Vegetarian Soup Recipes | The Daily Dish - Part 2

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Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Green Giant Valley Visit and Year-Round Pea Soup

9 Comments | Written on October 28, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

The more things change, the more they stay the same….

Kristina and Lil’ Sprout circa 1992, and again in 2011.  (He hasn’t aged a bit!)

Earlier this summer, I had the privilege of traveling to Minnesota, to visit the headquarters and farms for Green Giant along with an outstanding group of bloggers.  As you can see, I quite literally “grew up” with their products!  From my first experience with the Pillsbury Bake-Off at age 12 to today, Green Giant products have always been a staple in my pantry and freezer.

(Visit the Better Recipes Facebook page for a full gallery of photos from the events!) 

I had always known that using their products was a great option for enjoying the produce off-season.  It is harvested and canned or frozen at the peak of freshness, sealing in all the vital vitamins and minerals for year-round enjoyment.  What I didn’t know, until visiting the farms first hand, was the Green Giant dedication to sustainably, and responsible farming practices.  They also do not use any GMO’s in their products.  It was fascinating to be a part of  essentially a “farm to table” experience with these familiar grocery store products.

When I returned home, I couldn’t wait to experiment with these products I had been so “up close and personal” with on the trip to Minnesota.  I decided to transform a bag of frozen sweet peas into a new and exciting soup.  This fresh and light recipe has a unique twist, a glass of champagne!  The dry sparkling wine adds interest and dimension to the soup, and, of course, you are free to sip the leftovers from the bottle.

I encourage all of you to pop open a bottle of bubbly, and open up your pantry or freezer to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy Green Giant vegetables.  For generations this jolly fellow has been the symbol of abundant and accessible healthy and  delicious produce for all Americans.

BUBBLY PEA SOUP  (click here to view and print recipe) 

1 bag (12 ounces) frozen green peas

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup dry sparkling wine

1/2 cup creme fraiche

1 teaspoon thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Add vegetable broth and frozen peas to a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add sparkling wine.  Using an immersion blender (or regular blender in small batches) puree the pea soup.  Over low heat blend in the creme fraiche.  Add thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

After all this talk of Green Giant, wouldn’t you like to win some free products for yourself?  You are in luck!  In honor of our “Thanksgiving Side Dish” prize package this week, I have included a bunch of coupons for free Green Giant veggies.  Your family can enjoy delicious vegetables harvested at the peak of freshness at the holiday dinner table!  Click here to read all about it and enter!

Disclaimer:  Green Giant paid for the Valley Visit to Minnesota, and provided the coupons for this giveaway. 

Soup Swap! Guest Post from Savoring the Thyme

4 Comments | Written on October 21, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

I think it’s time for a “Blog Swap!”  Today The Daily Dish is swapping with Savoring the Thyme!  The wonderful Jennifer Leal created this post and I have a recipe over on her blog.  Check them both out and leave comments!

We decided to make this a “soup swap” and post wonderful and warm fall soups on each others blogs.  Jennifer also has a fascinating series on her blog called “10 Things You Don’t Know About ___” where she highlights unknown tidbits about fellow food bloggers.  You can check out her blog to learn a few facts about yours truly.  Take it away, Jennifer!


My name is Jennifer Leal and I have something to admit: I am feeling a bit giggly and tingly today due to the fact that Kristina asked me to do this soup swap with her. I was already a fan of her blog and then when I met her in person, I was a bit smitten because she is so sweet and authentic. We had a fun chat this past spring and I am hoping to get to see her soon.

To top it all off, she asked me if we could swap ’10 Things You Don’t Know About Me’ and I thought it was brilliant! This way we get to know each other better and hopefully you get a giggle or at least a smile when you read our lists.  Be sure to stop by Savoring the Thyme to read her answers and check out her soup recipe as well.  Thanks so much “Daily Dish” readers!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jennifer Leal

1. I was born with and had very blonde, almost white hair until I was three and then it turned light brown.

2. I broke my middle finger (dang volleyball) and wore the cast a few more weeks longer necessary.

3. I have scars on my lower left leg due to a poorly placed coffee percolator placed on top of the refrigerator. How many 2 year olds would resist pulling a cord that hangs in front of the fridge door?

4. I have decided to avoid any waxing as it often goes awry.

5. My biggest pet peeve is disrespect.

6. I was an air force brat and did more traveling in first 5 years of life than most do in lifetime.

7. I skipped kindergarten.

8. Each year in high school, I sang ‘O Tannenbaum’ and other Christmas songs in German to the principal.

9. I could live on cheese, coffee and fresh bread.

10. I believe in having fun no matter the task and smiling at strangers.

You can’t deny it: This time of year makes all of us yearn for soups and all the warmth they provide. Considering my son and husband are a bit obsessed with beans right now, I am taking advantage of this and tossing those high fiber babies into just about anything I can get my hands on.

Fall Vegetable Crock Pot Barley Soup (click here to view and print recipe) 


1 cup diced sweet onion

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 stalks of celery, split and chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into coin shapes (circles)

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

1/8 tsp dried thyme leaves

1/8 tsp dried rubbed sage

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cup water

1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley

1 15.8 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15.8 oz. can great northern (or any white) beans and juice

3 Tablespoons (or more) of tomato paste


1. Turn crock pot/slow cooker onto high for 4 or 6 hours. Prepare all of the ingredients onion through barley and combine in the crock pot.

2. Cook for 4 hours on high. Add the beans and tomato paste, mix well and allow to heat for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Thanks so much Jennifer!  It was so much fun “swapping” with you for the day.  For more great recipes, stories and mouth-watering food photos check out her website, Facebook page, YouTube, and Twitter!

Savor the Thyme Fan Page

Savor the Thyme YouTube


Asparagus Leek Soup

1 Comment | Written on April 7, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Last month, when I attended the International Home and Housewares Show, one of my favorite discoveries was the Cuisinart Soup Maker and Blender. In this one handy appliance you can saute, cook and blend homemade soup!  I simply had to try it and my first recipe attempt was ideal for our theme this weekAsparagus and Leek Soup.  This is the perfect soup to celebrate the start of spring!

ASPARAGUS LEEK SOUP (click here to view and print recipe)

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 garlic clove

1 medium to large leek, white and light green parts only, washed well and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound asparagus (about 1 small bunch), rough ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 Tablespoons cognac or dry white wine

1 small red potato (about 2 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1.  Put the butter into the blender jar; set timer for 15 minutes and temperature on Medium.  Once butter begins to melt, add the garlic and leek.  Cover and stir about 8 times using quick bursts.  Continue to saute, stirring occassionally.  Should any leek cling to the sides of the jar after stirring, scrape down with a heatproof spatula.

2.  Once there are 5 minutes of time remaining, add the asparagus and toss with a spatula to coat with the leeks and butter.  Add the cognac or wine once there are 3 minutes remaining.

3.  Once time expires, add the broth, potato, salt and pepper to the blender jar.  Cover and set time to 10 minutes on High.

4.  Once the time expires or when liquid come to a boil, set timer for 20 minutes and temperature on Medium, stirring occasionally during the cooking process.

5.  Once time expires, add the lemon juice and blend starting with speed 1 gradually raising to speed 2, until completely smooth and homogeneous, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Nutritional information per 1 cup serving:  Calories 97, carbohydrates 11 g., protein 4 g., fat 3 g., sat. fat 2 g., cholesterol 8 mg., sodium 614 mg., calcium 51 mg., fiber 3 g

The unit can be used to cook and blend hot soups or it can function as a traditional blender as well.  Double duty!

Another great feature is the measuring cup built into the lid.

All of the soup ingredients go into the blender and cook. 

Whirl it all together and you have a perfect soup!  It is a quick and healthy meal in minutes.  What a fun new appliance! 

Pumpkin Bisque with Wild Rice

13 Comments | Written on October 6, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Autumn is officially here!  There is a chill in the air, pumpkins are available in the markets and Halloween is right around the corner.  I was in the mood for a slow cooking meal from the crock pot and that’s when I stumbled upon this fantastic recipe from Better Recipes user robin.haas.   A bisque with pumpkin puree, white beans and wild rice?  I am in!  The result is a hearty and satisfying meal that filled my kitchen with the aroma of fall.

With a few twists, the recipe can be made vegetarian as well as non-fat if you prefer.  In addition, pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals.  Check out these health benefits from pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin is very rich in carotenoids, which is known for keeping the immune system of an individual strong and healthy.
  • Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, is a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps prevent build up of cholesterol on the arterial walls, thus reducing chances of strokes.
  • Rich in alpha-carotene, pumpkin is believed to slow the process of aging and also prevent cataract formation.
  • Pumpkins have been known to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.
  • Pumpkin is high in fiber.
  • Loaded with potassium, pumpkin is associated with lowering the risk of hypertension.
  • The presence of zinc in pumpkins boosts the immune system and also improves the bone density.

Pumpkin Soup


Pumpkin puree is combined in the crock pot with rice, onion, white beans, seasonings and cream. Vegetarians may wish to substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.


  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 15-ounce cans canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain and wild rice
  • 2 tsp cooking sherry, optional
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley


Combine all ingredients, except cream and parsley, in a 5-6 quart crock pot. Cook on high heat setting for 3 1/2 hours or on low for 7 hours. Ten minutes before serving, stir in cream; cover to heat through. Sprinkle with dried parsley before serving.

Number of Servings: 6-10

Note:  If you want to make this as a nonfat recipe, you can omit the cream altogether.

Twist On A Classic With Cat Cora

1 Comment | Written on September 7, 2010 at 5:00 am , by


Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting the first and only female Iron Chef, Cat Cora!  She just released a fantastic new cookbook that is perfect for busy families.  She has 4 boys of her own, so she knows dinnertime challenges first hand!

Her new cookbook was filled with fantastic classic recipes.  Some are inspired by her life growing up in the south, while others were inspired by her Greek heritage.  All recipes had a “twist” to make them easier, healthier or more budget-friendly.  After pouring through the cookbook there was one that I simply had to try.  The “American Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.”  I have always loved tomato soup with grilled cheese and the “twist” of turning the grilled cheese into bite-sized croutons is nothing short of genius!


American Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

“When I was growing up, my typical lunch on a cold or rainy Saturday was grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.  Now, instead of serving the sandwiches whole, I cut them into croutons, mound them on a big platter, and let people spoon as many croutons into their soup as they like.  If you’re serving this to kids, you may want to halve the amount of garlic and leave out the jalapeno.”

Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained

1 quart low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup light sour cream, plus 2 tablespoons, for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Grilled Cheese Croutons

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 slices white bread or potato bread

4 ounces sharp white cheddar, cut into slices

For the Soup:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the tomatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.  Whisk in the sour cream and the lime juice and turn off the heat.  Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or a regular blender (if using a regular blender, wait for the soup to cool a bit, then hold the blender lid on with a kitchen towel while you puree).  Return the soup to the heat on low; don’t let the soup boil or it will curdle.

For the Croutons:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Butter 2 of the bread slices on one side and place 1 slice in the pan, buttered side down.  Add enough slices of cheese to cover the bread evenly, then top with the second slice of bread, buttered slice up.  Brown until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip over to brown the other side.  Remove the sandwich from the pan and let it cool.  Repeat with the remaining 2 bread slices and the cheese.  Cut the cheese sandwiches into quarters and cut each quarter into quarters again to make cubes 1 to 2 inches wide.  Pile all the croutons onto a serving platter.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.  Set the platter of croutons where everyone can reach.

*Twist*  Cilantro Croutons:  Sprinkle a few whole cilantro leaves – no stems – on top of the cheese before you cover it with the second slice of bread.  When you cut the croutons, you’ll see a subtle ribbon of green running through the center.