When your baggy boyfriend jeans have become your skinny jeans, you know it's time to take action. And since I'm getting a little old for crazy fad diets, action to me means eating more veggies and lean protein and less (sigh) sugar and carbs.
Soup is a great way to get all your veggies in without feeling like a wretched little goat subsisting on talahib (wild grass), and I've adapted this recipe I got from a short course I took at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York when it was still named after Peter Kump.
It's a ridiculously easy and versatile gazpacho-inspired soup that you can change around to suit your tastes, mood and refrigerator contents. You could add some protein by way of shredded chicken or beef, or some nice carb-y texture by switching diced carrots and potatoes (which were in the original recipe) for the cabbage.
I opted for the latter to up the fiber and fullness factor. This makes it (somewhat) easier for me to resist the holiday deluge of brownies, cookies and lechon.
The possibilities are endless, though. Add some rice, barley or mushrooms. Or if your relationship with your jeans isn't quite as angst-ridden as mine, garnish with olive oil, sour cream or better yet, a grilled cheese sandwich.
Spicy Vegetable Soup
Adapted from a recipe by the Institute of Culinary Education (when it was still the Peter Kump's School of Culinary Arts )
Yield: 12 cups
8 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 400-g cans, diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups seeded, diced green pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage (about half a head)
1 cup small-diced yellow onion
1 small head of garlic, finely minced
cayenne pepper, to taste
two tablespoons chopped basil, parsley, marjoram, oregano or any combination of each
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot, combine the stock, vinegar, tomatoes, pepper, cabbage, and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, around 20-30 minutes.
3. Blend thoroughly with an immersion or stand blender.
Season with salt and pepper, and add fresh herbs, vinegar or other garnishes as desired.
|Tuna is diet food, too, you know.|
|Oh, forget it. Just wake me when you open that can of tuna.|