Stracciatella with Chard and Stelline

Don’t judge me, but I made this soup for a late breakfast on a particularly chilly morning, and it was perfection. I’ve been really into Swiss Chard since I got it in my first CSA basket, and I’ve been putting it into everything I can think of (especially pizza, pasta, and soup), and as we all know I am obsessed with both eggs and soup, so this was really a winning combination for me.

A quick vocabulary recap: Stracciatella means “little ribbons” in Italian. That’s what the “wisps” of eggs   in this dish are (also seen in its cousin, Egg Drop Soup), and it’s also what the inside of burrata is called, expect those are mozzarella ribbons. Stelline is one of Barilla’s newest pasta shapes – little stars for soup! I love them! If you can’t find them, the O’s that look like Spaghetti O’s, Orzo, or any small Italian soup pasta would be a great substitute.

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Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower is such a fun vegetable to work with – you can mash it as a substitute for mashed potatoes, it’s absolutely amazing roasted, and I even like it raw from those grocery store veggie trays with cheap Ranch dip.  After doing a quick search, I realized I have never put cauliflower on Sweet Life Laur! So here is the first of what will someday be many recipes for broccoli’s cousin.

I had a lovely cauliflower soup at Buona Tavola in Paso Robles a few weeks ago. It was their special soup of the night, and I went home wanting to make it for myself. I gave it a try for lunch yesterday, and Tim and I both really enjoyed it. For the liquid, I used just a touch of chicken broth, but mostly water so the cauliflower’s flavor would shine though.

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Spicy Onion-Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs

2011 has been the year of the poached egg for me. It started simply this spring, for breakfast with avocado, and then made its way into couscous this summer. Now I have runny eggs in my soup and life is just perfect!

When I was getting over my cold from last week, I was craving soup of all kinds. This recipe from Food & Wine really called out to me – it’s basically like a quick version of an onion soup, with an extra-special addition of a poached egg. Onions, garlic, and eggs are all incredibly nutritious, and I think this was the best way to kick my cold for good.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

The calendar is telling me that Fall has officially arrived, though (as usual) the Paso Robles weather begs to differ – it’s been in the 80’s and 90’s! Despite the heat, I needed to use up some tomatoes (I’ve picked about 6 pounds from our plants in the past couple weeks) and decided to combine two of my favorite things: roasted tomatoes and soup.

I served this with an awesome grilled cheese made with Bravo Sage Cheddar – it was a classy take on the grilled cheese that surprised me with its mild sage flavor (I was worried the sage would be overwhelming, but it was just right).

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My boyfriend has a lot of patience. We’ve been living together for a few months now, and at least once a week we have this conversation.

Tim: What should we do for dinner tonight?
Laura: I don’t know what do you feel like?
Tim: Whatever you feel like.
Laura: Ummm soup?

And then he’ll laugh because the amount of soup I eat is “unreal.” I could eat it every day.

This broccoli cheddar soup, from the amazing Heidi at 101 Cookbooks, is a soup that Tim actually got excited about, and it was realllly delicious! It also taught Tim the difference between shallots and scallions, which is very important (xo babe).

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Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds

Not that I am into crazy dieting schemes anymore, but I think a soup diet would be  an interesting idea and I’ve always wanted to try it. Obviously some soups can be fat bombs, but if you make them yourself, you can completely control every aspect. Veggies and broth have so few calories yet are so filling…hmm, 2011 resolutions anyone?

By this point, you probably think I subsist solely on soup. I really don’t, but soup is definitely one of my favorite things to order at restaurants and make at home. Soup is also a great meal starter because it is warming, filling, low-calorie, and usually a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables and the nutrients they provide.

In my experience, I have found some carrot soups (even from the best restaurants) to be on the bland side. For this recipe, I used homemade stock, which automatically adds richness; the scallions and poppy seeds add even more flavor.

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Potato-Leek Soup

Living in wine country is pretty amazing, and working in wine country is even better. I get to help brides plan their weddings, coordinate big fancy dinners, and even host fashion shows! On December 11, Central Coast Fashion Week is coming to JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery! It is going to be spectacular. I spent yesterday in the barrel chai (aka cave) with the talent of three models, a producer, a photographer, a videographer, and a hair and makeup artist. Models in tutu’s among the barrels? Yes please! Be sure to watch their website and Facebook page for the photos.

sweet life laur

There is nothing like nine hours with teeny models to remind you that due to consuming an excess of fine wine and cheese more often than not, you maybe have a few pounds to lose. And that maybe you should ditch the croissants for a healthy and delicious soup…like this one.

This is the second time this year that I’ve posted a Potato-Leek Soup recipe (find the first here), but this one is so good I must share. I recently read through many, many pages of David Lebovitz’ blog about living and cooking in Paris, as another thing working at JUSTIN has done for me is make me realize that I am dying to learn French. So that’s that…enjoy!

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