Spicy Pumpkin & Shrimp Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, sliced (we used yellow onions)
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter (we used unsalted butter)
  • 1 (14 ½-ounce) can chicken broth (we used a 33% less sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup milk (we used whole milk)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package frozen, peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, thawed (we used large shrimp)

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan out and add the butter to it (the original recipe doesn’t say what heat setting to set it to but we had ours at medium-low). Once the butter’s melted, add in the onions, carrots, cilantro, ginger, garlic and allspice, putting a lid on the saucepan afterwards. Let the vegetables cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring once or twice during the cook time.
  2. Take the vegetable mixture out of the saucepan and place them in either a blender or food processor (we used a blender), pouring ½ cup of chicken broth in as well. Put a lid on and blend (or process) until the mixture looks almost completely smooth.
  3. While the vegetable mixture is still in the blender, add the pumpkin, milk, and remaining broth into the large saucepan used earlier, stirring to combine. Stir in the vegetable mixture and the shrimp as well, letting everything get heated through. Serve immediately and if you’d like, top your serving with a spoonful of yogurt, snipped chives, and some skewered shrimp (we topped ours with some sour cream and cilantro).

At first this tasted kind of bland but after adding in some kosher salt at the end, the flavors really came out and it was actually a delicious soup. The shrimp does provide a nice contrast in texture to the soup.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

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Spicy Asian Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced carrots (¾ inch to 1 inch thick; about 6 large) (We went for the 4 cup measurement rather than just slice up 6 carrots.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (½ cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 piece (1 inch) ginger-root, peeled, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (we used ½ teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (we used kosher salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 carton (32 oz.) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Take a 3 ½- to 4-quart slow cooker out and spray the inside of it with cooking spray. Excluding the cilantro and half-and-half, add all the other ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring so that everything’s mixed together.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and set the heat to LOW, cooking for 8 to 9 hours or until the carrots are tender.
  3. Take 4 ½ cups of the soup mixture and place it in a blender. Put the lid on the blender and blend on low speed* until smooth. Pour the smooth soup back into the slow cooker, mixing ½ cup of the half-and-half in with the soup as well. Turn the heat up to HIGH and place the lid back on the slow cooker, allowing the soup to cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the soup is completely heated through.
  4. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, garnishing the soups by drizzling roughly a tablespoon worth of the half-and-half per bowl, gently swirling the half-and-half with a knife before finally sprinkling some cilantro over the top (we just stirred our cilantro into the soup).

*We don’t have a setting that specifically says low, so we just went with a setting that we thought would puree the soup.

Serves 7 (1 cup per serving).

In our case, after using ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, we still felt the heat after adding in the half-and-half.

This recipe came from Pillsbury.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Pillsbury.

Mushroom-Spinach Cream Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (we used baby bella mushrooms)
  • 2 small onions, chopped (we used yellow onions)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed (we used unsalted butter)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika (we used smoked paprika)
  • 4 cups milk (we used whole milk)
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth (we used reduced-sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan out and add the butter to it*. Once the butter’s melted, add in the mushrooms and onions to the skillet, stirring occasionally until they’re tender. Stir in the flour and seasonings just long enough for them to get blended (don’t know if it matters but we added in the seasoning first followed by the flour). Gradually pour in the broth and milk, stirring as you do so. Turning up the heat if necessary, bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, stir continuously for 2 minutes or until the soup’s thickened.
  2. Stir the spinach into the soup, turning the heat down afterwards so the soup’s at a simmer. Put a lid on the saucepan and let the soup cook for another 5 minutes or until the soup’s completely heated through.

* There was no clear instruction on what the temperature should be so we set the heat to medium.

When the soup was done, it felt like it was missing something. The recipe didn’t call for salt but adding it helped bring out the flavors of the soup. The recipe had been pretty low in sodium before we added in the kosher salt.

It seems like most the time, when your recipe seems to be missing something and you’re not sure what it is, salt is probably what’s missing. It helps bring out the flavor of the other ingredients.

Recipe source unknown.

Chicken and Spinach Meatballs with Rice in Broth

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs:
    • 1 pound ground chicken
    • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed and water pressed out
    • ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
    • ¾ tsp. salt (used Kosher salt)
    • ½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
    • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • ½ tsp. ground coriander
    • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (we used pre-ground nutmeg)
    • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (we used Parmigiano Reggiano)
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 Tbsp. whole milk
  • For the soup:
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
    • ¼ cup finely diced onion
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • 6 cups good chicken broth (we used Swanson 33% Less Sodium)
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (we used 3 Tbsp.)
    • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice (we used brown rice)
    • Fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving (didn’t use*)

Directions

  1. Move the rack into the upper third of your oven (we used the second shelf from the top) and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. afterwards. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil (we sprayed the foil with cooking spray), setting the lined baking sheet off to the side for now.
  2. Now for making the meatballs. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the following ingredients together in it just long enough for it to be combined: ground chicken, the thawed and pressed spinach, onion, garlic, mustard, lemon zest, salt, peppers, coriander, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, and cheese. In a separate small-sized bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Pour the egg mixture over the chicken mixture and blend everything together using your hands. Make sure that the spinach is broken up and everything’s equally distributed throughout. Use a cookie scoop (we didn’t) to get a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture and place it on the lined baking sheet.
  3. Make sure the meatballs are spaced about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet and stick the sheet in the oven for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. You should end up with around 30 meatballs (we got 32).
  4. While the meatballs are cooking, start making the broth. Get a large pot out and pour in the two tablespoons of olive oil, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onions in and cook them for 6 minutes or until they’re translucent and softened, stirring continuously. Add in the sliced garlic and let it cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (move on sooner if the garlic looks like it’s going to get burnt). Now add in the chicken stock (we think they meant chicken broth), bay leaf and the lemon juice. Bring the soup to a simmer.
  5. Add the cooked meatballs into the broth, letting the broth continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. For each serving, spoon a small amount of rice into the bottom of the bowl and ladle in the broth and meatballs. Sprinkle some parsley and cheese over the food and enjoy !

*We tried the recipe without these components and it still tasted fantastic !

If you love the flavor of lemons, you’ll love this dish. The meatballs are good on their own and while you can taste a little bit of lemon in them as well as a little bit of heat, it wasn’t as strong a flavor as we though it would be. The broth though, that really brings the bright, lemon-y flavor though and the rice add substance to the dish, helping you feel fuller.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Swanson.

Hope you enjoy life !

Tuscan Lentil Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (we used Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained (we used one diced can of tomatoes and another can of petite cut diced tomatoes with zesty jalapeños)
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (we used cayenne)
  • 1 bag (5 or 6 oz.) fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped (we didn’t chop ours)
  • Shaved or shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (we shredded ours)

Directions

  1. Take a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker out and spray the inside of it with cooking spray. Add everything to the slow cooker (stirring to mix)) except the spinach and cheese.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let the stew cook on LOW heat for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. After those 8 to 10 hours pass, add the spinach into the slow cooker, putting the lid back on afterwards. Allow the stew to cook for another 5 minutes or however long it takes for the spinach to get wilted. Sprinkle the cheese on each individual serving and enjoy !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Swanson.

Hope you enjoy life !