Bank Family Original Lentil Soup

September 15, 2014



From Cousin Stuart Bank


2 Tbs olive oil 1 Quart low sodium beef broth or boullion
1 Tbs. butter 1 Quart low sodium chicken broth or boullion
1 cup yellow or Vidalia onion 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 cup (4-5) carrots (chopped) 1 14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
½ cup celery (chopped) 1 Tbs tomato paste
½ cup medium pearly barley 1 Tbs Basil
1 cup Lentils Hot Sauce to taste
2 Bay leaf

Note: Clean and rinse lentils to ensure they are clean and tender for cooking.


· Heat oil and butter over medium heat in soup pot. (butter is optional)
· Sautee onion, carrot, celery & 2 bay leaves until tender but crisp
· Stir in Tomato Paste for 1 minute
· Add dashes of hot sauce for taste (optional) and stir
· Stir in Lentils and Barley for 1 minute
· Add diced and stewed tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes
· And beef and chicken broth or boullion and bring to slow rolling boil over medium heat.
· Lower heat to simmer for 1.5 – 2 hrs stirring every 30 minutes. (Longer cooks, the better)
· Add basil and cook for final 30 min.

Makes a little over 4 quarts. Ready to serve. Great with hard crusty bread.

Gazpacho – Great low carb summer soup

August 11, 2011


If you grow vegetables in your garden, this is a great way to use them. Gazpacho is naturally low in carbs, and loaded with vitamins and fiber. It’s cold and refreshing on a hot summer day. My step-father use to live in Mexico when he was young, and he learned to make Gazpacho there.

2 cups tomato juice – We use Campbell’s. V8 is also good
4 – 5 fresh tomatoes – washed and cut in chunks
1 cucumber – seeded and sliced
1 bell pepper – seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery – chopped
1 clove garlic – minced
1/2 carrot – sliced
1/2 large red onion – sliced
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teas salt
pepper to taste

Throw everything in a food processor and blend it well. Stir in olive oil slowly. Add more tomato juice if it is too thick. Transfer to a large bowl and chill before serving.

You can add a dash of red pepper or tobasco sauce, if you wish, or a dash of ground cumin.

Garnish with 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or other fresh herbs, i.e. basil, chives, mint, thyme, etc.

Feel free to experiment. Farmers in the field throw in whatever they have to make Gazpacho.

Serve with warm crusty bread. Serves 6 to 7 people.

Cream of Asparagus Soup by Chef Jacques

May 17, 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup:

Serves 4

1 pound fresh jumbo asparagus
1 quart boiling water
1 tablespoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup minced leeks, washed well (use all parts)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy cream
Croutons to garnish
¼ teaspoon chopped parsley

Wash, peel, and snap off the lower stalks of the asparagus. Reserve the peelings and lower stalks.

Lay the asparagus in a deep pan, so that the tips are facing in the same direction. Cover with the boiling water seasoned with salt. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the asparagus are tender but still crisp.

Lift the asparagus from the water and plunge into ice water. Reserve the cooking liquid. One-quarter of the asparagus is used in the soup. (Serve the remaining pieces with vinaigrette, as a salad, or with melted butter as a side dish.)

Cut the tips from one-quarter of the cooked asparagus, reserving both stalks and tips for the soup. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir in the onions and leeks, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, but do not brown. Dust the onions and leeks with the flour and mix thoroughly. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid, blending vigorously with a whisk. Add the raw asparagus peelings, lower stalks, and the reserved cooked stalks. Season with the pepper. Cover and boil gently for 30 minutes.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor (the soup may have to be puréed in several batches) and force through a fine strainer.

Before serving, reheat the soup and, with a whisk, stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter and the cream. Adjust seasonings. Add the reserved asparagus tips and garnish with croutons and freshly chopped parsley.

We thank Chef Jacques of L’Auberge Chez Francios for allowing us to reprint this recipe.

Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father, François’ footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare, whether at his family’s Washington DC restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, or at one of his popular cooking demos and luncheons. His menus feature classic Alsatian and French cuisine reinterpreted for American palates. When he isn’t in the kitchen Chef Jacques can be found sharing his gourmet cooking secrets and tips to sold-out audiences, in the pages of national magazines, and on radio and television programs across the country.

Call Julie at 703-978-6028, or e-mail for info on MonaVie. We serve MonaVie, EMV Action Drinks, and RVL in Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, Fairfax, Burke, Maryland, Springfield, and Washington, D.C. We can assist you in shipping MonaVie products to other areas as well, or throughout the world, where MonaVie is provided.

During a stressful and busy day, most people do not get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet. But just 4 ounces of MonaVie’s premier acai juice blends daily equals 13 servings of fruit which can help boost your nutrition with loads of antioxidants that fight free radicals. Many of the fruits in MonaVie are hard to find from around the world, and work together to give you a wide variety of nutrients. We are looking for people who just want to be customers where MonaVie products can improve their own nutrition, and we are seeking other bloggers or smart business people who want to set up a small home based MonaVie business too.

Remember MonaVie products make great gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too.

Heart Healthy Italian Minestrone Soup

March 5, 2011


11 cups water
2 cups uncooked pasta – mini penne, small farfalle, or small shells
1 1/2 cups fresh cut green beans
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 cup red kidney beans, drained
1 can cut up tomatoes
1 cup sliced fresh or frozen carrots
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic powder
dash hot sauce, if desired
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat oil in 4 quart saucepan. Add garlic, onion, celery and sauté about 5 minutes. Add everything else except pasta, and mix well.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add uncooked pasta and simmer another 5 minutes or till desired taste.

Serves 16 one cup servings.

Cholesterol: 0 mg
Calories: 153
Total fat: 4 g
Sodium: 191 mg
Saturated fat: less than 1 g

Adapted from Alere Winter 2011 Newsletter.

Roasted Carrot Soup

February 2, 2011

1 1/2 pounds (lb) of carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

1 lb parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise

1 large onion, sliced

3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

6 tablespoons (tbs) unsalted butter

3 tbs (packed) dark brown sugar

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

pinch of cayenne pepper

salt to taste

1/4 cup crème fraîche for garnish

snipped fresh chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine carrots, parsnips, onion and ginger in shallow roasting pan. Dot mixture with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Pour 2 cups of broth into pan and cover well with aluminum foil. Bake for 2 hours, until veggies are tender.

Transfer mixture to large soup pot, and add remaining broth. Season with salt to taste and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer partially covered for additional 10 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (add more broth if needed). Return soup to pot and heat through. Top with dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with chives. Makes 10 servings.

Per Serving: 140 calories; 7 grams (g) fat; 2 g protein; 19 g carbs; 20 milligrams cholesterol.

Source: Ten by Sheila Lukins (Workman 2008). Diane Lofshult is a senior editor of IDEA Fitness Journal.

Food for Thought: Teamed with a healthy sandwich or salad, this colorful soup can be a light dinner on a stormy winter night—and the kids won’t notice the veggies under the sweetened topping! Roasting the carrots brings out their natural sugars and enhances the flavor of this root vegetable. If the dollop of crème fraîche topping is too indulgent for your tastes, use low-fat sour cream instead.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Soup

November 20, 2010


1 chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans chicken broth 14 & 1/2 ounces each
2 cups sliced and peeled potatoes
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups milk to 2 & 1/2 cups
1/2 teas ground nutmeg
1/2 teas salt
1/4 teas pepper
1 cup 8 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, optional

Saute onion in butter until tender in large saucepan. Add broth, potatoes and pumpkin. Cook until potatoes are tender about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Puree half of the mixture in a blender until smooth and then do the other half. Return to the pan. Add milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Heat through. Combine cream and parsley in another bowl. Sp0on soup into bowls and top with dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with bacon, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

This is easy to make a day ahead of time before Thanksgiving, and then just warm the soup.

Hearty Minestrone

March 6, 2009


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 bunch kale, leaves pulled from thick stem and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can cannellini beans (15 ounces) , drained
1 can chickpeas (15 ounces) , drained
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups water
1 cup whole wheat elbows
PreparationHeat a medium-size soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add the bacon and cook until crispy and golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and bay leaf to the pot, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Season the veggies with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the beans, chickpeas, herbs, tomatoes, stock and water to the pot, and bring up to a bubble. Add the pasta and boil the soup until the pasta has cooked to al dente, according to package directions. Remove from the heat and let cool for about five minutes before serving. Serves 4.

From Rachael Ray


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