Monday, October 27, 2008

Soup, there it is...

So in honor of one of my favorite SNL skits, I thought I would do a blog about soup. I love soup. Jen loves soup. Justin Timberlake loves soup. Obviously, so should you.







Recently, jen got her wisdom teeth pulled, so being the good nurse that I am, I gathered up all my amazing soup recipes to prepare for her week sans solid food.


She's doing much better by the way...

So two of jen's favorite foods, believe it or not, are spinach & zucchini. So first, I'll share this delicious and easy recipe I made to ease her pain.
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Spinach & Zucchini Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
big pinch of salt
2 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
2 medium zucchini, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves

In a large pot, heat up the olive oil, then add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes along with a big pinch of salt - just until they soften up a bit. Stir in the potatoes and zucchini. Add the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft throughout, roughly 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, and wait for it to wilt - just 10 seconds or so.


Puree with a hand blender until smooth.


Now salt to taste and serve with a spoonful of our absolute favorite addition to any bowl of soup...light sour cream.
  
It's so easy and delicious...we promise! Cook it on a Sunday night, and you can take it to work for lunch all week. It's a great way to get your daily dose of greens, and watch the waistline if you're so inclined.  

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Next, I'm going to post two soup recipes that I love making because of all the compliments I get. Seriously, I'm a hit at parties when I show up with my aroma-friendly crock pot. Now that fall is upon us, you MUST try these soups!

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Sassy Salsa Pumpkin Soup

4 cups fat-free vegetable stock
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup canned sweet corn kernels
3/4 cup salsa
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Optional toppings:  shredded low-fat cheese, light sour cream, chopped scallions

Spray a medium pot with nonstick spray and bring to medium heat on the stove. Place garlic in the pot. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and spices, and bring to a simmer. 

Add pumpkin and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. 

If you like (and we do!), top each cup with any of the optional ingredients before serving. This soup is packed with fiber and incredibly healthy.  How can you resist?

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Winter Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the cooked vegetables to a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the sweet potatoes, squash, stock, thyme, and sage; season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook on Low for 6 hours. 

Puree the soup in a blender (or with a handy-dandy hand blender like me!). Taste to adjust the seasonings, and serve hot. 

*Warning...this soup will seriously make your house smell delicious for days!  Just ask jen...

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Now, just so you all know...I didn't JUST make soup for a week.  Jen also got to indulge in this delicious smoothie I learned how to make: 

1 ripe medium banana
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
3/4 cut skim milk
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed ice

Just put it all in the blender and puree until it's smooth and YUMMY!  


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So those are a few of my favorite recipes. Enjoy! And please let me know how they turn out if you give them a try. 

I'm off to eat because now I'm STARVING!!! 

4 comments:

Helen said...

You guys have me addicted to soup, it's all I want for dinner now. I just have to start making it instead of buying the cans. Thanks for the recipes!

Jen said...

12:07 pm.
eating spinach & zucchini soup.
the world outside is frightening...
but all is well within my cubicle.

Amy A, I mean L said...

Someone made this MOST DELICIOUS soup once and I vowed to make it myself one day. Well, it's been 5 years and no such soup. It would be a lot easier for me if you fine soup chefs, would make it instead and give me a bowl in immense gratitude. :)

Here it is:

Williams- Sonoma Fresh Tomato & Bread Soup with Basil

Ingredients:

3 lb. (1.5 kg) ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing on bread
1 yellow onion, chopped (1 cup/ 4 oz/125 g)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup firmly packed, finely shredded fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (2 oz./ 60 g) Italian Arborio rice or medium- grain white rice
6-7 cups (48-56 fl oz/ 1.5-1.75 l) chicken stock, heated
4 slices coarse country Italian or French bread, each about 1/2 inch thick and
3 1/2- 4 inches in diameter

• Core & peel the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise & carefully squeeze out the seeds. Chop the tomatoes; you should have about 6 cups.
• In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute gently, stirring until translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, half of the basil leaves, the sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in the rice, cover partially, and simmer until the tomatoes start to break down, 8-10 minutes. Add 6 cups of the chicken stock, re-cover partially, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, 10-15 minutes longer.
• Remove 1/3 of the soup from the pan. Fit a food mill with the fine disk and rest it over a bowl. Ladle the removed soup into the mill and turn the handle to puree. Alternatively, puree in a food processor with the metal blade or in a blender. Return the puree to the pot, stir well, cover partially, and continue to barely simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the rice is tender, another 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining 1cup chicken stock if the soup remains too thick. Taste and adjusting the seasoning.
• Meanwhile, pre-heat an oven to 325 degrees. Brush each bread slice on one side with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet, oiled side up. Place in the oven until the bread is warm, a few minutes.
• To serve, place a warm bread slice in each of 4 large, warmed shallow soup bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the bread. Garnish with the remaining shredded basil and serve at once.

Caroline said...

Okay these all sound very complicated but i'm not going to let that deter me (please understand, i'm not a cook!). I was super excited about the thought of the Winter Squash and Sweet Potato Soup, but then i saw the SIX hour cooking time and i thought- who the heck has time for that?! So I'm thinking I'll attempt the Spinach and Zuchini Soup, for this first time soup maker. Maybe i can use a regular blender since I don't have a hand blender? Thanks for posting!