Monday, April 5, 2010

Soup's On!

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 7:19 AM
Okay, so I'm on this new kick. It's to try a new soup recipe every week. I like new recipes, and I like soup. I'd rather have soup than a cold sandwich almost any day of the week. Recently I was at a friend's house (hanging out, just being together and letting the kids play - I'll post more about that soon) and saw that she had a soup cookbook. It's named simply "Soup" by Stephen Knowlden. I began browsing it, and saw some soups that looked fun and new. It definately helped that each page has a full color picture of both the soup and the cooking process to go along with the recipe.

I decided to start in the hot and spicy section - I like hot and spicy. I went to the grocery store to get all the ingredients (well, three grocery stores, with my hubby, on our anniversary - that's what an anniversary is for a couple with four small children) and came home armed with things I'd never bought before, like gingerroot, sherry, shallots, and fennel. Some of the ingredients were for the soup itself. Others were for the homemade vegetable stock I, for some unknown crazy reason, decided I was also going to make.

My girlfriend (the same one I borrowed the cookbook from) came over and she helped me in the kitchen and with the kids as I started the three and a half hour process. Note, the time on the soup was 35 minutes, but I was making my own vegetable stock!

I threw the varied vegetables in the pot with some water and a little over an hour later I had fresh vegetable stock (the recipe for which is also included in the cookbook) and my house smelled delicious. However, after pouring in approximately $12 in ingredients in that said pot (thank goodness I already had a few ingredients on hand) I ended up with 4 cups of vegetable stock. I was thinking, "just buy that stock next time!" My girlfriend shared with me that you can get these handy little packets with the seasonings for pennies on the dollar to what the actual vegetables cost. I'll just add extra water to one of those and let it simmer a little longer next time, much less work, still the great smell.

Once I had my stock in hand (or pot), I tackled the soup for the week: Corn & Lentil. You, like me, may be thinking, "Corn & Lentil soup is hot and spicy?" But, that's where it was in the cookbook, and, afterall, it has ginger in it.

I changed a couple of things: I added extra lentils and used frozen corn instead of canned corn. I didn't garnish it with scallions and red chilis. And it turned out....okay. I'd give it a B. It had great flavor. A nice blend of seasonings. But, hot it was not. The chilis might have helped, but there were only a few sprigs on top of the soup in the picture. Since I added extra lentils and didn't add extra water, the soup was more stew like.

So, will I make it again? Maybe. It really did have a good flavor. I'm not used to lentils, but they don't have a bad texture. They're not as dry as, say, lima beans or kidney beans. If you like corn, lentils, and ginger, you will definately like this soup. It's fairly healthy (171 calories, 30 carbs, and only 2 grams of fat per serving) and not too hard to make, if you have vegetable stock on hand.

0 comments on "Soup's On!"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Soup's On!

Okay, so I'm on this new kick. It's to try a new soup recipe every week. I like new recipes, and I like soup. I'd rather have soup than a cold sandwich almost any day of the week. Recently I was at a friend's house (hanging out, just being together and letting the kids play - I'll post more about that soon) and saw that she had a soup cookbook. It's named simply "Soup" by Stephen Knowlden. I began browsing it, and saw some soups that looked fun and new. It definately helped that each page has a full color picture of both the soup and the cooking process to go along with the recipe.

I decided to start in the hot and spicy section - I like hot and spicy. I went to the grocery store to get all the ingredients (well, three grocery stores, with my hubby, on our anniversary - that's what an anniversary is for a couple with four small children) and came home armed with things I'd never bought before, like gingerroot, sherry, shallots, and fennel. Some of the ingredients were for the soup itself. Others were for the homemade vegetable stock I, for some unknown crazy reason, decided I was also going to make.

My girlfriend (the same one I borrowed the cookbook from) came over and she helped me in the kitchen and with the kids as I started the three and a half hour process. Note, the time on the soup was 35 minutes, but I was making my own vegetable stock!

I threw the varied vegetables in the pot with some water and a little over an hour later I had fresh vegetable stock (the recipe for which is also included in the cookbook) and my house smelled delicious. However, after pouring in approximately $12 in ingredients in that said pot (thank goodness I already had a few ingredients on hand) I ended up with 4 cups of vegetable stock. I was thinking, "just buy that stock next time!" My girlfriend shared with me that you can get these handy little packets with the seasonings for pennies on the dollar to what the actual vegetables cost. I'll just add extra water to one of those and let it simmer a little longer next time, much less work, still the great smell.

Once I had my stock in hand (or pot), I tackled the soup for the week: Corn & Lentil. You, like me, may be thinking, "Corn & Lentil soup is hot and spicy?" But, that's where it was in the cookbook, and, afterall, it has ginger in it.

I changed a couple of things: I added extra lentils and used frozen corn instead of canned corn. I didn't garnish it with scallions and red chilis. And it turned out....okay. I'd give it a B. It had great flavor. A nice blend of seasonings. But, hot it was not. The chilis might have helped, but there were only a few sprigs on top of the soup in the picture. Since I added extra lentils and didn't add extra water, the soup was more stew like.

So, will I make it again? Maybe. It really did have a good flavor. I'm not used to lentils, but they don't have a bad texture. They're not as dry as, say, lima beans or kidney beans. If you like corn, lentils, and ginger, you will definately like this soup. It's fairly healthy (171 calories, 30 carbs, and only 2 grams of fat per serving) and not too hard to make, if you have vegetable stock on hand.

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