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Savory Potato Apple Soup December 16, 2012

Savory Potato-Apple Soup topped with a twist of black pepper and chopped ambrosia apple pieces.

Savory Potato-Apple Soup
with lemon & garlic

Mellow yet tangy–potato & tart apple pair playfully in this cozy soup. Serve it hot topped with fresh chopped apple slices. I suggest using an apple with a sharper, tarter flavor such as an Ambrosia or Jazz apple. Granny Smith would work as well (just avoid a purely sweet apple such as a Red Delicious).

Ingredients
Makes 6 servings 

-~1 lb potatoes (red new potatoes or small russets will work fine)
-3 Tart apples (such as Ambrosia or Jazz)
-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
-Juice of 2 fresh lemons
-10 garlic cloves (peeled & chopped)
-3 shallots (peeled & chopped)
-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (If you don’t have this, add 1 Tbsp brown spicy mustard instead)
-Pinch of cloves
– 2 Tbsp olive oil (use for roasting potatoes & sautéing garlic)
-1/2 cup water
– 2 Tbsp chopped green onion (optional)
-Pinch of rosemary (optional)
– Salt & pepper to taste (as topping–not mixed into soup)

Method

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse and chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place chopped potatoes in a large baking tray with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix well so that all pieces are coated in the oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender at 350°F, stirring every 10 minutes.

2) While potatoes are cooking, peel and chop garlic & shallots. Place on saucepan on stove top and sauté in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, stirring frequently until ingredients have browned slightly. Add a few spoonfuls of your vegetable broth as needed to keep ingredients moist rather than adding more oil.

3) Rince and chop 3 ambrosia apples. Reserve 1/2 apple chopped for soup topping. Add the rest into a large pot on the stove top along with the 4 cups of vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water. Add in all remaining ingredients to your soup pot (other than ingredients reserved for topping), and bring to high heat. Add in your garlic & shallots.

4) Carefully remove roasted potatoes from oven and add to your soup pot. Reduce heat to low. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients until soup becomes smooth.

5) Serve hot with chopped apple pieces on top. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on top as desired. Store extra in the fridge to use within the next few days or in the freezer to de-thaw and enjoy weeks or even months later!

Enjoy! Note, I did NOT peel the apples or potatoes because I felt they enhanced the soup’s flavor and texture (and added fiber!). Apples and potatoes are part of the “Dirty Dozen” so these are good items to buy organic.

 

The Best Black Bean Soup January 10, 2012

Simple ingredients. Simply delicious.

The Best Black Bean Soup
with zesty salsa & avocado

They say black is slimming. When it comes to black beans these high-fiber, high-protein, low-calorie legumes can certainly do a body good. It won’t matter however, when you taste your first spoonful of this simple, natural combination of flavors you won’t need any further convincing.

Ingredients
Makes 8 Servings

-1/2 lb dried black beans
-4-5 green tea bags
-1 cup of your favorite salsa
-1 bunch fresh cilantro
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 ripe avocado
– 2 tsp cumin powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-juice of 1 lime
-1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
Topping
daiya deliciously dairy free mozzarella style shreds
-Baked blue corn chips
-1/2 ripe avocado (divide into slices)

Methods
1. Overnight: Rinse dried beans and soak overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in large saucepan.

The next day...After soak, drain most of the excess water. You will lose some water-soluble nutrients in the water but you will also lose some of the raffinose (type of sugar found in beans) that causes the discomfort known to give beans their nickname as “the musical fruit.” The majority of the nutrient quality will remain and your guests will thank you for this measure.

2. In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Once the boil is reached, turn off the burner and add 4-5 green tea bags. Cover pot with lid and allow to steep until very strong (for at least 15 minutes- but leaving the brew longer is even better).

3. In a large pot, combine brewed green tea (remove tea bags) and beans and add water until beans are totally covered. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for approximately 1 hour until beans are soft.

4. Chop onion and add to large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Stir frequently until onions brown to a caramelized state (but do not become black and burnt).

5. When beans are soft, reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves from one bunch, caramelized onions, 1 cup salsa, cumin, cayenne pepper, oat bran (optional), lime juice and 1/2 ripe avocado. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth.

Serve hot. Delicious topped with baked corn chips, daiya dairy-free “cheese” shreds, and a few small avocado slices. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months. Freezer tip: If freezing, use containers that will hold only a few portions each for easy future dining.

Nutrition Highlights: This 100% vegan dish is packed with nutrients and extremely filling despite its low-fat, low-calorie profile. Black beans are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium. The green tea is high in antioxidants which help protect cells against damage (including both heart damage and wrinkles). This soup is an ideal dish for helping to lower cholesterol; The beans and oat bran are very high in soluble fiber- the type of fiber that can bind to cholesterol carrying molecules in the blood and help remove these molecules. The avocado, which adds a delicious creaminess to the soup body, is high in monounsaturated fat- the “heart-healthy” type of fat that helps to raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels.

 

Carrot Ginger Soup October 30, 2011

Red Lentils add Protein & Fiber to this Carrot Ginger Soup

I’ve moved this recipe to my new website: Purefitlosophy.com. Enjoy! -Andi

 

Zucchini & Fennel Soup October 29, 2011

Zucchini & Fennel Bulb offset Onion and pan-seared Tomato complemented by a spalsh of Lime

Zucchini & Fennel Soup
with fresh lime & pan-seared tomato

Fall and winter in New England are ripe for soup season. The first frosty weekend blew in to Boston this week (including our first snow sighting). Time to get cozy- and try some new soups!

Ingredients (adapted from this Bon Appétit recipe)

– 1 whole onion, chopped
– 1 whole fennel bulb, chopped
-1 whole zucchini, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
-1 whole tomato, chopped
-2 cups brewed green tea (no sugar)
– 1 fresh lime
– pinch of fresh  thyme (optional)
-dash of salt & pepper

Methods

1. Chop onion, fennel bulb, and zucchini and add to large saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil set at medium heat.  To save time you can chop the three veggies in that order and add them to the pan as they are chopped. Stir frequently to evenly cook added ingredients.

2.While onion, fennel, bulb, and zucchini are cooking, chop tomato and add to a separate pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and a few fresh thyme leaves (optional).

3. Once fennel and onions become translucent, add in thyme and squeeze in the juice from one fresh lime. Stir and pour in 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth.

4. While ingredients are cooking, brew 2 cups of unsweetened green tea. (You can just fill a mug with boiling water and a green tea bag, allow the tea to steep for a 2-3 minutes, add to the pan and repeat.

5. Reduce heat to low and, using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients together. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can transfer the mixture to a regular blender to blend then pour back into your large pot in stages. Add in your dash of salt and pepper to your blended soup.

6. Finally, pour into bowls and garnish with fresh fennel greens and the pan-seared tomato. Serve hot.

Time Saver Tip: Fresh, Fridge, Freeze. Fill your bowl (and others to be served) with hot soup to enjoy fresh. Immediately place a couple of extra servings in a microwave-safe container and put away in the fridge. The remaining soup can go in a freezer/microwave-safe container and stashed in the freezer for a later meal. Be sure to label and date!

 

Lemongrass Chicken Soup April 19, 2011

Lemongrass Chicken Soup

Soup of the Week: Lemongrass Chicken Soup

Inspired by an outstandingly delicious soup that I had one time at The Elephant Walk in Porter Square, I decided to try making my own lemongrass chicken soup. The verdict: Tasty but not yet perfected. I think throwing in some sauteed scallions next time and maybe doubling the amount of coconut milk would amp up the flavor.

Ingredients

1/2 cup grated lemongrass (frozen)
1 can light (reduced fat) coconut milk
Home-made chicken broth
Freshly cooked chicken
Grated fresh ginger
1 bunch chopped green onions (added at the end)
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1  bunch Thai basil
1 bunch cilantro
Lemon zest from one lemon
Lemon juice from whole lemon
Juice from 2 limes
1  and 1/2 cup chopped oyster mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Methods

To make the chicken stock I started with a whole fresh chicken, cut it into smaller portions, and boiled it in water with a pinch of salt and some fresh rosemary for over an hour. I then used the boiled chicken (which was then fully cooked) as meat for the soup. I transferred the broth to a large pot and added in all of the ingredients listed above and allowed the mix to simmer for about 45 minutes, chopping and stirring in the fresh veggies as I went along.