Classic Minestrone with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Minestrone Soup with Sundried Tomato Pesto #recipe via @cooksmarts

The previous two recipes this month have all focused on how to get more flavor out of proteins (see Tofu with Curried Cabbage and Carrots and Pork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic Sauce). Today's Minestrone Soup with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto recipe focuses on how to make a soup more flavorful with a simple hand-chopped pesto. Clearly, you can use these types of pestos well beyond soups, but it's … [Read more...]

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili recipe by @cooksmarts #paleo #glutenfree

When the weather is cold and I need a kick of warmth, I turn to comforting soups. Last month, the temperature dropped down to below freezing in Mountain View! As someone who's lived in California now for almost 15 years, I have lost all my East coast edge, and I was craving some warm chili, which I wanted to eat while donning a fur hat and enclosed in one of these wearable sleeping bags (I got … [Read more...]

Black Bean and Leftover Rice Soup

Black bean and leftover rice soup by Cook Smarts

I grew up in a household that had no choice but to pinch pennies. We were immigrants - and not the wealthy kind that came here for their PhDs - more like the kind that came with a single suitcase, barely speaking any English. We lived month-to-month in a 2 bedroom apartment that housed 6 of us for 5 years before we upgraded to a 3 bedroom. If folks wonder why I have no concept of personal space, … [Read more...]

Taco Soup

Taco Soup Recipe

This taco soup recipe is the kind that you'll copy down onto an index card and pass onto your children. It's just the kind of comfort that will be appreciated for years to come. I made a huge pot of this the week before we launched our new meal plan site, and it was just the soulful eats I needed to get through a lot of stressful days and late nights. I had never felt so busy, but I knew this … [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup

Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe by Cook Smarts

Starting off the week with a productive Sunday night in the kitchen is honestly one of the best feelings. If you kick off your week with a slow cooker and a rotisserie chicken, I guarantee you your week will go amazingly well, at least in the cooking department. One of my favorite slow-cooker and rotisserie chicken combinations is a chicken tortilla soup. Because sometimes soups just don’t feel … [Read more...]

The Easiest Slow Cooker Vegetable, Beef, and Barley Soup

Slow-Cooker Vegetable, Beef, and Barley Soup by Cook Smarts

I was plagued with a major case of recipe and meal-block earlier this week. I looked for inspiration through my vast cookbook collection, old food magazines, and of course the usual recipe sites. Nothing. And then it dawned on me, why not just ask our awesome Facebook fans what new recipes they wanted to see on our site and in our weekly meal plans. The resounding request was more slow-cooker / … [Read more...]

Discover the Secret Ingredients to the Perfect Tomato Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup with Sundried Tomatoes

After more than 10 years in Northern California, I no longer handle the cold very well. While I understand a Bay Area winter is nothing compared to the noreasters I endured as a kid, it still gets plenty cold. Cold enough for me to spend most days in my home office bundled up in a fleece and a hat, dreaming of tomato soup. I don't know what it is about the cold that makes me crave tomato soup, but … [Read more...]

Lentils and Sausage Soup Repurposed for Stuffed Peppers

Lentil and Sausage Soup | Cook Smarts

In college I dabbled in vegetarianism. It was more of a recreational thing, but as I got more serious about becoming a professional eater, I decided to give up the non-meat eating life.  However my 1 year status as a vegetarian greatly contributed to my eating and cooking experience. At the time I was training for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon. Desperate to find more vegetarian protein … [Read more...]

Recipe for Pureed Broccoli and Celeriac (aka Celery Root) Soup

Recipe for Pureed Broccoli and Celeriac Soup | Ingredient Spotlight

If it's a vegetable, I promise you I've tried to puree it into a soup with my immersion blender. And since we're ingredient spotlighting broccoli this week, I think you can guess what recipe we're featuring today: a pureed broccoli soup. Every week I place a head of broccoli in my grocery cart, so I've developed a pretty good rotation of different ways to cook broccoli. The prettier florets are … [Read more...]

Garlicky Cauliflower, Potato, and Leek Soup

Garlicky Cauliflower, Potato, and Leek Soup | Ingredient Spotlight | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

In the previous Cauliflower Ingredient Spotlight, we showed you how to make a rich and decadent gratin. In this next recipe, we're going to present a cauliflower recipe that only tastes and feels rich but lacks those heavy, rich calories. As this blog grows, readers will quickly figure out that I love my immersion blender. Blending soups is one of the easiest ways to bring a lot of vegetables … [Read more...]