Thursday, April 28, 2011

Susan's Family Soup

This is the main soup my mother taught me. She learned it from her mother-in-law, Barbara. This is a meal I regularly make, to host friends, to comfort myself when sick, or to use up stuff in the fridge. Since most of the ingredients can vary, it's not so much a specific recipe as a framework.

Makes 1 gallon

Sautee in olive oil in a large soup pot:

l lb chicken, cut into bite size chunks, raw
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

When chicken is cooked, add:

1 32 oz container chicken or veggie broth ( I like the rectangular cartons)
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (16 or 32 oz)
2-8 cups water, depending on the size of your soup pot
1 tsp each of dried basil, thyme, oregano, parsley
2 bay leaves

Bring to a boil- while it's heating up, prepare and add (in order of how long items take to cook)

2 carrots, sliced
1 red potato, chopped
2 sticks celery, sliced
4 leaves kale or collards, chopped into strips
1 small zucchini or summer squash, sliced
1 16 oz can kidney or canellini beans

After rolling boil, reduce heat and simmer a bit. Ok to cook for an hour or more but it's not necessary at all.

Add small amount of salt & pepper if desired. Adjust spices as desired.


Vegetarian: Omit meat. Use veggie broth.

Beef: Sautee raw ground beef and use beef broth.

Turkey: sautee raw ground turkey.

Minestrone: Instead of potato, cook elbow pasta in your soup for the last 15 minutes. Serve when the pasta is done.

If using cooked meat, just add it with the broth and tomatoes after sauteeing onion and garlic.

The broth is optional. It adds a rich flavor but if you don't have it just add more water. Or if you have juices left over from other cooking projects. Bouillon is ok if used sparingly.

Many other veggies can be substituted: chopped parsley or cilantro, string beans... experiment. I have my doubts about broccoli.