Category Archives: Soups

Healthy Tuscan White Bean Soup

This soup recipe came together on accident.  I had forgotten my grocery shopping list at home and bought 2 leeks instead of 2 fennel bulbs.  Well, I had to use the leeks, so I figured I would use them in a soup.  With the soup idea in mind, I went off to scavenge in my pantry.  There I found the Cannellini beans and the recipe began forming itself in my mind.  Sadly I did not have any onions at the time (still not sure how that happened), but I did have a shallot.  From there I just threw things in the pot, waved my wooden spoon, and prayed for the best.  The first time I used 3 very large sprigs of rosemary and it overpowered the flavor of the soup.  So be warned.  This soup takes no time to put together, so it is perfect for a busy evening or afternoon.

If you would like to add some extra protein to this soup.  Chunk up and add some cooked chicken breast or shred up a cooked rotisserie chicken from your grocery store.
Healthy Tuscan White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans 19 oz. Cannellini beans
  • 1 quart Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 2 Leeks thinly sliced
  • 1 Shallot minced or onion
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic minced or shredded
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 2 Parmesan Cheese Rinds
  • 1-2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Recipe Steps

In a large pot, add olive oil, leeks, shallot, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Sauté until the shallot and leeks are soft.  Then, add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add the wine, chicken broth, beans, rosemary, thyme, and Parmesan cheese rinds (the secret ingredient in all my soups).  Be careful with the rosemary.  If you add too much it will overpower the soup.   Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Continue to simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the stove.  Take out the Parmesan rinds, rosemary and thyme sprigs and throw them away. Working in batches puree in your food processor.  If you like your soup chunkier only process half the soup in the food processor.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I garnish my soup with shavings of Parmesan cheese.  Feel free to use some crusty bread to dunk in your soup!  Enjoy!

**Note:  If you would like a thicker/heartier soup, do the following…Peel 3-4 potatoes and dice them.  Add the diced potatoes at the same time you add the chicken broth.  Simmer until the potatoes are soft.  Then, puree batches of the soup in your food processor.

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Healthy Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

The cold weather is hear, and that means soup season is here!!  I have spent quite a bit of time lately making large batches of different soups for our freezer, and this Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup is one of them.  As you can see I’ve been making a few batches of it to freeze in my plastic freezer Ball jars!

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Plus, look at what I found at the grocery store this year!

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Precut butternut squash for only $1.99 a package!!!  Wooohooo!  Last year I cut my middle finger right down to the bone while peeling a butternut squash (yes I was totally mature when showing people my finger Winking smile), and I was quite worried about peeling one again this year.  Now I don’t have toSmile.  If you don’t have access to precut squash, then I do have a tip for you.  My friend Christy, who is a total genius, taught me how to make peeling squash easier!  All you do is cut the top off of your butternut squash and throw that baby in the microwave.  Then, microwave it for a few minutes until the squash becomes a bit easier to work with…i.e. peel.  Pretty neat huh!  Thank you Christy!!

This hearty soup is a huge favorite in our house and will warm you up on those cold winter days!


Roasted Butternut Squash and carrot Soup 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced (I use honey crisp when available)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cut squash and carrots on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (this will make your clean up easier, trust me). Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I then use my hands to make sure all the veggies are coated with the oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, or until soft. While the carrots and squash are in the oven. Heat a large pot over medium low heat add olive oil. Then, add the sliced apple and onion. Cook the onions until caramelized. Then add minced garlic, stir, and cook for about a minute.  Once caramelized, add the quart of chicken broth, sprigs of thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.  When the squash and carrots are finished, remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  In batches, puree the roasted veggies and apple-stock in a food processor.  Serve and Enjoy!!!

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the cut squash and carrots on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (this will make your clean up easier, trust me).  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  I then use my hands to make sure all the veggies are coated with the oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, or until soft.

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While the carrots and squash are in the oven.  Heat a large pot over medium low heat add olive oil.  Add the sliced apple and onion.  Cook the onions until caramelized.  Then add minced garlic, stir, and cook for about a minute.

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Once caramelized, add the quart of chicken broth, sprigs of thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Then, reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

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When the squash and carrots are finished, remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

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In batches, puree the roasted veggies and apple-stock in a food processor.


Roasted Butternut Squash and carrot Soup 2

This soup is perfect for freezing or serving up the same day!!  Enjoy!!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

This is my favorite soup of all time, always has been and always will be.  There is nothing like having a big bowl of this anytime of year.  However, after living in the coldest place on earth, I have an all new love for any heartwarming foods…especially this soup.

I make a ton of this soup every year and freeze it, and it freezes perfectly!  This way I can pull it out anytime and have a wonderfully warm meal ready in no time!  Sometimes I add shredded chicken breasts to my soup to add an extra healthy protein.

Usually I use the fresh roma tomatoes from our garden, but this year nothing grew right (except for our apple trees) due to our wonderful drought.  We had a sunny and hot summer up here, and I loved it.  While the locals swore about the heat, I was outside living it up like the Floridian that I am!  Anyway, I digress…In this recipe I use canned San Marzano tomatoes.  Please feel free to use fresh tomatoes if you like.  If you do, you may want to run everything through a food mill instead of a food processor or immersion blender.  This will keep the tomato seeds and skin from getting into the end product.


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Ingredients

  • 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Carrots diced/chopped
  • 1 Large Red onion diced (or 2 small onions)
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced or shredded
  • 1 T Tomato paste
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 1/2 c Chopped Basil
  • 3 28 oz. cans of San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 quart of Chicken Broth
  • 1-2 Rinds of Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • 1 c Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, add the diced onion and carrots. Sautee until soft…about 10 minutes.  Once the veggies have softened, add the garlic cloves. Sautee the garlic for a few minutes. I use a shredder (just like Rachel Ray) to mince my garlic. It is so much easier.  Then, stir in the tomato paste.  Once the tomato paste is sticking to all the veggies, add the cans of tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Next, add the chicken broth and stir to combine all the ingredients.  Now for the secret ingredient….Parmesan Cheese rinds. I always save the rinds from my parmesan cheese in a bag in the freezer for soups and stews. They “make” the soup. This is a little trick I learned while in Italy one time. If you don’t have any don’t worry, but if you do…add two of these little guys to the pot of soup. After you add the rinds, bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.  Either use a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill to puree the soup to the consistency you like. Don’t forget to remove and throw away the Parmesan cheese rinds first!!!!  Place the soup back in the large pot and add the heavy whipping cream. Add any extra salt and pepper to taste at this point.  Serve in large bowls (trust me you will want a lot of this) and garnish with basil and shredded Parmesan cheese. Make sure you have some crusty bread for dipping too!!

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In a large pot over medium heat, add the diced onion and carrots.  Sautee until soft…about 10 minutes.

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Once the veggies have softened, add the garlic cloves.  Sautee the garlic for a few minutes.  I use a shredder (just like Rachel Ray) to mince my garlic.  It is so much easier.

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Then, stir in the tomato paste.

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Once the tomato paste is sticking to all the veggies, add the cans of tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.

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Next, add the chicken broth and stir to combine all the ingredients.

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Now for the secret ingredient….Parmesan Cheese rinds.  I always save the rinds from my parmesan cheese in a bag in the freezer for soups and stews.  They “make” the soup.  This is a little trick I learned while in Italy one time.  If you don’t have any don’t worry, but if you do…add two of these little guys to the pot of soup.  After you add the rinds, bring the soup to a boil.  Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

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Either use a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill to puree the soup to the consistency you like.  Don’t forget to remove and throw away the Parmesan cheese rinds!!!!

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Place the soup back in the large pot and add the heavy whipping cream.  Add any extra salt and pepper to taste at this point.


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Serve in large bowls (trust me you will want a lot of this) and garnish with basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Make sure you have some crusty bread for dipping too!!