Stacked Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Well, I’m definitely getting sick. Tim and I both woke up on Sunday morning with scratchy throats. Tim’s been super congested and coughing up a storm, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I officially crossed into head cold land too. And here I am! Bleh. It’s hard to feel motivated when your head hurts and it’s FREEZING out. Anyways, I’m going to try to drink hot liquids today and get myself better soon. And by soon I mean by the return to Two A Day… tonight. I have a feeling that after teaching I’m going to need some soup to soothe my throat. Good thing we have some leftover soup in the freezer!

Sometimes I think that Tim and I only eat soup, chili, and stew anymore. Then I look back on all my food posts, and I’m reminded otherwise. But we just can’t get enough soup in the winter. I’m ALWAYS cold. Like I wear two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, and three shirts around the apartment kind of cold (talk about sweatpants purgatory…). I blame Tim for trying to keep our oil costs down. Anyways, soup is just the perfect comfort food to warm me right up.

Stacked Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

Stacked Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Ingredients
  • 5 cups low-sodium broth of choice
  • 3 red peppers
  • 1 medium spice chile pepper
  • 3 cobs of corn, husked
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp BBQ rub
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Optional topping: Shredded cheese of choice

Directions

  1. Char the skin of the 3 peppers until the outside turns completely black (either on grill or on gas stove). Cover with foil, and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Once cool, peel the skin off of the peppers, de-seed, and dice.
  2. Grill the corn, turning every 3 minutes until the kernels can be pierced with a fork.
  3. De-seed and dice the tomatoes and chile pepper, then set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pot. Add the diced onion pieces and cook until they become clear. Add the minced garlic and continue to heat for another minute.
  5. Pour the broth into the pot and then add the peppers, tomatoes, chile pepper, corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, paprika, BBQ rub, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, add the black-eyed peas, the beans, and the cilantro. Allow to cook for five more minutes.
  7. While plating, add the chives and cheese if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

Stacked Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

I call this soup our “stacked” soup because it’s chock full of delicious and nutritious ingredients. What I loved most about this soup is that we made up the recipe, and it ended up having a TON of flavor. It was definitely a kitchen success.

Stacked Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

If you are someone who prefers their soup a little thicker or creamier, I would recommend adding a tablespoon or two of plain Greek yogurt to give it some additional texture.

–Let’s chat–
What is your favorite kind of soup, stew, or chili? Do you find that you eat these more often in the winter? How cold is it where you live? Anyone else sick?

Stay warm, friends!

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice and Apple Stew

I know, I know.  It’s not October or November, yet I’m blogging about a pumpkin based recipe.  But you know what?  It IS January in New England, and it’s been about 10 degrees all week, so I think sharing two soup/stew recipes in one week, even if one of them is pumpkin based, is okay.  Don’t you?  We need to keep warm!  If you missed my other soup recipe this week, check it out here.

This year I want to make more crock pot recipes.  I think crock pots are so underrated, and sometimes I forget to think about what I can throw into the slow cooker when meal planning.  There are just so many benefits to cooking in the crock pot:

  • Better flavor due to longer cooking times
  • Less likely to burn your food due to lower cooking temperature
  • Food can get more moist and tender (he he he)
  • Frees up the stove top and oven for other dishes, this is convenient for larger gatherings
  • Convenience and ease!  Usually can be left unattended for long periods of time, freeing you to do other things while prepping dinner — go to work, workout, relax, etc.
  • Minimal dishes to clean
  • Really hard to mess it up!

crockpot

Here’s a new crock pot recipe for you, that I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago!

Pumpkin Spice and Apple Stew

Pumpkin Spice and Apple Stew

Recipe inspired by neverhomemaker

Ingredients

  • 1 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 can’s worth of almond milk
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small cooking onion, diced
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basil to garnish

Pumpkin Spice & Apple Stew

Directions

  1. Pour the pumpkin purée, vegetable broth, and almond milk into the pot of a slow cooker.  Stir until well incorporated.
  2. Toss in everything else, mix, and season.
  3. Set on high and cook between 3-4 hours, stirring every so often.

Pumpkin Spice & Apple Stew

Easy as 1-2-3.  The dish will be done when the peppers and apples aren’t crisp, but be careful not to make too mushy either!  I liked this recipe because it was something a little different and the flavors make for a unique combination.  Yum.

Pumpkin Spice & Apple Stew

Look at my fancy shmancy garnish.

What’s your favorite meal to make in the crock pot?

P.S.  Today is National Peanut Butter Day, did you know that?!  I didn’t have any new peanut butter recipes to share with you, but if you are craving some peanut butter to celebrate, take ten minutes and make these no bake peanut butter cookies.  They are good!

Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup

A couple of weeks ago, Tim announced he was craving broccoli cheddar soup.  When I hear broccoli and cheddar, I immediately think of Panera’s creamy deliciousness that I love to treat myself to as part of the “you pick two” menu every once in a while.  But for dinner on a Monday night?  I wanted to find some way to make it a bit healthier.  I assumed this meant a little less creamy, and after some searching I came across a “healthified” version from The Food Network that we ended up adapting.

Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red-skinned potato, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • One 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Separate the stems and the florets from the broccoli.  Trim and discard the bottom of the broccoli stems and peel the tough outer layers.  Finely chop the stems and coarsely chop the florets and set aside separately.
  2. Mist a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add the broccoli stems, onions and potatoes and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the reserved florets and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and continue to steam until the florets are bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the entire contents of the pot with the florets to the soup along with the nutmeg.  Stir to combine and remove from the heat.  Stir in the cheddar, Worcestershire and milk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with diced celery.

Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I think soup is really hard to photograph, so this crappy picture will have to do!  Verdict on the taste?  It was good, but you could definitely tell that the heavy cream was missing.  I was okay with that though as heavy cream doesn’t always settle well with my stomach.  I thought the nutmeg was a key ingredient in bringing out the soup’s flavor, so if you make this I wouldn’t leave the nutmeg out!

What’s on your agenda for the day?

I’ve got work, then Two A Day Tuesday.  We are doing timed circuits tonight, which I’m excited about.  Don’t forget to do your timed planks today, those will not be included in tonight’s workout!