Thursday, January 19, 2017

Soups On!

When it's time to make dinner and no one wants to eat what you were planning to make, it's easy to want to dash to the drive-thru. But, if you can get through the initial dismay and frustration, there is a fairly quick alternative. It has worked every time I have thought of it. On these emergency occasions I am glad to have chicken stock and prepared beans in my pantry because this is the best time to make up a new soup or throw together an old reliable like chicken noodle. Soup is such a versatile and nourishing dinner, whip up some biscuits or cornbread and it becomes comfort food. If you have a hard time getting vegetables into your family's bellies, soup is the perfect vehicle to get the job done.
It's easy to make soup without a recipe if you know the basics. Start with fat and cook your meat, onion and other vegetables. If you want to thicken the broth, now is the time to add some flour and let the rue cook a minute or two before adding the liquid. Next add seasonings and let it simmer at least five minutes. Enrich with butter or cream, garnish and serve. It takes some practice, but not too much, you can start to understand at what point to add each item so you don't overcook any one thing. Always taste and adjust seasoning just before adding enrichment.
Tonight was a successful inspiration, I browned some frozen hamburger patties diced onion, a diced tomato, and green bell pepper, threw in some Navy beans, stock and a dash of Chipotle. Enriched with butter and accompanied with a slice of sourdough bread and a sliced avocado on top. This creative brainstorm was a hit with my picky boys.
Sometimes its chicken noodle soup if I have leftover chicken, next time it could be creamy potato soup with kale and elbow macaroni. I just depends on what you are in the mood for and what you have on hand. I'm calling soup my go to fail-safe for last minute real food dinner and keeping my pantry stocked with the basics. Good luck, and have fun creating your masterpiece.

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