Ra Ra For Kristen Suzanne’s Harvest Raw Soup

Raw Harvest Soup

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The Completed Raw Harvest Soup

I have been meaning to try raw (uncooked) soup recipes and venture out more to raw food restaurants in Vancouver. Don`t get me wrong, I do love bacon, prosciutto and cooked foods – I am not a vegan and I do like to cook some of my food.  I do though try to eat a fair bit of raw foods (salads, veggies, fruits, fresh juices, nuts etc..) and I am a huge advocate of Vega One (a plant based shake)  – been taking it for over 2 years for breakfast. Having a raw food based diet in the mornings helped me a ton to do long runs and work bright eyed and effectively all day. I have never felt healthier.

So What Are The Benefits of Raw?
In short, when you cook your food, you’re destroying the nutrients. Read more here on the benefits of raw food.

A few weeks ago, I started following Choosing Raw on Facebook. She shared this raw soup recipe that she swore is awesome and she made it a few times in one week.

The Verdict of Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup ? Overall, this soup tasted pretty good! Presentation leaves a little to be desired being purred and all. The soup was a little warm and went down nice and smooth. I had some left over in fridge and tried it later chilled – I prefer it right out of the blender at room temperature though. My favorite thing I liked about this soup is how healthy I felt instantly and it was quite filling.

Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups carrot, chopped
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4cup flax oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup Instructions:

  • Blend all of the ingredients except for the flax oil, on high speed in your blender until really creamy (approximately one minute). Then, while the blender is running on low speed, add the flax oil. Continue blending, at a higher speed, for another minute or less. This will make it slightly warm. Enjoy!

Original Recipe here: http://kristensraw.com/blog/2007/09/05/kristen-suzannes-harvest-soup/

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • Used 1 and 1/4 cup of water to compensate for less flax oil
  • Instead of Himalayan crystal salt I used sea salt
  • instead of 1 tablespoon of onion powder I used 1/4 cup of chopped white onion
  • used 1/4 cup of flax oil versus 1/2 cup
  • added coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg (original recommend pumpkin pie spice mix as optional)

Soup Mistress Rating for Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)
Presentation: (3/5)
Taste: (4/5)

Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup – A Great Pick Me Up Soup

Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup

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The Completed Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup

Yesterday I decided to make this refreshing soup. I was looking for something to pick me up because the night before I had one too many glasses of wine with my girl friends.

I decided to replace regular green cabbage with napa cabbage – it is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter. Napa cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, folate, calcium, potassium, and manganese. Read more on the nutritional value here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3035/2

The Verdict of Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup? I did like the sweet and sour taste of the soup. It seemed more on the sweet side to me though – so if you are not a sweet soup kind of person, this is not for you. Myself, I do like savory as well as sweet soups. This soup did in fact pick me up and make me feel like I did not have wine the night before. It was a great pick me up soup. I would make this soup in the future. I think this soup could also be served cold in the summertime or used as a base (simmered down more) to cook chicken in and served it over some rice.

Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups napa cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced (plus few slices for garnish)
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 14oz canned tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3.5 oz pineapple with reserved juice, finely chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium sauté onions for about 5 minutes or until soft (not browned).
  2. Add cabbage and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add apples and apple juice,  and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, pineapple, vinegar, and water.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour until fruit and veggies are soft.
  6. Take soup off heat, add lime juice and puree soup with hand blender (or in food processor working in batches).
  7. Return soup to rinsed out pot, and heat up soup on low.
  8. Add pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Ladle soup in warmed bowls.
  10. Garnish with thin apple slices.

Original Recipe: Soup Bowl, An inspiring Collection of Soups, Broths, and Chowders,  Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup (page 137)

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • omitted raisins and orange juice
  • added lime juice and tomato paste
  • omitted tomato juice
  • used more cabbage and napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage
  • used more pineapple and the reserved juice

Soup Mistress Rating for Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Apple Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.75/5)
Presentation: (3.75/5) 
Taste: (3.85/5) 

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup – A Tasty Soup Not Acquainted With The Freezer

Parsnip Lentil Chipotle Soup

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The Completed Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup.

The other day, Jan Comerford Surgent (another soup-a-holic and Facebook friend) posted on Soup Mistress wall that she likes to cook up a tasty lentil and chorizo soup with chipotle pepper and shredded carrots. Yum, that did sound tasty and inspired me.

Since I am a big fan of chipotle pepper and I never attempted any kind of lentil soup in the past, Jan inspired me to look further. I went on my merry way and searched online for lentil soup recipes and one in particular grabbed my attention which had bacon. So I decided to run with the recipe with a few modifications plus taking Jan’s suggestions to use chipotle pepper.  I decided to use parsnips instead of carrots, since I had them on hand. I  also shredded the parsnips with Jan’s recommendation as well, instead of chopped.

The Verdict of Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup? This is one soup I wished I made two batches of because none made it to my freezer for a later date. I had a friend over to help me and the soup was well received with a request for a second bowl. Some lentil soups call for blending, but I don’t think this soup needs any blending what-so-ever – I like the tiny pieces of onion and contrast with the ingredients. This is one soup where the ingredients play really well together. I really liked the shredded parsnips and how they played into the soup background. This soup is a little on the spicy side – so no wussies allowed! If you feel like a milder soup – maybe use a small or half of a chipotle pepper but don’t omit it. The cilantro and dollop of goat yogurt cools the soup and plays well with the bacon and heat of the pepper. Yeppers, this soup will be made again in my home in the future, I am very sure of that!

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chopped bacon
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups parsnips, shredded
  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 medium – large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (keeping some for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup goat yogurt
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup Instructions:

  1. Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook it over very medium-low heat in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Reserve the bacon on a plate with paper towel, leaving about a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan to saute the onions.
  3. Saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  4. Add parsnip and tomato to the pan, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the bacon pieces, lentils, chipotle pepper, and the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and simmer until the lentils are soft (30 to 40 minutes). Check the soup occasionally to see if more liquid is needed; the lentils should be covered.
  6. Add lemon juice and cilantro, stir.
  7. Add the salt and pepper (to taste) and serve.
  8. Ladle in serving bowls, garnish with a tablespoon of goat yogurt and cilantro.

Original Recipe: http://www.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t–1748/lentil-and-parsnip-soup.asp

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • used more bacon
  • added garlic
  • used parsnip only (no carrots), and shredded (not chopped)
  • added chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • used low sodium vegetable stock\added cilantro
  • added goat yogurt as garnish
  • added fresh lemon juice

Soup Mistress Rating for Parsnip Lentil Chipotle Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.75/5) 

Yum Factor With Tomato Basil Organic Soup


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The Completed Tomato Basil Organic Soup

A while ago, Noel Pullen (@noelpullen) (another soup-a-holic like myself) shared Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Soup recipe with me along with his own modifications. I’ve been meaning to make this soup with Noel’s recommendations for quite some time. Noel made the soup a tad thicker (doubling the veggies and not the water/stock) and gave it some zing by adding peppercorns and increasing the amount of basil.

The Verdict? I purchased the same canned tomatoes and vegetable stock cubes that Noel used at Donalds Market (at the Westminster Quay). The canned plum tomatoes are really great and have a thick tomato base, which I think is what gives this soup a very yummy taste. These canned tomatoes don’t seem to be as watered down as other brands – I would buy them again. The extra basil and peppercorns really added some nice depth to the soup for sure. Two thumbs up for this soup and it’s modifications. I feel really healthy eating this soup because I used all organic vegetables! Yum factor indeed.

Ingredients for Plum Tomato Basil Organic Soup:
(Serves 10 – 12,  this is a big batch of soup – great to freeze as well)

  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes, preferably organic
  • 1.5 liters of boiling water
  • 2x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 20 large fresh basil leaves
  • sea salt
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated

Cooking Instructions for Plum Tomato Basil Organic Soup:

  1. Heat olive oil in large heavy pan (or pot) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onion and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with the lid slightly on until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
  3. Bring 1.5 liters of water to a boil and turn off. Stir in stock cubes until dissolved.
  4. Add stock to the pot with vegetables, as well as the canned and fresh whole tomatoes. Stir.
  5. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt and peppercorns and add the basil leaves.
  7. Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  8. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan and a few small basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Original recipe here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/soup-recipes/tomato-soup-updated

What was changed from Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Soup recipe:

  • increased to 20 big basil leaves
  • added 10 black peppercorns
  • doubled all the vegetables and not the liquid
  • added parmesan as a garnish (this was my modification)
  • used all organic vegetables

Soup Mistress Rating for Plum Tomato Basil Organic Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (5/5) 
Taste: (5/5) 

Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup

Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup

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The completed Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup with Goat Yogurt and Cilantro as garnish.

Puddy Salivating

In the wintertime I like to make a thick chili with stewing beef in my Crock-Pot. I  prepare all the ingredients in the morning and turn on the Crock-Pot all day. Unfortunately, my all day Crock-Pot cooking drives my dog crazy. He seems to hang out more in the kitchen smelling around and salivating – poor fella.

But yesterday,  I decided to take my regular chili recipe and make it a little different by adding a fair bit of tasty broth. So, I am going to call it Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup instead.

The verdict? In the past, I would just add more water to make my chili thinner, but with this recipe I added one of my favorite vegetable broths (and more of it) and boy it make a BIG difference. I can just lap up this chili soup with a few pieces of yummy buttered bread. But wait, maybe I can attribute the taste bud enhancements to another new ingredient I added to my chili? The new ingredient was Skillet’s Chipotle Pumpkin Sauce (a sister product of Skillet Bacon Spread that I so love). I’m thinking the combination of all ingredients, the broth and the Chipotle Pumpkin sauce made a very tasty chili soup. Or maybe it was the slow and long cooking process of my Crock-Pot? Hmmn, maybe so, but this one is a keeper and I am happy a made a big batch to freeze.

Note: The recipe below serves about 15 – you can half all ingredients. I made a big batch with intentions of freezing a few Ziplocs.


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 750 ml diced can tomatoes in juice
  • 2 x 150 ml cans of tomato paste
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped (seeds and white out)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon tex mex spice (or chili powder)
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons skillet chipotle pumpkin sauce
  • dash of pepper (to taste)
  • 1.25 Kg stewing beef, in chunks
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup goat yogurt (or sour cream)
  • fresh cilantro

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Add the following ingredients into Crock-Pot: diced tomatoes(with juice), tomato paste, serrano chili, cumin, tex mex, oregano, cayenne, chipotle pumpkin sauce, and pepper.
  2. Turn the Crock-Pot on low to get it heated up.
  3. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add to Crock-Pot
  4. Using the same heavy pan brown beef cubes in batches. Add to Crock-Pot
  5. Add vegetable broth to Crock-Pot.
  6. Place lid on Crock-Pot and simmer for at least 7 – 8 hours
  7. Add in strained kidney beans, place lid back on and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls. Garnish with some goat yogurt (or sour cream) and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

What I changed from my original chile recipe:

  • Added 3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • Add Skillet Chipotle Pumpkin Sauce

Soup Mistress Rating for Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5)

Tomato Shrimp Basil Soup For Lazy People Like Me

Tomato Shrimp Basil Soup

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The completed Tomato Shrimp Basil Soup

Yesterday, I was working at home all day on the computer and was planning to go grocery shopping, but I lost my steam by end of day and decided not to go.

My fridge was looking very bleak for dinner ideas, and there’s no way I was going to resort to ordering in. But I had 7 tomatoes, bunch of basil, bunch of parsley, cream (left over from Thanksgiving – not normally in my fridge) and some shrimp in the freezer. Soup was a gimme for me.

You can take a guess that I was feeling a little lazy. I decided to make this soup without following any recipe and didn’t do anything special to seed, roast or peel the tomatoes (like some recipes call for). I just chopped the tomatoes as is and threw them in the pan.

This soup only took 30 minutes from prep to filling up my stomach.  And by golly, I think I will make this soup again in future. It was so yummy and I have left overs today for lunch!

I have plans to redo many soups in the future and I will be:

  • cutting calories and trimming fat from some favorite recipes
  • adjusting so they are vegetarian, gluten-free as well as vegan – where I can
  • adjusting dried herbs for fresh herbs
  • adjusting processed foods for natural and/or organic – where I can
  • adjusting highly acidic forming recipes to be more alkaline forming (healthier for you)

This soup makeover is:

  • gluten-free

Tomato Shrimp Basil Soup Ingredients:

  • 14 shrimp (26/30 count size)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 7 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3/4 cup basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup cream (note: I’m only using a small amount of cream, some recipes usually call for way more)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small pan, cook shrimp until opaque (don’t overcook) and put aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in heavy pot over moderate. Add onions and garlic, sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer at med-low for about 15 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
  4. Working in batches, purée soup in blender with lime juice, parsley and basil until very smooth (about 30 seconds), then return to pot.
  5. Return soup to pot, stir in cream and gently heat through.
  6. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and top with shrimp and a basil leaf as garnish. Serve immediately.

Soup Mistress Rating for Tomato Shrimp Basil Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (3.5/5) 
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Cold Tomato Soup With Black Olives a Superb Choice – A Soup Review

cold tomato soup savore

Just this past Saturday, I was in New York with some friends and we took a cab to the Soho area for some shopping. My girlfriend Nancy wanted to have lunch at an Italian restaurant and I was up for it as well. So we came across a quaint Italian restaurant called Savore (www.savorenyc.com) on Spring Street and decided to sit outside to people watch while we ate.

I needed something healthy and refreshing to revive me from all the touristy walks and lack of sleep, so I ordered the cold tomato soup which had chunks of cucumber, mozzarella and black olives. Oh my! The black olives was a superb choice indeed. I believe they were trying to create a chunkier style gazpacho.

I did like the taste and surprise of the chunks in the soup, be it cucumber, mozzarella or black olives. The soup also was finished off with some fine tasting olive oil splashed on top, which I really liked as well. The soup did taste fresh and light – what I was expecting.

But…I couldn’t pinpoint if there were herbs or garlic in the soup. I think it lacked a tad in that area.

This soup is a contender to recreate in the future with some very minor tweaks. I would:

  • add fresh basil to this soup to give it more life – even though gazpachos don’t normally have basil. Also as a final touch, I would use a few basil leaves for the final garnish.
  • use gluten-free bread. Most gazpachos use stale white bread with gluten in the tomato puree. I bet most people don’t know that bread is used in gazpacho. Did you?
  • dice the mozzarella and cucumbers smaller, leave the olives as is (whole without the seed of course).
  • add a small amount of diced seeded tomatoes.
  • add more garlic to the purée! I could not detect any in Savore’s soup.

Note: this soup is currently NOT listed on their menu on website, but was on their printed menu at the restaurant.

Overall I do recommend this soup if you were to be in Soho in New York City. I just think it would be fun to recreate the soup with some minor tweaks.

Soup Mistress Rating for Cold Tomato Soup at Savore in NYC:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4/5)