Monday, October 15, 2012

Health in a Bowl

As I mentioned last month (cannot believe it has been that long - ugh!), I've spent a couple of weeks feeling rather under the weather recently. Being sick for a few days sucks. Being sick for two weeks is really a whole other story that I hope to never experience again. At some point in week two of this malaise I decided what I really needed was a bunch of vegetables. I'm sure if I owned a juicer I would have been going crazy with that thing.

I don't own a juicer.

I actually am kind of anti-juice. I don't understand why or how juice could possibly be better for you that eating the whole fruit or vegetable itself. But I'm funny like that. Juice is just not my thing.

On the other hand, I can really get behind a good, brothy veggie soup. This was another "let's be thrifty and environmentally responsible and everything and use what's already in the fridge" move. Also an "I feel like crap and don't want to walk a block to the grocery store" move. And with a few supplements, I had a pretty tasty vegetable soup that I will happily make again, only in probably half the quantity as I've discovered that three consecutive days of a vegetable soup meal represent my absolute limit.

If you want to feel healthy, or if you have a lot of veggies in the drawer that are about to go, this is your recipe.

Doesn't this gorgeous kale just scream "I AM SO GOOD FOR YOU!"?
Kate's Vegetable Soup
Makes four big servings


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small red or white potato (thin-skinned, not Russett), peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups chicken broth (I'm a fan of Swanson Natural Goodness)
1 can diced tomatoes with their juice
parmesan rinds (optional)
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 roasted red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 bunch of kale, chopped coarsely
kosher or sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


(Before you start, I highly recommend pre-chopping all the veggies.)

1. Roast your red pepper if you haven't already. I only had half a red pepper but I still just stuck it on the burner. (God, I love having a gas stove.)

2. Once the pepper is good and blackened, put it in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the pepper steam for about 10 minutes. Then use paper towels to rub off the blackened skin. Chop the peeled pepper.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high and saute the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes. You don't really want to brown it here. 

4. Add the potato, spices, chicken broth, and tomatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Toss in one or two parmesan rinds, if you have them. 

5. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so, until the broth looks a little cloudy and starts to smell delicious. 

6. Add the zucchini, red pepper, and kale.

7. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until the zucchini is tender but not mushy. 

I love all the gorgeous colors. It's like rainbow soup.

8. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some whole grain crackers. And a big spoon.

I finally kicked that crazy flu a couple of days after I made this soup for myself.
So clearly, this works. Sample size of one. I'm a believer.