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make different soups photo courtesy tasteloveandnourish.com

How to Make 6 Different Soups from One Base Recipe

Wouldn’t it be great if you had one easy to make soup recipe that you could just switch out the ingredients and confidently have a meal in no time? You can make soup from scratch even if you don’t think you can cook. With this recipe I’m going to show you how to make 6 different soups from one base recipe.

It’s important to start making your own meals at home if you want a healthy ageless body because when you buy packaged foods they are full of chemicals and when you eat at a restaurant you have no idea what is really in your food.

The other good point here is that if you are single, you can make soup and freeze individual portions and always have something to eat at a moment’s notice that is healthy and tasty.

These are quick and easy soups any non-cook can make. To live an ageless lifestyle after 50 you want to make sure your meals are healthy and easy enough to work into your lifestyle so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.

Here is the base recipe from tasteloveandnourish.com  Their soup is the photo you see here. Yummy, right? It’s a recipe I’ve made often enough to  have in my favorite healthy recipes board on Pinterest.  And it’s a great teaching tool for me to show you how to take a great recipe and turn it into 5 others. And if you like these, I’ve got a ton more on my healthy soup board.

Lentils are so good for you.  They are high in fiber, magnesium, iron and protein.  They are also a great source of B vitamins without the fat that comes with most sources of the B’s.  Lentils can reduce inflammation in your body and provide a lot of energy.  This soup is really filling, low in fat…and it really is delicious!

Lentil Soup from TasteLoveandNourish.com

3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
approx. 6 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 C. dry white wine (optional)
8 C. chicken or vegetable stock, home made or low sodium
2 C. lentils, sorted and rinsed
3-4 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
2 large handfuls baby spinach
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, celery and carrots just until the onions are soft.  Add the garlic and the sun dried tomatoes.  Continue sautéing for just a minute.

Raise the heat to high and add the white wine, if using.  Reduce for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the stock and the lentils.

With kitchen string, tie the parsley and thyme into a bouquet garni (basically, a bunch of herbs).  Drop the bouquet garni into the pot with the bay leaves.  Give it a stir.  Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering.

After one hour, check the lentils for doneness.  If you’d like them softer, they should only need another 10 minutes or so.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Fish out the bouquet garni and bay leaves and discard.

Add the handfuls of spinach, give it a stir, cover the pot and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Finally, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the pot to give it a bright freshness.

Great recipe, right?

Before trying alternative recipes, first I would suggest making it as close to the original as you can. That gives you a chance to taste it, think about what you might like to add, take out, or substitute for your personal tastes. If you have a good imagination, you could create several more soups just by doing that.

I don’t have kitchen string, so I just throw the fresh herbs in and then fish them out when the soup is done. I also cover the pot once it’s simmering.

Obvious things to play with would be the lentils, herbs, and greens. You can always use the seasonings that you enjoy. Kale is a good alternative to spinach.

The point of turning a base recipe into more is that you already know how to make it. That means you’re going to leave the cooking instructions the same, even though you’re changing ingredients. I’ve noted any changes to the cooking instructions in the recipes below.

Make your own vegetable stock using my recipe here. It’s so simple! I always have it on hand in baggies in the freezer.  

#2 White Bean Soup

3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
approx. 6 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 C. dry white wine (optional)
4 C. chicken or vegetable stock, home made or low sodium
2 cans (15oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
2 large handfuls baby spinach
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer for just 20-25 minutes so the beans don’t fall apart.

#3 Curried Lentil Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, chopped
5C. chicken or vegetable stock, home made or low sodium
2 C. lentils, sorted and rinsed
1T curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Blend with stick blender or in regular blender to puree to a consistency you like.

#4 Curried Split Pea Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, chopped
5C. chicken or vegetable stock, home made or low sodium
2 C. lentils, sorted and rinsed
1T curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer for 45-50 minutes.

Blend with stick blender or in regular blender to puree to a consistency you like.

#5 French Lentil Soup

1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 lbs white potatoes, diced
1 C. dry red wine (optional)
8 C. chicken or vegetable stock, home made or low sodium
2 C. lentils, sorted and rinsed
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
8 oz. fresh mushrooms chopped
salt and pepper to taste

When making an oil free soup you need to watch your onions and start at a lower temperature so they sweat. Otherwise they will stick and turn brown.

#6 Rice and Lentil Stew

3 T. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6 C. chicken or vegetable stock, home made or low sodium
2 C. lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 t ginger, minced
1/3 t turmeric powder
optional hot sauce or minced jalapeño pepper
salt and pepper to taste

For Rice: figure 1/3 cup dry rice for each person. Use 2/3 cup water for each person. So if 2 people are eating, 2/3 cup rice and 1 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered until all the water is gone 20-25 minutes. Fluff with a fork, take off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

You can serve with rice and lentils next to each other in bowl or lentils on top of rice.

This will give you a good start. Feel free to share your new soups with us here or on our Facebook page.

make different soups photo courtesy tasteloveandnourish.com

photo courtesy tasteloveandnourish.com

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