Cold days – warm food!

by in Food & Nutrition January 16, 2013

soupI 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 make you want to curl up and watch a movie.

I always feel like these are prefect days to make chili or soup.  Soups can be so delicious and healthy; PLUS you can make them ahead of time or throw a soup in the crock pot 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 event.

A few of you have shared some delicious soup recipes with me this week and I wanted to pass them along to everyone else. These are in addition to the Chicken Tortilla Soup that I posted earlier this week.

Chicken Quinoa Soup – One of our challengers made this last night and loved it!

Heat 2 tsps canola 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 sprig 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 PaprikaI am making this today.

  • 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 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 4 3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable, divided
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan 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 – This recipe is from the Beachbody Ultimate Reset and is amazing!

  • 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 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 – from the P90X Nutrition Plan

  • 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.