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Soup


Agnieszka

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Here's the easiest soup recipe I know:

Soup: made from frozen mixed vegetables, and a can each of garbanzo beans, chopped

tomatoes (not stewed), black beans. Add a couple of cups of water as you like. Add

spices: oregano, garlic powder, onion salt, a dash of olive oil, thyme. This makes a lot of

soup, so share or keep leftovers.

For the spices I use an Italian Seasoning blend. I throw everything in a rice cooker in the morning & set the time for when I'll be home from work. I also skip the garbanzo beans and add lentils instead, and I used canned chopped tomatoes--personal preference. Hope this helps!

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Butternut, Carrot & Sausage Soup

1 whole butternut squash

6 large carrots

2 large onions (I like vidalia)

~16oz chicken stock

~1lb good quality sausage (andouille works great but any sausage will do)

Thyme, pepper, salt

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash the squash. Cut the squash lengthways, so you have two long halves. Scoop out the seeds. In a shallow baking pan, lay the squash cut side up and fill the bottom of the pan with about 1" water. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the squash is very soft when you stick a fork in it. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pot on the stovetop. Peel and cut onions into large chunks, sautee until they start to brown at the edges. Wash, peel, and cut carrots into thin discs, add to onions. Cut sausage into small cubes, add to carrot/onion mixture. Cook at medium high heat until the onions really start to brown and the sausage is crispy, then cover with chicken stock. When squash is done, remove from the oven (don't burn yourself! A lot of hot steam will come out when you take off the foil) and use a large spoon to scoop the meat out of the squash skin; add the squash meat to the onions, carrots, sausage and stock. Add thyme, pepper and salt to taste. Crank up the heat til the soup boils; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least an hour. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the carrots when they're soft enough; this will add a nice body to the soup. If you prefer a smoother soup, you can use a hand mixer to puree the carrots and onions before you add the sausage.

You can also make this in the slow cooker, or add other vegetables (the pureed insides of a sweet potato will add more sweetness, for example), use different kinds of squash or bacon or chicken in lieu of sausage, add hot sauce or red pepper flakes for heat, or omit the sausage for a vegetarian version. Its a nice versatile base that you can adjust to your tastes.

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