I’ve been in a soup kind of mood lately. All of a sudden. I think there are a couple of reasons. One is this great new cookbook that a friend sent to me. She was telling me about it and I told her she’d have to share recipes and the next thing I knew there was a cookbook on my front porch. From Amazon. She ordered it. And here it is!
12 Best Foods Cookbook. When I asked my friend what the 12 foods were, she ordered me a book. And if you squint really hard and are not reading this blog on your Smartphone, you can probably figure them all out! Healthy things. I was happy to know that they were things I was already eating. And now I have a cookbook full of recipes. So I had to try them out.
The other reason that I was in the mood for soup was wishful thinking. I was hoping that pretending that Fall was just around the corner would make the temperature lower here in Texas. Fat chance. Although I did hear that a cold front is supposed to come through tomorrow. If you consider 94° cold. I’m happy to settle for just less hot. Perhaps cold is on its way?
See? Wishful thinking.
And apparently when you buy a used book from Amazon, you never know where it will arrive from. Thank you San Diego Public Library!
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been in a blogging desert lately. I’m out of the habit. I’m missing it a lot. Being out of the habit, I forget things. Like pictures. Oh, you have noticed? I’m so sorry. I’ll try to do better. Really, I will.
The first soup I tried from my new cookbook was Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup. And man was it yummy. Dear Hubby declared it so instantly. After just one bite. I’ll be making this one again. Maybe next time I’ll remember to take some pictures?
Please pretend there are ingredients in this pan. Lovely soup ingredients. Imagine celery, onion, leeks and carrots all sizzling away in the pan. Can you see them there? I’m a hopeless excuse for a blogger these days.
Now picture cabbage and kale being thrown in. See how healthy it is? Can you see it? Picture the veggies after they’ve been steamed and have given up their juices. That’s exactly what the recipe says “cook tightly covered until the vegetables have given up their juices, 5 minutes.” Apparently forcing those veggies to let go really makes for a delicious soup.
Next picture………oh, nevermind. A link to the recipe for the delicious Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup will be included at the end of this blog. I’m moving on to Soup #2. Because I did remember to take pictures of that one!
Soup #2 is Black Bean Minestone and it was yummy too. This one uses Swiss chard. I’m all about getting our daily serving of greens into our tummies any way possible these days.
You start with leeks, celery, carrots and onion for this one. Very similar to Soup #1! One medium leek, just the white part, halved and sliced; one rib of celery, thinly sliced; one medium carrot, thinly sliced; one chopped onion.
By the way, please notice my new cutting board. My Dear Niece bought it for me when she and my Dear Sis visited in July. I love my new bamboo cutting board!
Throw them all in a pot with 1 tablespoon of sizzling olive oil. See you can picture them cooking! Cook them until the onion is translucent over medium-high heat. It should take about 4 minutes. Then throw in a garlic clove that you have minced in the 4 minutes that the other stuff was cooking. And cook for 3 minutes more, stirring often.
Add 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, 3 cups of coarsely chopped Swiss chard, 1 medium potato, cubed, 6 tomatoes, seeded & diced and a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste. Simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
Add a can of black beans, drained and rinsed. The recipe calls for a cup, but I just threw in the whole can. We like beans at our house. And black beans are one of the 12 Best Foods. I figured you can’t eat too many. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the beans are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
That’s it! Oh, wait. I have a picture of the final product in the bowl.
Healthy. Very healthy. And equally yummy.
How about a close up of the spoon? Just before I took a nice big bite. Good stuff.
On to Soup #3! Are you souped out yet? Too bad. You’re getting one more. I’m all about giving you choices today.
Soup #3 is Scotch Oatmeal Soup. Who knew you could put oatmeal in a soup? It’s actually steel-cut oats and I will use them again in other soups. They add a nice crunchy-ness and thicken up the broth really well. And if you didn’t know what it was, you’d probably think it was rice. Or some other grain. Oh, wait! It is some other grain!
Steel-cut oats. Not just for breakfast any more.
This time you use canola oil. Heat it over medium-high heat. Throw in one chopped leek (this might be my new favorite soup ingredient), one sliced carrot and one chopped onion. Stir to coat everything with the oil. Then throw the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to medium and let them cook and “release their juices,” about 10 minutes.
Next you’ll need 1/2 a cabbage. This is Savoy cabbage. I needed it for Soup #1. And although Soup #3 just called for cabbage, this is what I had. It says to quarter it, remove the core and then slice it into 1/2″ strips. I think my slices might have been a bit smaller. You know us quilters. The only measurement we know is a scant 1/4″. I don’t think it was terribly important in the grand scheme of things.
Mix the cabbage in the pot, cover and cook until the cabbage is wilted, 8-10 minutes.
I peeked at about 7 minutes to see how wilted it was. How are you supposed to tell with the pot covered?
Next you add in a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, 4 cups vegetable stock, 1/2 cup steel-cut oats, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 tsp salt. Then season to taste with coarse black pepper. At our house that means about 6 tablespoons. Not really. But we do like our pepper!
Stir this all together and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the oats are cooked and the cabbage is tender.
The oats caused the soup to thicken quite nicely. Dear Hubby likes thicker soup, not the broth-y kind. This is destined to become one of our favorites!
Here it is in my bowl. Right before I took a nice big bite.
I mean, after all. I had to be The Official Taste Tester, now didn’t I? And I declared it yummy too.
Here’s a link to each recipe – for easy printing.
I can hardly wait to move on to other things in this cookbook. I got a little stuck on Chapter 3 – Soups. I’m also anxious to try Sweet Potato Carrot Soup. And Salmon & Creamed Corn Chowder. But I’m equally excited to try Garlic Roasted Tomatoes. And Salmon Fried Rice. Or how about Mexican Chicken Stew with Black Beans?
Who knows? Maybe Fall will be here before we know it.
P.S. The 12 Best Foods in case you couldn’t read them on the book cover are: blueberries, black beans, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, salmon, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, chocolate, walnuts, soy and onions. The author gives you fabulous information about each food in Chapter 1. And the foreword was written by Dr. Oz! Great book. I have the best friends.