soup

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Need a quick weeknight dinner idea?

NutriFocusRD has got your answer!

This creamy, nutritious soup hits the spot!  It is a guaranteed family favorite!!

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Creamy Tomato & Tortellini Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • ½ lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 Diced White Onion
  • 24oz Organic Marinara Sauce
  • 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 32oz Reduced Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 8oz Diced Bella Mushrooms
  • 4-5 cups Fresh Organic Baby Spinach
  • 16-20oz Frozen or Refrigerated Whole Wheat Cheese Tortellini
  • ½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • French Bread or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (Costco)

Directions:

  1. In a stockpot, add EVOO, diced onion, and Italian sausage. Cook until sausage is brown.
  2. Add marinara sauce into the meat mixture and stir well.
  3. Using a whisk, stir in cream cheese until blended well. Once blended, add chicken broth and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms, baby spinach, and cheese tortellini to broth and combine well. Allow to simmer for 7-9 minutes.
  5. Serve soup warm, topped with 1-2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese, and with a warm, crusty French bread for dipping! Enjoy!!!
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Sweater Weather

Headshot Hello readers, my name is Therese Bridges and I will be Suzanne's intern for the next few weeks. I am currently in the middle of my dietetic internship and I will be aiding with her blog and social media. A little about myself: I am from Mobile, AL, recently graduated from the University of Alabama, and my day revolves around planning my meals. I am looking forward to my time with Suzanne and I hope you enjoy my posts!

Now onto the point.

Fall has always been my favorite season. Ever since I was a kid diving into a large pile of leaves in my front yard, I appreciated the weather and beauty of autumn. As I have grown older, my admiration has evolved to include football and food (I still enjoy a good pile of leaves, though).

Hot chocolate and fire pits are on the top of my sweater weather list. However, any one of my friends will tell you, I crave soup once the temperature drops to 70 degrees (I know this is dramatic and in fact, not cold). My favorite soup in the fall is butternut squash. Let me create an image: Sitting in front of the fire, curled up in a comfy sweater, eating butternut squash soup, and laughing with your friends.

To make this image possible, I am sharing a delectable recipe that you are sure to enjoy. My mother has made this soup for the family before and it is even delicious served cold. **I made this for my sick roommate and, not taking any "credit", she feels significantly better today.**

This soup could serve a large dinner party of 8 or last one person for a week of meals. I made it a bit spicier than advised by my mother but I find that it adds an extra kick.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Based on recipe in Williams-Sonoma Everyday Roasting Cookbook, with some personal tweaks

Pumpkin seeds inspired by Panera Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 8 to 10 people

Ingredients:

  • 1-  4 lb butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 or 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line baking sheet with aluminum then brush with olive oil and arrange de-seeded butternut squash on pan. Roast squash for 13 to 15 minutes or until brown around the edges.

2. Once squash is done, set aside squash. Chop and arrange the onions on the same oiled up pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on onions and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over onions. Roast for 12 to 13 minutes then set aside.

3. In a stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add squash and onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook vegetables, stirring for 2 minutes then add chicken broth (enough to cover vegetables). Bring to a boil then place lid ajar and turn to low heat/simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Let soup cool, then working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor.

5. Return puree to stockpot, taste and adjust seasonings then reheat soup. Serve soup and garnish with nutmeg and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (available already made at most stores) on top of each bowl.

6. Enjoy! (preferably enjoying your favorite movie, sitting around a warm fire)

Butternut4edit

Recipe Recommendation - Golden Winter Soup!

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, the weather was brisk and I was extremely tired from the previous week, so I was in the mood for a warm, comforting meal.  I was in the mood for potato soup, but when I was looking for a new recipe to try, a recipe named “Golden Winter Soup” caught my eye!

Butternut squash has an odd shape, a cream-colored outer shell, and a highly nutritious, pumpkin-like center.  Butternut squash is considered a starchy vegetable because 90% of its total calories are derived from the carbohydrate family.  One serving of butternut squash provides the body with 298% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A, 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and 3 grams (11%) of fiber in every serving.  The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components of butternut squash put it in the spotlight for cancer prevention & treatment.

Butternut squash also provides the body with certain minerals.  One serving contains 14% of daily recommended value of manganese, a mineral that is important in metabolizing proteins and fat.  Other minerals that are present include, potassium, which supports muscle action, and magnesium which plays a role in cell formation.

Let the cooking process began:

After cubing the butternut squash, I peeled and cubed the russet potatoes and melted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

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Once butter was melted I added the butternut squash, russet potatoes, salt, and pepper to the dutch over and sautéed for approximately 3 minutes.

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While the mixture was on the stove, I added 1 chopped leek and sautéed for another minute before stirring in 4 cups vegetable broth.  The recipe calls for chicken broth (which I had also purchased) so to be honest, using vegetable broth was by mistake! I just wasn't paying attention when I pulled the broth out of the cabinet! Once broth was added, it was brought to a boil and simmered for 20 minutes.

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The recipe instructs you to place half of the potato mixture in a blender.  To make the process easier, I removed the soup from the stove, and used my Hand-held Blender.  This drastically reduced the time and effort needed to pull of this soup.

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I submerged the blender in the dutch oven and puréed the soup until it had a smooth consistency.  The consistency is also a place in this recipe that you can make adjustments according to your preferences.  I like my soups to have a little texture to them so I left a few pieces in small chunks.

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And finally, I stir in 1 cup of half-and-half until mixed well. Cover to keep soup warm until served! I served this soup with a slice of Havarti cheese bread for ease, but you could also pair this soup with baked potato, salad, or half of a sandwich or panini!

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This recipe leaves room for you to be creative in how you serve it!   Great for a dinner party because it is easy to make and makes a large portion. Mike and I had a large bowl for a total of 3 meals and I still had to throw some of the soup out! But since we both loved the soup so much, we "filed" it in our favorite column to have again soon!

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Golden Winter Soup

Recipe by: Cooking Light

2 tablespoons butter 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium) 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 cup half-and-half 12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese 3 tablespoons chopped chives Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatter). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.

Recipe Recommendation: Broccoli & Cheese Soup

When it is snowy outside, and a BCS national championship game is being televised, a quick, hearty, comforting meal is in order!  I normally do not do two recipe reviews in row, but I had more time than usual so I tried out another new recipe that I would like to pass along to my NutriFocus family!

Broccoli and Cheese soup is a favorite at most restaurants.  This recipe by “Cooking Light” keeps the flavor of the soup without the saturated fat and trans fats found in some restaurant soups!

Broccoli is high in vitamin C, A, and K.  Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system and can provide cholesterol-lowering benefits.  Broccoli contains a strong combination of vitamin K and vitamin A which interact to keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance which can help solve vitamin D deficiency.  Broccoli is also a rich source of kaempferol, flavonoids that have shown the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body.  And finally, broccoli contains an unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components in which make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention.

While the potatoes were baking, I chopped one medium onion and 2 garlic cloves and placed in Dutch oven to begin the cooking process.

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Next, I placed 3 cups of chicken broth and 16oz broccoli florets into the Dutch oven and brought the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture was boiling,  I let it simmer for 10 minutes.

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While the broccoli was simmering, I cut up the cheese into cubes. The recipe called for 8oz cheese, but I ended up using around 12oz cheese to give it more of a cheesy flavor.

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And finally, I whisked together 2 1/2 cups 2% milk and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and added to the broccoli mixture. I allowed that to cook until it thickened. Once thickened, I removed the soup from the heat, stirred in the cheese until melted, and served hot!

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I paired this soup with a hearty baked potato stuffed with cheese and sour cream.  This was the perfect combination for a cold, wintery night!  Mike and I both agreed, this was better than most restaurant soups we’ve tried in the past! This is a keeper!  

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Cooking Light

Total: 33 minutes Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
  • 2 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 8  ounces  light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

RD's Recipe Review: Sante Fe Soup for the Soul

Happy Fall Yall
Happy Fall Yall

According to the majority of my clients, the most common barrier to success in terms of following a meal plan is, LACK OF TIME!  As a full-time, working professional, as well as a wife, daughter, and friend, I know time can easily hinder our ability to nutritionally care for ourselves. We live in a fast pace society which is clearly evident by the high number of fast food restaurants, take out menus, and pre-made meals at local groceries.  So if you feel pressed for time, you are not alone. As a young girl, I can remember sitting down to a hot meal every night for dinner. I consider my mom a “super mom” for many reasons, but one reason being her ability to complete a full day of work as a school teacher and still manage to place a piping hot, comfort meal on the table for my two brothers, my dad, and me to enjoy.  I still marvel at her ability to manage time and I’m so thankful for the priority she placed on meal time as a family. It was not only a time to nourish our bodies, but also our souls by reconnecting with each other at the end of an eventful day. All of us may not have the gift of time management, but that does not mean we have to skimp on enjoying delicious, home-cooked dinners on a weeknight!  Each week I will be reviewing recipes that my family personally enjoys and that I find time to make with my busy schedule.  Our bodies are important and the best preventative medicine is nutrition, so I encourage each of you to make meal time a priority, not only for your physical bodies, but also as a time to reconnect with loved ones.  For this week’s “RD’s Recipe Review”, I decided put together a quick “Santé Fe Soup” recipe.

This recipe is a modified version of the Southwestern Soup recipe that can be found in “Super Fast Suppers” by Cooking Light.  This particular recipe caught my attention because of the short amount of cooking time, but more so because the ingredient list contains mostly pantry staples!

Soup Ingredients
Soup Ingredients
Sante Fe Soup II
Sante Fe Soup II

This soup was extremely easy to put together.  It really made my house feel like a home by filling it with the comforting smell of soup bubbling on the stove.  After all, there is no better comfort food than soup!  This soup brings vibrant flavors by combining the taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, and jalapeños. A dollop of sour cream added a nice touch by incorporating a creamy texture and a nice temperature differentiation.

This soup will help you meet your daily vegetable servings by incorporating onions and a heaping amount of tomatoes!  Tomatoes are full of lycopene which is a carotenoid considered a potential agent in the prevention of certain types of cancer. Your protein needs will be met by the fajita chicken strips and the black-eyed peas!  And finally, your carbohydrate needs are partially met by the addition of corn and black-eyed peas.  In order to complete the meal I simply served the soup with a hearty slice of Mexican cornbread, of which I would share the recipe but I must admit, I did not make the cornbread. It’s my mother-in-law’s specialty which she was kind enough to make while visiting us this past weekend in Birmingham!

I can confidently recommend this recipe for a quick weeknight meal or for entertaining guest on a budget!  Enjoy!