Saturday, January 14, 2012

Soup for winter (and summer)

And speaking of which, here's my secret weapon for surviving the holiday aftermath: Soup, capital S! Make a big vat of it and have a bowl before meals to get in your nutrition and take the edge off of hunger. Studies show soup eaters way less than non-soup eaters, woo hoo!

Leanne's Basic Veggie Soup
Serves 12

2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes -- undrained
1 large onion -- chopped
4 cloves garlic -- pressed in a garlic press
2 tablespoons olive oil -- divided
2 large carrots -- chopped
2 small celery stalks -- chopped
1 medium turnip -- chopped
2 cups green beans -- cut in 1" pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 head cabbage -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 small russet potatoes -- peeled and chopped

In a large soup pot, heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook till nearly translucent, now add the garlic. Don't let the garlic brown and saute another couple of minutes.

Add the rest of the chopped veggies, sauteing for just a couple of minutes. You're not cooking them, just sauteing for the wonderful flavor this quick step will infuse in your soup. Add the thyme and salt and pepper while sauteing.

Now put the veggies in the crockpot, add the tomatoes and broth. Cook on low 7-9 hours (depending on your crockpot) or high 4-6 hours. Just before serving, gently mash some of the potato chunks against the side of the crockpot to thicken the soup, give it a stir, correct the seasoning if necessary, and serve

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Grilled cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread and a spinach salad.

Quick Fixes for Variations on the Basic Veggie Soup

Now remember, don't do this to the whole pot of soup! Just the little bit you pull out to fix yourself for lunch, etc.

Quick Fix #1: Tex Mex Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it?how much do you want?) canned black beans (drained and rinsed), a little bit of cumin and chopped cilantro. Top with some tortilla chips and cheese, or serve with a quesadilla.

Quick Fix #2: Tuscan Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it again) canned cannellini (white kidney beans) or white beans (drained and rinse), a little bit of Italian seasoning and some chopped kale. Cook till heated through and the kale is tender.

Quick Fix #3: Minestrone Veggie Soup. Add some cooked pasta, a little dried basil and top with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese.

Quick Fix #4: Autumn Veggie Soup. Add some diced acorn squash or butternut squash, some cooked brown nice, a sprinkling of nutmeg and some chopped parsley

Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva from
Saving Your Dinner Since 2001
Come and Get It! FR*EE week of Menu-Mailer when you get our Daily Dish

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