Friday, December 3, 2010

Soup season brings forward an old favorite

Who doesn’t like vegetable soup? It’s so filled with flavors and textures that there should be something in it that appeals to everyone. And this is certainly the season to make it.

For the past month I’ve been making one pot of soup a week. It’s a great meal to store in the refrigerator and eat on all week. Pair it with your favorite bread (I made Parmesan Skillet Flatbread to go with ours) and you have a warming, healthy meal.

Even though I’ve published this vegetable soup recipe before, I thought it was worth bringing to the forefront again for new readers as well as those of you who have been around for awhile but forgot this was in your repertoire.

If you have a favorite soup recipe for these cold days, please post it as a comment so we can all enjoy it.

A few nutrition specifics:
Garlic contains allicin, which is a powerful anti-bacterial agent, that are released only when you crush or slice it, so always be sure to take that extra step. Studies have also shown that garlic consumption has reduced the risk of various cancers.
Kombu is seaweed that is dried, sold in sheets and used in many Asian dishes. It includes a lot of trace minerals and is high in potassium, iodine, calcium and vitamins A and C.
Quinoa is a high-energy protein that can ease digestion. It has more calcium than milk and is rich in minerals.

½ cup quinoa
2 cups water
dash of salt
Combine and cook until quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes. You can also substitute another grain of your choice.
3 celeries
2 carrots
1 onion
2 TBSP olive oil
Chop into bite size pieces. Warm about olive oil in the soup pot. Add chopped veggies and sauté 5 – 7 minutes, until onions are nearly translucent.
½ cup chicken broth
1 pint tomato juice
2 cups water
1 small piece of dried kombu
Two cloves of garlic
Add liquids and kombu to pot. Smash and peel the garlic and throw them into the pot. Bring to boil then simmer lightly, covered, 10 minutes or so.
1 ½ cups frozen green beans
1 ½ cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen broccoli
1 ½ cups frozen greens
1 quart jar of tomatoes
If any of the vegetables are frozen together in a glob, put them in the microwave for a minute or two to separate. If any of them are not chopped, chop into bite-size pieces. Add vegetables to the pot. You can substitute whatever vegetables you have in the freezer or that you prefer. Depending on how much broth you like (I prefer a more stew-like consistency with less broth), you might find that you need to add more liquid.
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp Italian seasonings – such as basil, parley, oregano
Season the pot and simmer, covered, until all vegetables are done. You can substitute your favorite seasonings. You might also need to add salt, depending on how much was in the liquids and tomatoes you used. The kombu does add some salt, so wait until that has been in the pot 30 minutes or so until tasting.
When vegetables are finished, remove the garlic cloves and kombu then add your grain. If the grain isn’t soft, continue cooking until it is. Enjoy!

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