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Soup/Stew ideas for tonight's dinner?

Help! My mom has asked me to make something soupy or stewy as it is freezing outside. She has requested it be healthy, but she does not eat chicken so that is out. My sister will also be eating and she does not like beans and the like. Any ideas, fellow chowhounds?

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  1. No chicken, no beans. Well OK...there's an Italian vegetable soupy stew called Giambotta. Basically a light marinara sauce, thinned with a smidge of vegetable stock. Sliced vegetables of any kind can be added..potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, rough chopped peppers....

    Start the sauce with EVOO, minced garlic and chopped onions, S & P. Add the vegetables you want, and cook them till soft, add the tomatoes, dry oregano and/or basil. Cook all together for about 20 minutes. Serve with crusty bread (if possible) and freshly grated Parmigiana or Romano cheese.
    Buon appetito!

    1. Um, for something quick, last minute and without chicken or beans (both my favourites!): broccoli soup.

      Saute lots of chopped leeks (a big bunch) without colouring until soft. Add chopped garlic, saute until fragrant, add lots of broccoli (2 small-medium heads) chopped into small florets, stir to coat, barely cover with plain water , simmer 15-20 minutes, and then blend with a stick blender. Add squeeze of lemon juice (even better - finely chopped lemon zest!) and a tiny glug of your best olive oil before serving.

      This is one of the few soups which to my mind doesn't benefit from chicken stock - the water lets the lovely vegetables shine through. The key is to not add too much water, and not to simmer too long, so you retain the fresh broccoli flavour and colour. In spring, I add lots of chopped herbs - chives, basil, lemon thyme, etc.

      1. I'd say tomato barley (I make a simple one, it's probably google-able, with canned whole tomatoes which you crush-- good for getting aggressions out-- water, basil, dill, garlic and onions) or mushroom barley. Both easily made vegetarian, too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GrillNextDoor

          ps-- tomato barley is terrific with crusty bread and strong cheese. One of my family's favorite Sunday dinners.

        2. Cocido? A hearty Spanish stew of sausages, beef and vegetables sauteed in olive oil and braised in a garlicky, saffron-tomato broth. I make mine slightly spicy with the addition of sambal oelek and think it goes brilliantly with garlic toast.

          1. Last night I made the simplest soup possible -- 4 c chopped leeks, 4 c diced potatoes, simmer in 6 c chicken broth or water until tender, than add 1/2 cup milk or cream, salt and pepper to taste. Puree it if you want a smooth soup, or use a potato masher to leave it chunky. Leek and potato soup is divine and so easy on a cold night. Serves 6.

            3 Replies
            1. re: TNExplorer

              Sounds a lot like the recipe I make from JC. You can also add other vegetables to leftovers to make a different soup.

              1. re: MMRuth

                This one is from Julia Child's The Way We Cook Now -- still one of my favorite "go to" cookbooks.

                1. re: TNExplorer

                  I make that, too...but I often tip in a can of creamed corn (I know...) and some ham or sauteed bacon (leaner, the better). Turns into a wonderful sorta-corn-chowder with little effort. I partially puree with an immersion blender before adding the corn and ham.