Friday, April 15, 2011

Soup's On!

I love homemade soup.  It's so yummy and wholesome and much better than canned soup.  And it's really not difficult to make either.  Lately, I've been making a few different kinds of soup because the weather around here has been kind of cold & rainy....perfect for soup!

The first soup I've made recently is one of my favorite recipes, lentil soup from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys.  When I first spotted this recipe, I thought it sounded good but sort of boring.  I was so wrong.  This recipe adds just the right amount of salt to make it tasty, but not at all salty.  It's even better as leftovers!  This is one of the best soups I've ever had!

Next up is a mushroom soup.  This recipe can be found on the back of Wolfgang Puck's boxed vegetable broth, found at grocery stores.  There is a similar recipe on his website (found here) but it's not vegetarian like the one I use.....but it is a very similar recipe.  Easy to make, healthy, yummy.  My family doesn't like this one as much, but I love it, so that's more for me!

And finally, my vegetarian chili.  I have a friend whose Mom calls chili "chili soup" so because of that, I think I can include it in the soup category!  This is a recipe that I've tweaked from the one that came with our crock-pot.  I used to make it with ground turkey breast in my pre-vegetarian days & it's good that way too.

Here's the recipe:
3 cans of diced tomatoes, chili style
3 cans of beans - (1 each: dark kidney beans, light kidney beans, black beans)
2 6-oz. cans of tomato paste
1 green pepper
1 onion
Ground spices - chili powder, ancho chile powder (mild), New Mexico chile pepper (mild), guajill chile pepper (medium) & chipotle chile pepper (hot)
Cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese & Saltine crackers, for serving

To make: Drain the beans & add them and the diced tomatoes to crock pot.  Chop green pepper into a thick dice and onion into a slightly finer dice and add them to crock pot.  Stir in one can of tomato paste.  If chili isn't thick enough, add more of the 2nd can, a little at a time until it's reaches the thickness you want.  Add spices - more of the mild, & just a little bit of the medium/hot spices.  Stir it all up.  Cover crock pot & let cook on high heat for a couple of hours.  Reduce heat to low & let cook for an additional 3 hours.  Don't open the lid while it's cooking!  After the 3 hours on low heat, open lid, stir & taste.  Add more spices or salt if needed.  If peppers & onions are still too crunchy, cook chili longer.  If it's to your liking, turn off heat & let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.  To serve, put chili in bowl & top with cheese - let sit until cheese is melted.

When I used to make the turkey chili version, I would thoroughly cook ground turkey breast in a skillet & then add it to the chili mixture, instead of black beans.

It's a really basic recipe that you can tweak to your liking.  DH added wasabi last time I made it & he said it was great.  If you make it, let me know how it turned out!   

What's your favorite soup to enjoy on a cold day?


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