Soup 1: White Bean and Kale Soup
After a long shift at work yesterday I got home at 8:30 and knew just what would lift my spirits- homemade White Bean and Kale soup. This was a quick and healthy dish, perfect for kicking off my theme this week of vegetarian soups!
First I did my prep work, which thankfully was light. A quick dice of an onion and chop of some baby carrots and I was ready to roll. I did get around some work by purchasing pre-chopped kale at Trader Joes and using crushed garlic I had in the fridge. Both time savers without losing any flavor.
First I heated some olive oil in a pot and then added the onion and garlic sautéing until translucent. Next I added 1 cup of broth and the kale and sautéed until wilted. I then added the carrots, corn, diced tomatoes and remaining broth. I stirred in 2 tsp of Italian seasoning, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp red pepper flakes. I seasoned with black pepper. I did not add salt since not all pre-seasoned items were in the pot. You can always add salt, but you cannot take it out!
I drained the cannellini beans and added them to the pot. The recipe called for blending the second can of beans in a food processor which I did not do, I just mashed them in a bowl and added them in. Blending would have made a creamier texture but let’s not forget it was 9 at this point and I was lazy.
Now that all components were added I salted to taste. I used low sodium broth and drained and washed my beans so a little salt was needed.
Now I will admit, I added some cooked ground turkey to this, BUT it would still have been delicious without it. It was vegetarian until that one addition. The next recipes will be strictly veg and I’ll even do a vegan one for good measure 😉
Soups are great make ahead meals, they freeze easily and usually taste better the next day. They are perfect to keep in the freezer if you get home after a long day at work and *gasp* don’t feel like cooking. I usually make a big pot of soup and take it to work as lunch for the week.
Soup 2: Pumpkin Poblano Soup with Roasted Corn
Tonight I decided to make my own take on pumpkin bisque. This velvety soup gets texture from sautéed poblanos and roasted corn. If you know me, you know I love spicy and this gave me just the kick I was looking for without being over powering.
First I diced 1 large poblano while I melted some butter in a high rimmed frying pan. I added the peppers and sautéed for a minute or two. I then added some flour and stirred constantly for about a minute to make my roux.
I then added 2% milk to the pepper roux and cooked for about 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly until reduced about half and creamy.
I then added the pumpkin and stirred until incorporated. I added some fresh cracked pepper, salt to taste (about a tsp for me), a pinch of nutmeg to bring out the pumpkin flavor and a sprinkle of cayenne. I also added about 1/2 a cup of water to thin the soup a little and then threw in my roasted corn.
To tie it all up I added about a third cup of mixed cheese (mozzarella, monterey and cheddar) and stirred to melt. Now my soup was ready! It looked, smelled and tasted just how I wanted. I garnished with some cheese, corn and pepper and then dug in- soo good!
Soup 3: Vegan Red Lentil Stew
Seeing as it is Sunday, I left my most time consuming soup for tonight. This soup does need a while to simmer, but the end result is definitely worth it! This dish has Indian flavors with meaty veggies, making it the perfect hearty dish for a cold day.
First, I did my prep work, dicing an onion, peeling and dicing a sweet potato, chopping some cilantro and dicing up some baby carrots. I then heated some oil in a pan, mixed in the onion, garam masala, garlic and ginger and sautéed until the onions were translucent.
Once the onions were cooked I added the sweet potato, carrots, red lentils, coconut milk and vegetable broth stirring until everything was mixed.
I then added tomato paste, curry powder, nutmeg, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. I then brought the pot to a boil, before lowering it down to a simmer for the next 30-40 minutes.
Halfway through the simmering process I decided to try out my new kitchen gadget- an immersion blender. This goes directly into the soup pot and gives you more control over the consistency of the soup. In the end I blended about half the soup. This made it thick but also left enough veggies in there to give it a nice texture.
This was a great soup because it lends well to blending but still would have been good without it. It also would have been great completely blended and served with Indian naan bread for dipping. I am even thinking about making a version of this as a sauce. I absolutely loved the Indian spices in this dish. It was soo warming and delicious.
The garam masala worked perfectly. I had to buy the spice for this, but it was worth it. Once you buy a spice you have it in your cabinet for any future recipes. Dried spices have a good shelf life, so don’t hold back from getting a spice as called for in a recipe, you will probably use it again!