Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had the time to blog in over a week! Finally today, I had the time to try this healthy and delicious red lentil soup. It contains my favorite spices, cumin and chili powder; and my favorite herb, cilantro. This recipe is by Melissa Clark, New York Times Cooking. It can be made with either chicken or vegetable broth. When I make this soup again, I will be cooking adding more lentils, since I prefer a thicker soup. This is incredibly easy to make and a very tasty to enjoy!

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion (about 1½ cups), chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground chili powder
  • 1 (48 ounce) package of organic chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large organic carrot, peeled and diced
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Using a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes, until golden.
  2. Add tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  3. Pour in broth and water. Add lentils and carrot. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until lentils are soft. If needed, add more salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Using a regular blender or immersion blender, purée half the soup, then put it back into pot.
  5. If necessary, reheat soup. Add lemon and cilantro. Serve immediately. 4 servings.

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Tuscan Vegetable Soup

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This deliciously healthy soup is so easy to make and takes about 30 minutes to prepare. It is made with cannellini beans, zucchini, carrots, green beans, tomatoes and spinach. You can use either chicken broth or make it totally vegetarian by using vegetable broth. The soup is seasoned with thyme, sage and garlic. You can easily double the recipe, so you can have more for later in the week or you can freeze it and serve at a later date. I found this wonderful recipe in Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave, Taunton Press, 2008. The only change I made to this dish was adding the fresh green beans. With the cooler weather just around the corner, this is the perfect soup to take the chill out of your bones!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini or other small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium organic carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup organic green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 cups (2 ounces) organic baby spinach, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using a masher or the back of a spoon, mash half of the beans in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, green beans, garlic thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Cook, stir occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach. Cook for about 3 minutes, until spinach is wilted.
  4. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 6.

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Chicken and Zucchini Couscous

Chicken and Zucchini Couscous

This dish is based on a North African classic, which combines chicken, garbanzo beans and zucchini with a cumin spiced chicken broth. You can use a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, but I chose to use skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes. I also decided to use whole wheat couscous for its nutritional value and extra fiber. By eliminating the chicken and using vegetable broth, instead of chicken, it can easily be made into a deliciously healthy vegetarian dish. Just add more beans and zucchinis. This flavorful recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, Recipe of the Day, April 2011.

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion or ½ large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¹⁄₈ to ¹⁄₄ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1½ cups organic low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup organic crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 organic zucchinis, cut in ¼-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 4 cups cooked whole wheat couscous

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for approximately 6 minutes, until chicken is no longer translucent and cooked through. Remove chicken and place in a dish on the side.
  2. In the pot over low-medium heat, cook onions until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, oregano and turmeric. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the broth and tomatoes. Scrap the bottom of the pot to remove any brown bits. Add salt to taste. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add chicken, beans and zucchini. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, until zucchini is cooked. Add the parsley and lemon juice and serve over the couscous. 4 servings.

Chicken and Zucchini Couscous 2

Spicy Egg Drop Soup

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It’s been a long time since I had egg drop soup. I didn’t realize how simple it is to prepare and that the ingredients are already in my pantry—no need to go to the grocery store! Egg drop soup is a wonderful comfort food and you can easily add other ingredients to suit your tastes, like chopped carrots, peas, tofu, etc. I used sesame chili to give the soup some spiciness, but you can use sesame oil, instead, if you prefer.

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Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces organic chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame chili oil or sesame oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • ⅓ cup frozen organic corn, thawed

Directions:

  1. Pour chicken stock in medium saucepan over medium high heat, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of stock to whisk with the cornstarch in a small bowl.
  2. Add cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame chile oil and corn, stirring well. Reserving some green onion for garnish, mix in the soup. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to a simmer.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly pour (in a narrow stream) the beaten eggs into soup, while very gently whisking as you pour to create the egg ribbons. Let eggs cook for a few seconds.
  4. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately. 4 servings.

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Wonton Soup

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I have been making this wonderful and delicious soup for years! My inspiration came from Martin Yan’s “Wonton Soup,” A Wok for All Seasons, Doubleday, 1988. The next time I make this soup, I hope to use ingredients that are entirely organic. The ingredients in this soup can either be made gluten-free or bought gluten-free. At the bottom of this blog is a link of a recipe to make gluten-free wonton wrappers.

Wonton filling:

  • 1/4 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon water chestnut, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, including top, minced
  • 1 organic egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Wonton:

  • 25 wonton wrappers
  • 1 organic egg white, lightly beaten (to “seal” wonton wrappers)

Put a damp paper towel over the wonton wrappers to prevent them from drying out. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Using your index finger “brush” the edges of wrapper with egg white. Fold in half over filling to form a triangle. Press edges of wrapper firmly to seal. Place filled wonton on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel, while filling the remaining wrappers.

Cook wontons in a large pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes, until filling is no longer pink. Drain and place wontons in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Soup:

  • 6 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, sliced*
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots, sliced*
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish

In a large pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add sesame seed oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add vegetables and cook until slightly tender. Drain the wontons and add to the broth. Garnish with green onion. Serves 6 to 8.

Blogger’s notes:

*I used 1/2 cup sliced organic carrots, celery and mushrooms, instead of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I also added about 3 ounces of snow peas. This is personal preference, but I like having healthy vegetables in my soup.

You can freeze uncooked wontons by placing them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until firm. Put frozen wontons in a plastic bag and return to the freezer. Boil frozen wontons for 4 minutes and add to broth.

http://myglutenfreefoods.com/gluten-free-egg-roll-wrappers-or-won-tons/