I can always be convinced to have a hot bowl of soup. Spring time weather is just cool enough to make me appreciate the warming goodness of soup.
Soups can be nutritious whether they contain meat or not. Soup is one meal that will help you stretch meat because it can be used as a flavoring, while the vegetables, pasta, rice and broth serve as the main part of the dish.
Here are two of my family’s favorite soup recipes. You can serve either of these with or without a salad and bread.
The first soup consists of seasoned chicken meatballs, tortellini for your noodles and some vegetables in a seasoned broth. Of course you can use regular egg noodles or other noodles! But the cheesy flavor of the tortellini is superb.
Its quick to put together after you cook the meatballs, so its a good soup for Sunday or Sabbath dinner. You can cook the meatballs ahead of time, chop your veggies and have it all ready to put together which takes about 12-15 minutes cooking time included.
This recipe serves 6-8 people
Chicken Noodle Soup
by Sylvia Britton
1 medium onion, diced
1# ground chicken meat
1 egg or egg substitute
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 handful fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound dried cheese tortellini, store bought OR use 8-12 ounces dried pasta of your c
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive oil for browning
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
2 large carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces, I used small baby carrots and left them whole
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped small
1 bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 quarts chicken broth ***
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
5 stems of the parsley for cooking in the soup
4 black peppercorns
salt if desired
Grated Parmesan, for garnish
***Lets talk about chicken broth because … all chicken broth is not created equally. The broth you make at home is best for any soup including this one. But if you buy it, I suggest that you buy the low-sodium broth. That way, you can season the soup the way you like it. When you make chicken stock/broth at home, put your chickens in boiling water and add about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the cooking water to help get all that good nutrition out of the bones. Then add a carrot, onion, some celery and some peppercorns to the water. Simmer til the chicken is done. Cool enough to remove the meat and bones. After you’ve taken out the meat and bones, cool the liquid. When its cool you will have a jelly-like substance form on top of the liquid and a layer of fat on top of the jelly. Scoop off some of the fat and use for other recipes. The jelly and liquid can be used as your stock for this soup and many other recipes.
Heat the oil in your soup or stock pot, add the carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until the veggies are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth and all other ingredients ( parsley, peppercorns, salt) bring to a boil. Let it simmer while you make the meatballs.
Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a food processor and process til the mixture is smooth and well combined. Heat a skillet on medium high heat with about 3 T olive oil. Using 2 teaspoons, scoop up a heaping spoon of meatball mixture and push it onto a plate with the other spoon. When all the meatballs are made, you can put them in the skillet of hot oil and brown them on all sides. Don’t over cook them. When they are brown, remove them to a paper towel to drain.
Bring the broth to a boil and add the tortellini or noodles, cook til they are done and then add the meatballs. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve the soup in big bowls and garnish each serving with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
The second soup is a traditional Split Pea Soup. It is
Split Pea Soup
1/8 cup olive oil
3 quarts good chicken broth
1 onion, chopped finely
1 cup carrots, chopped finely
3 cups diced red potatoes, wash but don’t peel
1 # green split peas
1/2 tsp oregano
coarse salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Using a large stock pot, heat the oil and add the onions and carrots. Cook over medium heat til the onion is clear. Add the carrots, oregano, stock, peas and potatoes. Simmer til tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with chopped fresh parsley on each serving.