Mexican Vegetable Soup

Mexican Vegetable Soup 1

If you took a quick glance at my most recent posts, you might think I’m all about sweets and chicken. While I’m not going to confirm or deny that may be true, I do make other recipes as well. You might even say somewhat healthy ones every once in a while too.  So for my vegetarian friends out there, I have not forsaken you. (Yes, I’m looking at you Sue T.!)

This soup recipe can be altered to whichever vegetables you have or that are in season. It is called vegetable soup afterall. I used what I had on hand. The flavor of the soup was reminiscent of a chicken tortilla soup without the chicken or tortillas. And be forewarned, this recipe makes a lot of servings (6-8) for you to share on a cold winter’s day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers, diced (I used 1/2  each of an orange, red and yellow bell peppers)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons  ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups diced roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen or 1 can of corn)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can (4 ounce) diced green chile peppers
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1-2 zucchinis,  sliced

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • avocado slices
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges or lime juice
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Add bell peppers, carrots and onions to pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add in minced garlic, cumin and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute.
  4. Add in tomatoes, corn, black beans, diced green chiles and vegetable stock.
  5. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add in zucchini.
  8. Re-cover and simmer for another 10 more minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
  9. Serve immediately with optional toppings. Mexican Vegetable Soup 2
Advertisements

Zucchini and Corn Chowder

zucchini-and-corn-chowderIt’s another gray and cloudy day here. So I decided to make  some zucchini and corn chowder to warm up my belly. I also needed something to blog this week, so two birds, one stone kind of deal. For my vegetarian friends out there, substitute vegetable broth and omit the bacon pieces.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for garnish
  • Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. About 6-8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the same stockpot and add onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. Cook until tender about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in dried thyme, basil, and rosemary cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in flour until lightly browned. About 1 minute.
  5. Add in chicken stock, milk bay leaf, zucchini and corn.
  6. Cook stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer.
  8. Simmer for about 7-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
  9. Remove the bay leaf. If the chowder is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk to thin out.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with bacon pieces, grated Parmesan cheese and parsley leaves.

Spiced Lentil Soup With Bacon

lentil-soupI made this soup on a rainy and windy day. And boy, can I tell you that it hit the spot! Nothing like a hot bowl of soup with just a little kick of curry to warm your tummy. For my vegetarian friends, use vegetable broth and skip the bacon and add 1 cup of chopped kale or collard greens instead.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into thin slices or cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley or celery leaves for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fry the bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.  About 4-5 minutes. Drain the fat.
  2. Add the olive oil, onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, garlic, curry powder and thyme, stirring constantly and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add in the diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring often.
  5. Pour in the lentils and the chicken stock. Season generously with fresh ground black pepper.
  6. Raise heat and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  8. Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender. Protect your hand from the steam with a kitchen towel placed over lid and purée the soup until smooth.
  9. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  10. If you are making this vegetarian style, now is the time to add 1 cup chopped kale or collard greens and cook for 5 minutes more or until your greens are tender.
  11. Serve with chopped parsley or celery leaves.

lentil-soup-pot

Chicken Zoodle Soup

chicken-zoodle-soupHere in Northern California, our September weather has been exceptionally warm. We were in the low 90’s the last few weeks. But today we were only in the 70’s. And being the typical weather spoiled Californian, it felt cold to me. I wanted soup. Actually, it gave me an excuse to try out my new vegetable spiralizer and make zucchini noodle soup. Or “zoodles” as the foodies call them. For my vegetarian friends, like Sue T., omit the chicken breasts and substitute with vegetable stock.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • handful of baby carrots (about 6-8) sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized into noodle shapes and cut into desired length
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add olive oil to large pot over medium high heat. When oil begins to ripple, add onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir for 2-3 minutes until vegetables soften.
  2. Add minced garlic to vegetables. Stir for 1 minute, until garlic become fragrant.
  3. Next add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning and most of the chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
  4. Add chicken breasts. Once liquid begins to boil, lower heat to simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  5. Remove chicken and carefully shred into bite sized pieces. Return shredded chicken to pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini. Cut into smaller noodle lengths, unless you want extra long noodles.
  7. Turn heat back up to medium high.  Add zucchini noodles (zoodles) to soup. Stir and let zoodles cook for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Serve with reserved parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

chicken-zoodle-soup-pot

One Pot Lasagna Soup

Lasagna SoupHappy New Year everyone! I wish you a year of health, happiness and tasty food!

It’s been mighty chilly here in Northern California. We are having a week of much needed on and off rain showers. So today felt like a hearty soup kind of day. I know, lasagna soup doesn’t sound like the healthiest way to start your year. But eat in moderation and you should be fine. Right?!

Okay, will it make you feel better knowing I added spinach and mushroom to the recipe and used low fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta to make this soup a little healthier and lighter?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium size red or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 ounces of white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32 ounces) box chicken stock
  • 2 (14.5 ounces) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • low fat cottage cheese (1 tablespoon per serving)
  • chiffonade of basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Turn heat to medium high. Add olive oil to Dutch oven or heavy bottom large pot.
  2. When oil ripples, add ground beef and Italian sausage to pot and stir occasionally until meat is browned.  Add onions, mushrooms and garlic. Mix and continue to cook until onions become translucent.
  3. Drain any excess fat from pot.
  4. Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce,Italian seasoning, sugar, kosher salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and lasagna noodles. Mix well.
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. During last 5 minutes of cook time, add spinach to soup and stir.
  7. Serve soup with a tablespoon of cottage cheese and basil for garnish.

Lasagna Soup 2

Easy Chicken Soup

Loaded Chicken SoupNothing beats a piping hot bowl of homemade chicken soup on a dark and gloomy day. While the chicken is the base of this soup, it is really the vegetables that are the stars. I like my soup to be a main dish, rather than a side. So I loaded this chicken soup up with as many fresh vegetables as I had on hand. Feel free to add, delete or substitute any vegetables you like. But stick to the mirepoix. (carrot, celery and onion) You can also add some cooked pasta to the soup to make this a chicken noodle soup. Or add some left over rice and make this a chicken and rice soup. This recipe makes 6-8 hearty servings.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cartons chicken stock (32 ounce each)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the onion,celery, carrot, potatoes, mushrooms, poultry seasoning and garlic powder to a large pot.
  2. Next add the chicken stock. Stir to mix well.
  3. Add chicken breasts.
  4. Turn heat to high.
  5. Once stock begins to boil, lower the heat to medium low.
  6. Stir the chicken and soup once again. Cover pot and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  7. After 45 minutes, take chicken breasts out of the soup and shred or dice on a cutting board.
  8. Add chicken back to soup and stir. (At this time if you wish to add pasta or rice, do so now.)
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley and serve.

Now wasn’t that easy? 🙂

Crock Pot Cheesy Potato Soup

Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup 1Finally! The weather is cooling down enough to break out my trusty crock pot and make the first batch of fall soup. Actually, you can make this soup any time you want as potatoes are available year round. I generally like soup during the colder months, but my dad can eat soup year round. Whatever floats your boat, right?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 russet potatoes, diced into small cubes (2 pounds)
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bacon pieces for garnish (optional)
  • sliced green onions for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Use cooking spray to coat your crock pot bowl or use a slow cooker liner bag.
  2. Mix potatoes, onions, celery, poultry seasoning, chicken stock and water in your crock pot bowl.
  3. Cover, cook on high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. After 3 to 4 hours, mix flour and milk in a small bowl and add to potato mixture in crock pot until mixture thickens.
  5. Stir in shredded cheese until melted.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish with bacon bits and green onions.

Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup