Well, it’s soup day and my son is sick again…It feels like someone is sick in this house more often than not these days. I guess illness goes hand in hand with fall and preschool. Hopefully we build up an immunity to these bugs sooner than later.
For my sanity, I chose bean and vegetable soup for tonight’s dinner because it is easy and delicious. For bread today (because you have to have freshly baked bread with soup) I will be getting out my bread machine and letting it do all of the work (I don’t have my son’s helping hands today).
Bean and Vegetable Soup:Start with 1.5 cups of dried beans (soaked over night in water). Drain the beans and set aside.
In a large soup pot brown an onion chopped up in olive oil. The goal here is to get a nice brown coating on the bottom of the pan.
Add a little broth or wine, or juice (about 1/2 c) to onions and let it cook down. I think I’ll use the apple cider that’s left over from our apple picking trip last weekend.
Add the beans and a bay leaf or 2 to the pot and pour in a box of store-bought stock (about 3 quarts). You could make the stock, but I’ve never been successful at making flavorful stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few hours.
Add a can of tomatoes and fresh herbs. I use whatever I have an abundance of in the garden. Be creative!
Add about 1/2 c. of uncooked rice. I like brown or black rice. Keep simmering until the rice is cooked (about 30 min).
Add frozen or fresh veggies (about 5 c. give or take depending on the thickness you like for your soup). I use what ever I have left over in the fridge plus whatever I find in the freezer. You can’t go wrong. Just remember to add fresh root vegetables earlier in the cooking process so that they have time to get tender. Cook for a few more minutes (just to get everything hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more herbs if you like.
The best part of this recipe is it’s flexibility. You can use up left overs in the fridge and veggies that are nearing the end. You can even throw in left over rice or meat. Have fun with it!
Happy soup day!