Friday, January 31, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Protein Smoothie + January Workout Log.

I love the combination of cherry and chocolate together. My all-time favorite cookie is cherry-chocolate-chip-almond-oatmeal, recipe from Epicurius. If you review this recipe, there are lots of ingredients going on into this cookie - sliced almonds, dried cherries, chocolate chips, oatmeal, almond extract... but so worth it! K and I made hundreds of these cookies to give away as sweet snacks for our wedding 'welcome bags,' since we got married in a destination spot in the Midwest.

This smoothie is a healthy alternative to that cookie! Lately I have been trying different types of protein powder to add to smoothies, purchasing small sample packs at Whole Foods. My favorite so far is chocolate whey protein, which was an awesome combo with frozen cherries in this smoothie. You don't really need the almond butter since the flavor is masked by the cherries and chocolate powder, but I wanted a bit of extra staying power and healthy fats. This was a great meal replacement for lunch earlier this week when I was working from home during the cold snap.

Cherry-Chocolate Protein Smoothie
1 cup frozen tart cherries
1 single packet or scoop of chocolate protein powder {I used whey}
1 cup original almond milk
1 banana
2 handfuls spinach
1 Tablespoon almond butter

Since today is the last day of the month, I'm trying something new and sharing my workouts for January. I have nothing spectacular to report this month, but I'm hoping sharing this monthly calendar will keep me honest and motivate me to continue regular workouts for the rest of the winter. I want to start running 3x a week, which I only met during one week in January. I'm still putting together a running training schedule for my spring races so that will definitely be a goal. On to February!

{calendar image from oh so lovely the blog}

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blood Orange Salad with Farro, Kale & Roasted Chickpeas.

We are officially obsessed with citrus around here. Blood oranges are available for 30 cents a piece at our local store right now, and we have stocked up over the past two weeks. In-season citrus is the only redeeming thing I can identify about winter today. As I type this, it is -11 below zero, with a -28 windchill. Thankfully I'm on my second day working from home and don't plan to step outside until we reach a balmy 10 degrees tomorrow! Time to think warmer thoughts, like with a citrus salad.

I came up with this while thinking about how to use blood oranges in a farro dish, and it is similar to the Roasted Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad recipe from last month. Served with roasted brussel sprouts on the side {sliced in half, tossed with olive oil and salt/pepper, roasted at 375 for 20 minutes}.

Blood Orange Salad with Farro, Kale & Roasted Chickpeas
Serves two.

Salad Base:
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup farro
2 handfuls of kale {torn}
1 cup shredded chicken {I used rotisserie}
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Roasted chickpeas:
1 can chickpeas
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Dash of salt and black pepper

Blood orange vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 a blood orange
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1 and 1/2 blood oranges, segmented {check out this tutorial from the Kitchn!}

How to~
  1. Roast the chickpeas. Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly with water and pat completely dry. Mix chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees on parchment paper, stirring once after 15 minutes.
  2. Cook the farro. According to package directions, with chicken broth.
  3. Wilt the kale. When the farro is almost finished, add torn kale and stir, keeping the heat on low. Cover the pan for about 5 minutes to let the kale wilt.
  4. Make the dressing and assemble. Add the roasted chickpeas and shredded chicken to the kale/farro mixture.Whisk the dressing and stir in.
  5. Add toppings. Segment the blood oranges and sprinkle on the salad. Add goat cheese and extra salt/pepper if needed. Serve warm!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chicago Restaurant Week + Triangle 4 to 1 Treadmill Run.

K and I went shopping after work on Friday to search for new pairs of ski tights because it was time for replacements, and in case we need them to venture outdoors this week {another few days of epic cold are headed this way tonight... I don't want to talk about it!} I also picked up a few fun items:

A yoga hand towel to prevent slipping/falling on my face during sculpt classes, a stretchy wrist wallet for running outdoors, and maple almond butter - I'm most excited about that butter this morning!

Last night we ventured out to dinner for Chicago Restaurant Week, an event that expanded to two weeks this year. Over 200 restaurants are participating, offering prix fixe menus with 3 or 4 courses for a set price. The idea is you can get a better value during this event than you normally would, and it's a great excuse to try new places. We are taking advantage of the long event with three reservations, and we started with Bistro Campagne.

The food was delicious! Bistro Campagne is a restaurant I have wanted to visit for years. They offer French 'country' style dining, with very traditional French dishes. We had an onion tart, mussels, Amish chicken, trout, creme brulee and an amazing bread pudding "muffin" with figs and vanilla bean ice cream. My favorites were the mussels and fig bread pudding. Also the bottle of wine that we added on, obviously.

Enjoying that amazing meal is also a great excuse to get to the gym today - everything in moderation, right? I haven't shared as many treadmill runs this month, because I keep doing similar versions of the Increasing Speed Treadmill Workout. But late last week I tried this treadmill triangle workout, and it got me to 5 miles and made the time fly by. I ran this on a 0.5% incline.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Roasted Carrot & Cauliflower Soup.

This vegetarian recipe for Roasted Carrot & Cauliflower Soup is perfect for Meatless Monday or any time you are looking for a healthy lunch or dinner.

There has been a warm soup simmering on my stove it seems like every weekend around here. A few of these soups have involved lots of cauliflower - the florets make a great base for pureed soup! BuzzFeed has it right - 27 Reasons Cauliflower Deserves Your Love and Loyalty. It's necessary, because I just heard on the radio that we should expect "lots of nasty wind chills" today and off and on for the next week.

I adapted this soup recipe from a New York Times carrot-cauliflower soup that I randomly found. I love the idea of using coriander and topping the soup with cilantro. It gives each bowl a spicy, earthy flavor. I hadn't realized it before making this soup, but coriander is a spice made from dried cilantro seeds {I used the ground version of the seed}. Coriander also has hints of citrus, so adding lemon and lemon zest to this soup makes perfect sense.

I roasted the carrots and cauliflower in the oven before adding them to the soup base. I love the flavor that roasted veggies add.

Using an online recipe calculator to figure out the nutrition stats, this comes in at just over 200 calories per serving. The stats include 217% of your daily Vitamin A needs, 29% of Vitamin B-6, 125% of Vitamin C, and more. K and I ate this soup with "cheese toast" - lazy man's grilled cheese, a slice of rye with muenster cheese melted on broil in the oven :)

Happy Friday!

Roasted Carrot & Cauliflower Soup
Yields: 6 servings

For the roasted vegetables:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower
1 pound carrots {or 6 medium/large carrots)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the soup base:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic {minced}
1 yellow onion {chopped}
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Optional: 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cilantro leaves {roughly chopped}

How to:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop the cauliflower florets and peel and chop the carrots. Toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and season with black pepper and salt. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are roasting, finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Saute the garlic for two minutes on medium, being careful not to burn it and stirring often. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the soup pot. When the vegetables are done roasting, carefully pour them into the dutch oven and bring everything to a boil. Add coriander and thyme. Turn down the heat and simmer on low for 25 minutes {covered}.
  4. Once the soup is done simmering and the vegetables are soft, use an immersion {or regular} blender to puree the soup.
  5. After the soup is pureed, stir in the parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add more coriander, black pepper, and/or salt if needed. Top each bowl with chopped cilantro leaves.
{Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup}

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

10 Recipes for Chia Seeds.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Chicago Jogger!

Learning how to cook with chia seeds is on my to-do list for this year. These are the same type of seeds used to grow your Chia Pet - I remember my grandma had a chia sheep that I felt a little creeped out by as a child. I think this Chia Kitten would have been a better choice:

{image via Amazon}

Nutrition Stripped has an excellent overview of the health benefits of eating chia seeds. I learned that chia seeds are a great source of soluble fiber, protein, and calcium, as well as a few other beneficial minerals. WebMd also has an interesting article, The Truth About Chia. The seeds are unprocessed and can be absorbed by your body as seeds {unlike flax seeds which require grinding}. Some people claim there are weight loss benefits to eating chia seeds due to their expansion properties, but it hasn't been proven yet.

There are recipes popping up everywhere using chia seeds - in pudding, smoothies, and other breakfast-type recipes, especially on Pinterest. I searched for 10 recipes that look like a good way to incorporate chia seeds, 5 for breakfast and 5 for dinner. It was much harder to find recipes to incorporate chia seeds into dinner {besides sprinkling them on top of a salad}! The chia chicken strips are first on my list.


Vanilla-Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding ~ daily burn 

Lemon Chia Seed Bread ~ Making Roma Roma

Cinnamon Chia Seed Granola ~ Peanut Butter Fingers

Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Muffins ~ tablespoon

Strawberry Banana and Peach Chia Seed Smoothie ~ sweet remedy


Cornmeal & Chia Seed Crusted Tilapia ~ Savoring the Thyme

Spinach & Quinoa Winter Salad ~ Recreating Happiness

Chia Chicken Strips ~ Savvy Mom

Berry Almond Salad with Chia Seed Vinaigrette ~ Dinners Dishes & Desserts

Eggplant Parmesan with Chia ~ Blue Apron

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spring races + Strawberry PB2-Chocolate Smoothie.

I officially have two races coming up this spring - the Shamrock Shuffle 8k in March, and the Soldier Field 10 Mile race in May. These are my two most favorite races in Chicago, and this will be my third time running each race. I'm planning to start a training schedule sometime in February and will share once I put it together. I'm excited! Especially for spring to just get here already. A pretty {and tasty} smoothie was just the thing I needed this morning to remind me the next season will be here eventually.

I recently ran out of my favorite smoothie add-on, PB2. I ordered another supply online, including the Chocolate PB2 that I have been wanting to try. It arrived in the mail a few days ago and did not disappoint with this new smoothie creation. The chocolate version includes the perfect amount of extra flavor without being too sweet. This will definitely be a breakfast repeat!

Strawberry PB2-Chocolate Smoothie
Makes one smoothie:

3/4 cup frozen strawberries
2 Tablespoons chocolate PB2
1 banana
1 cup original almond milk
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt

Blend on "ice crusher" for 15 seconds, and "stir" for 30 seconds.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chicken, Barley & Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms.

I made this soup during the cold spell we had last week, and it got better and better each day. I think K and I had four days worth of soup with this recipe! This was my first time cooking with barley, and I used Trader Joe's quick barley {it's more like 15 minute barley, fyi}.

The wild rice cooks right in the soup while it's simmering, which is key. However, this is definitely a weekend soup for me with the extra time needed to cook the chicken in a slow cooker.


Chicken, Barley & Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms

For the shredded chicken:
3/4 pound lean, boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth

For the soup:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion {finely chopped}
2 carrots {peeled and chopped}
2 celery stalks {chopped}
4 garlic cloves {minced}
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup mushrooms {chopped}
1 bay leaf
8 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup quick cooking barley
3/4 cup wild rice
1/4 cup half and half

How to ~
  1. Cook chicken in crockpot or slow cooker with chicken broth and black pepper, on high for two hours. Shred chicken with two forks and drain the extra liquid if needed.
  2. After the chicken has been cooking for 1 hour, heat olive oil in a dutch oven or a large soup pot on medium high. Saute garlic until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes.  
  4. Add chicken broth, wild rice, and bay leaf, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer {covered} until rice is cooked through and tender, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. While the soup is simmering, cook barley separately according to directions.
  6. Add the shredded chicken, cooked barley, and half and half and continue to simmer the soup {uncovered} for 10 minutes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Antique Taco + 6-5-4-3 Treadmill Workout.

I received a weekly email last night from Apartment Therapy with a link to an article on 5 Proven Strategies for a Happy Monday. Simple things, but I completely agree - especially the tips on mindfulness and positive thinking. Both very good things to remember on a chilly Monday!

Last weekend K and I checked out a new {to us} restaurant in the neighborhood Wicker Park, Antique Taco. I had their tacos last summer at a festival and have been wanting to go back to the source ever since.

I had shrimp tacos and K had sweet & spicy chicken. I visited their website to find a better description of the delicious shrimp taco ingredients to share and the menu had already changed! I'll have to go back for the next interpretation of the shrimp taco soon. The menu is small, with eclectic taco ingredients, and the interior is very charming - I loved the shared seating and quick service. 

I also want to share a new treadmill workout for this week. I have been working on longer treadmill intervals, and decreasing minute by minute works well to keep things interesting. The next step is to start adding incline...

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Caramel Rolls with Maple Frosting.

Caramel Rolls with Maple Frosting is an easy sweet roll recipe that's perfect for a weekend brunch with friends.

If you feel like something sweet this weekend, I have an easy sweet rolls recipe for you with dough prepared in a stand mixer! My mom makes the best caramel rolls, using a mix of sugars and butter that turns into caramel on the bottom (or top?) of each roll. She lets her rolls rise on top of the mix in a cake pan. After the rolls are baked, she flips them out of the pan and lets them cool, creating a crunchy, sugary bliss. Similar to the crunchy parts on Panera's cinnamon crunch bagel... on crack. Yum.

I made these rolls for a brunch potluck with friends, adapted from a recipe I found for fast cinnamon rolls that requires the dough to rise just once. I took my mom's idea and turned it around, keeping the caramel part inside of the rolls and topping it with frosting for good measure. I also added maple syrup to the inside of the roll and the frosting. Why not?

I realized this is a dangerous roll to keep in my kitchen when I had an entire extra pan leftover - but it was worth every bite. Time to head to the gym!

Caramel Rolls with Maple Frosting
Makes 16 rolls.


Roll dough:
3 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 packet instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel filling:
1/3 cup butter {melted completely}
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Maple frosting:
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons skim milk {add more for thinner frosting}

How to~
  1. Start by prepping the dough. Heat milk and butter together in a small pan on the stove on medium, stirring every few minutes. Don't let the milk come to a boil - once the butter is melted completely into the milk, remove from the heat. 
  2. In a Kitchen Aid or other stand mixer with a dough hook, add flour, white sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix on low until the ingredients are combined. Add the milk/butter mixture and egg and mix on low until combined. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball around the hook, your dough is ready for the kneading step. If there is flour in the mixer that hasn't been fully combined into the dough, turn the mixer off and use a spatula to combine.
  3. Beat the dough for 5 minutes on the lowest speed of the mixer. While the dough is being kneaded by the mixer, find a warm spot for your rolls to rise {I used the stove}. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Remove the dough hook and form the dough into a ball in the mixing bowl. Cover with a moist tea towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, melt 1/3 cup of butter completely in the microwave. Stir together dark brown sugar and white sugar in a separate bowl until combined.
  5. Roll out the dough with plenty of flour on a flat surface, to approximately 15x18 in size {mine was not a perfect rectangle}. Spread the melted butter evenly, and sprinkle the entire sugar mixture over the dough. Add the maple syrup by drizzling evenly over the dough.
  6. Roll the dough tightly into a log and pinch it together with your fingers. Use dental floss {my favorite technique!} or a serrated knife to cut each individual roll, about 1 inch in thickness.
  7. Place each roll on a well-buttered pan {I used two pie dishes}. Let the rolls rise on a warm surface, covered, for approximately 20 minutes. I just let mine rise on top of the preheated oven.
  8. After the rolls have risen, bake for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown. 
While the rolls are cooling, make your frosting! Simply whisk together the skim milk, powdered sugar, and maple syrup. Add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker frosting, and more milk if you want a thinner frosting.

{Adapted from 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls by gimme some oven}

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chipotle Quinoa Turkey Meatloaves.

I'm stepping outside again today after spending the last two days working from home due to the frigid weather. Despite my dislike of the chill, I'll admit winter can be quite beautiful. There are gorgeous winter Chicago photos posted yesterday in an article in Huffington Post - Frozen Chicago: What the Windy City Looks Like Under Ice, Thanks To The Polar Vortex.

Switching to warmer thoughts, there is a meat cupcake cafe in Chicago called The Meatloaf Bakery. I haven't been there, but I walked by recently and wondered what it was all about. I found more information on Spotted by Locals - most people take their meatloaf "cupcakes" to go, and each is topped with unique "icing." I bet it's mashed potato-based!

I came across a recipe for mini meatloaves made in a regular cupcake pan, and couldn't wait to try it. I made this recipe a bit healthier by adding quinoa, using extra lean meat, leaving out the cheese, and reducing the amount of homemade BBQ Chipotle sauce. These meatloaves will warm you up with the hint of spice from the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.

Chipotle Quinoa Turkey Meatloaves
Makes 8 small meatloaves.

Meatloaf mixture: 
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry quinoa
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 egg
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup Chipotle BBQ sauce

Chipotle BBQ sauce:
1/2 cup regular ketchup
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 a chipotle pepper {chopped, seeds removed}
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic {chopped}
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

How to make the BBQ sauce: 
  • Whisk together ketchup, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and pepper in a small pan. Heat on medium-high until the mixture starts to bubble, then reduce to low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
How to make the meatloaves:
  • Rinse and cook quinoa in chicken broth according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine the turkey, cumin, black pepper, and quinoa in a large bowl. Whisk 1 egg separately and add to the turkey mixture. Add the chopped cilantro and BBQ sauce. Mix with your hands to combine, being careful not to overmix.
  • Spray or grease 8 muffin cups generously. Fill each cup to the top with the meatloaf mixture. Top each 'muffin' with a few teaspoons of BBQ sauce, evenly spread.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Meatloaves are done when the internal temp reaches 160 degrees, using a meat thermometer.

Monday, January 6, 2014

5 by 6 Whole Body Workout.

This morning, we have a windchill in Chicago of -32 below zero, with an actual temperature of -17 below zero. Yikes! I am working from home today and do not plan on stepping outside. I heard that many other parts of the country are in the same boat, so I thought it would be a good time to share an at-home workout.

The background of flowers comes from the beautiful display I found at Whole Foods over the weekend. Now that I'm looking at the photo again I regret not bringing home a bouquet of tulips. Think spring!

5 by 6 Whole Body Workout
5 push-ups
10 crunches
15 squats
20 mountain climbers
25 second plank
30 second wall sit
*Repeat 3 times

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Welcome 2014.

An acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook that she has no resolutions in 2014 - instead, she is using the new year as a reminder that I owe it to those in my life to continue on my path to be the best me I can be.

I love this statement, and completely agree. But, I still appreciate a chance to renew and make positive changes in a new year with a fresh start. I decided to think of these as goals instead of resolutions. Even though I'm a few days late.

{image via we heart it}

*Concentrate on planks and push-ups
*Start the running "season" with the Shamrock Shuffle 8k
*Run a half-marathon

 {image via we heart it}

January Goal: Workout 4x per week, including lifting weights at least 1x per week.

*Master homemade bread
*Incorporate more "Superfoods" into meals
*Cook with chia seeds
*Cook with flax seeds
*Make homemade granola
*Eat "cleaner"

{image via be vegan make peace}

January Goal: Eat a smoothie for lunch every weekday, a healthy dinner focused on
veggies and protein, and eat less sweets. Take one day "off" from this plan every week.

*Read more {12 Books in 2014}
*Try new restaurants in unique neighborhoods
*Practice mindfulness more often

{image via we heart it}

January Goal: Dine out less often, and focus on new places instead 
of the same old pizza or standard Thai place down the street.

Friday, January 3, 2014

"Green" Banana Cherry Smoothie.

I've had a few smoothie fails recently. Last week I was in the middle of making a blueberry-PB2 smoothie {Secret PB&J Smoothie} and realized we were out of kale and spinach. I didn't think twice about putting arugula in the smoothie instead, and it was not tasty. It was so awful that I had to pour it down the drain. I actually love arugula in pretty much any dish, especially with pasta, but the flavor is apparently too strong to be masked by fruit and almond milk!

My second smoothie fail a few days later involved over-blending; I left the blender going while putting away the ingredients and cleaning up, thinking it would be extra smooth. I over-whipped it so much that it took on a fluffy consistency and started separating while I was drinking it. Again, this one went down the drain.

I think I redeemed myself though with this cherry smoothie recipe. It was my first attempt at using frozen tart cherries in a green smoothie, picked from Door County in Wisconsin. {I still have a few bags left in my freezer after making this cobbler!}

Here it is:

"Green" Banana Cherry Smoothie
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 cup original almond milk
1 banana
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen tart cherries

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Creamy Lentil Soup with Turnips.

Yesterday K and I stayed indoors at home to celebrate 2014, watching football, listening to podcasts, and just hanging out. Despite that almost all of our snow melted last weekend, the streets and sidewalks are full again as it has been snowing off and on for over 24 hours. We only went outside once in an attempt to walk to Trader Joe's and pick up a few items, but it was closed. Good for them for giving employees an extra day off, but I could have used some bananas!

Anyways. I have had lentil soup on my mind lately and it was the perfect cozy day to test a new recipe. The cafeteria in my office building serves a delicious vegan lentil soup that I love, but it's not available often enough. I have been wanting to try making it myself {though this version is not vegan with the use of chicken broth and cream...}

I used red and green lentils for this soup, and added a few turnips leftover from our CSA. I served it with homemade bread and pasta - instead of adding the pasta to the soup itself, we ladled the soup over a bit of cooked pasta with a sprinkle of cheese on top. This was my first attempt at homemade bread too - I highly recommend the information and recipe from The Fresh Loaf.

Creamy Lentil Soup with Turnips
Serves 4-6.

For the soup:
1 and 1/4 cups green lentils {dry}
3/4 cup red lentils {dry}
3 small turnips {peeled and chopped}
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots {chopped}
2 celery stalks {chopped}
4 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

To add at the end:
1 tsp adobo sauce
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup ditalini pasta
Parmesan cheese

Step 1 ~ Prepare and chop vegetables and turnips.
  • Chop onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Peel and chop turnips into small cubes. Set aside.
Step 2 ~ Saute vegetables.
  • Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or large soup pot on medium heat. Saute garlic for a few minutes, just until it starts to brown. Add all of the vegetables and herbs and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally: onion, celery, carrot, turnips, cumin, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. 
  • Add the lentils and stir; add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. 
  • Turn the heat down to low and simmer the soup for 30 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. 
Step 3 ~ Prepare pasta and final soup steps.
  • After the soup has simmered for 30 minutes, turn off the heat. Add adobo sauce and half and half - stir and let the soup sit, covered, while you prepare the pasta.
  • Prepare pasta according to "al dente" directions.
  • Serve each soup bowl over 1/3 cup of cooked pasta. Top each bowl with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
{Adapted from Giada's Lentil Soup Recipe}