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from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Saturday, October 25, 2003  

Sipping Your Veggies
Fast soups for the winter

Last night's dinner, fast, warm, filling, comforting, yummy, nourishing: Soup. You don't have to hang on to the notion that homemade soup takes a long time. It doesn't always, it doesn't have to, although when you are home, taking all day to make a great soup is one of the great luxuries of life.

Today I'm on the subject of fast soups. If you don't own one already, I recommend investing in or putting on your holiday gift list a very sturdy hand blender.

Experiment with almost any chopped up veggies in a soup pot, cover with water, veggie, fish, chicken or beef stock, beer or wine, coconut milk, tea or juice, or some combination of these. Simmer gently until the veggies are tender, then blend it all to a nice soupy consistency, adding more liquid, if necessary. Some half -and-half if you're not dairy wary, and finish with some interesting spices. These soups do well garnished with croutons, or a dollop of whole-fat yogurt, a sprinkling of shaved cheese, a handful of nuts on top.

Chefs I know will wonder at my method. But remember, these soups are not necessarily intended for company, but for comfortable, delicious, nutritious eating when you're tired or just too busy and need good food fast. Or when you need your veggies and you're too tired to even chew another salad.

Last night's version: Left over Brussels sprouts that had already been sliced thin and sautéed with garlic. I tossed those into a pan with a yam I'd peeled and sliced into very thin slices. Covered these with chicken stock and let them all simmer until the yams were tender. Five minutes, seven tops. After blending them together, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of salt finished the soup.

I look for and stock up on meat and vegetable stocks without too much added salt or preservatives, and aspire to make my own and freeze them, but it hasn't happened yet. Don't know when it will. But often I just use water, because the veggies themselves taste great prepared simply.

This was a 15-minute prep-time soup. It warmed me up all over, satisfied my need for spice and flavor, gave me another of my 5 servings of veggies for the day and all the great nutrients that yams provide. Good stuff. Filling.

Veggies that work really well: asparagus, broccoli, carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, spinach, roasted peeled peppers, turnips, parsnips, yams, leeks, eggplant, tomatoes, cauliflower, butternut squash, beets, summer squashes, peas.

Lentils and beans cooked very tender will whiz up with other veggies, too.

Watch out when mixing your colors, especially when mixing your orange and green veggies. It's better to double the orange ones in this case, or your soup will not be a pretty sight. It will still taste great, but you may want to eat by candlelight.

Bon blending,


A good hand blender

A nicer, much fussier version when you have the time

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posted by Julie |
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