Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Lunch

This makes me a little bit sad–my lunch at work.

Nothing terribly photogenic here–just some tomato soup in an old plastic container, and a mug of seltzer water with some Emergen-C, because I think I am coming down with a cold.

That would be decidedly NOT GOOD because my husband’s fortieth birthday party is this weekend and I have a lot to do!



A Beautiful Day for Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Today was a beautiful day.



It is starting to get a bit cloudy now, but earlier, the sunshine was brilliant–and warm.  That’s another thing I love about NW Montana–even in mid February, when temperatures are in the upper 30s or low 40s, the sun is still warm on your face.


Drying streets are a plus when walking a Newfoundland. Murphy’s feather legs didn’t get soaked today (yesterday she needed mudflaps).

After our walk, I started to make my soup for the work week.  It is such an easy soup, but so delicious, and filling enough that I don’t come home from work wanting to eat everything in my kitchen.  It isn’t complicated, and you could likely find a similar recipe online somewhere.  I like it because it low in calories, high in vitamins, very tasty, and I almost always have all the ingredients in the house.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

You will need:

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2-3 cups chicken broth

2 medium to large carrots

1 large yellow onion

3-5 cloves of garlic

3/4 grated parmesan cheese

3 T of chia seeds (these add protein and thicken the soup…I use white, but I’m not sure if it matters)

1/4 cup of basil (I use dried in the winter)

oregano, thyme, bay leaves, black pepper and red pepper (optional) to taste

First, chop up the onions, carrots and garlic.  Nothing needs to be uniform.  Did you know that if you chew gum or suck on a lollipop while cutting onions you won’t cry?  Seriously!

Brown the onions, carrots and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent.

A little bit longer...

A little bit longer…

Add the chicken broth, all three cans of tomatoes, the basil, and the rest of the herbs to taste.  I tend to go heavy on the oregano and sometimes I even add in more garlic powder.

Bring to a boil, turn the stove to low, and let the whole concoction simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (Don’t have one?  Get one, especially if you like to make soup.  No more transferring to the blender!) blend the soup together.  Don’t worry if you have a few chunks left over.  Place the soup back on the heat, and stir in the chia seeds and the parmesan.  It will take a little bit for the chia seeds to soak up and thicken up the soup.  If you don’t mind the calories or the dairy, you can add a splash of milk and or some Neufchatel cheese.

The parmesan and the chia seeds.

The parmesan and the chia seeds.


Ready to serve!

One batch of this soup will provide me with five lunches for the week.  I have used a number of different recipe calculators, and all of them put the recipe at 150-200 calories per serving.

Hope everyone has had a great President’s Day!