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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.

            2. This is a tasty one from Cooking Light. I do variations on it, often cutting out the turkey for a full package of turkey sausage. I also add veggies, like chopped spinach or peas.

              Spicy Turkey and Sweet Potato Gumbo

              1 (6-ounce) box long-grain and wild rice mix (such as Uncle Ben's)
              2 (4-ounce) links hot turkey Italian sausage
              1 cup chopped onion
              1 cup chopped celery
              1 cup chopped green bell pepper
              4 garlic cloves, minced
              1/2 cup all-purpose flour
              2 cups (1/4-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
              1 teaspoon dried thyme
              1 teaspoon dried oregano
              2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
              1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, undrained
              1 bay leaf
              2 cups chopped cooked dark-meat turkey
              1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

              Cook the rice according to package directions, omitting seasoning packet.
              Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook for 6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add sweet potato and next 5 ingredients (sweet potato through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add turkey and hot sauce; cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: katecm

                Too late for your dinner tonight, but tomorrow I thought I would make the kale and other greens soup in Russ Parsons book. It looks superhealthy - just a mixture of greens, broth and a little sherry vinegar. I'll let you know how it turns out.