The season has finally arrived. Boaters everywhere are in their yards or at marinas where they store their vessels, working hard at getting them ready for a summer of fishing, travel and lots of fun. While I don’t own a boat, I’m looking forward to another summer driving the launch in Mt. Sinai, here on Long Island.
So naturally, working hard all day, one gets hungry. If you’re anything like me, you get so into your project you might forget to eat. Since that’s not really a very healthy habit, it’s good to have some easy meals or snacks to grab that keep the energy flowing.
Last month we talked about smoothies and if you’ve gotten into making them, start adding some protein powder! If a shake isn’t enough have a thermos of soup or a sandwich. As it’s still a bit chilly in April, soup would be my choice. And the easier to make the better.
Keep on hand cartons of chicken, vegetable or beef broth, vegetables (fresh or frozen) and leafy greens. I also have containers of miso and tofu around but not everyone is into that. Cooked chicken, turkey, meatballs or leftover cooked pasta can add some bulk to your soup for a more filling meal. Make the soup well ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator or freeze in single serving containers. When you’re off to the yard reheat the soup and pour it in your thermos to keep it hot until your break. Following are some easy recipes for delicious, satisfying soups. Enjoy.
Easy Meatball Soup
1-14 1/2 oz. can or carton of beef broth
1-14 1/2 oz. can of diced tomatoes with onion & garlic (don’t drain)
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 cup of small dried pasta such as orzo or ditalini
1 cup of loose packed frozen mixed vegetables
36 small meatballs, ready made or homemade (thawed if frozen)
In a large saucepan stir together the beef broth, undrained tomatoes, water and seasoning. Bring to a boil and then add the pasta and vegetables. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender. Add meatballs and heat through. Cool and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. Makes 4 servings.
Potato, Bacon & Buttermilk Soup
1 1/2 lbs. of boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups of chicken broth
6 slices of bacon, diced
1 cup of chopped onions or shallots
1 Tb. of unsalted butter
1 Tb. of all-purpose flour
5 cups of buttermilk
1 Tb. of minced fresh thyme
Salt & ground white pepper to taste
Place potatoes in a saucepan, add chicken broth to cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until tender but still holding their shape. Set aside, but do not drain. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the shallots to the fat in the pan and sauté until golden. Remove from the pan and reserve.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the flour and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and cook until mixture almost comes to a boil. Stir in the onions, undrained potatoes and thyme. Add bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool and store. Makes 4-6 servings.
Quick Fire Roasted Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely sliced green onions (white part only)
6 Tb. unsalted butter
2 Tb. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt & pepper to taste
3/4 lb fresh lump crabmeat or 2 packages (6 oz each) pasteurized refrigerated lump crabmeat
2 Tb. fresh basil leaves, chopped
In 2-quart saucepan, combine tomatoes, broth, celery and onions. Cook over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until celery is softened.
In 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Using wire whisk, stir flour into butter. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time. Stir in wine and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in crabmeat and basil. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and store. Makes 6 servings.