Soup

Sweet Pea Mint Soup

Summer is almost over! It already is starting to feel like Fall! Before fall comes around, I wanted to share this recipe for pea soup. It is so lovely and refreshing with fresh mint and can be served both hot and cold. Personally, I prefer this as an appetizer or side dish along with some veggies, salad, or something a bit more hearty. Peas are high in nutrients and antioxidants and contain more protein than most other veggies because they are not technically a veggie, they’re a legume. Frozen peas are just as good, but if you are concerned about plastic waste, summer is a good time to find fresh sweet peas at local farmers markets.

This recipe is so simple, you could even make it tonight!

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You will need:

  • 1 bag frozen peas ( or 2 cups fresh peas
  • 1 can vegetable broth or 1 bullion cube
  • 1 small onion, chopped or half a medium-sized onion
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • Optional garnish: Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt

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To Prepare:

  1. In a pot, heat a few tbsps of olive oil.
  2. Add in the chopped onion and allow to saute until translucent.
  3. Add in the peas. If using frozen, defrost the peas first, and salt to taste.
  4. Then add 1 can of broth and 1 can of water, or water and a bullion cube.
  5. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and add in a handful of mint.
  7. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup. Check for consistency, adding water or salt if needed.
  8. Serve either hot or chilled with a dollop of yogurt of choice and a few more sprigs of mint for garnish.

Enjoy!

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Pinto Bean Poblano Soup

During the week I look for meals that are quick, easy and fit the healthy category too! This pinto bean  poblano soup has always been a hit. It really takes very little effort and time and just a few simple ingredients. SO  good. I picked up a few poblano peppers from the farmers market  and had a can of pinto beans on hand, so I decided to blend them together in a nice, hearty soup. I topped it with some avocado pieces and baked crispy tortilla strips that I just sprayed with olive oil and popped into the oven until crisp. I made enough for leftovers, but my sister ate them all! I guess I’m just going to have to make it again! Here’s the recipe.

Note: Poblano peppers are on the mild side but depending on the pepper may be slightly spicy. If you’d like less heat, remove the veins and seeds, if you’d like more, add a jalapeno or some chili flakes. 

You will Need

  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 small poblano peppers or 2 medium sized ones
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • optional can of vegetable broth

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Directions:

  1. Roast  the poblano peppers in a 450° oven until they blister. Turn over once one side blackens a little bit and allow the other side to broil.
  2. Remove from the oven, and place poblano peppers in a bowl, covered with a lid to steam them.
  3. Remove the skins and seeds and chop.
  4. In a pot, heat some oil
  5. Add chopped garlic and onion and saute until transluscent
  6. Add 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and saute some more
  7. Add the poblano peppers, and pinto beans and salt liberally
  8. Add an optional can of vegetable broth or some water and allow this to simmer on medium for about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and blend
  10. Garnish with some tortilla strips, avocado, chives, cilantro, greek yogurt or whatever you would like!  My garnish was some pea shoots, avocado and home-made tortilla strips.
  11. Serve!

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Servings: 3-4

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Soup (Vegan)

It is officially winter! So cold outside! Nothing feels more satisfying in this weather than something warm and filling and hearty. This recipe hits the spot! I roasted up some sweet red bell peppers with some garlic  and onion and blended it together with cashews. It is sweet, garlicky, rich from the cashews, and still very healthy! It’s everything you want on a cold winter’s day. I served this with some multigrain toast drizzled with olive oil. Yum!  You can roast the veggies in advance, and then preparing the soup should take you only about 10-15 minutes. I can’t wait for you to try it!

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Spiced Creamy Tomato Coconut Soup with Homemade Croutons (Vegan + GF)

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I was on vacation with my family in Florida and we went to this restaurant that had many vegan and vegetarian options. One of the dishes I loved was this 5 spice tomato coconut soup. It was creamy, it was delicious, and just lightly spiced. I decided to make my own take on this using only fresh vine-ripened tomato, coconut milk, carrots, onion and celery. It did not miss the mark. the soup was scrumptious and I will definitely be making it again!

Health Stuff

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects our bodies from harmful free-radicals. It is also a great source of biotin, which helps grow healthy skin and hair, in addition to a list of other vitamins  and nutrients. Coconut milk is a rich creamy liquid made from the meat of mature coconuts, which makes it a great vegan alternative to cream for thickening soups. It is also rich in Vitamins C E and B to help boost immunity. Though high in fat, they do not contain any trans fatty acids that clog arteries.

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You will need:

  • 6 vine ripened tomatoes, or any ripe tomato of your choice
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 Spices: Cumin powder, turmeric, peppercorns, nutmeg, red chili powder (or red chili flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk

To  Prepare:

  1. The first step in the preparation is to blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for just 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then immediately submerge them in a bath of ice cold water. This will help to peel all of the skins off.DSC_0394
  2. Next, in a pot, heat a few tsps of oil (I used olive oil and a dash of coconut oil)
  3. Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add a bay leaf,  1 tsp of cumin powder, a half a tsp of turmeric, 3-5 whole peppercorns and a dash of nutmeg, and chili powder to taste. Grate in about 1/2 tsp of ginger and stir.
  5. Add Tomatoes and mix well
  6. Allow the tomatoes to reduce a bit before adding salt and water
  7. Simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes
  8. Turn off flame, remove bay leaf and  add cold water and a half a can of coconut milk
  9. Blend the mixture in a blender, or use immersion blender.
  10. If the soup is too thin, return it to the flame and simmer.
  11. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg as needed.
  12. Garnish with toasted coconut, pumpkin seeds and croutons.

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To Make the Croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Cut 5 slices of a bread of your choice into cubes. (I used whole grain)
  3. Drizzle a heathy amount of olive oil
  4. Season well with italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  5. Mix together and lay flat on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven from 10-15 minutes until it is crunchy

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Servings: 4 bowls of soup

Chilled Gazpacho

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The weather lately has been so unpredictable lately! A few days ago it was 90 degrees, and then yesterday it went down to 50! Well now that Memorial Day is coming up looks like the weather is just going to get hotter and hotter.

Gazpacho was one of the first recipes I learned how to make when I first started cooking. It is so cooling and refreshing, and packed with veggies so it’s good for you! Here’s my recipe for a pretty simple Gazpacho soup.

You Will Need:

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2  medium-large vine-ripened tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 medium English cucumber, seeds removed and peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic (3 if you want it really sharp)
  • 2-3 slices of any kind of bread. I used multigrain.
  • 2.5- 3 cups of tomato juice or v-8
  • A splash of white vinegar
  • Olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
  • A blender ( I used  a Ninja)

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To Prepare:

  1. Chop up the veggies into large chunks
  2. Fill the blender half way with veggies and start pulsing 2-3 times.
  3. You might need to stir. Break in pieces of the bread.
  4. Add tomato juice and pulse until all the vegetables have been incorporated and are grainy, but not pureed.
  5. Season with vinegar,salt and pepper. Adjust as needed.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors set in.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil before serving and enjoy!

Tip: When pulsing, add the garlic and onions last so that they don’t overpower the dish. Different people have different preferences and add as much as you can handle. This also tastes great topped with avocado. But what doesn’t taste great with avocado!

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Moroccan Lentil Soup

I’m on a cooking at home roll! I’ve been trying really hard to make protein-rich lunches and dinner without spending money to go eat out. I love lentils, but I’m a bit tired of having it the same old way, so I decided to make Moroccan Lentil Soup. Spicy, tomato-ey, and  hearty. Moroccan lentil soup is full of flavor and really fills you up. For this dish I used two different types of lentils, red split lentils, or Masoor dal, and I also used brown lentils, which are more traditionally used in Middle Eastern recipes. Brown lentils hold their shape after being cooked, but if you’d like softer lentils, feel free to soak them. The recipe takes no more than 20 mins cooking time and maybe 10 minutes of prep. And it keeps incredibly well. I thoroughly enjoyed this as my next-day lunch :). Hope you enjoy!

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  • 1/4 cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 4 San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed
  • Parsley or cilantro to garnish
  • Optional: Cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a pot, heat a few tbsps of  olive oil and add onions, garlic, celery and carrots
  2. Let the vegetables saute until the carrots rae slightly softened and the onions are transcluscent
  3. Crush 4 tomatoes into the vegetable mixture
  4. Now add the spices, 1 tsp of cumin powder, a tablespoon of paprika (Some people don’t like the flavor of smoked paprika, so feel free to use regular paprika), Salt, pepper and optional pinchcayenne.
  5. Stir the mixture and let the spices toast, but not burn.
  6. Crush in 4 whole San Marzano tomatoes from the can. I  had some left over and I love the sweetness of these tomatoes, so this is what I prefer to use, but you are welcome to use fresh or canned tomatoes of your choice.
  7. Add lentils and 1 cup of vegetable broth.
  8. Add water to cover and reduce heat to medium
  9. Simmer on medium for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are softened
  10. Garnish with flat leaf parsely or cilantro and serve!

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Mexican Black Bean Soup

It was cold and gloomy outside and I was in the mood for something quick, healthy, but somewhat exciting.  This protein-packed black bean soup is creamy, hearty and slightly spicy.  I remember having this soup when we lived in Mexico, topped with white onion and crema. Since it is blended, it tastes really creamy and is pretty filling for lunch I topped it with  chopped white onions, greek yogurt, cilantro and a squirt of lime.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of black beans, thoroughly rinsed (You can definitely use cooked dry beans, it’s way healthier!)
  • Veg bullion cube or 2 cans vegetable broth
  • 1 small-medium sized onion, chopped (roughly is fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • oregano
  • cumin seeds
  • Half a jalapeño pepper
  • Toppings: Greek yogurt, chopped onion, cilantro, lime

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot. Add 1 tsp of cumin seeds.
  2. When cumin seeds start to sputter add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until transluscent
  3. Add half a jalapeño pepper, sliced and a pinch of dried oregano
  4. Add the beans to the pot, with 1 bullion cube and add water.
  5. Simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Keep adding water and stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from flame and blend. I blended using an immersion blender.
  7. Garnish and serve!

Serves: 2

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