Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts)

Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts)
Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts)

Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup
Recipe by: Adapted from AllRecipes Yield: 8 servings
This cabbage soup is simple, warming, and delicious. It's got a slight kick due to red pepper flakes. Throw your leftover Thanksgiving turkey or anything else you love in it to make it your own, but I love it just the way it is. (Don't forget the bonus cheese toasts recipe below!)
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 pound carrots, chopped into 1-inch chunks 1/2 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped ginger and fennel seed, optional* 1/2 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 7 cups chicken broth 1 cup water 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, drained and diced
Directions: *Note: To avoid bloating and gas often associated with cabbage, you can boil it for 10 minutes prior to the recipe. If you have fennel seed and ginger, you can tie the spices up in cheesecloth with some twine to boil along with the cabbage, which is also said to help. After boiling, drain and rinse the cabbage well before using it in the recipe.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, mix carrots and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread them out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender (a knife should easily slide through). While roasting carrots, parboil cabbage as instructed above if desired.
In a large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes, before adding chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then add the tomatoes, cabbage, and roasted carrots. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Easy Cheese Toasts
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking Yield: 8 servings
These quick, easy cheese toasts are perfect with any hearty winter soup.
Ingredients: 8 slices of a baguette 1 cup Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons butter, chopped into 18 small cubes 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place bread slices on baking sheet. In a medium bowl, toss together the cheese, butter cubes, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Divide the mixture evenly on top of each slice of bread. Bake for a few minutes, watching closely, until bubbly.

Canned Soup

After finishing Willow Bird Baking's Cooking Hard Stuff Challenge, I'm sort of tired. I kind of just want to sit and watch some TV. So I'm starting a new series called Cooking From Cans. First up is some delicious canned soup. My love of canned soup started when I was a 5th grader and my mom taught me how to use the can opener so I could start making my own dinner. I think she was tired of making grilled cheeses every night. She didn't trust me with the stove and I could finally reach the microwave mounted on the wall, so soup it was! I didn't mind -- in fact, I loved the stuff! I usually start with Chicken and Rice soup and, if I'm still hungry, eat a little Minestrone. Eventually I realized you could even buy soup that you didn't need to add any water to -- one less step! Dessert is usually a few sprays of whipped cream from the can. So after all that Cooking Hard Stuff, I present to you a little relaxation: pop the top and enjoy a can.
Canned Soup
Recipe by: the soup company. Yield: 1 bowl of soup
It's quick, it's easy, it's a can of soup! I eat these for dinner all the time after a busy workday. Look for cans with an easy pop top for maximum convenience -- can openers hurt your fingers. Unless you have one of those fancy electronic ones, in which case, knock yourself out.
Ingredients: 1 can of soup (preferably one that doesn't require adding water)
Directions: Pour the soup into a bowl and heat it up for however long the can says. You can cover it with a paper towel if you're worried about splatters, but I usually don't worry about it. My roommate cleans the microwave every now and then.
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Healthy Roasted Tomato and Onion Bread Soup

The realization that I am a delicate Southern flower who requires thick, humid warmth to survive was not a gradual one for me. I remember vividly the exact moment that confirmed it. It was my junior year of high school and I was sitting in my first period French class. Our class was held in a portable classroom (read: drafty old trailer) and the door was still open to welcome arriving students. And oh my ever-loving goodness, il faisait froid.* *It was cold, y'all.

I was sitting in my desk, hunched over and hugging myself in an attempt to protect my vital organs from the piercing morning cold. Despite my efforts and the fact that I was wearing a winter coat (which, as you'll learn, is basically miraculous for me), I was pretty sure I was dying of hypothermia.

As discomfort gave way to alarm, I wondered how much longer I should wait before raising my hand and asking to be carried into the main building, preferably by burly seniors in puffy coats. I looked around to see if anyone else was on the verge of death. A few people were chatting. A girl was shuffling around in her backpack. Ms. Moran was looking over some papers. Hm. I began to calculate the distance I would have to walk upright -- with vital organs relatively unprotected! -- to pull the door shut in one last effort to save myself.

It was during this hellacious class (actually, I wouldn't have minded a little fire just then -- hold the brimstone, though) that I knew I would die if I were ever forced to move to any northern state. I remember realizing that at that very moment, people were walking around and going to work and surviving in, like, Vermont. I was aghast.

Since then, I've realized a few things. For instance, I've realized that I almost die each winter because I don't wear enough clothing. I'm not running around in culottes or anything (you guys remember culottes?), but I have an aversion to layering my outfits. I end up pulling and tugging at things all day to get comfortable. Give me a short, lightweight sundress to slip on any old day. As a result of my layering troubles, I'm often exposed to the elements. I'll pat myself on the back for wearing a sweater, but then neglect to wear a coat over it. Or I'll grab my coat on the way out the door, but decide not to worry about scarves or mittens. Or, like, real shoes. I may or may not have been that person in college wearing rubber ducky flip-flops in the snow.

Anyway, I'm generally bad at cold weather, but I'm not totally hopeless. I may be dressing wholly inappropriately for the temperature, but at least I'll be eating appropriately. When it's cold, I start to crave oatmeal, warm drinks, chilis, stews, and soups. This Roasted Tomato and Onion Bread Soup has been on a regular rotation at my house this winter. Something about serving piping hot soup over a toasty, buttered slice of bread feels rustic and satisfying to me. Best of all, each 1 cup serving of soup is full of veggies and has a little over 200 calories, making this recipe ideal for all the resolutioners out there! When I know I'm having a bowl of this with my dinner, I look forward to it all day long. So grab your snuggies, bundle up, and enjoy! What are the temperatures like where you live? How do you brave the cold?
Healthy Roasted Tomato and Onion Bread Soup
Recipe by: Adapted from Eating Well Yield: 6 1-cup servings
This bright soup is served piping hot over a slice of buttered bread. The result is splushy, hearty, and warms you to the soul. I sometimes make a batch of this soup and eat it for several days. When I'm ready to eat a serving, I toast a slice of bread while reheating the soup and then assemble as usual.
Ingredients: 4 cups thinly sliced onions 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil salt to taste freshly ground pepper to taste 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I halved most but left some whole) 1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic, plus 1 whole clove, peeled and halved 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth 6 slices hearty bread of your choice 2/3 cup chopped fresh basil 6 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese butter for bread dash of red wine vinegar (optional)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add thinly sliced onions and top with another tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Toss the onions to coat. Caramelize the onions my cooking them, stirring occasionally (but not constantly, so they can caramelize on the heat) for about 30 minutes or until they're rich and brown.
In the meantime, I usually chop my tomatoes and garlic. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray and add the tomatoes, garlic (except the halved clove), the last tablespoon of oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss tomatoes to coat. Roast these in the oven until the tomatoes are starting to fall apart and brown in spots, about 20 minutes.
When your onions are caramelized, move them to a big stockpot. Deglaze the skillet by pouring the chicken stock into it and bringing it to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the stock into the stockpot with the onions. Add tomato and garlic mixture to the pot as well, mixing gently to combine. Bring this to a simmer. Remove it from the heat, salt and pepper to taste (sometimes I add a dash of red wine vinegar at the end for a little zing), and cover it to keep it warm.
Meanwhile, line your bread up on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake it for about 10 minutes until it's toasted (full disclosure: I just toast mine in the toaster). Rub a little butter over it and rub the halved garlic cloves on it while it's still warm (full disclosure: I use jarred minced garlic here instead for more intense flavor). To serve the soup, place a slice of toast into each bowl and ladle a serving of soup on top. Top with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and a sprinkle of fresh basil. Serve immediately.
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Cream of Ketchup and Mustard Soup

I almost experienced the most embarrassing moment of my culinary life last weekend. I'd gotten together with my dear friend Sonya, a connoisseur of crazy scarves and -- lucky for me -- cheeseburgers, to plan a cookout extravaganza. The weather has been so nice in Charlotte lately, and we wanted to celebrate. We piled hamburgers, hot dogs, and cheddarwursts on the grill as our friends started to arrive. That's when we realized the problem.

One of the gals we invited is a passionate vegetarian, a fact that had somehow completely slipped my mind. As soon as I saw her walking into the backyard with a pitcher of iced tea to share, I remembered her dietary restrictions like being hit with a freight train. You're probably thinking this was not a big deal. She can just eat side dishes, right? She can have dessert, right? WRONG. We didn't have a single vegetarian option. The potato salad had sausage in it. The macaroni and cheese was made with chicken broth. The cupcakes were flippin' maple bacon cupcakes! DRAT. I panicked. At first I piled some lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on a plate to make a salad of sorts. That seemed insulting, though, and I knew I had to whip her up a more impressive vegetarian entrée. I scurried into the kitchen as Sonya sipped some lemonade and chatted to keep everyone occupied.

That's when this masterpiece occurred to me. It's the perfect vegetarian option at a cookout, because it tastes like a burger-free burger. It's Cream of Ketchup and Mustard Soup! The ketchup is bright but undercut by the tang of the sultry mustard. Just a smidge of pepper for bite, and this soup was a carnival of creamy condiment deliciousness. Our vegetarian friend raved with every sip, and asked for the recipe before she left. What a sweet success! I hope you'll try it for yourself and enjoy.
Cream of Ketchup and Mustard Soup*
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking Yields: 2 servings
Ingredients: 1 cup ketchup 1 cup yellow mustard 1/2 cup heavy cream salt and pepper to taste sour cream for serving (optional)
Directions: Mix ingredients together over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes before separating soup into two soup bowls, topping with sour cream, and serving.
*April Fool's! I did not hold a cookout, the weather has been cold and rainy in Charlotte, I do not own a grill, I did not make this soup, I definitely did not ingest this soup, and I don't even know anyone named Sonya (unfortunately -- what a fun name). This soup is probably gross, so for Heaven's sake, please don't serve it to your vegetarian friends as a meat alternative at a cookout. Unless you don't want to have any more vegetarian friends, that is.

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Magnificent Cream of Mushroom Soup with Crispy Leeks

Sometimes the best flavors come in modest packages. My sister, Sarah, and I know this firsthand after a trip to Washington, D.C. a few years ago.

That weather in D.C. that weekend was abysmal -- cold, rainy, and windy. Not blustery or breezy, but gale-esque. Sarah and I stopped in at cafes or coffee shops regularly to warm up, and I bought fuzzy shoes to replace the worn out flats I'd been trying to trek around the city in. On Saturday night, we pulled out the short list of potential restaurants we'd compiled before we left Charlotte. Zaytinya, which boasted a "mezze menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines" stood out to me right away, and we decided to head in from the cold and have a nice dinner.

Feeling adventurous, Sarah asked our server what his very favorite thing on the menu was. We wanted something amazing; we were on a mini-vacation, after all, and the best part of a vacation is the food. Imagine our surprise when he replied, "The Brussels sprouts, definitely."

Now, listen. I love Brussels sprouts and have since I was little. Nice buttery little Brussels are always welcome in my tummy. Roasted, steamed, shredded into a weird slaw -- I'll eat 'em any way you give 'em to me. However, that being said, I think we can all agree that it's an unexpected twist when a fancy, creative restaurant boasts that the best thing on their menu is the Brussels. They're good and all, but not best material.

Sarah turned kind of sprouty green herself, since she'd had a traumatic experience with Brussels sprouts as a child. Nevertheless, she mustered up her bravery and open-mindedness and we ordered the Brussels. When they came, we each took a curious bite and (cue trumpets and joyful singing) were amazed. These were not just the best Brussels we'd ever had, y'all. This was one of the best dishes we'd ever had. I wish I remembered more about it to fill you in, but all I really remember is coriander and awesomeness.

The point is this: incredible things can come in unexpected packages. This modest, simple to make Cream of Mushroom Soup is another perfect example. My sweet Sunday school teacher, Joyce, invited me over and I arrived to find a lovely spread of fresh fruit, crackers, a bright citrusy salad, decadent parfaits for dessert, and this soup as the star of the show. I knew it was going to be comforting and delicious, but -- much like with my D.C. Brussels sprouts experience -- I didn't realize I'd be blown away! The mushroom flavor is so rich and pronounced, and thyme is the perfect complement. And oh goodness, two words, y'all: crispy leeks! They're a little extra effort, but they added so much flavor to the dish. I asked Joyce if I could scribble down the recipe and the very next weekend, I was in my kitchen recreating the soup for myself. What a pleasant surprise that in addition to being delicious, it's relatively quick to whip up!

Are you snowbound (or about to be)? Or maybe just hungry? Do yourself a favor and make a big pot of simple-but-magnificent mushroom soup. What's your favorite simple food that packs a big flavor punch?
Cream of Mushroom Soup with Crispy Leeks
Recipe by: Adapted from Phyllis Hoffman's Celebrate Magazine Yields: about 4 servings
Soup Ingredients: 4 tablespoons butter 1 cup chopped leeks 1 1/2 pound mixed sliced mushrooms (I used sliced buttons) 1 tablespoon fresh thyme salt and pepper to taste 4 cup chicken broth 1 cup heavy cream
Crispy Leek Ingredients: vegetable oil 2 cups thinly sliced leeks kosher salt
Directions: In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and saute about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook about 12 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft the the liquid evaporates some. Add the chicken broth, bring to a bowl, and then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, fry leeks. Heat 1 - 1.5 inches of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. I tested the oil by adding a leek and seeing how appropriately it fried. When your oil is ready, add leeks and fry in batches (they won't fry well if you try all at once, so do about 3 or 4 batches). Fry until folden and remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
After 15 minutes, transfer 1 cup of soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add this back to the pot and add the cream. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. Serve topped with crispy leeks.
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