Thursday, September 23, 2010
Rainy Day Saturday Soup - aka Veggie Soup
Description: My version of Minestrone Soup utilizing fresh veggies on-hand, reaching for pantry items to add into soup stock. This completed soup is built upon staples on hand for the day. My creative efforts produce a one-of-a-kind soup full of nutritious vegetables, pasta/beans. Can become a complete meal in a bowl.
Extra touches: grate cheese into an individual bowl (keeping the pot of soup non-dairy) and add-in homemade crouton or soup crackers.
Recipe Preparation: About an hour from chopping veggies to completed soup.
Pull any fresh veggies of choice from your refrigerator. Saturday’s veggies listed below. Chop into same-size pieces.
Peeled garlic clove(s), chop ready to include with sautéing veggies in olive oil.
Soup pot on the stove ready to sauté pieces of veggies in olive oil.
Wooden spoon available to stir veggies while sautéing.
Tube of tomato paste for a couple of squirts into sautéing veggies in pot.
Box of low-sodium chicken broth (32 oz.) ready to add slowly as veggies absorb olive oil.
Cold water in a measuring cup (2 cups at a time) to add slowly after the chicken broth.
(you might be adding up to 4 cups of water depending on other ingredients put into the soup that will absorb the liquids.)
Assorted spices & dried bay leaves, including salt & pepper ready to be added to the soup while veggies sauté in liquids.
Canned beans, washed & drained, ready to put into soup pot while soup cooks.
Small-size pasta or shells (uncooked) ready to put into the soup by a handful or two.
Olive Oil: to drizzle into bottom of soup pot to sauté veggies.
Carrot or two, depending on size and desire. Cut into discs.
Celery, one or a couple of stalks. Peel to take tough, stringy outer layer off. Cut into small slices.
Butternut squash, peeled and cubed.
Asparagus: wash and cut tough bottom ends off, then cut upper part into small pieces.
Garlic clove(s) to taste. Chop.
One box of low sodium Chicken Broth (32 oz.)
One large can of crushed tomatoes with no salt added (28 oz.)
One tube of tomato paste for a couple of squirts into sautéing veggies.
One small can of Cannellini (white kidney beans), washed and drained.
Small pasta such as shells. (a couple of handfuls.)
Water, about four cups.
Spices (dried): Oregano, Basil, Cinnamon, Ginger, Red Pepper Flakes, Turmeric, Tarragon, Salt & Pepper.
Bay Leaves: two-three
Building the Soup:
Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pot, on stove burner.
Turn heat to medium-high, let it heat for a couple of minutes without burning and begin to add the chopped veggies. Should hear sizzle of veggies in heated oil.
Stir the veggies with a wooden spoon to get them soft.
Add chopped garlic on top of veggies sautéing.
Add salt, pepper and rest of spices. Stir with wooden spoon.
Add about three squirts of tomato paste (to taste) and stir into the sautéing veggies. Stir.
Add slowly the chicken broth to keep veggies from burning. Keep stirring.
Add water up to four cups if you will be adding pasta and beans. Keep stirring.
Add Bay Leaves (two – three).
Add small pasta (two – three handfuls). Keep stirring.
Add washed & drained Cannellini Beans (Red Kidney Beans work well, too.)
Add more salt & pepper to taste when pasta is cooked in the soup. (The beans and pasta absorb salt.)
Add some sugar if soup tastes bitter as canned tomatoes might be very acidic. (sugar & salt correct an acidic taste.)
Turn temperature of cooking soup to low and put a cover on soup loosely, leaving opening for steam to escape.
Sir and taste soup before serving.
Slice a baguette or hearty-grained bread, drizzle with olive oil, heat in oven (400 degrees on lined baking sheet) for homemade croutons.
Put a homemade crouton in the bottom of a soup mug/bowl or serve on the side.
Add a protein to the soup for a complete meal:
-left over cooked chicken, cooked sausage or cooked ground beef (meatballs/meatloaf.)
-add melting cheese to the soup bowl. (now it is a dairy soup.)
Be creative in building your own soup recipe. Enjoy and have fun.