THREE WAY WINTER SOUP


Bon appétit          SURVIVAL SERIES LEFTOVER WINTER SOUPS                                      

Having grown up in an Italian-Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn and having a friend whose Dad owned the local pizzeria and meatball sub emporium, I probably changed my blood type to “O” Positive which stood for Oregano Positive for sure.  

I had so many Italian friends (I’m Jewish) I was made a member of the “Kosher-Nostra” early in life.  And this led to my love of Italian food and the rich culture and diversity from which I learned a lot about cooking. And a lot about eating and this soup like most of the red sauce soups [tomato base or flavored] can help you loose weight.

No, it is not authentic Italian, this dish is a conglomerate made from leftovers and odds and ends I tend to accumulate. So I had some stock, meats, I added fresh vegetables, a little sweet wine and a large pot because everything is a throw in. The bigger the pot, the better you miss less! 

PURPOSE
I’m a widower ( I lost my wife to cancer) but I do take care of someone who went through a Stem Cell Transplant (took over fourteen months) and came out of the hospital at 102 pounds down from 130.   Within four months I got her up to 128 1/2 through better eating, saturated whole foods, and vitamins.   Her blood work today and overall health is excellent.  She, a friend of my late wife and I,  have known each other for 35 years and she has passed the 1000 day mark.  Cooking for those on chemo is tricky and breaking old microwave habits sometimes trickier.  I am working on a book or E-book called Chemo Cooking… This is what I made from leftovers.


WE NEED STOCK TO START and THE HOLY TRINITY

  • A large 5 to 8 Qt. Pot filled with 6 cans / cups of chicken stock or I use KNORR commercial stock mix I buy at Sam’s or Costco’s, also at GFS in the large tub (I use a lot of stock). 
  • One whole celery plant [6 sticks] diced to 1/4 inch sections either straight or on a bias.  Leave just a few of the leaves, diced small for flavor. 
  • A green pepper, sliced or julienne.
  • Two large sweet onions (Visalia Sweets) also 1/4 inch and cooked with the celery.
  • One bag carrots, I had some julienned so I used them, usually I have round sliced carrots I cut myself 
  • A half cup of raisins for sweetness
  • And a criminally huge amount of garlic.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the veggies, till softened and should look like picture as shown above.  Any additional salt or pepper to taste as needed.


THE HOLY TRINITY HEALTH POINT
A common use of these vegetables in combination used in Gumbos and Stews is the basis for many of the dishes I make.  This way you get more veggies in your meal, the stock is holding all those good vitamins and sometimes the only way you can get kids to get their veggies.   

  • In the Southern states, Louisiana in particular,  a combination of carrots, onions, green peppers, celery makes up what they call the Trinity or the Holy Trinity.  
  • The Cajun holy trinity, or Louisiana Creole is a variant of the mirepoix: onions, bell peppers, and celery in roughly equal quantities. This mirepoix is the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana.
  • The importance of these three vegetables is indicated by the reference to the “Holy Trinity.” The mostly Catholic French Cajuns’ mean this allusion as a sign of the respect due to the place of onion, celery, and bell pepper in Cajun cookery. Garlic is sometimes added to the trinity, and green onions and parsley are generally sprinkled on top of a finished dish.  
  • Even when a Cajun is cooking a dish that is not typically Cajun, such as spaghetti sauce, they generally use onion, celery and bell pepper.
  • Using a combination of three major ingredients as essentials in any cuisine is not particular to Cajun cooking:   Mexican cuisine uses rice, beans, and chilies.  Greeks uses olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.  Italian cuisines would be lost without tomatoes, garlic, and basil.  Chinese cookery often contains onions, soy sauce, and rice.
  • It also combines the soup and entree into one course for faster eating and less dishwashing.  Try this, put in front of your kids a plate of vegetables and a hamburger on another plate.  You will get the point.  Most pass on the veggies.  This could be the reason Chinese children are basically healthy, their veggies are enclosed with the dish.  No picking and choosing, and most dishes I make contain flavored chicken, meat or shellfish stock, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables.  


INGREDIENTS I ADD TO THE SOUP BASE 

  • Two small cans of mushrooms since I had them handy.
  • One half mild jalopena pitted and de-pithed, washed well, diced fine.
  • One can Okra pieces in tomato sauce
  • Two small  cans of tomato paste.
  • Two regular size cans of Tomato Diced, liquid and all.
  • One or two tablespoons of  Italian Seasoning

Cook till things meld together and should look as in the 2nd picture

  • Leftover - I had an open package, a half pound of sweet  pork sausage and cut medallions from all four which just filed my smallest pan.  I browned both sides so when they go in the dish they won’t fall apart and become mushy like a chili. They hold up better, add the sausage to the pot. 
  • Leftover - I had four cooked drumsticks left from huge chickens we had at a party and cut the meat off the bones, chopped them and then into the pan I just used for the sausage, with the drippings and pan fried them soft, and added them to the pot.  
  • One cup of any white or red wine you like.
  • Leave the stew (it’s more than a soup) on the stove stirring occasionally till it cooks down or reduces about 10-12%.  Heaven...


STEP FOUR   MEATBALLS OPTIONAL 

This made eight Tupperware  or GLAD containers of a very hearty and flavorful soup but there is one more ingredient that we added.   

In my fridge, I had a five pound bag of precooked frozen meatballs. 

Each container got four meatballs on the bottom and then the soup over it to cool . Then we sent them off to the fridge.

The meatballs were the last part of the Trifecta, made up the name we had in the restaurant for a leftover throw together. We called it Rock Soup.  Meatballs, Chicken and Sausage and there were eight of the GLAD containers, I ate the eighth one. 

Sorry, not picture perfectly symmetrical but delicious even if it is missing from the photo.

There is nothing written in stone here recipe wise, this is just what I call primal basic good food. Simple cooking and a way of getting veggies into people.  

But when the guys come over for Football, this is one of their favorites alongside or instead of the usual wings and pizza. And Im not cleaning up chicken pieces from the carpet. 

There is nothing in this recipe that isn’t good for you and since we don’t drain or strain. The vitamins and minerals stay intact. The smaller amounts of meat provide proteins and the rest speaks for itself.  No bread, just good wholesome veggies and plenty of them.

SERVING HINT:   I take one of these containers, and just by adding some additional stock either meat or chicken based it will easily feed two.  Parmesan Cheese sprinkled on top, served with bread usually a topped Bruschetta,  a Focaccia, Ciabatta  or simply any hard bread on the outside, soft on the inside for dipping with garlic and oil. Heaven… and great on a cold miserable day…




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