Monthly Archives: April 2014

Versatile Vegetable Soup

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Versatile Vegetable Soup

8 Servings

 

This is such a healthy and easy dish to make. You can really use any kind of vegetables (even frozen though I love the fresh variety) that you wish so almost every ingredient mentioned here is optional. You also can add rice or pasta along with the chick peas; or you can use white beans instead of the chick peas. You can omit the meatballs and use ingredient combinations like pasta or rice plus beans to make a complete protein. (Look online to find the food combinations that make a complete protein.) You can use chicken or vegetable stock instead of beef stock. You can change the Italian slant of this dish a make instead a Mexican one (add enchilada sauce and tortillas) or German (add slice bratwurst) or Indian (add curry seasoning and Nan) or—well I leave it up to you. Just use your imagination and it’ll come out superb and healthy. It’s also a very economical dish and can be served for lunch or dinner; and why not serve it for a very healthy and filling breakfast? Lastly, for the busy ones, if you have a slow cooker, you can cook it in there (5-6 hours on low), leave home and come back to an almost cooked meal. You just have to add the last half hour ingredients when you are home. I love dishes like and this and it’s one that the whole family can participate in—including of course the kids.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 onion, finely sliced
  2. 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  3. 3 Tblsp. olive oil
  4. 1/4 head cabbage, rough chopped
  5. 6 Brussels sprouts, sliced
  6. 1/2 to 3/4 head of Boston lettuce, rough chopped
  7. 1 C. Swiss chard, chopped
  8. 1 C. spinach, chopped (or a 10 oz. package of frozen spinach)
  9. 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
  10. 1/2 (or more) large head of broccoli, finely chopped
  11. 8-10 cups beef stock
  12. S&P to taste
  13. 1/2 to 1 Tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  14. 1/4 C. sherry, Madera or Marsala (optional)
  15. 1 bay leaf
  16. One small basket of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  17. 1 small can of chick peas, drained and rinsed in cold water
  18. Ground beef, chicken or turkey to make into meatballs (see ingredients needed and instructions below)
  19. 8 oz. shelled fresh peas or frozen ones
  20. 6 slices coarse country-style bread which has been rubbed with garlic and toasted in the oven. (optional)
  21. Shaved Parmesan
  22. 1 Tblsp. chopped parsley

Instructions for the soup:

  1. In a large pot, warm the olive oil and then sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the ingredients numbering 4 through 10 and cook gently, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the ingredients numbering from 11 to 15, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours.
  4. Add the ingredients numbering from 16 to 18 for one more 1/2 hour.
  5. Serve over the optional French bread and/or topped with the shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley.

To make the meatballs you’ll need the following ingredients:

  1. 1/2 lb. ground beef, turkey or chicken
  2. 1 beaten egg
  3. 1/2 to 3/4 C. Italian or plain bread crumbs
  4. 1 dash of tobacco

Instructions for forming the meatballs:

Mix everything together till not too soppy and form into one-inch diameter meatballs.

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