Snow Blizzard = Soup Salvation.
With the threat of a blizzard approaching, I had two important tasks on my agenda before getting comfortable in the apartment:
1) Pick up the new ram my mom bought me for my Macbook
2) Join the masses at the grocery store to pick up snowed in essentials. I know it sounds foolish, however I went to the least crowded of grocery stores, and literally picked up only necessities: Bread for D’s PB sandwiches, pita chips (which I am now putting a restraining order on myself against these), and soup essentials: carrots, celery, onions, zucchini, and No Chicken broth.
Although I have plans for 2-meals that I have already purchased produce for the week, soup is calling my name and I think it’s because I’m standing on the line between nasty cold and feeling “okay”. So I allowed myself this deviation from the plan. I ended up going to my current un-chicken soup fallback from La Dolce Vegan: “Cindy O’s “Chicken” & Rice Soup for the Soul”.
I’ve made it multiple times before and knew this was the comfort I was craving. I stuck to the recipe, excluding the vital wheat gluten unchicken – while they are entirely tasteless (in a good way), I just see no point in the addition and would rather just add more vegetables, and some “Basic Baking Powder Biscuits” to my soup occasion. The soup really is genius, it is so simple, and so tasty! Whoever (Carol?) thought to add basmati rice specifically, is a real smartypants. All of the flavors jive so well and do a dance in my tummy. I love this soup! D doesn’t quite love it as much as I, but he has texture issues and rice + soup = an “odd” texture. I do recommend cooking the soup longer than the recipe says or the rice will be a bit hard.
I halved the recipe for the biscuits, knowing that the soup generally makes enough for 2 hungry people servings, and there wouldn’t be any left over. I love these biscuits! They are so simple, I generally always have the ingredients on hang, and they taste so legit – complementing the soup perfectly. They go together – I mean while you can have one without the other, why would you?
Today‘s snow coupled with my carbilicious eating habits have kicked my veggie cravings into gear today. My favorite way to consume veggies? Soup. I know, two days in a row! D wasn’t having it and that just meant extra for me. I scoured over some of my go to cookbooks, but was really looking for a recipe with a photo (hey I never said I don’t judge recipes by their photos), and that lead me online. In the past allrecipes.com has really provided me with some spectacular crowdpleasers, and so my quest brought me there, where I came about this minestrone recipe.
Alterations: I halved the recipe to make 4 servings rather than 8, doubled the carrots, doubled the kidney beans to substitute for green beans, subbed and doubled rotini for the pasta, added an additional 1/2 cup of water, used crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, and omitted the parmesan. I also made sure to include the recommended red wine. (FYI: make sure to cut the carrots very thin). I let the soup simmer about an hour to soften the carrots as much as possible. I withdrew about 2 cups of vegetables (mostly thick cut carrots) and blended them, which really thickened up the soup and added some heartiness.
Review? Overall this is a very, very, hearty and healthy soup that is extremely delicious. It may not have been the zuppa I was craving from Florence, but it really hit the spot and all of the vegetable flavors were exactly what I was looking for. One serving was actually too filling for me! And look at the stats for 1 very filling serving:
- Calories: 254.7
- Total Fat: 4.6 g
- Cholesterol: 8.1 mg
- Total Carbs: 41.5 g
- Dietary Fiber: 10.7 g
- Protein: 11.2 g
This soup definitely is a keeper in my “robust vegetable soup” category, and even if D stuck his nose up at soup for a second night (I had to make him some penne alla vodka), I now have 3 meals worth of yummy vegetable goodness!