Tag Archives: soup

Homemade Italian Style Vegetable Soup

9 May

The sudden arrival of Spring means two things. One, the weather gets warmer so that frolicking outdoors starts to seem more appealing than slaving away in the kitchen.  Two, the farmer’s markets are full of the freshest, cheapest delicious produce. To take full advantage of the best of both situation, I highly suggest that you make this soup!

Now I know that making soup just as it’s finally starting to get warmer out may seem counterintuitive, but I promise, this really is a good idea… This soup is chock full of delicious vegetables to provide you with energy without weighing you down. By making this soup now, you can have it stored away in your freezer for easy, nutritious meals all summer long. My logic is, stock up now so that you don’t have to think about it later!

Homemade broth

This soup makes a veggie-filled accompaniment to any lunch or dinner. Store it in individually-portioned glass jars in your freezer, so that you can take it out the night before and have a delicious, preservative-free soup ready when you want in.

Mishmash of delicious veggies

This is an incredibly flexible soup to which you can add any vegetables, herbs, or spices that you have on hand. Feel free to add beans and pasta to make it more of a traditional Minestrone. Or top the soup with a bit of pesto to give it a French provincial flavor. You can even substitute the basil, oregano, and thyme for some miso paste and siracha sauce to give it a slightly Asian taste.

Delicious and nutritious and ready to go!

Homemade Italian Style Vegetable Soup

Servings: 8

Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of assorted vegetables in less than pristine condition (onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, leeks, ect)
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves of garlic, lightly chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemarry or other herbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspooon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach or kale, defrosted

Directions

  1. Dump your assorted vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and herbs into a large stock pot and fill the pot with enough water to just barely cover the vegetables. With the stove on high, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. In the mean time chop up and prepare all of your vegetables for the soup itself. Use a strainer to remove the vegetables, and then set the remaining vegetable broth aside. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time, you could skip this step altogether and use boxed or frozen vegetable broth.
  2. Using the same stock pot as before, lightly saute your celery, onion, leeks, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add your carrots and zucchini and continue to lightly saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes, green beans, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth (from step one).
  4. Allow soup to simmer for 30-45 minutes, then add in the spinach or kale, and allow it to cool for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve (or freeze). Enjoy!
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Happy Earth Day and Detoxifying Greens Soup

22 Apr

Happy Earth Day everyone! It seems like in today’s technological world that people have created remedies for everything, even that don’t need cures. Say for example, vitamins. Few people actually need to rely on man-made vitamins, if they simply eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies. Today people have come to rely on vitamin-enriched gummies and cookies for their daily dose of nutrients instead of focusing on the real issue of how to incorporate naturally nutrient-rich foods into their diets.

Caramelizing onions and mushrooms

Greens in the process of wilting

Just one cup of kale fulfills the daily Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K requirements while also providing calcium, iron, protein, fiber, potassium, and many other important,naturally-occuring nutrients. The greek yogurt, lemon juice, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, garlic, and peppers in this soup further enhance its nutritional power.

Non-blended soup

Blended soup

So if you’ve had too much easter candy or indulged in too many baked goods lately, this is the perfect way to get your body back on track the natural way. Of course it’s still fine to take a daily multi vitamin, but try to begin getting most of your nutrients from whole foods rather than man-made compounds. This not only ensures that you get the most out of your meals, but it also is less invasive and wasteful of the planet’s miraculously nutritious foods.

Ready to serve

As a warning, this soup is not for the faint of heart. My mom and Goose looked at it, and could not believe that I was actually enjoying this green concoction. It’s made almost entirely of vegetables, and as a result it looks and tastes like vegetables. I think it’s delicious and comforting. This soup is a delicious combination of bitter, spicy, and tangy tastes.

Detoxifying Greens Soup

Adapted from Stetted

serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 
4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 bunches assorted greens(mustard, komatsuna, mizuna, beet greens, kale, or chard
), chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt

Directions

  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic, onions, and mushrooms.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions take on a nice brown color, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and increase heat to just bubbling, then add the greens and the broccoli to the soup.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cover the soup. Allow it to cook until the greens have wilted, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Puree soup in a stand blender or with an immersion blender, and return it to heat.
  6. Stir in paprika, cayenne, and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. Just before serving, add a swirl of yogurt into individual bowls.

Gingered Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup…A recipe fix up

20 Feb

A few days ago I posted about how I am trying to reorganize and simplify my life; that means fixing up my blog too. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of this whole blogging thing, I’ve gone through and cleaned up some of my previous posts, added my recipes to my Foodbuzz profile, and reflected on what type of blog posts you all seem to enjoy most.

Soup garnished with greek yogurt, garam masala, and roasted squash seeds

In doing all of this, I came upon one blog post that I was unhappy with: my recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. This soup tasted too much like heath food and not enough like a delicious puree of the season’s bounty. I want my blog to be full of healthy, delicious recipes, not bunches of vegetables that you have to pinch your nose to swallow. I’ve been experimenting in my kitchen with different adaptations and reading various butternut squash soup recipes from around the blogosphere to try to come up with a soup that tasted smooth and luxurious, while still being absolutely guilt-free.

caramelizing aromatics...yum!

By leaving out the celery, increasing the number of carrots, decreasing the amount of liquid, decreasing the amount of spices, increasing the amount of garlic and ginger, and increasing the time for the vegetables to caramelize, I’ve drastically improved my butternut squash soup recipe. Please try out the new and improved version and let me know what you think!

Vegetables simmering

Gingered Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Softened veggies with broth and spices...Delicious!

Adapted from With Style and Grace and a Sofa in the Kitchen

Soup ready to blend!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Leek
  • 1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 3-4 Carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Cups vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want your soup)
  • 1 Sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 Tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 Tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1.  Slice your onion, garlic, leeks, and set them aside.
  2. Peel your carrots and your butternut squash, then cube the squash and slice the carrots, then set them both aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium for about a minute then add in the onion, garlic, leek, and ginger. Stir the vegetables occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to turn translucent.
  4. Next add in the carrot, butternut squash, salt, and pepper for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Feel free to add 1 Tbs water if the vegetables start to heat up too quickly.
  5. Add the vegetable broth, rosemary, cumin, nutmeg, and cayenne. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving it alone for 30 minutes.
  6. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender in batches, and blend until smooth, then enjoy!

Soup!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

17 Jan

About a week ago I posted my recipie for homemade broth, and now in honor of National Soup Month (and my personal addiction to soup) I am using that broth to make a healthy, creamy curried butternut squash soup.

Soup sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon

The squash puree gives this soup a thick, smooth texture while the curry powder gives it a metabolism-boosting kick.

As winter squash season starts to come to a close, now is the perfect time to make this delicious soup that you can stash in your freezer for when you need a bowl of liquid comfort. This soup is perfect for serving in carved out pumpkins as an elegant appetizer, for getting your kids to eat their vegetables, or simply for eating when you curl up in a cozy sweater with a good book.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1-3 stalks of celery (optional)
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • plain yogurt (optional garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel the butternut squash, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds
  3. Mix the seeds with 1/4 tsp olive oil, cumin, and a sprinkle of salt
  4. Cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes then season with 1 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper
  5. Place the squash on one end of a baking sheet and the seeds on the other side, then  place the baking sheet it in the oven and allow it to roast
  6. After 20 minutes take out the baking sheet, remove the seeds, and then return it to the oven for another 25-30 minutes
  7. While the squash is roasting, dice the leek, celery, carrots, onion, and garlic, then set aside
  8. In a large stockpot heat the remaining 1 3/4 tsp olive oil over medium heat
  9. Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger for 2-3 minutes,
  10. Increase the heat the high, then add the cubed squash and broth
  11. After the mixture comes to a boil reduce the heat to a summer for 20-25 minutes
  12. Use an immersion blender or a food processor to blend the mixture (in small batches if necessary) until smooth
  13. Add the leeks, celery, and carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften
  14. Serve soup as is, or top it with yogurt, squash seeds (see step 6), or a sprinkle of the spice of your choice

Soup with cyan pepper, yogurt, and squash seeds

Enjoy!

Versatile and Delicious Vegetable Broth…My Ode to Soup

8 Jan

Do you have a soup that you could eat everyday, multiple times a day, and never get bored of it? For me that food is soup.

Growing up I only liked super creamy soups lie New England Clam Chowder, but ever since I had my wisdom teeth removed two summers ago, I’ve been a soup addict. I adore almost any soup, especially spicy vegetable soup, flavorful vegetable purees, or Asian soups with seafood and vegetables. In terms of canned soups, Amy’s ChunkyVegetable Soup is yummy, but the Bisphenol A and high sodium content, makes me stay away from it whenever possible.

To fulfill my hankering for soup without wasting tons of money and packaging, I’m going to make my own soups.  I plan on making a variety of healthy, cheap, and tasty soups over the next few months. The secret to making really good soup is to start with flavorful broth, so I’m going back to the basics…broth.

For the past few weeks I’ve been saving carrot stubs, leftover portions of onions, unsused parsnips, wilting herbs, and whatever other vegetable scraps were in line for the trash bin. I put the marginal produce in a giant (reused) plastic bag in my freezer for when I finally get around to making vegetable broth. By doing this I’ve saved time and money, so I highly recommend that you freeze food scraps for the future.

I mainly used frozen scraps and other vegetables that I had lying around my house, but I also bought some discounted produce at the Culver City Farmer’s market the other day. You could also find cheap produce that’s past it’s prime in the back shelves of your local grocery store. Feel free to use whatever vegetables are in season or whatever you have lying around your house.

After making my broth I frozen it in 1/8 cup ice cube trays, 1/2 cup tupawares, and 1 quart containers so that I can add however much broth I want to make soups, stuffings, and other recipes in the future. I then transferred the broth ice cubes and small tupawares into a large plastic bag in the freezer to conserve space.

Below is basic recipie that I used, but feel free to adapt it based on what ingredients you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 cups of button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 1/2 yellow onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups of water

Directions:

1.Preheat over to 450 degrees

2. Thoroughly wash all produce, then slice mushrooms in half, cut peppers into quarters and remove seeds, break carrots and celery stalks into thirds, and cut onions in half

3. Place all vegetables except for celery (parsnip, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, onions, and tomatoes)  on a cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper

4. Roast the vegetables for about an hour or until they start to brown, stirring them every 20 minutes

5. Fill a large pot with roasted vegetables, celery, peppercorns, cloves, rosemary, basil, bay leaves, and water

6. Bring water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and allow it to sit uncovered for at least two hours (the longer the better)

7. Once the broth is fragrant and has a rich brown color, pour it into a colander to strain it, then ladle the broth into your desired containeers and freeze

Enjoy wonderful readers! What are you going to make with your delicious vegetable broth?