Do you remember those Campbell soup commercials where the actors sit down in front of a piping hot bowl of soup? Endless snow is all you see through the large window pane behind them. But boy are they warm and satisfied.
That’s where I tried to go today – minus the snow. There’s no snow where we live. We live in a funny (lovely) place. It’s February and every day last week we were treated to nearly 70-degree weather. That was last week. This week it has been raining, hailing and windy. Not Chicago windy. But cold enough to make my bones ache a bit and for my soul to cry out for some steamy homemade soup.
Now, Rice Kernel, before you stop reading and head out to buy your can of Campbell’s soup, let me offer some benefits of the homemade version. Foremost, you control the ingredients so there are no preservatives, fillers or artificial ingredients. (Please, you cannot tell me that’s chicken. Fast food chicken can’t be the real thing. Did I tell you McDonald’s “chicken” starts out as pink puddy? No? I know I’ve told your father – go ask him.) You also control the salt and fat content. With the ingredients on our soup list, the homemade version has a host of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. It’s warming and soothing on a cold winter’s day. And, best of all, it’s a speedy meal. Now please don’t tell me you’re that lazy, Rice Kernel….
My typical go-to recipes are either a basic chicken broth (with the kitchen fridge emptied in) or a fire roasted, diced, canned tomato-based vegetable soup. I had the former on hand, courtesy of my mother-in-law, and didn’t feel like the latter. So I figure we’d spice up our dreary week with some aromatics and a hefty helping of antioxidants.
- 4 cups homemade chicken broth (no salt added, preferably)
1/2 – 1 cup cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots
1/4 cup corn kernals (I used frozen)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
Large bunch of leafy greens, your choice (Mustard greens and spinach were available in our garden)
1 TBSP cilantro, chopped
1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp curry powder
1 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP plain yogurt (I used nonfat Greek yogurt)
Olive oil or butter for saute
- 1 cup rice
1 cup sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- Add a couple tablespoons butter or oil in a large pot, set over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute for several minutes, until translucent.
- Stir in spices, garlic and ginger. Cook for another minute.
- Add the remaining vegetables and stock. (If you wish to round out the meal, add garbanzo beans and rice/sweet potatoes here.) Heat to a boil and then simmer at medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Add soy sauce, pepper and yogurt. Adjust seasonings as necessary. If you’re in the mood to splurge, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream or coconut milk.