Lettuce Soup!

Yes, lettuce soup! My mission has been to find ways to incorporate more veggies in our meals at home and in the winter a cold salad doesnt always cut it. And worse, I hate to throw out vegetables with a short shelve life just because I’m bored with them. More recipes on lettuce to come as I continue to experiment!
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, chopped (or 1 medium yellow onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 whole fresh rosemary sprig (can omit, I like for flavoring but remove before serving)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian dish)
  • 1/2 instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped lettuce (any kind will do, I like spring mix lettuce for colouring)
  • Salt and PEpper
  • Optional garnish: Worcester or low-sodium soy sauce*
In a pot, heat oil over medium heat. Once heated through, add carrots and shallots and sauté for about 5 or 6 minutes or until shallots turn clear but not yet browned.  Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Whilst simmering, stir in the potato flakes.  Check to see if the veggies are done (they will be soft) and feel free to add more potato flakes if you want a thicker soup. Add the lettuce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with a dash of Worcester or soy sauce. Makes 3 cups. *See notes below.
*Most people don’t know that Worcester sauce contains anchovies so this is not suitable for vegetarians if you make this for vegetarians with vegetable stock.
*Soy sauce is excellent for sauces, stews and soups. A lot of chefs use to give food a kick.
*Potato flakes are excellent for thickening soups and stews. They add a nice smooth consistency, great cream-free alternative,  and gets you a little fiber and calcium.

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

Here’s a much lighter take on chicken and rice that has now become one of my favorite soups of all-time.  Reviewers suggest that the soup is restaurant-quality, even without the heavy cream.

  • 2 tsp. Butter or Olive Oil
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • Half cup of parboiled rice
  • 1/4 cup butter or buttery spread
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup four
  • 1 cup milk (1% or 2% is best)

Heat a large pot or dutch oven to medium. Melt butter in pot and sauté carrots and onion until softened but not browned.  Add broth, water and chicken to pot. Bring soup to a rolling boil, then stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat and rest for 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in pepper, onion powder and oregano until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through and soup thickens to desired consistency, about 15-20 minutes.


Delicious Ham & Potato Soup!

This is inspired by one of the highest ranked and reviewed recipes from allrecipes.com!  Once we tried it, we knew that this is one of the best soup recipes ever! The only modifications we made was to cut out excess salt and reduce butter by a tablespoon.  This is definitely a recipe doubler!
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil,
then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir
in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a
fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as
not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring
over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve

J’s Shrimp and Wonton Soup

I was working from home and craving wonton soup so I went to the fridge and the freezer to see what I could put together with a little creativity.

On top of chicken broth, mushrooms, green onions and soy sauce, I found a bag of leftover homemade veggie wontons in the freezer that I thought I’d toss in.  It wasn’t until I dished up a hot, steamy bowl, that I discovered I had accidentally added my goat cheese ravioli, which is also made with wonton wrappers.  The result was a wonderful, comforting soup that shouldn’t be shunned because of the addition of dairy to this soup.  There are no measurements here, just throw in what you have and experiment.  Let me know what you think!

  • Chicken Broth
  • 1-2 tsp light soy sauce
  • sliced mushrooms
  • sliced green onion
  • dash of ginger powder
  • cornstarch
  • Leftover Goat Cheese Ravioli
  • chopped shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Bring broth to a boil  and add soy sauce and wontons straight from the freezer.  Bring to a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes, add veggies and ginger and reduce heat. Stir some cornstarch into a little cold water until dissolved and add to pot.  Add shrimp and simmer for 4 minutes. Serve hot.

Sleepy Lettuce Soup

I’ve been dying to try this recipe since I saw it on BBC.  Lettuce in soup?  Actually looked amazing, so we’re giving it a try this week.  We are out of millet, so we will substitute barley for it.
According to blogger Diana Hartman, “lettuce has diuretic qualities, so it’s great for weight loss. It is also good for sufferers of oedema, swollen ankles and yeasty problems such as thrush. It also contains a compound that is relaxing to the nervous system, so will help you sleep.”
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 litre filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons wheat-free vegetable bouillon powder
  • 8 tablespoons millet
  • 1 large romaine lettuce, washed and roughly shredded
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil or fresh parsley

Heat the oil with a little water in a large saucepan. Add garlic & onion and cook for 3 ” 4 mins, stirring occasionally.  Add the potatoes and cook for a further 2 mins.

Add 1 litre of water, together with bouillon powder and millet.  Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 mins or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.

Add the lettuce and cook for 2 ” 3 mins or until just wilted.  Allow to cool before blending in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth, along with half of the fresh chervil or fresh parsley.

Return to the pan to re-heat, adding a little water if necessary.  Divide between warmed soup bowls and serve garnished with the remaining fresh chives or fresh parsley.

382 calories, 5.88g dietary fiber, 11.87g protein.

Irish Lamb Stew

Here’s an excellent slow cooker recipe from EatingWell.com

Lamb stew is Irish penicillin: a rich stew full of potatoes, leeks and carrots that’ll cure whatever ails you. In traditional fashion, nothing here is browned first, just all stewed together. To keep it healthy make sure to trim the lamb of any visible fat before you cook it.

  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 large leeks, white part only, halved, washed (see Tip) and thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Combine lamb, potatoes, leeks, carrots, celery, broth, thyme, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the lamb is fork-tender, about 8 hours. Stir in parsley before serving.

266 Calories; 7 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 65 mg Cholesterol; 27 g Carbohydrates; 23 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 427 mg Sodium; 803 mg Potassium

Tips & Notes

  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Equipment: 6-quart slow cooker
  • To clean leeks, trim and discard green tops and white roots. Split leeks lengthwise and place in plenty of water. Swish the leeks in the water to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.

Vegan Vegetable Barley Soup

Did you know that one cup of barley has over 3 times the amount of fiber of oatmeal?
We have been trying to use a variety of grains and healthy starches in our meals, and my mission this week was to use barley in a main course as it’s full of dietary fiber and offers numerous heart-healthy benefits. Here is a truly filling soup that is almost a stew and rivals a restaurants’ top vegan dish. Only 150 calories per serving.  If you do not need the dish to be vegetarian, a couple of good dashes of Worcestershire sauce adds a hint of warmth. (for those who may not know, Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies!)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (vegan)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked barley
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery and its leaves, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can sodium-free diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup navy beans (rinsed if from can, or dried and soaked over night)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon natural sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

Pour the vegetable broth into a large pot. Add the barley, carrots, celery and leaves, tomatoes, zucchini, navy beans, onion, garlic and bay leaves. Season with the sugar, salt, pepper, curry powder, paprika, chili pepper and lemon. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes. Add water if soup thickens too much, and remove bay leaves prior to serving.  We served this with Angela’s E-Z Drop Biscuits.  Enjoy!

Potato and Spinach Soup (Cream-Free)

Here is a wonderful creamy potato recipe that’s super easy and very clean.  A variation from potato and leek soup, for one reason only: Publix was out of leeks, my most favorite vegetable in the whole wide world!  We were pleasantly surprised that the spinach did not overpower the dish and left us with clean palates.

Recipe for 3-4 servings.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 russet or white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 handful fresh spinach, stems removed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent and garlic becomes fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Do not brown veggies.  Toss in the diced potatoes and stir a few times.

Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

Once the potatoes are tender, using a ladle, remove about 1/3 of potato and stock and purée in a food processor until smooth.  Add back to soup and continue to reduce the liquid for another 15 minutes.  If soup thickens too quickly, add water by 1/2 cups at a time.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5 minutes prior to serving, roll up spinach leaves into a bundle and slice into thin strips. Stir into soup and let simmer until wilted, about 4 minutes.

Serve immediately with a fresh, crusty baguette.  Enjoy!


Leek & Potato Soup

One of our favorite, heart warming soups ever! Vegetarian, few ingredients, and ready in 30 minutes.  What could be better?  And leeks are lovely, adding a nice, natural buttery taste to soups.

  • Olive oil or Smart Balance Buttery Spread for sautéing
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 good sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3.5 cups vegetable stock
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and cook gently for 7 minutes until the veggies are softened, but not browned.

Add the potatoes to the pan and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes.

Serve immediately.  Store remaining soup in fridge for up to 3 days or freeze.  NOTE: This soup defrosts well and tastes lovely, however the spuds do break down a bit, so expect a chunkier and creamier soup when you reheat.