Let me start by saying the past two days have been unusually warm, weather-wise – and I am loving it! I know this warm-up can’t last, and it won’t – and for this reason I’ve been revisiting soup ideas in my mind. Soup is a hearty meal. The following three recipes are easy, taste good and make you feel good – good as if you’ve slaved for a long time, but you really haven’t.
My first easy soup is Italian Meatball Soup. The easy part of this recipe is you can tailor it to how you like it, or by what you have on hand. The amounts can be adjusted to however many people/servings you’re needing. The ingredients are canned carrots, celery seed seasoning, an onion chopped into tiny pieces (or minced onion), sprinkles of Italian Seasoning. You’ll need a 32 ounce container of beef broth, and a 24 ounce package of frozen Italian meatballs (again, adjust your amounts). Use two cups of water and two cans of drained, chopped tomatoes. Add a splash or two of dry red wine, and if you have it – a can of spinach. Combine all of these and simmer – simmer for as long as you feel you want or need to. While the soup is simmering, boil water and cook some ditalini (or other small pasta). When you determine the soup is done, you can dish it into proper sized soup bowls, add the pasta – and before serving, sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Done!
I also enjoy Easy Pea Soup. You don’t have to put in too much effort to get yourself a delicious meal. Again, like above – use your own discretion as to the quantity of ingredients (based on how many servings you will want). Use a decent size pot. Brown some chopped onion and minced garlic in oil, butter or margarine. As they cook up, add three cans of peas and two cups of chicken broth. To this, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Let this warm – let it bubble. Transfer half of this mixture into a blender or food processor, and puree. Put the puree into a different pot. Repeat the pureeing and combine portions. Simmer. At this point, feel free to put some add ins in – you can add a can or two of sliced or diced carrots, or a chunk of ham cut into cubes. Keep simmering, and before too long you’ll have a great bowl of soup!
A hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup is Creamy Baked Potato Soup. This soup starts with some mashed potatoes – again, in the quantity you think you’ll need. You can use fresh cooked potatoes, canned potatoes or instant potatoes – any kind you want. Once they are mashed in a proper size pot, start adding milk, water and chicken broth, alternating small amounts of each. The idea is to get this mixture to a soup like consistency. As you’re adding and simmering, you can put in a dash of salt, pepper and garlic or onion powder. Once you are satisfied that there is enough liquid with the consistency you like, you can simmer some more. If the soup seems too thick, thin it out with more liquid. If it is too thin, soup (or many broth based items) can be thickened with corn starch or my favorite, instant mashed potatoes. Once your soup reaches what looks to you to be almost done, you can add shredded cheese, mushrooms, bacon bits – whatever sounds right to you. I serve this soup like a baked potato – with a bit of sour cream on top. It is so good!
You can freeze these soups too – though it may not be advisable with the Meatball soup, since it includes (previously) frozen meatballs. I hope you enjoy all of these – I know that I do!