Easy Low-Fat Rustic Tomato Basil Soup

Hello readers! I’ve been slacking I know, but that’s kind of good in my mind because it means I have been really busy!

This week is a soup week. The chilly AZ mornings and nights called for something a little warm and special. For all my northern readers….. I’m sorry for complaining about 60 degrees.

Wherever you’re located, soup is always a staple in my book. Soup can be extremely versatile, light, or extremely filling. Not to mention, soup is a number 1 comfort food in my book.

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Tomato soup is one of my favorites. The problem with most store-bought or restaurant-style tomato soups is they are extremely salty and often time cream-based, which obviously packs a little too many calories into my tiny bow of soup. My Rustic Tomato Basil Soup is hearty, warm, but won’t bust the button on your jeans! Topped with homemade garlic parmesan croutons  coated in olive oil and thyme, this delicious soup is easy, with very few ingredients, and can be made in small or large quantities. I hope you enjoy my Rustic Tomato Basil Soup!

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Ingredients: (makes 3-4 servings)

  • 6 medium-large regular tomatoes (not beefsteak; a little lager than plum)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 oz no sodium added chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp dried basil (or 4-5 large fresh basil leaves)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Croutons:

  • 1-2 cups cubed bakery bread of your choice (1 used basic sourdough)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • grated parmesan cheese (use however much you prefer)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Toss your cubes of bread in olive oil, seasonings, and herbs and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful not to burn!

Slice all your tomatoes in half. In a large pot, add the chicken stock, tomatoes, 1 tbsp basil, the garlic cloves, and black pepper and bring to a boil. Once to a boil, lower to a simmer and allow tomatoes to cook for 35-40 minutes you may leave the lid partially on but make sure some steam can be released so chicken stock can reduce.

In a small skillet, slice you onions into think strips and saute on med-low until soft and caramelized. Set aside.

Once your tomatoes have cooked down, put all contents of the pot into a blender and pulse until the mixture has turned semi-smooth, but still slightly chunky (if you’d like a smoother soup, go ahead and blend until you achieve the smoothness you’d like). Pour contents back into the same pot, add almond milk, additional tbsp of basil, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Let simmer for an addition 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sautéed onions to tomato mixture and finish out cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve hot and top with croutons and a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


Lean Turkey Bean Chili

Sometimes even a summertime rainy day calls for something a little warm and a little comforting. My Lean Turkey Bean Chili did just the trick last night! Filled with protein, but still light and lean, this is the perfect comforting dish to cozy up with on the couch during summertime thunderstorms. I hope you try it out!

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Lean Turkey Bean Chili

Ingredients: Serves 5-6

  • 32oz (4 cups) fat free, low sodium free range chicken broth
  • 8oz (1cup) warm water
  • 2 cans no added salt crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1lb lean (I used 99% lean) ground turkey
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce

Total cooking time: 1hr 10min

In a large pot, add all of your liquids (chicken broth, water, crushed tomatoes), pinto beans, and kidney beans. Season with 2 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp paprika, 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 1/2 hour. In the mean time, brown your ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Season with remaining 1/2 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 Tbsp black pepper, 1/2 Tbsp paprika, and 1/2 Tbsp chili powder. I browned my turkey in a little olive oil spray to prevent sticking. once your meat is fully cooked, drain any excess fat and add to your chili base along with 1 cup of frozen sweet corn. Place a lid partially onto your pot and let simmer for another 20 minutes on medium. Remove the lid completely after 20 minutes, add 1 tsp of tabasco, and allow another final 20 minutes of cooking. Reduce your heat to low, or turn off completely if serving the entire bowl, and serve with toppings of your choice such as tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, or a fresh baguette!

250-320 calories/serving


Easy Crockpot Sweet Potato Chili

This is a super easy recipe that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Most of the items I always have on hand. It is one of those one pot meals that packs a lot of flavor and is a great thing to add to your list of chili recipes (especially if you have a vegetarian in your house). I like spicy, so if you aren’t a spicy person, I would just omit the siracha. In my opinion, it packs a really good punch though! This recipe also highlights, once again, how versatile sweet potatoes can be! Sorry I have been mainly posting recipes lately…I have just been on a cooking kick! Hope you enjoy this one!

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Spicy Sweet Potato Crockpot Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2-1 inc cubes
  • 1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • chili powder
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • 1/2 tsp siracha
  • feta cheese (to top with)
  • salsa verde (to top with)

Add the sweet potato, corn, black beans, spices, water, and vegetable broth into your pot and cook on low for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. After about your 2 1/2 hour mark, pour out about 1/2 of your liquid, leaving a little still in the bottom. Give your chili a stir and add your siracha in. Add as much as you like, just remember it is very strong. A little squirt will pack a lot of heat! Let your chili cook for about another hour and a half. Total cooking time should be about 4 – 4 1/2 hours. Once it is finished, spoon yourself a bowl and top with a spoonful (about 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp) of your salsa verde; I used the Whole Foods 365 brand and would highly recommend it! Also add a small sprinkle of feta cheese. Give your chili one last stir to incorporate these final toppings and enjoy! This recipe makes 2 servings if you have it as a side, 1 if you want it for your meal


Simple Soups

Sorry I don’t have a picture for this one, but I promise it is very tastey! When I am having a busy week, I love to pull out the crockpot. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do is think of and cook a full dinner at the end of a busy day. There are so many things you can do in a crockpot, the possibilities are endless! I made this crockpot Spinach Cannellini Bean Soup a few weeks ago and meant to post it but got wrapped up on the couch with a big bowl of warm soup and it slipped my mind 🙂 It is so simple, flavorful, and comforting. I really hope you try it out!

Crockpot Spinach Cannellini Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 container vegetable broth (I believe it is a total of 4 cups)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots (I used large carrots, peeled, and cut them)
  • 1/2 bag frozen chopped spinach (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • dried thyme, basil, black pepper, and garlic powder (season to your liking, just remember dried herbs are much more potent then fresh!)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat rotini

Add all ingredients (except the pasta) to your crockpot and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. During the last 1/2 hour, keep your crockpot on low and add in your pasta. Serve after your pasta is tender, and make sure to turn your crockpot off or the pasta will eventually overcook and become soggy! I finished off my bowl of soup with a sprinkle of low-fat mozzarella cheese. This recipe makes a total of about 4-5 servings. I froze half of mine to use at a later date! Enjoy 🙂


Squash & Lentil Vegetarian Chili

Cold, wintery days are typically the perfect time for chili! When your mood is sour, your toes are chilled, and the weather is gloomy and dull, the perfect treatment for my diagnosed “winter blues” is making something warm, comforting, and yummy! Here is my recipe for my squash and lentil vegetarian chili (non-vegetarians, you won’t even miss the meat!)

What you will need:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups diced squash
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, diced (keep all the liquid!)
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed (removes excess salt!)
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed
  • dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn

Directions:

  1. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth to a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Rinse off your lentils and dice your squash, skin can be left on! Add the rinsed lentils and squash to the boiling vegetable broth.
  3. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the 2 cups of water, and all of your spices. I don’t give measurements for the spices, because I just add what sounds good to me. You can be generous with the basil and paprika. Dried oregano is very flavorful and potent, so be careful how much you add of this unless you REALLY like the flavor of oregano. Same goes with the garlic powder.
  4. After about 20 minutes, add the diced tomato, juices and all.
  5.  Add the remainder of your ingredients, the beans and corn. Turn down your heat to low or medium-low (it should not have an intense bubble), put a lid on and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Taste your chili to see if it needs any further herbs or spices. If not, turn off the heat and make yourself a bowl! Enjoy!

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