Category Archives: Soups

Super-Easy Alphabet Soup

Seriously easy to make, seriously delicious to eat!

This week’s recipe is Super-Easy Alphabet Soup! I made a batch a few days before I went into labour, so you know it had to be easy to make as I was all out of energy at that point. It was so super easy, and also super delicious! Even the DH, who is somewhat souped-out at this point, really enjoyed it. And did I mention that it’s super nutritious too? Basically, it’s all the things. The easiness of making it totally belies how tasty it is. So you totally should make it!

I came up with it after looking at other alphabet soups, and just from knowing how to make a soup. For most soups, you want to make a nice base of sautéed garlic and onion, and then you add in your other items. So, that’s what I did! It’s fun to experiment in the kitchen!

I put in more alphabet pasta than most alphabet soups call for, but then I like my letters in pasta form. You can put in less, or the same amount. Make it your own! You can also toss leftover veggies in here too; it’s a very forgiving soup. But if you want to make it exactly as I did, here’s the recipe!

 

Super-Easy Alphabet Soup

This super-easy soup is also super-tasty! You can amp up the veg factor by tossing in leftover veggies, or just make as is. Also freezes well! 

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 c. white beans soaked overnight, and rinsed
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon
  • 28 oz canned tomatoes
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 c. alphabet pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. oil

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the carrots into coins. Chop the onion, and mince the garlic. 

  2. Saute the carrots, onion, and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent and golden.

  3. Add the water, bouillon cube, and (rinsed) soaked beans. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. 

  4. Add in canned tomatoes (roughly chopped), peas, and corn. 

  5. Cook on medium heat until beans are done. When beans are almost soft, add in pasta and cook until beans are totally done, and pasta is soft. 

I have to say, I made the recipe a teensy tiny bit differently — I cooked the whole soup, but left out the pasta. Then, I turned off the heat, added the pasta, and left to run errands for a few hours. When I came home, soup was done! In other words, it really is a forgiving soup. It’s sort of like a minestrone, but with alphabet pasta. And that’s just plain fun, yes?

The soup stays well, and leftovers the next day are yummy. The pasta was fine and didn’t dissolve or over-absorb liquid. It really was an easy and delish soup to make. Highly recommend!

Next Post: I’m thinking Apple Pie with Shortbread Crumble. Sounds yum, yes?

5-Minute Easy Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potato Soup and a New-Found Love of Frozen Peas. Plus a Special Announcement!

Basically a cheese sauce and broccoli topped baked potato, but in soup form. Yum!

I’m sure that you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted a new recipe in a few weeks, right? Well, that’s because I…gave birth! To the most perfect little girl the DH and I could ever have imagined! At 7 lbs and 4 oz (ish. I’m too tired to properly calculate the conversion from kg to lbs), with a head full of hair and (so far) blue eyes, she’s keeping us on our toes! But, we still need to eat. So, I pulled out some of the Easy Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potato Soup that I made during the last week of pregnancy. So easy. So cheesy. Basically a broccoli and cheese topped baked potato, but in soup form. And ready in 5 minutes. Are you hungry yet?

You use baked potatoes in this recipe (which I nuked in the microwave because I don’t have time to wait for them to cook in the oven. My beloved newborn is a time suck!)  as well as cheese sauce and cooked broccoli (I defrosted from frozen) and toss it together with a couple of other items, then blend it all, and voila, dinner (or lunch!) is served! Easy, yes?

The reason that I say it only takes 5 minutes to make, if that I assume you have a batch of leftover homemade cheese sauce lying around your kitchen. If not, just whip up one from my recipe here (or dump in cheez whiz or something. Sometimes eating something not super-healthy is better than eating nothing. Like when you have a newborn). Homemade cheese sauce is really easy to make though. It’s basically a roux with cheese and extra milk. Like I said, check out my recipe here.

Now, let’s get this soup train on the road!

 

5 from 1 vote
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5-Minute Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potato Soup

Leftovers transform into a hearty soup with this dish, perfect for lunch, dinner, or freezer!

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 potatoes, large
  • 2 c. cheese sauce (homemade is best)
  • 1 1/4 c. broccoli, cooked
  • 2 c. chicken boullion (vegetarian)
  • pepper, to taste
  • cheddar cheese, grated optional, as topping

Instructions

  1. Bake (washed) potatoes in microwave.

  2. While potatoes are baking, place all remaining ingredients in a large soup pot and simmer.

  3. Once potatoes are baked, add to soup pot, skins and all.

  4. Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency.

  5. Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese on top!

Like lots of potato-based soups, this soup tends to thicken up when cooled down and left for a day. So feel free to add a bit more milk or water or broth to thin it out. I like it thick and hearty, but to each his own!

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you about my newfound love of frozen peas! Well, I’m sure any new mom would be happy to tell you how useful they are. For sitting on. Just keeping it real, folks! (Seriously though? LOVING the frozen peas! Not too tmi, I hope?)

And on that note, I’m off to check on my daughter (eeeek! I have a daughter!) and hopefully grab a nap. Laters, all!

Next Post: I have a recipe for Alphabet Soup that can be tossed together easily, is hearty, and even got the nod of approval from the soup-tired DH! When will I post it? Well, take that up with Little Miss Poopy-pants. She now runs the roost around here. 🙂

Broccoli Cheddar Soup and How to Live Forever

Soup-a-licious!

I love cooking, partially for the creative aspect of it, and partially because it’s delicious (actually, that IS most of the reason!), but also because I can control the nutritional profile.  I try to avoid preservatives, so I’m big on homemade food, and often, homemade food is more nutritious than any bought in a super-market or a restaurant. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I took a restaurant favourite, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and found a way to amp up the nutrition, without losing any of the flavour. This hearty soup is great to serve on a cold evening, with some homemade bread, or to pack for lunch with a crunchy apple. Yummy AND healthy? Bring it on!

Oh, and the title? About how to live forever? Totes click bait. But kind of also true, because broccoli is suuuuuuuper-high in antioxidants, and anti-oxidants fight the free radicals that cause aging damage. Wait, is this a beauty blog? No. So enough with the anti-aging (although up with the healthy!) and let’s get on with the cooking!

This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is low fat, as we use milk instead of the usual cream. But, it’s still thick and creamy! How? The secret ingredient is dehydrated broccoli, which we use in addition to the usual fresh (or frozen) broccoli; that’s how we double the nutrition and increase the flavour, without losing any taste. I used my own dehydrated broccoli, but you could probably just replace it with greens powder if you aren’t able to find or make any; nobody will know, and you’ll all be healthier for it!

So, shall we get soup-ifying?

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

(adapted from the Food Network’s recipe for similar soup)

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 3 c. vegetable bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. broccoli
  • 3/4 c. dehydrated broccoli (or greens powder)
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

First, we make the roux: melt the butter in a soup pot, and stir in the flour. Cook for two minutes. Whisk in milk. Fair warning, it will get lumpy, but just keep whisking and it will smooth out. Then stir in bouillon. Add bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper (I leave out the salt, personally, but I prefer lower salt soups). Then add in broccoli, carrot, and dehydrated broccoli. Let it cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli can be easily pierced with a fork. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until it is the desired thickness that you like. Take soup off the burner and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then stir in cheddar cheese. (Letting the soup cool a bit before stirring in the cheese means the cheese won’t get all lumpy. Win!)

So. Cheese? In broccoli soup form? Yas! In other words, make this soup, and let me know what you think!

Next Post: Hmm. Good question. I’ve been craving carbs lately, so maybe something baked and carbalicious. Mmm…baked goods. So yum!

Hearty Pea Soup with Ham & Why My Shoes are Squelching

Way more delicious than the colour suggests!

Technically it’s spring, but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. I went to work on Friday with a spring jacket on, and leather loafers on my feet; I walked home in a snow storm, shoes squelching soggily all the way. Luckily, I had some delicious pea soup in the fridge that I had made a few days ago, and that warmed me right up!

Pea soup is one of the few foods that actually gets better with age. There’s an old children’s song that goes “bean porridge hot, bean porridge cold, bean porridge in the pot, nine days old! I like it hot, I like it cold, I like it in the pot, nine days old!” This soup will likely not last for nine days in your fridge, but if it did, it would probably taste even better than the day you made it!

Why does it taste better the next day? I think it gives the peas have a chance to absorb more flavours and liquid, and the flavours themselves have a chance to spread and meld better. The soup definitely thickens up a bit after day one. In fact, I recommend making it the day before you want to eat it. It really is better the next day!

This soup is perfect to make and keep in the freezer for days when all you want is a steaming bowl of soup to warm you up. Plus, it’s super-nutritious and high in protein. And did I mention that it’s super-easy to make? The hardest part is stirring the soup, no joke.

I got this recipe from my mom, and adapted to what I had in the house.  Now, let’s make some soup!

Hearty Pea Soup with Ham

  • 1 3/4 c. dried peas (I used green peas, but my mom recommends a mixture of green, yellow, & orange)
  • 1/2  c. chopped celery (I didn’t have any fresh celery, so I used some dehydrated celery that I had in my pantry)
  • 1/2 c. carrots, sliced (I didn’t have those, so…I left them out. But I recommend adding them!)
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley (fresh is best, but you could probably get away with dried)
  • 1 potato, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c. leftover ham, bacon, or sausage, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste

Boil 8 cups of water in a large soup pot. Add all ingredients except for meat. Simmer on low heat for about 3 hours, stirring regularly. Be sure to stir regularly, as the soup thickens quickly and will burn easily. So stir, baby, stir! Once soup is done, stir in meat, and add pepper to taste.  

Bean porridge hot, bean porridge cold!

I left the ham out of my portion of the soup, being a vegetarian and all, but from my meat-eating days, I remember how deliciously flavoured the soup became once some ham was added.  If you have some sausage lying around, you could add that in too. In other words, feel free to substitute!

My  mom recommends ‘rookworst’, which is a type of smoked sausage, but when I made the soup this time, I added in some bacon I had picked up from a local butcher. This made the DH (a confirmed meat-a-tarian) very happy! Ah, the things I do for love!

If you make this soup, let me know in the comments what type of meat you used (or if you even used meat). Let’s inspire each other!

Next Post: Easter approaches, and I’ve been craving some hot cross buns. So maybe those! Or maybe a recipe for homemade healthy meal replacement bars. Any preferences?

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and Happiness is Homemade!

Waste Not, Want Not: Hearty Meat & Potato Soup

Slurp it on up!

Slurp it on up!

Usually enriching refers to adding butter (often to a sauce or a stew) but I prefer to add nutrients. I also dislike waste. So whenever I have leftover veggie scraps, I pop them into a container in the freezer. And if I’m steaming or boiling veggies, I save the nutrient-rich water by pouring it over the frozen veggie scraps, and then popping the container back in the freezer. Once the container is full, I toss it in with a leeeetle bit of water, and boil the heck out of it. Then I get rid of the veggie solids, and use the remaining super-enriched-with-nutrients broth as the starting point for a soup or stew.

And that’s how we get to today’s recipe, Hearty Meat and Potato Soup! It’s like eating a meat-and-two-veg plate, but in soup form. Think BBQ’d hamburger with a side of potatoes and green beans. With a saucy sort of gravy. And then inject it with nutrients and call it a soup. Want some?

Hearty Meat and Potato Soup

  • 6 cups super-nutrient-dense homemade veggie stock
  • 2 hamburgers (I used the gardein veggie burgers), cut into eighths
  • a handful of frozen green beans
  • 10 baby potatoes, halved
  • handful of noodles
  • 1/4 c. tomato sauce
  • 1/4 of a single veggie bouillon cube

Dump it in a pot. Boil it up, until the potatoes are cooked through, and the noodles are soft. That’s it! Serve and enjoy the raves about the flavour!

Honestly, this is a super-tasty soup. I made it tonight, as I’m prepping meals for the week ahead, but wish it was time for dinner. I usually eat Greek yoghurt for supper (I have IBS issues and Greek Yoghurt for dinner works for me), but I’m looking forward to eating this tomorrow night instead! I think the reason the soup tastes so good is due in great part to the type of hamburger I used — the gardein beefless burger seems to have a whiff of smokey flavour, and that really makes the dish.

Like tree rings, only for dinner.

Like tree rings, only for dinner.

And the veggie stock I talked about? This is the base for my Kitchen Sink Soup. Which is basically, dump all frozen leftover veggies and veggie water in a pot, add in whatever leftovers are in the fridge, some noodles and rice and beans or what have you, and serve it up with some fresh bread and butter. Easy, economical, and healthy. Also, it’s never the same soup twice, which I love and the DH hates. But ha!ha! I cook, so I decide. Mwahaha! She who holds the ladle rules the world.

Next Post: More jelly, less waste! And wine. Always with the wine.