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Soup Recipes


On the menu:

Chickpea and Spinach Soup with Shrimp, Almonds and Garlic
Curried Chicken and Lentil Soup
White Bean Soup with Shellfish and Pesto
Persian Lentil, Garbanzo and Yogurt Soup with Little Meatballs




Chickpea and Spinach Soup with Shrimp, Almonds and Garlic

In Spain this soup was traditionally served on Good Friday and other fast days. It can be made with cod or salt cod. I love salt cod but it's a hard sell. One day we substituted prawns. You guess which the public prefers. Serves 8.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and soaked over night in cold water, and refrigerated (or 3 cups canned, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped, about 2 1/2 cups
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 small russet potato, peeled and sliced, about 2/3 - 1 cup
5 cups chicken stock or more if needed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter or oil
6 cups spinach, cut into thin strips and well washed
6 tablespoons sliced toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
18 medium prawns, shelled, deveined and poached in wine (or more, if this is dinner)

Note: You can substitute cod or another firm white fish, or chicken chunks in place of the prawns.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Drain the soaked garbanzos, rinse well and put into a medium saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water, add the optional ham hock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about an hour or until tender. Drain the cooked garbanzos and set aside. Discard the ham hock.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two. Then add the sliced potato, half of the garbanzos, and the chicken stock and bring up to boil. Simmer and cook until the potato and beans are falling apart, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup in the blender. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving bring the soup up to a simmer. It will have thickened so thin it with more stock or water.
  3. In a very large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or heat the oil and wilt the spinach. Add to the pureed soup. Stir in the remaining whole cooked garbanzos. In a small sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the rest of the butter or warm the oil. Sauté the almonds with the teaspoon of finely minced garlic. Cook a few minutes and add these to the soup. Finally add the cooked chopped prawns and warm through. Adjust seasoning. Serve at once.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 254
Fat: 11 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 754 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 28 grams
Dietary Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 13 grams
% calories from fat: 38%
% calories from saturated fat: 4%

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Curried Chicken and Lentil Soup

This is quite a hearty soup. If you increase the amount of chicken you will have a meal in a bowl. Serve with a leafy salad tossed with slices of papaya or mango, in a lemon or lime based vinaigrette.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3/4 cup brown lentils
2 whole chicken breasts, boned and skinned (4 halves)
5 cups chicken stock or as needed
3 tablespoons oil
2 yellow onions, diced, about 3 cups
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
2 cups diced plum tomatoes (canned are O.K.)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Put the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with cold water about two inches over the top. Bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the lentils until done, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Bring the chicken stock up to a boil in a sauté pan. Reduce the heat and poach the chicken breasts until done, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove chicken from the stock and set aside. Reserve the stock for the soup. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut or tear into bite sized pieces.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over moderate heat. Cook the chopped onions for about 10 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add the curry, ginger and garlic and cook for 2 -3 minutes longer. Add the reserved chicken stock and coconut milk to the onion mixture. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and the lentils and bring up to a boil. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. You may add the chicken now to heat through and serve at once, sprinkled with mint. Or you may prepare the soup up to this point and refrigerate.
  4. To serve later: If you have made the soup ahead of time, and have cooked the chicken breasts (or have left over cooked chicken or turkey), bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat, add the reserved shredded chicken, warm through and ladle into bowls. Thin with more stock or water as needed. Top each portion with a sprinkling of chopped mint.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 285
Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Sodium: 1266 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 24 grams
Dietary Fiber: 10 grams
Protein: 27 grams
% calories from fat: 29%
% calories from saturated fat: 5%

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White Bean Soup with Shellfish and Pesto

Whether it's called habas con almejas or guazzetto di cozze, whether you accent it en espagnol with mint or in italiano with basil, a classic white bean soup augmented with steamed shellfish and their juices, makes an interesting and rich soup. The blandness and creaminess of the beans are piqued by the saltiness of the sea and the slight acidity of the tomatoes. If you are feeling extravagant,(or semi-extravagant and want to stretch two lobsters to feed four), you could make this with lobster. Or add a pound of medium size shrimp along with the other shellfish. However clams and mussels are so much more affordable and easier to prepare. The more shellfish in the soup, the more it becomes a meal in a bowl. Swirl in the pesto and serve with grilled bread croutons, too.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup white beans (great northerns, cannellini etc.)
1 onion
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
Pinch hot pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 cups diced, peeled, seeded tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
2 pounds mussels or clams, well scrubbed (allow about 10 -12 mussels or clams per person)
Fish stock or water
3 tablespoons basil pesto - (see recipe below)

PESTO:
4 cups basil leaves, tightly packed
4 teaspoons finely minced garlic
4 tablespoons toasted pinenuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups pure olive oil

Put basil, garlic and pinenuts in processor. Pulse to combine. Add salt, pepper and gradually add olive oil until you have a green rough puree.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cover white beans with 4 cups cold water and bring up to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Cover and let sit for an hour.
  3. Drain and put in a saucepan with cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Add whole onion, garlic and bay leaves and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat, add salt and simmer until beans are tender but not falling apart. Remove onion, garlic and bay and set beans aside with their liquids.
  4. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add onions. Cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes until tender, add garlic, pinch of hot pepper if you like, and cook a minute longer. Add tomatoes and the white beans and their liquids and simmer two minutes. Set aside.
  5. Put shellfish in a pan with an inch or two of white wine. Cover the pan, bring to a boil over high heat, and steam until shellfish open. Remove shellfish to a bowl. Strain pan juices and add to soup pot. Remove clams or mussels from shells and discard the shells.
  6. Heat the beans and add the shellfish. Adjust seasoning. Thin with water or stock if needed. Serve with a dollop of pesto.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 492
Fat: 10 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 717 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 49 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 41 grams
% calories from fat: 17%
% calories from saturated fat: 2%

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Persian Lentil, Garbanzo and Yogurt Soup with Little Meatballs

This is a classic Middle Eastern yogurt soup. It is bound with an egg and flour and must not boil or the yogurt will curdle. The turmeric tints the soup a lovely pale yellow, which is set off by the green of the mint and green onions and the brown of the meat balls. When pomegranates are in season I sprinkle a few of the jewel-like red seeds on top. It makes a great presentation.

If you want to make this soup your main meal, just make a few more meatballs and you will have room just for a salad, and a little pita bread. Well, maybe dessert.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 pound extra lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or a bit more to taste
2 eggs
1/2 cup garbanzos, soaked over night in 4 cups of water
4 cups plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
5 cups chicken stock or water
1/2 cup lentils, soaked overnight in 2 cups of water, drained
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions
5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced very fine
optional: pomegranate seeds

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well. Cover with cold water and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the chickpeas are tender. Set aside. ( You may use canned; just rinse them, please.)
  2. Cover the lentils with cold water, bring to a simmer and cook until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. To make the meatballs: Combine the chopped onion and one egg in the container of a food processor ( or grate the onion by hand). In a bowl combine the ground beef, the egg and onion mixture, salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon ( or more to taste). Mix well with your hands then form into tiny meatballs. Refrigerate.
  4. Put yogurt into a large saucepan. Add the remaining egg, the flour, the turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and stir with a whisk. Add the rice, the lentils and two cups of stock or water to the pot. Cook gently, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the cooked chickpeas, the parsley, green onions, and 3 tablespoons of chopped mint. Simmer for 10 minutes, then the garlic and the meatballs and simmer 10 minutes more.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sprinkle with remaining chopped mint and optional pomegranate seeds.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 342
Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Sodium: 347 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 44 grams
Dietary Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 24 grams
% calories from fat: 23%
% calories from saturated fat: 8%

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