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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Welcome to the Month of Soup-uary

I've had soup everyday of this month, everyday for lunches and several evenings for dinners. This began the week that my sinus infection was brewing. The day I went to urgent care, my daughter made a large batch of chicken, garlic, onion, and herb soup for our dinner. I was at the point of not wanting to move my mouth to chew or talk due to pain. So, she strained the liquid for me to slurp and set aside about a quart of this very flavorful broth for me to enjoy over the coming days.


To add variety and nutrients, I began adding some cooked veggies to a cup of the broth then pureed all in the smoothie blender, giving me an easy-to-make cream of veggie soup (minus the dairy, of course). This worked so well that when I'd finished my daughter's broth, I made another batch of chicken, garlic, onion, and herb thin soup for making additional pureed veggie soups this week.


I vary the soup each day by choosing a different cooked veggie. I try to use up leftover cooked vegetables from the previous night's dinner. For example, one evening I had leftover roasted onions, potatoes, and pumpkin cubes. I used these veggies the next day along with some frozen spinach, pureeing all with about a cup of the chicken broth. 


Another day, I had leftover buttered, steam carrots to use up. So I pureed those in more of the chicken liquid, thickening with some instant mashed potatoes.


The smoothie blender was from a free pile at my husband's office 2 years ago. We'd only used it for smoothies and pureeing fruit sauces. It never dawned on us that we could use it for pureeing savory foods. It works best with cold or room temp ingredients. Hot liquids cause expansion and for the seal to fail while processing. So I puree the veggies with cold broth, then pour the mixture into a microwaveable dish to heat. 

When I don't have leftover cooked veggies to use, I microwave-steam a custard cup of frozen veggies for about a minute and a half before processing with broth. I've used frozen broccoli and frozen spinach for cream o' green soups. I have some frozen mushrooms that I thought would make a great near instant cream of mushroom soup. And I'm thinking this will work with canned tomatoes, too. So far, I've been surprised by how delicious these quick soups have been. I especially loved the carrot soup. Yum! That was delicious! Broccoli has been amazing too. I stir in a bit of cheese to the broccoli soup after heating. The spinach soup was pretty good. But I think it would have been improved if I'd added seasonings like nutmeg.


So what's the point of all of this if I still have to make a large pot of chicken, herb, garlic, and onion soup? I get variety while making "soup for one". The rest of my family prefers their own style of lunch and doesn't always want soup. But I really enjoy soup in winter and want more variety than I'd get if I made a large pot of one recipe to use for the week.

Have you ever been forced by circumstance into trying something outside of your box and then discovered how beneficial this new process was? This is how I feel about my new way to make soup for one. The smoothie maker gets more use, I eat a larger variety of vegetables in my daily lunches, and I can have a hot, delicious, homemade lunch in about 5 minutes.


6 comments:

  1. I love soup and what you've been doing sounds delicious and nutritious. And, BTW, the free blender was quite a score!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      When my husband called and asked if we'd want the smoothie blender, I said yes because I thought it would be a fun "toy" for my daughters (smoothie lovers). But I thought it would only occasionally get used. It turns out to be the most used of our different blenders and mixers. It's loud, and I wonder if that's why the original owner put it up for adoption. Or maybe she/he just didn't use it as much as they thought they would. Anyway, yes this was a score all right!

      Do you have a favorite soup?

      Delete
  2. We have an immersion blender--I'm embarrassed to admit that I have never used it. My husband does, at times, but I always forget about it.

    I am also a soup lover. I frequently make a brothy spinach soup for lunch (along with a sandwich) in the winter--basically, I saute garlic, add broth, and wilt the lettuce. Sometimes I add mushrooms if I have them on hand. It helps me increase my leafy greens intake--when I was anemic I was looking for tasty ways to increase my iron levels and a light soup for lunch is appealing to me in the winter. My mother had macular degeneration and her retinal specialist strongly recommended eating leafy greens, so hopefully I am getting two nutritional benefits out of my simple soup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      I love my immersion blender, too. Any tool that simplifies work is a good one to me. The only drawback to immersion blenders is that they can splatter if the pot or bowl isn't deep enough. But they are perfect for large pots of soup.

      Your brothy spinach soup sounds tasty and a great way to get extra nutrients and round out your lunch. Our generation can really benefit by all of this nutrition information and how individual nutrients can bolster our health.

      Delete
  3. We use the blender for cold items due to the splatter risk (when using for hot food, therefore we don't use it for hot) and the immersion blender for hot foods. My husband has digestive issues with stalky veggies/fruits and so we have often blended soups for him so he could have the same soup we are having but only his is blended. We love both our blender and immersion blender. I really like creamy soups so blending soups give a nice creamy texture. When my daughter was home we had soups for lunch almost everyday but now that she's not here I am the only one here for lunch so I mostly skip soup and often have a small snack instead of a lunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice,
      I'm glad that you've found a way to serve your husband the same soups as the rest of the family. I'm sure that's a time-saver compared to making a whole other dish for his dietary needs. I enjoy creamy soups, too. The smooth texture seems very filling to me, even if the "creaming" is just pureed veggies.

      I bet you really enjoyed having your daughter at home. I hope she can visit again soon.
      Have a lovely evening, Alice!

      Delete

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