Monday, January 17, 2011

Kitchen Sink Soup

I love making soups. You know how cold it gets here in sunny Florida, so when it does turn a little brisk, I get on a soup making binge. Oh, who am I kidding, I make soups all year long. Turn the a/c on and have a bowl! It really was cold here last week, so I whipped up what I'm calling "Kitchen Sink" soup. I threw it all together and it was really good. Even better the next day!

Kitchen Sink Soup

Salt pork, Bacon or Ham
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes (again, no salt)
V-8 Juice (I used low-sodium)
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or any kind of bean)
Italian parsley
Seasoned salt
Chili powder
Quick cooking barley
Frozen chopped collard greens (spinach would be good too)

Render or brown a small amount of salt pork or bacon on medium low heat to release the fat. If you're using ham, you might need some olive oil to brown it slightly. Ditch some of the fat if it seems excessive. Dice onion, celery, carrot and garlic and saute in same pan/pot. Add two cans of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, lots of V-8 juice and water to cover everything. Then toss in some kidney beans and fresh Italian parsley. I added seasoned salt, freshly ground pepper and chili powder too. I think that's it. Cumin would be good, and/or turmeric. Whatever dry spices you love. If you're not on a salt hiatus like me, use normal canned stuff and go easy on the seasoned salt. All that canned stuff can get salty. Let this mixture simmer covered for at least 45 minutes. Add more water if it seems too thick. It should be between soup and chili in consistency.

After the initial simmering time, add in the barley and cook for 30 minutes to get the barley done. The last 10 minutes I threw in the frozen greens. I served the soup with crusty bread, and a parsley garnish. I might add a dollop of chevre or sour cream as a garnish next time. I can see this soup going vegetarian as well. Kill the pork (that's not very nice vegetarian talk!), and use vegetable stock. Maybe double up on the beans for protein.

Some other good recipes I tried this weekend: Jan's Dilly Bread and 5-Layer Greek Dip. I made the Greek dip twice this weekend. I brought a batch to Sew Day and then my daughter wanted her "hummus needs" met.

The Label
I finished my January doll quilt with the "Show Us Where You Live" theme. I'm really bad about making labels for my quilts, but I always make them for these doll quilts. I need to remind myself that they're not that hard. Fun, even.

And speaking of sunny Florida, here's the view outside today. It's 57 degrees, but raining sideways. Lots of lightening and thunder too. Yay! Now if I can figure out how to stay inside and sew all day...

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