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Creamy Chicken Pumpkin Soup

As much as October is “pumpkin month” to me, this one caught my eye and I had to have it.  Even though it is December – yikes, how did that happen so fast!  As always, I’m sad to see the fall go.  I find January-April the worst time of year.  Everything is dead.  No farmers markets.  No warmth in the air.  No exciting holidays.  Just, yuck.  Luckily the next few days are my favorite of all 365, so I will definitely be enjoying them while they’re here.  Hopefully you will, too! :)

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Creamy Chicken Pumpkin Soup– adapted from Picky Palate

Serves: 6 as main course – 8 as side

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 chicken breasts (1-1.5 lbs)- see step #1
32 oz reduced sodium vegetable broth
14.5 ounce can organic pumpkin puree
1/3 cup light cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker with about 1/2 cup of water.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours.  I would recommend putting it on in the morning and then when you get home from work it will be ready to go for the rest of the recipe.
  2. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, stirring and cooking for about 15 minutes, until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add shredded chicken, vegetable broth, pumpkin, cream, salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir to combine and heat over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Once hot, stir in cheese to melt. Taste and season accordingly.

Nutrition Facts (per serving for main course): 344 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated), 16.3g carbohydrate, 33g protein, 593 mg potassium!

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Lemon Lentil Soup

Lentils are such a great source of fiber and protein that I’ve made a personal goal to get them into more dishes. What I’ve noticed is that you can easily sneak them into things because when they cook they just sort of.. blend in. I understand that’s a terrible description, but you’ll have to cook them and see for yourself!  This soup was really tasty and fresh.  I froze the leftover servings and really look forward to having it again on a cool winter night.

Lemon Lentil Soup– slightly adapted from The big book of little lentils

Serves: 6

2 tsp. olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (do 1/2 tsp if you like spicy)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1.5 cups dry split red lentils (I used Goya brand), cleaned and rinsed

6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. dried parsley (or 2 tbsp. fresh)

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot
  2. Add onion and saute 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional minute
  3. Add cumin and lentils, combine well.  Add chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender and soup is beginning to thicken, about 30 minutes
  5. Add lemon juice and serve with parsley sprinkled on top and 3 (1 oz) slices of ciabatta bread

Nutrition Facts (per serving without the bread): 193 calories, 13g protein, 28g carbohydrate (9g dietary fiber), 3.4g fat (.7g saturated)

Minestrone Soup

It was a sick, study filled weekend.  I can say I moved from the couch once or twice in 48 hours.  Unfortunately, the little germ monsters (children) at my part time job did it again.  My cold left me not caring at all about the quality of this picture of soup.  Despite the awful picture, I promise that it tastes delicious and was very comforting on a chilly fall night, sore throat or not!

It is not my recipe though so I cannot take credit for it.  It’s one of my favorite chef’s/RD, Ellie Krieger.  Next weekend through Tuesday I will be at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics national conference in Philadelphia (sorry, no post next Monday!), and I can’t WAIT to go to Ellie’s presentation.  Maybe I can even meet her?! I like this recipe so much that I hardly altered it at all, and it’s perfect to freeze for nights you’re feeling lazy but still want need to get your vegetable servings in :)

Minestrone Soupvery slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger, RD

Serves: 6

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 stalks celery, diced fairly thin

1 large carrot, diced fairly thin

1/3 lb green beans, cut into 1/2 in pieces

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

salt and pepper, to taste

1 28 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1 14 oz can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5 oz can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup whole wheat elbow pasta

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Dice all vegetables
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the celery and carrot and cook until begin to soften, about 6-7 minutes.  Stir in the green beans, dried oregano and basil, dash of salt and pepper (if cans are higher sodium omit the salt), cook 4-5 more minutes.
  3. Add the diced and crushed tomatoes & chicken broth, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in the kidney beans and pasta and cook about 10 minutes more.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 260 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated), 37g carbohydrate (12g fiber), 15g protein

Tortellini Soup

This is a great one because while the steps add up to about a half hours worth of time, there’s only about 5 minutes of active cooking, so you can get other things done while you wait.  This recipe is from my mom, with a few modifications.  I’ ve also realized I haven’t been writing how many servings the recipes make, so I will be starting that now.  This one serves 3-4.  I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced mushrooms (my mom uses 1 oz pancetta instead- it’s whatever flavor you’d prefer!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 4.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 14 oz can low sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 10 oz tortellini (cheese or spinach filled)
  • 4 oz fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Salt, pepper, and parmesean cheese to taste

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Once hot, add onion, garlic, and mushrooms (or pancetta) a few minutes until onions are transparent
  2. Add chicken broth and Italian seasoning and bring to a boil
  3. Add tortellini and cook 10 minutes
  4. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes
  5. Add spinach and cook 3 minutes
  6. Add salt and pepper as desired

* I will note that a male may need some extra bread with this one to fill up.  I caught Dan with his second ice cream pop after this meal claiming the pop “fell out of the freezer and looked like he needed a good home.”