Caribbean Carrot Soup

I don’t know how to put in words the deliciousness that is this soup! YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT!! My mom found the recipe in her Madison magazine and it sounded perfect from the start since I love soup and it has some of my favorite ingredients: coconut milk, ginger and sriracha (well it called for hot sauce but my mom used sriracha). My mom, Ryan and I have almost eaten the whole batch in three days and we can’t wait to make it again. We made it with a big kick of spice which went perfect with the caribbean flavors. I HIGHLY recommend you make it. It’s light, flavorful and filled with healthy beta-carotene. I’m speechless it was so good…Delish!!

Caribbean Carrot Soup

Source: Madison Magainze March 2013

INGREDIENTS

5 pounds large carrots
2 tbsp plus 3 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plus 2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
1.5 cans coconut milk
Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste – my mom used sriracha
Chopped cilantro (for garnish) – we skipped this since we didn’t have any cilantro in the fridge

RECIPE

Peel and chop carrots into large pieces. Coat in about 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 cup stock. Place on parchment and roast at 400 degrees for about 45–60 minutes until carrots are fork-tender.

While carrots are in the oven, chop onion and garlic and grate ginger. In the bottom of a large enameled pot, add 3 tbsp oil and saute garlic, onion and ginger until onions are translucent. Add curry powder and bay leaf and sauté about 1 minute. Add roasted carrots and 1 quart broth and let come to a simmer. Pour in remaining stock and bring to a simmer again. Add coconut milk and remove bay leaf.

Use immersion blender to puree soup, adding stock to thin to desired consistency. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve hot with chopped cilantro.

 

Healthy Soups

I am presenting my first cooking segment on Twin Cities Live tomorrow, Wednesday October 12th. I’m going to make two of the soups I’ve blogged about before: Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and Spicy Tuscan Soup.

People often think of soup and picture cream based options. While these may taste good they are high in fat and calories. I’m going to show broth based soups that are healthy but still flavorful.

Tips for Making Healthy Soup

  • Use water or low sodium broths as your base
  • Try adding a small amount of skim milk or 1% milk to soup to add creaminess without much fat
  • Start with onions, garlic, carrots and/or celery to get lots of flavor without calories
  • Think fresh herbs and spices for added taste instead of loads of salt
  • Choose lean meats. Try making chicken chili or choose a lean ground beef or ground turkey breast (make sure it says turkey breast otherwise the turkey may contain some of the skin and not all breast meat)
  • Load up on vegetables: zucchini, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, corn, peppers, kale and beans are great additives to soup
  • When adding beans, look for low sodium varieties. If these aren’t available drain your beans in a strainer and run cold water over them for a minute to wash off some of the sodium

HEALTHY SOUP RECIPES FROM TWIN CITIES LIVE SEGMENT 10/12/2011

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Source: Barefoot Contessa

-To make this recipe healthier I use olive oil to sautee the onions instead of butter and I use a low sodium chicken broth (I’ve also made it with vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
-Don’t have a food mill, don’t worry. I used a food processor to blend the tomatoes and basil in the end. An immersion blender would also work. 

  

Spicy Tuscan Soup 

Adapted from Zuppa Toscana, Olive Garden

Ingredients

  •  2 medium russet potatoes (or 3 small ones)
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • 1 pound of Spicy Italian Sausage (in bulk, not with casein) or for you can substitute ground turkey breast and add extra crushed red pepper or for a Vegetarian soup use meatless crumbles instead of sausage
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 ½ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ cup milk (I used skim but use whatever you have in your house)
  • 4 cups chopped Kale (ripped off the vein)
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

1. Poke holes in the baked potatoes and microwave them for 6-8 minutes (until tender). Set aside to cool.
2. Heat dutch oven to medium high and add onion and sausage to the pan. Cook 5 minutes then add garlic and continue to cook until meat is brown
3. While the meat is cooking rinse and chop the Kale and peel and dice the potatoes
4. Add broth and milk to the onions and meat once the meat is brown
5. Add kale, garbanzo beans, salt and crushed red pepper flakes
6. Simmer for 30 minutes and serve.

What do you do with 12 tomato plants?

Seeing bowls filled with fresh picked tomatoes from my garden makes me so excited to cook. My tomato supply is in peak season and I add about 6 more tomatoes to the bunch every 1-2 days, so what do I do with them all? For starters I eat 2-3 of them sliced up each day after work and was just telling my coworker I’m going to have withdrawals after my garden season is over. We also have enjoyed a few caprese salads thanks to my fresh supply of basil. I was hoping to try making homemade tomato juice this year to use for bloody mary’s during Badger games but I’m still debating this as I’d have to learn how to can (canning is still on my list of things to learn, for now I just make things I can freeze).

There are still plenty of options to use up a lot of tomatoes. I love tomato basil soup but often can’t enjoy it since it’s made with (I’m lactose intolerant). I found this great recipe that I made for dinner and froze in containers to eat this fall. I’m going to make another batch (this time with a small amount of milk) as well since it was so good. I love soup for lunch in the fall and this will be a great treat to remind me of summer.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Source: Barefoot Contessa

 

We had the soup with an amazing side chopped salad of refrigerator leftovers (chick peas, corn off the cob, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and vinaigrette) and my favorite, Spotted Cow Beer.

I’ve also made 4 large batches of fresh salsa so far this summer.

I use a food processor when I make salsa since it’s much quicker than dicing. I don’t follow a recipe but I made sure to pay attention to what I added this time so I could share.

Sina’s Garden Salsa

First: Add the following ingredients to your food processor: 1/3 of a white or yellow onion, 1 green bell pepper, 2 jalapeno peppers (without seeds), 1 habenero pepper (optional for spice) and 1/2 bunch of cilantro

Next, slice tomatoes in half and add them to the food processor. Hit the pulse button 10-13 times until it’s a good consistency for you. I used smaller tomatoes (around a roma size) and added 14 to this batch.

Voila, you’re done and the outcome is a delicious homemade salsa to use with chips or tacos. This is my husbands favorite!

Next up, homemade marinara sauce to freeze for the fall!

Food of the Month: Chili

I thought I would start a food of the month and what better way to start then with a warm meal for this cold month of December. Chili is one of my favorite things to make since I love spice, cilantro, soup, beans and vegetables and chili mixes all of that together. Chili can be a very healthy meal since it’s loaded with  tomatoes, vegetables and beans. Try to avoid loading it with sour cream, cheese and chips. I usually add a small amount of light sour cream or I add a few slices of avocado and cilantro. One great thing about chili is you can serve it to almost anyone since you can make it vegetarian, gluten free or dairy free very easily. There are so many types of chili and I love trying new recipes. Since I love spice I usually end up adding extra jalapenos, chili peppers or chili powder then the recipes calls for.

 Here are a few I love. I hope you find them as tasty as I do. Let me know what you think!

Southwestern Chili

Source: Cooking Light March 2005
I just made this recipe for friends that love spice like my husband and I do. It was dynamite and I highly recommend it. I used Andouille sausage in place of the Cajun smoked sausage and ground bison in place of the ground sirloin

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili (Vegetarian)

Source: Cooking Light October 2005
This is a fun way to have the flavor of chili with the taste of sweet potatoes. My friend Beanie made this recipe for Ryan and I and we loved it. I’m going to dedicate this one to Kristen Angel since she asked for vegetarian recipes on my blog and I think she’ll like this vegetarian twist to chili!)

Chili Con Carne

Source: Cooking Light January 2010
My husband made this recipe for a group of people coming over to watch football last winter. This Texas style  chili packs flavor without beans. This was the first chili I can remember that I ate without beans. I really enjoyed the taste of the beef and flavor of the base. It was a great change up to how I usually think of chili.

Turkey and Bean Chili

Source: Cooking Light September 2010

I love this recipe because it’s quick and easy. I’ve made it following the recipe exactly and I’ve also done it with the addition of bell peppers since I had them left over from my garden.

Chicken Chili Recipe

Source: My dear friend Claire
This was the first chili I ever made and my go to for a few years before I started experimenting with new chili recipes.  I still love the flavor of it and the fact that it’s a chicken chili without cream. The marinaded chicken adds a lot of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can of black beans (drained – I use the no added salt canned black beans)
  • 1 can red beans (drained)
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 29 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Chipotle marinade
  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 1 Red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Green pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Directions

  1. Marinate the chicken in the Lawry’s marinade (for at least 30 minutes) and cut into chunks.
  2. In skillet add olive oil and brown chicken.
  3. Remove chicken from pan once cooked.
  4. In same pan saute onion, red and green peppers and garlic.  In large pot add chricken broth, red and black beans and tomatos.  Stir.
  5. Add chicken and 1/2 can of refried beans.
  6. Add seasoning.
  7. Let simmer as desired.  Ready when heated.