Tag Archives: soup

Easy Squash, Red Pepper & Bean Soup

Winter is the time for cooking and soups. The beauty of soups is in the season of hibernating-n-eatin’ is that they help fill you up and as a result you’re less likely to woof down a lot of heavy carbs.  I made one up the other day. It’s similar to this Easy Squash and Red Pepper Soup. This time I added “refried beans” (pinto bean purĂ©ed in the food processor with just a tad of canola oil).

First I sautéed half a chopped onion.

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Before it got too cold I covered a few herbs outside so I was able to pick fresh not-yet-frozen sage which I cut into tiny bits.

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Here’s the beans and butternut squash (the latter came from the farmers market in the fall and after cooking and pureeing  I froze a few portions).

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Puréed pinto beans and puréed butternut squash

 

I used half a can of Roland Fire-roasted Red Peppers.

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I rinse all canned foods

 

I added all the ingredients to 2 cups of water in the blender plus a splash of lemon juice (otherwise it was too sweet for my taste).

 

 

I heated a bowl in the microwave and it was ready to eat. This soup is nutrient rich: Vitamins A, B, & C, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and protein. It was also delicious!

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Mug pictured is Norpro “My Favorite Mug”

White Bean Tomato Soup

We’re almost out of the major soup season but not quite, and you can eat this soup hot or cold anyway. This blender soup is so quick & easy. Healthy and delicious too.

Here’s our ingredients.
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I used chickpeas but you could use any white bean. I cook my own beans because it’s cheaper and eliminates salt and any added preservatives, but you could substitute canned beans for expediency. I really like “chunky” crushed tomatoes, but regular crushed works too.

The herb is sage. I happened to have some of my own, but store-bought is fine.

Put 2 cups of water in blender.

Add 3 cups rinsed chickpeas (or white beans).

Add 1.5 to 2 cups canned tomatoes. (I used 1.5 cups because that’s what was left in the open can after I made spaghetti for lunch!)

If you, like me, love the kick of lemon juice, add 3 tablespoons lemon juice. If you’re not sure or want a milder flavor, start with 2 tablespoons or less.

Add your sage. I had about 2 teaspoons left so that’s what I used.

Add 1 teaspoon olive oil (it adds a nice flavor touch but can be eliminated to avoid any added calories/fat).

Lastly, I added a bit of freshly ground pepper. I add no salt because the canned tomatoes already have salt (and likely so would canned beans).

Blend! You can heat a cup in the microwave or eat cold.
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Little Things That Help Me Get Through Winter

I’m a summer girl, which I’ve noted before. When I was younger, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) wasn’t in the common vernacular. Not like today. When I first heard of it and was quite sure it affected me, I checked several relevant books out of the library and incorporated ideas from them into my life, including avoiding the temptation to hibernate, getting outdoors for whatever daylight you could, exercising, and using bright, cheerful colors and plentiful lights in your home (on this front, I say “pah!” to sitting around in the dark conserving energy and electricity).

Doing these things helped a lot. In addition, I rely on other small things that help me pass the winter and make it more enjoyable.

Healthy, home-made baked goods.

I love breads, carbs, etcetera. If there were no bad repercussions I’d happily eat cake, pie, cupcakes, eclairs, cookies, croissants, donuts, and – you get the idea. However I’m committed to good nutrition and a pretty healthy diet. By making my own stuff, I can have it both ways.
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Footie Socks

Are these a for-girls-only thing? I don’t know if men get to wear these; I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in “masculine,” somber colors. These little socks for lounging at home are the best! They are SO soft.
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Favorite Hats

I have quite a few winter hats but I like some better than others. The little black one is my go-with-anything hat. Sometimes I put a pretty pin on the brim to snazz it up.
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A Great Scarf

I get a lot of compliments on this. I picked it up for $3 or $4 a couple years ago at a Ross store. It was between this and another color. But this was it. It makes me happy and goes with everything. I get lots of compliments on it and am often asked if I made it. I sense women would like me to answer “yes I made it” and I could probably make something like this, but I didn’t.
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Bird Watching & Feeding

Seeing wildlife go about the business of their lives is somehow encouraging to me. They are a reminder of the old “life goes on” no matter what.
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House Plants

I keep a bunch of houseplants. It helps to have green, growing things around. I don’t have optimum plant conditions so I rely on hardier types. They clearly don’t much care for winter either, so I feel like we tough it out together.
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Colorful Gloves

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Pretty Tealight Holders (and Tealights)

I like candles but have come to predominantly use tealights. They’re protected from drafts and less likely to burn your house down. I wouldn’t say you can forget about them but they don’t require the hyper-vigilance and fearful caution pillars and tapers do. I’ve acquired a couple great little holders from yard sales too. I like ’em with character, not boring.
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The Modern Equivalent of Sitting By the Fire

Here’s another thing you can’t/shouldn’t leave unattended but I love using this little heater when I’m staying put. It’s the only heater I use in my bedroom and I keep it next to a comfy chair for reading, watching DVDs, etcetera. The principle behind a little space heater (this one is only 8″ tall) is to heat YOU, not so much the room at large, and that it does.
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Cocoa

Special Dark doesn’t have the same level of antioxidants as regular cocoa, but I don’t really care. This one is so dark & rich.
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Herbal Tea That Actually Has Flavor

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A Stack of Books and DVDs from the Library (If You’re Old-School)

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A Brightly Colored, Snuggly Blankie

I don’t know where all the inexpensive fleece blankets came from when they started being everywhere but wherever it was, I’m glad they did! Seeing this color – which looks like orange sherbet to me – all winter is a definite pick-me-up. It’s lightweight and perfect for the aforementioned chair when I settle in with books or movies.
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Prisms

They shine better here in winter with the direction of the sun and absence of shade trees.
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Nature on Cold, Sunny, Blue-Skyed Days

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Getting Oregano to Marginally Limp Through the Cold Months

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Hot Soup

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