Soup and Gratitude
Welcome to Dishing it Out, ParentDish's weekly food column. Katie Workman lives in New York City with her husband and two boys, Jack and Charlie. By day she is the Editor-in Chief of the recipe website Cookstr.com. You can read all of the Dishing it Out posts here.
It's very difficult to write about the holidays and being thankful without sounding sanctimonious. I started writing this 10 different times, and each time it sounded awfully Tiny Tim-ish (as in, "God Bless us, every one!"). Even my husband told me this sounded preachy -- but I sprayed him with the sink hose, so he's quieter now.
The world ain't so pretty right now. Not a page in the newspaper brings any comfort or joy. One thing, however, is becoming clearer and clearer: whether you are focused on the global or the local, we are all going to have to help each other, and that's a fact.
Ok, we're all in agreement.
Start by making soup. A huge pot. Then, grab those plastic containers, fill them with soup, and bring some to someone you love, or someone you like, or someone who could use a bowl of soup. Bring soup to your mom, your neighbor, the old guy who lives down the street, your local soup kitchen, your friend who just lost her job, the teacher who stayed late to help your son with math, the postman who walks mail to your door, the pharmacist who filled your sick kid's prescription while you waited, your doorman, the nice lady at the dry cleaners.
Here's a highly forgiving, non-recipe recipe, so you can make soup...well, maybe now.
SOUP OF THE DAY (YOUR DAY) - and lots of it
Saute some onions - about 1 cup (or shallots, or leeks, or a little bit of garlic, or a combo) over medium high heat for 3 minutes.
Add some chopped veggies - about 8 cups total (any combo of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, chard, cabbage, kale, brocoflower, eggplant, asparagus...you get the picture). Stir for 4 minutes or so. Here you can add one or two tablespoons whatever dried herbs you like: I like oregano and thyme combined, and a pinch of rosemary sometimes. And some freshly ground pepper, and a sprinkle of coarse salt.
Add two cans (whatever size) of crushed tomatoes.
Add two cans (whatever size) of beans, your choice, drained and rinsed.
Add 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.
Simmer this all away for about 10 minutes. Add about 1 1/2 cups rice, and cook for 15-20 or so minutes until the rice is tender and the soup is good and thick. It's ready to go, and gets better with a day in the fridge.
You can add leftovers happily, and really at any point (diced chicken, crumbled bacon, cubed squash, diced boiled potatoes).
p.s. this soup tastes amazing because you made it up. And it's very satisfying to think of the mailman eating it for dinner, too.
For tons of great family-friendly recipes from amazing chcfs and cookbook authors, please visit Cookstr.com.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.