simple white bean soup.

December 18, 2013 § 7 Comments

In the midst of all the cookies and boxes of chocolates and holiday parties this month, I give you a soup that is warm and hearty and healthy.  This white bean soup is so inexpensive and easy to make that I’ve prepared it three times in the last month.  If you’re looking for a healthy, simple dinner recipe, this is for you.

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White Bean Soup
Recipe from Shutterbean (with very minor adaptations)

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

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What to do:

Prepare your veggies!  Dice your onion and celery, and peel and dice your carrots.  Peel and chop that garlic!  Now you’re ready to go.  Also be sure to drain and rinse your cannellini beans.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Add the diced onions and cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add the diced celery and carrot and continue to cook, 10 minutes or until they have softened.  Then add the chopped garlic and bay leaf*.  Continue to cook for several minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into the pot, as well as your beans and a sprinkling of salt and black pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat.  Once soup comes to a boil, lower the heat and let soup simmer.  Cook uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour—vegetables should be completely soft.

Remove the bay leaf from the soup, and puree the soup—I used my immersion blender.  Stir in lemon juice and add more salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve soup in bowls with some crusty buttered bread.

*Note:  The original recipe calls for 4 sage leaves to be added with the garlic and bay leaf—my grocery store was out of sage the first time I made this soup, so I made it without.

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This soup manages to be creamy without any cream or butter!  So good.

sweet potato and sausage soup.

November 5, 2013 § 5 Comments

So, I have this problem where I am hungry all the time.  Most days, I could eat my lunch at 10 a.m.  And now that I go to the gym right after work, I’m not eating dinner until 8pm.  This just means I need something hearty and delicious for lunch that will hold me over.

I love soups for lunch.  This sweet potato and sausage soup is a WINNER.  Hearty?  Check.  Delicious?  Check.

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The soup was so steamy, all my photos are slightly foggy.  Foggy with awesomeness.

Recipe from Shutterbean (with minor changes)

What you need:

  • 6C chicken broth
  • 2C water
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (no casing)
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ C small pasta shells
  • 6C chopped spinach (could use kale or a combination)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

What to do:

First, prep your ingredients.  Remove the casing from your sausage, if needed.  Peel and chop your onion and sweet potatoes, and mince your garlic.  Chop your spinach, and grate your Parmesan.  Ready?  Here we go!

Heat your olive oil in a large nonstick Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add your onion and garlic, and cook until soft.  Then, add your sausage in small pieces.  Cook until the sausage is browned.

Now, add your chopped sweet potatoes, broth, and water.  Bring the pot to a boil, then add your pasta shells.  Cook for about 8 minutes, then reduce to a simmer.  Toss in your chopped spinach.  Keep simmering until the greens wilt and the pasta is tender.

Top bowls with grated Parmesan!

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A spoonful of goodness!

EDIT:  Something funky happened to this post after I published it on 11/5, and it reverted to a draft.  Re-published on 11/6.  Sorry for weirdness!

light & creamy potato soup.

September 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

I had been craving a potato soup, but wasn’t in the mood for anything too heavy.  I came across this recipe from Cooking Light magazine, which has a secret not-so-secret ingredient–roasted cauliflower!  This soup is really easy to put together after some quick slicing and dicing of your veggies.

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What you need:

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 C low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut in florets (remove stalk)
  • 1 and 1/2 C 2% or whole milk (just don’t use skim)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 C sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4-5 slices of bacon (cooked till crispy then crumbled)

What to do:

First up:  You need to roast your cauliflower.

Preheat your oven to 450–you want it HOT.

Place your cauliflower florets on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then lightly salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes, until the florets are browning.  Then, remove from the oven and let the tray cool on your counter.

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Step 2: While your cauliflower is roasting, cut up your bacon.  Remember, nice and crispy!

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Finally, in a large pot or a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Saute your onion, garlic, and thyme until onions begin to soften.  Then, add your potatoes, your bay leaf, and your chicken stock.  Let it come to a nice boil, then reduce the heat.  At this point, add your roasted cauliflower to the pot, and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.  Then, remove the pot from heat.

Now, it’s time to use my favorite appliance–the immersion blender.  Very carefully puree the soup mixture until smooth.  (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could puree the mixture in batches in an upright blender.)

Before serving, season the soup with black pepper and 1/2 cup of sour cream.  Serve with a selection of garnishes–the bacon crumbles, chopped green onions, and sharp cheddar cheese.

This soup is an excellent make-ahead meal and keeps great in the fridge, along with the garnishes.  Perfect for busy week nights.

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Enjoy!

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