Tag Archives: vegetarian soup

Amy’s Organic Country French Vegetable Soup

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed any store-bought food items! The good news is that it’s been a while because I very rarely eat anything out of a can or a box or the freezer. I just cleaned out my cupboards last week and ditched about 10 boxes of random rice pilaf, falafel mix, Zatarain’s (lots of rice!) and pouches of overly sodium-laden Indian food from Trader Joe’s that I used to eat for lunch when I lived in Chicago (um…four years ago!). Needless to say, these things expired as far back as 2008.

I then found myself buying a canned item this week. I can’t recall the last time I bought canned soup — not because there’s anything wrong with it. It just doesn’t occur to me and rarely sounds good to me, as much as I love soup. Maybe I overdid it when I ate Dr. McDougall’s instant soup almost every day for work during my first year in Michigan?

Either way, I decided to snag a can of Amy’s Organic Country Vegetable Soup while I was at a swanky new renovated Kroger recently (the one at Woodward and 13 is getting there, but they’re seriously need to get it together at 9 Mile and Stephenson).

Today, as I rush around trying to get everything done before teaching a cooking class tonight and working then leaving town tomorrow (do I really have time to be writing a blog on my delicious lunch?!?!?) I reached for the can. Open, heat, eat. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

As with any meal that comes from a can, box or the freezer, it has a lot of sodium in each serving — about 25% of the recommend daily allowance. (And let’s be honest, do any of us only eat half the can? So, really, closer to 50%). Fortunately, there was no salt in my raw juice breakfast and there’s no way I’ll consume 1,000 mg of sodium in my dinner, so I think I’m good.

There are lots of good things in this soup, not to mention the fact that you can taste the freshness and see actual — gasp — vegetables, beans and grains in this vegetable soup! They include big sliced mushrooms, white beans, rice, tomatoes and zucchini. That means there’s fiber, protein and various vitamins in there too.

I haven’t had good ol’ vegetable soup in a while, but I have to think this is the best out of a can I’ve ever had. I think I’ll try to keep at least one canned lunch around I guess.

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Miso Soup

Last night I posted the recipe for a yummy miso dressing I made. To go with it, I made a very simple miso soup, which might replace Tom Yum as my go-to soup when I’m sick.

But first, let’s chat about miso for a minute. I’ve been eating miso soup for years — first because it would be given to me free before my sushi arrived. I don’t know if my tastes have changed (well, yes they have changed since I was a meat-eater, obviously, but I’m not sure if that’s the culprit here) or whether I was just not getting the greatest soup, but I used to not be the biggest fan of miso. It has such a mild flavor, I don’t really know what I didn’t like about it. Fortunately, that has changed.

There are many different kinds of miso, but the basics are that it comes from fermented soybeans generally. Though it’s pretty high in sodium (don’t worry — a little goes a long way — only a couple of tablespoons in 4-5 servings of soup), there are many health benefits.

Miso contains protein (about 2 g. per Tablespoon), dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, B12, zinc (great for immune function), copper and manganese.

I still have some investigating to do with the many different types of miso, but I really liked the milk and not-to-salty flavor of the mellow white miso I used in this very basic recipe for miso soup. I imagine I will try many variations of this, including different greens, perhaps some soba noodles and something to spice it up a bit.

Here’s a good start!

Ingredients
• 4 c. water
• 2-4 Tbsp. miso paste
• sliced green parts of one bunch of green onions
• 1 pkg. extra firm tofu, pressed (I used my wonderful TofuXpress — which is PERFECT for something like this — for about 30 minutes before cutting)
• a couple of handfuls of steamed kale

1. Boil 4 c. water and place miso in a separate bowl.

2. Once water is boiling, take a bit of the boiling water and whisk into miso until not lumpy (this is much easier than trying to incorporate it to the whole pot and get lumps out).

3. Remove water from heat and pour miso mixture into it.

4. Slice tofu into very small squares. I ended up using pretty close to an entire package, adding it a few minutes before serving.

5. Add sliced green onions and any greens you might have — I think spinach and watercress  or herbs would be good too. Since I had steamed kale for another dish already, so I grabbed a couple of handfuls of it, chopped it up and tossed it in.

It was smooth and not too salty and I think the combo of tofu-onion-kale was perfect. I can’t wait to mess with it and see what I come up with!