Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vegetable Soup

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.

A vegetable soup.

As promised.

Because it's pretty.

And healthy.

And because cabbage was on sale last week.

And because it's spring and the parsley is popping up through the leaves in my herb garden. (It's the little guy on the left.)

But also because ever since I stopped nursing my baby about a month ago, I've had a sharp--sharp, I say--decline in appetite. I've always noticed a shift in the amount of food I need when I stop nursing my babies, but I've never noticed such a dramatic drop. I can only blame the mid-30-something birthday that is just around the corner for ruining my youthful metabolism.

Whatever the cause, I've lately been almost inclined to skip lunch entirely, or rather postpone it till 2:00 or so, which wouldn't so much matter if I were French and wouldn't even think of eating dinner until 8:00 or 9:00, but in a house where we dine at 5:00, well, you get my point. My body is just off. And it's not needing as many calories as I'm used to eating. And I'm trying to humor it. Because if I've learned one thing from bearing offspring, it's that you should listen to your body when it's trying to tell you something. So I made vegetable soup. And ate it at a normal American lunching hour. And it was very very good. And then I was starving at 3:00. Hmm. Bring on the crusty bread.

Now before I get to the recipe, allow me to blabber on about it.

First of all, I just throw everything in a pot. You could do this in a slow cooker too. It comes out great this way and I have no complaints and eat it greedily.

Could you saute the onion and then garlic in oil and add the veggies and saute them for a minute before adding the broth? Absolutely. Would it make it even better? Quite possibly so. I'm just too lazy to do it. I use this as a sort of lazy vitamin boost/brownie detoxification/not-too-hungry sort of soup and I don't make it a gourmet affair. Could you make it perfectly divine? Yes.

Along that line:

You could roast these vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper with a sprinkle of lemon juice on it all to brighten it up, and I expect get an even better result than I do.

You could add Italian seasonings and even a little Italian sausage.

You could add white beans and make more of a meal of it.

You could add a bit of salsa, chicken, and lime juice.

You could add asian greens and ginger.

You could swap the chicken broth out for vegetable broth and make it purely vegetarian.

You could do a whole lot with this soup.

But I don't. Forgive me.

Vegetable Soup
Serves (in this house, it serves only me over and over again): 10-12
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes (or more if you're busy and just want to let it simmer)
Cost: $2.85
(cabbage: .75, tomatoes--free for me since canned from last summer's harvest, but otherwise would be about .1.25, onion: .20, carrot: .10, celery: .20, garlic: .05, broth--free for me, but if you don't have any homemade will cost about .30 from bullion)

2 lb head of cabbage (a small to medium sized one)
1 C diced carrots (1 large)
5-6 celery stalks
1 small onion
29 oz. tomatoes (diced or whole or even Italian style)
2-3 cloves garlic
2 C chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
small handful parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Chop vegetables and throw them in a pot. Pour broth over it. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.


1 comment:

  1. Ooooh good reminder post. Just checked out Planting a Rainbow and Eating the Alphabet today from the library. I think we'll make vegetable soup now that cold weather is coming back. ;)



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