On a recent Friday evening, even though I had a free ticket to the Pancake and Bacon fundraiser dinner at the local Junior High, I opted to stay home with the teens.
Earlier in the day, I had made my younger daughter a pot of her favorite Tuscan/Asian soup (there are several versions of this on this blog and in my cookbook) hoping to put most of it in the freezer in single serving containers, so she would have something to eat before soccer practice. A toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich on sourdough bread, although I love this too, isn’t a great dinner for a girl with a 1.5 hour round trip commute and a 2 hour practice. She practices twice a week, so I am always trying to come up with nutritious and filling on-the-go dinners for her.
The teens were happy I had plans for the evening and had invited friends over. At first, they said it would be one friend and then it was five. I like the kids having friends over, but they are often hungry and luckily I had this on the stove. Normally, I would do what a normal mother would do – order pizza, but the soup (this is actually almost a stew) was ready. And I have to say they loved it. One of the football players said, “This is the best soup I’ve ever had.” This is my favorite kind of compliment. Because the athletes liked this so much I wanted to share this spring variation and photos with you.
Spring Variation – Asian/Tuscan Soup for Teens
2 Whole Foods handmade sausages (Ginger and Soy)
1/2 white onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic finely diced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
1 cup carrots diced
2 cups organic chicken broth (see my homemade recipe in my book Real Food for Real People – Amazon)
1 can of tomato sauce (15 oz.)
2 cans (15 oz.) Cannellini beans rinsed
1 cup frozen cubed butternut squash (Whole Foods carries a nice size package)
2 zucchini cubed
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In a large soup or stock pot sauté sausage for 1 minute, and then add garlic and onion. The sausage has enough fat that you don’t need olive oil and starting the sausage first will help ensure you do not scorch the garlic. While these ingredients are browning you can chop the veggies.
2. Once the sausage is brown and the onions translucent add the ginger, carrots, broth, tomato sauce and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 min.
3. Add the beans and frozen veggies and heat through.
4. Add the cubed zucchini last and cook for about five minutes. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini as it will get very soft.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
This soup reheats and freezes extremely well. Freeze in single serving glass containers for easy reheating.