vegetarian soup

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

We got our first wedding gift!

At first I didn’t realize what it was. It was a box delivered from Amazon and we have Amazon Prime (and use it way too much to order things) so I thought it was just another package. Then I saw it was addressed to me and ran through the list in my head of things I’d ordered…Wait, I didn’t order anything this big…Then I saw it said “gift” on the box. Michael and I debated for awhile on whether to open it or wait. The wedding is a few months away but why would we just have a box sitting in our living room for a few months? We decided to open it.

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It was wrapped in a cute velvety bag and it was huge! It was so exciting! Bella and Fat Kitty were super excited and wanted to be in the middle of it all. I unwrapped it to find one of the things off our registry:

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Woohoo!! A nice, fancy new crockpot! I have an old crockpot that works fine, but I’ve always wished it was one that had a timer. I cannot wait to use this baby! Bella was investigating everything, sniffing and nudging it.

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Fat Kitty was more excited about the box it came in. He immediately jumped inside and started playing with the box. I love these goofy fur babies.

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The gift was from our friends Tiffany and Chris (she’s from the former blog “Carbzilla”–and I’m so glad we became friends in real life!) So we had received our first gift for the wedding. It felt really exciting. I know we’re adults and all, but it was kinda like Christmas morning. 🙂

I decided to test it out. I found this recipe awhile ago and wanted to try it but the weather changed and it was really warm and sunny out and the idea of soup didn’t appeal to me. Which was weird because I typically eat soup year round! Unfortunately the recipe wasn’t great and definitely wasn’t photogenic. So trying a different one! I LOVE the new crockpot. It’s so shiny and pretty. 🙂 I like that it’s oval shaped; that makes it easier to store in the kitchen cabinet. The timer part worked great. I set the timer for 7.5 hours. After that time is up, it goes into “Warming Mode” for up to 4 hours. I love this feature!

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

Prep Time: 14 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Servings: 6 servings

From: http://www.foodiecrush.com/2013/10/slow-cooker-thai-chicken-soup/

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 12 ounce cans of coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • cilantro for garnish
  • cooked white rice

Instructions

  1. Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl.
  2. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  3. Add in the peas and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and white rice.

Nutrition Facts

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

Serves

Amount Per Serving
Calories 385
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=42831

If you use light coconut milk you save about 200 calories. If you use the regular the calories for this dish is closer to 600 per serving. I added some chopped carrots and also some mushrooms (for Michael). I like how versatile these types of dishes are. You can add pretty much any vegetable you want and you can easily make this vegetarian.

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I’m also glad I read through the comments on the blog post. Lots of readers had tested the recipe and had some alterations.The big one was not adding the coconut milk at the beginning. Lots of readers had curdled soup. Gross! So I followed their instructions and added the coconut milk about 30 minutes before it was going to be done. Also, I’ve never cooked chicken on high before and most crockpot chicken recipes cook around 4-6 hours tops on low so I put my crockpot on low and kept checking on it to make sure it was ok.

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I skipped the frozen peas and didn’t have cilantro but that’s ok. I don’t think cilantro makes or breaks a recipe (except maybe salsa). I added the coconut milk around 30 minutes before it was going to be ready. It didn’t curdle or separate like some of the readers complained about. I debated about adding the second can because the first added a lot of liquid and it seemed “soupy” enough but it had some kick to it so I figured the second can couldn’t hurt.

While the soup was finishing up, I soaked some Pad Thai noodles in warm water per the instructions. I know this recipe said to serve with rice but I didn’t really feel like rice. I wanted more of a soup and the pad thai noodles are rice noodles and gluten free so that worked perfectly!  Once the noodles were properly soaked and softened, I added them to the crockpot, added the lime juice, stirred it up and dinner was served!

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The flavors were so rich! I liked spice that it had. Because I added that second can of coconut milk, the original heat was diluted so I was going to add just a bit of sriracha sauce but I didn’t need to. It was still pretty spicy–but in a pleasant way, not super spicy. I let Michael have all my mushrooms. 🙂 He said the mushrooms were fantastic in the dish. I’ll take his word for it.

One thing I didn’t like–the red peppers were annihilated. I added them around the 2 hour mark thinking that would be okay (the recipe called for them to be added at the beginning). They were too soft and squishy. Next time I would make this and add the red peppers when I add the coconut milk so they stay a little more firm. Also, the chicken was great so cooking it on low for 4 hours was the right move! I got 7 servings out of this recipe and I had plenty for lunches.

All in all I loved this recipe and would definitely make it again. I think it’s a delicious recipe, it’s low in calories, and I can see it being a hit at a dinner party. This will definitely become a regular in this house!

Curried Cauliflower Soup

I found this recipe on the Vegetarian Times website. While I’m not a vegetarian anymore, I do like vegetarian meals once in awhile. And I especially love soups (and curry).

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

Per serving: Calories: 104, Protein: 2g, Total fat: 5g, Saturated fat: 0.5g, Carbs: 14g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 304mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 8g

Directions

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft and golden. Stir in apple, curry powder, and garlic, and cook 2 minutes more, or until curry powder turns deep yellow.
2. Add cauliflower and vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Cool 20 minutes, then blend in food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in honey and vinegar, and season with salt, if desired.

I almost called this post “They Can’t All Be Winners.”


I found this recipe a few weeks ago and was really excited to make it. I was on a curry kick when I found the recipe. I think part of my problem is that by the time I made the recipe I was no longer obsessed with curry.


I turned on some tunes while I cooked.


Also Michael is not a fan of cauliflower–which I totally spaced on when I planned to do this recipe. He said he would try it but if he didn’t like it he’d make something else for himself. Fail.


I chopped the cauliflower (which was really messy). I tried to puree part of it in my Magic Bullet but that was proving to be more difficult than I thought.


Other than being messy the prep went really well. I chopped the onion and peeled and chopped the apple.


Since the puree wasn’t working well, I just chopped part of the cauliflower by hand.


I sauteed the onion and apple in the pot with the oil and then added the curry powder and garlic.


It smelled good. The cooking onion and curry powder combo is always a winner. I added the vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients.


I brought it to a simmer and then reduced the heat and covered the pot for about 25 minutes. While dinner was cooking I made us salads.

With bacon. 🙂 I enjoyed a glass of chardonnay with dinner too.


So dinner was finally ready. I put some in my Magic Bullet to puree and it worked a lot better this time. I pureed it and pour it back into the pot and mixed it all together. It made it much creamier.


The funny thing? Michael LOVED the soup. I was “meh” about it. I felt it was really bland and plain and I could not figure out what the soup needed to make it better. Michael said maybe it needed to be spicy. I’m not sure.


It’s funny that the guy that was no into the recipe loved it and the one that was excited about it didn’t like it. But like I said at the beginning maybe I was just curried-out.

I went to Facebook and the unanimous consensus from my friends was that the soup needed bacon. Which is also funny because I found the recipe in Vegetarian Times. 😉

I doubt I’d make the recipe again. It wasn’t bad by any means, just boring.

QUESTION: What do you think is missing from this soup?