Monday, April 09, 2007

Nutrionally Dense Again -Roasted Vegetable Soup

I've made a couple of those big pots of stuff that were nutritionally dense for lunch, including a big pot of mushroom barley soup, which is pretty good. But then I got a head cold and got hives and blamed the hives on the mushrooms. Probably not true.

This week I made roasted vegetable soup with beans and whole wheat rotini. At one point in my erratic food-disordered lurch from eating well to eating disastrously, I decided to try to eat the minimum daily requirement of fiber. It's 25 grams. I probably eat more fiber-as-part-of-my-diet than most people (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with fiber supplements, I'm saying I have this weird thing where I decided that if we're supposed to eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day, we should be able to do it. This is an arbitrary supposition on my part, but hey, I'm trying for five days a week of nutritionally dense.*) Anyway, I have occasionally managed to go over 25 grams of fiber in one day, but involved eating a whole bag of popcorn.

Anyway, the Roasted Vegetable Soup has beans and whole wheat rotini in it in an effort to increase my chances of eating fiber. It is, alas, more trouble than the Italian sausage thing I posted a couple of weeks ago.

1 chicken
1 large carton chicken stock
4 cups of water
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cups of snapped green beans
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, whole in their papery skins
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 turkish bay leaf
2 cans of beans (I used a can of kidney and a can of great northern)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of whole wheat rotini

1. Preheat the oven to 375

2. Cut the chicken into several parts and put the back, the wings and the drumsticks in a large pot with stock and water and simmer for about forty minutes.

3. While the chicken stock is simmering, put the onions, carrots, green beans, green pepper, and garlic on a cookie sheet and toss them with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Put them in the oven for about thirty minutes.

4. When the veggies are roasted, take them out and put them to one side. Roast the quartered tomatoes in the oven for about thirty minutes.

5. While the tomatoes are roasting, take the boiled chicken parts out of the stock. If you are really virtuous, strain the resulting stock through cheesecloth. If you are already feeling fed up with this whole process, just drop a bay leaf in and grind some pepper.

6. Bone the chicken breasts and thighs left over from the whole chicken that you cut up. Since they are going to be in the soup, this does not have to be done with elan. Chop the chicken up and put it in the soup stock. Add the roasted vegetables. Pull the tomatoes out of the oven and if you feel like it, scoop the seeds out and peel off the skin. I did, because I think the roasted skin is tasty but nasty in one's teeth and it just comes right off. Put the tomatoes in the soup.

7. Drain the beans and rinse them and throw them in. Then throw in the rotini, boil the soup according to the directions on the box (8 to 10 minutes for my stuff) and then eat off for the next week. I suspect it also freezes well. I mean, it's vegetable soup, and vegetable soup freezes well.

I'll let you know if it's good or not tomorrow. I suspect I may feel compelled to add some suracha (hot sauce) some days. You know, for variation. You could probably buy a roasted chicken and get two big cartons of chicken stock and it would still be good. Just all the messing with chicken parts, bring the stock to a simmer and throw in the roasted veggies, then throw cooked chicken meat in with the beans and rotini. It's vegetable soup. It's peasant food. It's variable.

If your tomatoes taste to acidic, add a quarter teaspoon of sugar. If you're feeling like you want something meatier, throw eight ounces of sliced mushrooms in with the onion, carrots, etc, when you're roasting. If you still feel your stock is weak, add a tablespoon of tomato paste. If all this variation stuff sounds weird, read up on the recipe for stone soup.

*I actually started the whole fiber thing as a way to lose weight. Fiber is supposed to fill me up and, you know, move things along before they lodge in my hips. No luck in losing weight. Fiber might make me feel more full but it doesn't stop me wanting brownies and ice cream, like the ones Barb Denton served on Sunday at the jam session at Brad Denton's house with Brad, Warren and Caroline Spector, and Bob, and me and Barb as The Appreciative Audience. They were really good home made brownies and the ice cream was Blue Bell ice cream and I'm pretty sure there was no fiber involved. The bbq was damn good, also.)


Blogger Adam Rakunas said...

I have made a tragic mistake by reading this post right before lunch.

Good gravy, but I really want a bowl of this soup right the heck now.

April 10, 2007 1:22 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

I'll make a big pot for you, I promise.

April 10, 2007 6:39 PM  
Blogger mary grimm said...

I don't think there's anything that can stop you from wanting homemade brownies--they're an unstoppable cosmic force.

April 10, 2007 9:18 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

It turned out quite good, if I do say so myself.

April 11, 2007 4:12 PM  

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