Making Soup for ADD Nutrition
First, I use what I have on hand. Checking in the fridge is a good first step. I usually make soup right before we do a shopping trip. Today my fridge yielded 4 carrots, a dozen mini-peppers, 3 ribs of celery, a hand full of parsley, Romaine lettuce, and a large onion. The garden had a couple of cups of green cherry tomatoes that had been frosted this morning. I put those with my salvaged veggies. I also had several cups of cooked mixed beans, actually 6 cups of beans. In the freezer, I had about 10 cups of broth. Some was veggie broth that I buy at Costco. I also had chicken broth from those times when I buy rotisserie chicken. After we eat as much chicken as we want, I throw the chicken carcass into a couple of gallons of water with onion and celery. I cook it for about 12 hours. Yummy broth!!
There are several ways that I deal with the broth. Sometimes I buy quarts of it from ALDI or Costco. At various times I use this store bought chicken or vegetable broth. Other times I use my trusty "Better than Bouillon" to make a chicken broth. If I want a beefy flavor, I can add a packet of onion soup mix. Then, there are those occasions where I go all the way and make real broth.
For beef bone broth, you need a butcher who will sell you the beef marrow bones or neck bones. Brown the bones in the oven. Put them in a lot of water and cook them for 12-24 hours. Don't boil them dry! Keep adding water. Chicken broth is easy. Costco sells three pound already cooked rotisserie chickens. I buy one or two a month. Each chicken provides several meals, then I turn the carcass into broth. I put it in a gallon of water with onion and celery trimmings. Then, I cook it for 4-8 hours. Keep adding water until you get tired of watching it cook. At the end, I strain the veggies and bones out, then I freeze it for later use.
Vegetable broth is made by saving your washed trimmings from veggies during the month. Save the celery, onion, pepper, carrot, mushroom, lettuce, and potato trimmings. Just pop the trimmings into a gallon size freezer bag that you store in the freezer. They don't need to be any particular size. When the bag is full and you have a little time, put the trimmings into at least a gallon of water. Cook for a couple of hours. For all of these broths, add salt and pepper to taste. I like the taste of seasoned salt. If you have a large stock pot, ingredients, water, and some time, making your own broth is not mysterious. It is easy and tasty!
The proportions of your soup ingredients are up to the family cook. For vegetable soup, I like to use about the same amount of veggies and broth. When I want a tomato-type broth, I add V-8 to the broth at the end of the cooking time.
For this week's soup, I used what came out of my fridge and garden. That was 4 carrots, a dozen mini-peppers, 3 ribs of celery, a hand full of parsley, Romaine lettuce, a large onion, a couple of cups of unripe cherry tomatoes, and a large hand full of fresh parsley. I roughly chopped everything and got about 6-8 cups of veggies.
I sautéed the chopped veggies for 10 minutes in some olive oil. At the end of the sauté, I added some dried parsley, herbs de Provence, and cilantro and stirred them into the veggies. I poured the veggies into my 8 cups of boiling broth. After cooking the veggies for 25 minutes, I turned the heat off. I added 2 cans of canned chopped stewed tomatoes and 8 cups of cooked beans. The beans were cold to help cool down the soup.
I put the whole pan into my sink that had ice water in it. After stirring the soup occasionally to help the heat dissipate, the soup was cool enough to put into containers. Four quarts went into the freezer for later use. I placed 3 quarts into the fridge for meals this week. We can have soup with salad or a sandwich. It can also be used as a first course.
For people with ADD, soup is a real blessing. Soup is a delicious way to put nutritious food on the table quickly. You can tailor the soup to your family's tastes, while minimizing food waste. Clear the old food out of your fridge in one swoop, and make a delicious soup! There is something satisfying about sitting down to a hearty bowl of soup, especially when the whole family has worked together to make it.
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