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Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Whatever's On Hand Soup"

Soup is good for the heart.

Every day I ask Elli what she would like to eat, and she says "soup".  It doesn't matter if it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  So far she really seems to enjoy tomato, potato, and clam chowder (although, she didn't realize there were clams in it).  Oh, and it must be served with Ritz.

Recently, my mom heard that it's actually a great idea to eat soup for breakfast.  So, I started researching recipes for breakfast soups.  For some reason, every time I thought about making soup I got anxious and went to an old stand-by instead.

I am not sure why I imagined such a daunting task.  My mom always makes delicious soups that she just throws together with veggies and spices from her kitchen - whatever's on hand

Today after church I finally found the courage to whip something together.  Max was occupying himself by playing with my old tea set mom dug out for Elli, and Elli was cutting up paper with her scissors.  And here is what I came up with:

  • In a medium pot, saute a couple of Tablespoons of onion and a teaspoon of minced garlic (I buy the stuff in the jar and won't go back) in some olive oil.
  • Add one large can of tomato puree and 2 cups of water.
  • Allow that to come to a boil and then add chicken bullion (one cube or one teaspoon of "Better Than Bullion" paste).
  • Pour in one box of "Near East" cous cous including the seasoning packet.  I had Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil, which went perfectly with tomatoes.
  • Dice one small zucchini and add to soup.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar (or more depending on your desired sweetness).
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • (I also added a few peas I shucked from the garden thinking the kids would love it, but I would not waste my time on this in the future).
  • I then topped with a dollop of sour cream and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

It turned out to be a very thick and hearty soup.  If you like how it sounds, but prefer a more brothy soup, I would add diced tomatoes instead.  Max loved it (including the zucchini!) and I thought it was a nice change from the regular tomato soup with milk that we normally eat.  Elli, on the other hand, did not like the looks of it.  I think she was scared of the vegetables and differences in general from what she is used to.  I talked her into taking one bite and she made a face that told me it was way too acidic/tart for her.  I let her stir in an extra teaspoon of brown sugar to her bowl and she took another bite.  Shockingly, she said "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."
I thought we were in business, so I started singing my own rendition of "Just a spoonful of sugar helps tomato soup go down, tomato soup go do-own, tomato soup go down.  Just a spoonful of sugar helps tomato soup go down in the most delightful way!"  She was dancing and loving it.... but she wouldn't eat any more soup. :-/

Oh well, maybe when she's hungry after her nap.

What is your favorite soup to "throw together" with what you have on hand?

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