Friday, November 03, 2006

A quick, "cheater" soup...

Well, gang, I have relatively little to report in terms of cuisine this week. As you can imagine, we are still living off off the leftovers from the Halloween party! But after last night, we are down to just half a cheese ball and some veggies and dip which are nice pre-functions to have around any time, so that's fine. For dinner, we had the last of the stuffed mushrooms and the remaining portion of tomato tart. But I wanted something else, something NEW. Still, the thrifty part of me wanted to use up any extraneous party food. And, I should also mention, there was a light snow falling last evening and the fuel oil company missed our delivery this week, so we were chilled and needed to be warmed up. Soup seemed just the ticket!

Now this was a total "cheater" soup, but it was quick and easy and very satisfying. I made a version of Italian Wedding Soup by bringing about 12 cups of beef broth and some granulated garlic (maybe 2 teaspoons, or to taste) to a boil--homemade would be ideal, but the stuff in paper boxes works very well--and then added about three cups of shredded Swiss chard. Traditionally, escarole is the green of choice in this soup, but by some miracle, we still had Swiss chard in the garden, so I used that instead, and it was delicious. I cooked the chard for about fifteen minutes or so in the broth, then I added about a cup of dried orzo (although any small pasta would do, ditalini or pastini, for other examples), and cooked that until it was tender, another 9 or 10 minutes. Finally, I added a couple dozen small, pre-fab meatballs left over from the party (which I had nuked for five minutes from frozen), and stirred it all up. Before serving, I sprinkled on some freshly-shredded parmesan, and that was that. YUM! I just thought some of you might like a quick, weeknight soup idea for a chilly November evening. Enjoy!

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