Lentil Kale & Potato Soup

Tried a new recipe today,
kept it very basic and super simple. The soup turned out fabulous and it is a very flexible kind of soup. I hope you enjoy it because I sure did.

Lentil Kale and Potato Soup
Created 09/07/17


This makes 4-5 servings, freezes well

2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium red potatoes or 1 large sweet potato, diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil, vegetable broth, or water
1 cup lentils, picked through and cleaned
2 heaping handfuls of kale roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cups of organic low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (3 or 4 dashes optional)

In stock pot, saute the carrots, celery, onion. garlic for 5 to 8 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add the lentils, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. The lentils and potatoes should be cooked through. Add the kale and cook for another ten minutes.

Toppings: Add grated cheese of choice, gluten free chicken sausages all optional.



Vegan Potato and Corn Chowder

It’s a new year. Simply Healthy Cooking with Pam has been going strong since December 30, 2009. I cannot believe that I passed the 4 year mark. Lots of changes and learned so much about food. I have been slowly changing my food diet to reflect more vegetarian / vegan recipes. I am experimenting with different kinds of soups this month. I have a cookbook I use frequently called “The Big Book of Vegetarian” by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley. This book has lots of good recipes that are very filling and hearty. I highly recommend it. This soup is really creamy without any dairy use at all. Everything in this soup is vegetable. This soup is amazing when all ingredients are summer fresh straight from the garden or farmer’s market. I tweaked the original recipe to the ingredients I had on hand. Enjoy.

Vegan Potato and Corn Chowder, created on January 6, 2013

Click on image to see a larger photo

Click on image to see a larger photo

2 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and diced)
2 large organic carrots (peeled and diced)
2 large stalks of organic celery (diced)
1 medium Vidalia onion (chopped)
4 green onions (minced green and white parts) (Original recipe calls for 1 leek (white part only)
2 cups of organic corn, or 4 medium corn on the cob – kernels cut from the cob
5 cups of organic vegetable broth
2 teaspoons of dried basil or 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, warm the oil or vegetable broth and add the carrots, celery, onion, green onions and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir often.

Add the corn, potatoes, broth, and basil. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the vegetable broth has reduced to just barely covering the cooked vegetables. Add the chopped fresh dill.

Ladle the soup to a blender or food processor in batches, be careful when process because the soup is very hot and can spurt up from top of blender or food processor. Process the soup until desired consistency but has some chunks of vegetables. Return to the soup pot and season with salt and pepper.


Peasant Soup

The weather has changed to cool fall weather. I have been doing a lot of research on different kinds of soups. I am slowly changing my diet to reflect more of a vegetarian way of eating because I am noticing that I am not as tired and do not have heartburn or digestive problems when I eat vegetarian. I still do love meat and cheese I hope that as I change more to a much healthier diet I will not crave meat, eggs and cheese so much. I think this will be a work in progress. I did some research on Peasant Soup and found meat, vegetarian, and vegan ways appealing so I combined many resources and created my own. I think with the research I did, I discovered that everyone has their own version of vegetables, meats and spices. I would like to say I have adapted a really good vegan recipe. Next time I will add carrots to the soup. The smells in the apartment were heavenly and the soup came out really hearty, loaded with flavor, and very filling. Enjoy!

Pam’s Peasant Soup
Created on November 2, 2011

Click on image for a large picture

1 small bag 12 oz of Lentils rinsed and picked over well check for stones, twigs, etc.

2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (can omit for those that do not use oil)

(2) 15 oz cans Muir Glenn diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon Caraway seed (I like the flavor – you can omit, decrease or increase)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil (I imagine fresh would be more potent and flavorful)

2 bay leaves

8 cups of water

3 teaspoons of “Better than Bouillon” Vegetable based, or if you have homemade vegetable stock use that

1 medium onion, chopped

1-1/2 cup of chopped celery (about 4 stalks)

4 garlic cloves, chopped fine

(10) Oz package of organic baby spinach

5 small Yukon gold potatoes peeled and chopped

2 cups of finely sliced cabbage

Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

 In a stockpot, heat up the olive oil on medium high heat and add the chopped onions and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes till onions become soft and somewhat brown. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute or so. Do not let the garlic burn as it will make the recipe taste funny. Add the caraway seed, thyme, and basil to the onion/celery/garlic mixture.

Click on image for larger picture

Cook for about another minute stirring often. Add the water, bouillon, bay leaves, tomatoes, lentils, and potatoes to the stockpot. Stir and let come to a boil. Then turn down to heat to simmer and cook for about an hour or until the potatoes are soft.  Add the cabbage the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and add the baby spinach. Cover and the steam will wilt the spinach after about a couple of minutes. Stir again and season with salt and pepper. 

Click on image to see a larger picture

Serve with whole grain or rye crusty bread.

 Note: For the meat lovers, need to remove the Caraway Seed (optional) and add a type of sausage or cubed chicken breasts to the soup. Just remember if using linked sausage of any kind, remove the casing. I am sure the flavors will change when adding a protein to the soup. The results will probably be the same – delicious, filling and hearty.


Edamame Cherry Chicken Sausage Dish

I think I am just nuts about farmer markets. I love the one near my apartment. The market has several organic meat vendors that offer a diversity of meat such as different flavor sausages and cuts of meat. You can purchase, sample, and question the vendors to your hearts content about how they process their sausages and their meats. I just love the tart cherry chicken sausage that I purchase from one of the vendors just absolutely amazing. I threw some things together and came up with this fast and easy dish that is just loaded with some simple summer flavors.

Edamame Cherry Sausage Dish, created 06/13/11

Edamame Cherry Chicken Sausage Dish

1 lb. of Tart Cherry Sausage (or any flavor sausage that you like), meat taken out of the casing
1-1/2 cups of shelled Edamame (or any bean you like – i.e. Lima Bean, Green Bean)
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, half mooned sliced
½ small green cabbage rough chopped
1 can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained (or pink, cranberry bean)
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Cooked Quinoa or another type of healthy grain

In a 10” sauté pan, heat up the olive oil over medium high heat and add the sliced onions and green cabbage. Season with salt and pepper and continuing to cook until the onions and cabbage is soft. Add the crumbled sausage to the mixture and cook until sausage is done about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the Edamame, black beans and tomatoes until heated thoroughly. Serve over cooked quinoa. Enjoy!


Pumpkin, Black Bean and Turkey Kielbasa Soup

This recipe I saw on Rachel Ray’s website but I tweaked it to a healthier version and added turkey kielbasa. I had purchased some pie pumpkins from a local farmer’s market and decided to roast them. I had some pumpkin puree left over and made the soup for the first time. It was delicious. Now when I am pressed for time and cannot roast pie pumpkins, I purchase organic pumpkin puree. This happens to be one of my favorite soups that I make quite a bit in the fall and the wintertime. The soup freezes well and it is good with a green salad or crusty toasted bread and butter. Enjoy!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Turkey Kielbasa Soup

Recipe created February 16, 2010

Pumpkin Black Bean and Turkey Kielbasa Soup

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced Muir Glenn tomatoes with juice
2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree or 3 pie pumpkins roasted and mashed
1-cup heavy cream (optional)
1-tablespoon curry powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
½-teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (12 ounce) package of Turkey Kielbasa cut into cubes (can omit)
Coarse salt
20 blades of fresh chives, chopped fine
Heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes and add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, black beans, pumpkin puree, and turkey kielbasa. Stir well and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream (optional), curry, cumin, cayenne pepper (optional), salt and pepper. Simmer for additional 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your taste and serve with chives sprinkled on top.


Sweet Potato Navy Bean Soup

The weather is turning colder and the leaves have turned into soft vibrant shades of gold, red and oranges. Frost has appeared on my car window this morning and I thought this is the perfect day for soup. I put a pot of navy beans on the stove to cook in the middle of the week and had the rest of the ingredients on hand. I thought how do I make a healthy and satisfying soup that is not loaded in calories. I hope you enjoy the soup as much as my company and I did. The soup was a hit and I plan to make it often.

Sweet Potato Navy Bean Soup

Sweet Potato Navy Bean Soup, created on October 16, 2010

Preparation for the Navy Beans – this can be done earlier or on the same day.

2 cups of dried beans, picked, cleaned, and rinsed from any dirt or any other object in the beans
Enough cold water to cover the top of the beans in the pot, plus 3 inches over the layer of beans
Cook for 2-1/2 hours on med-low heat and add water as needed to keep the beans covered
Cook until the beans have the right consistency and are of a soft consistency
Drain the beans and store in container in refrigerator until ready to use for a recipe

Most recipes explain the beans should be soaked overnight. I did not do that this time and the beans were fine.

2 cups of cooked Navy beans
2 large sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
½ bag of organic baby spinach
1 package of Turkey Kielbasa preferably organic, cut in cubes
6 cups water
1 teaspoon of “Better than Bouillon” vegetable base
1 teaspoon of “Better than Bouillon” mushroom base
1 large red onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt / Pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, heat up the olive oil, add the red onion, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are semi-soft and lightly browned. Add the water, sweet potatoes, turkey kielbasa, bouillon, and cooked navy beans and bring to boil and then reduce the heat and simmer over medium low heat for about 40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and add the baby spinach wait a minute or two and the spinach will wilt and mesh in with the soup.


Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup is one of my all-time favorites. I think that I do not make it enough and I should. It is hearty, loaded with fiber and warms you on a cold winter day. Adding mushrooms is another bonus. How could I possibly go wrong with a soup like this?

Mushroom Barley Soup
Created recipe on 01/22/2010

1 (8 oz) container of button mushrooms
1 (8 oz) container of Portobello mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
3 large carrots peeled and chopped into ½” cubes
3 stalks of celery with leaves in the center of the celery chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup of good red wine ( you can omit this but to my surprise I found that using the wine really makes the soup rich tasting, and I even added a little extra for the boost in flavor)
8 cups of broth (I used beef and mushroom broth in this recipe but I have made it using vegetarian broth. Either way the results are excellent!)
5-1/2 oz of barley quick cooking this is approx 1 to 1-1/2 cups of barley
2 corn on the cob – corn sliced off the cob or you can substitute 1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of frozen lima beans
1 cup of frozen baby peas
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and cracked fresh pepper to taste

Make the sofrito (see cooking tip #2 for picture) with the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the soup pot over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to get the vegetables going and the flavors to marry. Add the cleaned sliced mushrooms (see cooking tip #4 for cleaning mushrooms) to the sofrito. Stir for about 2 minutes so that the mushrooms absorb the extra oil in the bottom of the pan so the soup does not have that oily look on the top when done cooking. Add the water and choice of bouillon, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Add the barley, corn, lima beans, peas, thyme and wine and cook for another 45 minutes. The soup will thicken and you may need to add more broth to reach the desired consistency of the soup you prefer.  Flavor with salt and pepper to your taste.  Note: when adding liquid you will need to taste the soup to make sure the seasonings do not need to be adjusted. For example: may need to add a splash of wine, or a ¼ teaspoon of bouillon. Serve with whole wheat croutons. See below for recipe. Enjoy!

Wheat Croutons
About 4 thick slices of crusty wheat or whole grain bread (I had bread I made in my bread machine left over frozen in the freezer. I thawed out the bread and used that for the croutons. I am hooked – I think I will do this from now on – I love it!)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of fresh or dried parsley

Brush olive/butter mixture over sliced bread both sides and cut into 1-1/2” cubes. Spread single layer over a cookie sheet or stone and bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until the bread becomes hard and crunchy.  Cool to touch and put about 5 to 6 croutons on top of the soup. Yum!

Mushroom Barley Soup

Cooking Tip: The broth I made from a product called “Better than Bouillon”. I find that it has less sodium than some of the broths and / or cubes of bouillon out on the market and I only need to use a little bit of it because the flavor goes a long way. I prepared the broth per the manufacturer’s directions. For the soup – I just added the 8 cups of water to the prepared sofrito and then added 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of beef and 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of mushroom bouillon to the water.

Nutritional Tip: Barley has so many health benefits. It is a soluble fiber that may help prevent many health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and many gastrointestinal disorders like Internal Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and colon cancer.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA) suggests that adults should consume at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day and studies show that Americans consume only 50% of the required amount daily. 1/3 cup of barley consists of 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and only has 160 calories.


Vegetarian Split Green and Yellow Pea Soup

I woke up this morning in the mood for soup because it is really cold outside where I live. The winters are something I just cannot get used to. I lived down south for 18 years and seeing snow, ice and billowing winds are not one of my favorite things. The positive side of things is that it gives me the chance to experiment and taste all kinds of soups, and I really enjoy that.

Vegetarian Split Green and Yellow Pea Soup
Created recipe on 01/12 /2010

½ lb split green peas
½ lb split yellow peas
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery (use the inside of the celery with leaves)
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Cracked fresh pepper
1 tablespoon parsley (I used dried because I did not have any fresh today)
6 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons “Better than Bouillon” Vegetable base

Put green and yellow dried peas in a colander or strainer and rinse them well. Make sure you pick and inspect the dried peas well because sometimes there can be stones and other objects in the split peas.

Washed Split Peas

Make a sofrito with the carrots, celery, and onion in stock pot with olive oil. Add the washed split peas to the sofrito base with the water, chopped garlic and vegetable based bouillon. Cook all the ingredients for approximately 1 hour or until the yellow peas are soft to eat.

Note: split dried green peas cook faster than the yellow split peas.  This makes about 6 cups of soup. Serve with warm honey wheat bread.

Eat Healthy!

Vegetarian Split Green and Yellow Pea Soup

Learning Tip

Sofrito a Spanish word pronounced (tho free toe) is a base flavor to start a soup or casserole dish. Sofrito consists of a variety of vegetables that is minced or chopped and sautéed in an oil until completely cooked. I have experimented and found that carrots, celery and onions are a great way to provide a good base flavor for the soup. I don’t add garlic because I have burned the garlic before and it makes the sofrito very bitter. When the vegetables are sautéed, I think the vegetable flavor comes out more than adding all the ingredients together raw and in the pot all at once.

Sofrito Base


Asparagus Soup

Asparagus soup was something I feared trying to make for a long time. How silly of me! I decided to tackle my fear and make it with some leftover asparagus ends from last week’s recipe that I did not want to throw away. After adding different ingredients, the finale was the Greek Fage 2% yogurt lumped on top. It just made the soup perfect.

Asparagus Soup
Created recipe on 01/12 /2010

About 2 to 3 cups of asparagus ends, chopped and the white part of the bottom of the asparagus cut off because it tends to be very woody
About 1 cup of asparagus spears chopped
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme minced well
1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 leeks white and green part washed and chopped in half moons
½ cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups of chicken broth (I used Pacific Ocean because it was what I had in the refrigerator – you can use vegetable broth to make the recipe all vegetarian. I just wanted to use up the open box of broth)
1 cup of water
4 ounces of Neufchatel Cheese (this is less fat than cream cheese)
2% Fage Greek Yogurt

In a soup pot, sauté the chopped leeks on medium high heat until semi-soft about 5 minutes and then add the chopped asparagus ends to the leeks and sauté for about 5 more minutes. Add the onion, garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the broth and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat on the stove and simmer the asparagus mixture for about 20 to 30 minutes. Add the Neufchatel Cheese and blend all the ingredients in a blender or a hand held blender till all ingredients are smooth and blended into the stock. Add the thyme and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes till hot. Ladle the soup into a bowl and dollop with Greek 2% Fage yogurt.

Eat Healthy!

Asparagus Soup

Learning Tip

Do not throw away vegetables that have a bad appearance like brown spots and broken pieces. You can wash them and put them in a zip lock bag and freeze it for future recipes. If you plan on making a vegetable soup right away, these bad looking vegetables can serve as the base for the soup. Coarsely chop up the vegetables and sauté in olive oil to start the flavoring process and add different ingredients such as broth, spices to build-up your soup.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Created recipe on 06/11/2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup (lowfat/sodium version)
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup (lowfat/sodium version)
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup (lowfat/sodium version)
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Cheddar Cheese soup (lowfat/sodium version)
16 ounces chicken broth (I used Pacific Natural Chicken Broth -has more flavor)
1 (15 ounces) Muir Glenn diced tomatoes
1 cup Pace hot picante sauce
1 (4.5 ounce) can green chilies
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion chopped fine
6 cloves fresh garlic minced
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or use dried if you can’t find fresh about handful
4 cooked chicken breasts or (2)
rotisserie chickens – meat pulled and chopped)
2 cups shredded reduced fat Colby/Monterey Jack cheese blend
Tortilla chips to sprinkle on top (optional)

These makes about 5 servings — I’ve doubled the recipe and froze the leftovers for a rainy day.

In large pot combine and whisk together all the soups. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, picante sauce, green chilies, chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. Reduce and simmer for about 1 hour.

Saute onions in olive oil until soft and light brown takes about 8 to 10 minutes depending on how high heat is. Add minced garlic, cook for another minute and add onions and garlic to the soup. Add cilantro and chopped chicken. Simmer for about half hour. Stir in cheese and remove from heat.

Serve with toritlla chips on top if preferred.

Fried Tortilla Chips
6 flour tortillas cut into strips about 1″ x 3″ long
Corn Oil enough to make about 2″ in frying pan

Heat up corn oil till hot, add flour tortilla strips and cook until light brown. This goes fast won’t even take 5 minutes to cook all the strips.



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