how to make soup – a pictorial

lentilsrice1.jpgAs many of you now know, making soup is a new feat for me. I’m betting that there are a lot of you out there like me, who have never made soup. So, I wanted to show you a few of the main steps in pictures, so you can try it out – it is so easy! Soup is a great thing to make on the weekend, then keep in the fridge/ freezer for throughout the week. Depending on what kind you make, you are most likely looking at a big bowl of nutrition as well (whole grains, legumes, vegetables, herbs.)

The first step of making soup involves making a flavour base, which usually includes things like garlic, onion, carrots, celery. They are cooked first for a few minutes until soft, then herbs/spices are added and it is cooked another minute or two. Here is a picture of the base for my red lentil/rice soup (garlic, onions, carrots) before I added all the spices.
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Then it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients which need to cook for the main portion of the cooking time – in this case the lentils and rice – plus liquid. Other examples of things which take a long time to cook would be potatoes, or other root vegetables, or meat. Tender vegetables like dark greens (spinach, kale) would be put in closer to the end since they cook very quickly. Here’s a pic of the lentils and rice, mixed with the base, before I added the liquid.
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So once you add your liquid, you bring the whole thing to a boil, then turn it down to simmer for the time the recipe states. Things like fresh herbs (basil, cilantro) would be added at the end when the soup is cooked. Here is my finished product:
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So for the most part, this seems to be the basic formula for making soup. Why not look up some recipes and experiment! For some great pictures and to get a ton of ideas, check out this soup challenge roundup at the blog running with tweezers which I participated in with my very first soup, kale and chickpea.

what I ate

Good morning, and welcome to my photos of three days of food! This was a great challenge and really got me paying more attention to what I was eating. But then again, being pregnant, there were a few indulgences and also some laziness. But overall, I think I did pretty well. Let me know what you think!

Day 1:

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Breakfast was grapefruit juice, blueberry yogurt (sweetened with honey, not aspartame!) with bran flakes. I prefer kashi cereals, but this is what we had in the house. The apple was sort of a mid-morning snack.

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Lunch was a yummy lentil/brown rice soup I made. It was so easy, and tasted amazing. If anyone would like the recipe, let me know – I also have some bonus pictures of the soup making process I will post another time.

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Dinner was sheppard’s pie made with with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and salad with home-made balsamic/honey-mustard dressing. Sheppard’s pie is one of my husband’s favorite meals.

Day 2:

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Breakfast was grapefruit juice, whole grain toast with almond butter and ground flaxseeds (lots of fiber here!), and yogurt was for mid-morning snack.

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The lentil/rice soup makes another appearance for lunch (it’s great having soup available for days!) along with cucumber sticks, and I managed to get 10 minutes of sun outside for my vitamin D, before the bees came.

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It was Friday, and we felt like a treat for dinner, so we tried a place near our house called Portugrill, which makes portuguese-style roasted chicken. I got 1/4 chicken white, with rice and roasted veggies. Was decent, but not as tasty as the downtown portuguese places.

Day 3:

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The day before I had received some almost-too ripe fruit and veggies from a friend, and was going to spend the day making things out of them, so to get some energy, we decided to go to our favorite breakfast place. I had a fried egg and cheese on whole wheat sandwich, with a cup of decaf. Didn’t think that was really picture worthy, so took a pic of the strawberry banana muffin I ended up making instead (had as a snack!)

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Lunch was home-made guacamole which used up my friend’s avocados and tomatoes, plus some of her goat yogurt. It was sooooo good. I also made baked garlic pita chips for dipping. I have the recipe if anyone is interested!

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Well, I had big plans for this last dinner, I was going to make salmon and veggies in foil so people who haven’t done this before could see how to do it, but here some of the laziness set in. It was Sunday night, I had been shopping/baking/guacamoling all day, I was feeling big and fat, and I just couldn’t be bothered! So, I still did pretty well by whipping up this romaine, cucumber and broccoli salad with tuna, topped with my home-made dressing. The fish in foil trick will make an appearance on the blog at some point!

Hope you all enjoyed this little peek into my food world. Remember, please ask for recipes if you like – the muffins, guacamole and soup were all excellent!

Thanks again Sarah, for initiating this challenge!

oh my god I made soup

kaleandpotatosoup.jpgLet me tell you a little bit about my journey on the way to making soup. I grew up in a household where soup was made from scratch at least once a week. When I went to school for nutrition, home made organic soup was served every day. My friend recently made an amazing split-pea soup, and one of my fellow Torontoist writers posted a yummy-sounding soup recipe on her facebook page a few weeks ago. Let’s not forget that soup is a highly nutritious, economical meal-in-a-bowl, which would definitely be recommended by nutritionists everywhere. It seems that my whole life, I have been literally surrounded by soup.

I have never made soup.

Until today – and now I want to shout it from the rooftops – I made soup! I guess somehow my brain couldn’t process the fact that it is EASY to make soup. I had seen a recipe on epicurious for kale and chickpea soup, and was determined to make it. I am on a kale kick right now, since I want all those lovely dark green nutrients to build my baby well. Plus, what with saving money for said baby, I am currently on the lookout for cheap but healthy meals I can make in a flash.

This soup tastes GOOD. I followed the recipe except I omitted the sausage, and put a few squirts of sriracha chili sauce instead. Also, after skimming through the recipe reviews (I highly recommend this when taking recipes off the internet – you can get some valuable tips to make your end result even better), I decided to puree it a bit with my stick blender to give it a creamy texture.

So I’m hooked. I’ve got a bag of red lentils in the cupboard ready for action.
What is your favorite soup to make?