Soup for the Soul

Turkey Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup

This weekend, I was feeling a little under the weather.  I caught a slight cold and have not been feeling myself.  I decided to make a healthful pot of soup.  I started the soup by sautéing italian turkey sausage with the casings removed.  Then after the sausage was browned, I added fennel, carrots, and onion, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.  Once the vegetables were soft, I added a cup of champagne (it was already open in the fridge; you can also use white wine) and about two quarts of chicken broth.  Then I added a tablespoon of fresh grated nutmeg, a palmful of cumin, and an entire butternut squash that I peeled and diced.  I let this simmer for about 20 minutes or so until the squash was softened.  I added kale that I trimmed and cut into small pieces.  I let the soup simmer for another 20 minutes.  As the final step, I added a can of small white beans and warmed them through for another five minutes.  The final product was delicious and warmed my entire body through.  It is a great dish for a cold, snowy day.  Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed! Image

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Easy Vegetarian Soup

A few years ago, the concept of cooking a soup at home intimidated me.  Soup recipes seemed to have so many ingredients and be such a long process.  I actually used to not be a big soup fan in general.  Then I slowly started to come around to soup and I developed a few favorites.  I love a good minestrone (Whole Foods makes a great one), a great french onion, or chicken tortilla (Panera has a good one).

Eventually, I decided that I would tackle soup for the first time.  I found a great recipe for an easier version of a chicken tortilla soup from Martha Stewart.  Easier meaning that it’s minus the chicken, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the meat component (I don’t eat much meat in general).   It has easy to find, easy to prep ingredients, and it’s a quick process.

Recently, one of my friends had minor surgery so I thought it would be a nice gesture to bring them some soup.  They are a vegetarian so I made this soup and made sure to use vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian friendly.  He said he loved it!

Vegetarian Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Yields 6-8 servings, Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2  cans diced tomatoes (14 oz., I use no salt added)
  • 2 cans black beans (15 oz, again, low sodium)
  • 1 can vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you want)
  • 10 oz package of corn kernels
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tortilla chips to garnish
  • lime to garnish

Method

  1. Warm up the oil in a soup pot on the stove on medium heat.  Add in diced onions and cooks about 5 minutes until translucent.  Reduce the heat slightly and add garlic and chili powder.  Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.  Cook until fragrant.onions and garlic
  2. Add tomatoes with juice.  Add drained black beans, broth, and 1 cup of water.  Finally add corn.  Cook on medium heat to bring it up to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and add lime and tortilla chips as desired for garish or wait until you plate the soup.all done

    Packing it up to bring to my friend
    Packing it up to bring to my friend

Manhattan Clam “Chowda”

This weekend, I really felt the chill in the air. It called for a bowl of clam “chowda” to warm the soul. It’s easy and it satisfies any need for comfort.

Ingredients
4 – 6 oz cans minced clams
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/3 c finely chopped leek or 4 green onions
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
3 c. V8 juice
2 med. potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 – 11 oz can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Directions
Roughly chop clams, reserving juice in a separate bowl. In a dutch oven, cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove bacon reserving drippings. Add leek, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add V8, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. except for bacon and clams. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 45-50 minutes. Stir in clams and clam juice at the end. Do not boil the clams because they will become tough and rubbery. Enjoy with a fresh loaf of bread!