Sunday, March 29, 2009

Simple Soups

In a hurry? Don't open that can of soup. Take a few minutes more out of your day and serve yourself and your family a nutritious and delicious soup you make yourself.

Don't be intimidated by recipes - you don't need one!

You know what you like don't you? You know what your family and friends like don't you?

Be daring - using fresh ingredients and leftovers you can make a fast meal that will satisfy most appetites.

I like doing quick soups because I like my vegetables bright colored and just cooked.

One of my favorites is a vegetable noodle soup.

I begin with one small onion sliced thin and two cloves garlic minced.
In a 2 quart pan
Saute in olive oil (or butter if you prefer) until onions are translucent or if you prefer, caramelized. (If using dried herbs - add them here)
Add 1 to 1/2 cups fresh chopped vegetables (except tomatoes, summer squashes, asparagus) of your choice.
(I like carrots, celery, broccoli, colored peppers)
Saute these items briefly - then add 2 cups cold water.
Break angel hair pasta into the pot - (amount depends on whether you prefer a noodle soup or a soup with just bit of noodles!)
Continue heating and stir (keeps the pasta from sticking)
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking - then you may add chopped tomatoes and summer squashes. Putting these items in near the end of the process keeps these tender vegetables from cooking to much. Preserves the shapes and colors.
Now - add salt and pepper to your liking as well as fresh herbs chopped finely. Add water as needed for style of soup preferred - thick and hearty, or brothy, or somewhere in between.

I love fresh cilantro - so that is my favorite herb for this soup - but choose the one or combination of herbs that you like.
Heat through until veggies are where you like them, pour into bowls and serve.

If you like (and I like!) add shredded cheese. Yum!
If you use flavored cheeses - such as Cabot's Tuscan Cheddar, or Chipolte Cheddar - you may not have to add the herbs (or not so much) at the end - your flavoring (other than salt and pepper) is in the cheese.

You can jazz this soup up by adding left-over meats from a prior meal - chicken is good.

Cooking at home should be fun and easy. Often the cost of soups in a can are actually more expensive then using items you already have on hand. Canned soups are convenient (and many are wonderful additions to other recipes). But in today's economy, why not use what you have on hand?

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