Cooler Days – Warm Food!

by in Blog Posts, Food & Nutrition, Recipes, Soups & Sauces November 1, 2020

Pulling this one out of the archives because well, it’s soup season!

I don’t know about you all, but our recent weather here in Charlotte has been a lot of misty, rainy & chilly days – the kind that makes you want to curl up and watch a movie.

The perfect days for a pot of chili or soup.  Soups can be so simple and healthy; PLUS you can make them ahead of time or throw a soup in the crockpot and dinner is done! How perfect for nights when you get home late from work, you have a late meeting,  or the kids have sports or school events.

Chicken Quinoa Soup

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pot.
Add one diced onion and two diced carrots for 6 mins.
Add 1 lb thinly sliced boneless organic chicken thighs, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 2 diced celery stalks, and 2 minced garlic cloves – cook for 5 minutes.
Add 4 cups of organic chicken or vegetable broth, 1 cup water, ¾ cup quinoa, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper (kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper work best!)
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes.
Top with parsley and hot sauce.

Hearty Lentil & Black Bean Soup with Smoked Paprika 

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup dried brown lentils
4 3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable, divided
3 cups of water
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 6 to 7 minutes.  Add garlic, smoked paprika, and bay leaves and sauté for 30 seconds.

Stir in diced tomatoes with juices, lentils, 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth, and 3 cups water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Transfer half of the lentil mixture, half of the black beans, and 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Pulse until combined, but not pureed. It should be a chunky texture. (Make sure soup is not hot when you blend it.)

Pour the blender mixture back into the lentils in the saucepan, along with the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth and remaining black beans. Stir and reheat over medium heat. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.  ** I will also add zucchini to this and serve topped with sliced avocado and hot sauce.**

Zucchini Cashew Soup

1 large or 2 small zucchini, cut into chunks and steamed
1/4 cup raw cashews
Pink Himalayan salt
Herbal seasoning or fresh herbs, like basil or dill (optional; to taste)
Steamed vegetables (for a chunky soup)

Soak cashews in enough water to cover for 1 hour; drain.
Combine cashews, zucchini, salt, and seasonings in blender and mix until smooth, adding water as needed for desired consistency.
Pour into a saucepan and reheat gently, but do not boil.
For chunky soup, add steamed chopped vegetables of your choice. Can also be served cold.

Red Pepper Soup 

White Wine, 16 fl oz
1 med onion
5 red peppers
2 cups diced celery
1 minced clove of garlic
2 ripe plum tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 tbsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper and ground cumin

Heat wine in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat.
Add onion, red peppers, and celery. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth; cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Puree soup in a food processor or blender. Return to the pan to heat & add seasonings.