Corn and Shrimp Chowder


Still doesn’t feel very Spring-like around here and all I can think about is hot soup!  Inspired by a delicious bowl of corn and potato chowder that Andrea made, I came home to see what I had in the pantry that could be turned into something similar for dinner.  This soup was a big hit in my house and was pretty easy to prepare.  One thing I love about soup is this; SOUP IS NOT A SCIENCE!  Be creative, throw in what you have on hand that you think may work together.  Taste-test throughout in order to adjust seasonings as you go.


2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 large vidalia onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

4 large yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

8 oz frozen shrimp, peeled, thawed, and chopped in half

4 c chicken broth

1 c milk

1/4 to 1/2 c half and half

1 T dried thyme

salt to taste


Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in large soup pot.  Add onion and saute a minute or two.  Add celery, carrot, and potato and continue to saute until slightly soft.  Add the broth, milk, navy beans, salt and thyme.  Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook for 30 minutes or so until potatoes and carrots are cooked through. ( I used an immersion blender at this point to mash it up a little, not too much, but this gives it a creamier consistency)  Stir in the half and half and shrimp and continue to cook until shrimp is heated through.  Enjoy!  (Great day one, AMAZING day 2!


Peace and greens,



Pasta Fijioli with Ham Recipe

Silly me, forgot to add the recipe!  Everyone did end up liking it.  I just think they like complaining more.

Pasta Fajioli


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound ham steaks, chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • 1 sprig thyme, left intact
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed well
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1-1 ½ cups ditalini
  • Grated Parmigiano
  • Really good crusty bread


Heat pot over medium high heat and add oil, onion, garlic and ham. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, add herb stems and chopped vegetables and sauté for 3-4 more minutes. Add beans and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Let soup boil for 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stiring occasionally.  Add pasta and cook to desired doneness about 8-10 minutes. Remove herb stems from pot before ladling into bowls.  Top soup with grated parmigiano and a nice chunk of crusty bread for dipping. Salt and pepper to taste. Feel warm and happy inside!

Pasta Fajioli with Ham makes me happy!

pasta fajioli 3Pasta Fajioli with Ham makes me happy, not to mention the warm crusty bread and little mound of parm I sprinkle on top!

Three things I love about this dinner:

  1. It only takes 30 minutes.
  2. I’ll have a quick yummy lunch the next day.
  3. There is only one pot to clean.

There is always crying when my kids ask what’s for dinner and I tell them bean soup.  They ask me about 20 times actually, as if the answer is going to get better each time.  My son declares that he hates beans and is making something else instead.  My girls declare they would rather eat Five Guys.  Well, I have to say the dinner unveiling is often my least favorite part of the day but when all is said and done we sit together and eat the same meal.  Jack smashed his beans so he didn’t have to look at them and the girls asked for the soup in their lunch the next day.

Hmm, after proof reading my paragraph, I am left wondering why this soup makes me so happy.

Keep it Real. Keep it Simple. Make it Matter. – Andrea

Curried Cauliflower Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I realize that it’s April but since Mother Nature isn’t exactly cooperating I’m still in the mood for a hot bowl of soup!  I saw this recipe and thought it sounded delicious. Did you know that just a cup of cauliflower has 85% of our daily value for Vitamin C?  There are also tons of studies linking cruciferous veggies to cancer prevention.  Comforting AND super good for you….can’t get much better than that!  I’m on my way out for the ingredients…

Thanks to for sharing their wonderful recipes!

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 medium white onions, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets

4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 cup coconut milk

Freshly-ground black pepper

1/4 cup roasted cashew halves, for garnish (optional, see Recipe Note)

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)

red chili pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions are soft and translucent, 8-9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth, and then return the soup to the soup pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Stir in the coconut milk and warm the soup. Taste and add more salt, pepper or spices if you’d like.

To serve, ladle the soup into favorite bowls and garnish with a handful of toasted cashews, a few springs of parsley, sprinkle of red chile flakes and a dash of olive oil to top.

Hope this keeps you warm today!


Super Immunity Kale Soup Recipe

Keep your kids healthy during flu season by making sure they get enough of the good stuff.  Based on the book Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., eating a combination of mushrooms, onions and a cruciferous vegetable helps boost your bodies defense.  By eating these three foods in combination you are strengthening your cell membrane to help your body live stronger and disease free.  I try to make a recipe with the terrific trio once a week to keep my kids and husband flu free.  Fewer sick days, fewer Doctor visits, fewer drugs, I’m all about it.  Here is my latest recipe for Super Immunity Kale Soup.

Super Immunity Kale Soup

1 bunch kale chopped

2 cans cannelini beans drained and rinsed

1 carton organic chicken stock

1 carton organic vegetable stock

1 white onion diced

6 cloves garlic minced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

Saute diced onion and minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add kale and cook down about 5-10 minutes or until tender.  Add beans, stock and mushrooms.  Cook together for about 20 minutes.  This soup is great with some hot pepper flakes and grated parmesan cheese. Don’t forget the chunk of crusty bread.

My heart and prayers go out to all of the families who are suffering in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and all of the Moms that are struggling with the sadness everywhere as they kiss their kids before sending them to school.


Farmer’s Market Butternut Squash Soup

Sprouting Souls is back at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market today from 8AM until noon. Stop by to say hello and taste our warm and yummy butternut squash soup!

Winter squash is abundant at the farmer’s market and grocery stores now. Everything from Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, and then some, are easy to find, easy to fix, and chock full of nutrients that will help your whole family stay healthy this season. Did you know that squash has 214% of our daily allowance of Vitamin A? That’s a whole lot of good for the peepers! The most recent studies show that squash is an outstanding source of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories; key components to preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Here’s a really simple way to make butternut squash soup. For even faster preparation, Trader Joe’s is selling frozen sliced leeks and most grocery stores are offering pre-cut chunks of squash. You can add your favorite herbs and spices or a splash of white wine for a little extra flair or a dollop of Greek yogurt for extra creaminess. I love it just like this and so do the kids!

Butternut Squash Soup

2 butternut squash

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup sliced leeks

2 t grated ginger

salt and pepper to taste

Wash, dry and slice butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Line one or two cookie sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Pierce skin with fork a few times and place cut-side down on cookie sheet. Place in 400 degree oven for 60 minutes or until very tender. Let cool until easy to handle and then scoop the squash out of the skin and set aside. Heat 1 T olive oil in dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Add sliced leeks and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add grated ginger and saute a minute or two more. Pour in broth, add squash, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Cover and cook on medium low for 20-30 minutes longer. If you want a thinner soup, add extra broth or water. Allow to cool a bit and then puree with an emulsion blender. (You can also place small batches in a regular blender, just be sure to let it cool first)


Mushroom and Lentil Soup, Fast and Fabulous!

When the temperature dropped like a bomb overnight  I immediately started dreaming of homemade soup.  I had baby bella mushrooms about to go bad and a container of Trader Joes Lentils (precooked lentils from the refrigerator section of the grocery store).   I went running this morning in the crisp air and couldn’t wait to come home and prepare a yummy soup for lunch. (More on the running part later).  This soup was super fast to prepare thanks to the precooked lentils but turned out delicious, like I had slaved over the stove for hours:)


2 celery stalks,  finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cups precooked lentils

2 to 3 cups button or baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 20 oz can diced tomatoes

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt, pepper, and herbs to taste

Heat 2 T olive oil in large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add celery, carrots, and onion.  Saute for 5 minutes and then add mushrooms, lentils,  and white wine and saute a few minutes more.  Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, salt and pepper.  I also added thyme, rosemary, and basil from an Herbs de Provence blend that I have.  You could add a 1/2 teaspoon of each of these herbs or choose your own favorites.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or more. 

With a hunk of crusty bread this was the perfect lunch I had been conjuring up while run/walking this morning.  So about that…I guess I should fess up, I’m the friend Andrea spoke of in her post yesterday.  You know, the one that thought she and Robin had completely lost their minds when they announced their decision to run the Disney Princess Half-Marathon.  That’s 13.1 miles! Have they been drinking? I’m also the one who decided after about five minutes that it would be an absolute blast to join them!  I’ve never been a runner and this won’t be easy, but I love taking on a new challenge and I’ve been in the mood lately to push myself to a new level physically…I was thinking along the lines of a 13.1 hour Yogathon in Bali..but I digress.  I am super excited to be doing this with such a great group of girls and look forward to the many months of training ahead!  A special shout-out to Becky for joining in as well, I think her immediate revulsion of the idea rivaled my own!

Peace and Greens,