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.

November 5, 2014

Vegetable Beef Soup

Filed under: beef, Food, Meals, Meat, Soup, vegetables — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 12:57 pm
Vegetable Beef Soup & Brown Rice

Vegetable Beef Soup & Brown Rice

Several ways to enjoy a meal-in-a-bowl by using potatoes or rice in this vegetable beef soup. A popular choice is to use barley if you prefer.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

On cloudy, cool autumn nights, it feels good to prepare and enjoy a hearty bowl of soup. This recipe is a wonderful one-bowl meal. A large pot of this Vegetable Beef Soup makes about four quarts of soup. We freeze a couple of quarts to have an easy meal through the cold winter months here in New England.

The meat came from beef short ribs. Browning them in the soup pot first enhanced the depth of flavor in this rich soup. The costly meat is a reasonable price when divided into four quarts and the many people you can serve.

This recipe included cut potatoes and carrots. One could also add other vegetables of choice as well as beans to add more protein.

My recipe is based on “The Lady and Sons Beef Vegetable Soup” courtesy of Paula Deen

It is best to make this soup recipe when you have time for the multiple steps for this cooking process and allow refrigeration to bring the fat to the top of a large container. Skim the fat off the top of the cooled soup, discard the fat. Divide the cooled soup into four quart containers with matching lids.

Heat as much as you want for a meal, freeze the other quarts of soup for other times.

This hearty, rich Vegetable Beef Soup will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings.

What you will need

A large soup pot or Dutch Oven with matching lid

Tongs

Large bowl

Large fork and kitchen knife (to cut meat)

Large wooden spoon

Two large cutting boards

Kitchen knife (to cut vegetables)

Measuring cups and spoons

Soup ladle

Ingredients

2 tbs vegetable oil

3-4 lbs beef short ribs

3 quarts cold water

1 quart box of Beef Broth, low-sodium

1 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, low-sodium

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh onions

two garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 tbs dried parsley

1 tbs Kosher salt

1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced celery

3 – 4 all-purpose white potatoes, cut into small pieces

Cooking process

Heat the oil in the soup pot on medium-high heat for 1 – 2 minutes and gently put some of the beef short ribs in the hot oil to brown on all sides. Turn the ribs on all sides with tongs. Remove the browned ribs to a large platter and repeat the process for all ribs. Turn the heat off under the pot. When the ribs have cooled a bit, cut the meat carefully off the ribs on a cutting board. Cut meat into small cubes.

Put the cut meat and the rib bones into the soup pot, add the water, tomatoes, onions, parsley, beef broth, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, celery, garlic, black pepper and bay leaves. Turn the heat under the pot to medium-high. Stir the soup with a wooden spoon and cover the pot with the lid.

When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low setting, stir again, cover the pot and simmer the soup for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Add remaining potatoes and carrots, cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low setting, stir the soup and cover the pot with the lid. Cook the soup for another 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft.

Add more salt and pepper at this time to your flavor liking. Stir the soup.

Skim excess fat from top of soup before serving. Best to cool soup at room temp, put in large container, then refrigerate overnight to bring excess fat to the top of a container. Divide into quart containers.

March 17, 2014

Vegetable Soup With Cheese & Kale

Filed under: Prep2eat, Soup — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 12:36 pm

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Photo by “The Souper” at Prep2eat

This Vegetable Soup Recipe differs from others I have prepared. I was inspired by a basic recipe posted online by Williams-Sonoma. I decided to throw the rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano into the cooking soup. The recipe did call for a topping of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano so I was grating the end of my cheese.

Another personal change to the posted recipe by Williams-Sonoma was to add diced red new potatoes (a few) rather than the suggested Cheese Tortellini. I had the potatoes and no Tortellini in the house. The potato exchange proved to compliment the cheese.

Here is the original recipe from Williams-Sonoma
http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/tortellini-and-vegetable-soup/

Enjoy healthy soups!

November 12, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup

Filed under: Brown rice, Chicken, Cook, Food, Food blog, Homemade, Soup — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 2:04 pm
Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

We saw our first flurry of snowflakes this morning in Boston. Not a major snow storm, just a visual of what is to come our way this winter. In November, the autumn leaves drop from the trees leaving colorful piles of mixed yellow, orange and red crunchy carpets on lawns and sidewalks. Trees are left bare showing their skeleton branches.

The sun was not shining brightly this morning, the wintery chill was in the air and our heating needed to be turned on in our home. Looking out the front window was a picture in grey. Grey empty tree branches against cloudy, grey sky. This was a very cold start to the day.

Fortunately I had chicken parts in my freezer to defrost. I knew I could prepare home made chicken soup easily with a few carrots, a stalk of celery and a whole onion. In a couple of hours I had a steaming mug of warmth to comfort the gloom of today.

September 2, 2013

Chicken Soup

Filed under: Chicken, Food, Prep2eat, Soup — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 2:50 pm

Chicken Soup in Natural Light – my personal photo (The Souper 2012)

 

When I was a little kid home with a bad cold, my nose stuffy, chills running through my body from a fever all I wanted was to be comforted.

Fresh Chicken Soup is easy to prepare. Prepare some for your family and friends. A big potful of soup will make several quarts. Freeze some for the times when you need this wonderful relief from a cold and congestion. Or when you just want comforting memories, defrost and heat a quart of fresh Chicken Soup and get your bowl and spoon ready for your treat.

What you will need:

One large soup pot with matching lid

One whole fresh chicken (about 3 lbs) or assorted chicken parts of choice.

One large onion, fresh

Carrots – 3-4, fresh

Celery – 1-2 stalks, fresh

Parsnips – aka white carrots (optional), 1-2 fresh

Cold water – enough just to cover the chicken (NOT to fill whole pot)

Kosher salt – several tablespoons to begin with. Add more to flavor when final tasting the soup.

Soup ladle

Small bowl

Large spoon

Large spoons with holes or strainer with handle

Large bowl or platter

 

Preparing Chicken Soup:

Take out any inner plastic bag full of giblets, remove chicken neck for soup but other giblets not needed for the soup.

Rinse fresh chicken (inside and out) or chicken parts with cold water and pat dry.

Put the chicken or chicken parts into the large soup pot

Add cold water only to cover the top of the chicken, not any more. This will make a more flavorful chicken broth instead of a watery, diluted broth.

Cover the pot with matching lid and turn stove burner to medium high heat.

Wash, dry and peel carrots, celery and/or parsnips.

Peel the whole onion and do not cut it.

When you hear the water boiling or see steam escaping from under the lid, carefully take off the lid and turn down the heat of the stove burner to medium heat.

At this time take a large spoon with a small bowl to collect the foam off the top of the soup. This is called skimming.

Discard all of the foam that you have collected from skimming the soup.

While the soup is still at a rolling boil, add the vegetables.

Add the Kosher salt

Return the lid partially back on the soup pot while cooking continues.

Lower the stove burner to low heat.

Continue to cook the soup for about an hour and a half to two hours. The chicken should be floating to the top of the pot and the meat should be tender.

Carefully taste the soup for salt content. Add more Kosher salt at this time to your personal taste.

Turn off the stove burner under the pot, remove the lid.

 

Serving chicken soup:

Carefully lift the chicken or chicken parts out of the pot with large spoons with holes or strainer with handle. Put chicken in/on a large bowl or platter. Let chicken cool a bit and then take meat off the bones. Discard skin and bones of the chicken.

Remove the celery, onion and parsnips from the soup pot and discard.

Keep the cooked carrots for serving in the bowl of soup.

Ladle soup into a small serving bowl with pieces of the soft, cooked carrot.

Add some cooked chicken meat into the bowl.

Now enjoy a steaming bowl of wonderful, flavorful homemade chicken soup

Options: add some soup crackers to your bowl or cooked thin soup noodles or small pasta.

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