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Friday, May 18, 2012

An Ode to Soup

 Every now and then I just get the urge to make something super healthy and delicious. Perhaps it's a way for me to glaze over the fact that my day-to-day eating habits are borderline devious, or that I consume more sugar on average than someone who lives in Candyland. Either way, times call for health, veggies, and wellness, and this was surely one of those times.
Spring Cider Soup: (serves 4-6)

For the Meatballs
1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
One egg

For the Soup
1 bottle Crispin Original 
5 c. chicken broth
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 small rutabagas, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
12 spears asparagus, cut in quarters
20 green beans, cut in thirds
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 bunches thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Juice from 1 lemon, or 2 Tbsp. 
Salt & Pepper to taste
1) Start by making the meatballs. Combine  all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a 
    bowl and mix well. Form 1 inch round balls and set aside. 
2) In a large dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs carefully to the 
    pan, cook on all sides until well browned, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to 
    cook until they are cooked through. Remove the meatballs and set aside. 
3) In the same pan, heat up another Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat and saut√© garlic, ginger, 
    and scallions about 3 minutes. Add the cider, and using a spatula, scrape up the bottom of the 
    pan to loosen any bits that may have stuck. 
5) Add the chicken stock, rutabaga, carrots, fennel, thyme, and bay leaves. Allow to come to a
    simmer and cook until the rutabagas and carrots are just tender. 
6) Add in the meatballs, return to a simmer and cook 10 minutes more. Then add in the green 
    beans and asparagus and allow to cook simmering for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and 
    add lemon juice and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, or any additional seasonings you'd like. 

Now that's good eating. Fresh, so good for you, and delicious! I ate that soup up reeeeaall quick like. As you should too, with the addition of asparagus and green beans, the soup doesn't hold up that well for long. It still tastes great, but the green veggies will lose their color, so if you're making it to impress you should do it on the spot. As long as you prep all the veggies/meatballs, it's a snap to throw together. And just think of how impressive you can look, just whipping up some homemade soup all nonchalant.
Eat soup and be merry! 

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