Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thank you Mr. Two Week Break!!!

I am just finishing a wonderful two-week fall break.  This is probably my favorite break of the year.  The first nine weeks are usually hard.  After the summer break, it takes a few weeks to get my body accustomed to the daily schedule and demands of teaching.  Just when my body and brain is just about ready to crash....along comes Fall Break!  This year, I spent several days completing home projects and was able to spend a few glorious days in the mountains.  Hiking, resting and listening to Sarah sing in the Ladies Chorale at UT Knoxville were all part of our wonderful mountain time. 

With this being my last day before my break ends and all lesson plans and rehearsals completed for the upcoming week, I decided some time in the kitchen would be fun.  With cooler temperatures forecast for the end of next week a great soup recipe sounded good.  After searching through several recipes, I decided to combine a couple of recipes and make my own soup.  The soup is loosely based on an Italian Sausage soup that I made a couple of weeks ago.  Since my homemade vegetable broth was already in the fridge, putting a tasty soup together was easy.

Just a quick note....homemade vegetable stock is super quick.  I use three carrots , three celery stalks with leaves, the bottom of the celery stalk washed and cleaned, red - sweet pepper, one yellow onion and one bunch of green onions all chopped into chunks.  I add a tablespoon of course sea salt, 2 tablespoons of peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of thyme and 1 bay leaf.  Cover with 6 quarts of water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 30 minutes then cool and pour through a strainer.  This is a wonderful NO FAT stock base for soups.  I usually substitute vegetable stock for chicken stocks in soup recipes.


Quick Soup Recipe

Saute 1 yellow onion, three large chopped carrots and three celery sticks in a large pot.   When vegetables are soft, add one chopped turkey kielbasa and 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic. 

When kielbasa is browned add one large can of diced tomatoes (28 ounces) and two cans (15.5 ounces) of cannellini beans.  Pour vegetable broth over veggies and bring to a boil.  Turn to a simmer for 30 minutes and add a small bag of baby spinach.  This is a wonderful, low-fat soup that is great for quick dinners and to reheat for lunches.  Enjoy!

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