Tag Archives: soup

Why Does No One Listen…No More Snow!!!

Ok, so I hate to be a complainer…well Ok, I complain a lot!  But I’m pretty much over this whole snow thing!  I have things I need to do today and I don’t feel like doing them in the snow.  Ok, it IS pretty…

It even makes my funky back yard look like a wonderland!

I get it…it’s pretty…enough already!

I realize it seems like I’ve been food shopping a lot lately, but sadly my old brain forgets what I need.  I’ve decided my best bet with the ancient beans is to make soup, however, I need to get carrots, onions and celery to make it.  I went through my supply when I made Ralph’s turkey soup yesterday.  The whole process went well, but I decided I didn’t really need photos of chopped up turkey on a blog focused on vegetarian eating.  I talked enough about it the day I cooked the turkey.  It turns out that chopping up cooked turkey is less disgusting than preparing a raw turkey…ugh…did I just say that? 😦 But it’s true and the fact that I saved all of the cooking juices makes a huge difference in the flavor of the soup. (I think! ) I had a momentary corn emergency yesterday morning when I thought I was out of it, but I found another bag lurking in the back of the freezer.  Ralph declared it…Delicious!  Good thing too because there’s a ton of it to be eaten!  He’s got a bad cold so soup is good for him…I realize it’s not chicken soup, but it’s close enough.  As my dear father in law used to say…”Chicken is nothing but a bird.”  Not sure what that meant but it makes me smile to remember it. 🙂

Ok, enough bird talk here, let’s get to something wonderful that I love!  At the produce place over the weekend, I got a LOT of apples, because they would be good snacks and I thought I might bake them as a good healthy, low point dessert.  Yesterday I tried something I’d never done before: I cut up an apple and put it in my oatmeal.  I didn’t think I’d be so excited about it so I didn’t take any photos yesterday so I had to recreate the scene of the crime this morning. 

It’s my traditional mix up:

1/2 cup quick oats

1 Tbsp of chia seeds

1 Tbsp of ground flax seeds

1 & 1/4 cups of water (I used to just use 1 cup but I’ve found when using the chia seeds, they like to suck it up, so I now add extra.)

Lots o’ cinnamon

Used my trusty apple corer thingy to cut the apple.  Since this is just the re-creation of the scene, I’m not going to chop it yet because I’m not ready to eat and I don’t want it to get all brown and icky! 😉

Now we’re back live to yesterday’s actual oatmeal…

Yummy….

I added Splenda and 1/2 cup Almond Breeze (which I continue to LOVE!)

I microwave my oatmeal and I give it 1 minute 3 times.  I do that because I’ve found that my particular microwave will sometimes bubble over if you do it for the full time to start.  The neat thing is that in the microwaving, the apples retained a little of their crunchiness but were also creamy.  Sometimes, my experiments actually turn out well! 🙂

It looks like it might have stopped snowing.  I guess I need to get myself up and going if I’m ever going to get what I need for that darned bean soup!  Film at Eleven!

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I Have a Receipt for That!

On Sunday when I went grocery shopping, I realized that the Can-Can sale had started.  For those of you not from this area, Shoprite has a sale every year where all canned goods are reduced.  I usually stock up on my beans and canned tomatoes, but I decided when it comes to beans…I’m going to give the old-fashioned way a try.

Beans in the Bag!

I’ve used them before, but usually just for specific recipes…this time I’m going hard-core, I’m going to cook all of my beans! 🙂  I have more time now and it’s cheaper, even when the canned beans are on sale!  I recently made the realization that I can cook them in the crock pot…why did I never think of that on my own?!? Anyway, that’s my way to go now.  I’ve got lots of ideas I’ll be sharing.  My first one is Lima Bean Soup.  This is a recipe that my sister Ele gave me years ago.  It’s was a page ripped out of Family Circle Magazine literally…

It’s dog-eared and spotted and this is another one I’ve copied over and over to share with friends.  It’s dated 1991 (yipes! 20 years ago!) and apparently part of this article was to show you how to cook economically.  Well, this soup is stated to cost 38 cents per serving.  ( does it annoy anyone else that keyboards no longer have the symbol for “cent”??)

Here’s the recipe!

LIMA BEAN SOUP

1 carrot sliced

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes (you can use regular diced tomatoes-I did)

2 cups bean cooking liquid (I think this is very important for taste)

2 cups chopped cabbage

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups cooked lima beans (2/3 cup dried lima beans)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Saute carrot and onion in oil in medium size saucepan to tender crisp.  Add tomatoes, reserved bean cooking liquid, cabbage, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Cover Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add lima beans and parsley. Heat.

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As with any recipe, after working with it, you adjust it to your own preference. I got my beans ready to soak the night before…

Added the water…

…and let them do what they do…

In the morning, they were all puffed up and ready for the magic to begin…

They cooked…I usually hear that you cook them for 45 minutes, but I like to cook them longer, because I like them nice and soft in my soup.  I probably cooked them for an hour and 15 minutes.  Test them and you can decide when they’re right for you.

After the beans are cooked, drained and the cooking liquid saved, I started the soup. (that was a BIG onion!)

After the cooking elves do their thing, it looks like this…

I realize that it looks a lot like the pasta e fagioli I made last week, but trust me, it’s a different soup!  I want to make one comment on the recipe.  I believe that the intention of the recipe was for you to use fresh chopped parsley (hence the direction “chopped”)  In my haste to make it the first time, I missed that little detail and instead added a 1/4 cup of “dried” parsley…

Could have been a catastrophe, right?  Well, I like to think of it as a Happy Accident as artist Bob Ross used to say.   I think those happen in cooking and many times we just have to go with them.  I didn’t realize the mistake until after we’d eaten the entire pot of soup and loved it!  Actually, I think it adds a really unique flavor to the soup.  It’s up to you which way you’d like to go. 

The title of my post comes from the fact that when we were growing up, my Grandmother would refer to recipes as “receipts.” Apparently that’s what they were called many years ago and I’ve heard them called that in watching shows on the History Channel.  It’s a fun thing to carry on in Gram’s memory and Ele and I usually refer to them as “receipts” when sharing and discussing them.  The sad thing that I think happens with so many families, the recipes we remember from childhood where never written down and we spend our lives searching for ones that live up to what we remember.  Fortunately, Ele knows the recipe for Grandmom’s devil’s food cake with lemon icing.  A few years ago, she asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and I told her that one.  She was able to make it without a blink of her eye.  I’ll share that secret at another time, but I’m thinking about it right now and I may have to make one soon.  If I could only figure out the “receipt” for Aunt Kate’s coffee…then I’d be all set!

Let’s Get This Show on the Road

I started the morning  (or I guess I should say the day since I didn’t eat until about noon!) with one of my finds from yesterday at Trader Joe’s…

Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal.  It has rye, barley, oats and wheat and it’s yummy!!  In order to see what I thought of the flavor of the cereal itself, I didn’t add much.  I also cheated (I suppose…) and made it in the microwave.  I just added a touch of cinnamon (my new best friend), Splenda and some Almond Breeze almond milk.  It was really good.  I’m going to try it again tomorrow and jazz it up a bit, maybe with honey, but the flavor of the cereal itself is so good, I don’t think it needs much extra.  I’m also enjoying the almond milk which I just started using last week.  I used the unsweetened plain and I really like it.  Thanks to Kristen for suggesting I give it a try.  I’m thinking of trying it in my coffee tomorrow to see how I like it.  I’m really picky about coffee, so we’ll see how that goes.  But as for the cereal…if I need a snack tonight, that may be it!  Now I have one more thing that I need to stock up on from TJ’s before we move…oh the pressure!!

Since there was snow again, about 3 or 4 inches I decided that I needed to make soup!  I really haven’t made any this winter yet and I need to get back to it.  Soup is one of the things that has always helped me to stay on track with my weight during winters past.  It’s filling, I know how to figure it out because I made it and I just love doing it so there are many levels of enjoyment involved.  Since I didn’t feel like going out in the snow to get anything I went with an old tried and true.

The recipe card is old and battered and originally came from Weight Watchers.  You can’t see in the photo, but the fine print says 1999.  That year the program gave you a recipe each week as part of your materials.  This was Week Two and is one of my favorites.  I’ve used it over and over again, which is why the card is so sad-looking!  I’ve also photocopied it to share with many people.  I like it because it’s delicious and it’s so darned easy!   I do make some adjustments for flavor so I’ll give you WW’s recipe and then explain my version.

PASTA E FAGIOLI (PASTA AND BEANS) Makes 4 servings

1 (16 oz) can Italian-style cruised or whole Italian-style tomatoes (finely chopped)

1 (19 oz) can kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

3 cups cooked pasta or 3/4 cup dry pasta

3 cups of water.

1. Place all ingredients in medium saucepan

2. Simmer for 10 minutes, if using cooked pasta, or until dry pasta is fully cooked.  Add enough water to just cover the pasta.

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I truly cannot understand how anyone could consider making soup of any kind, especially Italian soup without garlic, onions or some seasonings, so here is my version.

Spray the pot with olive oil cooking spray.  Saute a chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic.  This can be at your discretion, make it how you like it.  I also add a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper.  I’m not much for salt so add to taste and I love pepper so I add a lot.  I also use dried Italian seasonings and I’m pretty liberal with it.  I DO NOT like kidney beans but I do love cannellini beans so that’s what I used.  I’ve also used garbanzo beans and great northern.  I’d say that any bean would work well here, based on your preference. I’ve always added the dry pasta at this point and let it cook. I also add probably at least 1/2 cup more of water, maybe a little more.

I’ve found that it’s better to not add the frozen mixed veggies until the pasta has cooked.  If you do, the veggies get all soggy and lose their color.  If you’ve pre-cooked the pasta, you could add them all at once.  Usually I will add about twice the veggies they suggest because I like a heartier soup.  Your result will look something like this…

As I’ve said, this is one of my favorites.  I’m really excited thinking about several of my other favorites that I’ll be able to share here.  Some of them I’ve never written down so I’m going to have to figure them out in order to share them. I’ll figure them out.  One thing I don’t have to figure out…the soup smells wonderful and I don’t have to share it with anyone else…except Ralph.  Hey, Honey…Soup’s On!!