Category Archives: Soups

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentils are high in protein, iron, fiber, folate and magnesium(read heart healthy), and they improve digestion so they are something I always have on hand and I try to cook them for the familiy here in there, usually in the form of soups. This is a recipe most of the family likes; like 5/7 of us which is good in my opinion…we have a couple picky eaters who will only eat the allotted 3 bites we ask them to try, but honestly they do that with anything besides burritos or pizza.

Start off with chopping up your veggies: onion, carrot and celery. You don’t need much, just a half cup of each. Then warm your olive oil in a large pot (I use a soup stock pot), and once it’s warm, add your veggies and cook them til they’re tender, about 5 minutes. Add in your garlic, and Italian seasoning, stir for a minute, then add in the lentils, vegetable stock, water and tomatoes. Bring this to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer, uncovered for about an hour. No need to stand right next to it and stir, I just grabbed a book and sat and read, and helped kids with homework til the buzzer rang. Once done, add in the salt, pepper and spinach and stir to combine; the spinach will wilt which is perfect. And that’s it! Easy, healthy and so yummy and warming! Enjoy!

Lentil Vegetable Soup
*serves 8

1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c carrot, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp)
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 c dry lentils, rinsed (I used red but any will work)
4 c vegetable stock
4 c cool, filtered water
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c baby spinach, rinsed
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pour oil into a large soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender but not burned. Add garlic, Italian seasoning and cook another minute. Add lentils, vegetable stock, water and tomatoes. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour. Add spinach, salt and pepper. Stir until spinach is wilted and serve.





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Moroccan Lentil Soup

This was a recipe Scott’s dad shared with me (“shared” meaning, he made sure we had the ingredients when he was over, texted me the recipe, and then said he really liked this soup; I took the hint and made it for dinner while he was visiting.). We loved it! I love all the spices! If you’re still having some cold days, like we are, this lentil soup is warming, healthy, and delicious.



Moroccan Lentil Soup

6 c vegetable broth
2 c onions, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika (smoked, if available)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1, 28oz can, crushed or diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/3 c chopped parsley
1/3 c chopped cilantro
juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute, adding additional broth as necessary to keep the vegetables from burning. Saute until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spices. Saute the vegetables with the seasonings for 1 minute to allow the flavors to bloom. Add the remaining vegetable broth, tomatoes, and lentils and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked. Add the parsley, cilantro and lemon juice and stir to combine. Season with the salt and pepper. If you would like to thicken the soup, use an immersion blender and pulse a few times inside the pot.


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White Bean Taco Soup

I love this soup because its super fast and easy to make; it’s one of those meals I can throw together when there’s only 30 minutes left til dinner time :); which happens sometimes. I love this soup topped with avocado, but I like SO many things topped with avocado so that’s really no surprise.


If you don’t have canned beans, you’ll need to plan ahead and cook your white beans earlier on in the day, or the week, as they cook for a long time; a couple of hours on the stove or several hours on high in the crock pot. I tend to make this when I already have cooked beans on hand, either in the fridge from when I made them earlier that week, or as cans, because it is a fast, yummy, and still nutritious dinner, one that others will never know only took you a few minutes to pull together.




White Bean Taco Soup

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cans Great Northern Beans or White Beans, rinsed and drained (or you can cook your own)
4 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 c salsa (I like medium heat, but feel free to use whatever kind of salsa you like)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp celery salt
Added to individual bowls: mozzarella cheese , grated
Optional: 2 c cooked, diced/shredded chicken
Optional Toppings: avocados, tortilla chips, sour cream

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, salsa, oregano and celery salt(and chicken if you’re using it; or you can add them to individual bowls at the end if not everyone likes meat). Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and spoon into individual bowls. While still hot, and a small handful of cheese and stir to melt. Serve with optional toppings.

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Crock Pot Black Bean Enchilada Soup

December is an abnormally busy month with all the recitals and performances we have added into our already very full schedule, and because of that, I’m finding that the only way we’re going to get home cooked, warm meals is to prepare in the morning or afternoon, which means we’re doing a lot of crock pot meals this month. I’ve taken a few soup recipes we enjoy and made them crock pot friendly, so if you’re a busy and need to prep in the mornings like me, give this one a try. And it is more of a medium heat when it comes to spices, so if you’re more on the mild side, omit the jalapeno and you could even decrease the chipotle chili powder as well, but we love spicy foods, even the kiddos, so we do it all!


This is fairly easy, and it probably only takes about 10-15 minutes of work. You’ll chop and saute your veggies, and while they’re sauteing, I mix together all my spices and put them into the crock pot, then I put the cooked veggies, tomatoes and a cup of the broth in the blender, blend til smooth, dump that into the crock pot with the rest of the broth, add your torn up corn tortillas and cook it on low all day or on high for about 4 hours.




Once it’s all done cooking, add in coconut milk and some black beans for texture and extra yumminess! Serve this warm and top with whatever toppings you like; I LOVE avocado so that’s always a must for me, and my kids also add some cheese and tortilla chips.


Crock Pot Black Bean Enchilada Soup (vegan, gf)
*serves 8

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 carrots(12 baby), peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-2 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, chopped  (canned or fresh; can omit this if you’re more of a ‘mild’ person)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1  tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
6 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
5-6, 6” corn tortillas, torn into quarters

salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c coconut milk (full fat from a can; I like the thai kitchen brand)
1 1/2 c black beans

chopped green onions
sliced avocado
cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

In a frying pan, saute vegetables in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Chop and saute your veggies, and while they’re sauteing,  mix together all the spices and put them into the crock pot. Put the cooked veggies, tomatoes and a cup of the broth in the blender, blend til smooth, dump that into the crock pot with the rest of the broth, add your torn up corn tortillas and cook it on low all day or on high for about 4 hours.  Add coconut milk and black beans and stir to combine.  Serve warm topped with any of your favorite toppings ( I LOVE avocado).

*You can also make this on the stove; just saute veggies in a larger stock pot and add spices, broth and tomatoes(blending the tomatoes in blender or with immersion blender) and bring to a boil. Tear the tortillas and add them to the soup. Cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer 30-45 minutes or until tortillas are breaking apart. Remove from heat and add the coconut milk and beans.


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Creamy Potato Soup- Vegan, GF

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Last month we visited my sister and her family in Idaho, and while there she made us this super yummy creamy potato soup, which is vegan and gluten-free. My kids begged me to get the recipe so I did and we’ve made it a couple of times since :). You get the creaminess from the raw cashews. Enjoy!

Creamy Potato Soup-Vegan, GF
*serves 6

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 clove garlic (minced)

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups cubed potatoes (peeled and chopped in 1/2 in thick pieces; I used Russet)

9 cups warm water (divided, see instructions below.)

1 1/2 cup yellow corn kernels (I used frozen)

1 cup raw cashews

2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon onion powder

2 tablespoon  parsley flakes

2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (not necessary, I just like it in there)

In a large pot, cook/saute your onion, garlic, and celery in olive oil for just a couple minutes, until your onions are softened. Add your potatoes to the pot along with 7 1/2 cups of water. Allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes (or more, if you’ve cut your potatoes bigger than 1/2 inch cubes) or until potatoes are fork tender. Once potatoes are tender, or nearly so, add your corn. In a high-power blender (I use Blendtec), place 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup raw cashews, salt, onion powder, parsley and nutritional yeast. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add blended cashew mixture to your pot and stir until everything is well-incorporated. You can eat the soup as is, or you can blend a few cups of the soup and pour it back in(or use your immersion blender), to make it a little more smooth and creamy(which my kids prefer).  Serve soup hot with your favorite crackers or rolls. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up 3- 5 days and reheated.

*This recipe can be doubled
*freezing does not work so well with this recipe. The liquid tends to separate and it makes for an unusual consistency.

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Bean and Lentil Chili

We were able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my husband’s family in North Carolina which was wonderful. Any family time is wonderful! While there, his sister had us over for dinner one night and made a Bean and Lentil Chili that we loved. I got the recipe from her, made a couple of little changes and we had cornbread and chili for dinner this week which was perfect with our freezing temperatures here in Utah.

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It took me a little over half hour to make this, and while it cooked (cooks for 30 minutes), I threw together a cornbread recipe and got that cooking at the same time so that everything was ready together :). I will share that cornbread recipe next week so be sure to check back next Wednesday for that.

In the recipe, once I’ve cooked all the diced veggies and the lentils etc, I used my immersion blender to blend up and thicken the chili for about 15 seconds. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can either just leave it as is, or if you like it thicker like I do, put about half of the chili in your blender (be careful cuz it’s hot!), pulse it a few times and then dump it back in with the rest of your chili. I dice my veggies pretty fine because my kiddos don’t love big chunks of anything.

Serve with toppings of your choice like grated cheese, sour cream (and if you made it too hot for your liking, this will bring down the temp), sliced avocado, tortilla chips, etc.

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Bean and Lentil Chili
*serves about 8

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 white or yellow onion
2 stalks celery, diced
2 lg(or I use about 12 baby carrots) carrots, diced
2 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
4 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or less if you like foods ‘mild’)
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cumin
6 c vegetable or chicken broth
2 c lentils, sorted and rinsed (any color)
1 small can tomato sauce

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chick peas (garbanzo), drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp honey
optional: oven dried organic roma tomatoes, chopped
optional: 1 tsp tapatio hot sauce (this is if you like your chili with more of a kick; which my hubby and I do. My nose was running b/c of the heat :))

In a large pot, over medium high heat add the olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until the onions have softened then add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the spices and cook another 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the broth, lentils and tomato sauce and raise the heat to high, bringing the broth to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are tender. If you have an immersion blender, put it in and blend for about 15-30 seconds, which will thicken the chili. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can put about 1/2 of the chili into a normal blender, puree, and then dump back into the pot; but be careful, because it’s hot.

Add the beans and honey and optional tomatoes and hot sauce. Serve warm in bowls with toppings of your choice. Some favorites are grated cheese, sour cream, avocado slices, tortilla chips. I also love to have this with a side of cornbread.

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Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I hope you’ve enjoyed some of our family’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve posted over the past few weeks, and if you didn’t get to see them, you can look under the recipe tab, scroll down to the bottom where it says ‘whole foods holidays’ and you’ll see several Thanksgiving, Fall and Holiday recipes.

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We’ve had some big winds recently that have brought in the cold, and boy did it get cold! We went from high 60’s and low 70’s to the teens and twenties. When it’s that cold, all I feel like cooking and eating are warm foods and we’ve got a nice, warming recipe for you today that is simple and fast to put together. I love those kind of meals. So if you have a busy day ahead of you, get this started in the morning before you take off for work, or when you have a few minutes during the morning and afternoon. You chop up an onion and some carrots, throw all your ingredients in the crock pot and let it cook for either 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. And that’s it! We served this soup with some bread on the side which the kids enjoyed dipping.

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Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup

1 large yellow or white onion, diced
1 c carrots, chopped (about 10 baby, or 2 large)
1 c dried lentils, rinsed
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
6 c broth (vegetable or chicken)

Put all ingredients in Crock Pot, mix and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.

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Potato Leek Soup

The first time I tried potato leek soup was this year, when I was experimenting with some new soup recipes. My family loved it! Four out of our five children ate most, if not all of their soup (my five year old is going through an ‘I hate all soups’ phase right now) and I wondered why I’d never thought to try this recipe before. The kids particularly like the potatoes and the leeks give it such a nice flavor and I slice them thin enough that they don’t bother the kids too much.

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You’ll start off by slicing the ends off the leeks, just above the root and discard the root. Next you’ll cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Starting at the white end, slice the leeks crosswise, as you would slice a green onion, in 1/4 inch slices. Stop slicing when the leaves turn from pale green to dark green and discard the remaining part of the leek.

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Place sliced leeks (about 2 c) in a colander and stir with fingers under cold water to loosen layers and remove any dirt. Drain and set aside.

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Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, salt and pepper and cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until leeks are wilted and fragrant. Add potatoes, broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cover pot. Simmer on medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add cream, parsley and additional salt and pepper to taste.

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Heat until warmed through and serve. Feel free to serve this with some diced up ham; I put mine in a separate small bowl for individuals to add to their soup bowls, since I don’t like ham :). I also like to eat mine with a soft roll; my favorite recipe is here (and it’s whole grain!)

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Potato-Leek Soup
*Serves 6-8

4 medium leeks
3 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 medium russet potatoes, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
4 c vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp dried bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 c heavy cream
optional: 8 oz or 2 c ham, diced
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

Slice ends off leeks just above the root and discard. Cut leeks in half lengthwise. Starting at the white end, slice the leeks crosswise, as you would slice a green onion, in 1/4 inch slices. Stop slicing when the leaves turn from pale green to dark green and discard the remaining part of the leek. Place sliced leeks (about 2 c) in a colander and stir with fingers under cold water to loosen layers and remove any dirt. Drain and set aside.  Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, salt and pepper and cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until leeks are wilted and fragrant. Add potatoes, broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cover pot. Simmer on medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add cream, parsley and additional salt and pepper to taste. Heat until warmed through and serve. Optionally, serve with ham in a separate small bowl for individuals to add to their soup bowls.

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (with whole wheat noodles!)

2014-12-02 16.49.45 Since I posted a chicken stock recipe last week, I thought it’d be fun to post a recipe we love, that uses that chicken stock. Today we’ll make a really simple and fast chicken noodle soup that is amazing and so healthy! It’s the perfect meal when it’s cold outside or when you’re feeling a bit under-the-weather. This soup also freezes great so if you have leftovers, you can save them in individual portions for lunch another day! You can either cook your own chicken (I like to boil mine), or you can grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco or elsewhere, shred up the meat and use that in this recipe(and then use the carcass to make more chicken stock!). Since I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I like to do a lot of my prep work, like dicing veggies and shredding chicken, while our 2 year old is napping, that way, when the older kids are home from school and needing help with homework and piano, I’m mostly done and really just need to dump things together and cook it. If you’re busy with work or school, you could always do the prep work the night before or the morning of. 2014-12-02 17.33.52 When we have soup, my family loves to have rolls with it, and we usually serve this soup with these amazing home made whole grain rolls. 2014-12-02 17.42.35 THE RECIPE:

The Best Chicken Noodle Soup (with whole wheat noodles) – lightly adapted from 100 days of real food
Makes 7 servings

9 c chicken stock (this homemade one is wonderful!)
3 c uncooked small whole grain noodles (fusilli, mini penne, etc)
1 1/2 c peeled and chopped carrots
2 c (~4 stalks) chopped celery
1/2 yellow or white medium onion, chopped
2 c cooked chicken, shredded (I like to use Costco Rotisserie chicken, or chicken I’ve boiled)
Salt and black pepper, to taste (I do 1/2-1 tsp)

In a large pot over high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the vegetables and noodles and cook according to package directions (7-9 min). Keep the stock boiling. Add the chicken at the end to warm it up. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm. *Leftovers are fabulous and can even be frozen in individual portions for lunch another day.

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Black Bean Soup


On Monday morning(Nov 10), here in the Denver area of Colorado, it was 60 degrees and sunny, so once the three oldest were off to school, I took our youngest two girls out for a walk. We brought a soccer ball and passed it to each other along our green belt. By ten that morning, cold winds began to blow in, and they were strong. The girls and I brought all our stuff in from outside in the back yard, lawn chairs, jump rope, scooter etc., and by 1030, when we headed out the door for Costco, it was freezing, literally freezing; my phone read 27 degrees! What a change from that warm and sunny morning just an hour before! That afternoon snow began to fall. Unfortunately, we forgot to send a winter coat with Annabelle, our first grader, that morning. Bad mom award, right here! When I picked her up from school, along with Elisabeth and Charles, Annabelle told me that she was very cold during lunch recess. I was shocked they let her out without a coat! At our school in Utah, if you didn’t have a jacket when it was freezing, they kept you inside. Well, we live and learn. And she definitely remembered her coat this morning and I think she will from now on, and if she doesn’t, I will! By the way, today the high is 5 degrees and it is currently 1 degree outside. The low will be negative 3. Brrrr! The good thing about Colorado is it doesn’t last for long; we get warm and sunny days interspersed with cold and snowy ones.

When the temperature drops, I love to cook up soups and chili’s and all sorts of warm dishes. There’s something so comforting about having warm food in your tummy on a cold day. A couple of our children don’t love chunky soups so sometimes we’ll make smooth soups like tomato soup with grilled cheese, or this black bean soup. And my fifth grader, who doesn’t like beans at all, will usually eat some of this :). I think she’s a texture person.

This soup is fairly easy. I can usually have it done within about thirty minutes which is nice for those crazy busy days(read: every day). I also love crock-pot recipes for that very same reason.

You’ll start out by sautee-ing your veggies in olive oil, you’ll add in everything else minus your lime juice and optional toppings. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, and then puree it all in a blender. I need to get one of those immersion blenders so I don’t have to transfer my hot soups into a blender; I always seem to spill or splatter, sometimes on the counter, sometimes on myself, which doesn’t feel good…maybe for Christmas :). Until then, I should probably use a ladle to pour most of it into the blender. Once it’s in there, blend it until it’s smooth, then add your lime juice, and pulse it a few times to combine.


Have I ever mentioned that I love my Blendtec blender? It’s amazing! Grinds anything! And Blendtec has a long warranty (I think it’s around 10 years) and amazing customer service. I’ve gone through 3 blender jars in the 4 years I’ve had it and haven’t had to pay a cent and the process was easy and fast. The motor has been great these four years and we haven’t had any problems with it. I use it every morning to make green smoothies, and then I use it probably weekly for other things like soups, chopping nuts, making flours from grains (though I have a nutrimill too which I use to grind most of my grains, but it can’t do flax seeds and the blendtec can) fruit smoothies, salad dressings etc.


It’s yummy and flavorful just as is!



You can also add a variety of toppings. We usually dip a few chips in while we eat, and add a little sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!



Black Bean Soup (lightly adapted from Our Best Bites)
*makes approximately 8 c soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic (or 4 cloves)
3/4 c diced carrots (2 med carrots)
3/4 c diced celery (2 ribs)
1 c diced onion (1 med)
3 c black beans (2 cans, rinsed and drained)
1 3.5 oz can green chilies
3 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro

In a large stock pot, add olive oil, carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Add in black beans, chilies, broth, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir to combine. Simmer uncovered about 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Place soup in blender(or use immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Add in juice from 1/2 a lime or 1 Tbsp lime juice and pulse to combine. Ladle into soup bowls and add any optional toppings.


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