Tag Archives: Soups and Stews

Biblical Responses To Hunger

P1010170Got the munchies?  Not sure what to do?  Let’s take a look at the Bible to see how our spiritual ancestors handled their growling tummies.  Some of these people showed wisdom and some showed folly.  Let’s see if you can spot my 2 favorites for application in our own lives!

1. Sell your birthright for red lentil stew. (Genesis 25:29-34)  Poor Esau.  Let’s hope it was the best stew he’d ever had!  Think he got seconds?

2. Threaten to wipe out an inhospitable man and his entire family. (1 Samuel 25)  I don’t really blame David here.  Hungry war bands should be fed right away, especially if they asked nicely.  Good thing Abigail was there to smooth things over.

3. Borrow a kid’s lunch and share it with five thousand men and their families. (Mark 6:30-44) This one might be above our pay grade.

4. Eat only vegetables. (Daniel 1:8-20) Daniel and his friends did this for ten days and became the best looking young men in Babylon’s captive-to-magi training program.

P10101655. Give the last of your food to a prophet. (1 Kings 17:7-16) You’re going to die anyway, right?  May as well please God before you do; He has a way of taking care of his own.

6. Drink some water and wait for God to send you ravens carrying food. (1 Kings 17:1-6) This is a good idea even if you’re not hiding in a desert ravine to save your life.  God might not send ravens your way, but the concept is good: drink and wait.

Did you catch my favorites?  That’s right: #4 and #6!  Eat vegetables, drink, and wait.  When your body asks to be filled, do it right!  And for the entrepreneurs out there, make some really, really good lentil stew and buy your family’s inheritance cheap.

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Biblical Responses To Hunger

P1010170Got the munchies?  Not sure what to do?  Let’s take a look at the Bible to see how our spiritual ancestors handled their growling tummies.  Some of these people showed wisdom and some showed folly.  Let’s see if you can spot my 2 favorites for application in our own lives!

1. Sell your birthright for red lentil stew. (Genesis 25:29-34)  Poor Esau.  Let’s hope it was the best stew he’d ever had!  Think he got seconds?

2. Threaten to wipe out an inhospitable man and his entire family. (1 Samuel 25)  I don’t really blame David here.  Hungry war bands should be fed right away, especially if they asked nicely.  Good thing Abigail was there to smooth things over.

3. Borrow a kid’s lunch and share it with five thousand men and their families. (Mark 6:30-44) This one might be above our pay grade.

4. Eat only vegetables. (Daniel 1:8-20) Daniel and his friends did this for ten days and became the best looking young men in Babylon’s captive-to-magi training program.

P10101655. Give the last of your food to a prophet. (1 Kings 17:7-16) You’re going to die anyway, right?  May as well please God before you do; He has a way of taking care of his own.

6. Drink some water and wait for God to send you ravens carrying food. (1 Kings 17:1-6) This is a good idea even if you’re not hiding in a desert ravine to save your life.  God might not send ravens your way, but the concept is good: drink and wait.

Did you catch my favorites?  That’s right: #4 and #6!  Eat vegetables, drink, and wait.  When your body asks to be filled, do it right!  And for the entrepreneurs out there, make some really, really good lentil stew and buy your family’s inheritance cheap.

Slurp This, Not That

P1010196Not all soup is created equal.  That’s like saying all chocolate is the same.  I extol the merits of soup and its ability to help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, but I feel the need to define “soup”.  To avoid confusion and – in the spirit of this blog – to keep a positive spin on things, we’ll call good, healthy, diet-friendly soup “sexy soup” to distinguish it from all the other “soups” out there that are worse for you than an Italian hoagie.  (Note: Italian hoagies are awesome BUT I don’t recommend eating them several times a week if you want to lose weight…unless you bike the five miles to and from the hoagie shop.)

Sexy Soup IS:

Mostly vegetables and water,

Going to maintain a liquid state in the fridge and not congeal into some sort of glop,

Less than 150 calories per 1 cup serving,

Tastes so good your kids will eat it.

2013 october 010Cream of Broccoli Soup, for example, is not Sexy Soup.  If you remove the water, it’s really a block of cheese with one stem of broccoli added for color.  Have you ever seen it when it’s cold?  It’s Jello.   But if you love cheese Jello like I do, then try this trick: Cook a bunch of broccoli and mix it in, about half soup and half broccoli (and water if you need to thin it out a bit).  It won’t be quite as thick as the original, but at least it won’t be misleading to keep the word “broccoli” in the title anymore, and you’ll have calcium oozing out of your pores.2013 october 015

Canned soup is convenient, but it’s not Sexy.  Some of the soup companies have created healthy lines of soup: “100% Natural”, “Light”, “Heart Healthy” and so forth.  Not a bad idea, and these soups are on track calorie-wise, but each ONE cup serving gives you about 700 mg of sodium.  That’s 30% of the sodium you should consume in an entire day.  If they have less sodium, they add more sugar, as much as 3 teaspoons in a ONE cup serving.  I don’t add that much sugar to my coffee, and I like it sweet!

Let’s not forget the main reason we love soup: it’s a warm, comforting, delicious way to eat lots of vegetables.  Most canned soups don’t give you a lot of veggies; you usually get what you see on the label’s picture…a whole three carrot slices per can.

How do you make Sexy Soup that’s satisfying and rich without adding loads of dairy, salt, or sugar?  The trick is to make the water feel like not-water in your mouth.

Option one: when the soup is cooked, pour half of it into a blender and blend it, then return it to the pot.  Your “broth” is creamy, but there’s something left to chew.  Note: this is a great way to get veggies into kids; if they pick out the carrots they can see, they still slurp down the ones they can’t.

2013 october 014Option two: add purees.  Don’t pitch your decorative pumpkins!  Did you know that pumpkins were a vegetable before they were décor?  You can eat them!  Not after you carve them, light a candle in them, and leave them on the doorstep for a month, no, but even in November and December, an unopened pumpkin can be cooked and consumed.  Bake or microwave it, scoop out the now soft insides (not the seeds), puree it in a blender, and freeze it in little ziploc baggies to add to soups.  Purees of cauliflower, yellow summer squash, and carrot also work for Sexy Soup.2013 october 012

Option three: add potatoes or rice.  Potatoes and rice tend to thicken a broth when simmered for a while.  Just make sure most of the soup is made up of colorful plants.

Option four: cheese or milk.  If you add dairy, follow the Rule of Thumb for your veggie:fat ratio.  One thumb of fat/dairy per one hand of veggies.  Choose a strong cheese that you can taste; if a mild flavored cheese blends in too well, you may as well leave it out.

Option five: blend all of the soup and pour it into a large plastic martini glass.  Put on sunglasses, heels, and lip stick, then sit by a pool and sip it through a straw.  Sexy is as sexy eats!

“Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:12

Label Poem

Read your labels every day

Read them first, before you pay.

Park your cart and block the aisle

Scan ingredients for awhile.

Read what’s in it, it will say.

Can’t pronounce them? Stay away.

 

Read your labels, every food

They can’t lie or they’ll be sued.

Not the front, or you’ll be wooed;

Read the back, the fine print, Dude!

Extra salt can take its toll;

So can Hydroxyanisole.

 

Cook from scratch as best you’re able,

Then you know what’s on your table.

Start with foods that look like plants

And block out all the “gee, I can’t”s.

Check your labels, every time.

Be sure that food is worth your dime.

Homemade Soup in Twenty Minutes

P1010166A disclaimer before we begin: if you don’t own a food processor, the only way your soup will be ready in 20 minutes is if you use pre-chopped frozen veggies or went to culinary school and earned the nickname Flash for your chopping ability.

Don’t despair!  You can still make homemade soup that is healthy, cheap, and delicious.  You just might take a little longer to get it ready.  Or you can plan ahead and chop the day before.  Or the month before and freeze little baggies of soup-ready veggies.  Or the summer before when vegetables are super cheap at the farmer’s market and you start September with three gallon sized Ziplocs full of chopped zucchini and potato and onion.  You, too, can live like medieval peasants, working from dawn ‘til dusk during the harvest season and then reaping the benefits during the long cold winter.  But I digress.

You have two options.  The first option is Clean Out the Fridge Soup, one of my favorites.  With a plethora of random leftovers, the resulting soup is different every time and you get to wash twenty little Tupperwares when you’re done.  The second option is Planned Soup where you think about it ahead of time and try to match ingredients that will go well together.

P1010196Let’s get started!

Step 1: pull out all of your vegetables and meat, especially the ones that need to be used up because they’re going bad quickly.  (Be brave, but not stupid.  Pull it out from the back of the produce drawer; if it’s less than 50% mold, you can work with it.)

Step 2: Put the soup pot on the stove and turn the burner on to medium or medium high.

Step 3: Chop up a medium onion and mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.  Don’t worry, it’s only raw garlic that make you unkissable; you can still ask your hubby to get you to bed on time!  (See post from August 4th) When the soup pot is hot (no, don’t touch it, just let your hand hover and see if it’s hot), add some fat: oil, butter, bacon, your choice, though olive oil is the healthiest. When the fat is hot, sauté the onion and garlic for a minute.

Step 4: Chop your meat up into tiny pieces and throw it in, raw or already cooked.  Remember that you can mix your meats…one serving of meatloaf, a chicken leg, half a pork chop, etc.

4Step 5: Chop up your veggies; smaller is generally better, but go with whatever you prefer.  Sauté the veggies for a minute or two.  My dad likes to add the veggies by length of cooking required so that the garlic doesn’t burn while he waits for the carrots to cook.  He does carrots, broccoli, potatoes first and onion, pepper, garlic last.  Soup is not an exact science; figure out what works for you.

The vegetables in soup are like a contemporary music band; the right combination creates beautiful harmonies.  Onion and garlic are your lead vocals and your keyboard or guitar, water and salt/seasoning are the sound wave vibrations that your ears translate into music.  Without these, it’s just not a band. (If you’re not a fan of onion and/or garlic, you need remedial eating classes.  You can never have too much garlic!)

Celery, carrots, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, kale, etc are your drums.  You can make a band without it, but why bother?  If the point of soup is to give your body nutrients, don’t leave out the colored plants.

Corn, meat, okra, turnips, etc are the violins and harmonicas.  If you like them, they add a special flare to the band.  If you don’t like them, don’t add them; no harm done.

5Beets are a diva with control over the volume of her own microphone.  I like beets, but I don’t add them to soup unless I want beet soup.  You will only taste the diva.

Step 6: Add water.  Finally, right?  You boil your soup just as long as you need to in order to cook everything in it.  If you chop your ingredients small, they cook quickly.  Ten minutes should do it.  (If you add uncooked lentils or beans or rice, you just added 20-30 minutes to the recipe.  Not a bad thing to do unless you want to eat in 15 minutes.  Leftover cooked lentils or rice?  No problem!)  I add about eight cups of water.  If that feels like too much for your family, start with less.  If your soup gets crowded, you can always add more water later.

Step 7: Add the secret ingredient: salt.  I used to have trouble making soup.  At first I would throw a lot of things into a pot and serve it.  My husband got a few nasty surprises since he was generally the first one to taste it, so I started sampling dinner before dishing it.  If a soup didn’t taste right, I’d add a little of this or that or those and my husband would ask “did you add salt?”  It only took me five years to start listening to him.  Before you despair, add a little salt and taste. Add a little more and taste.  It’s very hard to take extra salt back out! If you over salt, try adding potato.

3The easiest way to do this is to add chicken bullion cubes or packets.  Bullion gives you seasoning and salt all in one easy step.  Just as with the salt, you should add one, taste.  Add one, taste.  This is also when you can add herbs, pepper, or spices.  When in doubt, let Simon and Garfunkel guide you: add “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme”.  When it tastes good, soup’s done.

Now I know some of you are panicking right now!  NO recipe?  That’s ludicrous!  Anarchy won’t help me, Katie!  Calm down and start by clicking here.  It will lead you to a recipe for Potato Chicken Cheddar Soup.  Experiment when you feel comfortable.  Anarchy comes with practice!

The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for … I myself will be with you.” Deuteronomy 31:23 (Taken completely out of context!)  Be courageous to change your life!