Prep2eat

January 13, 2016

Pizza Soup

Filed under: Cook, Food, foodblogs, Healthy, Homemade, Prep2eat, Soup, vegetables — Tags: , — prep2eat @ 4:23 pm
Happy New Year 2016

My blog has been a place for me to archive my recipes and food photos for the past four years.

It is my intention to save favorite recipes here as well as inspire and share the passion of homecooking with you. It gives me pleasure to prepare and serve a flavorful meal to my family and friends. The process of choosing quality produce, meats and grains is the start of a magical dining experience. Building textures and flavors round out a multi-sensational taste-bud awakening. The cooking process is total involvement, in-the-moment pleasure for me. Paying attention to details and timing is the creative flow of preparation.

Now cooler weather has finally arrived in New England, so I am returning to my hot soup creations. Just after the new year celebration, I wanted to “cook from the refrigerator” also known as using the leftovers from earlier meals. This is how my Pizza Soup was created. I had small amounts of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese left over from a delicious Chicken Parmesan with Rigatoni meal. Oh my, the basic tomato-based vegetable soup was elevated to “The Pizza Level.” A genuine upgrade to an already favorite soup that I have posted in my blog previously.

Did I tell you how fast this soup is prepared? Oh, about under one hour. Please treat yourself and others to this foodie experience.

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What you will need:
cutting board
kitchen knife
vegetable peeler
can opener
large pot with matching lid
wooden spoon
cheese grater or box grater
measuring spoons
measuring cup
small spoon for tasting
soup ladle
serving bowl
soup spoon

Ingredients:
canola oil, 2-4 tablespoons. Amount depends on quantity of vegetables using.
onion, small or half of large, peeled and cut into small pieces
celery, one stalk, washed, peeled and cut into small pieces
carrots, two large or three small, washed, peeled and cut into thin slices like discs.
optional: zucchini, washed, cut into small pieces
canned crushed tomatoes size 28 oz. low sodium
box of chicken broth, low sodium, (4 cups)
cold water, 1-2 cups (personal consistency and flavor)
assorted spices and seasonings of choice:
kosher salt, a tablespoon or more depending on personal taste and flavor of canned tomatoes.
crushed black pepper, one teaspoon or more for personal taste.
cinnamon, one teaspoon ground
turmeric, one teaspoon ground
sage, one teaspoon dry ground
thyme, one teaspoon dry ground
optional: sugar, a teaspoonful at a time to correct for bitter tomato flavor at end of cooking the soup.
mozzarella cheese, sliced
parmesan cheese, grated
optional: pasta of choice for serving in bowl of soup.

Cooking process:
In the large pot, heat canola oil on the stove top, medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add onions, celery, carrots, zucchini to the heated oil and stir with wooden spoon until vegetables are softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes to the cooking vegetable mixture in the pot. Continue to stir the mixture until it bubbles, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the four cups of chicken broth and the water, continue to stir until soup bubbles, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper and seasonings, continue to stir.
Lower temperature under the pot to low setting, cover slightly to continue cooking for approximately 30 minutes.
With tasting spoon carefully taste the soup, adjust flavor by adding additional salt and pepper to taste.
Add sugar to adjust soup flavor of tomato base of soup.

Serve the soup in a bowl with a slice of Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Another add-in is a pasta noodle of choice.

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December 10, 2014

Vegetable Soup With Turkey Meatballs & Rice

Filed under: Food, foodblogs, Meals, Meat, Soup — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 10:54 am
Hearty, Spicy Vegetable Soup

Hearty, Spicy Vegetable Soup

My spicy vegetable soup is a tomato base with vegetable options of the day, but usually begins with a  sauté in canola oil on medium-high heat of onions, celery and carrots.

In the photo above, I added 1/2 cup of brown rice, stirring along with the vegetable sauté,  following with a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (low sodium), two cups chicken broth (low sodium) and 2-1/2 cups of cold water. Stirring often with a wooden spoon, I bring the mixture to a rolling boil with the lid on the pot and then turn down the heat to a low setting.

Adding flavor begins after the soup boil with about one tablespoon of Kosher salt and one-half teaspoon of crushed black pepper. This is the time I add dry spices of choice, optional for using all, such as a quarter-teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, quarter-teaspoon each of smoked paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. Choose spices and amounts for your soup depending on personal taste.

Cooking the soup covered on low heat setting for about 30 – 45 minutes allows flavors to blend and the rice to cook. Most times, more Kosher salt is added after tasting at the end of cooking. Add small amount, stir, taste and repeat until the soup is pleasing for your tastebuds. Sometimes, a small amount of sugar added slowly takes a bitter taste from the canned tomatoes. This is all personal taste at the finish of the soup.

The protein of choice for this meal in the photo is ground turkey meatballs. The meatballs can be baked on a lined cookie sheet with a rim or cooked in a large frying pan with some canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over a medium heat on the stove or at 350 degrees F. in the oven until the meatballs are cooked fully and browned.

Serving the vegetable soup with rice included and adding the small turkey meatballs completes a hearty, spicy meal-in-a-bowl. Adding small soup crackers and/or a toasted piece of crusty bread turns this meal into satisfying comfort on cold winter days.

Option: if dairy is tolerable, shave some melting cheese on top of your bowl of soup, such as fontina or gruyere. Delicious.

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