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A Real Crowd-Pleaser (That Works for One as Well)

December 11, 2008
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What could be more of a crowd-pleaser than a hearty bowl of soup? Add some slices of bread and a nifty little salad, and you've got a meal that family and friends will rave about.

And what better dish could there be than soup when you're thinking about a meal for one? Add that bread ... well, you get the picture.

Make a large pot on Sunday, then freeze packets of it, and you could be eating like royalty for a week or two.

Throw in everything you can find that's left in your fridge and, as long as it blends well, you can forge ahead without even consulting a recipe. Always have some kosher stock on hand and a few fresh veggies -- or, in a pinch, frozen or canned -- and you're ready to set off on a culinary adventure.

Or, if you're not quite so bold, you can try some of these.

 
Sweet-Potato Red Lentil Soup

(Pareve)

2 cups dried red lentils
2-3 Tbsps. oil
2-3 onions, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 red potato (optional)
1 Tbsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsps. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
dash clove powder
fresh parsley (optional)

Soak lentils in hot water. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large soup pot.

Sauté onions, garlic and zucchini until softened. Stir in carrots and potatoes.

Drain lentils and add to soup. Cover with water. Add spices and parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are soft enough to be mashed.

Remove soup from heat.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup to the desire consistency.

Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

 
Easy Puréed Vegetable Soup

(Pareve)

3 carrots
1 onion
1 zucchini
1 parsnip
1 celery stalk
8 cups water
1/2 cup barley
1 Tbsp. pareve chicken-soup powder
2 tsps. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper

Wash and cut vegetables into large chunks.

Place the vegetables and water in a 3-quart pot. Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a boil.

Add barley, soup mix, salt and pepper. Cover partially. Turn heat down to low. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender enough to be mashed.

Remove soup from heat. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup to the desire consistency.

Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 
Hungarian Vegetable Soup

(Pareve)

2-3 Tbsps.canola oil
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen baby lima beans
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen baby peas
4 medium-large red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion peeled and left whole
2 large parsley root, peeled and sliced
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 bag of peeled mini-carrots (try to get the really small ones) or 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsps. sweet Hungarian paprika
salt and white pepper

Heat oil in pot. Add all vegetables and seasonings over medium to high heat. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add 12 to 13 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes with lid on pot.

Add frozen peas and cooked pasta. Pasta can be small bowties, orzo, stars or whatever is preferred.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Heat and serve.

Serves 10 to 15.

Tip: Soup can be frozen, but be sure to freeze without pasta.

 
Potato-Lima Bean Soup

(Pareve)

1/2 cup onion, peeled and finely diced
2 Tbsps. cooking oil
1 Tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bag (10 oz.) frozen sliced carrots (or fresh baby carrots)
1 bag (10 oz.) lima beans
garnish with fresh parsley

Place onion, oil and seasoning in three-quart, thick-bottomed cooking pot.

Sauté onion until clear and soft, about 15 minutes, on medium high heat.

Add potatoes, carrots and lima beans. Add enough water to cover by about 2 inches.

Bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer uncovered at least 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

 
Vegetable-Rice Soup

(Pareve)

1 cup uncooked white rice
nonstick cooking spray
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 cup sliced green onions
6 cups vegetable broth
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 cup diced tomato
1 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1 cup cut-up sugar snap peas or green beans
2 Tbsps. chopped parsley
11/2 Tbsps. minced, seeded green chili pepper or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. cumin
juice of 1 lime (optional)

Cook the rice according to directions until tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium soup pot coated with cooking spray, sauté the onions and garlic on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the broth, carrot and celery.

Add the tomato, zucchini, sugar snap peas, parsley, chili pepper, salt, pepper, cumin and cooked rice.

Simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Squeeze the lime juice into the soup and serve.

Serves 6.

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