Do you know what happened to me when I started a food blog?
I gained weight.
Writing and taking pictures has been so much fun and I’ve enjoyed resurrecting some “oldies but goodies” from my recipe stash. However, I noticed that I seem to have enjoyed resurrecting recipes featuring starch and sugar a bit too much. It is time for me to focus on recipes that will help me get back to my healthiest weight.
I have learned that the pounds come off and stay off when I increase my lean protein and starch-free vegetable intake and greatly reduce the carbs that make their way into my mouth. Not a novel idea but certainly a difficult one.
So, this week I am virtually eliminating carbs and starch and greatly reducing sugar. Let me know if my blogs take on a cranky tone, please!
Soup is my go-to meal when I’m trying accomplish this goal. Yes, I miss the crackers, noodles, rice and grilled cheese sandwiches but it’s temporary. After I get it under control again, they can re-enter my meals on a smaller scale. It is one (maybe two) weeks and I already know it will be totally worth it. Lots of soup, salad and veggies on my menu for this week … I’ll share the most satisfying ones with you.
I have had the idea for this soup for a while and decided this was the perfect time to test it out. When I am eliminating or reducing certain things from my diet, I know I need to amp up the herbs, spices and texture. This soup has all of that and a healthy dose of vitamin A! And, yes, carrots do have carbs but they are complex-carbs surrounded by loads of other nutritional benefits.
1 pound raw carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup diced onion
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (optional)
1-7 ounce can Herdez Salsa Ranchero or 1 cup salsa
Place carrots in pan, add water to 1″ above the carrots. Bring to a boil, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are very tender. Set aside.
In a separate pan, sauté onions, peppers and garlic in avocado or olive oil about 5 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle cumin, coriander, chili powder and chipotle powder (if using) and stir into vegetables until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add salsa and cooking liquid from carrots and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add carrots and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. A blender can also be used just be very careful blending hot ingredients. Allow the soup to cool before blending to be safe and then reheat to serve.
Top with chopped cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds.
This recipe makes 4 entree-sized portions or 8 appetizer / side-dish portions.
This is a spicy soup. Not burn-your-taste-buds and make-your-head-sweat spicy but your mouth will feel the heat after a few spoonfuls. If you want to tame it down, use mild salsa instead of the salsa ranchero and omit the chipotle powder. If you want a thinner soup, add more water when cooking the carrots or some chicken or vegetable stock when you add the carrot water.
When I get my carb-craving self back under control, I would love to serve this over cheese tortellini but I can’t talk about that right now.
I’m in the zone!