The Power of Soup
Thursday, February 09, 2017
I see a lot of people asking for suggestions for a reasonable snack. Something we all need. I find that something warm helps curb my appetite better. A hot cup of tea is great, but sometimes I need a bit more. That is where soup comes in.
Soup can be a snack as well as part of a meal. It can be whatever you want it to be. With meat or without. Vegan, vegetarian or not. And easier to make than you can imagine.
My choice of soup is low sodium, low cholesterol and a veggie boost. I don't always have time to make my own stock so I buy a low sodium stock. It still works for me. Easy to cook, easy to store and easy to freeze into individual portion sizes if that is good for you. I also have a good supply of dried herbs and spices on hand. Again.... for me it's easier and more convenient.
I was never taught to cook from recipes. One of my favorite "recipes" from my Mom includes a "glug" of vinegar and I knew exactly what she meant. Another was "stir until your arm falls off". Again, it made perfect sense to me but to others, not so much. So, in that vein, here are some suggestions which are meant to be personalized by you.
Super Easy Veggie Soup - As simple as a large can of crushed tomatoes, fill the can twice with stock or water and add a bag of frozen mixed veggies. My favorite seasonings include oregano, turmeric, parsley and black pepper. Want to switch it up? Brown some ground turkey or some ground beef. My favorite, if I add meat, I simmer some short ribs of beef separately for a few hours,shred the meat and drain the fat and use the liquid as stock.
Chicken and Rice Soup - Shred or chop leftover chicken. Add to either veggie or chicken stock. Add your rice of choice. I like brown rice, but not too much. Then I add veggies. Chopped celery is always good and I chop the leaves as well. Some minced onion also adds flavor. This is also where you can add the veggies you may not be thrilled with, but still want the benefits of like spinach or kale. Add some sliced or diced carrots and again, season to taste. With this I would use parsley, sage and thyme.
And I love a good bean soup. You can use dried, cooked beans as well as canned beans. Take your choice of stock and add chopped celery including their leaves and chopped onion. Add the beans and some chopped carrots if you'd like. I like some chopped tomatoes too. A bit of chopped ham works well. Again, add some parsley, and I like a bit of oregano and simmer.
So these recipes don't have precise measurements. You can add or delete items and seasonings as you please. They can include meat or not. It can be as simple as a broth with chopped celery, carrot and zucchini. Want a Mexican taste? Add cumin, cilantro and chili powder. Prefer an Italian take? Add oregano, basil and garlic. Need a bit more? Add some toppings. Think of shredded or grated cheese, chopped onion or tomato, or some croutons. May not sound like the best toppings to have, but, if this replaces a slice of pizza or potato chips, I think you'll come out ahead.
Anyone have some easy soup recipes to share?