Tag Archives: soup

Creamy Carrot Ginger Beer Soup

20 Jan

Houses Lannister, Baelish, Mormont, Bolton, Stark, Sand, Asshai, Tyrell and Tarth came together last weekend to discover who killed Daenerys Targaryen. Ok, don’t freak out: this is a spoiler-free post! My friends and I put on a murder mystery Game of Thrones dinner party and it was a BLAST. The murder mystery we used is clearly not in line with the actual story progression of Game of Thrones, which made for an interesting twist as we navigated through our given personae and clues.

Creamy Carrot Ginger Beer Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

We ate tons of delicious food: ALL the chickens (for the meat-eaters), roasted maple squash, jalapeno poppers, flayed potato skins and mashed potatoes, carrot ginger soup, Sansa’s lemon cakes, and even House Sigil cookies! The drinks flowed freely as well, including White Walkers, Dornish Mulled Wine, and a homebrew Chris and I made called “Valar Mozugon,” which means “All men must drink” in High Valyrian. And in true Game of Thrones fashion, we pointed blame at the would-be “murderers,” dealt with Jon Snow’s descriptions of The Wall, and even prevented Sansa and Ramsay from killing each other!

Game of Thrones House Sigil Cookies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

My character was Brienne of Tarth. If you’re not familiar with murder mystery parties, each attendee is assigned to be a character within the story, along with information about where you were before, during and after the “murder” in question. With that, you interview each other and try to probe for details that could lead to the “killer.” After four rounds of food, drink and accusations, we figured it out!

Game of Thrones Murder Mystery Dinner | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Featuring flayed potato skins, jalapeno poppers, Sansa’s lemon cakes and ALL the chicken!

The result was a fun party with a great group of people, some of whom even came costumed as their character! Chris, Ashley and I simply bought t-shirts with our assigned characters’ House crests on them.

Game of Thrones Murder Mystery Dinner | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Jaime Lannister, Margery Tyrell, Sansa Stark, Jon Snow

So onto the recipe – I made a large batch soup, which I knew would feed the crowd of “suspects.” It’s creamy, flavorful and the bright orange color is to die for! In a truly Game of Thrones spin, I used a bottle of beer as part of the cooking liquid for added depth. Whip up a batch for your next get together, nerdy or otherwise.

Creamy Carrot Ginger Beer Soup

Serves 8-10 (this can easily be halved to suit your needs. Simply use half a bottle of beer!)

  • 4 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 5 C vegetable stock
  • 1 bottle wheat beer
  • 1.5 C water
  • 3 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2” fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium. Cook onions until they begin to saute and become fragrant.

Add the liquids, carrots and grated ginger. Stir and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to let simmer about 45 minutes.

Once the carrots are fork-tender, remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree until completely smooth. Be careful not to splash carrot everywhere!

Return the pureed soup to medium heat and stir in the cream. Allow the soup to heat the cream; taste and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge up to a week, or stored in an airtight container in the freezer for a future meal.

Creamy Carrot Ginger Beer Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Black Bean Chimichurri Soup

6 May

When I asked my boyfriend if he liked the sound of chimichurri soup, his response was “chimi-what?” I quickly realized this green, herb-filled sauce is not well known in my neck of the woods, which is quite sad given how delicious it is.

For those who are in the same boat as Chris, chimichurri is a sauce that originates from Argentina and is also widely used in Nicaragua and Uruguay. It’s relatively simple to make, and is often used on grilled meats. It strikes me as the South American version of Italian pesto sauce – they’re both made up of herbs, oil, spices, and garlic.

Black Bean Chimichurri Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What’s great is that you can either make it fresh, buy a dry mix, or even a bottle of ready-to-go sauce. I happened to have a package of dry mix at home, and the cold temps sparked the idea to transform this traditional sauce into the base of a flavorful vegan soup.

Next time you’re low on vegetable stock, or just want to spruce up your soup with something different, keep this recipe nearby to bring some zing to the dinner table!

Black Bean Chimichurri Soup

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed & diced
  • 1 C frozen corn kernels
  • 2 C black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 C water
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp chimichurri spice mix
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • (or, use 1 cup of your favorite store bought or homemade chimichurri sauce)
  • 1 C broken tortilla chips, to serve
  • Chopped chives, optional

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high. Saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno 5-7 minutes. Add the frozen corn kernels and cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the black beans and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the chimichurri spice mix with the red wine vinegar and hot water. Let sit 5 minutes, and then whisk in 5 tbsp olive oil.

Stir the chimichurri sauce into the simmering soup and let heat through 2-3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with the broken tortilla chips and chives. Let the chips soak through a bit, and enjoy!

Black Bean Chimichurri Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Pumpkin Lentil Beer Soup

5 Feb

This soup is the product of needing something restorative and nourishing. My body was not happy with me yesterday. Instead of chowing down on bread, cheese and chocolate, I practiced some restorative yoga and cooked up this healthy, nourishing, vegan soup.

Pumpkin Lentil Beer Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

While soup may not actually heal you, I do believe the warmth from a bowl of healthy ingredients can only do the body good. When you pair the potassium of pumpkin, the fiber and protein of lentils, the anti-bloating properties of celery, the metabolism-boosting effects of spicy jalapenos, and the amazing benefits of turmeric, there’s really no way to go wrong. To add to the health factor of this soup, I actually replaced the broth, which is often high in salt, with a combination of beer and water. The alcohol cooks off completely and leaves behind a slightly sweet taste in the soup. It’s better than all that sodium!

If I haven’t sold you yet, this soup is done in less than 45 minutes. Practice some restorative yoga while the soup simmers, or simply enjoy your favorite book. It’s ok to slow down and take time for yourself, especially when your body is yelling at you to do so!

Pumpkin Lentil Beer Soup, adapted from Homemade Delish
Serves 3-4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 1 C lentils, rinsed and sorted to remove stones
  • 1 150z can pumpkin puree
  • 1 12oz wheat beer or vegetable stock
  • 2.5 C (20oz) water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Diced avocado, to garnish

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Cook onion, celery and jalapenos until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the lentils and pumpkin puree, then add the beer, water, and spices.

Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Taste the soup to make sure the flavors are to your preference, and that the lentils are cooked through but still have a slight bite to them.

Serve hot in bowls, garnished with diced avocado, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, or whip them together for a healthy avocado crema!

Vegan Chickpea Barley Soup for Two

17 Jan

I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Progresso Cooking Stock and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I almost can’t believe it, but this is my 300th blog post! That means 300 times I’ve shared my kitchen expeditions with you, documented my culinary successes, and stretched my cooking creativity. 300 posts ago, I didn’t know that I was starting a food blog. I began writing here as a transition from doing NaNoWriMo, but soon came to find that I enjoyed writing about food and sharing my recipes with the world.

And I’m nowhere near out of ideas! This soup is just what you need on a cold January day (it’s currently 3 degrees outside as I write this). It’s perfect for two people, so make it when it’s just you and your sweetie, or staying in with a friend, or like to plan ahead and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Vegan Chickpea Barley Soup for Two | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Using Progresso cooking stock, the vegetables, chickpeas and barley get a nice flavor boost without the added calories or fat of some stocks. The vegetable stock is made without any chemicals or preservatives, ensuring a healthy end result! Use pre-cooked chickpeas (either canned, or cooked from dry), quick-cooking barley (which you can buy, or cook up some barley ahead of time in water), and canned tomatoes to make this soup come together in 30 minutes. Yep, you can have a hearty, vegan bowl of goodness in your hands 30 minutes after you begin chopping.

Vegan Chickpea Barley Soup for Two | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Vegan Chickpea Barley Soup for Two
Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, or 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small to medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 C chickpeas
  • 1/2 C quick cooking Barley
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 C vegetable stock
  • 2 C water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, to garnish

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Cook the diced onion, carrot and pepper until softened and fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Add the chickpeas, barley, canned tomatoes, stock, water, bay leaf, herbs and spices.

Bring soup to a boil. Cover with the lid and reduce the heat to medium; simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep on the lid, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls (or oversized mugs), garnish with fresh parsley, and enjoy!

Vegan Chickpea Barley Soup for Two | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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One Month, Two Challenges and Vegan Chorizo Enchilada Soup

1 Oct

Today marks the beginning of two things for me: October Unprocessed and the final month of my half marathon training. It’s serendipitous that the two should overlap: one deals with eliminating all processed food from my diet for 31 days, and the other will push me further in mileage and running dedication than I have ever before experienced.

And let me tell you something: I’m scared. Scared of giving up those products which I’ve relied on to fuel my long runs. Scared of not eating & drinking enough to replenish my body’s stores. Scared that the time it takes for me to train on a weekly basis will compete with the amount of time needed to make more of my meals and snacks from scratch, and the time of having an actual life. And overall: scared of failing myself.

I’ve been working really hard to train for my first half marathon over the past 14 weeks. I’ve stuck to my plan, put in the miles even when I didn’t want to, and foam-rolled the heck out of my legs. I’ve logged more than 200 miles in training!

And over the past couple years, I’ve implemented all that I’ve learned from October Unprocessed: new fruits and vegetables are now part of my normal diet. Ancient grains are no longer foreign to me. I read ingredient lists to ensure I consume as few chemicals and additives as possible. Recipes prompt me to alter ingredients so they’re better for me and my loved ones. And I put so much more effort into nutritional intake & value.

But I’m not one to turn down a challenge. In fact, bring it on! Here are a few of the foods I’m going to prep:

  • Pumpkin, fresh from the garden: for baked goods, coffee, risottos, stews, chili, and breakfast hashes
  • Corn, from the cob: for soups, cornbreads, omelets and casseroles
  • Dried Beans: for soups, enchiladas, dips, and egg scrambles
  • Muffins & bars: for weekday breakfasts, post-workout snacks, and late night munchies
  • Breads: using spent grain from my homebrew beer to make a protein-rich bread that’ll hold me over through my training runs
  • Veggie Frittatas: for grab-and-go dinners on busy nights
  • Soups: the ultimate fall meal, which can be a complete nutritional meal in one bowl!

And speaking of soups, here’s a great one I’ll be making again. In one pot, it captures all the Mexican goodness of enchiladas, protein-filled ingredients, and ease of a weeknight dinner. It’s also vegan and gluten free! I paired this with my jalapeno hummus biscuits for a tasty dinner.

Vegan Chorizo Enchilada Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Vegan Chorizo Enchilada Soup, adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Serves 8

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C masa harina (corn flour)
  • 2 C vegetable stock
  • 1 C hot water
  • 2 9-0z tubes of soy chorizo, thawed
  • 1 1/4 C homemade red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Cool onion until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the corn flour and cook 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Now stir in the veggie stock, mixing well. Add the water, chorizo enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn and spices. Let the soup come to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve into bowls and pair with your favorite biscuits, buns, rolls, or slice of bread. Keep leftovers in the fridge, up to 5 days.

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