Soups

When the weather turns chilly, my mind turns to soup.  During football season I make a big pot of soup every Sunday and we eat it for lunch most days the following week.  We’ve been having 90 degree weather most days and yesterday had a rainy day with a high not much more than 66.
I’d rearranged our meals for the week a couple times and was planning on grilling burgers.  We are mostly fair weather grillers, so I spent some time on a rare slow afternoon at work thinking about soup.  At Christmas last year my nurse gave me a ND gift pack that included a mix for Stuffed Pepper Soup.  We really enjoyed it so I decided that would be our evening meal.  I googled recipes but didn’t bother to bookmark or print any of the 20 or so I reviewed.  We had a few peppers ready on the back deck that I harvested.  We ended up with something like this

Stuffed Pepper Soup
1 pound ground beef
2 tbsp EVVO
2-3 chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped onion
1 quart beef broth (I use better than bouillon)
1 can rotelle
1 chopped tomato (because it was on my counter and I didn’t have another use in mind)
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 cup uncooked brown rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan

Start brown rice cooking according to whatever method you usually do.  (I suspect you could add the dry rice once the liquid is all in the soup, because they cooked the same length of time, but I didn’t try this)  In a medium or large dutch oven brown ground beef in EVVO for about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add onion, garlic, peppers and bay leaf.  Cook for about 8 minutes.

Stir in stock, tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to very low.  Simmer for about 30-40 minutes (depending on how long your rice has left to cook).  Go outside and play with your family with a timer set on your phone.

Add cooked rice to soup.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.  We had it with corn bread.  (I cheated and used a just add water corn bread mix.  My two year old poured the ingredients in and made a mess stirring it.)

Carrot Soup

Today was a Bountiful Basket Saturday.  More on that tomorrow.  When I was putting away the abundance of fruits and veggies I found a few veggies that needed to be cleaned out of the fridge.  Still good, but if they haven’t been eaten yet I suspected they wouldn’t.  A big bunch of carrots from last time’s bountiful basket was among them.  So, carrot soup!!!

A few years ago I made a sweater.  It required a zipper, and at the time I didn’t have a sewing machine or the skills to put it in.  A wonderful woman I met at a knitting group in Arizona (who in a crazy turn of events was actually my aunt’s cousin) offered to help me put it in.  I went to her home one late afternoon before our knitting group as she had invited me for dinner.  She said when she and her husband retired he requested that their bigger meal of the day be lunch.  She agreed if supper could then be a light meal, specifically soup.  She makes big batches of soup and freezes them in individual portions so they can have their choice of soup at dinner.  I was fortunate to join them for this meal and chose carrot soup.

Some time later I requested the recipe and she sent me this recipe

1 pound of carrots, ( I used the bags of baby carrots so I don’t have to scrape them)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 cups reduced sodium fat free chicken broth.
1 can Evaporated Skim Milk
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and crushed garlic in olive oil.  Add broth, carrots, potatoes and herbs.  Simmer until tender enough to mash.  Puree in blender and return to kettle.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.  Season to taste.  If the soup seems too thin thicken with a tablespoon of cornstarch in a little water whipped into the soup until smooth.

I made this today nearly exactly like this.  Except I made a bit more, used better than bouillon chicken broth, a bit of celery, and fresh thyme, leaf parsley and ginger and whole carrots.  I used my food processor to chop the carrots and potatoes into small pieces rather than cubing them by hand.  I also used my new immersion blender which I LOVE.  It made the whole process a bit easier.   I as careful not to touch it to the bottom of the dutch oven, but it worked so well.

She also recommended the book The Complete Book of Soups and Stews, which is a much loved book in this kitchen now.

I also made a big batch of pesto to freeze in my oxo ice cube trays that I bought to freeze homemade baby food in before I discovered Dakota Boy would have nothing to do with anything pureed and I adopted a “baby led weaning” philosophy on feeding him simply because he wouldn’t eat anything but small bits of what we were eating.  It worked well and saved us a ton of money on jarred commercial baby food or time pureeing food just for him.  We generally had something we were eating that was acceptable for and to him.  If not he loved little bits of deli meat or cheese or toast or fruit.

 
 
 
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