In this coolish, almost winter weather, I am thinking of soup, glorious soup.
Soup must have been one of the earliest cooked meals humans invented. Just think of bringing a bunch of herbs home to the cave and trying to make them palatable. Note, the thorns had to be removed. As did the soil and any other barriers to eating.
Raw things needed some help to be digestible. Careful observation of animals and their feeding habits and choices brought a whole new perspective to the dinner scene.
I am envisioning a deep hole dug in the earth lined with hot stones awaiting some delicious herbs and newly discovered plant food. Somewhere in Australia, I sampled shrimp and vegetables cooked in a pit dug into an unusually heated ground. The food was wonderful. Steamed, crisp, and beautiful looking.
Imagine which early humans brought home what they saw the animals eat and cooked the food in some kind of pot in a pit lined with hot stones. Water would somehow enhance the mixture, and after a while, SOUP!
Refine Recipes to Suit Your Needs
I am trying to refigure my preferred flavor. The doctor recently insisted I control my salt intake. I am trying to adjust my cooking, and still be satisfied with the results.
Can you tell me how you’ve successfully reduced your salt intake and not sacrificed flavor? it is not easy, I’d like to hear how you’ve made food adjustments. Please send me your comments.
I hope you enjoy these healthy, delicious winter soups.
Cabbage Borscht Soup
There is nothing as heart-warming as an excellent hot Cabbage Borscht. For those of you who haven’t experienced this hearty, one-pot dish on a cold day, you should try this Eastern European recipe.
- 1 cabbage, medium
- 3 potatoes, white or yellow
- 1 onion, medium
- 1 lb beets (substitute: 16oz can of pickled beets)
- 2 lbs beef – chuck, short ribs, meaty bones or brisket (vegetarians: omit meat and double up on beets, cabbage and potatoes)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar, white (substitute: 1 tsp citric acid or sour salt)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 quarts water (more as needed)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Slice cabbage in half and coarsely shred the other half.
- Place the shredded cabbage in bottom of the soup pot or Dutch oven.
- Cut the remaining half cabbage in eight pieces and place over the cabbage in the pot.
- Peel and quarter beets.
- Dice onion into semi-large pieces.
- Add meat, beets and onion in cooking pot.
- Add bay leaves.
- Cover contents with water.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that forms at the top.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Peel and quarter potatoes, add to soup – watch them turn pink.
- Add sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
- Keep adding and tasting until you achieve a good sweet/sour balance. Don’t get frustrated, it takes a bit to get it right. Try real lemon juice if you aren’t getting the taste you want.
- Cook for another 15 minutes.
- Soup is ready to eat when the potatoes are tender.
Ingredients and measurements can be imprecise, and subject to personal taste. Your soup may never taste the same way twice but as you go on, you’ll achieve your own preferred flavor. Once you do, be sure to write down what you did so you can repeat it.
Yellow Squash Soup
A favorite healthy soup! Squash soup can be spiffed up by adding a dab of yogurt, touch of hot sauce and a sprinkling of parsley or chives. While this soup is perfect when made from scratch with fresh squash, onions and garlic, not much is lost using frozen ingredients.
- 3 yellow summer squash, medium, seeded and cubed (substitute: 1 pkg frozen yellow squash, defrosted)
- 1/2 yellow onion, large (substitute: 1/2 pkg frozen chopped onions)
- 1/4 cup half & half, sour cream or yogurt (substitute: low-fat)
- 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated (substitute: ground nutmeg)
- 1 tbsp canola oil (substitute: olive oil)
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pear, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped (optional)
- curry powder (optional)
- Using a heavy soup pot, add oil and sauté chopped onion until soft.
- Add squash, chicken broth, water, hot sauce, garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Puree in blender or with hand blender.
- Pour back into soup pot.
- Add half & half, sour cream or yogurt.
- Stir in slowly and reheat. Do not let your soup boil or it could curdle.
- Pour into soup bowls. Add grated nutmeg on top before serving.
This recipe can be used for making corn soup. Just open a can or two of creamed corn and omit the squash.
More From Dr. Sonia Linke
It was said of Cleopatra that her every movement was fresh and original, so it is with salads. Here are four show-stopping salads, that will have your guests licking the platters and demanding recipes. They are not the easiest to prepare, but they are worthwhile as far as effort is concerned.
Here is an interesting stir-fry dish that will honor the summer season, be a snap to fix and delight your palate. It is healthy and nourishing, and you can stir it up in a few minutes — without burning the house down!
This recipe is a foundation for many different, nutritious combinations. Just let your imagination and pantry lead the way. Try using other grains such as quinoa, millet or barley; plus, the great variety of beans available is mind-boggling. Don’t hesitate to try something new.