Tag Archives: soup

5 for Friday: 5 More Soups

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It’s been a couple months, but I did try 5 more soups from The Soup Cleanse Cookbook. You can read about this cookbook here. It’s more about what you are putting into your body on a daily basis than any real type of crazy cleanse.

Here is what I learned and an account of what soups I’d make again (or not):

Recipes I’ve tried from each category:

  • Purees
    • Butternut Turmeric – This one called for roasting a whole butternut squash. To save time, I bought this big bag of frozen cubed butternut squash from Costco.
    • Turns out I didn’t quite need this much. 🙂  Just one package inside was enough:
    • This is nice warming soup to sip on a cold winter or early spring morning.
  • Beans & Lentils
    • Chickpea Stew Last post, when I didn’t remember the Lentil & Kale Stew, it was because I didn’t eat it yet! (I did this time around and it was good, though not great.) Instead, I had the Chickpea Stew Last time. I do remember that I didn’t like that we pureed some of the chickpeas and it gave it a gritty texture.
    • Here is a photo of the Lentil & Kale Stew, which could have been a bit more flavorful:
  • Sweeter Spoonfuls
    • Creamy Cocoa with Sweet Potatoes – Here is a recipe that illustrates how forgiving these recipes are. I had 4 recipes this week that called for either cubed butternut squash or sweet potato. When I was half-way through one of my soups, I realized I put in the wrong one! Oh well. So I don’t know what actually went into this one, I’m thinking butternut squash. But I loved it. This was always always a treat in the morning or after work. And the the black rice at the bottom was such a nice addition.
  • Stews
    • Winter Root Vegetable Stew – The author raves about this recipe and I have loved all the stews so far, but something about this one didn’t jive with me. It was a little… sweet? I could argue it was the sweet potato, because I really don’t like them very much because of their sweetness; but who knows if it was the butternut squash that went into this stew instead? The celeriac was much more difficult to find than I thought. I really thought I’ve bought this in the past without any trouble. It took me 4 tries and my final destination was Byerly’s.
    • BRIGHT SIDE – I didn’t use all of the collard greens that went into this dish. So instead, I used them as a bed in place of rice in this Saucy Moroccan Chicken dish. Greens FTW!
  • Restorative Broths
    • Pumpkin and Mushrooms with Star Anise Broth – If you remember, Centeno’s broths are not strained, so you get all of the nutritional goodness of the veggies used to simmer the broth. They also are filling and warming in the evening when you think you may need a snack. This soup recommended pumpkin, kabocha or butternut squash (probably because they are all hearty) and I believe this is the one (along with the Creamy Cocoa soup above) that I accidentally swapped the butternut and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes seemed to disintegrate a little bit… and while I absolutely love fresh mushrooms, they tended to get a rubbery texture on reheating. I found myself sipping this as a true broth and not chewing on or eating the vegetables.

All in all, some success… But I may hang my hat up on souping until the chill of the fall now that spring and summer is finally here!

Cheers~
Carrie

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Soup (Book) Week: Magic Soup

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Welcome back to Soup Week, where I review the 5 latest Soup Cookbooks I’ve read. Depending where you are, you may be still putting up with bitter cold… If things are looking up and getting warmer, chances are, it’s still a bit chilly, at least when the sun goes down. A nice bowl of soup is still a comforting way to get that chill out.

In case you missed it:

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Magic Soup
by Nicole Pisani & Kate Adams 
(cookbook) – worth a flip

Isn’t the cover of this book just beautiful?! I was drawn to it. I am not sure where I found it; but it was not at my local library. I had it in hand and was determined to find some new-to-me-recipes.

I love the introduction and learned many things in this book! Like did you know that the “first restaurants in Paris served restauratifs (restoratives), in other words, bone broths”?

The title of this book came from the name of a soup made in Mauritius that women traditionally eat after the birth of a child to help her with the nutrition she needs to heal her body and be strong. But we all know that soup can be magical in its own right, the way it warms us, makes us feel comforted, basically nurturing and healing us from the inside out.

However, there were very few recipes in this cookbook that I can realistically see myself attempting to make. 😦

There are a few reasons for this. One is that this book was ultimately written for Brits, even though this version is adapted for an American audience. I know that shouldn’t be an excuse because I’ve overcome all of the odd-to-me (Australian) measurements in the best cookbook you’ve never read, fairly easily. The measurements have been adapted in this book, but are sometimes just odd… like 1 lb, 2 oz of tomatoes or 2 tbsp of quinoa.

Some of the ingredients are confusing or strange, too. I thought maybe 1 tbsp of tomato puree might actually be tomato paste because a lot of recipes only called for that amount. But then I ran into a recipe with an odd 10.5 oz amount of this ingredient.

Maybe I’m not open-minded enough to try some of the unusual ingredients, or maybe I’m just too lazy to search for them. Maybe if there was something that was totally intriguing or if I’d could make a variation or swap, I’d give it a go; but that didn’t happen so much as I flipped though the book. I mostly admired the photos! Although Nicole and Kate say that many of these ingredients can be found at specialty markets and online now, if I read one odd-ball ingredient, I pretty much admired the photo and moved on. Though, now that I’m sitting at a computer I can look a few of these items up!

Just to name a few of the bizarre ingredients:

  • lovage leaves – I’m finding fennel leaves as substitute, but that’s not something I’d normally buy either
  • white miso paste
  • one green chile – this could mean anything!
  • black onion seeds
  • calçot onions
  • sumac
  • nettle tops
  • sundried tomato puree – they make this? or is this sundried tomato pesto?
  • Hojicha green tea
  • umeboshi plum
  • lily bulb flakes
  • samphire
  • asafetida (To be fair, this was listed as an optional ingredient, so it shouldn’t deter me from making the recipe. It was the mung beans that did.)
  • chicory heads
  • curry leaves – I thought curry wasn’t actually a spice, but a spice blend or dish?! I didn’t know these existed.
  • air-dried mountain ham – I’ll just go out back to my mountain and get this. (Joking, I am pretty sure I could have substituted prosciutto here.)
  • runner beans
  • umami paste

Most of the recipes call for hot stock. I’m not sure why the stock has to be hot before adding it to the other ingredients. It was never explained.

Recipes I do want to try from this cookbook, though, include:

  • Greens & Grains – I can see this one as being highly adaptable
  • Herb Soup – This is one of the few that looks so easy! Stock, rice, mixed herbs, soy sauce or lemon juice. Done. No wasted herbs ever again.
  • Magic Soup – I have to try this namesake of this book!
  • Garlic Soup – I tried one version of this {see above from 300 Sensation Soups!} and it was horrible. Here’s to giving it another shot!
  • Portuguese Chicken, Lemon & Mint – As far as herbs go, mint is not one I usually buy or grow. But I am intrigued here.

If you are really adventurous in the kitchen and want to amp up your soup game, this book might be for you! I’m sure that I’d go crazy over many of these soups if I’d had them in a restaurant or someone else had served them to me; but creating them with some of these unfamiliar and intimidating ingredients is what’s holding me back.

UPDATE: I did make a couple of soups from Magic Soup before I published this post!

Portuguese Chicken, Lemon & Mint Soup

This soup was so good and refreshing! I was just wanting some extra veg like carrots or celery. It’s quite low cal and the servings seem small until you start shoveling in that quinoa that falls to the bottom. 😉

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Greens & Grains Soup (no photo)

This soup didn’t come out at all like I had expected. By the time the farro was finished, there really wasn’t any broth left, making it not much of a soup. I did end up adding a little later, but still ate this “soup” with a fork! However, I still loved the extremely nutty flavor I got from the farro, tahini and almonds. I’ve never had anything like it! If I made this again this is what I would change:

  • I would add more hot broth and/or water after the farro is cooking to make it more of a soup.
  • Instead of topping the soup with kale or spinach, I would put the greens at the bottom of the bowl and top with soup so that the greens have time to wilt.
  • I’d add some any other leftover veg I had on hand, perhaps carrots, zucchini or bell peppers.

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I now have all the ingredients to make this soup’s namesake. I’ll report back as soon as I do so.

What new-to-you ingredients have you shied away from or are happy you tried?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

Soup!

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I’ve been a soup kick lately, if only because my husband is!

To be quite honest, I was just looking for a way to use up all my leftover ingredients from an Egg Roll Bowl recipe, I made out of the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook. I had a lot of bok choy and Napa cabbage to use! I found this Asian Chicken Soup recipe, but substituted my leftover pork from the Egg Roll Bowls. It was a winner in my book when it comes to using up leftover ingredients that I don’t want to waste!

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Asian Chicken Ground Pork Soup

And for the last of the cabbage I attempted to make this Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl.

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Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl

Okay, so that’s not a pretty picture. The egg didn’t come out soft-boiled like I’d expected; but I like hard-boiled eggs, so I didn’t mind! My chicken came out tough. But the broth was oh-so-flavorful!

Then more recently, after I broke one of my favorite beautiful bowls (WAH!) that you see in the photos above, I made this Swamp Soup.

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Swamp Soup

A more traditional Swamp Soup is made with andouille and collard greens; but Beth from Budget Bytes says she called it this because it just looks swampy with the spinach floating around in it. When Rob kept raving over this soup, it was a WIN for me. This means we’ve got a soup chock full of all the veggies we normally don’t get enough of and we can also control the sodium.

We used sharp cheddar instead of the Swiss and it was wonderful. This one is going into our recipe arsenal. I scaled the servings down to six instead of the suggested eight, but that may make too big of a bowl! I think I’d do the 8 servings next time and just freeze a bunch. It comes together really quickly, especially if you just chop all the veg the night before.

Since we’ve been making more soups lately, I liked Beth’s suggestion to freeze any leftover carrots or celery for future soups. I always end up with so many leftover carrots and celery stalks when I actually buy them for a specific dish. This sounds like such a simple and obvious solution; but to me, it’s genius.

Here are some other soups we are hoping to try in the coming weeks:

What is your favorite soup recipe? We’d love suggestions!

Cheers~
Carrie

My First Foodie Pen Pal!

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In August, I participated for the first time in the Foodie Pen Pals program!

And today is Reveal Day!

I’d been reading about Foodie Pen Pals on several other blogs I follow and after reading the requirements and learning how fun and easy it was to participate, I decided to give it a try. I mean, you know I love to try new things, right?

The best part for all of you reading out there:

You don’t need to have a blog to participate!

Here’s how it works:

1. You sign up by the 4th of the month for each month that you want to participate.

2. By the 5th, you’re assigned a Foodie Pen Pal for that month.

3. You communicate with your pen pal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship their package.

4. By the 15th of the month, you send $15 worth of food to your pen pal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.

5. You receive a package from another Foodie Pen Pal, who was assigned to you.

6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.

7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.

8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Pen Pal, of course! However, if your Pen Pal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}

My very first Foodie Pen Pal package came from Frieda at Purple Oven Mitt. We’ve corresponded and she is so sweet! I love her blog and her no-nonsense, healthy recipes, too.

August Foodie Pen Pal package from Frieda at Purple Oven Mitt

Now picture me opening this package and squealing with delight! Frieda wrote me a nice personal note on the enclosed card, too. So sweet!

Goodness Knows Very Cranberry Snack Squares are made with Cocoa Flavanols to “support circulation of nutrients”. What does this mean?

Here’s your explanation!

I love any excuse to have chocolate. And dark is my favorite! On a couple of occasions, I took these to work and had them either as breakfast or a snack with a cup of coffee. Mmm… {I adore dark chocolate with coffee!}

I love that it’s not just a bar, that they come in little squares. It makes me feel like I’m getting 4 little treats!

Next up…

Kettle Brand Almond Butter

I didn’t know that Kettle made almond butter! Isn’t that the company that makes Kettle Chips?

I’d never bought almond butter before… until a week prior to receiving this Foodie Pen Pals box! In fact, I only bought a one-serving pouch of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter as suggested on another blog so I could try out making her best Green Monster Smoothie. I fell in love with the smoothie, but during Weekend Pantry Challenge, I cut myself off because I was out of almond butter and insisted that I could only cook from the pantry that weekend! Sure, I could have substituted peanut butter, but why change up a good thing?!

After receiving the almond butter from Frieda, I’ve been able to satisfy this new addiction ever since!

In fact, I enjoyed one of these smoothies night-before-race-day and I’m attributing that to me shaving off about a minute and a half of my most recent 5k race! 😉 Tee hee. I have now dubbed this smoothie the Magic Smoothie.

Green Monster Magic Smoothie made with Kettle Almond Butter 

Canterbury Naturals Harvest Moon Vegetable Classic Artisan Soup Mix

I haven’t tried this item from my Foodie Pen Pals package yet. Why? Because there is a great recipe for Chicken Soup on the back. I am now hoarding it for that cold, rainy fall day when it will warm me up perfectly!

Chicken Soup Instructions

Thank you again, Freida!

If you’d like to see what I sent to my August Foodie Pen Pal, Noelle, check her out her blog called Norrey which depicts her love and life with her husband, Torrey. This month, they celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary, so be sure to stop by and send them some love!

My wonderful experience with Foodie Pen Pals was such that I want to continue. However, due to timing of international travel coming up, I may take the next two months off – not because I want to, but because it wouldn’t be fair to my Foodie Pen Pal if I am late or drop the ball.

If you’re interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th.

If you were to send a foodie care package to someone you love, what would you send?

Cheers~
Carrie