Carrot turmeric ginger soup

I love this soup so much for it’s taste and nutrients! For me, soups and stews are the most perfect rainy day, winter foods. They are comforting, easy to make, and give you the perfect warmth on a cold day.

This particular soup is a favorite of mine because it has hints of spice from the ginger and black pepper, hints of sweetness from the carrots and plenty of nutrition from all three main ingredients! Very rarely have I had fresh turmeric root, usually I use the turmeric powder in all of my foods so this was a fun way to use fresh root and get a stronger flavor in. The depth it adds with the combination of carrot and ginger is just amazing!

Check out these amazing health benefits you get from eating the Carrot Turmeric Ginger soup! I love when I can eat a food that is delicious and nutritious for you!

Health Benefits of Ginger

The benefits of ginger are amazing! Many people know that ginger is a great aid in digestion and helps nausea, but did you know:

  • Drinking ginger water can aid in weight loss
  • Has powerful anti-diabetic properties
  • Can help lower cholesterol levels
  • Helps improve brain function
  • Helps fight against infections


Turmeric Health Benefits

  • Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric that triggers the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. Curcumin is not easily absorbed in the body and requires black pepper or cocoa powder to help the body absorb the curcumin to utilize the full effects of turmeric
  • Curcumin is linked to improved brain function and lower risk of brain disease
  • Curcumin also helps lower heart disease


How can I leave behind my Carrots?

  • They’re good for your eyes (I think everyone knows this one!)
  • High in antioxidants that help lower risk against cancer
  • The potassium in carrots can help keep your blood pressure in check in turn helping your heart stay healthy
  • High in fiber which aids in digestion
  • High in Vit. C which helps boost your immune system


Ok, I know I’ve been going on and on about how healthy this soup is, but really, it is! And so flavorful with the combination of carrots, ginger, turmeric, and even some onions in there. The hint of cinnamon adds the ultimate warmth this soup can provide on a cold and bitter winter day!

So what are you waiting for?! Try it out and tell me what you think!

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Carrot Turmeric Ginger Soup!


Here are the tools that I used to make this recipe:

 

Spinach Chickpea Stew with Garlic Couscous

I’ve recently learned that my girls like chickpeas in any form.  I used to think it was just Roasted Masala Chickpeas that they gobbled down, but I’ve been paying attention and I’m glad I have!  Watching both of them gobble down this stew was amazing.  They are one of the few girls who also love to eat spinach in any form, cooked or uncooked (I feel blessed) so I knew I was going to use it to give some green to this dish!

I’m totally adding this to my weeknight meal list as it took me only 20 minutes to pull together!  I got the couscous started on the side and takes only 15 minutes to make!

Can you tell I’m ready for the autumn season to begin?  I’ve had a fun summer enjoying the hot weather but between the smoke from all the fires and a broken AC during the multiple heat waves, I am looking forward to the end of the year.  Hot stews are just the thing to warm you up during the cold months and this recipe is a great one where you get to spend more time enjoying the food than making it!

Try it out and let me know what you think.  Tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146 and use the #bitofspice146 hashtag.   I would love to see your versions of my recipes!

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious stew!

Chickpea and Tomato Soup

This Chickpea and Tomato Soup is healthy, delicious, carb-free and easy to make in less than 30 minutes! All you have to do is chop and simmer the soup until it’s done!  A family favorite, we add this to the rotation in the fall and winter months almost on a weekly basis!
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The girls love this because it is simple, yet flavorful and they have so much fun making it with me (and eating half the ingredients).

Though traditionally mild in flavor, I’ve added fresh and dried herbs as well as a small parmesan rind to bump up the flavor.  You will be amazed at the difference the cheese rind makes.  If you don’t have any, don’t worry … the soup is still delicious!
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To store cheese rinds, simply keep the rinds in a sealable plastic bag and place in the freezer indefinitely.  Pull it out whenever you are ready to use it.  Such a simple and delicious trick!

I did omit the pasta that is usually part of a traditional Italian Chickpea and Tomato Soup because I do serve this with bread on the side.  However, feel free to add in the pasta if your heart and belly desire.  Simply add in 1 cup of any small pasta you have at home (mini macaroni, ditalini, mini shells are some examples you can use).
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope this soup brings as much comfort and warmth to you as it does to my family!

Easy Chicken Ramen with GF Noodles

I was never a big ramen fan until my sister-in-law Sarika took me to this tiny little ramen restaurant in Oakland.  I can’t stress enough how good that ramen was.  It was simply delicious with layers of flavor in the broth and each bite just filling you with warmth and comfort.
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Recently, Taste Republic and I decided to partner together to come up with some new recipes and when I saw their gluten free linguini, I knew I wanted to make ramen with it instantly.  Fresh pasta that are thin enough to substitute for traditional ramen noodles and they cook in just 3 minutes!
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This recipe literally took me less than 30 minutes to make and part of the reason is I used rotisserie chicken.  A perfect weeknight recipe that’s a little different from having to precook in an instant pot or slow cooker (don’t get me wrong, I love both of those devices!) and you can still make a delicious meal in 30 minutes – yes please!
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Here are a few more weeknight meals you may enjoy:
Greek Tortellini Salad
15 minute Masala Pasta
Sausage & Zucchini Linguini
Roasted Garden Salad
Instant Pot Tortilla Soup

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this recipe.
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What you’ll need:

*Disclaimer:  I have partnered with Taste Republic to use their gluten free pastas for my 30 minute meal series.  This recipe is a product of that partnership.

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite soups.  Especially this instant pot recipe which takes only 4 minutes to cook!  It’s filled with delicious veggies and spices like ancho chile and chipotle powder to build a good depth of flavor.  Perfect for a hectic weeknight or a cold day, this tortilla soup is a great way to use up pantry essentials.  Continue reading “Instant Pot Tortilla Soup”

Rainbow Lentil Stew Yum

Rainy days always inspire a bowl of soup from my kitchen.  This particular stew is inspired from my love of including rainbows in my food.  Even better, it’s a one pot meal that’s easy to make with staple ingredients already in your pantry/fridge. Continue reading “Rainbow Lentil Stew Yum

Rainy days always inspire a bowl of soup from my kitchen.  This particular stew is inspired from my love of including rainbows in my food.  Even better, it’s a one pot meal that’s easy to make with staple ingredients already in your pantry/fridge. Continue reading “Rainbow Lentil Stew Yum

Lentil Barley Soup Yum

A few years back, when I was sick, my husband brought home a veggie barley soup by Wolfgang Puck.  I fell in love instantly and now, it’s the first one I want when I’m feeling a little under the weather or even in the mood for some comfort soup.  There’s a heartiness about it without the fuss of heaviness to it.  As much as I love Chef Puck’s soup, I wanted to create my version at home.
For a couple of winters, I tried several variations but was never satisfied with it because none of them measured up to Chef Puck’s soup.  Well, how can anything really?  Anyways, I kept at it and I think I’ve found a great version that works for me.  I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.
I found all of the produce at the farmer’s market, making it more sustainable, organic, and healthy (c’mon, we all know there’s more sodium in a can of anything….no matter how delicious it tastes!).
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I just love having fresh veggies, and for me, the more the better!  Added benefit, when my daughter was cooking this with me, she said, “Mamma, we’re eating the rainbow!”  Made me so proud as I’m trying to teach her to eat her colors to get a variety of nutrients.  Score 1 for Mom!
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If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll figure out that I’m a barley addict!  But really, what’s not to love?  It’s high in protein, high in fiber and has so much nutrition!
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So… what are you waiting for?!  Try out this delicious goodness and enjoy some comfort with rainbows and barley like me.

Ingredients:
½ c pearl barley
½ c green lentils
½ med onion, diced
1 med carrot, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
½ zucchini, diced
½ yellow squash, diced
1 potato, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 bay leaf
1/3 c tomato sauce
4 c low sodium veggie broth
1 c water
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
pepper to taste
cilantro to garnish

Directions:
In a deep pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions until they are browned.  Add in garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds to let the aroma bloom.  Add in all the veggies and sauté for a few minutes until the veggies are tender.  Mix in the spices and bay leaf.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add in the tomato sauce and mix well.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add the barley, lentils, veggie broth, water, salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook covered for 30 minutes.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve with a slice of garlic bread and enjoy!

Chicken & Rice Soup

Having a toddler who goes to daycare means germs, constant runny noses and lots of cuddles.  As a mom, I also have to think of foods that comfort her, taste good when she’s not feeling well and is something nutritious to help her get better soon.   What better than chicken and rice soup that is quick to make when your 2 year old won’t let you go but packed with protein, vitamin C and fiber.
I used some short cuts that I’ll show you along the way.  I hope you make some and enjoy a bowl of good comfort.

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Boil chicken stock and add a chicken breast to it.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, take the chicken breast out and shred.  Set it aside.

Chop some onions and red bell pepper and set aside (did you know that 1 cup of red bell pepper has 3 times the Vit. C that 1 orange has!).

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In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter (maybe not that healthy ….)

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Add flour and mix well.

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Mix the flour and butter well until it turns golden brown.  You’ll be able to smell the golden deliciousness.  It’s very important to let the flour cook through otherwise you’ll have a grainy flavor that no one really wants to eat.

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Add some turmeric to this.   Did you know turmeric is a great natural healer?  Among other things, it’s an anti-inflammatory plant and strengthens the immune system.  Pretty much what I need for my toddler when she’s not feeling well.

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Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté for a few minutes on high heat.
Add the veggies to the stock pot and stir well.  Add the chicken back to the stock pot also.

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This is my secret!  Ready made rice.  Not only is it rice – it’s brown/red rice, with kale….. and chia seeds!  This is my cheat.  I save time by not making rice on the side but it’s healthy and readily available in most grocery stores.  Add this pouch to the stockpot and stir well.

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Add a small pinch of salt and pepper.  I didn’t add too much seasoning as the chicken stock tends to have a lot of sodium already.   Let the soup simmer for about 8-10 minutes so the flavors mix in well.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Ingredients:
6 cups chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1  tsp turmeric
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pouch Seeds of Change Rice
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil the chicken stock and add a chicken breast to it.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, take the chicken breast out and shred.  Set it aside.
In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and flour to it.  Stir constantly and mix well until the flour is cooked.  Add turmeric to it and mix well to cook.  Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the onions and bell peppers to the stock pot and mix.  Also add in the chicken and rice to the stockpot and simmer on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

There have been a series of storms lately with only rain in the forecast.  Days like these always make me yearn for the some warm soup in front of the fireplace.  The fireplace didn’t happen, but here’s how I put my twist of Thai and Indian fusion on Butternut Squash Soup.

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Heat the oven to 375º.  Add butternut squash to a sheet pan and drizzle with EVOO.  Add salt and pepper and toss so that all the cubes are evenly coated.  Bake for 45 minutes.

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The aroma as these are baking in the oven fills my whole house and has me salivating.  The 45 minutes seem so long but these nuggets are so sweet and delicious when they’re done.   Let’s be honest… I definitely dipped into these and a little more than “a couple” were gone!  Luckily, I had enough left to make soup!

wp-1490376348179.jpgIn a pot deep enough to make the soup, sauté onions until they are soft and starting to turn a little translucent.  While the onions are cooking, grate in fresh ginger.

The fresh ginger adds a great zing and I love watching it sizzle as I grate it straight into the pot.

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Next, I added all the spices – this is where the Indian comes in.  Cayenne, Cumin, Coriander, and Turmeric.  Mix it for a couple of minutes so you don’t have an uncooked taste of the spices in your soup.  If you don’t like spicy too much, feel free to cut out the cayenne pepper.

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Finally, add in the roasted butternut squash and mix everything together.  Add the veggie broth, and a little salt and pepper.  You’ll probably want to taste at this point.  Remember, the squash already had salt on it before you roasted it so you’re really adding enough to bring out the flavors of the spices at this point.  Once it boils, add lemon juice, basil and the coconut milk to it (my Thai inspiration).  With an immersion blender, blend everything so you have a nice, smooth texture.

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Let it simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Enjoy with your favorite nostalgic memories.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, seeded and cubed
1 med red onion, chopped finely
3 Tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
4 c Veggie broth
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
1 can coconut milk
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Recipe:
Heat the oven to 375º.  Add butternut squash to a sheet pan and drizzle with EVOO.  Add salt and pepper and toss so that all the cubes are evenly coated.  Bake for 45 minutes.
Heat EVOO in a soup pot on medium heat and add onions.  Add in freshly grated ginger and sauté 5-10 minutes until onions are soft and translucent.  Add in cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and cinnamon powder and mix well.  Add the roasted squash, veggie broth and salt and pepper.  Once it boils, add lemon juice, basil and the coconut milk.  With an immersion blender, blend everything so you have a nice, smooth texture.  Let it simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Serve hot.

Three Bean Chili

*Updated Oct. 16, 2020

Sundays in our house are dedicated to football. Now that the season has started, I’m challenging myself to find some healthier recipes to get us through the games. Sure the chicken wings, nachos, creamy dips, and pizza sound good but they definitely don’t pass the healthy test. This is a hearty chili loaded with veggies, beans and definitely falls into the comfort zone. It makes you want to curl up on the sofa with a warm bowl while you’re watching football (or a movie or your favorite tv show).


The heat of the ancho chili and cayenne give this a perfect balance to some of the sweeter veggies like the carrots and bell peppers.  Using the canned beans also take a lot of the work out of this dish for you and I’ve included both stove top and slow cooker versions so you can make it any way that is easiest and most convenient.

Add a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of spring onions to finish off this chili before eating with a side of cornbread.  Nothing can beat this delicious chili on a cold winter day.  I’d like to say, I’m definitely ready for this winter season!

I’ve made this chili vegan and it can remain so with toppings such as spring onions, cilantro, avocado and lime wedges.

Optional to add are toppings such as sour cream and cheese.  They will definitely soften up the taste if you choose these!

From my kitchen to yours, I hope this 3 Bean Chili brings a little warmth to your day!

I’ve made this both on the stove top and in the slow cooker.  Here is the equipment I used to make the chili:

Hearty Veggie Soup

With the weather so cold out, and rain falling non-stop, I love turning to a comforting bowl of hot soup. My hearty veggie soup is a classic that I enjoy so much each time I make it. I usually make a large batch that lasts me a few days. With plenty of carrots, celery, potatoes and kidney beans, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…….

Hearty Veggie Soup

Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in a pot over medium heat. Add in the garlic and roast for 30 seconds.

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Then add in the red onions and saute for about 30 seconds.

finely chopped onions

Add in the potatoes, celery and carrots. I usually leave my potatoes in a bowl of water once they’re chopped until I’m ready to use them; this washes out a lot of the starch in potatoes.

Veggies

Add tomato paste and mix well. Add kidney beans.

Kidney Beans

Add veggie broth, 1 cup of water, and mix well. Season with basil, oregano and salt. Allow soup to boil then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Stir occasionally so the veggies don’t settle to the bottom. Garnish with basil leaves and serve hot.

Soup

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp EVOO
4 med red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 (16oz) cans veggie broth
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 c water

Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in a pot over medium heat. Add in the garlic and roast for 30 seconds. Add in onions and saute for 30 seconds. Add in the potatoes, celery and carrots. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add kidney beans. Add veggie broth, 1 cup of water, and mix well. Season with basil, oregano and salt. Allow soup to boil then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Stir occasionally so the veggies don’t settle to the bottom. Garnish with basil leaves and serve hot.