Archives

Spinach Lentil Super Soup

This past week, all I’ve craved is a hearty soup. I find myself freezing quite often at work, and soup is one great way to warm me up. However, I rarely have time or energy on weeknights to make a batch. So having today (Monday) off was the perfect excuse! I was able to whip up a monster batch of soup that will last all-week-long.

I don’t know about you, but I much prefer homemade soup to canned soup because you can add or omit ingredients from recipes, and you can monitor the sodium content, too.

Today’s soup featured a protein-packed, fiber-heavy ingredient: lentils. These are kind-of like a miracle food. They’re high in iron, and studies show they are proven to lower-cholesterol, too. Plus, with the addition of spinach to this soup, you’re adding even more iron and fiber to the soup. This will fill you up, warm you up, and won’t slow you down.

Spinach Lentil Super Soup
Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 package (10oz.) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup lentils, rinsed
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrots
1 can (14-1/2oz.) no-sodium added diced tomatoes, undrained

simplest of ingredients!

Directions:
1) In a large saucepan, sauté onion in oil until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add baby spinach leaves, cover, and allow spinach to cook down until wilted.

onion and garlic

sauteed spinach

2)Add the broth, water, lentils, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

adding in the lentils

3) Add carrots and diced tomatoes; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes longer or until lentils are tender. All done!

super soup!

I already had a bowl for my afternoon snack…just because. Isn’t snacking at home one of the joys of having a Monday off? Hope you enjoy this, I sure am! 

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Veggie Soup

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Veggie Soup

A simple Sunday calls for a simple soup…and it doesn’t get more simple than a crockpot soup. Today I was craving a classic: chicken noodle soup. This was super simple to make and it’s a perfect meal for lunch or dinner. To me, the best thing about preparing a crockpot meal is that you can wing it…as in throw anything into it and make it work…hence my desire to throw in all of my almost-spoiled vegetables. Plus, I improvised the recipe even more, tweaking it to involve certain ingredients I had on hand and needed to use. To be truthful, I didn’t feel well enough to leave my house today, so I had no choice but to use what I had! For instance, I didn’t have any celery on hand, so I substituted a sweet potato instead. Also, I used whole wheat linguine instead of egg noodles, because that’s what I had in my pantry.

I do believe I’ll be eating this soup for the next 5 days…join me!! 

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Veggie Soup
Ingredients

1/4 onion, finely chopped
15-20 mini carrots, thinly sliced
1 sweet potato, chopped (or a rib of celery)
1 cup cauliflower
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 thin chicken breasts
1 large container of low-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup water
Whole wheat noodles of your choice

 

1) Wash chicken breasts. Place in crockpot, and cover with chicken broth.
2) Cut carrots, onion, sweet potato, cauliflower, and mince garlic. Add to crockpot and cover with remaining broth. Add water and noodles.

the start of the soup!

3) Cook on high in crockpot for 4-5 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste

cooking away!

4) Remove chicken breasts once tender and shred with two forks. Add back into soup, stir, and serve!

Done and done!

I have a feeling I’m going to be awfully sick of chicken noodle soup after this week…but for now, I’m okay with it!

Chicken soup warms the soul :)

Super Soup

Over the last few years, I’ve made quite a few soups. Chicken Noodle and Broccoli Parmesan are two of my favorites. However, while I love the warmth, textures, and flavors of soup, I dislike heavy, cream-laden soups, and one bowl of “healthy” canned soup never seems to quite fill me up. Plus, I always find it difficult to carve out over an hour of prep/cook time, and it’s quite rare that I’ll have all of the ingredients on hand for one particular soup. Hence the reason why I was very intrigued by Cooking Light’s hearty bean and barley soup recipe. Countless nights I’ve searched my cookbooks and consulted other blogs to find a light yet hearty soup, that‘s simple to prepare and comes together quickly. Many weeknights, I just don’t have the energy to slave away in the kitchen! When I saw this recipe, I knew I could recreate it in no time. Plus, it was easy to follow and didn’t take more than 30 minutes from start to finish. Since this soup consists mostly of staple ingredients, I had most everything right in my cupboard…I bet you do too…take a peek!

Bean and Barley Soup

Ingredients
 

 

7 cups fat free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (19-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
½ can cannennelli beans— (this wasn’t in the original recipe, I just wanted extra beans!)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery—(I omitted this and subbed in parsnips instead!)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained— (I used canned tomato sauce, I didn’t have diced on hand.)
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
10 cup torn spinach leaves (about 4 ounces) —(I used frozen: de-thawed and dried it out!)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation
 

 

1) Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes. Drain through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. 

2)Measure 1 cup beans, and mash with a fork in a small bowl. Reserve the remaining whole beans.

3)Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, and parsnips; cook 4 minutes.

chopped veggies

cooking away

simmering

 4) Add broth mixture, mashed beans, whole beans, tomatoes (or tomato sauce), and barley; bring to a boil.

5) Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and black pepper; cook 5 minutes or until barley is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

All together now!

Simple, satisfying, and full of flavor, I loved it. Like I did, you can customize this soup to the ingredients you have on hand. Any type of beans and root vegetables would work. I enjoyed this soup with my lunch at work all last week, steaming hot with a side of Melba sea salt crackers for dipping. Enjoy!

a new favorite soup in my most favorite bowl!