Chicken Phở

I crave phở like I crave sushi. Not often but every once in a while I just need some strong flavourful broth. I’ve had bad phở and I’ve had awesome phở and for me, it’s usually about the broth. Sometimes it’s too sweet, sometimes too fish-saucey and others give me the perfect balance of flavor depth. I don’t get very brave with tripe and what-not and stick to what I know with thin-sliced raw beef or chicken. The last restaurant bought phở I had was not very impressive. The beef slices were all stuck together in one big clump, hard to pull apart and mushy. Blech! It’s a good thing it’s cheap or I’d have a hard time spending money on it. Phở is one of those dishes that people don’t typically make at home because it’s ‘a labor of love’ and thus I had never even considered attempting it. So, naturally, I was a bit floored when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. It’s actually quite simple, doesn’t have a million, complicated and inaccessible ingredients. The ingredients that you do need are super inexpensive and aside from the chicken I think I spent a total of $4 on this meal. It is time consuming though. All in all, it takes probably 3.5 hours to make but there certainly isn’t a lot of effort involved. Just a lot of simmering. I would consider this a perfect recipe for new and practicing cooks and the results are more than worth the time! I actually got so darn excited making it that I forgot to add basil and lime!

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Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

Not that long ago, I didn’t like soup. I didn’t like canned soup or homemade soup but after I started to learn how to cook I discovered that soups are probably some of the most nutritious, delicious, hearty and EASY meals you could make. Plus, the options are absolutely, positively, endless. When I started to make my own and adapt them to what I wanted, the clouds parted, the sun came out and it’s been a sunny day ever since. Canned soups have waaay too much sodium. Honestly, in ‘almost’ the same amount of time it takes to open the can, throw it in a bowl, microwave it and serve it, you can make a whole pot of delicious, low sodium, almost fat free soup. If it’s convenience you’re after with a can of soup, I highly recommend freezing it. Whip up a batch, divide it into freezable containers and freeze it. Take it for lunch or wherever else you’ll need it! Then you get the convenience and health advantages in a simple microwavable container. We made this soup with some gluten free (Glutino brand white bread) grilled cheese sandwiches and it was amazing. A perfect combination! But you could also make some Baking Powder Biscuits with the soup and be just as satisfied.

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Potato Leek Soup

I don’t think I’ve actually ever had potato leek soup before. Parsnip Leek soup yes, and it was amazing, but not potato. I don’t what the hell I’ve been thinking all this time! It’s incredibly delicious. I never thought that 2 main ingredients that are kind of bland on their own, could pack such a heart-warming and soul-soothing punch. I’m all over this. It’s the perfect season for this soup too. Creamy, thick, hot and super filling. Maybe because I couldn’t stop at only one bowl! For some reason I was always under the impression that potato leek soup wasn’t an ‘easy’ soup. I don’t know where I got that notion but I was WAY off. I threw this in the crock pot, walked away and came back to magic. Make it with some Baking Powder Biscuits to round out the perfect winter meal!

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Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

Do you have a favourite food? Maybe not even favourite, but a food, dish or meal that you love to make? Because you make it when you crave it, and you crave it pretty often, then when you take that first bite, it’s SO good that the next time the word “willpower” crosses your mind, you’re bloated, full as hell but funnily still wanting more. This soup is kind of like that. Curry powder, onions, lentils – hearty, thick and packed with flavor. Aside from the amount of time lentils take to cook, this recipe is super easy. Simple even. It’ll make your house smell amazing too! We paired it with some delicious gluten free toast from Udi’s. Please sir, I want some more…

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Sweet Potato Kale Soup

It has only been very very recently that I started liking soup. It was never my favourite growing up and only within the last year or so have I started making and loving soups. And why wouldn’t I? A good soup encompasses everything this blog is about! Health and nutrition, simplicity and good value – and even gluten free now! I’ve discovered that a really good soup can taste sinful without being sinful. Most that I’ve made barely have any calories, let alone fat. This particular soup cost less than $5 to make and provides 4 servings. At $1.25 per serving you can’t afford NOT to make it! Mike wasn’t here for dinner tonight and I’m totally tempted to eat his half of the soup. Maybe I’ll eat it, do the dishes and he’ll never know I even cooked … Hmmm a plan is formulating!

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White Bean and Kale Soup

Soup is probably one of the healthiest meals you can have. Homemade soup that is. Typically store bought and restaurant soup is laden with sodium and fat in the form of cream and often is lacking in the vegetable department. I like hearty soups. Ones with lots of texture and varying flavors with every bite. This recipe has that in the bag with beans and a variety of veggies, it’s pretty much fat free but won’t leave you still hungry – though if you did want more, you could indulge free of guilt.

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Szechuan Carrot Soup

I stole this recipe with permission from Karen @ “The Art Of Doing Stuff” If you’re not familiar, you’re seriously missing out. Her writing style is hilarious and never ceases to inspire. This recipe is so yummy and will change the way you view carrot soup, I promise! It tastes faintly of carrots, mildly of peanut butter and sesame oil with a bit of zingy spice. It’s even better the next day and tastes great cold too! Pair it with Na’an Bread or some gluten free Baking Powder Biscuits for a simple lunch.

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