Tag Archives: soup

Broccoli Soup in the Instant Pot, for Niall

Read over the entire recipe before beginning.

Place into the Instant Pot:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • big handful of baby carrots, chopped (or a couple of regular carrots, scrubbed and chopped)
  • 1 large celery stock, chopped
  • large bunch of broccoli, chopped roughly (2-3 crowns, plus their stems)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup water

Set the Instant Pot to “Soup” for 7 minutes (most recently, I’ve been manually setting on High for 4 minutes, and it works very well).  When the cycle ends, do a quick release of the pressure valve, and remove the lid.

Using a hand blender, or potato masher, puree the contents of the instant pot.  If desired, add about:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

and then add chicken stock until you reach the desired consistency; I use chicken stock paste and water.  Add:

  • 2 – 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Let sit for a moment in order to melt, then stir the soup or use the hand blender again.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Soups, Vegetables

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

We made this at work today, and it was super quick and easy.  Based on Mairlyn Smith’s recipe in her book “Healthy Starts Here!“.

The soup:

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 x 540ml tin of garlic & olive oil diced tomatoes (or just diced tomatoes)
  • 1 x 540ml tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh)
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, or use garlic powder
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

The topping:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 5)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes or slices
  • 1 lime, scrubbed well, and cut into wedges
  • 40 unsalted whole-grain corn tortilla chips, or 4 fresh corn tortillas


  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a soup pot.
  2. Add the undrained tomatoes, black beans, corn, salsa, hot sauce, cumin, and garlic; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro, stir, and remove from heat.
  3. Ladle the soup into 4 deep soup bowls. Sprinkle each portion with the green onions, avocado, dividing evenly.
  4. Squeeze a lime wedge or two into each bowl. Crumble 10 tortilla chips into each bowl and stir gently. If using fresh tortillas, just tear into bite-sized pieces and add to each bowl.


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Filed under food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Adapted from recipe by “vegangela”.

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (from a tube)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (we like Lahlah’s Madras)
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
  • 2 or three handfuls of sliced or chopped kale or spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, plain Greek yogurt
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, the lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very tender.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the greens and cook for another minute, if desired.
  6. Serve with garnishes.

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Filed under comfort food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Super Quick Tomato Soup That’s Better for You

Sauté in a Dutch oven or large pot, until softened:

  • 1/2 a small onion, finely minced
  • 1large celery stalk, finely minced
  • 1 medium size carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or one finely minced garlic clove


  • 1 28oz tin of diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, include juice*
  • 1 14.5 oz tin of diced tomatoes, include juice

With a hand blender, purée the soup. Alternatively, dump the sautéed vegetables into a blender, and add half of the tomatoes.  Purée until smooth, then pour into the soup  pot.  Add the second half of the tomatoes to the blender, purée until  smooth, and add to pot. And put back on heat. Add:

  • 3/4 cup cream (any fat content that you prefer)

Stir and heat through.  Add salt and black pepper, to taste.
If desired, top with any of the following:

  • Sour cream dollop
  • Plain Greek yogurt dollop
  • Fresh basil, chopped or chiffonaded
  • Home made croutons
  • A sprinkle of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

* you can use plain diced tomatoes and just add some Italian seasoning, or fresh basil and oregano.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Red Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

NOTE:  Add some protein!  While the squash is boiling, cut some pressed, extra firm tofu into small cubes and brown it in coconut oil in a frying pan.  Add to the soup bowls before ladling the soup in.

serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow cooking onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups uncooked butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk, not “light”
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add coconut oil. Once it’s melted, add onions and garlic with a pinch of salt, and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ginger and curry paste and stir until incorporated. Cook the curry and onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the stock and add the squash.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes until squash is soft.
  4. Turn off heat and either purée the pot contents with a hand blender, or transfer to a countertop blender and carefully blend until smooth.  Once puréed, bring pot of soup up to a gentle simmer and add the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir.  Cook for about ten minutes, until thoroughly warmed.  Add the cilantro, and stir thoroughly.  Check for seasonings, and serve.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

White Sauce: four ways

This is a very good, basic recipe to have in your repertoire.  It is a base for so many things, such as cheese sauce, and with added flavours, can substitute for processed canned soup in other recipes.


I.  Thick:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

II. Medium

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

III. Medium Thin

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

IV. Thin

  • 1 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed up
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Melt butter over medium-low heat.  Blend in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until smooth; cook for a minute or two.  Add the warm/hot milk, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens and comes to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer for two or three minutes to remove floury taste.

For added flavour, toss in whatever you feel like.  For example, try one of the following, or a combination:

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried mustard, or Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • hot pepper flakes or Tabasco
  • sautéed minced onions (sauté in the butter before adding the flour)
  • herbs, fresh or dried
  • sautéed vegetables, minced

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Filed under food, Sauce, Soups

“Uncanned” Condensed Soup

Use in place of canned soup in recipes.  A La Leche League standby for healthier eating.


  • 3 Tablespoons butter or oil
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1+1/4 cup liquid, milk, or stock

Melt butter/heat oil in saucepan.  Stir in flour and seasonings.  Cook over medium heat until bubbly.  Add liquid slowly, stirring with wire whisk to prevent lumps — just keep stirring and they’ll disappear.  Cook until thick.  Makes about the equivalent of one can of condensed soup.

Tomato Soup: Use tomato juice for the liquid.  Add dashes of garlic and onion powder, basil, and oregano.

Mushroom/Celery/Chive Soup: Saute 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms, celery, or chives and 1 Tablespoon of minced onion in butter before adding the flour.

Cheese Soup: Add 1/2 cup grated cheese after the liquid.  Stir until melted.

Chicken Soup: Use chicken broth for half or all of the liquid.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning or sage.

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Lentil Soup

  • 2 cups green lentils, washed, picked over, and drained
  • 2 tins organic chicken broth plus enough water to make 10 cups of liquid (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A couple of carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stock celery, chopped, leaves are great, too!
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme

In soup pot, place broth and water and bring to a boil.  Add the lentils, onion, garlic, and bay leaf.  Simmer for about 3 and a half hours. Add the carrots, celery, and thyme, and simmer for 30 more minutes, until tender. Mash a bit of the soup with the back of a spoon, or with a potato masher.

To bind the soup (an old Joy of Cooking trick) melt:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

Stir in it until blended:

  • 2 tablespoons flour

Slowly add a little of the soup.  Cook and stir until it boils, then stir it into the rest of the soup.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE:  Add vegetables and seasonings as desired; this soup is never really the same each time we make it!

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Great Chicken Soup

This soup is pretty much the same as Ina Garten’s soup, and is delicious.

4 chicken breasts that have been roasted, and shredded
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
10 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in purée, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
salt (up to 1 tablespoon)
1/4  fresh cilantro leaves
6 (6-inch) fresh corn tortillas
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their purée, jalapeños, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro.

Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1cm strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein, Soups

Chicken Soup with Rice

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped finely
3 stalks of celery, chopped finely
3 carrots, chopped finely
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups home made chicken stock, or 3 10-oz tins chicken broth plus water
6 cups milk
3 pinches EACH of: dried sage, dried thyme, dried savory
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken breast
3 cups rice that is already cooked, preferably parboiled rice or brown rice

1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook on low heat for a few minutes until tender but not brown.

2. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and milk.

3. Add sage, thyme, savory and Worcestershire. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add chicken and rice. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. The soup will thicken on standing; thin with water or milk if desired, especially if reheating.

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Filed under Main Course, Protein, Soups

Chorizo and Black Bean Soup

1 (3 to 4-ounce) link Spanish chorizo, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 (19-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Garnish: Thinly sliced lemon rounds and chopped fresh cilantro

Cook chorizo, onion, garlic, bell pepper, pepper flakes, cumin and salt in oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add broth and beans and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. Lightly mash beans with potato masher to slightly thicken.

Note: I had a terrible craving for this soup recently, but didn’t have any Chorizo on hand.  I did happen to have some very meaty bacon in the fridge, so I pre-cooked that and used it as a substitute along with a huge pinch of hot pepper flakes.  Not too bad!

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein, Soups

Tovah’s Soup

Makes 6 main dish servings.

1/2 cup sliced celery
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp oil or margarine, melted
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp snipped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dillweed
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, drained
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp pepper
salt to tasteIn a large saucepan cook and stir celery, carrots and garlic in oil over medium heat (about 4 minutes or until tender). Stir in broth, potatoes and dill. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. With a potato masher, lightly mash about half of the potatoes in the broth. Add the drained beans to the potato mixture; mash some of the beans (or the whole darn pot!).
In a small bowl stir together yogurt, flour, pepper and salt; stir into the potato mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. cook and stir for one minute more.

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Filed under Main Course, Protein, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)