Roasted Fall Vegetable and Lentil Soup

Happy Sunday everyone! I’m taking a study break, and I wanted to share a recipe for a soup I made earlier this week that turned out better than I expected. I was making some pumpkin cookies, and I was going to have some pumpkin puree left over, so I started thinking of way to use it, and settled on making some soup. I added the lentils to give it some protein and make it hearty enough for a full meal, and roasted a bunch of vegetables to add to the pumpkin. This is a recipe where an immersion blender comes in extremely handy, since once I had all the ingredients in my pot, rather than blending it in shifts, I was able to just whir my immersion blender through it all and it became wonderfully smooth. It’s a great recipe for a chilly fall evening, and I’ve been having it with some toasted baguette on the side for the last few days. Here’s the recipe!

Roasted Fall Vegetable and Lentil Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil (approximately)

1 acorn squash

1 sweet onion

4-6 oz carrots (I used baby carrots I had in the fridge)

1 1/2 cups split red lentils

4 cups vegetable broth

2-3 cups water (more or less depending your desired consistency)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (this is what I had left in the can, you could do more or less, or omit if you don’t have it on hand)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425˚F and line a couple baking sheets with foil. Cut the acorn squash in half, drizzle with olive oil, and place cut side down on one of the baking sheets. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, until fork-tender.

Chop the onion and carrots, toss with olive oil, and spread out on the other baking sheet sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until fork-tender.

While the vegetables are roasting, put the lentils, vegetable broth, and 2 cups of the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the lentils to cook until soft, then add the pumpkin puree.

Once the vegetables are roasted, add them to the pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette and enjoy!

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Cream of Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Welcome to the weekend! My cousin turns 21 this weekend, so there will be celebratory activities all weekend. However, before the craziness begins, I had a couple friends over for a friendship dinner last night, and I made cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. This is a combination I was introduced to in the dining halls, and I’m so glad I was. It’s amazing. The pairing of creamy tomato soup with crispy, melty, grilled cheese sandwiches is simply amazing. While maybe not the healthiest of meals, this is a comfort meal that’s super easy to pull together and is a crowd pleaser!

For the cream of tomato soup, since I don’t usually keep heavy cream on hand (actually I pretty much buy it exclusively for baking adventures), I decided to substitute Greek yogurt instead. Added bonus, it makes it a little healthier! The soup was super easy to make, requiring just a few basic ingredients. My friend made bread for the grilled cheese sandwiches, but you can use store-bought as well and the combination will be just as delicious. Here’s the recipe!

Cream of Tomato Soup

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp crushed garlic

1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1 tbsp basil

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Other herbs and seasonings, to taste

Directions

In a large pot, lightly brown the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Pour in the vegetable broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 7-10 minutes, until slightly reduced. Turn off the heat and allow to cool a bit.

With an immersion blender, blend the soup thoroughly, until no chunks of tomato remain. Stir in the herbs and seasonings, and stir in the Greek yogurt. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

Bread of your choice, sliced

Cheese of your choice, sliced (I used Muenster)

Margarine or butter

Directions

Spread a little butter or margarine on the outer side of each slice of bread. Place a layer of cheese between two slices. Heat a pan over medium heat. Grill the sandwiches until browned and the cheese is a little melted, then flip and brown the other side. This should take a few minutes on each side. Serve warm, dipped in cream of tomato soup. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Ravioli Vegetable Soup

Winter has finally come to LA (sort of). It’s been a little chilly around here, with a hint of rain. Last week, I made a nice pot of soup in the slow cooker, which was the perfect meal after coming inside from the rain! This was extremely easy to make, since it involved just throwing everything in the slow cooker. It can easily be adapted to your tastes, so feel free to improvise with what you have on hand! I used mini dried ravioli from Trader Joe’s, and they were cute and delicious! Here’s the recipe!

Slow Cooker Ravioli Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

4 stalks celery, chopped

10 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 28 oz can tomatoes, with juice

2 cups vegetable broth

5 oz dried mini ravioli

Herbs and spices of your choice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Warning: the crockpot will be very full. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, until the ravioli is cooked and the vegetables are tender. This creates a rather thick stew, so if you want to make it more of a soup, add another couple cups vegetable broth after it is done cooking, just to make sure your crockpot doesn’t overflow. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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A warm, hearty winter meal!