A Thanksgiving Meal with an Italian Flair

Hello my dear friends!An Italian pie for Thanksgiving

I’ve been so busy with my new adventure (selling Home made Italian desserts at the local Farmers Market) that I’ve skipped a couple of weeks of recipes posting… MY APOLOGIES! But  if by the way  you would like to learn more about my booth at the Freight House Farmers Market in Davenport, take a look to this brief interview on WHBF-TV . I was so nervous, but I had the chance to talk about my beloved Italy, and our amazing food tradition! With the Winter Holidays approaching I’ve enriched my menu with more  “wintery and Christmassy” desserts, you should definitely check those out!

Now that you know why I’ve been “absent” (and maybe why It may happen again LOL), I would like to share with you and another article I wrote for the Quadcities Mom’s blog last we (the previous one was a “fall themed one“). All recipes are mine, and it’s   about adding an Italian touch to the Traditional Thanksgiving menu!!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading and maybe find some fun recipe to experiment!

“Even though “giving thanks” should be a moment of reflection that everyone should try to do at least once a year, this celebration is not observed in many other countries and is probably mostly seen as an American holiday. (Forgot about the origin of Thanksgiving? Click here to refresh your memory).

Italians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but in approximately eight years that we’ve lived in Iowa, we’ve often been invited to Thanksgiving celebrations at dear friends’ houses, and to be honest, I’ve loved the atmosphere and preparation!  I have noticed though, that most of the hosts and guests at some point have admitted that turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies weren’t exactly their favorite foods.    I am a huge supporter of traditions and celebrations, but why keep self-inflicting a Thanksgiving meal that nobody likes?

To find a solution, when we have celebrated Thanksgiving at home here in the Quad Cities, I’ve tried to follow the custom of turkey and mashed potatoes for the sake of my children, but I have also enriched this menu with an Italian touch. I was thinking that you may be interested in doing the same by adding a few easy Italian dishes to the traditional menu.

It’s well known that those turkeys take hours to roast.  So, as an easy start (since we probably won’t be eating until late afternoon) why don’t we treat ourselves with some “Italian appetizers“? Here are some of my favorites:

AN ITALIAN COCKTAILSpritz the most popular Italian appetazier cocktail

SPRITZ:  This is one of the most popular cocktails in Italy.  Only three liquid ingredients to warm up the atmosphere and possibly make your mother-in-law sound more pleasant . A Spritz is a perfectly seasonable orange cocktail.  It is enjoyable and fairly light, even for those who are not much into booze. It will make the beginning of your Thanksgiving meal very fancy!

ITALIAN  STARTERS  White Onion, bacon and blue cheese savory Italian pie

WHITE ONION, BACON AND BLUE CHEESE SAVORY PIE: Such a long name for an extra easy appetizer. Everybody will love it (just remember not to tell the kids that there are onions in there!). This tart takes 10 minutes for preparation and 20 in the oven. You can prepare it a few hours in advance and pop it into the oven whenever your guests start walking around the kitchen to ask how long until dinner will be served! I understand that to prepare this tart you may need a second oven (since the first one will be busy with the big bird), but if you don’t own one, don’t worry, there is another appetizer you may want to try…. Asiago cheese cubes appetizer

ASIAGO CHEESE CUBES: Your guests will just die for this finger food. Small Asiago cheese cubes, crunchy on the outside and melted inside-so delicious! This Italian classic  for your Thanksgiving meal may require a little more work in the kitchen, but believe me, it’s totally worth it.  As a bonus, it will fill those impatient bellies for a decent amount of time!

THE MAIN MEAL HAS TO BE TURKEY, AND IT WILL BE TURKEY!

I’ll skip offering options for the main course but I want to suggest a light soup that you may want to serve while the turkey rests on the kitchen counter: Orange creamy butternut squash soup

ORANGE CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP: Many fancy restaurants, before their important dinner parties serve light soups or “consomme“.  Especially in those years that Thanksgiving Day is deadly cold, I am sure your family would be delighted by a warm, orange, velvety soup to enjoy before the classic Thanksgiving meal. This soup is even better if prepared a little ahead of time and kept refrigerated, so you will have it ready to go on the busy day.

After the legendary turkey with gravy, let’s jump straight to my favorite course and my area of expertise…

DESSERTS

Here are a couple of options that you may want to consider to break up the monotony of the classic Thanksgiving pies.ricotta, almonds and amaretti cookies tart

RICOTTA, ALMOND and AMARETTI COOKIE TART: A not too sweet and slightly aromatic tart that could perfectly suit a Thanksgiving buffet.  You may want to consider this pie because it’s absolutely easy to prepare with very little “hands-on” time, and, if prepared a day ahead it tastes even better. chocolate chips and ricotta tart

CHOCOLATE AND RICOTTA TART:  If you are afraid your guests may dislike an almond-based dessert, who doesn’t like chocolate chips? This chocolate and ricotta tart is creamy, velvety and absolutely loved by children. It can be prepared a few days in advance and it’s really super easy to make.

Maybe preparing ALL of these alternative dishes for your Thanksgiving meal in such a busy-and many times stressful-holiday season sounds a little overwhelming. But if you like the idea of spicing up your planned menu even with just one new dish, I am sure it will be beneficial for the mood, the atmosphere and everyone’s appetites!

ricotta, amonds and amaretti tart

I am curious to know if you already have a dish that stands out from the classic ones on Thanksgiving? I am always excited to try new recipes and ideas!”.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

What do you think of this article?

Do you like the idea of me as a writer rather than just a food blogger?

I don’t know…. but it sure is fun, and I truly believe I’ll do it again 😉

I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

5 Favorite comforting but light Italian wintery soups

Fall is such an hard season for me: on one side, I love it, with all the colors, the mild temperatures and Halloween, but at the same time I loathe it, because the end of summer makes me sad, I  would say it kind of depress me, and (it may be good or bad) it makes me crave for food, and inevitably makes me gain weight! However, I have a strategy to “contain” the food cravings (and the number of extra pounds, LOL) which  is warming myself up and satisfying my appetite with delicious but healthy homemade soups. top five most popular italian soups

Here is my favorite top 5 Italian soups list that I prepare every week, alternating one to another weekly to not get bored, and that all my family members appreciate and enjoy with me (well, not all of them, precisely 😉 ):

Italian light vegetable soup 1) VEGETABLE SOUP: this is the easiest to make, few and cheap ingredients are required, if you skip the potatoes (and minimize the olive oil) it’s like zero point on the weight watchers, and can be enjoyed all week long (if refrigerated). It can also be frozen, so you can prepare a big pot of it and storage in one serving containers if necessary.

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Orange buttenut squash soup2) ORANGE CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP: besides the pain of cutting the squash in pieces,  this soup is super easy, absolutely creamy and delicious and if you cook in it small pasta’s kinds (like farro) it looks like macaroni and cheese, without cheese! Not to mention all the benefits of orange food: abundance of antioxidant, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients, good for your skin, eyes and heart.

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Leeks, potaotes and broccoli velvety soup3) LEEKS, POTATOES and BROCCOLI VELVETY SOUP: This one is really fast to make, the broccoli taste blends perfectly with the potatoes and leeks and somehow you can barely recognize their taste, it’s delicious and my favorite one when I feel like I have to detox after the holiday’s binges.

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butternut squash and porcini mushrooms soup4) BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PORCINI IN DISGUISE SOUP: add a pack of dried porcini mushrooms, some nutmeg, and a mushrooms bouillon to your butternut squash soup, and you will obtain a scrumptious porcini mushrooms soup “in disguise”.

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Dried porcini mushrooms soup5) VELVETY PORCINI SOUP: This one is the one my kids have refused to try (I hate when they decide they don’t like a food without even giving it a try!), maybe because of the its brownish color, but to be honest, it’s so delicious that my husband and I are quite happy to keep it all for ourselves! This last soup it’s not that light, it’s not fast to be made, has not cheap ingredients (make the butternut squash “in disguise soup” instead if you want). But believe me, once you’ve tried it, you will place it in your top soups list!!!!

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Now that I’ve refreshed your memory with my favorite winter soups, I wanted to apologize for not posting new recipes lately (yes, it’s always my new home bakery business’ fault), but I promise I will try my best to share new contents soon, but in the meanwhile I’d like to hear from you:

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FALL-WINTERY SOUP?

WUOLD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE WITH ME?

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I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

Velvety dried porcini soup: bring the forest scent in your dining room

Dried porcini mushrooms soup

Porcini (Boletus Edulis) are a quality of mushrooms native to much of Europe, but Italians seems to have a special affection for their “porcino” (literally “little pig”). It’s not clear whether the name comes from its plump rounded shape or from how greedily people seek out these delicious mushrooms. During the season, mushroom hunting became national pastime,  and so I did hunt for them a lot as a kid, with my family, in the mountain (Monte Grappa) nearby my hometown.     Fresh porcini can be eaten in many ways: raw and sliced with a light condiment; pan fried and served with creamy polenta; as main ingredient, or combined with pumpkin in delicious risotto or soups. Obviously if you have the access to fresh porcini the quality of the food you can make is sublime, but since I moved in an American area where fresh Porcini are quite impossible to  be found, I’ve experimented making the traditional Italian porcini mushrooms soup with DRIED PORCINI which are easily available at the groceries store.

Over any expectation the result was pretty much satisfying, and so, here I am sharing this recipe with you!  Dried porcini have a very delicate flavor, and by combining them with mushed potatoes, homemade broth and olive oil you can obtain this amazing delicious soup!

6 servings INGREDIENTS

25 oz. broth (better if homemade)

2 oz. (1/4 cup) Porto

2 lb. peeled red potatoes

40 gr. dried porcini mushrooms

12 oz. (or 1 1/2 cup) water

4 tbs. olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 mushrooms bouillon

1/4 medium sized white onion finely chopped

a generous pinch of salt

black pepper to taste

a sprinkle of  nut meg

DIRECTIONS

I suggest to prepare the broth a day ahead. For the recipe click here. You can use a canned one, better if “chicken broth”.    Soak the dried porcini in 1 1/2 cup of warm water for about five minutes. Then separate the mushrooms from the water. Cut the mushrooms in small pieces with a scissor. Filter the mushrooms water (to separate from possible impurity) and set aside for later.

Steam the peeled potatoes in an inch of water as you would do if preparing mushed potatoes.

Now prepare the base of the soup by sautéing the onion in a pan with 4 tbs. olive oil and the clove of garlic for about 5-8 minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the previously soaked porcini, adjust with salt, pepper, nut meg and let cook at medium heat for about five minutes, stirring time to time to avoid the burning.

Warm up the broth and once the potatoes are steamed, dry them and mush them in a big pot (big enough to contain all the broth you will have to add in a bit). Heat the mush potatoes and add gradually the Porto and mushrooms water. Keep stirring to allow the liquid to get absorbed.

Once all the liquid is absorbed add the sautéed mushrooms.

Finally add the mushrooms bouillon and the hot broth, always a  little it a time. Bring the soup to boiling point and let it cook for another five minutes.

YOU ARE DONE!

Serve the soup very warm preferably the day after you prepared it! This way it would be extra tasty!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – You can decide to add more or less broth depending on how dense you like your soup;

– My husband love to sprinkle the top of the soup with grated parmesan, but I don’t because in my opinion the cheese flavor would cover the mushrooms aroma;

– This soup is even better if eaten the day after, so don’t hesitate to prepare it ahead of time.

– I would discourage to freeze the soup considering the amount of potatoes in it, freezing would alter its creaminess.

DID YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE? DO YOU LIKE MUSHROOMS? HAVE YOU EVER HEARDT ABOUT PORCINI BEFORE?

Please let me know your impressions and share with me other recipes with Porcini! I really love hearing from you and your opinions and feedbacks are very important to me!

Much thanks!

Silvia

 

 

Leek, broccoli and potatoes soup, how to detox after the Holidays binges!

Leeks, potaotes and broccoli velvety soup

Here I am, crying like crocodiles after all these days of eating! I don’t even have the courage to step up the scale! So instead, just to start the week with a light (but not mortifying!) menu I have planned to  have a serving  of soup a day, and see if by the end of the week those tears will dry up 😉 !   In my repertoire I  already have many different kind of soups (vegetable soup, orange butternut squash soup, dried porcini soup) but I wanted to try something new and so, after surfing around on Pinterest,  I found this appealing “Leeks,  Broccoli and Potatoes velvety soup” that fatally has been published in one of my favorite Italian food website www.GialloZafferano.it.  The curious thing is that to appeal me were not the ingredients (I definitely dislike raw broccoli), but the color and the consistency of this soup, and since it requires just 30 minutes to be prepared, and the quantity you get from the recipe it’s just enough for one family meal,  I thought to give it a try (even with a few alterations, that I couldn’t help to make!). After tasting it, I can tell I will totally suggest this family friendly dish, creamy and tasty, warm and light, and very very healthy: broccoli has a ton of properties good for us, so the more we eat, the best it is!

4 servings INGREDIENTS 

1 lb. broccoli

3 medium sized potatoes (I like the red ones)

1 medium sized leek

3 cups water plus a vegetable bouillon OR 3 cups vegetable stock

2 tbs. olive oil

dried or fresh thyme to taste

optional: a pinch of white pepper (this was mentioned in the original recipe, but I skipped this ingredient and it doesn’t effect the great taste of the soup)

optional: croutons or baked bread cubes

DIRECTIONS:

First of all, wash the broccoli and divide the heads form the steams. Wash the leek, and cut it, peel and wash the potatoes and slice them in little cubes.

In a capacious pot, at medium heat, add 2 tbs. olive oil, and the leek, and let it sauté for few minutes: it has to change color but not get too brown. Then add the potatoes cubes and let cook for few more minutes. Finally add the broccoli heads, and let the mix cook at medium heat for few minutes, stirring at time to avoid it to stick to the pan or burn.

Add the vegetable stock (or the vegetable bouillon with water) and the thyme, and let cook covered for about 30 minutes (when the soups starts boiling, put it at lower heat). I warn you:  the quantity of water in comparison to the quantity of veggies will seem too little, but that’s because this dish, more than a “simple soup” is a VELVETY SOUP, so it will turn out extremely dense and full-bodied. If you prefer it more diluted, add one more cup of stock or water.

When the soup is done, blend it, sprinkle it with white pepper (optional), and serve with your favorite croutons (or baked seasoned bread cubs). And please let me know if you tasted or not the broccoli flavor (I didn’t).

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – I absolutely hate wasting food in my kitchen, so please, DON’T THROW AWAY the broccoli steams: you can use them in cubes in another vegetable soup, or steam them and serve with Italian dressing or cut in little discs and fry: so many options!

–  If covered the soup could last few days in the refrigerator but the recipe serves 4 people so probably you will not have leftovers !

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

Butternut squash and porcini mushroom in disguise soup

butternut squash and porcini mushrooms soup

October and November in northern Italy and southern Austria are the months of mushroom picking. There are actually special trips to the Alps, organized by mushroom enthusiasts, for picking many different kinds of mushrooms, but Porcini in particular. These mushrooms are so prized, that in order to preserve the natural environment, authorities in some areas put in place a licensure requirement in order to gather them. They grant only a limited number of licenses, and restrict the quantities each person can harvest for personal use.

My parents love walking in the woods and picking mushrooms, and my mom is one of the best porcini soup makers. Porcini soup though, requires several pounds of fresh porcini and could be considered a quite expensive dish, if you don’t have the chance to get the “raw material” direct from mother nature! The arrival of fall made me miss so much this kind of dish, since I am no longer in Italy with the luxury of this mushroom bounty, or my mother’s splendid cooking. So after some considering, I decided that since porcini and squash are a pretty delicious combo (see my dried porcini and squash risotto) I came up with an easy, less expensive, and fabulous way to make the porcini soup, on a base of butternut squash. The ingredients required by this recipe, indeed, are exactly the same as my simple butternut squash soup (with all the good benefits coming from eating orange and yellow food) BUT a pack of dried porcini mushrooms, some nutmeg  and possibly (but not necessarily) a mushroom bouillon. The taste and texture of this “porcini mushroom soup in disguise” is pretty similar to the Italian version, and I assure you that just its smell will conquer your senses and bring your thoughts to the Alps!

INGREDIENTS FOR A 1/2 GALLON POT

1 big sized white onion, finely chopped

1 big carrot (or two little ones)

2 medium sized yellow squash (sometimes called summer squash, or a yellow zucchini)

1 medium sized butternut squash

1 pack dried porcini mushrooms

2 Tbs. olive oil

sea salt to taste

2 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary

2 tsp. powdered nutmeg

1 mushroom bouillon or vegetable bouillon cube

grated parmesan cheese (for dusting)

1/2 gallon water

DIRECTIONS

Start by washing and cutting all of your vegetables: peel and chop both the onion and carrots; clean up the butternut squash by taking away the hard skin, scooping the seeds and cutting into little cubes. Leave the peel on the yellow squash and chop these as well. Do not do anything with the porcini yet (for this recipe they don’t need to be previously soaked in water). In a big pot (I use a steel one) heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil on medium heat and add the chopped onion and cook until translucent and then add the chopped carrot.  Wait a little until the carrots brown with the onion, stir a few times and then add the chopped yellow squash and butternut squash  (for the pictures step by step of this phases, look at my Butternut squash soup recipe).  Let the vegetables cook few minutes (never lowering the heat) and then add the bouillon, the nutmeg, the rosemary and cover with water.

Cover the pot with the lid and as soon as the water starts boiling, put the pot at lower heat for 30 minutes. At this point, add the dried porcini, cover with the lid and let the soup cook for another ten minutes.


 

Blend the soup with an immersion blender to make it nice and creamy (if you like, before doing that, set aside few porcini to decorate the bowl when you’ll serve it).

When you serve the soup, remember to offer at least one tablespoon per soup bowl of the best grated parmesan.

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

Orange creamy butternut squash soup, energize your mood and satisfy your palate!

When fall approaches, I always feel the urge to start decorating my house and front door with pumpkins, hay, cute fall-colored ribbons and wreaths, scarecrows, and corn. I love this period of the year, when all the leaves change and nature gives its last blast of colors before winter comes.  I also start finding more pleasure in cooking warm and comforting food, and bringing some of these colors to the table! Orange, especially, is a lovely bright color that represents strength and endurance. The spectrum of this sunny color can enhance a bright and energizing mood as well as richly warm the comforts of home. And the healthy aura of orange doesn’t stop there – thanks to the plethora of nutrients associated with orange-colored fruits and vegetables, consuming them can help your overall health.  The abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients in orange foods are good for your skin, eyes and heart, and they may also decrease your risk of cancer.

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If I haven’t convinced you to try this recipe by listing all the good effects of orange food (here more specifically, the 10 reasons orange food is good for you), well, at least try this soup for the following two reasons:

  • because after Halloween, or rather, in between the Halloween candy and Thanksgiving pie 😉 you will need to depurate yourself or perhaps just like to look and feel your best going into the Christmas holidays, and eating this low carb (but absolutely delicious) soup will help cut down the daily calories. (This soup would be perfect to alternate with my other favorite vegetable soup to achieve this health goal.)
  • because it is really delicious, creamy, quick and easy to make, and, especially this time of the year, absolutely cheap, with squash and other such vegetables in-season!

About the cooking time: to cook the vegetable soup takes no more than 30 minutes, but you’ll need a little bit of extra time before, to chop the veggies.

INGREDIENTS for a 1/2 gallon pot

1 big sized white onion, finely chopped

1 big carrot

2 medium sized yellow squash

1 medium sized butternut squash

2 tbs. olive oil

sea salt  to taste

2 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary (plus a pinch to dust each serving)

1 vegetable bouillon (you can find it in the organic section of the grocery store)

parmesan cheese (for dusting)

1/2 gallon of water

optional: 1 Tbs. cream cheese per bowl

DIRECTIONS

Start by washing and cutting all of your vegetables. Peel and chop both the onion and carrots. Clean up the butternut squash by taking away the hard skin (being careful not to cut yourself!), scooping out the seeds, and cutting it into little cubes. Leave the peel on the zucchini and chop these as well.

In a big pot (I use a steel one), heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil on medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, and then add the chopped carrots.

Wait a little until the carrots brown with the onion, stir a few times and then add the chopped yellow squash and butternut squash.

Let the vegetables cook few minutes and then cover with the water, add the vegetable broth seasoning (buillon), and the rosemary .

Cover the pot with the lid and as soon as the water starts boiling, put the pot at lower heat for not more than 30 minutes.

Your soup is ready!

Actually, since the best characteristic of this soup, in my opinion, is its velvety consistency, before serving, I recommend blending it with an immersion blender to make it nice and creamy…

Considering the amount of water you use, and all the vegetables, you will obtain enough soup to eat all week (unless you are a 10-person family ;-)). If refrigerated, this soup can keep up to a week, and can be frozen too.

When you serve it, remember to offer at least one tablespoon per soup bowl of the best grated parmesan, and (for whom like the idea), a dusting of black pepper.

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LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – If you are not struggling with calories, once you’ve blended the soup, dish up what you wish to eat immediately, add 1 Tbs. cream cheese, and let it melt before serving the soup. It will turn the soup into a sweet, irresistible cream!!!

– What is really great about this soup is that you can make it anytime of the day, and just reheat it before your meal.

-Even if I prefer my soup just dusted with parmesan cheese, when dinner time comes close I usually cook inside the soup some small pasta (i.e. rigatini, small soup shells, or Acini di pepe) so it will be more sustaining for the rest of the members of the family (men’s bellies are not so easy to fill up!) ;-).

– Be aware of one thing: once frozen and thawed, the taste of the soup won’t change, but it won’t be as creamy and velvety as it was fresh.

 

            I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

VEGETABLE SOUP: How to wash away all that sugar we devoured with Halloween Candies!

It happens that after some specific periods of the year (i.e. Halloween) our body just begs for a purification from candies and sugar in general….

In my case that request is followed with not so much effort, considering that I love vegetable soup, and fortunately all my family does too- even the little ones!  It’s a great way to get them to eat more veggies!So, whether you want to help rid your body of the sugar, or warm up with a hot bowl of soup on a cold autumn day, or get more veggies in your diet, just add this vegetable soup to your diet twice a week.  Believe me, you’ll be amazed how much you will like this healthy meal!

INGREDIENTS for a 1/2 gallon pot

2 leeks (only the white part, you can save the green part to make homemade broth)

1 big carrot

1 or 2 stalks of celery

4 zucchini (medium size)

1 handful of chopped frozen (or fresh) spinach (this time I used some fresh bok choy leaves instead)

2 potatoes (medium size)

1/4 butternut squash

2 tbs. olive oil

sea salt  to taste

any other herbs or spices you think you would like

1/2 tbs. powdered vegetable bouillon (you can find it in the organic compartment at the grocery store)

parmesan cheese (for dusting)

1/2 gallon of water

DIRECTIONS

I was taught that when you cook vegetables, it is always better to use a steel pot or pan, because steel lets the vegetables cook without leaching all their precious properties. I always use a big steel pot, so I am sure to have enough soup to eat all week, and if there are leftovers, I freeze them. To cook the vegetable soup takes no more than 30 minutes, but you’ll need a little bit of extra time before, to chop the veggies.  Start by washing and cutting all of your vegetables.  I remove the peel of the carrot, potatoes, and squash, but leave the peel on the zucchini.  Next heat about 2 tbs. of olive oil in the pot on medium heat.  Add the leeks, and cook until browned.

Then add the chopped carrot and celery and again wait a little until they brown with the leeks.  Stir a few times.

IMG_1242

Then add the chopped zucchini, potatoes and butternut squash, spinach (or bok choy leaves), and the vegetable broth seasoning.

Let the vegetables cook few minutes and then add to the water some salt and any other spices or herbs you think you would like to use.

IMG_1246

Cover the pot with the lid and as soon as the water starts boiling, put the pot at lower heat for not more than 30 minutes.

Your soup is ready!    Actually, since my daughters don’t like the pieces of vegetables,  before to serve the soup I blend it using an immersion blender, to make it nice and creamy…

Isn’t that easy?

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – What is really great about this soup is that you can make it anytime of the day, and just reheat it before your meal.

           -Even if I prefer my soup plain (or just with a dust of parmesan cheese),  when dinner time comes close I usually cook inside the soup some small pasta (i.e. rigatini, small soup shells, or Acini di pepe) so it will be more sustaining for the rest of the members of the family (men’s bellies are not so easy to fill up!) 😉

            – If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to cook the pasta in the soup before dinner, just serve it with croutons… Oh my! It is soooo delicious  (but of course, maybe less light 😉 );

          – If you are following an “only protein” or “low carb” diet, you’ll find out that except for the potatoes (and the pasta or croutons, of course), the vegetables used in this recipe are all allowed! Considering that I eat a ton of vegetable soup especially in the cold seasons, I usually skip the use of potatoes, and prefer to add to my soup more zucchini or squash to make it more dense.

          – If kept refrigerated, your soup should last one week. I usually freeze it in small containers, so each time I can thaw just the quantity I need.

Vegetable soup

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia