Bean and Bacon Solar Soup

Bacon Bean Soup

I’ve recently started saving the rendered fat from my solar cooked bacon and am always on the look out for ways to use it. If you don’t have any on hand, double the amount of olive oil in this recipe. The soup will still be good; just a little less bacony. Any type of white bean will also work, but my favorite is the Mayocoba (also know as Peruano or Canario).

Bacon Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 pound dried Mayocoba beans (or other white bean), picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2-inch thick slice salt pork

8 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

Crumbled cooked bacon for serving (optional)

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, bacon fat, and rosemary. Add the salt pork, drained beans, and chicken broth. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beans are soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and discard the salt pork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle crumbled bacon on each serving (if using).

Makes 12 servings.

 

Creamy Red Lentil Soup

Apple Lenti Soup

This soup has a sublime, velvety texture. The sliced apple garnish is a nice touch, but the soup’s just as good without.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Apples

(adapted for the Sun Oven from WW Veg Power!)

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

3 cups water

1 cup vegetable broth

1 1/4 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed

sour cream for serving

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Peel, halve, core, and chop one apple. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped apple, onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. Add the water, broth, and lentils. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are very tender, about 1 hour. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.

Halve, core, peel, and thinly slice the remaining apple. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with apple slices and sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Turmeric

Sun Oven in WC

This time of year most of my solar cooking is a bit of a hybrid, some in the sun some on the stove. That way I can take advantage of a sunny morning and afternoon and still enjoy a (partially) solar cooked meal after dark. The final step of this soup, blanching the zucchini to be added in, can be done while it gently reheats stovetop.

Yellow Split Pea Soup

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Mediterranean Food of the Sun)

Ingredients

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup yellow spit peas, pick over and rinsed

2 medium zucchini, finely diced

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until just softened; about 4 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the zucchini and add the rest to the pot. Cook, stirring constantly, for a couple minutes. Add the drained split peas to the pot with the broth and the turmeric. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the peas are very soft and falling apart, 1 to 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, bring a saucepan of water to a boil stovetop, add the reserved zucchini, and cook for 1 minute. Drain and add them to the soup.

Soup for Supper

Sun Oven with 6qt Pot

Many of us worry about or waistline this time of year, myself included. One thing I’ve learned from being a lifetime Weight Watchers member is that the holiday meal on its own is not really the problem. It’s all the meals surrounding it. We spend so much time, planning, shopping for, and preparing the big feast that we completely forget about what we’re going to eat the days leading up to it. We may come home with a car full of groceries only to realize we don’t have anything for dinner that night. Easy to heat up, previously solar-cooked, healthy foods like this minestrone can save the day. This soup can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and is even better the day after it’s cooked.

Sun Oven Minestrone

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian)

Ingredients

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

2 cups peeled, diced potatoes

2 cups diced zucchini

1 cup diced green beans

3 cups shredded savoy cabbage

A saltine cracker-sized piece of Parmesan cheese crust, scraped clean (optional)

2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes, with their juices

1 2/2 cups previously cooked cannellini beans(or other white beans)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Remove the leveling tray from the Sun Oven, place a rack or a trivet on the floor of the cooking chamber, and set it out to preheat. Combine the broth and water in a medium pot and put in the Sun Oven to heat while preparing the rest of the soup.

The onion through the cabbage are each added to the pot and cooked briefly before adding the next. To save time, prep each one as the previous one cooks.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until softened but not browned. Add the carrots and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Do the same with the celery, potatoes, zucchini, and green beans, cooking each a few minutes before adding the next. Then add the shredded cabbage and cook for about 6 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the warm broth form the Sun Oven, the cheese crust (if using), and the tomatoes. Season lightly with salt. Cover and transfer to cook until the vegetables are soft and the soup has thickened, about 3 hours. Stir in the beans and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Discard the cheese crust. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Adjust for salt. If not serving immediately, let cool and refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

 

Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

Chunky SP SoupI usually use a white potato for this colorful vegetarian soup but I had just over half a sweet potato left over from yesterday’s gratin so into the soup it went.

Chunky Vegetable Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

3 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 pound dried split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

8 cups vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

sour cream for serving (optional)

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the split peas, broth, and bay leaves. Cover and transfer the pot to the Sun Oven until the peas are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.

Makes 8 servings.

 

Fall Flavored Soup

S.P. Soup

This soup is so creamy and velvety that you’ll be surprised to learn it’s made with just a touch of olive oil and no cream or cheese at all.

Sun Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Cranberry Relish

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

Relish:

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Soup:

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 onion, cut into wedges

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 carton (32-ounces) vegetables broth

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, onion, and sweet potato with the oil. Spread the vegetables out in a baking pan and season with the kosher salt. Cover and roast in the Sun Oven until soft, but still firm, abut 45 minutes. Prepare the relish while the vegetables are roasting.

In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, shallots, and sugar; set aside.

Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large pot. Add the broth and ginger. Return the pot to the Sun Oven and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 1 hour. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with chopped parsley and cranberry relish.

Makes 4 servings

Roast S. Potatoes

Slightly Spicy Apple Potato Soup

Apple Potato Soup

This savory soup is an fabulous fusion of classic fall flavors.

Solar Apple-Potato Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter

2/3 cup finely sliced leek, white and pale green parts only

1 stalk celery, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups), peeled and diced

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sour cream (regular or reduced fat)

chopped fresh chives for garnish (optional)

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened; about 4 minutes. Stir in the dried sage and paprika. Add the apples, potatoes, and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven and cook until the potatoes are very soft; 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. (can be prepared up to this point then gently reheated before serving) Stir in the sour cream.. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chives (if using).

Makes 4 servings.

Sun Oven Pumpkin Soup

Butternut-Squash-and-Bacon-Soup-300x225 Fall is here and along with it the pumpkin recipes. Solar Pumpkin Soup Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 5 cups vegetable broth 2 cans (15-ounce) pumpkin puree 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce salt and pepper to taste Grated zest of 1 lime 2 tablespoons lime juice Preparation Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne. Remove from heat and stir in the broth, pumpkin, and applesauce. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until heated through and flavors have blended, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in lime zest and juice just before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Split Pea Soup with Kale

Split Pea & Kale

Kale adds color and texture to this classic comfort food. Serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches or grilled brats.

Solar Split Pea Soup with Kale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

1 pound dried spit peas, picked over and rinsed

6 cups water

1 bunch kale, ribs removed, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Pour the oil into a large pot. Stir in the onions, celery, carrots garlic, and marjoram. Add the split peas and water. Stir in the kale. Cover and cook until the peas are very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

 

Slow Solar Stewed Onions

Stewed Onions

Never let a sunny day go to waste. When nothing else is going on in your Sun Oven whip up a batch of slow cooked onions. They’ll come in handy for all sorts of things: a base for soups, a topping for burgers, or a sauce for pasta, just to name a few.

Solar Stewed Onions

Ingredients

3 onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a medium to large pot, toss the onions with the oil. Pour the wine over the onions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook in Sun Oven until the onions are golden, 2 to 3 hours. Let cool then store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days.

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