I would recommend smaller shapes. Feel free to add any other veggies you like as well. As a note, the longer this sits, the pasta will keep absorbing the liquid. Hence there isn’t a lot of broth in my photo. I also really like the boost of flavor beef broth adds here. But chicken or vegetable broth works as well.

Source: Adapted from a cooking class I took in college

Low Iodine: Use salt free broth.

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Curried Squash Soup

Back in college, I got to try recipes as part of one of my jobs. Butternut squash soup was the first recipe, and I loved it. Every autumn, I would make it again. And progressively, I liked it less and less and each time. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then last October, I went to Panera for lunch one day and tried the Autumn Squash Soup. Light bulb!

All of that is to say, this recipe has evolved over time. I took my basic recipe and then edited it heavily with some copycat recipes I found online. The bad news is this is no longer a “one pot wonder” soup. The good news is that the flavor is a million times better. Enjoy!

Curried Squash Soup (Serves 8)

Curried Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium baking or yukon potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
¾ teaspoon curry powder, divided
pinch of salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 sweet apple (gala, red delicious, golden delicious), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon cumin
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup orange juice
Chopped cilantro, optional garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Combine squash and both potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon curry powder (make them heaping if you’d like), and salt. Toss together to coat vegetables. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until fork tender.

3. When vegetables are almost done, heat ½ tablespoon oil in a bottom of a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and apple. Saute 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, ½ teaspoon curry powder, ginger, garam masala, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Saute 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and heated through. Do not let this burn.

4. Add roasted vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft and flavors combined.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in orange juice. Blend soup until smooth. Add more juice or broth if needed to thin out the consistency. Serve warm, with cilantro if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 124
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 449 mg

Recipe Notes: Adjust the level of curry based on your heat preference and the heat of your curry powder. I currently have pretty potent curry powder, so these might be low.

Source: adapted from several sources online

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Chili

Recently, we were having a chili dinner fundraiser at my church. The person in charge of the food asked if I had a good, basic chili recipe, and I suddenly realized that I didn’t. They used a recipe from someone else, but I did help cook some of the chili. It turned out tasty, but the whole experience got my brain going.

This recipe is inspired by the recipe we used for the fundraiser, but trying to raise the health level a bit. I was shocked at that amount of meat and the lack of vegetables in that recipe. This recipe tries to ramp up the health level without sacrificing on the flavor. Next week, I’ll show you my new favorite way to eat this chili, too. Enjoy!

Chili (Serves 8)

Chili

½ tablespoon canola oil (if needed)
10 ounces lean ground turkey
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced carrots
½ jalapeno, diced (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
½ tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can low sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn
1 can tomato paste
1 (8 ounce) can no salt added tomato sauce
¼ cup masa
½ cup water

1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey; cook until browned. Add onion, pepper, carrots, and jalapeño. Saute until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Saute for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly. You want the spices to begin to be fragrant but not to burn.

2. Add in both beans, corn, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine well. Bring to a boil. Simmer for at least 1 hour, up to 3 if you have the time.

3. About 30 minutes before serving, mix ¼ cup masa with the water until not lumpy. Stir into chili. Cook for 30 minutes more.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories:
Protein:
Fat:
Saturated Fat:
Cholesterol:
Carbohydrates:
Fiber:
Sodium:

Recipe Notes: If you don’t get lean turkey, then you won’t need the oil. I usually aim for 90/10 or 93/7 turkey. If you can’t find that, you can use a higher fat percentage. Just don’t add the oil, and make sure to drain some of the excess fat before adding the vegetables. All you need is a light coating to prevent sticking. You could easily substitute kidney beans, which are more traditional. I happened to have pinto and liked the taste. The step with the masa and water is somewhat optional. I think it adds good flavor and thickening. But if you don’t have it around, don’t stress out about it. This is pretty thick chili, but I liked how hearty it was.

Source: Adapted from Joy of Cooking and The Pioneer Woman

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Roasted Red Pepper Chowder

Summer or at least summer weather has finally arrived at my house.  Warmer days means I want lighter meals that take less time to prepare.  Soup doesn’t seem very summery to most people, but my family has actually found quite a few soups that are good in the summer.  I do shy away from some options, like I don’t make much minestrone or chili during the summer.  But light, quick-cooking soups are a great summer dinner.  Zucchini soup is a definite go to, for sure.

The word “chowder” in the title of this recipe seems odd to me.  To me chowder is creamy, thick, and laden with potatoes.  None of those describe this soup.  It is a “full” soup though, so you aren’t just swimming in broth like a chicken noodles soup.  I loved how quickly all the flavors in this came together to create something satisfying.  And the corn and peppers make it taste like summer.  Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Chowder (Serves 2-3)

Roasted Red Pepper Chowder

2 red peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (more per your heat preference)
2 cups low sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 (15 ounce) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 avocado
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup nonfat sour cream

1. Coat red peppers with cooking spray. Place on a grill over medium to medium high heat. Cook, rotating, until each side is lightly charred. Remove from heat and place in a paper bag. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. Remove as much of peel as possible. Discard stem and seeds.

2. Heat olive oil in a medium to large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion until beginning to become tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and chile powder. Cook 1 minute more.

3. Add roasted pepper and chicken broth. In a blender or with an immersion blender, blend until smooth (or mostly smooth, in my case). Return to pan and to heat.

4. Add beans, corn, and lime juice. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat. Serve with sliced avocado, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 517
Protein: 19 g
Fat: 24 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 65
Fiber: 21 g
Sodium: 803 mg

Recipe Notes: I highly recommend “roasting” several peppers at a time. I did four, since I needed that many for recipes that week. It doesn’t take any longer to do more, and then you have them. You can go all the way to peel them and then store them. Or I just put the bags into the fridge to cool and did all the peeling and cleaning as I needed them. I was silly and put my soup in a food processor, which did not work very well at chopping all of this up. It still tasted good and the consistency did not bother me. The soup pictured also probably has more beans than 1 can of beans. I cook beans in large batches in a crockpot and then freeze them for later in plastic bags. I probably get about 1 ½ cups, whereas I think a can of beans is around 1 cup of beans. Honestly, I don’t know that it is any cheaper this way. I just like doing it for some reason. I know the fat looks REALLY high in this dish. It is because of the avocado. Monounsaturated fats are good for you – read here.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Low iodine adjustment: Use an iodine or salt free broth. Use homemade beans or unsalted beans. Omit the sour cream on top. You may want to add ½ teaspoon non iodized salt in step 4 for seasoning.

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Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Even though February is legitimately part of winter, my mind and body have transitioned to spring. I am ready for sunshine and warm weather. Unfortunately, the weather in my area has not agreed. It has snowed three times in the last ten days. I look for the warmest sweater in my closet every day. I am just plain cold.

Soup to the rescue! Hot soup with a warm piece of bread is one of my favorite comfort foods. Even my toddler asks for “soup and bread” frequently. This cauliflower soup is great. It packs a great veggie punch in the nutrition department, but still has a fairly mild flavor that most palates will enjoy!

Happy eating and warm thoughts to us all!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup (Makes 4 Servings)

IMG_5505label

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
½ cup nonfat evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Combine cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned, stirring once after 25-30 minutes.

3. Heat a large stock pot over medium to medium-high heat. Melt butter. Sauté onion and garlic in butter for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add cauliflower, stock, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and stir in evaporated milk. Blend using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until smooth. Serve.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 127
Protein: 7 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 4 mg
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 724 mg

Recipe notes: Evaporated milk in place of higher fat dairy products is my favorite substitution in soups. Since it is thicker, it gives the texture of adding cream or half-and-half without all the calories or fat. Be careful blending this soup, or any hot liquid. If using a blender or food processor, work in batches and vent the center of your lid.

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light

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