Curried Pumpkin Soup

20131106-142851.jpg

Fall is all about pumpkin. Last year I was trying every pumpkin dessert recipe I came across. This year, being busier with my doctoral work, I’ve slowed down a bit and tried my hand at savory pumpkin recipes this season.

On Halloween, I had a small dinner party with close friends as part of our weekly supper club. We call it “Lovely Ladies Supper Club,” and it’s a blast. Every Thursday we visit a different friends apartment or home, get to see how they live, who they live with, what fuzzy family members they live with, and how they like to cook.20131106-142939.jpg

I love soup–and you already know I love pumpkin–so my Harvest Pumpkin Chili seemed perfect. The problem is I have this not so awful habit of always wanting something new. I hate trying the same restaurant twice, and the same goes for recipes.

So I came across this Curried Pumpkin Soup from Better Homes and Gardens online. They said it would only take 30 minutes, and they were right. Very fast, very tasty. No complaints from me (and I might even try this one again!).

Make it. Save the leftovers for your lunches. That’s what I did, of course, because life moves fast. Packing lunch is my least favorite thing to do in the morning. So fresh, homemade soup that’s ready to heat and serve is perfect for my busy lifestyle.

Ingredients

1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree20131106-142952.jpg

2 qt. chicken stock

2 t ginger

2 t cumin

2 t curry powder

dash of onion powder and hot sauce, if you want to give it a kick

3/4 cup roasted corn or softened lentils

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced into small strips

1 T olive oil

Directions

-In a large sauce pan, heat your oil and add in the veggies to sauté them. Add in seasonings and continue to cook for another 2 minutes until softened up.

-In the same pan, add in half of the chicken stock. Set the soup to boil, and then add in all of pumpkin, mixing well. Add in remaining stock + 1/2 cup water if you want a thinner soup. Mix well.

-Let boil just a few minutes and then return to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes if you have the time for fullest flavor. If you don’t, grab a slice of cornbread and dig in.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup for the Crock-Pot

SAM_4940

Remember my adorable Crock-Pot? The one with the damask pattern my mom surprised me with? I used it like crazy over winter break, and now I’m back at it again, Crock-Pottin’ away (my new favorite verb). SAM_4942

Lately, I’ve been using it a lot to create tasty soups. I’ve blogged about this before, lots actually, that I love making big portions of soup.

Yes, this sort of goes against my single-serving approach, but it’s the one kind of cuisine I (1) can’t get enough of, and (2) one that I actually like having as leftovers. Why go against my usual routine? Because soups freeze so well. They almost never taste like leftovers.

Here’s what I do: After making a big batch of soup, I portion the remaining soup out to mason jars and old glass salsa jars I’ve saved. I like to freeze in glass because it’s more sustainable, reheats well, and freezing glass doesn’t break down chemical compounds as plastic containers do. So anytime I need a quick lunch-on-the-go, I grab one from the freezer in the morning, let it thaw throughout the day (leading up to lunch), and then heat it right in the glass jar. It’s kind of fun eating soup from a little glass jar, but you can always pour it into a bowl if you don’t get a kick out of that like I do.SAM_4947

So to make this very easy Crock-Pot soup, here’s what you need and need to do:

Ingredients
4 cups water
2 cans cream of chicken (or mushroom or celery) soup
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (10 oz.)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or -10 oz. bag)
1 t garlic pepper seasoning
1.5 cups dried egg or rotini noodlesSAM_4952

Directions
-Turn the Crock-Pot on low if you have time to let it cook for 6-8 hours, high if you only have 3-4 hours.
-Stir in water, then condensed soup until well blended.
-Add in chicken, vegetables, and seasoning. Cover and cook.
-About 20-30 minutes before serving, add in the dry noodles. If you’re using the low setting, switch now to high. Serve once noodles are tender.

5-Minute Black Bean Soup

I just learned a new trick. I you like black beans and you like soup, you’ll certainly appreciate this one.

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can of low-sodium blackbeans, drained and rinsed

1/2 jar of salsa (or more if you like)

cumin, chili powder, and other seasonings, to taste

Directions

It’s so simple! Just blend the beans and salsa in your food processor ’til a smooth soup forms. Heat on stovetop and serve with your Tex-Mex favorites.

Seriously, it’s that easy. I always thought making this kind of soup would require a skilfful hand to reduce the puree and cook for a long time, but this recipe is fantastic (and fast–the combination of which makes for a real winner in my book).

Miso Soup for Health

It was a cold, cold day and warm comforting soup was in order.

The problem was this: standard chicken noodle soup wasn’t going to do the trick. I was craving something warm and thick, but not too heavy.

My I’m picky! Well, having high standards hasn’t hurt me yet.

I don’t think.

Or at least it didn’t with this soup selection from Chocolate-Covered Katie.

A single-serving version…

Ingredients

  • 6 oz sliced mushrooms (I used a combination of oyster and shiitake)
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 1 t garlic, minced
  • splash of olive oil
  • 8 oz broth of choice (low-sodium chicken is what I used)
  • 1 t fresh thyme
  • 1 packet white miso powder (or red)
  • optional: greens for garnish

Directions

-In a pot, heat oil and garlic. Stir in onion and mushrooms. Saute for approximately 5-6 minutes.

-Then add in broth and thyme. Let cook on medium-high for a few minutes. Then simmer for the next 30 minutes or so.

-Remove soup pot from stovetop. Mix in miso powder. The soup should begin to appear thicker and cloudier.

Serve warm over a bed of rice or with noodles.

Also, this recipe freezes well. I made a big batch and saved the leftovers in individual containers in the freezer, which I pull out whenever I need a quick lunch.