Monday, May 9, 2011

KISS: Simple Soup Recipe

I love food! The smell of garlic being chopped into tiny bits. The joy of smelling fresh parsley before it hits the chopping block. And the blending of ingredients that make me feel like I am a fine artist creating the piece de resistance for my awaiting family.

My love for food thrives but unfortunately, my love for cooking waned over the years due to ra. It was the pain. The pain that every single chop, slice, dice, and crush caused on my joints. I got to the point that the very thought of food preparation made me cringe (and yes even cry at times). And I tried all the tricks of the trade I could find online. Nothing worked well enough to keep this cooking artisan at her station. That is, until I discovered how to simplify things.

This simplification process is a work in progress and will always be ongoing. Kinda like the progression of my ra. One day I may find that I can chop...even ever so slowly. On another day, I might not even be able to make it to the kitchen at all. But I have resolved that I will not give up the joy that cooking brings me. I just need to figure out how to modify it so I can keep the flour flying in the air, the soup boiling over and the lingering aroma of garlic in my hair.

Double batching was something I did prior to my ra. Cook twice as much, freeze half and thus, free myself on those nights when I had to work overtime, be at a PTA meeting, or crash and burn in my bed. Now, post ra, I find it a necessity.

This recipe is something I was inspired to create from the short supply of ingredients on hand. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


1/2 Turkey Kielbasa * - sliced into bite size pieces
1 box of Chicken broth (I use the organic kind but any kind will do)
1 bag of mixed frozen veggies (I prefer the mixed ones with corn, carrots, string beans or asparagus)
1 can of diced tomatoes (use the entire can including the liquid part)
1 can of kidney beans well drained and rinsed
1 medium onion chopped (if your hands are hurting - use onion powder)
2 cloves of garlic (you can use pre-chopped garlic in the jar or garlic powder or none at all)

* You do not have to use Kielbasa. You can make this a meatless soup or you can substitute one of the following: chicken or turkey meatballs or hamburger meatballs. They all work. I have tried them all. You can also leave out the beans if you prefer. That is why I love this has always tasted yummy just so long as I have the primary ingredients of chicken broth, onions, diced tomatoes, and veggies.

In a soup pot add a touch of olive oil and slightly brown the kielbasa. Add the onions and garlic (if you are using garlic powder or onion powder, add them after you add the chicken broth) and cook over low heat for a few minutes until the onions are soft. Be sure not to burn the garlic.

Add in all remaining ingredients and cook until the frozen veggies are done. Serve immediately. I keep a pot of this soup in my frig and eat this often for lunch. I just fill up my bowl and microwave it.

Note: The above recipe is not doubled. If you want to do a double batch, then you will need to double the ingredients.

I have also added potatoes or noodles at times, depending on what I have available.

My family and friends love this soup and I am hoping you will find it easy enough to prepare and delicious enough to be a regular visitor at your home too.