SNOW + SNOWED IN + the desire for COMFORT (as though the pajamas didn’t fulfill that need?)
Oh and anything with MELTED CHEESE really makes me HAPPY!
I’m a big fan of making comfort food a tad bit “healthier”. Actually, I can’t help myself and sometimes we have to make do with what’s in the cupboard, right? This takes practice. While I can whip some good food up with staple items it’s not always what the husband will eat. For example, had I added spelt berries, as I wanted too, to the soup he would’ve dodged it like I dodge liverwurst. Fortunately for me my kitchen is on “overflow” of ingredients (cause I’m that girl who prepares for snow storms and long weekends). Things one should always have on hand would include beans, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and spinach (well maybe the spinach is just me but that green veggie is just soooo versatile!). Click HERE for another spinach recipe! and HERE for one more.
So, while tomatoes aren’t in season (huge sigh!) this doesn’t mean you can’t use the canned stuff every once and awhile.
SOUPS ON! RECIPE
Serves: Many (at least 4-1 cup servings)
Time: 10 minutes pre-prep + 1 hour cooking
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/2 an onion, chopped (sweet yellow works nicely)
- 4 cloves crushed garlic, minced
- 1-32 oz. container (4 cups) of low sodium chicken broth (can substitute with vegetable broth)
- 1-32 oz. can tomatoes, peeled and crushed
- 1-15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained (or other bean of your choice)
- 1/2 tsp. oregano, dried
- 1 tsp. basil, dried
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, I like spicy!)
- salt + pepper to taste
- spinach, fresh baby, pre-washed (a couple handfuls)
- 1/2 a baguette
- a few slices, Mozzarella, fresh
- fresh basil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Chop Onion and garlic. Set aside.
- With an emersion blender, blender or food processor puree tomatoes, set aside in a bowl.
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat with olive oil for a minute or so.
2. Add onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Add chicken broth, pureed tomatoes and drained beans. Stir to combine.
4. Add spices, stir. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.
5. Add 1/2 cup uncooked pasta, quinoa or other grain once ready to serve (optional!). Cook for another 10-12 minutes. Add fresh spinach and stir (will wilt nicely).
For Crostini (Prepare within 10-15 minutes of serving soup)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice half a baguette into as many pieces as you wish. (I sliced about 6 pieces for two people). Drizzle with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes until slightly browned. Pull out of oven and add sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (not too much, it will melt all over and make a mess), also place a piece of fresh basil on top if you wish, it makes for lovely presentation!
SERVE! and ENJOY!
You can really play with this soup!
- Quinoa (Click HERE for another quinoa recipe) would go nicely in this soup. I didn’t add it this time but 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry, uncooked added for an additional ten minutes would go nicely.
- Substitute other beans such as kidney (red) or black to add color and variety.
- Add more veggies! More is better! If I had celery I would’ve added 2 stalks, chopped.
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