Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten Soups Week 1

This week we have started our Lenten soup adventure again!  I must say I look forward to it even though it is supposed to be a time of simplicity and fasting and penitence.  It is sacrificial while also being very renewing!  Plus it make life in my kitchen a lot easier!

So the plan for this year is
Monday through Thursday soups, Crock soups for busy days
Fridays saved for fish (or pizza if I don't get to the fish store) ;)
Feast on Sundays and Feast Days

We are trying to do meatless soups on Mondays and Wednesdays to be even more budget conscious and to compensate for the fact that Rose prefers beans and lentils to meat most days (unless it is filet or salmon and then she eats like a trooper!)

Week 1 Menu

Ash Wednesday
Barley and Hearty Vegetable
(no recipe because I bought it from Costco)
very good, but too much spice for the kiddos
Crusty Garlic Bread

Thursday - crockpot
(adapted from Kimberly's recipe)
my adaptations did not go great.  It was tasty, but not as good as last year!

Pizza from Jets

Saturday - crockpot
Vegetarian Gourmet Bean Blend Chili
Corn Bread

Sunday - feast
We will be eating or carrying out as Daisy has a meet late on Sunday.

Monday - crockpot
Slow Cooker Tomato Tortellini Soup
Herbed Pita Chips

Hearty Chicken Soup and Vegetables
Whole Grain Biscuits

Black Bean and Avocado Soup

My recipes come from a variety of sources.  My favorites are from other blogs which I credit by linking to their blog.  Other favorites are from Rachel Ray's magazine (a feast for your eyes) and the menu planning website and of course my own personal recipes!

Vegetarian Gourmet Bean Blend Chili
Rinse and soak 3 cups of dried beans (I used a mixed bean blend with peas, beans and lentils) in 9 cups of cold water while prepping rest of recipe.  Drain.
Add 2 cups chopped onions, 2 diced red bell peppers and 6 cloves of diced garlic to crock pot. 
Add 2 T chili powder, 2tsp dried oregano, 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste).
Add soaked beans and 6 cups of water (or broth).
Add 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes. (I used frozen ones from summer harvest)

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until beans are tender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with sour cream, green onions, cilantro and/or grated cheese.

Tomato Tortellini Soup serves 4+
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 cup marinara sauce or any jarred pasta sauce
1 yellow onion , chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 T Italian seasonings
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 9-ounce package fresh, cheese-filled tortellini
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

[1] In a slow cooker, combine broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, garlic and salt and pepper.

[2] Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours. 20 minutes before serving, add tortellini and cook on low. If soup seems too thick, add water to thin. Garnish with cheese.

Do not leave tortellini too long or it will fall apart. :)

Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup 
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes 
1/4cup butter
4boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
 coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1white onion , chopped
1teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2cup all purpose flour
4cups chicken broth
4large Yukon Gold potatoes , scrubbed and cubed
4carrots , peeled and cut into coins
1/2pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
4stalks celery, sliced
1teaspoon dried oregano
1teaspoon dried basil
1teaspoon dried thyme
1/2teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2teaspoon ground cumin
1/4teaspoon white pepper

per serving: 503 calories; 61 grams protein; 16 grams total fat; 6 grams fiber; 8 grams saturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 167 mgs cholesterol; 1024 mgs sodium; 12 WW points plus // nutrition is based on a 6 oz boneless chicken breast
 [1] Melt butter in a large heavy soup pot over medium high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. While chicken is cooking, chop vegetables.

[2] Add onion and garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add flour and stir until chicken is coated. Add chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, beans and celery and stir to combine.

[3] Add oregano, basil, thyme, poultry seasoning, cumin and white pepper, and more salt and black pepper if desired. Bring to a boil, then cook at a strong simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender. 

Black Bean Soup with Avocado
  • 3 15 ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ups canned low-sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
[1] Combine 3 cups of the beans and 1 cup of the broth in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

[2] In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a dash of salt and pepper, stirring frequently until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and boil until reduced, about 3 minutes.

[3] Add the bean puree and the remaining broth and the rest of the beans. Simmer until hot, about 5 minutes. 

[4] Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the avocados, cilantro, lime juice and another dash of salt and pepper. Mix gently and set aside. 

[5] Spoon the soup into bowls and top with the avocado salsa. Place a dollop of sour cream next to the avocado.

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