Exercising / Quick meals / soup

All you need is soup

My toes are frozen and so are my pipes.

This “polar vortex” has been so miserable that I actually joined a gym. Yes, after more than a decade of running in Chicago winters, I gave in. New Year’s was my last run outside, and I actually thought I might die. Whether it was the ice, the cold or a swerving car, I knew a run wasn’t worth my life.

Post totally insane run

Post totally insane run

In this kind of weather, hot tea and soup’s a must. Plus, when we’re all done with dinner, all I’ll have to clean is a pot and a few bowls. That matters when your sink pipes are frozen.

What you can't see is me sticking my face right in that steam

What you can’t see is me sticking my face right in that steam

YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP
1.5 cups yellow split peas, rinsed (you can substitute green ones, but the yellow ones smell like flowers, and that’s just cool)
3 whole carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 chopped onion
3 minced cloves of garlic
4 roughly chopped celery stalks
2T olive oil
8 cups water
2t salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat (while stirring) until light brown–approximately 8 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and stir some more (2 minutes). Add the water, split peas, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer about 45 minutes, until the split peas are soft. Blend with an immersion blender, leaving some of the carrots and celery chunks big.

PESTO SOUP
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
T olive oil
1 diced zucchini
1 diced summer squash
corn from 2 ears or 1 can
1/2 cup cooked chick peas
1/2 cup chopped green beans
1 diced or canned tomato
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup cooked rice
handful of greens, such as kale, spinach or arugula
2T salt and freshly ground pepper

PESTO
3 cloves garlic
2 large handfuls of basil
1/2 cup pinenuts
3T olive oil
1/2t salt
freshly ground pepper

Add all the ingredients to the food processor. Will last in the fridge for at least a week, if you don’t gobble it up. You can also freeze it in an ice cube tray.

CREAMY POTATO SOUP
1T butter
2 diced onions
4 cloves minced garlic
8 peeled and diced potatoes (I used Idaho)
3T freshly chopped basil
1t (or more to taste) salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream or 1/2 cup milk

Saute the onion on medium heat in butter until brown (about 5 minutes). Add the potatoes and garlic and saute 3 minutes more. Add the salt, basil, pepper and water just to cover. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Add the cream or butter. Blend until smooth in the blender or with an immersion blender. For an optional garnish, top with chives, scallions or cheddar cheese.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
1 butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
1 can coconut milk
8oz. soy milk
32 oz. water or stock
T salt
t cinnamon
t ginger
1/4 cup cashews (optional)
freshly ground pepper to taste

Simmer all the ingredients for 40 minutes, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Blend it with an immersion blender and serve (If you’re using the cashews, blend the soup in the blender).

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a stock pot until lightly browned. Add the squash and saute 3 more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 3 more minutes. Add a scoop of pesto to each bowl and stir before serving. If you’re serving it in a bread bowl, leave out the rice.

P1020223

EASIEST EGG DROP SOUP
4 cups veggie or chicken stock (Make your own with leftover veggie scraps)
1t freshly grated ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
1T oil (I use grape seed oil)
4 roughly chopped scallions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup grated carrots
4 eggs
2T corn starch
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute, while stirring, until lightly browned. Add scallions, mushrooms and carrots and saute 3 more minutes. Add stock and salt and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add pepper. Take 2 ladles full of soup and put it in a separate bowl. Stir in corn starch until fully dissolved. Add mixture back to the broth and stir. Crack eggs into a glass and stir. Pour over the pot and stir immediately and then serve.

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