Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2 Weekend Soups

I’m not very good at remembering to take pictures while cooking yet (we have awful kitchen lighting as well)… So please excuse the lack of pictures for both of these weekend soups. It was the perfect weekend for soup at our house, D was sick on Friday, it has gotten really cold again, and it was an extremely lazy lay around the house weekend (MUCH needed after the craziness of the holidays.) Also to my veggie friend you can make both of these vegetarian by using Vegetable broth. A note about store bought broth, watch the sodium in them, some of them our outrageous. We are only supposed to have about 2500 mg of sodium a day. When the organic low sodium broth is on sale we stock up.

The first soup has become a fave! It all started with a bag of lentils and no clue what to do with them. Every time we make this soup it ends up a little different, mostly because neither D nor I are a fan of exact measurements (unless I’m baking). We are also huge Cumin fans, so we use a ton of cumin and usually end up adding more. Best thing about this soup is it gets made in the crock pot so throw it together and set it and leave! The recipe we loosely follow is below from Taste of Home:

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1-1/4 pounds)
  • 1-1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks  (We usually leave these out.. I don't really think they add much)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  (We use tons more!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (We don't typically have this on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt  (We definitely don't add this.. broth has enough sodium even using the low sodium version)

  • In a slow cooker, combine the first nine ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in cilantro and salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The second soup I got the idea from Smitten Kitchen, but then didn’t really follow the recipe at all. D and I also have stopped using canned beans again because of the sodium. Our store only has 1 brand with 3 types (Black, Red and Chili) that are No Salt. So we bought a huge bag of Northern White Beans, used the quick soak method, and then cooked them during the morning. Then when I package the beans to freeze them for later use I keep in mind that a can of beans has 3.5 servings and a 2 lb bag of dried beans has 25 servings; therefore, I make 7 packages and figure out the calorie count for each container. I use a scale and weigh everything to make sure they are all equal (Yes, I know I’m rather particular that they are all the same). I also weighed everything for this soup because I was trying to figure out the calories, this is why there are no cup measurements. Here is how our soup was made:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    White Bean and Spinach Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 oz carrots chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 oz onion chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 large scoop of minced garlic (we buy the huge container) or fresh garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 cups of Chicken Broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 can diced tomatoes, No Salt added
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 oz Fresh Spinach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Bay leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Tbs Dried Thyme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Salt and Pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Throw carrots and onion in soup pot and cook until soft (not brown), close to the end of this process put in the garlic (so it doesn’t burn). Mix in broth, canned tomatoes, and spices (adjust amounts and types) and let simmer for 20 minutes. Mix in spinach and cook for another 5 minutes or until spinach is cooked down into soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. BE CAREFUL with the salt!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When you first put the spinach in it will look like a ton of spinach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then it cooks down and is perfect!!  If you'd like to see some other recipes featuring spinach visit  Eat at Home Cooks!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. That looks healthy and good. Thanks for linking up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. These look terrific. I'm anxious to give them a try. We are huge soup, sweet potato, spinach and lentil fans at our house. Come join me for What's On the Menu Wednesday whenever you can. Thanks for sharing.