Tag Archives: soup

Magnificent Minestrone

30 Jan

IMG_3989Jim and I met many years ago when I had just graduated from nursing school and he was a fourth year resident.  When we both started getting paychecks and had a few extra dollars, we used to go to Lelli’s Restaurant in downtown Detroit for special occasions.  Their minestrone soup was the best we’d ever had….chunky and creamy and so delicious! (The picture above was taken day 2 and when it was cold, so it looks more like a stew.  It tastes so much better than this picture looks.  Photography is still not my forte!)

When my sister-in-law made minestrone soup for a family occasion, it was equally delicious, so of course I asked for the recipe. Would you believe that the recipe was for the famous “Lelli’s Minestrone Soup”?  Thank you universe!

I’ve made this soup a number of times now and it has become a much loved regular in our home, (meaning at least 2 bowls each, and for my husband, maybe three……and that’s just the first night). It’s great because the needed ingredients are staples. I usually always have carrots, celery, onions, potatoes and crushed canned tomatoes and beans.  So no extra shopping necessary!

I’ve made some changes….the original recipe calls for 4 tablespoons butter…I use just one teaspoon of olive oil and to be honest, you could get away with using none at all.  The original recipe calls for chicken broth, so I subbed in the Better Than Bouillon brand no chicken broth base.  This is my favorite brand of broth.  It comes in vegetable and mushroom flavors also. The original recipe also called for parmesan cheese and skim milk.  I’ve completed eliminated the milk, as the soup gets creamy with the blending of the beans, potatoes and broth.  Instead of the dairy parmesan, I’ve sprinkled the top of my serving with Go Veggie dairy free parmesan. Leave it out and let people add it if they wish.

I’ve made this recipe with different amounts of carrots, celery, and potatoes as well as varying amounts and types of herbs.  I think the combination I put together last night was the best so far!

Minestrone Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup broth

3/4 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

3 carrots, chopped

3 medium yukon potatoes, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil

4 cups No Chicken bouillon

1 14 ounce can cannelini beans, with juice

1 14 ounce garbanzo beans, with juice

3/4-1 bag fresh baby spinach, chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme

1 teaspoon basil (can use fresh, to taste)

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

1/3-1/2 cup small whole wheat macaroni-elbow, etc.

Saute onions, carrots, potatoes and celery in broth and oil until softened.  Add tomatoes, rest of broth, beans, herbs and spinach.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1-1/2 hours.  Blend some of the soup into creaminess using an immersion  blender.  Alternatively, take out 1/2 of the mixture and blend in a standing blender and return to the pot.  Add pasta and bring back to a boil and simmer until pasta is tender.  Flavors continue to improve as they meld together.

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Yummy Oil Free Gazpacho

4 Sep

IMG_1694

It’s the season for tomatoes galore and so I wanted to make something featuring this fine fruit.  I decided on gazpacho since I haven’t made it in years.   As I perused my cookbooks and the web for ideas, it was hard to find a recipe without oil.  I did finally find one in My Beef With Meat.  (I love this cookbook, by the way!)I made just a few modifications to suit my taste.

Ingredients:

6 medium, very ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in chunks

2 celery stalks chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 onion, chopped

3  garlic cloves, pressed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 slices sourdough bread, crust removed, cut in cubes

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

6 shakes tabasco sauce (optional)

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped (to add to puree)

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (to add to puree)

1/4 cucumber, chopped (to add to puree)

Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Place the tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, balsamic and red wine vinegars,  worcestershire sauce, sugar, tabasco (if want a little kick in your soup!) in a food processor or a high-speed  blender and puree until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the puree into a large non-metallic container and add the chopped tomatoes, cucumber and pepper and mix by hand.  Chill and serve with chopped parsley as garnish.

Red Curry Soup with Rice and Purple Kale

3 Oct

It’s Vegan MoFo day 2 and I was in the mood for soup.  I knew I had kale and sweet potatoes and I knew I had made a soup recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen blog (which I absolutely adore and highly recommend!) several times before using these ingredients that I had loved.  So, I went through my awesome giant binder of recipe winners.  That is recipes I’ve made before that are husband approved.  Well, to be honest, if he loved the recipe and I did not it got tossed.  So, it has to pass the test of delighting both of our taste buds.  This one was a true winner!

Red Curry Soup with Rice and Purple Kale

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, diced medium

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3/4 cups basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed

6 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons of red curry paste (start with one and taste)

1 bunch of purple kale (or any kale really), thick stems removed and cut into bite size pieces

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 can lite coconut milk

1 tablespoon agave syrup

Juice of one lime

Method:

Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium heat.  Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes or so, until translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and saute a minute more.

Add rice, vegetable broth and salt, cover pot and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, lower heat to simmer.  Mix in curry paste to taste.  Add kale and sweet potatoes.  Cover pot and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

Add coconut milk, agave and lime.  Taste for salt and flavor.  Add more curry paste if you like.

Remove from heat and serve immediately or let sit for 10-15 minutes to give the flavors time to blend.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

15 Nov

This soup is delicious!  I had a couple of small bowls and my husband ate the rest of the pot in one night!  Do you think he liked it?

I had also made a big beautiful salad.  It was a perfect light meal. I love cooking food for my husband!  He is so appreciative and complimentary and gets such pleasure in eating the delicious vegan food I make. I’m thinking of making this again for a first course for Thanksgiving.  It has the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.  I think even the younger kids will like it! Here’s the recipe from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.  I only made a few changes.  I used half of the amount of Earth Balance and two cans of pumpkin from Trader Joe’s. Deelish!