Saturday, May 1, 2010

MEGA CHUNKY VEGGIE-C SOUP

A BOWL FULL OF COMFORT.

packed with vegetables, full of vitamin C and a cure-all for what ails ya.

Veggie-C soup has been my family's "go-to soup" for as long as i can remember. i'm pretty sure it evolved from Grandma Leda's Vegetable Oxtail Soup. when i was little i was a little wary of oxtails (love them now) so my mom would make her version sans the tails...you might also recall years ago there was one of those "fad diets" called The Cabbage Soup Diet. i think it might have started back in the late 70's, or that's when my mother got wind of it. she made a huge pot of this so called "diet"soup... and everyone loved it !...not to date myself or anything, but we've been making this darn soup, in this same house, for over 35 years...scary

soup is good food...plain and simple so i like to keep this one just that...plain and simple. i can eat this every night of the week and finish the pot by myself...how boring you might say. not so. one night it's with chicken. one night it's just a side. one day it's spiced up Mexican style and another it's with Parmesan and whole wheat pasta...add some barley and some beans and get a complete protein meal. what ever you add or change there really is no wrong way to make this recipe. it's just good clean eatin'.

start with a LARGE pot...(this always seems to grow)

stock...approx. 5-6 cups...you need some good stock. homemade, of course, is best. in this house we always have at least one kind of good stock in the freezer... chicken, turkey, lamb, smoked ham hock and/or beef. if you don't have a supply, i suggest you go out and get a nice roast chicken from Costco...enjoy that for dinner and make yourself some good rich stock from that ugly ol' carcass. if you don't have enough stock to cover the veg. my choice is the little jar of "Better Than Bouillon". add a Tbsp or so of this and the correct amount of water as you go along, adding in your veg... i promise you this soup will be bigger that you think...it grows.

chose your veggies ...this is what usually goes in...

try to keep everything the same size. LARGE chunks are more fun and satisfying. this is key to presenting a beautiful bowl.

3-4 carrots

4 stalks celery

1 large onion-diced large (2 small)

1 leek-halved,cleaned and sliced

1 shallot-sliced or diced

1/2 head cabbage

5-6 cloves garlic-sliced thin

roasted garlic cloves (i always have some on hand) diced or sliced

haricots verts (sm. green beans)...a handful

1/2 head of cauliflower pieces (flowerettes)

1 red. 1 yellow bell pepper-seeded and ribbed
2 poblano peppers-seeded and ribbed

1 large can whole plum tomatoes-cut into large chunks. i do not add the remaining juice.

1 rounded tsp oregano

1 rounded tsp tarragon

a handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves

1-2 bay leaves

a pinch, dash of toss of cayenne

1 tsp Mexican chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

directions: this is a bit elementary, because it's one of those recipes that builds as you chop and add.

saute the leek, shallot, garlic and 1 onion with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil.

add stock and start throwing in your vegetables. start with the veg that take longest to cook like the carrots, celery and remaining onion. from there just chop and add. the last to go in are the cauliflower pieces and the green beans. you'll soon see how this seems to grow much bigger than you thought. at this point you might need more stock. i like to use the "Better Than Bullion" mixed with a little warm water (using the ratio given on the jar) until the veg are just covered. let this simmer until everything is just fork tender. i prefer to keep mine a little under done so as not to overcook when reheating for the next meal. i'm not a big fan of mushy vegetables that are so common in most soups. serve as is or over pasta, rice, shredded chicken, beef, pork...last night it was BBQ chicken...tonight is sauteed shrimp...tomorrow might be spicy Italian turkey sausage with white beans....mmmmm.....delicious.

i'm smellin' summer is on the way. that means bikini weather...YIKES !...i will do everything in my power to keep it clean and healthy in preparation for the dreaded BIKINI try-ons. well....with the occasional well earned treat now and then, of course.

3 comments:

Federica said...

ottimo e invitante!

Mags said...

This looks so good... and so healthy! I love vegetable soup and the more veggies, the better!

M. said...

I love all the beautiful colors of this soup...looks delicious and healthy.

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