I often make soup. The particular ingredients (which I know I've mentioned many times before) just happen to be what is in the fridge.
I on a new diet kick. For the past few years Peter and I have more often than not eaten sandwiches (grilled or on toast) for lunch. Having quit smoking recently my weight is inexorably increasing - about a pound a week. This in spite of no change in my eating habits and gym visits (4 times a week).
It occured to me the other day when Peter went off for the weekend to New Orleans that I should try skipping the sandwiches and getting "soup creative."
The one and only ingredient you absolutely must have for soup is liquid. I prefer low fat/low sodium chicken stock - often on sale at Safeway. Then just rummage around and see what you have. You could do something as simple as open a can of diced tomatoes, saute some onion and garlic, puree that with the tomatoes, add some broth and some seasonings and, voila, it's soup!
On Saturday I took the easy way out and bought one of Safeway's "Signature" soups, Italian wedding soup. I really like it and I was feeling lazy.
Sunday I got creative. I opened a package of ramen noodles and thawed out 4 oz. shrimp, removing their shells. Now, I wanted flavor but less sodium than one gets using the ramen flavor packet. So...I started with 1 cup chicken broth and one cup water, brought it to a boil, added the noodles and, one minute later, the shrimp. Ramen noodles take 3 minutes and the end of which you add the flavoring. I used only half. That's all there was to it.
All right, I'm going on a bit about this. Today's soup is something I dreamed up in a matter minutes early today. Everything that went into this was stuff that was on hand. If you have a trip planned to the store you can, or course, pick up whatever you might want to add to the soup. But I hate to go to the store for just one or two items.
Anyhoo, kohlrabi is unusal. But we had 3 "heads" of it. Also had leftover the jalapeno from a few days ago.
I'd love to take on the challenge of making a soup, Iron Chef style, from a list of ingredients provided by you the readers. (What readers? Nobody comes here.) Bring it on.
Ham and bean soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery (with leaves if possible)
1 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced1 lb. smoked pork chops
1 14.5 oz. can beans (absolutely any kind)
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp chili powder
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, kohlrabi, jalapeno and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Don't allow the vegetation to take on color.
If your pork chops have bones, remove them and add them to the pot for flavor. Cut the pork up into 1/2" cubes. Add the pork and the beans to the pot. Stir and then add broth. Bring to a simmer and then season with salt and pepper and chili powder to taste. Let the soup simmer very slowly for maybe 10 minutes. That's all there is to it.