Friday, March 20, 2009

Homemade Soup and a Candy Surprise

Speaking of healing (my last post), I'm going to share my recipe for soup. If any food has healing power, homemade soup certainly does.

See, by the time we moved from Nevada in 1993 I'd become a pretty good cook. Not terrific, but pretty good. But something happened when we arrived here in New York--it's as though my cooking skills never got on the plane! They stayed behind in Nevada.

It was weird.

And ever since, I've never had quite that golden touch with cooking nor baking. But alas, the past few years I've learned to make terrific vegetable lasagna and wonderful vegetable soup. Which is nice, because both of those are what I enjoy calling Something From Nothing Dishes, food you can make when the cupboards are looking pretty darn bare.

Debra's Something From Nothing Vegetable Soup

1. Open your fridge and pull out any pieces of vegetables you can find. Start chopping them up, about 3/4 c. of each, if you have that much of each. I also chop up a small onion.

2. Heat maybe a tablespoon of oil (or less) in a dutch oven pan, add the vegetables and some seasonings (I like garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning). Stir to blend, heat a couple minutes. If you have some frozen vegetables in your freezer, add some of those now. Then if you have some leftover chicken, chop that and add it, stirring to blend. Heat a couple minutes more, but not until anything is mushy.

3. Then I add 7 or 8 cups of filtered water and three "ice cubes" of homemade chicken stock. (After I make chicken stock, I place it in ice trays in the freezer.) Increase heat and bring to a quick boil. Then I decrease the heat to medium and add either a half cup of brown rice or one cup of elbow macaroni (or other noodles). If I have a small can of tomatoes, I add all or half.Then maybe I'll add a tiny bit of salt, or 'essence of salt' as I like to say, and more of the previous spices. Heat until the rice or macaroni is done and either have the soup at that time or simmer at low heat longer.

You don't ever have to be exact with soup-- just play around and make it different each time. Soup is forgiving.... soup is special.... soup is Good Food. :)


My sister and her hubby sent this box of old-fashioned candy from Woodstock Candy to me for my birthday. Quite the yummy trip down Memory Lane and made me feel around 10 again. :) Thanks again, Corrine and Mark!


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I was laughing loudly when I read that your cooking skills never got on the plane...Didn't you ever feel like getting on the plane and going back to look for them? Poor DEb!

I like to make the kind of soup you describe here, (in fact, it may be the only kind of soup I make!) but often I use this sort of process to make lentil soup...Chop up an onion and whatever other vegetables desperately need to be cooked and saute them for a bit, then add seasonings (sometimes I make it very different with curry powder) and a bag of lentils and water to much more than cover. It's quite substantial and my vegetarian son likes it a lot.

My son-in-law from Germany makes fabulous lentil soup - he soaks the lentils overnight (I usually am not thinking that far ahead, but it does somehow make them better) and he begins his soup cooking several slices of bacon cut into little pieces. Yum.....But not good for vegetarians, alas.

What a "sweet" gift from your sister!

Storybook Woods said...

Happy birthday sweetie, I pray this is a year full of dreams, blessings and just plain yummyness. Love Clarice

Jammie J. said...

I laughed, too, about your cooking skills staying in Nevada. What was even funnier was your summary of that situation, "It was weird." Hehehe. You have a great sense of humor. :)

Your box of goodies looks like a lot of fun. What a creative idea! :)