Wednesday, May 30, 2012

All Your Veggies in One Soup

 (Printable Recipe)
If you're looking for a scrumptious way to pack your daily diet with plenty of vegetables, this is it. It's spicy, savory, loaded with flavors, and the fresh vegetables are cooked just long enough to still taste great.   And this soup is so filling I often have it as a snack to stave off the cravings for carb loaded late-night junk that just leaves me wanting, well, more carb loaded late-night junk. Best of all, you'll burn as many calories digesting all these high fiber veggies than the total calorie count of one cup!
Start with the mix of vegetables you like best. For me, this is the perfect blend. Crunchy celery and onion, sweet red pepper, dense broc and cauliflower, and plain white cabbage which will only cook long enough to sweeten and soften somewhat - not long enough to turn stinky. If you're wondering about those broccoli stalks, I meant for those to be in there! Not a mistake. I never toss a broccoli stalk because they can be peeled and sliced into little crunchy rounds that are a bit like a water chestnut without the carbs. A wonderful extra in stir-fries or soups or even salad.
Voila. Here's everything taken down to bite size. If you've done the Weekly Veg Prep this part will be a snap.  Now, for the souping.
I like my soup good and spicy but you can tone it down by using plain diced tomatoes rather than Rotel with Green Chilies. Oh, give a try at least once with the spicy heat and see what you think before you just give up. It may just be the best vegetable soup you ever ate. I use two of these 2-quart cartons of chicken stock, 1-2 cans of Rotel, and one or two tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to enrich the flavor. Soup bases are the secret of many a restaurant chef. There is no comparison at all to bouillon. Word of Warning, however! Not all soup base is created equal. Many are hardly more than lard. If you don't find this brand in your store try to find Minor's. Read the label on any others and run from those that are made with anything other than pure, mostly chicken ingredients. Dissolve the thick base in a little hot water and whisk it well before adding to your soup so it will disperse well into the mix.
Now for the rest of the seasonings. I told you this was a flavorful soup! Don't quake, these are all common ingredients that you'll probably have in your pantry even if you only cook occasionally. Add 1-2 Tbs each of soy sauce, oregano, basil. One teaspoon of chili powder, onion powder, and a 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. I like to use smoked garlic powder when I can find it. The tablespoon of white stuff is Splenda, not sugar, and don't leave this out. It balances all the spicy ingredients while enhancing the other spices. You may even want to add a second or third tablespoon of it when you taste the soup. You won't need salt because the soup base provides enough.
Lastly, give it a nice fat clove of pressed garlic and let the simmering begin. In about 30 minutes, soup's on. But don't cook any longer than necessary for vegetables to be tender crisp or nutrients and flavor will be lost! Enjoy a cup as snack or with a meal of salad and lean protein. If you have leftover lean taco beef or chicken, add a few ounces to the soup for a nice filling lunch. 
*For those on the Take Shape for Life program, top this soup with some crunchy White Cheddar Crisps instead of croutons. Delish!

1 Can Rotel
1 Onion
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1 small Yellow Squash
1 small Zucchini
Half head of Broccoli, including stems
1-2 cups Cauliflower florets
3 stalks Celery
1/3 head Cabbage
1 Garlic Clove
2 32-oz Chicken Stock
1-2 Tbs Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Oregano
1 Tbs Basil
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1-3 Tbs Splenda (to taste)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Diana! If you roam around here you'll find all sorts of tasty ideas that work perfectly for carb counters or calorie counters. It's great to be able to eat healthy and still have great flavor.