Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Veggie Soup (that kids will eat!)

                                         Veggies and broth, cooking up
                                        After using the immersion blender.
Finished product

Do you wonder what to do with extra veggies?  Although it's almost grilling season, I awoke this morning to wind and cool weather.  No grilling today, but I wanted something easy for dinner.  By easy, I mean, heat and eat, I don't mind putting in some work up front to have a great tasting meal quickly later.

So, I got a bunch of extra veggies I had in the house....we'd had people over this past weekend and I had leftovers from a veggie platter....carrots, celery, bell pepper, I used those, plus 2 onions and then added some olives I had from an open can of olives and some tomatoes.  I added a couple of cups of chicken broth and then a cup or so of water and let the whole thing simmer for an hour or so.

My grandmother used to make a soup like this and I wouldn't eat it.  She  called it "diagonally through the garden".  But, I have a secret weapon my grandmother never had.....an immersion blender!  If I tried to feed this soup to the kids, without the immersion blender, they wouldn't eat it.  But, after simmering for an hour or so, I removed it from the stove and used the hand blender to make it a smooth broth.  

Let me tell you, this broth is awesome!  It has rich depth of flavor and is slightly sweet, from the carrots and bell pepper. Now I could eat it this way but the kids would want more.  (Side note, you could just take this broth and freeze it, then thaw and add things in later for a super easy meal.)  This time, I added some ham and a couple of handfuls of orzo.  I like orzo because it is a pasta, but it's got the texture of barley...so it adds some heartiness to the soup.

This broth is so easy and so versatile.  I could have added say, brats and rice (precook the rice and add just before serving).  Or I could have added chicken (like if I have leftover chicken, not enough for a meal) and string beans.  Well, you get the picture.

You can make the broth from just about any veggies you have in the house, as long as carrots and onion are in there....got spinach, yeah, that works.  Don't like olives?  Leave them out....it's very versatile and very low cost.  But best of all, it's healthy and tastes delicious!