Lentil Vegetable Soup

I remember when I first made this, the girls weren’t too excited to try lentils. But then I found alphabet noodles and they were suddenly thrilled to eat it. Now it is the most requested meal around here, whether it’s with regular old noodles or the special alphabet kind. This is our VERY favorite soup. All five of us love it  (it’s even been my toddler’s favorite ever since he started eating solids).

{Adapted from Giada’s recipe on the Food Network)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped

3 organic celery stalks, chopped

1 can organic diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves (can do a more if you love it or want to make the most of thyme’s antimicrobial and nutritional qualities)

2 cups lentils

48 oz box organic vegetable broth

48 oz box organic chicken broth

1 cup noodles, cooked in salted water (we like De Boles organic whole wheat alphabet noodles)

Asiago cheese to top

In a soup pot over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, celery and carrots in olive oil, stirring often until vegetables start to become soft (5 minutes?). Add tomatoes and lentils and stir to incorporate. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese and noodles) and bring to a boil. Then turn down to simmer, covered, for about an hour until lentils are cooked. While the soup is cooking, cook your noodles separately so that they don’t absorb all of the soup broth. Add to soup when done. Top with cheese and more pepper if desired.



Quick and Tasty Tortilla Soup

Colorado weather is so strange. The kids were running around our yard in swimsuits and playing with the hoses earlier this week, and today it is COLD and snow is forecasted for the weekend. I love the addition of soups to our dinner menu as the weather turns chilly. Here is an easy tortilla soup recipe. I usually serve it with a salad and a muffin or blueberry cornbread. Make sure to add the fresh ingredients (cilantro, avocado, green onion) or a lot of flavor will be lost.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 (32 oz) box organic chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

crushed tortilla chips (we like blue corn chips)
sliced avocado

shredded Monterey jack cheese
chopped green onions

In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic with seasoned chicken until chicken is about cooked. Add remaining ingredients (minus the garnish items), bring to a boil then turn down and simmer 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy! Don’t forget the fixings!