soup

Carrot Fennel Soup

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Last, but certainly not least, is most definitely my favorite of the 3 soups. I made this the other night to take some pictures for this post so my husband and I ate it for dinner. We both kept commenting on how good it really is, almost as if it's crazy that these ingredients make this much awesomeness!

For those of you asking, "what is fennel", I will give you the low down. Fennel is a whitish bulb with greenish stalks coming from it, as seen in the picture below. It is crunchy and a little sweet and smells like licorice. It is in the same family as carrots, parsley, dill and coriander. Fennel is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, phosphorus and folate. It also contributes some iron, magnesium, calcium and niacin.

I first had this soup at a dinner party with some great friends. Our friend, Annie, said she was going to bring a carrot soup to have with dinner that night. Seriously? Carrot soup? Cue eye roll. Let's just say I was less than excited to try, let alone eat, carrot soup with dinner. I admit wholeheartedly that I was way too quick to judge the soup by its title. I should also never doubt her taste in food (or wine!). It was delicious and I knew it was a recipe I needed. So, I found a similar recipe and have adapted it a bit, which is what I'll give you today. Trust me, don't judge this soup by the title!

I've made this soup as a first course for Thanksgiving, to go with pizza for a family gathering and for an easy weeknight meal. The color is absolutely gorgeous and it's fancy enough to wow dinner guests or to have with your holiday meal. The flavors work so well together and the creaminess is so rich and satisfying. This can also easily be a vegetarian/vegan recipe by using vegetable broth instead of chicken.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 fennel bulb, hard core in center removed, roughly chopped

  • 1 1/2 t minced garlic

  • 32 ounces vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat or reduced fat (can sub whole milk or heavy cream)

  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In large sauce pot bring carrots, fennel, garlic and broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to soften vegetables.

  2. Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 more minutes.

  3. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Alternatively you can blend veggies with some of the liquid in a blender until smooth.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I truly hope you will give this delicious soup a try. I think it will knock your socks off! This is a soup that can take your dinner party, holiday meal or even your weeknight dinner to the next level.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Lin

White Bean Soup

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This soup is another one of our family favorites that we've been making for years. It's not real pretty but it's so delicious! It is nice and thick and full of great flavors. I've made so many different variations of this recipe but the simple base is really just good on its own. I like this soup as an alternative to chili because the tomato juice and spices are hard on my stomach. Sometimes I will make this with some ground turkey or turkey sausage in it and crumbled cornbread on top. Yum!

This is an easy vegetarian/vegan recipe, hello "meatless Monday".  The beans are a great source of iron, fiber, protein and potassium. It is also a very cheap recipe if you are looking to make your grocery budget go farther. You can easily make a larger batch of this soup for a crowd by using 1 cup of liquid per can of beans. Also feel free to use a little water in place of the stock to reduce sodium. Lots of options, people.

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced

  • 1/2 cup celery, diced

  • 1/4-1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

  • 1 t minced garlic

  • 24 ounces vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)

  • 3 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed

  • black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.

  2. Add diced carrots and cook for about 3 minutes to soften. Add onion and celery and cook another 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

  3. Add broth and beans to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

  4. With a potato masher, mash a good amount of the beans to thicken soup. Alternatively you could blend part of the soup in a blender and return to pot.

  5. Serve with cracked pepper on top. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this soup and can add it in to your easy weeknight routine. There are definitely lots of options if you want to jazz it up a bit like adding meat, some different spices or throwing your cornbread right on top.

Feel free to comment if you have a different variation that you love or with your go-to weeknight soup.

Lin

 

Sausage Potato and Kale Soup

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Fall is definitely my favorite season and it is finally fall here in Kansas City. Two of our son's birthdays are in the fall as well as our wedding anniversary, which we will celebrate 10 years this year. I love the change in weather, the color change of the leaves and the change in my regular menu. We love some delicious soup at our house, with cornbread of course. Soups are easy, versatile, can pack in a lot of great nutrition and make great leftovers. I can't wait to share with you 3 of our favorites over the next few posts.

This first one, sausage potato and kale soup, is one we definitely all agree on but our 8 y/o goes nuts for it. He will eat 3 full-sized bowls in one sitting, no problem. Leftovers are double delish, btw!

Funny story...  I was making this soup at my Mom's a few years ago and made it early enough to let it sit for a while before dinner. I gave my son a small bowl to "taste test" since it's his fave. My Mom asked him how the soup was and he said "this is damn good soup". He was probably 4 years old and I have never laughed so hard, of course while trying to tell him not to say that word. My Mom still talks about that story and we now call sausage potato and kale soup the "damn good soup". I think you will too!

Here is the recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of your favorite ground sausage (you could sub ground turkey cooked with some seasonings)

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

  • 1 t minced garlic

  • 6 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (more or less depending on how thick you want the soup)

  • 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and shredded - about 2 cups (or more because, hey, it's kale)

  • 32oz good quality chicken stock

  • 8oz water

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage in separate pan until done. Set aside

  2. In large pot heat olive oil over medium heat.

  3. Add diced onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

  5. Add broth, water and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

  6. Lightly mash potatoes with masher in pot to thicken soup. You can also use a blender if preferred. (You don't want the potatoes to be totally mashed or left in large chunks).

  7. Add in sausage and kale and simmer until kale is wilted, about 10 minutes.

  8. Top with a little cracked pepper and enjoy!

This has been one of our go-to soups for years now. It is very hearty and makes great leftovers, if you have any. I hope you enjoy this sausage potato and kale soup as much as we do.

Lin