Living a Healthy Lifestyle
“I just enjoyed a bowl of soup.
So why is that a big deal you may ask?”
– The Uphill Skater –
I just finished a big bowl of my favorite cold-weather, delicious go-to meal: soup. I love soup and frequently enjoy it with fresh bread, chunks of cheese, a sliced apple, or crackers. I try not to let anything go to waste in the kitchen, and my numerous soup recipes actually bare that out. My one exception is a tasty soup called Autumn Harvest, which I’m happy to share the recipe for: Go to Panera Bread (they even have a drive-thru) and order the Autumn Harvest soup. It’s so good!
Soups and cold weather are as good of a pair as peanut butter and jelly, and as simple to whip up. My recipe for soup du jour is to look in your fridge and see what you have. I am a vegetarian, so my favorite go-to is usually vegetable, but all you need do is add some protein, and it can become your favorite, too. I usually have carrots, onions, celery, and sometimes a bag of mixed broccoli and cauliflower. I often have lettuce and tomatoes, as well. I forage around for anything else in the pantry, Rotel tomatoes, beans, peas, or my favorite—corn. Bonus!
If you think cooking is laborious and time-consuming, a good pot of soup will quickly dispel your theory. It’s actually easier than pie! All you have to do is start with a little olive oil in a big saucepan and add your favorite veggies. Chop them to your liking—onions and celery fine, carrots and broccoli diced. Then sauté everything until it is soft. I am told chefs use the term limp, but you know what I mean. Add vegetable, chicken or beef broth, depending on the protein you plan to use, if any. You can also add bouillon of any meat or bone broth you like. One of my friends adds beef broth and a large marrow bone. It’s up to you! However, even a vegetarian has to admit adding chicken, beef or ham with a bit of fat on it makes for a very rich soup. My darling husband says if you add enough chopped ham or beef to my soup recipe, it is actually quite good and can quite easily become stew!
Here’s a little secret my husband doesn’t know. I place a bit of broth, a bunch of lettuce, kale or arugula (about 1 cup) and a peeled tomato in the blender and pulse until smooth. Of course, I add it to the soup, and he’s none the wiser. It thickens it and adds a nice texture.
I love fresh bread with soups and stews, so I use my bread machine or make biscuits from the Bisquick recipe on the box. I guess this is not the most healthy thing in the world to eat, but it really compliments hot soups, and everyone admits that it sure is good! Cornbread is a delicious option, too, especially with heartier soups and stews.
Hot dishes and comfort foods do not have to be overly heavy or unhealthy. In fact, soup can be quite hydrating. Most of the recipes you find in Pink are not only tested, but are rated for taste, nutrition, and even evaluated for presentation. I have found many fabulous recipes in Pink, and of course being in the Lowcountry, some of my favorites feature shrimp.
If you have a unique ingredient in your area, I say you should flaunt it just like Bubba from Forrest Gump—“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That—that’s about it.”
Well, Bubba. I beg to differ. There’s also shrimp ’n’ grits, the Lowcountry’s elite epicurean cold-weather delight that’s eaten all year round. Something hot, rib-sticking and down-right delicious can be so satisfying. It’s cold outside, eat hot and stay warm. Love, Judith
Visit www.skatinguphill.com blog for new recipes, daily thoughts and décor ideas. Also find reprints of Pink articles and shared comments. Blogging is fun and easy.
Judith Lawrenson is a former Hilton Head Island resident who has a huge heart and is loved by all who meet her. She has served and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations while living in the Lowcontry making an impact wherever she went. She and her husband recently moved to the wild hills of West Virginia to be closer to grandchildren. Judith is an avid sailor, a retired reading resource specialist, and a children's TV host whose local show originated from the Boys and Girls' Club. Judith is also a long-time seeker of healthy, happy living and a lifestyle dedicated to service to others, balanced with love of God and love of self. Check out her blog www.skatinguphill.com for fun info, recipes and nutrition ideas, current updates on nearly everything in the world, and lots of comments and opinions.
Though I do tons of research, and have done so for many years, I am not a doctor and I share only my opinions. I enjoy research and subscribe to several magazines and publications and read up on all new trends. I hope you do, too!