After having some wonderful spring-like days in the middle of winter, more cold and snow came this past week–brrr! I’ve always liked having a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup to warm up in weather like this. When I decided to make some chicken soup … Continue reading
If you’re wanting something to eat that will warm you up during this chilly winter season, this Veggie Black Bean Chili is definitely the recipe to make! It’s easy to put together and healthy, too–with black beans, onion, garlic, green bell … Continue reading
Like so many people I know, I’m trying to eat a little healthier during this new year. So when I heard about the new cookbook, Weight Watchers What To Cook Now, I was definitely interested in reviewing it! Not only did I receive a review copy, the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is also providing a giveaway copy! I’ll tell you a little about the book and share a recipe from it with you, and then be sure to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment–see the end of this post for details on how to win!
This cookbook has more than 300 new recipes and lots of color photos. There’s a wonderful variety of great-sounding recipes to choose from–meals and desserts that your whole family can enjoy. And they look easy to prepare, too. All recipes include nutritional information and the Weight Watcher PointsPlus® values so those of you in Weight Watchers can easily keep track of your points. Even if you’re not in Weight Watches, though, I’m sure these recipes would appeal to any of you who are wanting to eat lighter and healthier.
The book starts out with tips and helpful information on good nutrition, the well-stocked pantry, must-have kitchen tools, food safety, and choosing and preparing fresh fruits and veggies. Then you’ll find recipes organized in the following chapters: Breakfasts and Brunches; Lunches; Appetizers and Snacks; Main Dishes–Beef, Pork, and Lamb; Main Dishes–Poultry; Main Dishes–Seafood; Main Dishes-Vegetarian; 20-Minute Main Dishes; Side Dishes; and Sweets. So there’s lots to choose from! Here are some recipes I’d like to try…
- Coconut-Almond French Toast with Tropical Fruit
- Asian Burgers with Honey-Lime Slaw
- Spinach and Endive Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
- Italian Beef and Mushroom Meat Loaf
- Brown Sugar-Dijon Glazed Ham with Sweet Potatoes
- Maple-Glazed Grilled Chicken
- Pan-seared Tuna with Citrus-Avocado Salsa
- Warm Mozzarella and Tomato Flatbreads
- Gingery Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Garlicky Spinach and Fontina Pizza
- Chocolate Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches
For this post, I decided to try the Easy Pantry Minestrone from the Vegetarian section, since I had been wanting to make minestrone this winter. It’s a good, healthy soup with lots of veggies (carrots, onion, celery, zucchini), red beans, and chickpeas. Dried basil also flavors the soup, and you serve it with a teaspoon-size dollop of pre-made refrigerated pesto which also adds nicely to the flavor!
EASY PANTRY MINESTRONE from Weight Watchers What To Cook Now
Makes 6 servings
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 7 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup whole wheat macaroni or other small pasta (uncooked)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons refrigerated basil pesto
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add broth, kidney beans, chickpeas, macaroni, and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and zucchini and simmer until pasta and vegetables are very tender, 10 minutes longer. Ladle into bowls and top each with 1 teaspoon pesto.
PER SERVING (1 bowl): 307 Cal, 6 g Total Fat, Og Trans Fat, 1 mg Chol, 876 mg Sod, 53 g Carb, 10 g Fib, 14 g Prot, 120 mg Calc.
PointsPlus value: 8
I really like the dollop of pesto–it gives the soup an extra little zing of flavor when you stir it in!
THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to commentor #8, Aline, for winning the book!
Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of Weight Watchers What To Cook Now, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Wednesday, January 22, at 10 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Thursday evening, January 23. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite healthy dish is!
Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.
Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!
It was such a cold, cold, cold, cold day, and I just had to make some soup! Lentil soup sounded good and I already had lentils. I found a soup recipe at MarthaStewart.com that not only had lentils, but bacon, too–and that sounded really good!
I used turkey bacon in this, and I used a larger amount. And I added extra onions because I love onions. Since I like my soups thicker, I also added less water–I guess you could even call it a stew because it’s thick and chunky! If you prefer to keep this vegetarian, just omit the bacon–it’s still a very good basic lentil soup recipe! I like the little punch of flavor that the red wine vinegar gives this soup, which is added at the end of cooking, along with some salt and pepper. This soup is just what you need to help you warm up on a super cold winter day like today!
LENTIL SOUP WITH BACON by NancyCreative, adapted from MarthaStewart.com
Makes 4 servings
- 6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used turkey bacon)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4″ half-moons
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth (3 1/2 cups) or vegetable broth
- 1 cup water (if you want a thinner soup, use 2 cups of water)
- 1 Tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a Dutch oven or other 5-quart pot with lid, cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes (turkey bacon may need less time). Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of the fat (if you use turkey bacon like I did, you won’t have much fat, so just add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to your cooking pot).
Add onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cooking about 30 seconds, then stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
Add lentils, thyme, broth, and water. Bring to a boil; lower heat and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.
Thick, chunky soups are a favorite cold-weather meal of mine! What do you like to eat when it’s really cold outside?
This is a thick, creamy, chunky, spicy soup that you really need to try! I first heard about it from my friend Ann, who raved about this soup that Gayla had made for a special luncheon. I had the recipe for awhile, and finally had a chance to try it–it’s a wonderful chicken tortilla soup! It has some peppers, onion, and green chilies in it, along with pinto and northern beans, and flavored rice. And the chicken chili seasoning gives this soup such a great flavor!
I’ve tasted some other yummy things Gayla has made before (she makes the prettiest decorated Christmas cookies!), so I’m not surprised this soup of hers is so yummy, too! Not only is Gayla a great cook and baker, she also creates pretty homespun decor items like rag quilts and burlap Christmas trees. You can take a look at these items, and many other things she’s made, at her site called Jubilee Fabric where she also sells fabric and quilt supplies. If you like crafts with a little more bling, you’ll want to visit her other site, Jubilee Rhinestones, that features supplies and craft ideas for iron-on rhinestones, transfers, and decal stickers.
If you’re not a crafter, you may just be interested in making this soup–and I’m sure you will love it as much as I do! It is a spicy soup, so use mild Rotel and omit the can of green chilies if you’d like it less spicy. I really like the spiciness in this, though! This recipe makes a big potful of soup, about 8-10 servings.
GAYLA’S CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
Makes about 8 to 10 servings
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 (1.25-ounce) packets White Chicken Chili Seasoning (two brands I’ve used are Williams and McCormick)
- 1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded (or cook a package of chicken breast tenders and shred them)
- 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (6 to 6.9-ounce) package of chicken-flavored rice (the “side dish” kind-I used Rice-A-Roni Chicken flavor)
- 2/3 of a pint of heavy cream (or about 1 1/3 cups)
- For garnish: crushed tortilla chips, grated or shredded cheese, and/or sour cream
In a large stockpot over low heat, melt butter and saute peppers and onion until tender. Add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add seasoning packets and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the heavy cream. Cook over medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Just before serving, add cream until the soup is creamy enough for your taste.
This can also be made in the slow cooker on the LOW setting–cook on LOW for several hours. Add the cream the last 30 minutes of cooking.
To serve, top each bowl of soup with crumbled tortilla chips, grated or shredded cheese, and/or a dollop of sour cream.
This is the second chicken tortilla soup recipe I’ve tried this fall. Another good one that I’ve made is BZ’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. What kinds of soups have you been making?
We’ve had several weeks of chilly weather, and I’ve been making more soup! This time I decided to try Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. I adapted my recipe from one I found at Taste of Home. It’s a savory-flavored soup that tastes a little like chili. So if you like chili and black bean soup, I’m sure you’ll like this! In addition to the pumpkin puree, which gives the soup a nice creamy consistency even though you don’t really taste the pumpkin much, other healthy ingredients include diced tomatoes, onions, and garlic.
PUMPKIN BLACK BEAN SOUP by NancyCreative, adapted from Taste of Home
Makes about 8 servings (2 quarts)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups (24 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Optional: dash of salt and pepper, to taste
- For garnish: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Place beans and tomatoes in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute onions in oil until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, pumpkin, vinegar, and bean mixture, blending well. Add cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and, if desired, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each serving with plain Greek yogurt and sliced green onions. Each 1 cup serving is about 240 calories.
I never seem to get tired of making and eating soup, and it’s fun to try different recipes! Have you made any soups using pumpkin as an ingredient?
Brenda, one of our art directors whose last name starts with a “Z,” is also known around the office as BZ. She gave me this recipe, adapted from Food.com, so I thought I’d call it BZ’s Chicken Tortilla Soup! It’s a creamy, mildly spicy, cheesy soup that really warms you up and fills you up!
Brenda has said she likes to throw in extra garlic sometimes when she cooks, so I thought I’d add a little more garlic to this soup. I also used olive oil instead of corn oil and Half & Half (light cream) instead of milk. If you want to try a vegetarian version, another friend, Mary, said she likes to substitute firm tofu for the chicken, cut into small chunks and browned in a skillet with olive oil.
The directions below are for making the soup on your stove top, but you can also make it in a slow cooker–see the end of the recipe for how to do that! If you have a large nonstick stock pot, that would well, too. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Brenda!
BZ’S CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP adapted from Food.com
Makes 8 servings
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 to 2 fresh minced garlic cloves
- 4 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth (or use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies, drained
- 1 to 2 (1 1/2-ounce) packet(s) taco seasoning mix (start with one packet and use another packet or part of another packet if you want a stronger seasoning flavor)
- 12 ounces chicken meat, poached and diced (or substitute pre-cooked grilled chicken strips, cut up into small chunks; or substitute rotisserie chicken); to make this vegetarian, substitute firm tofu, cut into small chunks and browned in olive oil in a skillet)
- 1 (10-count) package corn tortillas, cut into small pieces (or substitute 1 cup of Masa Harina (Masa Flour)
- 1/2 to 1 cup Half & Half (light cream) or milk (I just used 1/2 cup)
- 12 ounces Monterey Jack or Fiesta/Mexican blend cheese, shredded
- Corn Tortilla chips, crushed into small pieces, for garnish
In large stockpot, on low heat, add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic powder or fresh garlic, and saute until tender.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, Rotel, taco seasoning, and chicken. Cut corn tortillas into small pieces and add to broth mixture. Let boil for 20 minutes or until tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into soup, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.
Reduce heat and add 8 ounces of the cheese to the soup mixture. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Add light cream or milk and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining shredded cheese and some crushed tortilla chips.
Note: I thought the thickness of the soup was just right, but if you’d like it thicker, you can add a few more cut up corn tortillas to the soup while it’s cooking (or if using Masa Flour, add a little more flour to the soup).
You can also make this soup in a slow cooker–that’s actually how Brenda makes it. She puts all the ingredients except the milk and cheese into a crock pot on the LOW setting (she doesn’t cook her chicken beforehand, letting the chicken cook in the crock pot). Stir ingredients several different times the first hour of cooking, then cook on low for another 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken is done. Shred the chicken right in the crock pot with a fork. The last hour of cooking, stir all ingredients well and then add the cheese and milk (or light cream). Stir occasionally that last hour, until cheese is well-blended. Total cooking time in your crock pot is 5 to 6 hours on the LOW setting.
This was my first time making homemade chicken tortilla soup, and I’ll probably be making it many times during the fall and winter! Have you made it before?
I like eating soup in the cooler weather–it’s great having a hot bowl of soup on a cold rainy or snowy day, isn’t it? I have several new soup recipes friends have given me that I’ll be trying out. Julie, who is a wonderful cook and baker, shared this tomato soup recipe with me from the August/September 2012 Issue of Healthy Cooking. It’s also posted at Taste of Home.
This is a wonderfully thick, creamy soup–and the great thing is, it doesn’t have any cream in it, unless you choose to drizzle it with some cream before serving. It’s the veggies and seasonings that make it thick and creamy, because you blend or process the soup before serving. In addition to tomatoes, this soup also has onion, olive oil, garlic, carrot, corn, sea salt, and basil in it, so it’s very healthy! It also has chicken stock, but you could use vegetable stock if you want to make this vegetarian.
The original recipe makes 20 servings, so I halved the recipe, since I didn’t need to make that much soup! Julie uses less onion when she makes this, so if you’re not crazy about onion, you can do that too. I actually used a little more onion and basil in my version. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Julie! :)
HEIRLOOM TOMATO SOUP slightly adapted from Healthy Cooking
Makes 10 servings (about 2 1/2 quarts)
- 1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 medium heirloom tomatoes, quartered (about 4 lbs.)
- 1 medium size carrot, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh corn (or use frozen corn, thawed)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 3/4 cups chicken broth (regular or reduced-sodium–or substitute vegetable broth)
- optional: 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream to drizzle for garnish
In a large stockpot, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, carrot, corn, basil, and salt. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
In a food processor or blender, process soup in batches (to be safe, just fill your blender or processor about half full–if you overfill, the hot soup could overflow and possibly burn you). As you are processing the soup, you’ll need another bowl or container to put the processed soup in. When finished processing, return all the processed soup to your pot and heat through.
To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle each serving with about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon heavy whipping cream if desired. Each serving is approximately 75 calories.
Serving your soup in a teacup is a fun idea–especially if you love vintage teacups like I do!
I also love all kinds of soups, but tomato is one of my favorites! What’s yours?
One of my favorite chilly-weather meals is soup, and we have had some chilly weather the past few days…not super-cold, but just cold enough that a hot bowl of soup sounds really good! And one of my favorite kinds of soup is Lentil soup. I have two Lentil soup recipes I like to make, so I thought I’d share them both with you in this post. I’m not sure where I originally found these recipes, but my versions are thicker than the originals. One recipe actually calls for red lentils, but you can substitute brown lentils…that’s what I’ve done. For some reason, my grocery store does not carry red lentils! (Note: After I posted this recipe, I found out from a helpful reader that red lentils are available at Indian or Middle Eastern stores, and that when you cook them, they disintegrate into a thick broth or gravy–so your soup texture will be different if you use red lentils).
These soups are thick (especially the Red Lentil Soup recipe, if you substitute brown lentils in it), hearty, and filling, and have lots of healthy ingredients in them. I don’t really have a favorite between the two…I like them both. You can look over the recipes and see which one you think you’d like best!
LENTIL SOUP by NancyCreative (shown above)
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes [or 1 (28-ounce) can]
- 1 (16-ounce) package dry lentils, rinsed
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- shredded Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top (optional)
Place olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot and heat a minute or two over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until translucent and glossy. Add in carrots, celery, garlic, and salt; saute all ingredients for 10 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, lentils, chicken broth, cumin, and coriander, and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; cook at a low simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Serve in bowls and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
RED LENTIL SOUP by NancyCreative (shown above)
Makes 4-6 servings)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of pepper
- 3 1/2 to 4 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth (about 7 to 8 cups–for a thinner soup, use a cup or two more broth)
- 2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed (or substitute brown lentils, which is what I did)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, or the juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1-2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
- Shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite shredded cheese) for sprinking on top, optional
Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until hot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the broth, lentils, and carrots; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low to maintain simmer and cook until lentils are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes (Note: this makes a thick soup-if you want a thinner consistency, add a cup or two more broth). Stir in lemon juice and cilantro and mix well. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with shredded cheese if desired.
Do you like Lentil Soup as much as I do? What other kinds of soup do you like?
I was searching for a chicken chili recipe and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I came up with this recipe. I really love this chili! It tastes great and it’s healthy, too! It’s a little different from your typical chili…with chicken instead of beef, and lots of tasty ingredients like onion, garlic, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and fresh cilantro. I think this recipe could work with ground beef, too, if you prefer that over chicken. This chili is so nice and thick… it’s thick enough to serve over rice if you want. And it’s great when you top this bowl of chili with a heaping helping of fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese…yum!
Here’s the recipe…hope you like it!
BLACK BEAN CHICKEN CHILI by NancyCreative
Makes 4 servings
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (1 lb.) package boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, uncooked and cut into chunks (about 1/2″ or a little smaller)
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon lime juice, fresh-squeezed or bottled
- 1 (15 oz.) can corn, well-drained
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- dash of salt, if desired
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, for garnish
- finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
In a large saucepan (a 4-quart size works well), heat olive or canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion, garlic, and chicken chunks in oil for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center (if you’re having trouble cutting the chicken before you cook it, you can cook it first and then cut it into chunks).
Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and lime juice; stir until mixture is well blended. Add corn, black beans, and green chiles, stirring until blended. Next, add ground cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and a dash of salt if desired, stirring until blended. Then stir in 2 Tablespoons of the chopped fresh cilantro, stirring until it’s well blended in the chili mixture.
Heat chili to boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in bowls and garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese.
You can also serve this chili over rice if you’d like to. It makes a great meal on a chilly day!
Tomato soup is one of my favorite soups, and when you combine tomatoes with veggies and garbanzo beans, you end up with a really great-tasting, healthy soup! I was inspired to make this when I found a recipe over at Grown From Scratch, and I modified it slightly. I used less chicken stock so the soup would be thicker because I love thick, chunky soup! And I also used more leeks and garlic, and a little less spinach. I really like the taste of this soup–hope you get a chance to try it!
TOMATO VEGGIE GARBANZO SOUP (makes 4-6 servings)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced (an easy way to slice them is to halve lengthwise and then slice crosswise–if you don’t have leeks on hand, you can substitute 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced)
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth (I used the low sodium broth)
- 1 (14 oz.) can garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas)
- 3 firmly-packed cups fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 oz.), chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top
Saute thinly-sliced leeks and diced zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, and garbanzo beans. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir into the soup. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 to 5 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired, and serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top–the Parmesan cheese gives it a great little zing!
The soup also goes great with a crusty loaf of bread or garlic bread!
Are you a tomato soup-lover too? Do you have a favorite tomato soup recipe?
A friend of mine told me she made veggie chili by just substituting three cans of different kinds of beans for the meat in a regular chili recipe. That sounded pretty good to me, so I looked up a variety of chili recipes and created a veggie chili recipe of my own! I think it’s the best-tasting veggie chili I have ever made and it’s very easy. If you like meat in your chili you can add a pound of ground beef if you like, but it really tastes great without any meat. It’s a good, thick chili…great-tasting and very healthy, with black beans, red beans and pinto beans. It’s great for lunch or a simple, healthy dinner, and it makes 4-6 good-sized servings.
THREE-BEAN VEGGIE CHILI by NancyCreative
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
- 2 medium size yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, not drained (I used Italian-style diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano)
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans
- 1 15/5 ounce can red beans
- 1 15.5 ounce can black beans
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are tender and translucent.
Mix in the two cans of diced tomatoes, undrained, and the tomato sauce. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, and coriander; blend ingredients together. Stir in the three cans of beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes to an hour…then it’s ready to serve!
I found a great beef stew recipe in this vintage cookbook that was published in 1961, the Cutco Cook Book. I found the cookbook at a flea market for $1.00, so I couldn’t pass it up! I love the vintage illustrations in these old cookbooks and it’s always fun to try recipes from them!
I had been looking for a good recipe that included Worcestershire Sauce so I could use my complimentary bottle of Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce that I had received as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. I thought this stew would be a great thing to try, especially since winter is the perfect time to eat a hot bowl of stew! I changed the original recipe slightly, using canola oil instead of fat, and made a few other small changes. It’s a really good stew, so if you are wanting to make something hearty, you’ll have to try this. The cookbook says the recipe serves four, but I think it’s more like six–it makes a big potful of stew!
I made it in my cast iron Dutch Oven, but you can use whatever kind of pot with a lid that you like–just make sure it’s a large one! :)
RETRO BEEF STEW (adapted from the 1961 Cutco Cook Book)
- 1 3/4 pounds stew beef (or chuck or round beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water (depending on how thick you want your stew)
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (I used Lea & Perrins®)
- 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 (1-pound) bag of baby carrots that are peeled and ready to use–cut each baby carrot in half OR use 12 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
If you are cutting your own chunks of meat, trim excess fat from meat first, then cut into chunks.
Combine four, pepper, and salt in a large ziploc bag; add chunks of meat; shake until pieces are coated.
Add canola oil to Dutch Oven over medium heat; add meat chunks and brown on all sides. Add diced onion and garlic, then boiling water, canned tomatoes, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well to combine ingredients.
Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas, and simmer for another hour or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Makes 4-6 servings.
There’s nothing like a hot bowl of chili on a cold day! I recently made some, and I used the recipe from the cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which I had been wanting to try for some time. I really liked … Continue reading
Now that the weather is definitely wintry, it’s a great time to make a steaming pot of soup! I guess you could call this recipe “semi-homemade”…except for the ground beef, it’s made with canned ingredients. I like it better than canned vegetable soup though, and it’s simple to put together. You’ll need to make it in a stockpot or Dutch oven…I use my cast-iron Dutch oven. Serve it with a salad and some thick crusty bread for lunch or dinner–it’s guaranteed to warm you up! :)
SIMPLE VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP by NancyCreative
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 (14.5-oz.) cans mixed vegetables (like Veg-All®), drained
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can beef or vegetable broth
- 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
- 2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning, to taste
In large stockpot, crumble and brown ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked; drain. Add canned vegetables and broth; stir to combine ingredients. Then add chopped onion, diced or crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce; stir well. Add garlic powder if desired, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients together and heat to boiling; then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Makes 6 good-size servings.