Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Follow the Bride

I mentioned a while back that I was having a hard time fitting fitness into my busy bridal schedule. My commute has not gotten any shorter and my to-do list is only getting longer, so I decided that focusing on eating healthy was more attainable. I'm not on any crazy diet, I'm just trying to be consious of what I put into my body--something I should do all the time! I've discovered that soup is one of the best ways to eat good food, that's good for me. I love soup. It's hot, it's filling and it tastes good. I cook a lot of my own soups so I can control everything that goes in them. This week I thought I'd share two of my favorite soup recipes. If you're a bride-to-be, or just tired of takeout, try one!

Butternut Squash Soup
(courtesy of Gida)

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 to 8 cups)
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter and oil and melt together over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the squash and the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat.
Chef's Note: You can use your regular blender to puree the soup, just make sure you pop the lid to let some air in. I broke my blender the first time I made this soup!

Roasted Vegtable Ministrone
(courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)

2 whole Zucchini, Halved, Cut Into Strips, Then Cubed
2 whole Summer Squash, Halved, Cut Into Strips, Then Cubed
8 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Stems Removed And Quartered
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
2 Tablespoons (additional) Olive Oil
2 whole Carrots, Washed And Sliced (not Peeled)
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 stalks Celery, Sliced (leaves Included)
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 cans Cannelini Beans, Rinsed
1 cup (heaping) Cut Green Beans, Fresh Or Frozen
1-½ cup Medium Or Small Pasta Shells, Uncooked
1 can (14.5) Diced Tomatoes With Juice
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Parmesan Cheese, Shaved

Preheat over to 500 degrees.

Toss cubed zucchini, squash, and mushrooms in a bowl with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Arrange onto two sheet pans (to avoid crowding) and roast in the hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until brown and black parts begin to show. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, and celery and stir to cook for 3 minutes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.

Add cannelini beans and green beans. Cook on low for five minutes. Add pasta and cook for an additional five minutes. Add canned tomatoes, stir, and cook for an additional five minutes on low heat. Check for seasonings, adding salt and pepper.

Add roasted vegetables at the very end. Stir and allow to simmer and heat for a few minutes before serving. Be sure to check seasoning! Add more broth if necessary to increase liquid amount.
I love to freeze these soups and bring them to work for lunch or eat them for dinner with a big green salad with cucumbers and almond slivers. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Butternut Squash sounds amazing. Im gonna try that one.