Clean Cooking for Beginners: Soups

Recently a co-worker asked me if I could put together a type of manual/cookbook for her teenager that is wanting to learn to cook more. After feeling totally honored, I got to work. I put together a list of basic and delicious items using beef, chicken, fish and vegetables and am currently assembling the recipes, tips and techniques that go along with it.
With the weather being and cold and rainy as it is today, I thought soups would be a great place to start.

Here’s what I compiled:
How to Begin a Soup Base
Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
Chicken Rice Soup

For an easy to read PDF, you can click the following link:
Soups

To see the recipes right here, right now, here you go:

How to Begin a Soup Base
To get fancy for a moment and enlarge your culinary vocabulary, the start of most soups begins with the preparation of a mirepoix:

mire•poix
mixed finely diced vegetables: mixed finely diced vegetables, typically carrot, onion, and celery, lightly fried and used as a seasoning in stews, soups, and sauces, or on which to lay meat for roasting or braising
mirepoix
Photo Credit: thesavoryspoonful.com

So, to start, you will dice equal portions of onion, celery & carrots. It is important to have them consistently-sized. Not exactly the same, but close.

After dicing ½ cup of each vegetable, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften. By this, it means they are not hard and solid white like they are when you put them in. They will start to turn translucent and lose their stiffness. You do not want the onions to turn brown. If this happens, there’s not need to start over or anything though. Go ahead and continue with the recipe and consider it part of the learning process.

Rosemary-Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
IMG_8105[1]
1 Turnip, peeled & cubed about ½ inch in size
1 Parsnip, peeled & cubed about ½ inch in size
1 medium Yam, peeled & cubed about ½ inch in size
2 large Golden Beets, peeled & cubed about ½ inch in size (can substitute red beets, but they will bleed and make the entire soup red. It will still taste great though.)
1 Onion, chopped
1 cup diced Celery (about 3 stalks)
1 cup sliced Carrots (about 2 carrots)
½ cup diced Chard stems
1 can diced Tomatoes
4 cups Broth (Beef, Chicken or Vegetable)
2-3 cups Chard leaves, chopped
Salt
Pepper
Dried Rosemary
Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the cubed turnip, parsnip, yam and beets in a baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss with salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary.
Bake for 30 minutes, flipping cubes halfway through.
After the vegetables have finished, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes. Add chard stems. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and the roasted vegetables. If it doesn’t seem that there is enough liquid, add another cup of broth or water. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through. You can test this by pulling out a large hunk of root vegetable, letting it cool and tasting it. In the last few minutes of cooking, at the chard leaves.

Butternut Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cubed 1 medium butternut squash – peeled,
seeded, and cubed
1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken
stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper to
taste

DIRECTIONS:
1.Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
2.Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Clean Eating Chicken Rice Soup

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons dried parsley
2 quarts chicken broth
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
Heat oil in large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add celery and carrots, cooking and stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, chicken broth, rice, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until ready to serve.

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