Creamy Tomato-Corn Soup

29 04 2016

I recently posted a recipe using my son’s corn pureed baby food in place of cream in a sauce. Same logic applies here with this creamy, cream-less tomato soup! Perfect for warming your soul on a chilly spring day.

Creamy Tomato-Corn Soup

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat): 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek, (remove hard green top, sliced down the middle lengthwise and then sliced again horizontally into half moon pieces, rinse with water to remove dirt)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sherry
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen corn

In a large pot over medium-high heat add some oil (couple turns of the pan), saute almost all of the leeks (reserve 1/4 cup) until softened, a few minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme. Saute another minute until garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan with a little sherry (again, couple turns of the pan, just eyeball it) and cook for a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes and chicken stock, season again with salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook corn according to package directions. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Puree the remaining 3/4 cup with a little water in a high powdered blender until smooth and creamy.

Turn off the heat on the soup and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Mix in the corn puree and return the soup to simmer, another 5-10 minutes or so until hot and combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve soup garnished with the leeks and corn you set aside, along with grilled cheese for dunking! Pictured here is a rosemary-herb bread with provolone, yum!

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Minestrone

21 02 2015

This is a healthy and comforting Italian soup, sure to wrap you in warmth even on the coldest of winter days! It’s loaded with veggies and is a great option for meatless Mondays, or to enjoy during Lent. Mangia!

Minestrone

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes – if you don’t have crushed on hand, puree a can of diced tomatoes in a high-speed blender until smooth
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, or fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of green beans cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry ditalini pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, dry herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring around, for about a minute. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook until nearly evaporated.

Next add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in green beans and cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add the pasta and cook 10 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.

Serve with lots of cheese and parsley for garnish.





Sausage and Lentil Soup

17 01 2015

This hearty Italian soup, packed with protein, is a great addition to your winter recipe lineup! I didn’t grow up with lentils like a lot of Italians, but my Mom did….eating them all the time. Which is likely why she left them out of her meal plans, she was over them.

But I’m a lentil convert now, thanks to this soup (and maybe my Ma will be again when she sees this)! Don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients. They basically all go into a large pot and time will do the rest. I recommend making this over the weekend so you can enjoy it throughout the week – the longer it sits the better it gets.

Sausage and Lentil Soup

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food.com and The Italian Table):

  • 1 lb bulk mild chicken sausage – if using sausage that’s in a casing, just remove the casing first
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 pint fresh, diced tomatoes or a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups of water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving

In a large dutch oven, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and saute until the veggies begin to softened, 3-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Next, add the sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through and broken up in little pieces.

Next, add all the spices (parsley, oregano, basil, salt, thyme, pepper flakes and pepper) – stir to combine well and toast for a minute until the spices become fragrant. Add the dried lentils, stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until the lentils are lightly toasted.

Add the tomatoes and all their juices, mix well and scrape up any bits that formed on the bottom of the pan. Finally, add the water or stock, stir to combine and bring to a slow boil. If using water, you can also add a few chicken bouillon cubes for extra flavor (1 cube for each cup of water).

Lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 – 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer you let it cook, the thicker the soup will become on its own.

Turn off heat, stir in vinegar if desired and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Allow the soup to sit for 5 minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese.





Chicken Tortilla Soup

16 02 2014

This is a flavorful Mexican soup, that’s filling and fairly easy to make. Great for game day or a lazy winter Sunday, when you’re looking for a hearty meal to warm you up! 🙂

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 3 small-medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large soft tortilla, sliced into strips (use whatever you have, I had sun-dried tomato tortillas…you could also just serve with tortilla chips if you prefer)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Half a medium red onion, chopped
  • Half a medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz or half a large 28 oz can) diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz frozen corn (about half a small bag)
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Chopped cilantro, sliced green onions and reduced-fat cheddar cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Boil chicken in a pot of water until fork tender. Remove to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes before shredding or cutting into cubes. Set aside until ready to add to the soup.

Spray tortilla strips with a little non-stick spray and bake on a cooking sheet for a few minutes until crisp. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to serve.

In another large pot, heat oil (use whatever you have) and saute onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add chipotles and break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, let cook for a minute or so to melt into the onion and garlic. Add the chili powder, season with salt to taste and cook another minute.

Add the broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the corn and black beans, continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree some of the soup slightly – just a few clicks of the hand blender. This will help thicken the soup a little. Then, add chicken and warm through, simmering another 5-10 minutes.

While the soup cooks, mix yogurt with the zest of 1 lime and season with salt to taste.

Before serving, remove soup from heat and add the juice of the lime you zested. Taste and season with salt if needed. Stir in the yogurt and mix well to combine and yogurt melts into the soup. Divide among bowls and garnish with cilantro, green onions, cheese and tortilla strips.





Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup Topped With Crispy Kale

13 02 2014

Broccoli-cheese is such a classic soup, but if you’ve made it a few times like me, it can get boring. This twist offers something a little new for your palette by adding some Italian flair with parmesan, garlic and Italian seasoning. And topping it with crunchy kale adds a nice textural component, plus extra nutrients. Get this simple and tasty supper on the table “souper” fast!

Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup Topped With Crispy Kale

Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup Topped With Crispy Kale

The following makes 4 servings (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5-6 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bag frozen chopped broccoli (1 lb)
  • 1 brick (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Place chopped kale, a drizzle of oil, lemon zest from 1 lemon, a pinch of salt (don’t use too much), a pinch of red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of parmesan into a large bowl. Mix well. Make sure not to use too much oil, the kale should be just lightly coated. You may have to mix in two batches – it may look like a lot at first, but it will cook down significantly. Divide in one layer among non-stick baking sheets and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the kale roasts, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning and saute, until beginning to soften, 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour to coat vegetables; cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and add broccoli (if you happen to have fresh broccoli on hand, chop it along with the stems and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes before adding to the soup). Increase heat to medium-high.

Simmer soup until it thickens slightly, 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cream cheese until it melts. Add 1 cup grated parmesan; stir until it melts. Season soup with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the kale. Divide soup among bowls and top with crispy kale.





Sweet Potato-Spicy Turkey Sausage Soup With Kale

5 02 2014

The sweetness of the sweet potato really pairs well with the spicy sausage in this tasty fall/winter soup. Kale also enhances the flavor, while bumping up its nutritional value. Try making your own sausage with ground turkey – see This Girl’s tip below for a homemade sausage seasoning.

Sweet Potato-Spicy Turkey Sausage Soup With Kale

Sweet Potato-Spicy Turkey Sausage Soup With Kale

The following serves 4 (adapted from Everyday Food):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced large
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb sweet or spicy Italian turkey sausage (I made my own spicy sausage seasoning to use with ground turkey, see below for recipe. You could also buy bulk sausage.)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (a little over a pound), peeled and diced medium
  • 6 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups roughly chopped kale
  • Grated parmesan for serving

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add turkey sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes and broth, bring to a boil, continue to boil for 5 minutes. Reduce to simmer, add greens, and cook another 4 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with parmesan.

This Girl’s Tip: Spicy Italian sausage seasoning (adapted from Tasty Kitchen): When my family makes our own dried sausage we usually just use a spice blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper – but because I’m not using pork, I thought I needed some additional flavor to make the turkey taste more like sausage. So I adapted a blend I found from Tasty Kitchen, along with my family’s, and it worked great. 

Make this seasoning in advance; mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container. When you need sausage, mix 2-3 Tbsp of the seasoning with 1 lb ground turkey, chicken or pork. If you have time, mix the meat with the seasoning a day or two in advance and store covered in the fridge so the flavors can blend into the meat.

  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds or ground fennel
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne




Zuppa di Scarola e Fagioli (Escarole and Bean Soup)

28 01 2014

This hearty soup is a staple in Italian households around the globe, mine included. You’ll find many versions, but the traditional recipes keep it super simple with escarole, beans, garlic, water and chili pepper. My version stays close to tradition, but I add a little proscuitto to flavor the oil, along with mashing some of the beans to thicken the soup. You can leave the proscuitto out for a meatless meal if you’d like. Grab a spoon, a glass of vino and get ready to be transported to an Italian bistro. Mangia!

Zuppa di Scarola e Fagioli (Escarole and Bean Soup)

Zuppa di Scarola e Fagioli (Escarole and Bean Soup)

The following serves 2-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Couple slices of thinly shaved prosciutto, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 chili peppers, minced or red pepper flakes (My grocery store doesn’t always have chili peppers, but they sell minced chili peppers in a tube – which is actually easier! Use 2 Tbsp if you go for the tube option.)
  • 2 heads of escarole, thinly sliced
  • 3 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Lemon oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat a few Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat Add prosciutto and cook until crispy. Reduce heat to low (allow the temp of the pot to decrease first so the following doesn’t burn) and add garlic and chili pepper, cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Season with salt to taste.

Next add the escarole and increase the heat back to medium. Saute and stir occasionally until completely wilted and the escarole has had time to absorb the flavored oil, 5 minutes. Season with a little salt to taste.

Add 1/4 of the beans and mash well with a potato masher. Add the rest of the beans (whole) and the broth. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Divide among bowls, top with a drizzle of lemon oil (or regular oil if you don’t have a flavored lemon oil) and lots of parmesan cheese. Serve with crostini for cleaning the bowl and a glass of vino! 🙂