French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps

French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps | cookeatbehealthy.com

I remember very well the first time I had French Onion Soup, I was 16 and a friend and I decided to go out to lunch at one of the “fanciest” restaurants in town.  We were so excited, and felt so grown up!  The restaurant was along the river, and for a smallish Iowa town in the mid 1970’s it was pretty up-town…or at least we thought it was! 😉  Anyway, we both had jobs so we thought we were pretty rich…that is until we looked at the menu!  Imagine our surprise when we saw the prices and decided the only thing we could afford was a bowl of soup!  But we played it cool, and each of us ordered the French Onion Soup like we’d had it dozens of times before!  It was new to both of us, but we were 16 and wanted to be grownup, and we thought that sounded like the most “adult” soup on the menu.  Yep…we were really cool!!! 😂

French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps | cookeatbehealthy.com

In retrospect I think it may have been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!  That bowl of soup was the most divine thing I’d ever tasted!  In fact, it ignited a life long love affair with French Onion Soup…the rich broth, the sweet onions, the toasted bread, the ooey gooey cheese…all combined in one decadent and perfect bowl of soup!  Up until that day I don’t know that I’d ever heard of French Onion Soup – I’m pretty sure it doesn’t come in a can!  And I know we never had it growing up.  My dad was a strictly meat and potatoes kinda guy.  He would have scoffed at the idea of a bowl of soup with no meat and only onions in the broth!  

French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps | cookeatbehealthy.com

Fast forward to today and innumerable bowls of French Onion Soup later, I’ve been craving a bowl of authentic French Onion Soup, but it’s not exactly a dish for someone trying to maintain a health conscious lifestyle.  When made traditionally, the soup typically contains around 400 calories per serving, thanks in most part to the bread and cheese.  So the dilemma…yummy, rich, flavorful soup without all the calories and fat…challenge accepted! 

Parmesan Crisps | cookeatbehealthy.com

Tip: To make the Parmesean Crisps simply place little mounds of grated Parmesan cheese on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and bake at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly golden.  They will crisp up very quickly upon removal from the oven.  Watch them closely while baking as once they start to brown, they can get over done very quickly.  Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

I decided to eliminate the bread because I don’t feel like that’s a make or break component of the soup for me, and I’m happy to nix the calories and carbs that bread contributes to the final nutritional score board.  The mushrooms add a little more flavor and texture, which helps compensate for not having bread in the final recipe.  The cheese, however, is a must-have to make this soup extra special.  I avoid dairy for the most part – it doesn’t agree with me, and I’ve become accustomed to having it eliminated from my daily diet.  The one dairy product I do splurge on, however, is the occasional little bit of Parmesan cheese.  It seemed to me that serving  Parmesan Crisps with the soup would be the best of both worlds…cheesy flavor, a little crunch, and when they melt into the piping hot soup it adds a little bit of that gooey goodness!

French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps | cookeatbehealthy.com

Is the finished product as decadent as that first bowl of French Onion Soup when I was 16?  Nope…but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as delicious!  And trading decadence for healthy is much more important to me at the age of nearly 56 than it was at 16!  This recipe is simple, but takes a little more time than many of my soup recipes because the onions and mushrooms need to cook slowly, and require frequent stirring.  But while they are cooking, it’s the perfect time to make the Parmesan Crisps.  As with many soups, I think the flavor is more intense after refrigerating over night, so I recommend making the soup the day before you plan to serve it.

French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps | cookeatbehealthy.com

French Onion & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Crisps
Serves 6
A lightened up version of traditional French Onion Soup!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
288 calories
18 g
40 g
14 g
21 g
8 g
464 g
1602 g
8 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
464g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 288
Calories from Fat 123
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
22%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 40mg
13%
Sodium 1602mg
67%
Total Carbohydrates 18g
6%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 8g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
43%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Soup
  1. 4-5 medium sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
  2. 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  3. 6 cups beef stock
  4. 1/2 cup red wine
  5. 2 tbsp butter
  6. 1 tsp real maple syrup
  7. 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  8. 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  9. 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  10. 1 tsp dried thyme
  11. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  12. 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the Parmesan Crisps
  1. 2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  2. 1/4 tsp dried thyme
For the Soup
  1. Melt butter in large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine.
  3. Place lid on pot, and cook over medium-low heat for about 35-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and mushrooms softened.
  4. Remove lid and add maple syrup, garlic, thyme, and worcestershire sauce.
  5. Continue cooking uncovered and stirring occasionally, for approximately 20-30 more minutes until onions are dark and caramelized.
  6. Sprinkle flour over onions and mushrooms, stir to combine, and cook another 3 minutes.
  7. Pour in wine, then beef broth and stir well.
  8. Simmer an additional 30 minutes over medium-low heat until flavors are well combined and broth is slightly thickened.
  9. Check and adjust seasoning as desired.
For the Parmesan Crisps
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Toss grated Parmesan with 1/4 tsp thyme.
  4. Divide the Parmesan into 6 equal mounds on each baking sheet, then flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 5-6 minutes, until melted and slightly golden, watching closely after the first 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and slide paper onto counter to cool.
  7. The melted cheese will start to crisp up almost immediately as it begins to cool.
To serve
  1. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with 2 Parmesan Crisps.
Notes
  1. The soup flavors intensify and deepen after refrigerating over night, so I recommend preparing the soup a day ahead.
  2. Serve with extra grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
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calories
288
fat
14g
protein
21g
carbs
18g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Polar Vortex Bison Chili

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Is there anything more delicious than a steaming hot spicy bowl of chili?!?  I sure don’t think so!  This past weekend we were in the grips of some of the coldest and nastiest weather of the year so far.  The weather folks call it the Polar Vortex.  I think they just call it that because the FCC frowns on cursing on live television and vortex could, if enunciated properly, almost sound like a curse word!  The wind was howling, snow was falling heavily, and the air temps were plunging to the teens below zero…which meant the windchill factor was around a vortexing negative 40 degrees. There’s really no way to deal with weather like that except to stay inside if possible, watch Netflix, and spend time in the kitchen!

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

My daughter is home from college for the holidays and she loves chili!  I like to think that it’s MY chili she especially loves, so even if I’m being delusional I’m going to keep on believing it’s the truth!  Anyway…knowing Anna would be home, and having heard the forecast, I picked up some ground bison and all the other ingredients to make a huge pot of Polar Vortex Bison Chili in the slow cooker.

I feel like chili is one of those recipes that is very personal, and everybody already has their favorite version, but I always like to tweak mine just a little here or there so we don’t get bored with the same old-same old chili!  To this pot I chose to use ground bison instead of beef because I really just prefer the bison for it’s flavor and healthfulness.  I used a large can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a minced jalapeño, a couple chopped up chipotles in adobo, spicy V8 juice, and chili powder for different levels and intensities of spiciness.  Aside from those ingredients, I also included a large diced onion, a big ‘ol can of chili beans, a little extra cumin to enhance the smokiness of the chipotles and chili powder, and a generous portion of chopped garlic!  Throw in a little salt and pepper to taste, simmer it slow and low all day long, and 8 hours later…your patience is  rewarded with the best bowl of  chili you’ve ever tasted!  

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

I suggest serving the chili with some kind of bread – I made cornbread muffins shaped like mini bundt cakes.  That little depression in the center is perfect for corralling the honey I drizzle on mine.  Biscuits are another family favorite to accompany chili!  Toppings for the chili might include shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped jalapeños, crackers or tortilla chips ~ this is completely a personal preference!

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Next time you make a pot of chili try mixing it up a little with a few different ingredients – starting with this recipe and taking it from there!  Go ahead…make your family the best vortexing pot of chili to ever come from your kitchen! 😉

Polar Vortex Bison Chili
Serves 8
Take your chili game to the next level with this recipe for Polar Vortex Bison Chili!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
352 calories
26 g
78 g
15 g
30 g
6 g
449 g
1354 g
9 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
449g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 352
Calories from Fat 136
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
24%
Saturated Fat 6g
29%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 78mg
26%
Sodium 1354mg
56%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 8g
33%
Sugars 9g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
55%
Vitamin C
109%
Calcium
13%
Iron
45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 pounds ground bison
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  4. 1 30 oz. can chili beans
  5. 1 46 oz. bottle of low sodium Spicy Hot V8 juice
  6. 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  7. 1 large onion, chopped
  8. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 jalapeño, diced
  10. 3 tbsp chili powder
  11. 1 tsp cumin
  12. 1 tsp salt
  13. 1/2 tsp pepper
  14. Additional salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground bison and chopped onions, seasoned with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, in large skillet drizzled with olive oil.
  2. Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer on low 6-8 hours, until soup has thickened and flavors are developed. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding additional salt as desired.
Notes
  1. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy reheated within 3-5 days.
  2. Freezes well.
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calories
352
fat
15g
protein
30g
carbs
26g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Slow-Cooker Bison Stew

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

Baby it’s cold outside!  Cliche, I know, but still true!  The polar vortex is racing south from the North Pole and bringing single digit daytime high temperatures, double digit below-zero nighttime lows, and several inches of snow this weekend. Ugh…I really hate winter.  I’ve lived my whole life in the Midwest and still I’ve yet to learn to appreciate winter.  I fully acknowledge how beautiful it can be, but honestly, it has taken me 50 years to even get to the point where I could say that! 😉  I hate the cold, the wind, the cold, the atrocious driving conditions, the cold, the cancelled plans because of bad weather, the cold, the fact that it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, and the cold!

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

But – being of hearty Midwest stock, I’ve learned to cope with all the aforementioned hatefulness that is winter by avoiding going outside as much as possible, owning a car with heated seats (BEST INVENTION EVER) and a remote starter (2nd BEST INVENTION EVER) for when I do have to leave the house, and by cooking foods that warm us from the inside out.  Nothing can make me appreciate a blizzardy weekend more than a bowl of steaming hot stew!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Slow-Cooker Bison Stew!  I love to use Bison whenever it’s available because health-wise it’s incredibly nutritious, and the flavor is similar to beef – only deeper and more intense!  However, Bison is not always easy to come by, so please substitute beef if you can’t get Bison! I promise you won’t be disappointed!  

Can we all take a minute to thank whoever invented the slow-cooker?!?  I feel like a slow cooker is a busy mom’s best friend in the kitchen!  I use a Ninja Cooking System which allows me to switch between slow cooking, stovetop, oven, and steaming.  I love it because it allows me to brown the meat for the stew using the stovetop setting, then switch it to slow-cooking once all the other ingredients are added to the pot!  Optionally, the meat can be browned on a conventional stovetop, then transferred to the slow cooker to continue cooking. The stew could also be slow baked in the oven in a Dutch oven after browning the meat on the stovetop.  And finally, if you prefer not to brown the meat…that works too!  Homemade stew is one of the easiest and most forgiving recipes there is!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

For this pot of stew I used a Bison roast that I cubed into bite sized pieces.  I tossed the meat in flour, salt and pepper, and seared it in a little olive oil.  Truthfully, that’s the hardest part – and remember – you can totally skip that part if you’re short on time!  Once the meat is browned, simply throw everything else in the pot, cover it, turn the heat setting to low, and walk away!  8 – 10 hours later you will be rewarded with a thick, aromatic, flavorful, piping hot stew! And best of all, your family will love you for making it for them!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

I tend to keep the vegetables simple – and cut into large pieces so they hold up to a full day of slow cooking. Potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and celery compliment the Bison perfectly.  Seasonings are simple as well…salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, a bay leaf, and finally a bottle of beer!  The alcohol cooks away, but the stew is left with a little something special that’ll have everyone guessing what your secret to perfect stew is!  Bonus…the beer helps tenderize the meat if it’s a little tough!

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

Finally – pair the finished stew with some crusty bread, a slice of cornbread, or a handful of crackers if you prefer.  I’m confident you’ll find this meal so hearty and satisfying that even serving it unaccompanied will have your family ooohing and aaahing and asking for seconds!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

So the next time the polar vortex comes knocking on your door, chase the cold away and warm your family’s hearts and bellies with a big bowl full of this satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs, Bison Stew!  It’s not even officially winter yet, and I’m already counting down the days until spring – which happens to be 97 more days…ya know…just in case you’re counting too!!!

Slow-Cooker Bison Stew
Serves 8
This hearty stick-to-your-ribs Slow-Cooker Bison Stew is perfect for chasing away the polar vortex!
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
413 calories
31 g
126 g
10 g
47 g
3 g
581 g
667 g
8 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
581g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 413
Calories from Fat 93
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 126mg
42%
Sodium 667mg
28%
Total Carbohydrates 31g
10%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 8g
Protein 47g
Vitamin A
195%
Vitamin C
23%
Calcium
7%
Iron
42%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. Bison Roast, cut into bite sized pieces ~ or beef stew meat
  2. 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  3. 1 tsp each salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
  6. 1 lb. potatoes, cut into large chunks
  7. 1 large onion, cut into large pieces
  8. 4 stalks celery, chopped into 1" pieces
  9. 2 lbs. baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced
  10. 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  11. 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  12. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  15. 4 cups beef stock
  16. 1 12 oz bottle beer
Instructions
  1. In a bowl or large zip-top storage bag, toss bison with flour and 1 tsp each salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil to medium high, add flour coated meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned on all sides.
  3. Transfer to slow-cooker.
  4. Set slow-cooker temperature to low, add vegetables, tomato sauce, and seasonings.
  5. Pour in beer and beef stock. Stir well.
  6. Cover and cook 8 to 10 hours. Stir and check for seasoning - adding more salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve piping hot.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes 8 very generous servings.
  2. Like many stews, the flavor intensifies as the leftovers chill in the refrigerator.
  3. When reheating add a little more stock or water to slightly thin the broth.
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calories
413
fat
10g
protein
47g
carbs
31g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

This is the one meal I make that absolutely everyone in my family loves!  That means from my granddaughter to my mother, and even the in-laws ~ everyone agrees I make a mean Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!  In today’s recipe I cranked up the flavor by making my own herbed noodles.  Seriously – this was a game changer!  I have always used frozen noodles in the past, but by making my own I was able to add even more flavor and texture to our all-time favorite soup!

These noodles were super simple to make, and I’m including a link here.  But if you’re pressed for time, or prefer to use store bought – by all means – do what you need to do in order to make this belly pleasing, soul warming, cold virus fighting, nutrient packed, incredibly delicious soup!  I actually made this in my Ninja Cooking System – which I love and never ever want to be without….EVER!  However, any crockpot will work.  The advantage of the Ninja is that I can switch from slow cooker to the stovetop setting with a simple turn of the dial.  This helps cook the noodles faster, but it’s not necessary, as they will cook just fine in a regular crockpot – it’ll just take a little longer!

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

The basic recipe is dump everything except the noodles in the pot, cook it all day, shred the chicken, add the noodles, cook a little longer, serve and enjoy!  Anybody can make this!  It’s a perfect recipe for the timid beginner cook, or for the experienced cook who loves a healing bowl of homemade soup!  I pack the broth with all the flavors of the vegetables, along with rosemary, thyme, and sage to give it a richer and more interesting flavor profile.  The heavy dose of garlic not only deepens the flavor of the homemade soup, but also helps ramp up the medicinal value of  the broth!  Garlic has been proven to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of cold symptoms.  It’s also helpful in reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Garlic also contains antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Tip: Serve this hearty and healing soup with a piece of Rustic Overnight Roasted Garlic Rosemary Bread for a complete meal guaranteed to keep you warm on even the coldest days!

We love this Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup so much that I always try to keep at least a couple bowls in the freezer for those inevitable sick days we all experience every winter.  Instead of “Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning”, I say eat a bowl of Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup and maybe you won’t need to call the doctor at all!

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup
Serves 8
Made in the crockpot, this is the only Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe you'll ever need!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
188 calories
23 g
25 g
4 g
15 g
1 g
375 g
864 g
8 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
375g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 25mg
8%
Sodium 864mg
36%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 8g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
184%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. 8 cups chicken stock - I prefer Kitchen Basics brand
  3. 1 recipe Herbed Noodles ~ link in blog ~ or 12 ozs. frozen noodles
  4. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 large onion, chopped
  6. 6 stalks celery, sliced
  7. 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  8. 1 1/2 tsp salt - more or less to taste
  9. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  10. 1 tsp dried rosemary
  11. 1 tsp dried thyme
  12. 1 tsp dried sage
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (frozen chicken breasts need not be thawed) except noodles in crockpot, and cook on low, approximately 6-7 hours.
  2. 90 minutes before serving, turn temperature to high.
  3. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return to crockpot.
  4. 30-40 minutes before serving add noodles to bubbling hot soup, stirring occasionally, and cooking until noodles are al dente.
  5. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread for a perfect fall or winter evening meal!
Notes
  1. I highly recommend keeping a few bowls in the freezer for those days when you need a little "medicine" in a bowl to make you feel better!
  2. I also suggest next time you buy a crockpot to invest in a Ninja Cooking System. It's the most versatile appliance in my kitchen - and also one of the most frequently used! No affiliation - just a super happy owner!
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calories
188
fat
4g
protein
15g
carbs
23g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

A few weeks ago I made some Butternut & Quinoa Fritters and I talked about how I was much more a butternut girl than a pumpkin spice girl, and as much as I really liked those fritters…this soup is everything!  I’ve been making a version of this recipe for many years now and I’m not even sure where the original recipe came from, but over the years it has morphed into the soup it is today!  Most butternut squash soups are a little bland if you ask me, and part of that is because they’re usually a blended soup. While this soup is blended as well, many of the ingredients are added after the butternut base is blended so it’s got a little ‘chew’ to it!  

Truthfully I went through a phase a few years ago when I made this soup at least twice a month, and ate it for lunch almost every single day for weeks on end  It is such a hearty and satisfying, yet healthful soup that I felt really good about eating so much of it!  And then it was like someone threw a switch and I was done…couldn’t eat it anymore.  It was one of those times when too much of a good thing really was too much of a good thing!  Thankfully enough time has passed that I’m craving it again – and as soon as I took that first taste…wow…it’s like my tastebuds did a happy dance! 😉 I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I made it again!

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

The flavors in this soup make me so happy!  It’s sweet and savory and spicy thanks to the chipotles in adobo.  If you’ve never cooked with chipotles before, this is the perfect recipe to start with.  Personally – I’ve got tastebuds of steel so I use an entire can of chipotles in this pot of soup, but obviously you should adjust the number you use in your recipe to suit your own tastes.  The butternut, onions, and garlic are roasted, which enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables, and mellows the garlic so even though I use an entire bulb, it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors.  I’ve used a vegetable stock in this recipe, but you could certainly use chicken stock if you prefer.  The ‘chew’ to this soup comes from the fire roasted corn and tomatoes, black beans, and the fresh kale.  The original recipe called for spinach, but I feel like the kale holds up better…the spinach had a tendency to get a little slimy…ewwwww!  By removing the cream cheese that gave this soup it’s velvety finish and substituting cashew cream instead, it’s even more luscious than the original!  And the best part is, by using the vegetable stock and cashew cream, the finished product is 100% vegan!

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

So first thing is soak the raw cashews at least 2 hours – or up to overnight.  Then peel the butternut squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and discard them.  Then cut the squash into chunks for roasting.  Cut off both ends of your onions and peel off the outer layer, then quarter them.  Place the squash and onions in a gallon size bag, drizzle with olive oil, and shake until the vegetables are well coated.  Turn them out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  To prepare the garlic for roasting, cut the top portion (about 1/4″ to 3/8″) off the bulb of garlic.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in a double layer of aluminum foil, and place on the baking sheet with the squash and onions.  Pop it all into a 425 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Remove from the oven when the squash and onion are tender and lightly browned.

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large stock pot, add the vegetable stock, and garlic once it’s cool enough to handle.  Simmer 10-20 minutes over medium heat.

Tip: Once the garlic has cooled enough to handle, the individual cloves can be removed by gently squeezing the bulb from the base, or by using a knife to pluck the cloves out of the bulb.

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Before blending the butternut, onion, garlic, and stock mixture, reserve a couple ladles of liquid to use for blending the cashews into cream.  If you have an immersion blender I definitely recommend using it to blend the soup.  That’s the main reason I use such a large pot for this recipe – there’s less chance of spattering yourself – and your stove – when blending in a deep stockpot.  Remove the pot from the heat while using an immersion blender.  For the cashew cream, blend the soaked and drained cashews in a blender with the 2 ladles of stock until the cream is perfectly smooth.  Always use extreme caution whenever blending hot liquids!  

After blending the squash, onions, garlic, and stock until smooth add the chipotles and blend once again until smooth, then add the cashew cream and blend until well combined.

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Return the pot to heat and stir in the corn, tomatoes, and beans.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until the soup is heated through.  Finally, stir in the fresh kale and cook another 8-10 minutes until the kale is wilted. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve as desired.  For me, a bowl of this soup is a complete meal – my husband likes a piece of rustic bread with his.  Of course, he also ruins it by adding crackers…sigh…some habits are hard to break I guess!

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup
Serves 12
This is the perfect Butternut Squash Soup recipe you've been looking for!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
173 calories
22 g
0 g
8 g
5 g
1 g
285 g
675 g
5 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
285g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173
Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 675mg
28%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 5g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
42%
Calcium
3%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium/large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  2. 2 large onions, quartered
  3. 8 cups vegetable stock
  4. 1 7 ounce can chipotles in adobo - amount used depends on your preferred level of heat
  5. 2 cups frozen fire roasted corn
  6. 1 14.5 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  7. 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  8. 1 bunch fresh curly kale, torn into bite sized pieces
  9. 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 2-3 hours, then drained
  10. 1 bulb garlic
  11. 2 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp olive oil
  12. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare squash and onions for roasting by tossing them with the 2 tbsp olive oil, turning them onto a baking pan, and sprinkling with about 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare garlic for roasting by trimming 1/4" to 3/8" from the top of the bulb with a sharp knife. Drizzle with 1/2 tsp olive oil, wrap in 2 layers of aluminum foil and place on baking sheet with the squash and onions.
  4. Roast vegetables for 40-45 minutes until tender and slightly browned.
  5. Combine roasted squash and onions in a large stockpot with the vegetable stock. Simmer over medium heat for about 10-20 minutes, adding roasted garlic once it's cool enough to handle.
  6. Meanwhile, place drained cashews in blender, add 2 ladles of warm vegetable stock from the pot, and carefully blend until perfectly smooth.
  7. Temporarily remove stockpot from heat and blend contents with an immersion blender until smooth.
  8. Add desired number of chipotles with some of the adobo sauce and blend once more until smooth. This is a good time to taste test the soup base for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, or chipotles and adobo if desired.
  9. Add the cashew cream, blending one last time until well combined, then return the pot to the heat.
  10. Stir in frozen corn, black beans, and tomatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes until heated through.
  11. Toss in kale and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 more minutes until the kale is wilted and cooked.
  12. Remove from heat and serve as desired.
Notes
  1. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
  2. This soup freezes well.
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calories
173
fat
8g
protein
5g
carbs
22g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Fall + Soup = Happy Me!  There’s so many reasons to love soup!  It’s warming and delicious, it’s healthful, it’s practical, it’s inexpensive, and it’s simple to make.  And once the soup is together, all you need is a salad or some bread and you’ve got a perfect meal!  The possibilities for different soups are limited only by your imagination…and thankfully I’ve got a very active one!

The recipe for Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup I’m sharing today is a true family favorite.  This exact version, however, is an adaptation of the potato soup I used to make.  My old recipe contained milk, cream, butter, and usually ham.  It was pretty darn good, but it sure wasn’t something that fit into my CEBH Lifestyle!  However, never one to back down from a challenge, I decided that since we love the flavor of this soup so much, I had to find a way to make it healthier so we could still enjoy it.  The biggest hurdle was achieving the creaminess I wanted without actually using ANY dairy!  So once again, I turned to cashew cream, which combined with almond milk, became an even creamier and more delicious soup base than my original recipe!

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Every time I make potato soup I can’t help but think of a time when my in-laws were celebrating an anniversary and my husband, his 3 brothers, and all the spouses and grandchildren were at their house.  His mom had made big pots of chili and potato soup, and I chose the potato.  Now his mom has a real thing about tiny cookies (seriously her cookies are exactly 1.5 bites each), tiny pieces of pie (who cuts a pie into 10 pieces?), and apparently cutting potatoes into teensy tiny itsy bitty pieces.  Seriously – she cut them so tiny that by the time she served the soup, the potatoes were completely disintegrated!  When those of us who ate the potato soup compared notes later that day we were cracking up because NONE of us got even a single bite of potato!!!  All we had was potato flavored milk with a few miniscule onion pieces!  

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

See all those beautiful big pieces of potatoes?  You’ll never be left wondering where the potatoes are in my soup! 😉

Anyway – I’m the polar opposite.  I like big chunky potatoes in my soup so you know exactly what you’re getting!  And, as the recipe name implies I include leeks for their mild oniony flavor (if leeks are unavailable I substitute a sweet onion), celery for its earthy taste and texture, and finally carrots for sweetness and beautiful color.  As for seasonings – I prefer to keep it really simple in order to avoid overpowering the potatoes. I use a little fresh garlic, a little more salt than I would typically use in a soup, and ground black pepper.  A LOT of ground black pepper!  Then I topped it off with some fresh chopped red bell pepper.

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

The prep for this recipe is simple, but like with many of our recipes I recommend making the cashew cream earlier in the day, or if you’re like me, just always have some prepared and ready to go in the fridge.  I use baby potatoes so all I have to do is clean them up and cut them in half.  Then peel the carrots and slice them, slice the celery, chop the garlic, and slice the leeks~white and light green parts~into 3/4″ to 1″ pieces.  

Tip: To wash the leeks, slice them, then separate the rings of the sliced leeks and submerge them in cool clean water.  I put them in a colander, then place it in the sink.  Let the leeks soak a few minutes, swishing them a few times with your hand to loosen any sand and dirt caught in the layers.  After a few minutes the dirt will settle to the bottom of the sink, and you can lift the washed leeks right out of the water to drain before cooking.

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

In a large stockpot, sauté the leeks and celery in a drizzle of olive oil.  Once they are softened add the minced garlic and cook another minute or two.  

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Next add the carrots and potatoes.  Pour in the almond milk, season with half the salt and black pepper, and bring it all to a simmer over medium heat.  Continue to simmer about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the carrots and potatoes are fork tender.  Once the potatoes are cooked, stir in the cashew cream, heat through, and check for seasoning.  My personal preference is to go heavy on the pepper in this dish, but I’ll leave it up to you to determine what you like best!  I also find that I use more salt in this soup than I do in any other recipe I make…all those potatoes need a lot of salt!

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

The cashew cream lends a velvety smoothness to this soup that I was never able to achieve with any other ingredients!  

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Doesn’t it look fantastic?  Don’t you just want to dig right in???  Serve it with some crusty bread like this jalapeño cheddar and enjoy the perfect fall meal!

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup
Serves 12
Creamy, velvety, and delicious....this is the perfect potato soup!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
280 calories
35 g
0 g
14 g
7 g
2 g
360 g
435 g
5 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
360g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280
Calories from Fat 101
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
21%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 435mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 35g
12%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
95%
Vitamin C
40%
Calcium
34%
Iron
18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs. potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 3 leeks, sliced and rinsed
  3. 4 large carrots, sliced
  4. 4 stalks celery, sliced
  5. 1 64 ounce carton plain unsweetened almond milk
  6. 2 cups cashew cream~link to recipe in post
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 tsp salt - or to taste
  9. 3 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  10. 1 tbsp olive oil
  11. 1 red pepper, diced, optional
Instructions
  1. Drizzle oil in large stock pot.
  2. Sauté leeks and celery until softened, then add garlic and sauté another few minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, carrots, almond milk, 1 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are fork tender - about 40 minutes.
  5. Stir in cashew cream, heat through, and check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top with diced red peppers if desired.
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calories
280
fat
14g
protein
7g
carbs
35g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

Hands up if tomato soup takes you back to your childhood!  It sure does for me!  I remember coming home from school for lunch (yep – we lived that close) and being thrilled to walk in the back door and find grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup on the table!  There is something undeniably comforting about that warm bowl of tomato goodness that I’ve never outgrown.  What I have outgrown however, is any sort of desire to eat soup from a can!  And as it happens – I really like to make soup.  In fact, I’d say it’s one of my favorite things to make – and to eat!  While I tend to make more soups in the winter, I still enjoy stirring up a pot of soup other times of the year as well!

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

Fall recently started, and I thought this would be a good time to whip together a Roasted Tomato Bisque with some of those end of season tomatoes I’ve been spying at the last few farmers markets.  Unfortunately our city is suffering some devestating near-record flooding and this weekend’s market was cancelled.  I feel horrible for everyone affected by this disaster.  Personally our home is unaffected, as is my business location, but the pain is felt by everyone, as we all know someone affected by the flooding.  On the flip-side, our community has come together once more and worked to build levies, donate emergency supplies to those evacuated from their homes, and prayed – there’s been a lot of praying going on here!  Anyway…no market meant improvising by using store bought tomatoes instead of garden fresh, but by roasting them the flavor is naturally enhanced and the soup turned out fantastic!

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

I cringe a little when I think back to the tomato soup I grew up eating.  Sorry Mom!  But that gloppy, blobby, yukky, (all technical culinary terms – at least for me 😉) odd colored soup from a can is pretty gross!  And of all the junk they add to canned soup, there’s one very important ingredient they forgot…the FLAVOR!!!!  Store bought canned soup simply does not compare to the healthfulness and flavor of homemade!  Plus making soup is so simple!  Pretty much anything goes, so it’s perfect for picky eaters (sneak in those veggies)!  It’s perfect for health conscious folks like me because by making my own soup I’m in control of the ingredients, i.e. NO ARTIFICIAL CRAP!  Soup is perfect for warming bellies, hands, and hearts on the coldest of days.  For all those reasons and more soup is one of my favorite foods…it’s like a hug in a bowl.  Or in a mug – yeah – soup is a hug in a mug – that’s my new motto! 😉

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

So for today’s soup I used Roma tomatoes, an orange and green bell pepper, Vidalia onion, garlic, organic tomato juice, olive oil, salt & pepper, a little basil, and to give it that final creaminess – cashew cream.  Its meals like this when I really, really, really, wish I could still eat more than the occasional nibble of cheese, because this soup would be fantastic with a delicious gooey grilled cheese sandwich!  I’ll be the first to admit that as delicious as tomato soup is all on its own, something savory and crispy just seems to enhance that wonderful tomato flavor.  So since I nixed the sandwich idea, I thought I’d try a savory granola to sprinkle on top.  And it is fantabulous!  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this a long time ago!  I combined oats, sunflower seeds, pepitas, white and black sesame seeds, olive oil, and some seasonings – tossed it all together – and toasted it in the oven for 25 minutes.  It’s savory, salty, spicy, crucnchy – just perfect to top off a warm bowl of Roasted Tomato Bisque!

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

So I started off by making the savory oatmeal crunch with which I garnished the soup.  It was super simple – I placed the oats and seeds in a gallon bag, dumped in the seasonings, olive oil, and worcestershire sauce – gave it all a good shake to evenly coat all the ingredients, poured it all in a baking pan and stuck it in the oven for about 25 minutes.  I stirred it once halfway through the baking time, removed it when it was done, and set it aside to cool.

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

While the oatmeal crunch was baking I prepped the tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic for roasting.  Because this is a blended soup, the vegetables don’t need to be perfectly chopped!  I halved the tomatoes, and rough chopped the peppers and onions, then tossed them with some extra virgin olive oil and spread them on a baking sheet.  I also sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper.  

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

The roasted garlic is such a delicious component of this recipe.  I love – like LOVE – garlic, but sometimes it can overwhelm a dish because of it’s strong pungent flavor.  But roasting it…you guys…it’s like garlic candy!  Sweet and aromatic, and so much more mellow than unroasted garlic.  And it couldn’t be easier to make, especially since we’re already roasting the rest of the veggies.  To oven roast garlic, cut the top about 1/4 off an entire bulb.  Drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it securely (I use 2 layers) in aluminum foil, and roast it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Which just happens to be exactly how long the tomatoes, onions, and peppers need to roast to slightly caramelize! 😉

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

After the vegetables are roasted, pour them into a large stock pot, and set the garlic aside to cool a bit.  I use a much larger pot than really necessary simply because I’ll be using an immersion blender and I feel like it’s a bit safer if I’ve got a larger pan –  I’m less like to splatter hot liquid all over myself that way!  To the pot of roasted vegetables, I add the tomato juice and bring it all to a simmer.  While the soup simmers, carefully unwrap the roasted garlic, and when it’s cool enough to handle, gently squeeze from the bottom of the bulb and the roasted cloves will pop right out!  Add the garlic to the soup pot, remove the pan from the heat and blend it with an immersion blender.  If you don’t have one – and I highly recommend you purchase one if you don’t – the soup can be very carefully transferred in small batches to a regular blender and blended that way.  Please just exercise extreme caution if you use this method.  Once the soup is blended, return it to low heat, add the basil and cashew cream, and heat thoroughly.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top it with some of the delicious savory oatmeal crunch, serve it along with some bread – or a classic grilled cheese sandwich, and enjoy your amazingly delectable dairy-free, 100% vegan, Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch!!!  Warm your belly (and the bellies of those you love) ~ and warm your heart at the same time! ❤️

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch | cookeatbehealthy.com

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Savory Oatmeal Crunch
Serves 8
This dairy-free tomato soup will warm your heart as it warms the bellies of your loved ones!
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
515 calories
49 g
0 g
32 g
14 g
5 g
497 g
179 g
17 g
0 g
26 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
497g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 515
Calories from Fat 277
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g
50%
Saturated Fat 5g
27%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 19g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 179mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 49g
16%
Dietary Fiber 9g
34%
Sugars 17g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
60%
Vitamin C
153%
Calcium
13%
Iron
32%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the soup
  1. 2.5 pounds of fresh tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
  2. 2 bulbs garlic, tops cut off
  3. 2 medium sweet onions, cut into chunks
  4. 2 bell peppers, cut into 12-16 large pieces
  5. 1 container - 46 ounces - organic tomato juice
  6. Salt and pepper
  7. 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  8. 1 tbsp frozen (or fresh if available) chopped basil
  9. 2 cups cashew cream ~ see the link in post
For the Savory Oatmeal Crunch
  1. 1 cup whole oats
  2. 1/4 cup unsalted roasted pepitas
  3. 1/4 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
  4. 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  5. 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  6. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  8. 1/4 tsp each salt and ground black pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  10. 1 tsp chili powder
  11. 1/4 tsp cayenne
For the Savory Oatmeal Crunch
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a gallon size food storage bag, combine oats, seeds, seasonings, oil, and sauce.
  3. Shake to coat completely.
  4. Pour into a small baking dish and toast in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time.
  5. Remove from oven to cool. Store in covered container.
For the soup
  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss the cut up tomatoes, onions, and peppers with 2 tbsp of olive oil and transfer to a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare garlic for roasting by placing on a square of foil and drizzling with a generous amount of olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil, then add a second layer of foil and wrap that securely as well.
  4. Place on baking sheet with vegetables, and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until vegetables are starting to caramelize and the garlic yields to pressure when squeezed with an oven mitt.
  5. Remove pan from oven, set garlic aside to cool, and pour vegetables into a large stock pot, set over medium heat.
  6. Add tomato juice and bring to a simmer, but not quite boiling.
  7. Once garlic is cool enough to handle, remove from foil and squeeze bulbs from the bottom to remove roasted cloves and add them to the simmering soup.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat, and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it's completely smooth and no pieces remain.
  9. Return to heat and bring back to a simmer.
  10. Add basil and cashew cream, stirring well to incorporate.
  11. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.
  12. Serve piping hot with a sprinkle of savory oatmeal crunch.
Notes
  1. Soup may be blended in small batches in a standard blender, but extreme caution must be exercised to avoid being burned!
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calories
515
fat
32g
protein
14g
carbs
49g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
Do you have a favorite childhood memory associated with a particular food?  I’d love to hear about it – share your story in a comment!

Grilled Zucchini & Vidalia Onion Soup

Grilled Zucchini & Vidalia Onion Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Raise your hand if you’ve ever enjoyed a bounty of fresh zucchini from your garden!  Now how about if you’ve enjoyed the zucchini bounty that your friends, family, and neighbors gleefully share with you!  And now….raise your hand if you’ve just plain run out of new and different ways to use that amazingly versatile and delicious little green squash!  Pretty much everybody got’s their hand up, right?!?  One of the most beautiful things about zucchini is that because of its mild flavor, it’s adaptability factor is rock star!  Zucchini can become zoodles, you can add shredded zucchini to cakes, breads, and muffins to add nutritional value, color, and moistness, without really changing the flavor of the finished product.  Zucchini can be eaten raw as well as cooked, so it adds a crispy snap and bold green flavor to summer salads too.   The many ways to enjoy zucchini are limited only by your imagination!  And speaking of nutritional value….this little garden goddess is a winner!  It’s low in calories, and high in vitamin C and fiber.  It also contains significant amounts of potassium, folate, and vitamin A.  

Now zucchini season is just around the corner here in Iowa, and I thought this might be the perfect time to get out those old zucchini recipes, dust them off, and breath some new life into my old tried and true standbys.  So today I reworked my Zucchini Soup recipe, which, don’t get me wrong….I really like my original recipe!  But I said to myself, “Lisa, you need to jazz this up a little bit!  What if people find it too dull?”  And you know what?  Zucchini soup can be a little bland.  It relies almost 100% on the seasonings added to it for flavor, because like we talked about before, zucchini leans a little heavily toward the bland end of the flavor spectrum.  So for this soup I decided to grill not only the squash, but also the vidalias and the garlic, and then brighten the flavor with lots of fresh thyme and, because I’m the way I am, add a teensy little kick of heat with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes!

Grilled Zucchini & Vidalia Onion Soup | Cookeatbehealthy.com

Now maybe you’ve never tried grilling vegetables, and if not, I’m sorry!  Your world is about to get turned upside down!  The flavors of the vegetables are enhanced beyond measure when they’re grilled.  The natural sugars in the zucchini and onions caramelize to create a golden crispy char on the vegetables, and the hint of smoky flavor is sublime!  As for the garlic…pure heaven!

Tip: To grill garlic, cut off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and double wrap in aluminum foil.  Place on grill over medium-high heat for 30-40 minutes until garlic yields to gentle pressure when squeezed with tongs or an oven mitt.  Let cool until it can be handled, and then you should be able to just squeeze the grilled cloves right out and use them in whatever dish you’re making.

Grilled Garlic | Cookeatbehealthy.com

Making this soup is a ‘souper’ simple process of quartering the zucchini and slicing the onions, coating them in a little EVOO, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and grilling over medium heat until thoroughly cooked and slightly charred.  The char on your vegetables is what’s going to give your soup an amazing depth of flavor.  Don’t forget to place your garlic, prepped as above on the grill as well.  Then just enjoy the fresh air while you grill your veggies, as well as the fact that you’re not heating up your entire house to roast the garlic!

Once the vegetables are done grilling place them in a stock pot, along with the garlic and about 8 cups of chicken stock (this is my favorite).  This recipe could easily be made vegan by using vegetable stock instead of chicken, but I prefer the richness of a good chicken stock.  Toss in about 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme and a little more S & P to taste.  I used a total of about 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, including what I used to season the vegetables before grilling.  For heat I added just a 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes, but this is totally optional.  Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes to meld the flavors.  Finally blend it all up, serve it warm or cold, with whatever soup toppings appeal to you.  I like diced avocado and tomatoes on mine, but think how delicious a little swirl of sour cream would be!  Or if you’re the sort who loves bacon, (and truthfully who isn’t?) why not crumble some crispy bacon over the top?  You could even go so far as to add in some fresh chopped raw zucchini or zoodles….kind of inception zucchini soup! 😉

Tip: The easiest way to blend the soup is with an immersion blender, and if you don’t have one, it’s well worth the investment to purchase one.  If you don’t have one, however, you can blend the soup in small batches in a blender.  Just be extremely cautious as the soup will be quite hot.  Blending in small batches will lessen the likelihood of injury from splattering yourself with hot soup.

Grilled Zucchini & Vidalia Onion Soup
Serves 10
An updated version of the typical zucchini soup! Delicious served hot or chilled.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
306 calories
12 g
100 g
13 g
35 g
3 g
354 g
587 g
8 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
354g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306
Calories from Fat 115
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 100mg
33%
Sodium 587mg
24%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 8g
Protein 35g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
51%
Calcium
6%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs. fresh zucchini (about 4 medium)
  2. 3 large vidalia onions
  3. 2 small bulbs of garlic
  4. 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  5. 3 tbsp EVOO, divided
  6. 2 tsp salt, divided
  7. 2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  8. 3 tbsp fresh thyme
  9. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat gas grill to medium heat
  2. Wash and trim zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise, and place in resealable gallon size bag. Drizzle with 1/3 of the olive oil, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, shake to coat.
  3. Trim and cut the onions into about 1/4" to 1/2" thick slices, place in resealable gallon size bag, and season as with the zucchini.
  4. Trim the top off the heads of garlic, drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Double wrap them in aluminum foil.
  5. Place zucchini, onions, and foil wrapped garlic on the grill and cook until the vegetables are soft and lightly charred, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. The garlic is done when it yields to gentle pressure when squeezing it with an oven mit or tongs. The garlic may take up to 40 minutes to roast.
  7. Place grilled vegetables in stock pot, add chicken (or vegetable) stock, the rest of the S & P to taste, the thyme, and red pepper flakes.
  8. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  9. Meanwhile, remove the garlic from the grill, unwrap the foil, and as soon as it's cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves of grill-roasted garlic into the stockpot with the rest of the simmering ingredients.
  10. After simmering, blend until smooth using an immersion blender, or in batches in a conventional blender.
  11. Ladle soup into bowls, top with desired toppings, and serve piping hot. Or, chill the soup and then serve as desired.
Notes
  1. You may find it helpful to use a grill mat or pan for grilling the onions. They tend to fall apart as they grill and using a mat or pan helps prevent losing too many to the fire below!
  2. Refrigerate leftovers.
  3. This soup freezes well. I like to freeze it in individual serving size bowls and reheat it for a light but satisfying weekday lunch!
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calories
306
fat
13g
protein
35g
carbs
12g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
So there’s this old joke here in Iowa that if you leave your car doors unlocked in the summertime, you may not risk somebody stealing your car or your belongings, you may however, risk coming back to your vehicle and finding the backseat loaded up with bags of zucchini!  😂  So this summer….I’m leaving my car doors unlocked….I’ll be happy to take the extra bounty of zucchini!