What’s for Dinner: Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Happy New Year! Ms. Foodie is winding down the holiday excess with some lighter fare, and then a cleanse. Yes, even Ms. Foodie believes in resetting the system every once in a while in order to keep it working at its optimum. My enjoyment of food and its blessings are even more attuned after a cleanse–but I digress….

In preparation for the cleanse, Ms. Foodie whipped up three soups: a green vegetable soup, and vegan potato soup for the three days of strictly liquid, then one for tonight’s dinner.

Delish was the go-to site for the recipe, as Ms. Foodie doesn’t always feel inspired on her own. The ingredients were simple, and in store, and save for having to puree in a food processor, took little effort to prepare.

With a garnish of bacon and a dollop of sour cream, Mr. Foodie and my night was made.

Here’s to a year of good eating!

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Soup is Good Food: Green Soup, with a few variations…

Mr. Foodie had a bit of a relapse with this cold/flu creeping crud that’s floating around, So, Ms. Foodie needed to go back to the antioxidant-rich fare that helped to get him back on his feet a few weeks ago.

I asked my fellow Yogi mini-Milena Sarian what she does when she has a cold, and she told me about a Green Soup she makes with LOTS of garlic. She had Ms. Foodie at “hello”…

The Mr. and I are carnivores, so even though we love the veggies, protein is what gives us the best energy. Along with antioxidant and vitamin C-rich Cabbage, Kale, and Zucchini, I boiled a chicken breast with some red Chile flakes, Sea Salt, and a bit of Black Pepper. Once it was fully cooked, I chopped it up, and added it to the mix.

Using a base of two cups chicken broth (including the broth from the boiled chicken breast), and a cup of water, I added an entire Garlic bulb (she did say LOTS), chopped fresh Ginger root, added two Bay leaves, and a medley of wild dried Porcini, Shitake, Black, and Oyster Mushrooms.

Sprinkled generously with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Basil, and polished with two eggs stirred into the hot broth, this soup is definitely the hit!

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Chicken and Rice Soup

Ms. Foodie combined chicken soup for the soul with powerful, cold-busting, antioxidant lemon and garlic. With the additions of celery, carrots, Jasmine rice and spices, this made a hearty and warm meal for a Fall evening.

Creamy Salmon Soup with Lemon and Lime

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For our Valentine dinner, Ms. Foodie was searching for something different to make with some Salmon fillets than the typical grill or broil. We’ve been having some nippy nights in beautiful Los Angeles, so a soup or a stew seemed like the perfect choice.

But, my troll of the Internet rendered recipes that had too many ingredients, or that would just take too long–you know Ms. Foodie–I’m big on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking–using what’s in store. So in typical Foodie fashion, I came up with my own recipe!

I sauteed the Salmon in Olive Oil with Lemon and Lime Juice, using light, but flavorful spices like Thyme, Celery Salt, Parsley, and Rosemary. Once the Salmon was cooked, I removed the skin, and broke up the Salmon into chunks.

After melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a corner of the pot, I mixed that in with crushed Garlic, chopped Onion, Telecherry Pepper, diced Potatoes, Basil, and a bit more Celery Salt, Lemon and Lime.

Some more saute time to meld the flavors, and then the final piece: 12 ounces of Evaporated Milk and one cup Milk to make the creamy base.

Thirty minutes on low heat to cook the potatoes, and the deed was done!

My friend Brigette contributed to our meal with a crusty loaf of homemade bread–Ms. Foodie is feeling the love, all the way down to her tummy!

Liquid Days: Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Garlic

Ms. Foodie is on the third of her liquid days, and she is feeling mighty fabulous! Tomorrow is a return back to solid foods, though there is still a ways to go on this Cleanse. It’s all good, and a focused discipline that I would recommend to anyone who wants to maintain, or restore, healthy digestion.

Another fabulous soup I discovered during my liquid sojourn is a Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Garlic from The Joyful Belly, an Ayurveda-focused site.

As always, Ms. Foodie added her own touches. The recipe actually calls for Fennel, which I skipped. I added way more Onion, Garlic and Ginger, and incorporated more spice: Cayenne Pepper and Chili Powder. The final addition was two tablespoons full of Probiotic Yogurt–made the mixture so much more creamy and filling!

Liquid Days: Sweet Potato Soup with Quinoa and Coconut Milk

Ms. Foodie has entered the liquid phase of the Wellness Cleanse: three days of non-solids. This means all the juices, smoothies, and soups a girl can enjoy! If Ms. Foodie can’t drink it or slurp it, then it isn’t on the menu. So the balance of yesterday was spent in the kitchen, whipping up some scrumptious and tasty soups and smoothies.

This Sweet Potato Soup with Quinoa and Coconut Milk came from a site called, “A Veggie Adventure“. As usual, Ms. Foodie put her own spin on what is a solid (and delicious) recipe. I added more of the Cayenne Pepper and Chili Powder, used tri-color Quinoa, and instead of leaving chunks of sweet potato to “help the appearance”, Ms. Foodie put everything in a blender and pureed away!

With a dollop of Probiotic Yogurt, I think the appearance is fine; and the taste is phenomenal!

Soup is good food…

So like most people, I’m in between paychecks, which means we are low on stores.  Getting down to the dregs of the cabinet, so to speak.  Good thing I pick good dregs!

I call it Kitchen Cabinet Cooking, and being one who is familiar with cash flow problems, I’ve become quite good at it; so during flush times, I stock my kitchen accordingly.

I try to always keep a soup base in my store–usually an organic corn chowder or butternut squash.  So I decided to use Imagine‘s Organic Creamy Sweet Corn Soup and turn it into a pot of Chunky Corn Chowder!

When I make a roast, ham, or whole chicken, I chop up the leftovers and freeze them.  So I pulled out some frozen ham I had stashed, then added a frozen mixed vegetable medley, and there you go–from creamy to chunky in five minutes flat!

For the pièce de résistance, I took some dehydrated wild mushrooms and soaked them in hot water for about 20 minutes.   A bit of the mushroom broth gives a nice flavor to any dish, along with the chopped mushroom pieces.

Add some herbs and spices of your choice (I’m partial to pepper, basil, oregano and thyme), cook it for about 30 minutes or so, then serve it up with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh spinach, parsley or pepper pieces.

Voilà!  A luxurious dinner produced with spartan ingredients.

A serving suggestion: Trader Joe’s makes these fabulous pretzel rolls that come in a ring, and make a great accompaniment.

But as I said, we’re low on the stores, so Lynn improvised with another personal favorite that was in the store: Carr’s Table Water Crackers baked with Roasted Garlic and Herbs…

Soup is perfect for this rainy night in Los Angeles.  Mmm, mmm, Good!