Category Archives: Soups

Soothing Autumn Soup

Hello again! It has been awhile since I last posted, but I’ve been settling into a new country and lifestyle; this also means figuring out new recipes and cooking methods. As the season shifts into autumn and winter, I often make super simple soups — soups that only require one pot and a bunch of chopped veggies and spices. This soothing autumn soup is so simple that it hardly seems worthy of a recipe because it is more of a toss-everything-in-the-pot-and-wait kind of soup. :) Making use of seasonal ingredients is incredibly beneficial for your health, as the harvest foods of the season are perfectly packaged with the right nutrition to keep you warm and healthy during the wet and cold of autumn/winter. For instance, this soup contains beets, greens, garlic, sweet potatoes, whatever beans you choose, and a plethora of spices. Adding warming spices helps to increase circulation, warm the body, and aid immunity during cold and flu season. It’s especially soothing on a sore throat or cough. 

Packed with nutrition, beets are the star of this recipe, delivering plenty of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, B6 and Thiamin. They also contain magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. Their rich red hue is due to naturally high levels of iron, making them a perfect food for those with anemia. An excellent blood builder, they also protect the immune system and cardiovascular system. Besides all the health benefits, beets are tender and sweet when cooked to a soft texture, making them the perfect addition to soups and stews (plus they give your soup a beautiful red color!). If you are not making homemade soups, then you must get started! Try out this soothing autumn soup or mix up the ingredients and make your own version. It’s a simple, satisfying, and hearty soup that is packed with nutrition!

Soothing Autumn Soup

Soothing Autumn Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups water
  2. 4 beets, chopped
  3. 2 sweet potatoes, chopped
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 can of beans such as white or black beans, drained and rinsed
  6. 1 tsp. curry powder
  7. 1 tsp. dried oregano
  8. 1 tsp. dried cilantro/coriander
  9. 3 tsp. soup seasoning
  10. 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  11. Pinch of salt and pepper
  12. 3 cups chopped greens
Instructions
  1. Fill a pot with three cups of water and bring to a low boil. Add the chopped vegetables, minced garlic, and beans of choice and let cook for around ten to fifteen minutes. Remove from heat. Add the spices, herbs, maple, and greens then let sit covered for about ten minutes. Top with additional salt and pepper and enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Italian Style Lentils

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During the hectic holiday season, it is super convenient to put a hearty soup on low to simmer so that you can work on something else while dinner cooks itself. Simmering also allows the flavors in the soup to slowly develop and soak into any and all beans, legumes, veggies, or grains being used; this creates a fragrant and savory tasting soup. Slow-cooked soups can be made in a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or even left on the stove over low heat. These meals require some prep, but leaving them to cook on their own makes up for any prep time.

This recipe for savory Italian style lentils is just that–quick prep, yet deep in flavor thanks to the long cooking time. The herb-infused lentils are also hearty and full of protein–a satisfying and warm winter meal after an icy day. Along with plenty of sautéed garlic, the lentils absorb flavors from the herbs and spices as they simmer until tender. Italian style lentils are delicious over noodles, rice, or even as a soup served with a side of crusty bread.

Besides being delicious and versatile in so many recipe, lentils are amazing for your health. Plus, they are an easy, delicious way to consume loads of protein and minerals. With 18 grams of protein in just one cup, they are a great source of plant-based protein. They also contain folate, iron, copper, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese as well as vitamins B1 and B6 just to name a few of the minerals and vitamins contributing to healthy function of the body. They are also a great source of fiber, making them excellent for digestion, stabilizing blood sugar, and balancing overall health. This high fiber content helps lower cholesterol while the high magnesium and folate content also contribute to enhancing heart health.
*A great link for learning more about the benefits of Lentils

Italian Style Lentils
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dry lentils
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 1/2 onion, chopped
  4. 3 to 4 cloves of minced garlic
  5. 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  6. 1 red pepper, diced
  7. 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  8. 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  9. 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  10. 1 tsp. basil
  11. 1 tsp. parsley
  12. 1 tsp. oregano
  13. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  14. 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Rinse lentils and add to a slow cooker or a medium-sized pot along with water. Add the additional prepared vegetables, then spices, and stir until combined. Cook on low for about 9 hours or on high for about 5 hours. Serve warm over pasta or rice, and garnish with additional herbs, salt & pepper. Enjoy!
  2. If using the stove-top cooking method, bring lentils and veggies to a boil, then allow lentils to simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender. When lentils are soft, add the spices and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve warm and garnish with additional herbs, salt & pepper. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/
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Pumpkin Curry

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The abundance of pumpkins and the crisp fall weather makes for the perfect time to start cooking warming dishes with heating spices and hearty ingredients like pumpkin curry. While we normally think of pumpkins as a decoration or an ingredient in pies, it’s easy to forget how delicious this seasonal ingredient is in savory recipes such as curry.

Small pumpkins are often used in Thai cuisine–they can be boiled, steamed, or baked. Pumpkin is such a versatile ingredient that is amazing in so many recipes. Surprisingly, it is actually very tasty in non-sweet/dessert recipes so it’s time to start incorporating them into your hearty soups and other savory meals. It tastes similar to sweet potatoes and butternut squash when steamed or baked. Add it to soups, stir-fries, and curries. Plus, it’s such a nourishing food that is both warming and satisfying. Some main health benefits of pumpkin are that it is full of fiber and nutrients that keep your heart, eyes, and skin healthy while also helping the immune system with protecting against seasonal viruses.

This pumpkin curry recipe might be messy, but it is soft, savory, and warm with flavors that are lightly spicy and fragrant from the rich and flavorful herbs and spices. Along with these delicious flavors, coconut milk adds a creamy and buttery element that cools down the spiciness. Soft curried pumpkin can be a delicious topping over rice or simply eaten as a soup. All you need to do to make this recipe is skin and chop a small pumpkin, remove the seeds and then steam/simmer it until soft and then add the other ingredients so that it can soak up the seasonal flavors.

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Pumpkin Curry
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger or ginger paste
  4. 1 tsp. curry powder
  5. 1 tsp. turmeric
  6. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  7. 1/4 mild red chili pepper or 1/4 tsp chili powder
  8. 1/2 small pumpkin, skinned and chopped into cubes
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1/2 of 1 zucchini, chopped
  11. 1 diced yellow bell pepper
  12. 1 chopped tomato
  13. 3/4 cup coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Begin by cutting into the pumpkin into quarters, then peel the skin off of the pumpkin. Heat the water in a medium saucepan and add the garlic, ginger, and other spices to the hot water until fragrant. Add the diced pumpkin and chili pepper and steam while covered for about five minutes. Now add the zucchini, bell pepper, tomato, and coconut milk--let simmer for about 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over quinoa or rice.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Fiesta Pepper Corn Soup

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Vibrant fresh peppers are folded inside a creamy and savory corn sauce with a hint of buttery garlic flavor in this colorful cream soup that is based off of the creamy corn alfredo soup that was posted earlier. It is smooth and savory with the perfect creamy consistency for incorporating colorful slices of sweet peppers for a pop of flavor and crunch. The crisp peppers along with the alfredo-like soup base creates an amazing combination that is a must try! For a touch of spice, feel free to add some spicy peppers to the mix as well as fresh salsa and cilantro. This vibrant assortment of flavors and textures makes for a zesty and creamy soup.

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This fiesta pepper corn soup is abundant with savory, sweet, and rich flavors from the fresh ingredients and provides plenty of vitamins and minerals that aid in nutrient absorption. It’s fast, easy, and tasty while also being a vibrant feast for the senses!

Fiesta Pepper Corn Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups frozen or fresh white corn
  2. 1/2 cup of leftover hot cooking water
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined salt
  4. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  5. 3 cloves minced garlic
  6. 1-2 tbsp. butter or oil of choice
  7. 1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  8. Additional toppings: 1 cup sliced sweet peppers, 1/4 cup shredded fresh cilantro, optional: 1/3 hot pepper,
Instructions
  1. Steam or boil corn until cooked through. Add to blender or food processor along with salt and some cooking water and blend on high until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the peppers and blend until mixed through. Add the sliced peppers and a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/
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Creamy Corn Alfredo Soup

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There is no replacement for a bowl of steaming and comforting soup when the weather starts to cool off–especially soups with a creamy base instead of a liquid broth. The creamy base makes for an extra warming and satisfying bowl of goodness that gets its creaminess from puréed sweet corn, which turned out to be wonderfully smooth and buttery. It is amazing how corn can be transformed into an alfredo-sauce type of consistency with just a spin of the blender or food processor.

This corn alfredo soup also happens to be an extremely easy recipe to make with one main ingredient and a few spices and toppings of choice. There are also several variations of this soup that can be made by adding different ingredients or by using it as a sauce for quinoa, pasta, and rice etc. Stay tuned for future recipes based off of this one. It’s so good you’ll want to incorporate it into every recipe!

Besides being incredibly delicious and easy to make, it is also extremely healthy! Corn in its natural state is a nutritious and complete food that contains vitamins B3 and B6, as well as phosphorous, niacin, pantothenic acid manganese, and phytonutrients. These are vital for digestive and cardiovascular health–corn is an overall great food for maintaining good health. Add in extra medicinal herbs like garlic, ginger, and cilantro and it becomes an even more nutritious and delicious soup.

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Creamy Corn Alfredo Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups frozen or fresh white corn
  2. 1/2 cup leftover cooking water
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined salt
  4. 3 cloves minced garlic
  5. 1 tbsp. butter or oil of choice
  6. 1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  7. Optional toppings: extra corn, chives, and chili powder
Instructions
  1. Boil or steam the corn for around ten minutes or until just cooked. Add the corn, hot water, and salt to a food processor or blender and blend on low, then increase the speed up to high until the corn becomes very smooth. Now add the minced garlic to the blender and blend on low. Pour and serve with additional toppings and a dollop of dairy-free butter and a splash of lime juice.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Sweet Potato Soup

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This sweet potato soup’s texture is amazingly creamy.  It is as smooth as velvet and creamier than many common cheese sauces or cream soups.   It’s also the perfect base that many herbs and spices can be added to for endless different flavor combinations.  Use it as a sauce or simply a creamy soup that is delicious with so many foods.
 
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Sweet potatoes and yams are one of the most nutrient-dense foods.   They contain high amounts of vitamin A and are rich in beta-carotene.   This wonderful tuber is not only extremely nutritious, but it is delicious as well.   When slow-roasted, their flavors fully develop and the flesh becomes caramelized.   You can also steam them for a fluffy and soft texture.   And when turned into a puree they become an incredibly smooth and buttery sauce or soup that can be transformed into so many recipes.   This recipe uses mild herbs and spices for a tasty dish with subtle flavors.
 
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Sweet Potato Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 sweet potatoes, cooked until soft
  2. 2 cloves minced garlic
  3. 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  4. 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  5. 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  6. dash of paprika
  7. dash of salt
  8. 1/2 tbsp. oil of choice
  9. optional toppings: extra seasonings, sprouts, and seeds
Instructions
  1. Add cooked sweet potatoes to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high until very creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend on low until flavors combine. Pour and serve. Top with additional seasonings and toppings. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Follow Kristina’s board Simple Recipes on Pinterest.

One-Pot Red Lentil Dal

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Happy 2015!   Celebrate the new year with this soothing and healing batch of lentil dal. It is easy to make, very nourishing and will facilitate health and satisfaction.
The aromatic spices in this dish mesh with the warming and creamy lentil dal for a comforting dish that will warm and satisfy a hungry stomach.  These fragrant spices add a delightful touch to the simple yet satisfying lentil that can be left in a pot on the stove over medium heat until the mixture absorbs the moisture and flavors fully, where it becomes creamy and thick.   


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According to ancient medicine, it is healthy in the winter to consume foods that have a warming effect on the body, such as cooked soups, beans, legumes and rice with warming spices and herbs.  It also helps the body’s immune system to keep it warm and fuel immunity and general health. On the other hand, it says how the juicy fruits and crisp veggies available during summer have a cooling effect on the body. 

One-Pot Red Lentil Dal
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  2. 6 cups water
  3. 2 cloves minced garlic
  4. 1 tbsp. oil
  5. 1 tbsp. turmeric
  6. 1 tbsp. curry powder
  7. 1 tbsp. dried cilantro
  8. 1 tsp. dried ginger
  9. 1 tbs. cumin
  10. 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  11. optional fresh chopped cilantro and 3 handfuls spinach stirred in at the end
  12. pink salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except brown sugar, greens, and s & p. to a large pot and bring to a boil; mix ingredients together then turn down to simmer covered for 40 minutes to an hour. You will know it's done when lentils have fully absorbed all the moisture. It should be creamy and thick with little excess water. Stir in brown sugar, greens, and salt and pepper and allow to cool before serving.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Curry Soup

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Autumn and winter are definitely the seasons for soups and all things curry.   Nothing can warm you from the inside and still satisfy your empty stomach as much as a hearty soup.   This sweet potato curry is full of classic spices that, along with the savory flavor of garlic, add just enough heat but don’t overwhelm the soup with spice.  These warming spices are perfectly balanced by coconut yogurt–a crucial ingredient that softens the spiciness with its cooling creaminess. The sweet potatoes and other veggies soak up this flavorful mixture and become soft and delicious.
 
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Coconut yogurt hardly has any flavor, but it can be used in place of cream in so many dishes, from dips and soups to taco salads or baked potatoes. It adds such a creamy, yet light texture that makes any recipe considerably better. You can also use coconut milk (and maybe even almond milk, although I haven’t tried it) and it will be very similar in texture and flavor.

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Sweet Potato Curry Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cloves minced garlic
  2. 1 chopped leek
  3. 1/2 tbsp. turmeric
  4. 1 tbsp. curry powder
  5. 1/4 tsp lemongrass green curry paste -optional
  6. 2 tsp. cumin and ginger
  7. 3 tbsp. dried cilantro
  8. 1/2 tsp. pink salt plus more to taste3 chopped large sweet potatoes, steamed or boiled
  9. 3 cups frozen or fresh broccoli florets
  10. 1 cup peas
  11. around 4 cups veggie broth
  12. plenty of fresh spinach
  13. 1 carton or 1 cup of coconut yogurt
Instructions
  1. In a pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic and leek in liquid along with spices for a few minutes. Add in steamed potatoes and other veggies except spinach. Add in the veggie broth and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Add in fresh spinach and let it wilt, then scoop in the coconut yogurt and stir into broth. Add more salt or spices to taste and allow to cool before eating. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

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Slow-Cooker White Bean and Potato Soup

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The convenience of throwing a bunch of ingredients together in the morning and having dinner ready without doing a bunch of work makes this recipe a quick and easy meal.  It is hearty and warming with Italian spices and a touch of garlic. Yellow potatoes are delicious in this soup because of their buttery and soft flesh.  It is high in protein and gluten free.  This meal is perfect mixed with pasta or gluten-free pasta.

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Kristina Humphreys
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cans white beans such as Cannellini
  2. 3 or 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
  3. 4 leaves of kale, de-stemmed
  4. 32 oz. veggie broth + 1 tbs. sugar
  5. (optional) 4 tomatoes
  6. 2 cloves of minced garlic
  7. 1 tbs. dried oregano and basil
  8. 1 tbs. dried parsley
  9. 1 tsp. thyme
  10. Italian Seasonings and sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare and chop ingredients. Add to slow-cooker along with rinsed beans, veggie broth, kale, and chopped potatoes & optional tomatoes. Cover with spices and garlic then stir. Turn on low for 8 hours until veggies are tender. Serve with pasta of choice and garnish with extra herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Green Lentil Soup

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While lentil soup is certainly a vegan staple, there are countless varieties that each have a unique blend of flavors.  This particular soup has a green curry base with garlic and ginger accents.  It is perfectly soothing served with a generous scoop of coconut yogurt on top.

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The coconut milk or yogurt adds an unparalleled creaminess that counteracts the powerful spices; this creates a perfect balance of spice and richness.   As for the coconut haters out there, (how could you hate such a perfect food! )  you can use any alternative milk or yogurt, but if you aren’t allergic, I really recommend trying it as the coconut really adds the perfect touch to this soothing dish–it’s the “secret” ingredient that transforms the dish into something truly amazing. 

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Green Curry Lentil Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups green lentils
  2. 6 cups vegetable broth
  3. 2 cloves minced garlic
  4. 2 shallots, diced
  5. 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  6. 1/2 tsp. green curry paste
  7. 1/2 tbsp. cumin
  8. 1 tbsp. cilantro
  9. 1 tbsp. curry powder
  10. 1 chopped zucchini
  11. 2 chopped tomatoes
  12. 2 peeled and chopped big carrots
  13. 1 chopped red or green pepper
  14. 1 cup coconut milk or yogurt
Instructions
  1. Prepare ingredients. Add vegetable broth to a large pot and bring to a boil, add lentils and spices and turn down to medium heat. Let lentils cook for about 40 minutes or until soft. Add in chopped veggies and cook for around 20 minutes. Let soup cool and swirl in coconut milk and additional cilantro. The soup is great served over rice or with warm corn tortillas.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/