breakfast and a bowl of soup

So—well—I kind of lied.

Breakfast did start with ‘p.’  And it did end in ‘umpkin.’ 

But there were oats involved too.  I have nothing more to say, other than I simply couldn’t help myself.

Breakfast Bonanza, Day 3: “Pumpkin Pie Smoothie”

Pumpkin is perfect for smoothies.  Where frozen bananas supply the frothy sweetness, canned pumpkin gives you that creamy, indulgent texture.  They’re really a match made in smoothie heaven.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Don’t be afraid to add the oats!  Some people don’t like the texture of raw oats in things, but the blender does a fine job of grinding them up into a texture that’s similar to oat bran.  This whole grain addition gives you fiber, nutrients, and energy for a busy morning. 

(p.s. Have fun with the toppings!)

  • 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 banana, frozen and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a splash of vanilla
  • toppings: sweetened coconut, Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter, walnuts

Blend everything together, except for toppings.  Pour into a large bowl, top with your favorite of things, and enjoy each delicious bite!

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Today was a very productive day.  I cleaned.  I set up appointments that needed to be set.  I ate.  I completed many homework assignments.

I made a pot of soup.

I know I’ve stated this before (probably more than once,) but it deserves repeating.  If your recipe calls for chicken, beef or vegetable broth and you don’t have your own homemade version on hand, buy this broth base!

The name says it all: “better than bouillon.” 

I’ve never tried their beef base, but I’m a huge fan of the chicken and veggie.  The flavor is as close to homemade as I’ve yet to find.  Way better than bouillon cubes or cans. 

As much as I love whisking things, I also love simmering soups.  Who  needs therapy? 

Once the vegetable soup was simmering long enough to cook the barley, I added in some crushed tomatoes…

…and white beans.

This soup was such a quickie to throw together.   Ready in a matter of minutes (about 30, to be exact…even less if you had a batch of cooked barley or brown rice on hand.) 

The rich tomato flavor was a lovely reminder of being welcomed home with hot tomato soup after playing outside all day long.  It warms you, heart and soul.

Tomato Vegetable Soup (serves 4-6)
Idea taken and tweaked from a Taste of Home cookbook

Veggie soups are one of my favorite autumn eats.  This tomato soup takes on more veggies and protein than your typical tomato soup version might, giving you more nutrition per bite. 

I ate my hot bowl of soup with toasted honey wheat bread.  But I’m thinking that a grilled cheese sandwich would make this meal perfect and complete. 

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 c. vegetable broth (preferrably low sodium)
  • 1/4 c. uncooked barley
  • 1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans (15-oz. each) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28-oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  1. In a medium pot, saute onion, carrot and celery in oil until crisp-tender.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute longer. 
  2. Add broth, barley, Italian seasoning, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  3. Add beans and tomatoes, simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  4. ENJOY!

Question: What do you consider to be the perfect autumn meal?

Tomorrow is *Day 4* of the Breakfast Bonanza.  If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay!  You can jump in any time.  Just let me know what breakfast(s!) you want to include on the breakfast post for next week.  Even if you want to throw just *one* breakfast into the mix, go for it.  And, most of all, have fun! 😀

a bowl of super soup

Tis the season for colds and things.

Bring.  On.  The.  Soup!

I’m proud of the fact that—for the most part—my immune system keeps me far, far away from the little things that tend to plague people.  A head cold here.  A flu there.  They never seem to bother me.  That being said, when I do get sick, I get *sick.*  There’s absolutely no fooling around.  I’ve learned to simply wave my white flag and surrender. 

In other words, I spent most of the day in my pj’s.  Resting.  Relaxing. 

Making a big batch of veggie soup.

 Usually when I make a soup that calls for use of the blender, there is intensive time involved.  Not always.  But usually.  Between the simmering and cooling times, the soup making process is a long one.

Not so with this recipe.  The blending came pre-cooking.  Just a can of diced tomatoes and three cans of white beans.  The consistency—which reminded me of refried beans!!!—made for an awesome thickener.  I need to remember this for future soups!

The rest of the soup recipe was just as easy.  Just as simple.  And it involved many…

…many…

…many, many, many…

…many, many, many vegetables. 

I can practically hear my immune system thanking me. 😉

While the soup was simmering, dad picked up some crusty, artisan sourdough bread to accompany dinner.

The bread was absolutely perfect.  Crusty on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. 
 

Cold season may be in full swing around here.  But it’s nothing that a little veggie soup can’t handle.

Loaded-with-Veggies Soup Recipe—courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine

  • 3 cans (15.5 oz each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 bulb fennel, chopped, or 4 cups chopped celery
  • 1⁄2 small butternut squash peeled and cut into 1⁄2-in. pieces, or 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini (8 oz), halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 8 oz broccoli rabe (thick stems removed), cut crosswise into 1-in. strips, or 8 oz broccoli florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Olive oil

1. Purée beans and diced tomatoes with their juice in food processor, in batches, if necessary. Pour into a 6-qt pot. Stir in water, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

2. Add remaining vegetables except peas. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in peas and simmer for 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

3. Drizzle olive oil over each bowl of soup; serve with crusty bread, if desired

Question: What is your favorite kind of soup?  I love a soup that’s jam packed with veggies.  Chicken stew is definitely on my list of favorites too. 😀