Spring Soup & Salad Challenge: Week 3

I’m a little jealous of my friends who got to spend the week in FL. I’ll let you in on a text exchange today:

Yep, you read that correctly: we had snow this week. Actual flakes coming down AS I WAS DELIVERING SOUP to friends. And while I am more than ready for Spring-like weather, I must admit, Thursday was actually the perfect day for soup. It was cold, raw, rainy/snowy mix… a lovely day to curl up with a warm bowl of some hearty, filling, deliciousness.

Here’s what we tried this week: Dara over at Cookin’ Canuck has a delicious recipe for Hearty Chicken Stew. I am a horrible Italian and for some reason, I don’t care for olives, so I left them out. Other than that, I LOVE this recipe. It’s the kind of soup I can feed my husband and know that he won’t be complaining in an hour that he’s hungry again…

In case you were wondering, this shot was taken on Wednesday (my cooking day) when it actually kind of felt like Spring, so my favorite “Taste Testers” ate outside. My hubs had been on the Carnivore Diet (more on that in a future post), which basically entails eating only meat and animal products. It’s kind of radical and he could only take it for about a week before we decided he needed to include some low carb veggies. All this to say, he was RAVING about this soup. It could have been due to deprivation, but I think it might be just that good.

And then there’s the Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup from Bites of Wellness. If it wasn’t obvious from the previous paragraph, we’re NOT Vegan and yet, this is one of my favorite healthy soup recipes — especially if you are going dairy free. I don’t think I have ever come across a recipe that does such a great job of creating that creamy, cheesy flavor without actually adding cheese or some over-processed substitute. Seriously good stuff here.

Both of these recipes have become regular favorites in my repertoire. They’re easy to put together, filled with nutrition from the whole food ingredients, and taste great. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Also, don’t forget: you can enter to win Esther’s Seasonings Variety Pack by participating in the Spring Soup & Salad Challenge in any capacity over the course of the remaining 6 weeks. (Yep – that includes taste testing!) Your participation will be tracked by comments on blog posts. For every comment, your name will be entered into the “hat” (more comments = more chances to win)! Hope to hear from you!

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Spring Soup & Salad Challenge – Week 1

Today was the perfect day to make soup! Outside, the Spring rain was falling. Inside,  I chopped vegetables while chatting with my sister who came down from NH to help me with the kids so I could cook.  She also served as my Chief “Taste Tester” while simultaneously keeping our two babies content. She’s kind of amazing, that girl..

This week we’re trying two awesome soup recipes: Loaded Split Pea Soup (recipe slightly adapted from Delish) and Coconut Curry Summer Squash Soup from Marcie over at Flavor the Moments). I slightly adapted these recipes to suit my taste buds (my changes are in italics below), but you can find the original recipe linked above as well us listed under “source”. I’d say both recipes were a “win”…

Note the colored bowls in the pic above from my attempt at getting my family to take a little more responsibility for their dishes. (It’s still very much a work in progress!) Also note the book Q & A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal.We’ve started incorporating some of these questions into our family mealtimes and have been having great fun answering them as a family! It definitely makes for a more enriching dinner time experience.

One other important thing to mention: I LOVE using Esther’s Seasonings in all of my cooking. If you’re interested in getting ahold of her delicious seasonings, give her a shout out. You can also enter to win Esther’s Seasonings Variety Pack by participating in the Spring Soup & Salad Challenge in any capacity over the course of the next ten weeks. (Yep – that includes taste testing!) Your participation will be tracked by comments on blog posts. For every comment, your name will be entered into the “hat” (more comments = more chances to win)! I hope you’ll join the Nourishing Foundations community in this endeavor.

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Loaded Bacon Split Pea Soup

Would you like a side of split pea soup with your bacon? Kidding! But, seriously, this split pea gets its bold smoky flavor from a whole lot of bacon.

Source: delish.com

Course: Soup

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Total Time: 1 hr

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • kosher salt I used a mixture of Esther’s Gourmet Salt & Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper I used Esther’s Zesty Peppermill
  • 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth I used a mixture of homemade Chicken broth and store bought organic chicken broth
  • 12 oz. split peas rinsed
  • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then crumble.
  2. Add onion, carrot, and garlic to bacon fat and cook until tender and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth and split peas and let simmer, covered, until split peas are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Serve garnished with parsley and bacon.

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Coconut Curry Summer Squash Soup

Coconut Curry Summer Squash Soup has plenty of warm, curry flavor with creamy coconut milk to make it silky smooth. This is an exciting, delicious way to use that summer squash!

Source: flavorthemoments.com

Course: Soup

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 45 min

Yield: About 8 servings

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 34 teaspoon curry powder* I use Esther’s Jamaican Curry
  • 1 12 lbs. summer squash ends trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces*
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock I use water and Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth And Seasoning
  • 14 cup coconut milk (I used full fat) plus more for serving
  • 12 lime juice of – plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh basil or thai basil, for serving
  • 1 tsp Esther’s Gourmet Salt Optional
  • 12 tsp Esther’s G.O.G. Optional
  • 12 tsp Esther’s West Indian pepper Optional

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 8 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and curry powder, and saute 30 seconds. Add the squash and saute 2 minutes longer. Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat.
  2. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor leaving the insert out of the top to allow the steam to escape. Pour into a large serving bowl and add the coconut milk, lime juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the soup drizzled with a bit of coconut milk, chopped fresh basil, and extra lime wedges if desired. Enjoy!
  3. Instant Pot Directions (from Jen):
  4. Sauté onion in olive oil. Add Garlic, spices and a bit of broth/water. Cook for a minute or two, then add vegetables and cover with water/broth. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor leaving the insert out of the top to allow the steam to escape. Pour into a large serving bowl and add the coconut milk, lime juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the soup drizzled with a bit of coconut milk, chopped fresh basil, and extra lime wedges if desired. Enjoy!

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