Dragonfly Home Recipes

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Tag: soups (page 1 of 2)

White Bean Soup with Leeks and Greens

Nourishing and wonderfully fragrant, this  white bean soup with leeks and greens will chase away any chills in the air.  Sauteed onions, leeks, and garlic, plus white beans, dark leafy greens and a splash of lemon juice make up this very simple, healthy, and flavorful soup.

In the winter, I love a good soup full of greens to fill me up with powerful vitamins and minerals.  There are a lot of germs flying around this area right now (including in my own house!) and I want to make our immune systems as strong as possible.  This soup is a delicious step in that direction.  The purifying properties of dark leafy greens make me feel like I am taking good care of my body.  This delicious soup is also a light soup, so it is perfect if you want a lighter meal, yet still want lots of protein and iron.  It goes well with a nice piece of rustic bread too.

soup in potThe onions, leeks, and garlic are gently sauteed till they are nice and soft and fragrant, and then the broth, beans, greens and lemon juice come in.  The soup only takes about forty minutes to make, so it makes a great weeknight meal or a warm, cozy lunch, and it tastes even better the next day.  For me, the lemon juice is what really makes this soup.  The bright citrus flavor balances the earthy flavors of the other ingredients.

The weather has been unseasonably warm here the past few days, and all the sunshine has gotten me longing for the green of spring.  That is probably another reason I had a craving to make a soup with lots of greens in it.  We are a long way from spring here in Michigan, and it is actually supposed to snow here tomorrow, but this recent warm-up has been refreshing and energizing.  It’s amazing what a few days of sunshine will do for a person!

white bean green soupGetting outdoors has been so pleasant this past week.  It’s too early to start working in the garden (though my husband did churn up the soil last weekend), so we did lots of walking/biking on trails along a river near us.  Being around water is so soothing and inspiring to me.  The river water level is really high right now because of all the rain we got earlier in the winter, so the water is moving quickly, making lots of currents and carrying sticks and leaves along with it.  As I was watching the water flow so smoothly and naturally, I felt like I should try to be more like the river.  Flowing naturally toward my destination.  Not fighting my own inner nature, but going with it.  Navigating the rocks and bends in the earth with such natural grace.

This white bean soup with leeks and greens is in that same vein, in that it is natural and pure and nourishing.  I hope you all have a great weekend! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Anugya @ Indian Curry Shack and Margy @ La Petite Casserole.white bean green soupwhite bean green soup

White Bean Soup With Leeks And Greens

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (or about 1/2 cup), finely diced
  • 2 leeks, washed thoroughly and finely chopped (I used just the white bulb parts, not the leafy parts)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)
  • 4 cups of your favorite vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
  • a couple of big handfuls of dark leafy greens, such as spinach or Swiss chard, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, leeks, bay leaf, and salt and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until very soft.  About a minute before the onions and leeks are soft, add the minced garlic.

Then add the vegetable broth and beans to the pot.  Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is soft and the flavors are all nice and blended.  Discard the bay leaf.  With a wooden spoon, carefully smash some of the beans against the side of the pot to give the soup a thicker texture.  Add the greens and the lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat until the greens are just wilted, about 3 minutes.  Add some black pepper if desired and adjust the salt and lemon juice, if desired.  If it is too salty, add some water.  Serve warm with some rustic bread, if desired. Enjoy!

 

 

Broccoli Buttermilk Soup

Warm, nostalgic comfort in a bowl, that is what I think when I taste a spoonful of this broccoli buttermilk soup.  It is creamy without being too heavy, and the buttermilk gives it an extra tangy flavor that blends well with the broccoli and herbs.  Two percent milk keeps this soup fairly light while still allowing it to deliver that smooth comforting taste we associate with broccoli soup.  Top it with some shredded cheddar cheese, and it is even tastier!

broccoli buttermilk soupCold, gray skies make me long for soup.  Uncertain times and difficult situations make me long for soup.  Soup soothes a heart that is in need of comfort.  Whether there is turmoil out in the larger world or turmoil in our daily interactions, the act of making soup is an act of positive creation, and a steaming bowl of soup represents the intent of that positive creation.

broccoli buttermilk soupThe richness, the creaminess, offset by the earthy flavor of the broccoli, has such a grounding, calming, and nourishing effect.  This recipe is based on one I found in my Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.  It is quick and easy to make, and tastes great for lunch or as a side dish with a sandwich for a cozy dinner.  Broccoli soup is a classic soup that has so many positive associations and memories for me.  Sometimes a classic, nostalgic soup is just what a person needs.

With the weather so gray and with no snow on the ground, we have been doing some indoor things this month.  One very simple and fun trip was to the conservatory at the botanical gardens near us.  What a great place to visit in the winter!  The air in the conservatory is warm and humid, and there are beautiful plants and flowers blooming everywhere.  It’s like being magically transported to a tropical paradise for awhile!

broccoli buttermilk soupAnother fun winter trip was to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  My son is a car enthusiast, and so my husband’s brother and his wife, who know their way around Detroit, took us to the auto show and on a tour of part of the city as well.  We thoroughly enjoyed this day, and Detroit is a city rich in history and positive aspects.  One unexpected bonus of that day was listening to a concert by a jazz band from the Detroit School of Arts.  Very inspirational for my kids, who both love music.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you are looking for a broccoli soup recipe, this one is really delicious!  Stay warm and take care!  I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s virtual potluck, Fiesta Friday.  And I am sharing this quote that caught my eye today:  “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh  broccoli buttermilk soup

Broccoli Buttermilk Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of broccoli (or about 2 large heads of broccoli), chopped to the size you want it
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese for the top (optional)

Directions:

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.  Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the broth and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, and then add the chopped broccoli.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the broccoli is tender.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue to stir with the whisk until it is bubbly and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and buttermilk and stir until the mixture just thickens.

Add the milk mixture to the chicken broth/broccoli mixture.  Continue to stir until everything is combined and very hot, but do not allow the soup to boil.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.  Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from Hollyhock & Radishes by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.

 

 

Colorful Vegetable Chili

This chili is as pleasing to the taste buds as it is to the eyes.  Sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, corn, lime juice and cilantro give each spoonful vibrant color, flavor, and nutrition.  Serve it with some tortilla chips, sliced avocado, and shredded cheese, and you have a festive, healthy meal.

In a previous post, I mentioned a cookbook my husband somewhat recently bought, called Thrive Energy Cookbook, by Brendan Brazier.  This chili recipe I am sharing below is based on a recipe in that book, though I did change and substitute a few things.  The flavor of the this chili is absolutely rich and warm-tasting, with a subtle zing from the lime juice.  My son, who normally won’t go near a sweet potato, even likes it, and my husband loves it.  All the vegetables blend together beautifully.

colorful chili 1 It really is a good meal to have right now, in early March, when we are longing for color, but our gardens have not caught up to that longing yet.  And though our snow has all melted and it has warmed up some, it is still cold and damp enough outside to appreciate a nice warm bowl of chili.

chopped sweet potatoesSpeaking of gardens and color, I did see some crocus and daffodil shoots poking up just above the soil in our yard yesterday.  Spring is coming, though here in Michigan I’m sure we have some cold days ahead of us before spring really settles in.

Until then, there is the fresh wind, the brighter sun, the earthy smell of the wet ground as it prepares itself for new growth.  I saw some red-winged blackbirds the other day–one of the first signs that spring is coming.  Soon we’ll be looking for fresh greens and asparagus!

daffodil shootsFor now, it is the perfect time to tromp around in my favorite boots through mud and wet undergrowth, cleaning up the yard or hiking down to the lake. My friend and I came across these beautiful milkweed pods on a walk the other day.milkweed pods

If you are longing for spring, but still shivering in the evenings, this chili has just the right amount of warmth and bright color to cheer you up and nourish your body for challenges ahead.  I hope you all have a great weekend!  There is a Fiesta Friday going on at Angie’s blog, co-hosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Aspara @ Eating Well Diary.  If you are looking for food inspiration or to find great blogs, it’s a great place! I’m looking forward to checking it out!cilantro and lime 3colorful chili with cilantro

Colorful Vegetable Chili

  • Servings: 5-7
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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup of sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder (more if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin (more if desired)
  • 3 cups of tomatoes (fresh, or if canned, I like the San Marzano kind), quartered
  • 2 cups of corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cans (14 oz cans) of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of lime juice (about 2 to 3 limes’ worth)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth (I like to add a cup of water and a teaspoon of the Better than Bouillon vegetable base)
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • shredded Cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
  • sliced avocado for topping or garnish
  • tortilla chips

Directions:

Wash and cube the sweet potatoes.  Place them in a large pot.  Cover the sweet potatoes with salted water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until just barely tender (about 6 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes).  Drain and rinse with cold water. (If desired, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and drain again.) Set aside.

In the same large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, black beans, lime juice, and vegetable broth.  Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, at medium-low heat.  Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick.

Spoon the chili into bowls and top with cilantro and shredded Cheddar cheese (if desired). Serve with sliced avocado and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier

 

 

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