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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pantry Soup on a Snowy Day

Looking out my window this morning...the snow is coming down in huge flakes. It looks like big feathers and now it is gathering strength and looks like we are in for a snowy day. I love to make soup on a day like this. It feels so homey to have a kettle of soup bubbling away on the back burner. Last week, when it snowed all day, I felt like making something new. Something that I could concoct with things from my fridge or pantry. This is what I came up with. I like to call it a Pantry Soup. No plan whatsoever...no recipe....just some ingredients that I could blend together to make a nice meal for us. Here is a recipe of sorts. Pantry Soup
I had about 3/4 of a lb. of ground pork in the freezer. After thawing, I blended the pork with 1 egg, about 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, some sauteed chopped onion, sage, salt, pepper, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, parsley, and a dash of water to make it a meatball consistency. I rolled the little meatballs and put them on a greased cookie sheet. Put them in a 400 deg oven for about 20 min...turning them once to brown on all sides. Then I set them aside.

I sauteed 1 large onion with 2 chopped carrots in olive oil.
I put 2 32 oz. cartons of chicken broth and 1 carton of beef broth in a kettle.
I added the onions and carrots to the heating broth.
I took 2 pkgs Ramen noodles (chicken flavor) and broke the noodles up and added them along with the little foil pkgs of seasoning to the broth.
I added 14 oz of diced tomatoes to the mix.
When the noodles were getting al dente...I added the meatballs and 1/2 small pkg of carrots (whole fresh carrots)
Then I seasoned it to taste. This is what makes the soup. Don't be afraid to season until you like it. Salt and fresh ground pepper go in first, a clove of garlic smashed, red pepper flakes, 1 TBS of chicken base, a few shakes of parsley, just taste , taste, taste....Nothing worse than a bowl of watery soup with no flavor.
The soup should be just simmering all this time. I added a can of butter beans near the end (or they would get mushy with a lot of cooking) Then I took a picture of the bowl of soup.. Oh, oh...I took the picture before I added the fresh baby spinach. I put about a quarter of the bag of baby spinach in just before serving.
Those fresh vegetables make a big difference in how the soup tastes. A fresh onion, fresh carrots, fresh spinach, I would have used fresh tomatoes if I had some) and fresh parsley. My favorite taster (Joe) said it was delish and had a 2nd bowl.

I think that soup is about the easiest thing to make...I wouldn't be without chicken broth in my pantry, also chicken base. With those two things you can create a nice meal. Just add a chopped chicken breast an onion and a handful of celery and some noodles and then season, season, season... The one herb that I use all the time is parsley. I grow it in my little herb garden and have tried to grow it in the winter in the house, but haven't been very successful. I use a lot...so I would need a huge plant. You can make your own chicken broth, but the store bought is pretty good. I try to buy the Kitchen Basics brand. It has the best flavor in my estimation. It has the heart-check mark on food packaging, you'll instantly know the food has been certified to meet the American Heart Association's criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol and no MSG. I feel pretty safe using this product. I could do a commercial for this...I love it in my pantry. The Ramen noodles are not so healthy...lots of sodium in those little packets. I try to fine the ones with low sodium in the blue packaging. I really don't worry about the sodium content in a huge pot of soup. I usually add quite a bit of water to the broth, so in one or two bowls, you wouldn't get much sodium.
So, here it is snowing like crazy. Joe says, "I want some soup today." He's not fussy...a canned soup will do, but I do feel creative and I'm itching to get out in the kitchen.
Balisha
Bask again....I'm making chili..

This is the 950th post...I'm starting to put your names in my container for a drawing on the 1000th post...Good luck!

4 comments:

One Woman's Journey said...

This sounds so good. I made potato soup yesterday. Always sprinkle chopped cooked bacon on top. Will have again tonight...
I agree - soup is so good!!!

Zoey said...

Hi Balisha,
That soup looks delicious! I spotted those Ramen noodles right away. I think the fresh spinach would be just the right ingredient to put this bowl of lusciousness over the top!

I, too, love to make soup on snowy days...I like to do just about any kind of cooking on cold winter days as I look out the window and see big flakes falling to the ground.

Elenka said...

I love soup, too. I don't think I'm as brave as some in concocting my own recipe. Give a a good recipe and I'm good to go!

southernlady64 said...

Well, well, well, looks like I got here just in the nick of time to get my name in the bowl!lol. Your soups looks just absolutely wonderful. Made me hungry to look at it. I have to make something sweet today. I am craving chocolate! You just can't go wrong with soup. I love it. We are getting more snow today, too. I would make soup but I have red beans and rice in the fridge. Watch for that recipe coming up soon.