Archive for the 'soup' Category

Tomato Vegetable Soup with Wheat Berries

Sunday was pretty much the best non-racing race day ever.  There was a practice race on the Dipsea trail up in Marin county, and Mike talked my dad into running it with him.  The trail is only 6.8 miles long, but it climbs over 1600 feet total, and involves a whole bunch of stairs.


After they took off I spent about 20 minutes exclaiming to my mom about how beautiful Mill Valley is, and that if I win the lottery the very first thing I’m doing is buying a house there.

Then we went and found a snack.


This was at Mill Valley Beerworks, and I plan on going back as soon as possible for dinner and beer.  After a scone and tea, we drove over to Stinson Beach to wait for the finish.   It was completely gorgeous, and reminded me it’s been way too long since we spent time at the beach.


It’s topped 90 degrees the last few days, but I couldn’t not share this soup we had for dinner on Friday.  It was one of those typical “I have no idea what to make for dinner but it’s already 3 so I better figure something out NOW” afternoons when I came across this post, and it was just as good as I was anticipating.


I used wheat berries instead of barley, because I some already cooked and sitting in the fridge, and I gave the bowl a generous sprinkling of fresh basil.  I don’t care how hot it is, I’ll be making this soup again soon!


(adapted from In Praise of Leftovers)


Simple Curry Red Lentil Soup


I’ve made a bunch of red lentil soups before, but this is the simplest, and we all really love it (espeically Ellie).  It’s almost as comforting as a bowl of mac and cheese (or maybe I’ve been eating hippie food for too long…) and easy to throw together.

Life lately has been full, but so much fun.  Saturday I did my first ever double brick with Page.  Of course we documented the event with awkward photos in the parking lot afterwards.


I never thought I would find 30 miles of cycling + 30 minutes of running + 20 miles of cycling + 20 minutes of running fun, but this absolutely was.

Sunday we went on a family date to Peet’s.  Ellie is a huge fan of people watching (and dog watching) so it was totally perfect for her.

photo (25)

Ellie turned 18 months old last week and is of course growing up way too fast.  She’s recently become obsessed with a makeup brush.  I probably shouldn’t have let this happen.

photo (23)

So… how about that soup?



Red Lentil and Carrot Soup

Mike just turned 31, and the celebration lasted days.  Pizza one day, cake another, and on day 3, the Vitamix arrived.

Ellie was almost as excited about it as he was.

If I’d had this when I made this soup, I definitely would have pureed it, but since I was feeling exceptionally lazy (and was still without this amazing blender), I just left it chunky.  I think it would be great either way.  It’s incredibly simple with just a few ingredients, and with a thick piece of crusty bread and a simple salad, dinner is done!


(adapted from BBC Good Food)


I try to eat at least a couple servings of vegetables every day, and usually I have no problem doing that.  Saturday, however, I realized as I got into bed that the mushrooms in this soup were the only vegetable I had all day.  Oops.

I guess that’s what happens when your first meal of the day is French toast at 11 am, after a leisurely run.

…and then you decide to make chocolate chip cookies with toasted coconut in the middle of the afternoon.

We had laksa for dinner, which I hadn’t had in years.  It’s a delicious Malaysian curry and coconut milk soup that’s incredibly flavorful (and rich! If you use full-fat coconut milk, which you really should).  I adapted three different recipes and made the curry paste from scratch (not as time-consuming as it sounds).  It may not be vegetable-packed, but it is pretty tasty.

I kicked off Sunday with a 10 mile run and came home to find Mike and Ellie watching the England-Italy match.  Technically Ellie wasn’t really watching…

We were both really disappointed England lost.

I wrapped up the week with 46 miles of running (the streak lives on!) and we had a LOT of  vegetables for dinner (quinoa bowls with dragon sauce!).

Another great weekend in the books.


Tofu Noodle Soup with Dumplings

Ellie got her first cold last week, and of course we ended up getting it too. I hate seeing her sick, but she’s a trooper.

I felt pretty crappy on Monday and Tuesday. My throat was killing me and I had basically zero energy. Sometimes I’ll try and run when I’m sick but it just wasn’t going to happen on those days. Today I felt a little better and figured getting outside and running just might give me a little extra energy, and it totally did. Just changing into my running clothes perked me up a little bit, so I headed out for 4.5 miles and felt great. Slow, but more human than I’d felt in at least 48 hours.

On Monday, when all three of us were feeling pretty miserable, I decided to make some soup. I was trying to go for the richly flavored broth that came with the noodle soups in Thailand, except those obviously use meat. I probably should have added some vegetables (I think bok choy would be great), but it kind of escaped my mind at the time.

I sauteed some shallots, ginger, and green onions, then added the tofu and let it soak up those flavors before I added broth (and a pinch of five spice powder). The dumplings aren’t completely necessary, but they are a nice addition. I just used basic yellow noodles I found at the Asian grocery store. The addition of chili garlic sauce, in my opinion, is non-negotiable (especially for cold-curing purposes).

I’m submitting this to my friend (and fellow science teacher) Branny’s Souper Bowl. Click on that link to participate too (you don’t even need a blog!) Branny loves animals more than anyone else I know, and for every soup that’s submitted, she’s giving a dollar to the ASPCA. I’m dedicating this to Berkeley, the golden retriever my family had during my teens and early twenties. He was probably one of the worlds dumbest dogs, but he was a total sweetheart. I miss so many things about him, but my favorite thing was his full-body wag every time I walked in the door.


Tortellini and Kale Soup

There are a million things to love about San Francisco, but this is one of my favorites:

We’re members, and this weekend, we gave Ellie her first science museum experience. Our first stop was the living roof, which is covered with native plants and absorbs 98% of the water that falls on it!

Next, we walked through the rainforest exhibit, which felt like Hawaii and had lots of birds and butterflies.

Ellie slept through the whole thing.
But she woke up when we got to the aquarium!

SO many cool fish!

And jellyfish.

The only disappointment was the penguin exhibit, which is usually my favorite. The penguins were all just kind of flopped around on the rocks, not doing anything. I guess we’ll have to go back very soon (this weekend, maybe?)

One thing I like almost as much as science museums is soup (worst tie-in ever? Oh well). This soup has it all – healthy beans and grains, cheesy pasta, and a spicy, fragrant tomato broth. The small changes I made to the original recipe were to reduce the liquid (I like my soups kind of stew-like), replace herbes de Provence with dried oregano and basil, and use kale instead of chard. It’s perfect comfort food!
(adapted from Elly Says Opa)

South Indian Rice and Tofu Soup

This was originally a Jamie Oliver recipe for seafood and rice soup, using lots of spices and some coconut milk (but also seafood and white rice). Since I don’t eat seafood I added tofu, and I wanted brown rice instead of white. I also wanted to up the vegetable content with some spinach. I just made a few substitutions, and I’m happy to say it worked out really well.

Speaking of substitutions, the long term sub the district found for my maternity leave JUST found out she got a full-time teaching position, so they had to scramble to find another one pretty last-minute (school starts a week from tomorrow!) I am going to meet with her Monday to go over the ins and outs of my classes. I have no idea if she has science/PE/middle school/teaching experience, but I’m hoping for the best!

It’s amazing how much more productive I am when I actually have a reason to get out of bed and do something with my life. I made it to the gym by 5:30 AM the last two mornings and have been feeling fantastic. The workshop has been really awesome and I can’t wait to apply what I learned when I’m finally back to work, even though that feels like an eternity from now.

(adapted from Jamie’s Dinners)

3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp mustard seeds
about 10 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
a pinch or two cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
2 tsp turmeric
a 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
1 lb block extra firm nigari tofu, cut into small cubes
1 cup brown basmati rice, soaked for at least an hour, and drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2-3 handfuls fresh spinach, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil over medium in a large pot or dutch oven.

Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala, cayenne, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the mustard seeds start popping and turn dark brown.

Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onions are soft, about five minutes.

Add the tofu and mix well.

Stir in the rice and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, add the coconut milk and simmer for about 20 minutes (adding a little more broth or some water if soup appears too thick).

Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until rice is soft. Stir in the spinach and lime juice, and serve.

Red Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions

I have been all about red lentils lately. They make the best soup, they’re such a pretty orangey-red color (which unfortunately changes to yellow when they’re cooked), and they are hopefully pretty healthy (I’ll have to check on that).

I normally cook them with Indian spices (mustard seeds, a little asafetida, cumin…) but this recipe called for cinnamon and bay leaves and it was AWESOME. Tangent: cooking onions with a cinnamon stick smells absolutely divine. Anyway, you cook up some onions with cinnamon and bay leaves, add the lentils and broth, and then (and this is the key) top the soup with caramelized onions. It is awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that I was extra inspired and made two different side dishes to go with the meal: I roasted some cauliflower with curry powder and salt, and I tossed some sliced cucumbers with yogurt, fresh mint, lime zest, and a little paprika.

EDITED TO ADD: The picture below was expertly styled by Mike. I had put my camera away but this looked so much better than the pictures I’d taken earlier I had to get another shot.

This was definitely a much bigger hit with Mike than my white bean pesto…

(adapted from A New Way To Cook)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced crosswise
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 finely chopped garlic clove
pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups red lentils
3 cups vegetable broth
2-3 cups hot water
juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp butter (OR Smart Balance or other vegan butter substitute)
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, cut into thin half-circles
pinch salt
chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, and cinnamon and cook until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, and cayenne and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the lentils and stir them so they’re coated with oil. Add 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of warm water. Stir well, then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the additional cup of broth and water, as well as the the lemon juice while the soup is cooking, adding additional liquid if it gets too thick. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have completely broken down into a smooth, creamy soup.

While the soup is simmering, caramelize the onions. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet. Add the onions and cook over low, sirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, until onions are very soft and brown. Season with a little salt.

To serve the soup, ladle it into bowls and top with onions and cilantro.

Potato and Corn Chowder

I know I’m a broken record, but I am completely obsessed with summer produce. Watermelon, berries, peaches, plums, grapes, corn, tomatoes… It may not ever feel like summer here, but at least we get all the amazing produce.

We had a pretty awesome weekend…Friday night we went to Ikea (yeah I know it’s the lamest Friday night activity ever but it’s kind of the best time to go because it’s pretty much empty) and bought a bunch of new furniture and some rugs.

Saturday we attempted to buy a crib but we are pretty much the least decisive people ever so it didn’t happen. We did get some more house stuff, though. With just 8 weeks until the baby’s due date, I’m a little stressed that her nursery is still just an empty room, but we’ll get there…

Sunday was a 6-hour run at Crissy Field. No, I didn’t run for 6 hours. Actually I didn’t run at all (I walked). But the event was set up so you could do as many 1-mile loops as you wanted to within the 6 hour window.

I know it sounds completely tedious and painfully boring, but the view was nice and a bunch of running/blogging friends were out there too, so I ended up walking 7 miles and having a ton of fun.

Courtney and I walked the first lap together, and then she went on to run 19 miles!

Jana, Sandra, Karin, Layla, Alyssa, and Aron were all out there too!

A bunch of these girls are running the San Francisco Marathon, and my sister is too. I’m SUPER excited about spectating in Golden Gate Park!

Mike ended up running 13 laps, and then walked a lap with me.

(I promise he does own other T shirts)

The morning was so fun, it probably deserves its own post, but I’ll just go ahead and give you that chowder recipe. This is a pretty easy soup…the hardest part is probably cutting the kernels off the ears of corn. It’s absolutely divine with a little shredded smoked cheddar cheese mixed in! I’m thinking it would be really easy to make it vegan, too…just use your favorite non-dairy milk.

(adapted from A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider)

3 large ears fresh corn (2-3 cups kernels)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 cm dice (peel them if you want)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, chopped (and seeded if you don’t want the heat)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups whole milk

thinly sliced green onions
shredded smoked cheddar cheese
lime wedges
fresh cilantro

Cut the kernels off the cobs, but reserve the cobs to flavor the soup.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the onion. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.

Stir in the corn kernels and potatoes, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic, jalapenos, and cumin seeds and cook for a few more minutes, until the cumin and garlic are fragrant.

Stir in the broth and milk, and add the corn cobs. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until corn and potatoes are tender. Add salt to taste.

Remove the corn cobs and pulse a few times with an immersion blender (you don’t want to puree the soup completely, this is just to thicken it up a little bit.

Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired.

Almost-raw vegan creamy broccoli soup

I may have slightly over-indulged in home-made coleslaw and milk chocolate ice cream this weekend. I definitely do not subscribe to the “oh crap I ate so horribly I better go to the gym and work it all off” mentality (and Megan wrote a great post that explains exactly what I mean better than I could), but I do realize that I feel much better when I’m working out consistently and eating lots of fruits and vegetables (duh?)

ANYWAY… after 3 days of unpacking, cleaning, less than stellar eating, and generally feeling kind of like a mess (which happens when your life is in boxes, I guess), I turned it all around today and felt a whole lot better.

Today got off to a kind of slow start… I ended up getting some work done for my online class, then fell asleep on the couch for a couple hours, but I did manage to get to the gym and bike for 45 minutes, with some upper body weights afterwards.

I knew I wanted something pretty healthy, because except for grilled corn and and coleslaw, my life has been a little lacking in vegetables lately. I tried out an almost entirely raw broccoli soup recipe from this book:

I say almost-raw because you steam the broccoli for a few minutes, but other than that, there’s no cooking involved. I was highly skeptical because it seemed like a random mix of ingredients but this stuff was GOOD. Even Mike approved, and he’s quick to call me out when I make food that is a little too hippie-ish. It tastes a little like guacamole (because of the avocado) but with a slightly more complex flavor profile because of the herbs and lemon. I didn’t realize it until after I’d taken the picture, but I accidentally left out the onion. I’m kind of glad I did though, because I’m not a huge fan of raw onion, and I think there was plenty of flavor without it.

You may have seen a couple other blogs giving this book away (I know Anne and Joanne both did) and I have a copy to give away too!

I like the mix of recipes (for food as well as beauty products) and chapters about foods that can boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve PMS symptoms. Definitely a useful resource if you’re interested in improving your diet! TO WIN: just leave a comment telling me your favorite healthy food (linking to the recipe would be awesome, but you definitely don’t have to). I’ll randomly pick a winner July 7th at 8 PM.

And the winner is…. Julie! Enjoy the book!

FTC Disclaimer: Vega sent me two copies of this book for free – one to review and one to give away. The views expressed above are entirely my own

(Must Have Been Something I Ate) by Peggy Kostopoulos)

1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed just until tender
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped (optional – I left it out)
1 clove garlic, minced
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
half an avocado, diced

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/4 avocado, diced
pinch cayenne

Combine the broccoli, celery, garlic, ginger, onion (if using), lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper, water and half avocado in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more water as needed until soup reaches desired consistency (I added about 1 1/2 cups total). Drizzle in olive oil and stir until smooth.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, avocado, and cayenne. Serve immediately.


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