Friday, December 09, 2005

Off-the-shelf & Out-of-the-fridge Soup

Eating soup all the cold week!

Now, my gourmet sisters are probably gonna chuckle at my simple-minded glee at discovering that really good soup is available quickly and easily from just what happens to be around. (Be kind Jan, Joan, Carol, Debi, and Beth. And David has become something of a chef as well: I guess I'm last to this game.) It's so easy, and probably obvious to them, but revolutionary and novel to me, and an integral part of my Slow Motion Diet (Make checks payable to Alone On A Limb for more information on the sure fire, no pain, eat your way to health and happiness, Slow Motion Diet. I'm down 22 libbies so far.)

Since cool weather came around again, I’ve been making these impromtu soups. I have really enjoyed them. Basically, I have been combining low-fat, low-sodium canned broth with whatever is in the pantry and/or leftover in the fridge, that might make a pleasing combination.
The first one started out to be Black Beans with Rice but it became a soup that Lillian and I liked and Sheila accepted.

A hunk of onion chopped
A clove of garlic chopped and squished
A couple of handsful of sliced mushrooms
A little olive oil
A can of black beans
A can of tomatoes and chilies - I used Ro-Tel mild.
A can of low sodium, fat-free chicken broth
A couple or three handsful of cooked rice
A few dashes of non-salt seasoning, like Mrs. Dash
A little water
A few dollops of low fat plain yogurt
A handful of shredded cheddar
A garnish of chopped green onion

In a large saucepan sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. I just used a little spray olive oil “Pam” to coat them.
Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, rice and seasoning and simmer over medium heat. Taste frequently and add water to achieve the desired consistency.

Add a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of cheese and a little green onion to each steaming bowl full. Serve with corn muffins, cheese toast, or a few crackers.

Since then I have tried different combinations. I have liked them all. And I get to totally leave out the stuff I don't want, like English Yuck Peas and Green Yuck Beans. And I get to really pour on the on(yum)ions and to(yum)matoes and mush(yum)rooms! A can of chicken breast always helps. A dash of hot sauce can't hurt. Left-over pasta? Toss it in. Water chesnuts add crunch. Different beans. No beans. More tomatoes. Less mushrooms. More mushrooms. Less tomatoes. Let your imagination soar! For some reason I'm at a point when I prefer a sorta transparent, watery but spicy base with good sized chunks of veggies floating around in it.

Bon appetit!

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