It’s Fall and we all know what that means SOUPS!!! Now you have to be careful because it is easy to think you are doing your body good when you have soup but not all soups are created equal! Be sure to stay away from heavy creams but don’t let that scare you away from a recipe. I like to experiment and try different liquids to replace the cream without missing out on great creamy flavor. For example, almond milk and soy milk are just a few of my fave substitutes. What I like to do is to search the web for recipes and then use them as a base and make them my own….little fact about me…each time a make a soup it is always a little different…my girls say make it like last time and I say (especially as my brain is on the more seasoned side) “I cannot remember exactly what I did but that is the fun of it”!!! Cooking is all about having fun and experimenting. It took me awhile to get to a place where I was comfortable not measuring and throwing caution to the wind with my seasonings and now I am like “Why the hell did it take me so long?!” As Julia Child said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.“
Classic Vegetable Soup
Basic base for a vegetable soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
- 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots (about 5)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped celery (about 3)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth* or vegetable broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch thick diced potatoes (from about 3 medium)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped frozen or fresh green beans
- 1 1/4 cups frozen or fresh corn
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
I omit potatoes altogether or I add sweet potato. I also omit the corn (even though it is my fave..due to the starch/carbs. And then I raid the fridge and add whatever other veggies I have on hand…spinach, zucchini, squash, etc! The seasoning changes depending on my mood but my go to are fresh thyme sprigs, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes (for a little kick!) and if I am in the mood for some protein I add rotisserie chicken or fresh crabmeat..If I use crabmeat you can’t forget old bay seasoning!!
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute 4 minutes then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
- Add in broth tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste*.
- Bring to a boil, then add green beans.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost fully tender, about 20 – 30 minutes.
- Add corn and peas and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve warm.
Cream of Tomato Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth* (or vegetable broth if vegan/vegetarian)
- 2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk*
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep stock pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and carrots and saute for 8-10 minutes, until tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well.
- Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
- Either using a blender (in batches), food processor, or an immersion blender, blend until pureed.
- Return to the pot, if applicable, and then add the almond milk and stir to combine.
- Season to taste with any additional salt and/or pepper.