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Healthy Creamy Soup Base Recipe

Healthy Creamy Soup Base Recipe
Healthy Creamy Soup Base Recipe
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Lauren Hill
There is nothing better than a nice hearty soup on a cold winter day. Knowing how to make a healthy creamy base lets you give in to a longing for comfort food while eating healthy. This staple soup base can even be frozen and thawed. For two people, freeze the base in 2-cup portions and plan to add 1 cup of additional vegetables plus seasonings and a garnish to make 2 bowl-sized servings.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth, regular or low-sodium
  • 4 medium potatoes; Yukon Gold, California White and red-skinned potatoes are all good, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium or 6 baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. white or black pepper
  • 1 6-0z can evaporated milk (not condensed milk, which is sweet)
Instructions
  1. In the skillet, briefly sauté the onion, celery and carrots, garlic and parsley over medium heat till vegetables are coated with oil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and continue simmering until the onions and celery are translucent but not browned. Put the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the soup pot and add peeled potatoes cut in chunks and the broth.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately lower the heat to medium/low. Cover the pot and simmer until potatoes are soft. Using a jar-style or immersible blender, blend the potatoes and liquid while still warm, and stir in evaporated milk. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

VEGETABLE COMBINATIONS

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For each 2 cups of base, add 1 cup previously cooked vegetables and seasonings.
Some good combinations:

Broccoli and a pinch of curry powder. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds.

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Carrots with a pinch of dill, cumin or celery seed. Garnish with more dill or parsley.

Corn kernels and chopped sweet red bell pepper, with a pinch of cumin or smoked paprika. Garnish with a little parmesan cheese.

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Chard, spinach or kale, seasoned with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with grated lemon peel.

Peeled broccoli stems or asparagus stalks (all but the woodiest parts). Our grandmothers made delicious waste-not-want-not soups from the parts of vegetables we sometimes discard. Garnish with a sprinkling of curry powder or paprika.

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FAST MAIN DISH SOUPS

slices of bacon, sautéed and chopped, 2 can minced clams and a heavy pinch of seafood seasoning (like Old Bay). Garnish with parsley.
oz. finely diced ham, shredded greens, ½ tsp. Cajun seasoning and a dash of hot sauce. Top with chopped scallion.

Equal amounts of diced leftover chicken and corn kernels. Top with chopped parsley and a thin curl of butter.

Freeze extra soup base and thaw overnight in the refrigerator for your version of a hearty creamy winter soup.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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