The Beauty of Vegetable Soup: It’s Healthy, Wholesome, and can be Homemade

chicken-vegetable-soupProbably most of you don’t think of making soup as worthy subject for study, but I have one daughter-in-law who lost her mom at 13 and didn’t learn to cook (although she’s a great cook now). I’ll never forget her joy the first time she served up home made soup. So, for those of you who think soup only comes from a can, I want to mention that making soup can be fun and easy, and it’s a low-cal way of making a filling meal. According to the Weight Watchers Diet, vegetable soup is pretty much “free.” You can eat a bowl of hot vegetable soup any time you’re feeling hungry. What a deal!

So, how do you make soup? The easiest way is to chop up some of whatever fresh veggies you have on hand (minus lettuces and cucumbers, which turn to wilted mush immediately, or beets…unless you like everything to look red) and throw them in a pot with water and some salt and let it simmer until done. If you’ve got a little more time, start by sautéing some of the firmer veggies (like onions, garlic, and carrots) in a bit of butter or oil, and then gradually add other veggies, cover with water, add seasonings, and simmer until all the veggies are tender…usually at least a half an hour.

If you want soup to be your main entrée, then I think it’s good to add some type of meat. For years I made soup on Monday nights, using the left overs and drippings from our Sunday roast (chilled in the refrigerator overnight with almost all the fat scrapped off the top before using it). Monday “Soup Night” is no longer standard in our home, but I still like to reserve any broth from roasting meat. Otherwise, you can always buy commercial beef or chicken bouillon cubes to add for flavor, but I think of that as a last resort due to preservative issues.

At any rate, if you want to make a pot of soup, it’s as easy as simmering your favorite veggies with water and spices. If you haven’t ever made a pot of home made soup, I hope you try it sometime!

A few favorite veggies for soup: onions, carrots, peas, beans, corn, tomatoes (if it’s winter you can always throw in a can of stewed tomatoes), cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, zucchini, kale, summer squash, pepper, mushrooms

A few favorite spices: salt and pepper (without which there’s practically no flavor), minced or powdered onion and garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, chives, Monterrey Steak seasoning (or your favorite, particularly if you’re using some bits of beef in your soup), Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (or your favorite, particularly if you’re using chicken…sage and thyme also compliment chicken well)

Happy souping. I know some of you are soup aficionados, like Charylene. If you have a favorite recipe to share, please add it in the comment section below! Thanks.  🙂

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:12-17; I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m pretty sure most of us would be healthier if we ate more veggies and less meat.)

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