Variation I : Fast German Vegetable Soup
This soup is deemed "German" because a) I started making it in Germany and b) the Trinity is based on the German "Suppe-Grün" or "soup greens"

To begin, collect the Trinity: a few carrots, leeks, and celery. However, the celery I tend to use here is the root not the stalks. (The taste, in my opinion, is much stronger.) A full root, two large carrots and two leeks should be enough for 1 to 4 people.

Cut everything in to acceptable bite sizes (I tend to like things large, but that takes longer to cook.) Throw it all boiling water (i.e. boil water first). How much water depends on how much soup. I usually start off with just a little and add more as things progress.

Season (salt & pepper, or get more creative if you want). And wait just 10 minutes or so. The whole process then is less than 15. Once the water starts to take on a "veggie color" I assume it's all done.

Other tips:

  • Take any bits and pieces from the vegetables you cut, or from any vegetables in general that are a little too old (e.g., cauliflower stems, onion peels, carrot greens). Throw them all in a separate pot with just enough boiling water to cover them.

    Now, when the vegetables turn colorless, drain the water from them and pour it into the soup. You've effectively just created a vegetable broth. You can continue the process, pouring more water onto the old vegetables until you really get all the nutrients out of them. It's something like recycling all the little bits that you normally throw away.

  • Throw in any type of vegetable (see below). The best are generally the really fibrous ones. Parsnips work fairly well. They are a lot like carrots, but sweeter, ... and different.

  • If you add too much salt, add potatoes. This is how Variation II was developed. In general, though, potatoes will tend to absorb salt and balance out the soup.



Variation II : German Potato-Vegetable Soup
Start with Variation I. Once the vegetables are in and cooking, cut up potatoes and throw them in (The smaller the better, generally).

This was originally intended to absorb the extra salt I once accidentally added to a soup. Thing was, I added way too much salt. I had to keep adding potatoes and in the end, they all started getting mushy.

To salvage the pounds and pounds of vegetables and potatoes I had already thrown in, I just let it cook more. When things got truly soft, I mushed them all up, and made a mix between mashed potatoes and vegetable soup. It's good. The color leaves a little to be desired, brown with orange chunks but it's tasty.

Enjoy! -fb

Favorite Vegetable Soup

¼ cup Onion, diced
2 Cups Vegetable Stock For Soups And Sauces
2 Garlic Cloves,minced
1½ Cups Zucchini, thinly sliced
½ Cup Carrots, sliced
½ Cup Tomato, seeded and chopped
½ Cup Fresh Parsley
¼ Teaspoon Basil Leaves
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

In a 1½ quart non-stick pan add two tablespoons
of the Vegetable Stock For Soups And Sauces ,
garlic and onion. Cook on medium heat stirring
constantly until onions are translucent. Add
remaining ingredients, except for the Vegetable
Stock For Soups And Sauces . Stir to combine,
cover and cook on low heat stirring
occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add remaining
Vegetable Stock For Soups And Sauces and bring to a
boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the
veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. Using a
slotted spoon remove ½ cup of the veggies and
set aside. Pureé the remaining veggies in a blender
in two batches. Return pureéed veggies to the pan
and add the ½ cup of reserved veggies and heat.

Makes two servings.

I usually double or triple this recipe, not only is it delicious but very low calorie and fat free!
A fine variation to those great German Vegetable Soups is this tasty Finnish Vegetable Soup.

It's very light. It's very tasty. It's very cheap. It's very easy to do. It even looks nice.

Here are the steps you need to do. (The amounts for this example soup are good for 1-2 persons.)

1) Buy some veggies. A good market place is recommended: the vegetables are fresh and often local. If there are no local vegetable dealers in your neighbourhood, try to buy veggies that are ecologically produced - you'll help the world, too!

You should buy:

  • potatoes. They're practically free. About 4-5 medium sized ones will do.
  • celery. As in German recipe, use the root. A small piece will do; half the size of your wrist will do - and that's plenty. If you are uncertain, a third of your wrist is enough.
  • rutapaga. Personally, I just love it. A piece large as your fist will do - maybe even a bit larger.
  • carrots. A couple of medium-sized ones will do.
  • beet. Buy a jar (from your local dealer) of reet halves from your local dealer. Small reet will do.
  • paprika. One will do. I prefer red ones, but do as you wish.
  • cottage cheese. About 200 gr is plenty for two. Make sure that the cheese is low-fat - 2% of fat in 200gr is more than enough. If you want to be very healthy, forget the cheese (or buy the no-fat-at-all -version).
  • citron pepper or black pepper. Take a guess what's this for. :)

    2) Take a biggish boiler and pour some water in it. About 5-8 dl will do. Now go and try to guess a way to make the water boil.

    3) While your water is heating, wash and peel the vegetables. (If necessary, that is - in some civilized countries you can get so clean potatoes in the summer that you don't need to peel them.)

    4) Cut the washed-and-peeled veggies. Largish pieces will do.

    5) When the water boils, throw everything but beet, cottage cheese and spices in.

    6) Let the veggies boil for 10 minutes. Then add the beet. Don't put too much - 2 small beet will do. Or if you have slices, about 5-8 slices is enough. Let them boil for about five more minutes - then you're all set.

    7) Take a masher. If you have a mixer, that's even better. Thanks to beet, the soup is nice and red. And it's warm.

    8) The goal is to make the soup nice and flexible - somewhere between stages "mashed potatoes" and "water". If it's too watery, well, too bad. If it's too thick, add some water. With practise you'll make good soup - trust me.

    9) Put some pepper in. Serve.

    10) At the dinner table, put some cottage cheese into the soup. The taste is great and the food is healthy. Milk, water and fruit juice make excellent drinks. Don't drink sodas or alcoholic beverages - they just kill the taste of this fine soup.

    11) To make a complete and healthy meal, eat also dark bread with light cheese, cucumber and tomatoes on top. Get some fruits (and maybe low-fat ice cream - it's cold) for dessert.

    In short: this red soup tastes good, is healthy, cheap, easy to make and it looks nice. Yum! Enjoy!

  • Best Ever Low Fat/Low Calorie Vegetarian* Vegetable Beef Soup

    *It can be modified to be Vegan if you prefer, by substituting soy milk and soy cheese, but don't ask me the calories or fat content on those 'cause I can't stand soy cheese...
    I'd love to say this recipe was handed down to me by my great-great-great-great grandmother or something, but that would be a lie. It was developed and tweaked by me over time as I tried to create a filling, good tasting diet soup to shed some pounds. If you've ever subjected yourself to the "Cabbage Soup Diet" (cabbage and tomatoes and water), you'll thak God you found this one. It's a little more fattening, but worth it. To lighten the load a little, you can remove the tofu, or veggie ground beef, or noodles or all of the above. All calories and fat content are listed, so with a little calculating, you can modify it to suit your needs. I swore that I'd never give out this recipe, but.. I'm bored, can't sleep, and can't think of anything funny to write about.

    Oh yeah, I should mention that this soup is great whether you're dieting or not. Who says you can't have it all?

    This recipe will make about 18 bowls of soup.

    INGREDIENTS


    Tomatos 2 cans* (56oz, or 1594ml) 0g fat 254 calories

    Corn 1 can** (12oz, or 341ml)1.4g fat 191 calories

    Green beans 2 cans** (28oz, or 796ml) 0.6g fat 128 calories

    Carrots 2 med 1.2g fat 50 calories

    Yams 1/2 cup 0.25g fat 88 calories

    Bok choy 2 cups 0.6 g fat 40 calories

    Celery 3 stalks 0.2g fat 17 calories

    Broccoli 3 cups 1.8g fat 90 calories

    Turnip 1 cup 0.3g fat 34 calories

    Cabbage 4 cups 0.4 g fat 84 calories

    1.5 cups tofu(cubed) 16.8 g fat 291 calories

    2 C Skim milk 1.2 g fat 182 calories

    Kidney beans 1 can** (14oz, or 398ml) 1.6g fat 318 calories

    Milk 1% 2 cups 7.2g fat 306 calories

    Philly 95% fat free cream cheese (4.5oz, or 125g) 4g fat 167 calories

    Yves veggie ground 1 pkg 2.8 g fat 340 calories

    Vegetable boullion 60g 0g fat 133 calories

    Water 9 cups 0g fat 0 calories

    1/3 cup cooked noodles .3 g fat 67 calories

    1 T basil

    1 t oregano

    Pepper

    Salt to taste (approx 60 heavy shakes, don't ask me how much that is, I never measured).

    2 T Splenda or 2-3 pkg Sweet and Low

    DIRECTIONS

    Take tomatoes and blend them in a blender until smooth. Put in large pot. Add water, milk, cream cheese, vegetable boullion, Splenda, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bring to a boil. Stir and lower heat to med/hi. Add remaining ingredients (veggies, tofu, and veggie ground beef), and cover. Bring to a low boil, stir, and lower temperature to medium. Cook with lid on, but not completely covering pot for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

    In another pot, cook noodles. When serving add noodles to each bowl, do not add to the pot as they will become mushy. (according to "Wok with Yan", this is the actual technical term for it, so leave me alone)!

    CALORIES/FAT

    Per pot.
    2780 Calories
    40.65 g fat

    Per bowl
    154.4 calories
    2.25 g fat

    Keep in mind, that over 1/3 of the fat content in the soup is the tofu, so if you aren't a big tofu fan, drop it. Each bowl will then only have 1.3 g fat and 138 calories.

    Anyway, that's my soup recipe. If you make it and it's not what you expected (ie; it's not as fabulous as I know it is, play with the salt, Splenda and boullion to get the taste you like). Once you get that worked out, I know you'll love it. And if you can spare the calories (or you're bulimic and don't care about counting calories), add more cream cheese for an even richer taste!

    ENJOY!

    **It's been brought to my attention, and rightly so, that whenever possible, use fresh instead of canned vegetables.

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