Pumpkin Curry Soup

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I was thinking about the very yummy pumpkin curry at my favorite Thai places and this really yummy soup that my friend Mike D made for Halloween. I was inspired to just take these ideas and twist them into a new soup. Presenting the pumpkin curry soup.

  • 2 Kabocha Squash, diced and baked
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 can of Coconut Milk
  • 6 cups of water
  • Veggie bouillon
  • Curry Spices (I used a mixed spice that included curry powder, saffron, coriander, cinnamon, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp of Flour or Bisquick (if needed to thicken it up)

First I purchased two small round green Kabocha Squash, cut them up into 1-2″ in squares, drizzled them with olive oil and baked for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Once they were done, I let them cool and used a spoon to scoop out the squash.

Meanwhile I heat up one can of coconut milk in a large pot and added the curry spices. These are so common, you can find them in jars or packets. I mixed that and added the water and vegetable bouillon.

I added some of the liquid to the pumpkin in a blender and blended to a pumpkin puree. Then mixed it all together.  I let it all boil down a bit, then added a bisquick to thicken it up.  It’s really an amazing soup and would really benefit from throwing in some veggies or meat and using it as a light curry.

Not to mention a light soup, here is the breakdown per serving, 10 servings per recipe:

  • 115 calories
  • 10.21g of fat
  • 0.03 mg Cholesterol
  • 4905.88 IU of Vitamin A
  • 27.34 Calcium
  • 320.25 Potassium

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Crockpot Recipe: Ham and Multi Bean Soup with Spinach

After Christmas, I had the ham bone with meat on it and wanted to use it to make a Crock Pot from scratch recipe. Something good and hearty, so I made the Ham and Multi Bean Soup with Spinach.Multi Bean since I purchased the bag of 15 different variety beans from Safeway. Large and small, this bag has lots of hearty beans. I do not use the packet of “ham flavor”, it has MSG and my ham has “ham flavor”.

Note: I bought the bag and didn’t notice the 24 hour soak, so I soaked them for 4 hours and slow cooked for 12. They absorbed the water quickly, so They came out perfect, so I can’t imagine that they really needed 24 hours.

1 bag of Multi Bean Soup
3 bulbs of garlic diced
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 ham bone with meat
2 quarts of water or more to cover
3 cups spinach, diced
italian seasoning, cayenne
Salt pepper

Put everything into the crockpot, making sure that you cover everything with a least an inch of water. Then cover and set low for at least 10 hours. I did this overnight.

In the morning, the soup broke down and boiled slowly. About 30 minutes before I was ready to turn it off, I put in the spinach and submersed them in the soup. Once it was done I added salt and pepper, it was so simple that it absorbed the flavors of the meat, veggies and beans.

Now that’s a soup!

Low Calorie Cabbage Soup

After the holidays, I wanted to make a soup that was super low calorie and cabbage soup is by far the best diet soup I know. Each bowl is low calorie and is really filling. The cabbage, lemon, garlic and cayenne are all great diet foods and help with weight loss.I did the math on this one, here is the break down per serving:
Calories: 56.5g
Carbohydrates: 6.88g
Total Fat: 3.07g
Protein: 1.7g
Dietary Fiber: 1.72g
Vitamin A: 4312.39 IU
Folate: 30.54 mcg
Vitamin C: 19.5 mg
Calcium: 64.62 mg
Potassium: 344.25 mg
Sodium: 205.32 mg

It really tastes great for being so low calorie. Not to mention it’s also the cheapest soup you can probably make. So think of it as a win-win. I eat the soup every day for a week, save a lot in making my own lunch and feel good about it.

My recipe:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tbsp of garlic
1/2 medium yellow onion
3 medium carrots, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
Dash of Italian seasonings, pepper, cayenne and ground cumin
1 small green cabbage, diced
2 quarts of water or until covered

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil, add carrots and let cook until the flavor steams up through them. Add Italian Seasonings, pepper, cayenne and ground cumin. Then add cabbage and stir up into the spices and veggies. Add 1/2 the water and “saute” the cabbage, making sure it soaks up some of the flavor, then add the rest of the water and vinegar and let boil for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes it takes longer, so you can tell when the cabbage is fully done.

Now I didn’t add salt, so you can add that. Also add tapatio or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. All up to you. 🙂 Makes like 12 servings, which is way too much – but enough to start a diet.

Fresh Pea Soup

I’ve made Pea Soup so many different ways but this was unique because these were fresh peas. I bought a package of fresh organic peas from the market for use in another dish but I forgot. I like to use up what I have so I made this on the fly.

It was REALLY different than cooking regular dried peas. Took twice as long. Try to have some patience, it’s worth it.

*Also, I use a lot of vegetable stock in my soups and that’s because I am allergic to MSG. If I don’t have time to make my own or buy organic broths, I use vegetable bouillon in water. I also thin out the flavor, since it’s about the ingrediants in it and not the broth.

1 medium onion diced
1/2 stick of butter, diced
3 cups of fresh peas
5 cups of water
1 cup of vegetable bouillon*, but chicken or meat stock is good too.
Salt, Pepper and Cayenne as needed for flavor

Sautee onion in butter until tender. Add peas then water, broth, spices and let simmer – like for an hour. You can tell when the peas are tender and mashable. I like to break them up while they are cooking to thicken up my soup. Since I removed a lot of water, I ended adding it back in the end. Patience is a lesson with this soup.

It was totally worth it and wish I had made more. Serves about 6 Bowls.

Crockpot Recipe: Beef and Vegetable Stew

Really easy beef stew, just add all ingredients and let the crock pot do all the work! Makes a huge crock pot of stew, so adjust as necessary.

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or beef broth
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
  • 1 large onions, chopped
  1. Place veggies in crock pot, cover with broth. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper, cayenne and Italian and pour over meat.
  2. Stir to coat meat with flour, add meat to crock pot and fold into mix of veggies.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Stir stew thoroughly before serving.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup

With leftover mushrooms I was inspired to make a creamy mushroom soup on the fly. It was pretty easy, homemade and fresh. Very warm soup on a cold winter day, perfect with toasted french bread.

  • 1/8 Stick of butter, diced
  • 2 stalks of green onion, diced
  • 2-3 cups of mushrooms, white or brown and sliced.
  • 2-3 cups of water depending
  • Italian Herbs, pepper and cayenne. Maybe cumin or bullion if you like.
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Half & Half or Cream, whole milk works, but reduce water.

Sauté the onions in butter and add mushrooms in a medium pot. Cook the veggies together, add water and herbs and let everything cook up. Add milk and let boil to be completed.

Remove from heat and pour into a blender. Blend to smooth consistency. Pour back into pot and let warm up. This is where I taste it, check for last minute salt or pepper and serve.

My Family’s Chicken Mushroom Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

Hopefully I am not breaking any rules by giving out family secrets, but this is my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe. Every year we look forward to the stuffing just as much OR more than all the other side-dishes. My grandmother was Nicaraguan and adopted this recipe from one she learned and customized it. I can guarantee, you have not had this before. Even my mushroom hating roommate loved it. 😉

The recipe usually makes two big pans of stuffing, which never seems like enough.

2 pounds of Ground Chicken
1/8 stick of butter (diced)
1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)
1 Bulb of Garlic (diced)
5 Stalks of Celery (diced)
2 Packages of sliced white mushrooms (diced)
1- 2 cups Portabella Mushroom or Crimini Mushrooms – any brown and flavorful mushroom works, (diced)
1 can of chicken stock and 1 can (size) of water
1 can of Mushroom soup (smaller campbells works)
2 tblesp. of yellow mustard
1 small to medium jar of capers with juice
1 loaf of fresh bread, dice and blend to crumbs. (Use a blender, chopper or even dicing small with a knife) – you need at least 4 cups.
Italian Season, Rosemary, Cayenne, salt and pepper.

In a large pot, add 1/8 stick of butter (diced), onion and garlic. Then add in the celery and cook down a bit. Slice white mushrooms smaller (makes for better texture. Add in mushrooms and let saute. Once veggies have started cooking, you can add in your chicken stock and water. I usually add in the herbs and let cook a bit. Add mushroom soup. Check the consistency, should be a soupy mixture of mushrooms and veggies. Add in the mustard and the capers, this will make the whole taste pop. (Secret Ingredient Spoiler!!!)

In a separate pan, cook the Ground Chicken with a bit of herbs and ground cumin. it really doesn’t need much more since you will be combining this with the stuffing mixture.

Meanwhile I like to make my own fresh bread crumbs. They tend to soak up the mixture better and leave the whole thing with a smooth texture instead of rough chunks of bread crumbs. I take the bread and dice it, then throw it in my cuisinart chopper and make crumbs out of it.

So, then we are ready to combine the items into one. Add the Ground Chicken to the soupy stuffing mixture. This will thicken it up a bit. Then slowly fold in the bread crumbs until it gets much thicker. It will almost seem too thick, better that than too thin. If it is, add more bread crumbs.

Butter each pan and add stuffing mixture. Top with bread crumbs and maybe a rosemary spring for decor. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked so that it’s somewhat solid.

This is absolutely my favorite. I know it’s not really fancy, but this is our family’s stuffing recipe. I’m glad my Grandmother shared it with me and now I am sharing it with you!