I came home from a LONG day at work – setting up the Fall (oh my goodness, FALL!) Promo for Starbucks – threw on my favorite long sleeve t-shirt and pajama pants, lit the candle in my kitchen and decided it was the perfect evening to make soup.
I love soup because it’s so easy to make, you have so much freedom to be creative with different flavors and textures, it’s low in calories, high in nutritional content and just down-right homey.
I knew that I wanted to make a chicken broth-based soup full of vegetables but I wanted it to have a warm, rich flavor that sometimes simple soups seem to lack.
I started off by sauteing root vegetables (which get sweeter as you cook them) in 1/2 T. of butter. I opted for butter because the olive oil tends to not do as well with high heat. 1/4 of an onion, carrots, celery, and 6 cloves of garlic. Yes, 6 cloves of garlic. You might want to adjust this number depending on if you’re making this for a hot date/plan on engaging any part of the general public later on.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory benefits across all of the body’s systems; it’s cardiovascular and metabolism-boosting benefits along with it being rich in manganese and vitamin b6 (which boost the immune system and help regulate blood sugar levels) makes it a GOOD THING to enjoy.
I only cooked my vegetables for a few minutes because I wanted to make sure they kept as much of their nutritional content as possible and that their consistency would be a little crunchy even when I brought my soup to a boil. During this time I started to add my spices. I was going to for a warm, comforting, rich flavor here. I added chili powder, coriander, cayenne pepper, red chili flakes, sea salt, unsweetened cocoa powder (just a pinch), cumin, and curry powder.
Both cumin and curry powder have such distinct flavors that can totally mix up the flavor profile of whatever dish you’re making. Cumin is that flavor your recognize in good chili and curry is…amazing. I only put a tiny bit of both spices in. I wanted the warmth without overpowering the rest of my soup.
Once the vegetables are done cooking I added a can of Trader Joe’s black beans (just in water and salt, isn’t it nice that people still can food like that without all of the preservatives?) and 16 oz. of chicken broth.
Bring your soup to a boil and you’re done!
I added a spoonful of fat-free cottage cheese and chopped spinach at the end. Mostly because I believe those two things makes anything taste better. Get creative and add your own twist to your soup – whatever you want; cheese, squeeze of a lime wedge, crackers, tobasco, etc.
It’s so easy, it’s so wonderful, & it’s so fall!
I am glad to live in the land of Ten Thousand.