It's cold here in these parts, and when it's cold, I want to eat soup, soup, and more soup. Since I'm usually time-challenged, short cuts are the only way to go...I stock up on these Orrington Farms soup bases whenever they are on sale. The chicken flavor has about 25% less sodium than some of the other brands, and the beef has significantly less sodium. Admittedly, all soup stocks have some form of multi-syllabic scary sounding chemicals, but better living through chemistry I say...
My soup starts with my version of "Miripoix" or what some call "the Holy Trinity". Standard Miripoix is equal parts chopped carrot, celery & onion. I don't use the celery that much, primarily because I cook in a style influenced by several ethnic cuisines, where IMHO, cilantro does a much better job.
If you don't like cilantro...oops!
Fair Warning: Unless I am baking, (where proper chemistry is the key to success) my cooking style is "add a little at a time and correct". That's one of the reasons I love soup, because it doesn't take a high level of skill or concentration to make it.
I whipped up this soup for everyone in the office for lunch on Friday, and Danielle our new intern almost whined (!) for the recipe, so here goes:
This soup will have a southeast Asian influence, (Yes I know that in most parts of the US it's nothing like Thailand, but this will still satisfy, I promise!)
In a large stock pot or stainless steel wok (It's what I cook in here at Casa No Cucina):
2 T oil of your choice (I cook mostly with EVOO)
"Hollypoix": 3/4 cup each of chopped carrots, cilantro* & onions
*chop a cup's worth and save some for the garnish
Saute until the onions are translucent. (Keep this mixture moving so that it doesn't burn)
2 T chicken soup base mix (to start)
2 T low sodium beef soup base (to start)
2 quarts of water
Add your vegetables.
Yesterday I added chopped broccoli...but almost anything green will do.
Allow to come to a boil for a minute.
Add rice noodles...
I use Ka Me vermicelli, it's great because it takes only 3 minutes and doesn't get all gummy.
Boil for 3 minutes.
While it's boiling add 1 lb of chopped chicken breast
(It's really much nicer if the chicken isn't cooked until it's like rubber!)
While you're at it, throw in a 1/2 box of frozen baby peas.
(Also prettier and better tasting when not over cooked.)
Once the chicken is cooked, add 1 T of curry powder (McCormick's is good)
Cook for a minute or so and correct your seasonings...more soup base, more curry, etc.
(Like I said, soup is very forgiving.)
At this point, you have a really good and low calorie soup.
But if you are a "petite cochon comme moi", you'll add:
One half to one full 16 oz. can of coconut milk
Let the soup simmer for 3 or 4 more minutes (hint: once you add any milk or cream to a soup, try to not let it get back to a full rolling boil!)
Check & correct your seasonings one last time.
In each person's bowl, throw a little extra chopped cilantro on top to finish her off.
If you have any soup left over from the meal, I'd suggest that you scoop out the noodles and save them in a separate container from the liquid. That way your next bowl of soup will be every bit as nice as your first.
Makes 4 to 6 meal sized bowls of soup...
It takes about 15 minutes of pre-prep time and 15 minutes to make this soup. Paton has gotten really good with his knife skills, so we can have soup made in 20 minutes if we work together.
Back in two shakes...H2
I'll show you pictures of the soup as soon as I can get my flash to work on my camera, it's acting wacky again. In the M/T, check out my guest post on Kimberly Jolly's blog this coming week...I'll let you know when it's up.