Soup for Dinner on Day 9 of Pudbudder…

English: vegetables

English: vegetables (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the holiday draws close, we are all busy with last minute shopping and baking. It’s the perfect time to keep dinner quick and simple. So for Day 9 of Pudbudder, I offer you my version of an easy soup that you can get on the table with little effort or time.
You can create this as vegetarian by using vegetable broth. For vegan, just leave out the Parmesan cheese topping, adding your own cheese substitute.I try to prepare vegetable broth when I have time in the crock pot and store in my freezer to keep on hand for a variety of uses – just like this. I find the store bought canned versions are way too salty – even the low sodium varieties.

Christine’s Quick Chicken or Vegetable Soup

In a medium to large saucepan, brown ½ – 1 cup chopped onion in olive oil. Sauté until onions are caramelized. Add a clove or two of garlic, chopped fine and continue sautéing for 2 – 3 minutes more. Add 2 14 oz. cans of canned vegetable or chicken broth, ½ cup of sliced carrots, 1 celery stalk sliced, ½ cup sliced mushrooms and continue cooking simmering slowly until vegetables are tender. Add ¾ – 1 cup of uncooked noodles of your choice and a few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped. (We like whole grain bow tie pasta for this soup). Sometimes I add some chopped spinach or collard greens from my garden to the soup for additional color and texture. You may also add cooked shredded or chopped chicken.

Serve with shredded parmesan cheese on top and some warm crusty bread. It’s Dinner!

Hint: for a healthier choice, make your own vegetable broth and store in the freezer in 1 or 2  cup portions so you always have it on hand for soups and stews. My method is done in the crock pot with all fresh vegetables: cabbage, tomato, onion, mushroom, celery, parsnip and potato.  Season as you wish:  salt, pepper, parsley – be creative!  Cook in crock pot for 4 – 5 hours on low. Let cool. Strain out vegetables and discard as they won’t have any flavor left in them. Pour cooled broth into 1 – 2 cup containers (I save margarine or sour cream containers for just this purpose) and freeze for later use.

Happy cooking! Please share your favorite soup recipes with me!