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The Sailaway Gourmet

January 2, 2020

First of all – Happy New Year! I hope you have lots of dreams and plans for 2020.
Naturally it’s cold and time for soup again. As mentioned last winter, I had bought myself a Vitamix and was making lots of good food. I’m also using it every day for smoothies. Recently I was playing around with soups. Sometimes I just like to throw vegetables and broth in a pot and see what comes of it. I like to keep it quick and simple. Fortunately, my experiments have been successful.

Soups are easy. Taking advice from “Soups for Dummies”, one typically starts by cooking a combination of vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and celery, along with herbs and spices, in a small amount of fat, such as oil or butter. You can also brown cubed or ground meat in these first stages. (As you will notice in the 2 recipes of mine below, I didn’t quite follow the rules…). Next comes the liquid; any kind of broth, milk, wine or water. If you need to scrape up any meats from the bottom of the pan, do so with a little liquid first, then pour in the remainder. Once that is taken care of just cook your concoction to perfection. If adding cooked beans or grains of any kind, you would do so at this point, then heat through. Once done, if needed, cool and run through your blender or use an emulsifier. Sometimes you might want to leave it a little chunky for a heartier soup. Easy right?
Here are two of my recipes that are super-fast and two more that I’ve found and liked.

 

My Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup
2 Tb. grapeseed oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. (to taste) of chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
3 cups of chopped carrots
1 cup chopped butternut squash
Dash (very small) of cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
Optional: Splash of cream or half & half

Heat oil in a soup pot and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté a minute or so. Add the carrots, squash, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Stir to combine and then add the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then cover and simmer until vegetables are softened and tender. Take off the stove and let cool slightly. Using whatever type of blending method you prefer, blend until smooth. If desired add a splash of cream or half and half to make a creamier soup. Serves 4.

My Cauliflower & Potato Soup
3 cups of chopped cauliflower
1 cup of chopped potatoes – I used Yukon golds
1 Tb. of dried dill – if using fresh, add more
Salt & pepper to taste
4 cups of chicken broth
Optional: Splash of cream or half & half

 Put the vegetables into a soup pot, season and then add the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then cover and simmer until the vegetables are softened and tender. Take off the stove and let cool slightly. Using whatever type of blending method you prefer, blend until smooth. If desired add a splash of cream or half and half to make a creamier soup. Serves 4.

Not Mine…Potato and Bean Soup
1 Tb. of butter
2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup of sliced celery
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken broth
3 cups of cubed peeled potatoes (again, I used Yukon golds)
2 tsp. dried dill (or 2 Tb. fresh)
1-15oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 Tb. of flour
1/8 tsp. of pepper
Salt to taste
In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and heat for 4 minutes or so until tender. Add the potatoes and dill, then pour in the broth**. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender. With the back of a spoon, slightly mash the potatoes against the side of the pot. (I used an emulsifier). Stir in the beans.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, flour, pepper and salt. Add this to the pot, then cook and stir until the soup is thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 minute more. Serves 4-6.

**At this point I added a little salt and pepper to season the vegetables while cooking.

Meatball Soup (also not mine…)
36 small meatballs (your homemade favorite or frozen, store bought) *
1-15oz. can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1-14 1/2 oz. can of beef broth **
1-14 1/2 oz. can of Italian style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1-1/2 cups of water
1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. of dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 cup of bow-tie pasta (small)
3 cups of torn fresh spinach (or 10 0z. frozen, thawed and well drained)

In a large skillet, brown the meatballs evenly on all sides. Drain fat from pan and set aside.
In a large saucepan or soup-pot stir together the beans, beef broth, tomatoes, water, mushrooms and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and meatballs. Heat through until spinach is wilted. Serves 4.

* You can use turkey or chicken for the meatballs
** If you use turkey or chicken, swap the beef broth for chicken broth.

Enjoy!


 

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