Originally, this post was going to be about the lovely little roasted French Fingerling Potatoes you see in the picture (that’s the reason they’re in the foreground), but once I tasted the warm, creamy soup, my mind was set in a different direction. The soup was an experiment from a recipe I used years ago combined with the way I prepare foods today. To my surprise, it turned out exactly as I had hoped and was the perfect lunch for this cool first day of November. By the way, the potatoes are out-of-this-world good and a possible future post.
As always, this soup recipe is open to change. Feel free to leave out the cauliflower if you don’t like that vegetable. The soup is still great and packed with powerful nutrients. Broccoli and cauliflower are cancer fighters, and you all know that spinach is an amazing source of iron. Spoon it or sip it, just do your best to get this in your diet. It’s an easy and effective way to strengthen your immune system for the upcoming season.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1/2 or 1 whole medium white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped (stems & leaves included)
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
1 can organic coconut milk
2-4 cups vegetable broth (it depends on the consistency you prefer)
sea salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, to taste
HOW IT’S DONE:
In a large pot saute the onion and garlic in 1-2 TBS coconut oil or a little vegetable broth until tender.
Add broccoli and cauliflower, stir, and cover for approximately 7 minutes or until veggies are just tender.
Add spinach, stir, and allow to wilt, approximately 3 minutes.
Remove half of the veggie mixture and process in a food processor or high speed blender until desired consistency is reached. (I like mine not quite smooth.)
Return processed veggies to pot with other veggies and add milk and broth. Stir together well and cover. Heat on low for 5-10 minutes.
Add seasonings and serve.
It’s that time, folks. I’m well aware that it’s still in the 80′s here in Central Florida, but it’s October! My chili cravings always kick in about this time of year regardless of the temperature outside. I decided to try something a little lighter than beef chili – a transitional chili, if you will. This was SO simple and SO delicious. Anytime you can prepare a meal in one pot and walk away to fold laundry as it cooks, it’s a win.
I made mine extra spicy by seasoning the chicken with cayenne pepper as I browned it. That added just the kick that I love. You have complete control and can make this as mild or hot as you prefer. I also veered from the all-white chili by adding edamame beans for no other reason than because I like having something green in every meal. If you don’t like these beans, you can omit them and it really won’t change the flavor. You might decide to add a cup of sweet corn instead. As always, be creative and experiment with the foods you love.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
2-4 organic, free-range chicken breasts (or ground turkey)
32 oz. low sodium organic chicken broth
3 cups water
2-3 cans white kidney beans (or any other white bean), drained and rinsed. Mash one can of beans.
1 cup shelled edamame beans
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy like me)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
sea salt & pepper, to taste
dried parsely (optional)
1 TBS coconut oil (You can’t taste this in the finished product.)
HOW IT’S DONE:
Heat the coconut oil in a stock pot and add cubed chicken-breasts. Add cayenne pepper, garlic powder, sea salt, & pepper and cook until done.
Add chopped bell pepper, onion, and garlic to chicken and allow to cook over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes.
While that cooks, mash one can of beans. This makes the soup a little creamy.
Add broth, water, beans, chili powder, & parsley to chicken mixture and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add more of the seasonings as needed.
Green is my favorite color. The color of this soup is so vibrant that it makes me smile. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just love the soup because it’s green; I love it because of the incredible nutritional benefits its main ingredient offers. I used to detest asparagus. Over the years I have found new ways to enjoy it. This is one that made me a big fan once again. Read below for 8 reasons you, too, should love asparagus:
- It can detoxify our body.
- It has anti-aging functions.
- It is considered to be an aphrodisiac.
- It can protect against cancer.
- It reduces pain and inflammation.
- It can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
- It reduces the risk of heart disease.
- It can help prevent birth defects.
Isn’t that amazing? God has given us all of the nutritional and medicinal properties we might need in the fruits and vegetables found here on this beautiful, green earth. As I prepare the foods that my husband and I eat, I try to be very conscious of the healing functionalities within them. It honestly helps me to appreciate and enjoy the foods much more when I know that I’m doing something great for my body, and even more so when I have an understanding of exactly what role(s) each food plays.
There are a few steps involved in this soup, but they are so simple. Also, there are many variations you can apply. I’ll try to list any that you might like. Here’s to green soup!
- 1 bundle of fresh asparagus, chopped in half
- 1 leek or bundle of green onions, chopped (about 1/8 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, whole
- 2-3 kale leaves (or handful of spinach)
- 1 cup raw cashews (to create the “cream”) OR 1 cup coconut/almond milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- paprika, sea salt, pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1 TBS coconut oil. Add leek or onion and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add halved asparagus and cover. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes until just tender.
- While asparagus cooks, make your cashew cream. Blend 1 cup water and 1 cup cashews in blender, until smooth.
- Add cooked asparagus & leek/onion (setting some aside for garnish or texture), garlic, kale/spinach, and 1 cup broth to blender (with the cream).
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer to saucepan and slowly heat, adding seasonings and remaining broth (plus more if needed).
I believe this chili will satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. This was my first time preparing a meatless chili and you can believe me when I say I did not miss the meat (or turkey) one bit. In fact, I’m eating it now as I write this post and I feel great. I usually feel very full, uncomfortably full, after eating chili with meat, but not this time. BIG THANKS to Alissa Jones for being the inspiration behind this meal! She submitted the recipe idea and gave me permission to run with it. It was just in time for the cold weather and for my lack of inspiration.
I decided to prep the vegetables by chopping them very finely in my food processor. I was hoping that the consistency would emulate that of groud beef (or bison – what I normally use) and it absolutely did! If you prefer chunkier chili, just give the veggies a rough chop instead. I plan to feed this to my husband without telling him it’s all veggies. I’m sure he’ll be fooled! For those of you who have kids that don’t exactly do somersaults when it comes to eating their vegetables, this is a great way to get them in.
Don’t let the long list of ingredients cause you to pass this recipe by. It’s so simple and worth a try! (I seriously did not mean to rhyme.)
- 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 squash
- 1 zucchini (or 2 small)
- 1 bell pepper (green, red or yellow)
- 2 carrots
- 1-2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can tomato soup OR tomato sauce (I used Amy’s Organic tomato soup)
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 2-3 tsp chili powder (I used 3)
- 2-3 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- sea salt to taste
- Saute the onion and garlic in a little bit of the vegetable broth for 5 minutes or until tender.
- In the meantime, add the squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and carrots to the food processor and process until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
- Stir the veggie mixture into the onion/garlic mixture and allow to heat through.
- Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Top with your favorite chili topping. As you see, I used organic raw cheddar cheese.
It’s officially soup season! As temperatures drop, my meals heat up. I crave anything that will warm and nourish me from the inside. Soup, hot cocoa, chili, you name it. If it’s warm, I’ll take it. Yesterday I made this super easy vegetable soup. I had a friend stop by, so I whipped this up in about 25 minutes. The beauty of veggie soup is not only that it’s incredibly healthy and filling, but you can use any vegetable you have on hand. The base is always the same with slight variations (depending on how much broth vs. tomatoes I have in my kitchen). Once you get the broth base the way you like it, just go crazy with the veggies. Whatever you like, whatever you have, use it. P.S. The cheddar & chive biscuits are great with this soup.
INGREDIENTS for VEGGIE SOUP BASE:
- 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4-5 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 quart (32 oz) low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1-2 small cans organic whole or crushed tomatoes (strictly depends on how much of a tomato taste you like)
- 1-2 cups water
- 1 tsp each dried basil and parsley
- sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
- In soup pot, saute garlic, onion, & celery in about 1/2 cup of the vegetable/chicken stock for 3-5 minutes.
- Add all other ingredients listed and brings to a boil.
- Add any vegetable you like (fresh or frozen) and bring to boil again.
- Turn to low heat an allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until veggies are fork tender.
As I said, use any vegetable you typically eat. My soup is different every time I make it because I have different vegetables in my fridge. The soup in the photo contains the following veggies:
- brussels sprouts
- black eyed peas
Other ideas: cauliflower, sweet peas, carrots, zucchini, squash, new potatoes, cabbage… the possibilities are endless. Here’s to staying warm!
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Elliot
‘Tis the season for pumpkins! Whether you’re carving them, eating them, or using them as festive decorations in your home, pumpkins are all around. I couldn’t let the month of October pass by without creating at least one pumpkin dish. There are so many options out there that it was difficult to decide what to prepare and share. I love taking advantage of seasonal fruits and veggies, so on my last shopping trip I purchased butternut squash. This was my first experiment with this particular type of squash. It has a homey, comforting flavor that echos the emotions and sentiments that the fall season brings.
A soup of this nature walks the line between sweet and salty. You have the liberty to add sea salt and curry OR add a sweetener with cinnamon and vanilla. I leaned in the sweet direction. It was reminiscent of my favorite Thanksgiving dish - sweet potato crunch!
- 1 butternut squash, cut into cubes (peeled or unpeeled – I left skin on)
- 1 can organic pumpkin (unsweetened)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TBS agave nectar or raw honey
- sea salt to taste (optional)
- Saute onion in 1 TBS coconut oil (or oil of your choice) until transparent. I cooked mine until they were caramelized for extra sweetness.
- Add chopped butternut squash & cook covered on medium/high until fork tender.
- Reduce heat to low and add remaining ingredients. Stir together until combined well.
- Transfer to blender and blend until smooth.
- Top with yogurt and diced green onions. I used a spoonful of coconut milk yogurt. (another great topping would be crushed walnuts or pecans)
I have a new 5-quart pot and I love it. I call it the perfect pot. I love the way it looks and everything that has bubbled, simmered or seared in it has turned out perfectly delicious. Let’s hope the trend holds up. In this case, it did. In may seem a tad bit early in the Florida “Autumn season” to cook soup as we have yet to feel the slightest true cool breeze (without 90% humidity). However, I mentioned in a previous post, it’s Fall in my heart. This vegetarian soup is so hearty that you don’t need anything else to go along with it. This was my first experience with cannellini beans (or white Italian kidney beans) and I was very pleased with the result. I’m sure you could substitute these with plain white beans or red kidney beans without it changing the flavor one bit. Experiment with what you have and I’m sure it will be great!
- 4 cups dried cannellini beans (soaked overnight)
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth (or 4 if you don’t want to use water)
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch fresh kale, coarsely chopped (with or without the stem. I kept the stem.)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed (or diced)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Saute onion in a little bit of veggie broth until transparent.
- Add broth, water, beans and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until beans start to get tender.
- Add kale, red pepper, garlic and all seasonings for the remaining 10-15 minutes and simmer on medium.
- Soup is done when veggies & beans reach desired tenderness.
I hear that fall is right around the corner! That’s hard to believe when you’re living in Florida, but I must admit, when September 1 rolls around, something shifts inside of me. I feel cool on the inside, even if it’s 95 degrees outside. My taste seems to change, too. I begin craving different flavors like cinnamon and pumpkin, and I tend to choose hot drinks over cold. All of that being said, you will now understand the timing of this particular post. I was doing research for a meal idea to share, and soup just sang to me. September and savory smells simmering on the stove beautifully represent the season forthcoming. And I am ready!
- 1 28 oz can of organic whole, peeled tomatoes & 1 small can of same (I had a small can of fire roasted tomatoes, so that’s what I used)
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 medium white/yellow onion. chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- a few leaves fresh basil (& a TBS dried basil, optional)
- sea salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper to taste
- *Optional* If you would like a creamier taste, add 2 TBS plain greek yogurt
- In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, bell pepper for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add all ingredients EXCEPT fresh basil & bring to a boil, mashing tomatoes along the way.
- Allow to cook for 7-10 minutes, then add chopped fresh basil and stir together.
- Transfer soup to blender and blend on high until it reaches desired creaminess.
- Transfer back to pot and sprinkle with additional seasonings & fresh basil.