Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup + Holiday Decorating

Hello, my friends! All this cold weather has me craving soup. Anyone else? Last night, I decided to whip up something warm and tasty.


I was originally planning to make my Sweet Potato Lentil Chili, but realized I didn’t have enough sweet potatoes or lentils on hand and decided to get creative. So this is essentially an “Everything in the Fridge/Pantry that Looked Appealing” Soup. ;) I encourage you guys to try something like this – it’s fun and easy! It’s kind of like a marriage between the Sweet Potato Lentil Chili and my Veggie-tastic Minestrone Soup, which is another old favorite recipe here on the blog.

Into a pot, I threw a container of chicken broth (veggie broth would work fine too), a can of diced tomatoes, a little tomato sauce, about a cup of water, and then all sorts of random stuff: some lentils, cubed sweet potatoes, a can of kidney beans, a handful of baby spinach, chopped carrots and celery, a small chopped zucchini, and a little quinoa pasta just for chew. If you haven’t tried quinoa pasta yet, give it a shot! Super yummy and gluten free, too, if you’re looking for a good gluten free pasta. You guys know I’m not gluten free – just like mixing it up!


I threw in the harder ingredients first (lentils, sweet potatoes, carrots) and let them simmer for awhile before tossing in the rest.


It didn’t take long and soon I had a delicious soup, ready to eat! I added some cracked black pepper and truffle salt (SO GOOD) to the mix, too. Yum, yum.


In other news, our Christmas tree is up! We bought a little one from Target last weekend, plus some fun ornaments. We didn’t have a tree last year since we spent most of December in Costa Rica for our honeymoon, so I was determined to make our place festive this year!


We put some stockings up, too! The little one is for Zara. :) I know, super nerdy. It’s fine.


Speaking of Zara, she’s very curious about the tree, but has decided to leave it alone for now. ;) 


And now, it’s back to work for me! I hope you’re all having a nice day so far. I started mine early with some Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with nut butter to fuel up before a  morning swim (30 minutes alternating freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke). When I got home, I enjoyed my favorite Flour Free Breakfast Pancake with some berries.


I’m now camped at a coffee shop getting some work done, just to mix it up. I packed up some of my leftover soup to enjoy for lunch while I’m here.

Have a great day, everyone!

Have you decorated for the holidays yet? I can’t wait until the day we have enough space for a huge tree. :)


  1. 1

    I am jealous. I love working at a coffee shop. I totally was not snooze resistant today and was thinking a swim may feel really good after work.. This is kind making me think it could be a good idea! :)

  2. 3

    It takes my husband and I three days to get our house decorated for the holidays and we have it down to a science. We are both 67 so we have collected alot of ornaments and memories along the way and it is fun remembering as we decorate the tree and around the house. You have lots of time ahead of you to make memories with Matt and your family that is to come. Enjoy this Christmas with Matt ad new little Zara!

  3. 5

    The first Christmas I had with my cat – I came home one day and found him sleeping on one of the top branches of the tree. Cutest. thing. ever.

  4. 7

    I love soups where you just throw in all of those “need to be used up” veggies in the fridge, especially when it comes out super tasty! Love your little tree…. and stocking. ;)

  5. 8
    Janet Knowlton says:

    Exactly the kind of tree we need this year. We have TWO kittens and I was undecided if we should even get a tree but yours looks perfect. It is real, isn’t it? Gotta have a tree, even if it’s small. Soup looks great! We make your chili a lot! It’s so satisfying.

  6. 10
    Zulma Reyes says:

    Anne, that is soooo cute…. little boot for Zara ;) Personally I do not like cats, but I consider there are lovely, and Zara is not naughty?

  7. 12

    :D we have the same Christmas tree! It’s so cute and little! I’m in the market to get some stockings for us, and after that we’ll finally have our apartment officially decorated for Christmas!

  8. 13

    I’m in DC and I made soup yesterday too! Something about a snowday just equals a huge simmering pot of soup and a fresh batch of cornbread in my mind.

    Do you ever start your soups the traditional way, with a mirepoix? I find that starting with sauteing a mirepoix for 5-7 minutes, then adding the spices and garlic to saute for another minute before I throw everything in with the liquid to cook is really easy but adds so much more complex flavor to my soups. I guess that’s why they traditionally make soups this way but I didn’t know for a while when I first started cooking!

    • 14

      I actually haven’t done that before, no! If I’m using garlic and onions in a recipe, I always start by sauteing those first in a little oil, but I haven’t done it with celery/carrots/onions like a traditional mirepoix. I’ll try it next time! Thanks for the tip!

      • 15

        You’re welcome! Totally changed soups for me. Onions, carrots and celery are all super easy to keep around too.

        I think it makes such a difference that I modify it for pretty much all my soups- even for something like a mexican tortilla soup now I’ll chop up bell peppers, onions, and jalapenos and saute those first before adding the spices and garlic for a minute and then the liquid and all the other stuff. So easy, so good! Hope you enjoy it when you try it :)

  9. 16

    Random question! Do you buy cartons of egg whites or use them from whole eggs?

  10. 19

    That soup looks most excellent. I’m completely loving soup this winter! I have some chili in the freezer at home that I plan to dig into most likely tomorrow night.

  11. 20

    I love those type of soups! I kind made one the other night and it is the perfect soup to eat during this time of year.

  12. 21

    Lovely Christmas Tree, Anne. I have made that soup many times. My family loves it.

  13. 22
    Roadrunner says:

    Awesome soup, awesome tree, especially awesome cat!

  14. 23

    I love decorating for Christmas & usually we do two trees – a big one in our living room & a small one in our dining/kitchen area. This year I’m not sure there’ll be much decorating – we’re in the process of moving from Ohio to North Carolina (yay!!!). So happy to be moving south, but kinda sad we’re missing out on holiday decorations. We’re definitely a little nuts to move the second week of December…

  15. 25

    Zara is so adorable and so is the stocking!

  16. 26

    The soup looks amazing, I’ve been wanting to try Quinoa pasta.

  17. 27

    We were on vacation last week, so I just got around to putting our tree up yesterday. I got it all up, only to find my pre-lit tree has dead bulbs in it. Argh.
    Your soup looks really good. I need to do something with some lentils that have been in my fridge for a while. Maybe soup.

  18. 28
    Gaye McGrath says:

    My fur babies were the first socks Santa planned for in our house. I love you’re tree!

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