Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stone Soup - AKA - Homemade Vegetable Soup

I am home with my youngest son today.  He had his adenoids removed yesterday so he is home from daycare all week.  You would never know that he had a surgical procedure done yesterday.  He is doing great.  Yesterday, when we came home from the hospital, I realized that I bought lots of food for him - oatmeal, pudding, icecream, icepops, applesauce, etc but I didn't have anything for me!  I had some leftovers but I ended up picking at everything all day since I didn't have my meals planned out.  I ended up being over my calorie goal for the day.  It's ok.  It's just one day.  I didn't want the same thing to happen to me again today so I planned my meals and snacks better.

I had some veggies in the fridge and some veggie stock so I thought I would make a soup to go with some hummus and pita.  The great thing about vegetable soup is it can be different every time you make it.  Just use whatever veggies you have on hand.  I also had some barely and since I wanted to get some whole grains into the meal I  added barley to make it a Vegetable Barley soup.  You can skip it or add whatever whole grain you like.

Yesterday when I was attempting to get my son to nap (I failed miserably) I tried to read him the story Stone Soup.  So when I was trying to get my son to go inside so I could start lunch, I told him I was going to make Stone soup.  He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No, I want mac and cheese, please!"  Because of his surgery, I was going to give him mac and cheese (soft food diet) anyway but I was trying to be funny.   Oh well.


2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C frozen  peas
4 stalks asparagus, chopped
1 medium sweet potato
1 can of diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 C fresh diced tomatoes
1/2 C barley
8 C of vegetable stock
salt and pepper

In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook onions, celery and carrots (trivia question -- what is this mix called?). I usually add a pinch of salt to the mirepoix (answer).  Don't skip this.  Salt enhances the flavor.  You don't need a lot, just a pinch.  I like to cook them for about 15 minutes until they have nice color and are sweet.  Add the garlic and cook another few minutes. 

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Add barely and cook on a simmer for about 20 minutes.  At that time add the rest of the veggie, except the peas.  They will  go in last.  I usually add another pinch of salt and some pepper (especially if you use a reduced sodium stock) since it will enhance the flavor.  It won't be salty but you will taste the veggies!  Cook until the sweet potatoes and barley are tender, about another 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and add the peas.

You can mix it up by adding a little bit of parmesean cheese or a dollop of pesto.  I just had it plain because it was accompanying some roasted red pepper hummus.  By itself it is about 150 calories.  This would make a nice light lunch.  Since I am doing the program INSANITY, I needed more calories so I added the hummus and pita.  It is pretty versitle since it would go great with a half a sandwhich, a green salad, a piece of fruit or even a few slices of apple with some cheddar cheese.  This serves 8.  I plan on freezing half of it (it will last about 3 months) and saving the other half for my lunches this week.



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