Tag Archives: soup

White Bean and Spinach Soup with Brown Rice.

For as much as I love food, I really struggle when it comes to lunch time.  Most days, I end up either dining out or ordering in and if not, I’m just eating slices of deli meat out of the fridge (who has time to make a sandwich?!).  So naturally, I was pretty stoked for the lunch themed swap.

I put the Baby Burrito (who turned ONE yesterday, holy cow that was a quick year!) down for a nap while the Fruitaholic watched a movie and spent a bit of quality time in the kitchen.  A big pot of soup is pretty darn genius when it comes to lunch food – Cook once, eat all week!

Bonus?  This soup is not only super healthy, it’s also super filling. With a slice of bread, it’s the perfect meal for a chilly fall day.

White Bean and Spinach Soup with Brown Rice.


  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. Can White Beans (such as Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • 3-4 Leaves Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Pinch of Dried Thyme
  • 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 15 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Rind Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Rice, uncooked
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 16 oz. Bag Baby Spinach, chopped


Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beans, basil and thyme.

Add the broth, tomato sauce and salt and pepper. If using, add the parmesan cheese rind. Simmer 10 minutes.

Add the rice to the pot, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the rice has cooked through, add the spinach and stir until wilted. If using, remove the parmesan rind.


Cream of Tomato Soup.

It’s been bitter cold in Chicago (and most of the rest of the country) the past few days.  So cold that one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of an icicle on her eyelash – for real.  And of course on the coldest day of the winter thus far, I spent all day running errands with the kids in tow.  We were all frozen by the time we got home so I knew only my most favorite comfort food would do the trick to warm our bellies and thaw us out.

I’m a big fan of the gelatinous goo that comes out of the can.  In my world, there’s nothing better than a big bowl of Campbell’s served with Kraft American cheese on white bread.  But some days, it’s nice to be a grown up and eat food that is a bit more real.

This soup definitely hit the spot.  It had a rich, smoky undertone due to the bacon (BACON!).  The Fruitaholic happily slurped down 2 bowls, even after telling me that he doesn’t like tomato soup.  I didn’t change much about the recipe.  I added an extra slice of bacon so that I’d have some to garnish the soup with, and I added a couple of carrots to up the veggie factor.  I substituted popcorn for the croutons because I had some on hand and thought they added a nice crunch.  I didn’t use the creme fraiche but didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by not including it, but feel free to garnish as you see fit.

Cream of Tomato Soup.


  • 5 Slices Thick Cut Bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Flour
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 28 oz. Can Whole, Peeled Tomatoes in Juice, crushed by hand (I used San Marzano)
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Snipped Chives, for garnish
  • Popped Popcorn, for garnish (I used Trader Joe's Popcorn with Herbs and Spices)


Add chopped bacon to a large saucepan and heat over medium until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove a spoonful or two of the bacon and set aside to use for garnish.

Increase the temperature to medium-high and add the butter. When melted, add the garlic, onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, stir until combined, and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, thyme, bay lea and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce temperature to medium-low. Cook until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth then stir in the cream.

Garnish individual bowls with reserved bacon bits, popcorn and chives.

Source -

Slightly adapted from Saveur


Lighter Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

As soon as I received my assignment for this week’s potato themed recipe swap, I did a little dance of joy.  You see back in college, a few friends and I had a standing date every month at a local chain restaurant, and each time I’d order their famous loaded baked potato soup.  It was incredibly delicious.

I loved that this recipe gave me a reason to finally buy an immersion blender! How the hell have I been living without one?!  It’s quite an amazing little tool.  We broke our blender (and our Magic Bullet… We have really bad luck with small kitchen appliances) before Christmas and we’ve been really sad ever since.  No more Green Monsters, no more margaritas.  Sad, sad pandas.  But now, we’ve turned our frowns upside down and are really looking forward to playing around with the newest addition to our kitchen.

I also loved that this version was “lighter” than many of those you’d find at a restaurant.  It doesn’t need to have tons of fat to have tons of flavor…  But I’m sure the generous dash of truffle salt also helped with that too.  I chose to use vegetable broth in lieu of chicken broth since I had some already open, and it made a great vegetarian soup.  But as good as the soup base is on it’s own, the toppings are what take the cake.  The bacon?  Heavenly as always, but if you don’t eat meat, leave it off and you have a wonderfully easy meatless meal!

Lighter Loaded Baked Potato Soup – slightly adapted from Cheese Curd in Paradise

  • 5 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 32 Oz. Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Skim Milk
  • Truffle Salt and Pepper, to taste

Suggested Toppings:

  • Chopped Cooked Bacon
  • Sliced Green onion
  • Diced Tomato
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Oyster Crackers
  • Hot Sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the chopped potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain in a colander and set aside.

Return the (empty) pot to the stove, and over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil.  Add the onions, celery and thyme and saute until tender.  Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add the flour and stir until the mixture is coated.

Slowly add the stock to the pot.  Stir to mix, then add the milk.  Allow to simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn off heat.

Add half of the potatoes back to the pot.  Using an immersion blender, blend well.  Once well blended, add the remaining potatoes and a generous dash of truffle salt (or salt and pepper) and stir to combine.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice.

African Peanut Soup.

This soup is entry into the 2nd Annual Souper Bowl, a fundraising event created by Branny Boils Over to help the ASPCA.  To say that ‘Branny’ is an animal lover is putting it lightly… Not only does she have pets that she loves dearly, you can often find her opening her home (on a horse farm, no less!) to rescues and foster animals.

Pets are an important part in many people’s lives, my own included.  During last year’s Souper Bowl, I introduced you to our now 10 year old cat, Dexter.  When the Fruitaholic entered the picture, Dex wasn’t all too sure what to think but two and a half years later, they’ve become the best of friends, as I knew they’d one day be.

As for the soup, well, it doesn’t really have anything to do with cats (actually, it has nothing to do with animals at all… It’s vegan!), but boy is it delicious!  It was nice and creamy thanks to the tofu yet still had some texture due to the rice and veggies.  The original recipe called for uncooked rice, and during the simmer time on the stove, my rice did not cook so I’ve updated the recipe below to reflect what I feel would be an improvement to this dish, by stirring in cooked rice after the soup had simmered.  I also feel like it could have benefitted from the addition of some green onions, but did not include that in the recipe below.  Aside from that, it was definitely a nice change of pace from your everyday, run of the mill soup.  Even the Fruitaholic finished his bowl and asked for more!

Be sure to stop by Branny Boils Over on February 5th for the roundup!

African Peanut Soup – adapted from Apron Strings

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 16 oz. Pkg. Silken Tofu
  • 1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes in Puree
  • 1 tsp. Cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • Dash of Tasbasco
  • 1 Cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • Roasted Peanuts, for garnish

Add the oil, pepper, onion, shallots and garlic to a large stockpot and saute over medium high heat until soft, about 6 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.

In a blender, mix the broth and tofu until smooth, then transfer to the stockpot.  Add the tomatoes, cardamom, nutmeg, and Tabasco and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk and rice.  Garnish with peanuts.