A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Soup… Healthy & Hearty

January 25th, 2004

The holidays are usually a time of excess; plenty of red meat, heavy cream, rich desserts and alcohol. It’s fun, but by the time January arrives, healthy food sounds like a needed change…even if you are not dieting. I find a thick, chunky vegetable soup hits the spot, especially if it’s a little chilly outside. The basic soup below is very easy to make; and it’s also delicious. Note that several optional ingredients have been listed, so you can modify it to reflect your personal tastes.

Main ingredients:

  • 5 cups Swanson chicken broth (99% fat free)
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot, chopped in ½ in. slices
  • 1 1/4 cups celery, chopped in ½ in. slices
  • ½ head cabbage, cut in ½ in. shreds
  • 1 tbs. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 boneless chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 zucchini, cut in ½ in. slices
  • 1 parsnip, cut in ½ in. slices
  • 1 cup cooked egg noodles
  • 1 cup bok choy, chopped in 1/2 in. slices
  • small can water chestnuts, drained & rinsed
  1. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to a pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add salt and pepper (to taste) every time ingredients are added.
  3. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook on medium for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the main ingredients, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Add optional parsnip with the carrots
  6. Add optional zucchini and bok choy with the cabbage
  7. Add cooked chicken, egg noodles, beans and water chestnuts 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve hot.

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