Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Current Obsession: Making... soup?!

Hi everyone! I started school this week so I might not post frequent, but I thought I would share about my current obsession right now. I have fell in love with cooking soups. Why?
- They're simple to make.
- You can make it for lots of people or have lots of leftovers.
- You know what you're putting into it versus the ones you buy in a can or box.
- You can make it as healthy (or not) as you want!
- People will appreciate it as a heartwarming gesture!

I have been making a lot of it since it's the season to get sick, and my boyfriend and I have been doing a lot of sleeping in bed because of it! However, there are lots of health benefits to eating soups as well. I believe that making soups has helped me lose weight, along with cutting out sodas out of my life. I've lost 35lbs in half a year, with 15lbs in just the span of a month!

So instead of something like makeup, I thought I would share recipes!

Chicken soup with matzo balls

What you need:
- Big pot and lid
- 3 hours

Ingredients: 
Chicken stock/soup (if you strain everything you get a stock, if you keep everything it's a soup!)
- Chicken. I usually go for a whole young chicken or half of a regular chicken. Helpful hint: most supermarkets discount these around after 5pm, so most times I can get a whole young chicken for less than $4!
- Water (to cover everything in the pot)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3-4 stalks of celery
- 3-4 carrots
- 1 head of garlic
- 5-10 sprigs of fresh thyme (you can substitute for dried)
- Parsley (as much as you want, you can use either fresh or dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste

Matzo balls are optional, but I recommend them! You can buy them at your local grocery store and follow the directions on the box. Other options for carbs are pasta or rice. You can also opt out of adding carbs and then it'll be a light and healthy meal!

Directions:
- Cut up your chicken, remove the gizzards and innards. Rinse the chicken as well.
- Dice the veggies and mince the garlic.
- Put the chicken, veggies, thyme, parsley and some salt and pepper in your pot and cover everything with water.
- Turn your burner on high, and cover the pot with a lid. Let it start cooking for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, drop the heat down to medium/medium low and let it simmer for the rest of the 2 hours and 30 minutes of cooking time. Keep the lid on. Periodically stir the soup and skim the fat.
- 30 minutes before finishing, take out the chicken bones, chicken skin and thyme sprigs. Shred the chicken by using 2 pairs of tongs and tearing at it. Taste your soup at this point and decide how much more seasoning you want.
- It's finished after the last 30 minutes of cooking! Add your carbs first to the bowl and then pour the soup on top of it.

This next soup I'm featuring is one that I made today, Winter Minestrone, based off of the recipe by Giada de Laurentis. I made some modifications to the recipe depending on what I had available. I will italicize what I changed.

Winter Minestrone
What you need:
- Pot
- 1 hour

Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons of garlic, minced (we like our garlic!)
- 1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 (15-ounce) can Northwestern white beans, drained and rinsed, divided
- Chicken stock (from the chicken soup recipe above, strained), divided
- 1 (1-ounce) Parmesan rind
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Optional:
- Freshly grated Parmesan (since you're buying Parmesan anyways, don't waste it ;D)

Directions:
- Prepare all of your veggies, since this will take the most time to do!
- Heat the burner on medium and put oil in the pot. Once heated, add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic and pancetta. Cook until the onions are transparent, which is around the 10 minute mark.
- Add in the swiss chard and potato and cook for another 2 minutes. Giada suggests adding your seasoning here, but you can wait until you're almost done cooking.
- Put in your canned tomatoes (with liquid) and thyme into the pot. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Open your can of beans and strain it. You will split them up into 3/4 and 1/4. Take 3/4 of the beans and add a bit of your chicken stock to a food processor and puree them. This step will give the soup a creamy texture.
- After the 10 minutes of cooking, add in the pureed bean mixture, enough stock for your soup and the Parmesan rind. Let it cook for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.
- Add in the rest of the beans and parsley at the end of the 15 minutes, and let it cook through. This will be about 2 minutes.
- Remove the sprigs of thyme and the Parmesan rind (if you want). Taste it and add more seasoning.

Everybody happy in the pot!

Do any of you make soup as well? Got any recipes to share? Or maybe you'll get into the art of soup making as well ;)?

10 comments:

  1. Awwww
    Looks sooo yummy~! I need to practice the recipe!
    I always do cake recipes and never do meals>.<

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    1. Cake sounds really good! But it's always good to know how to do meals, especially if you want to save money by not eating out :)

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  2. omg it looks so good! thanks for the post! i've been trying to look for inexpensive ways to eat since i'm on my own! so thank you! can't wait to try these out~

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    1. No problem! Hope these work out for you :D

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  3. It does look quite easy o: But I really don't have any talent at cooking >o<!

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    1. I don't think you need talent at cooking in order to make these, since it's really simple!

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  4. It looks sooo yummy....soup sounds really good now since I'm super cold haha XD I might have to try one or both of these recipes out! Thanks!!

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    1. It's definitely a great season to make soup :D Let me know if you try one of these!

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  5. I love soup too <3
    thanks for sharing the recipes. I really want to try the recipes :D

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    1. Soup is great! Hope you find the time to try your hand at it :D

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