Sunday, February 24, 2008

Still Souped Up

It might be the continual drizzly drippy weather that's inspiring the mood but I do seem to be fixated on soup lately. Running across the recipe for dry soup mix has whetted my curiosity as well as my appetite so I've been researching and experimenting since the last post. It's been such fun, I'm getting a bit worried about developing an unseemly zealot tendency, ready to inflict upon innocent bystanders. You know -- "Make instant soup mixes or you'll go straight to culinary hell and your soup spoons will all leak."

That said, look at what I did with the basic soup mix made in the previous post. In a mixing bowl, I dropped a rounded measure (1/3 cup) of the dry mix and added some chili powder and cumin (don't ask how much -- I just shook-shook-shook until it smelled right) and then whisked in an 11 1/2 ounce can of V-8 vegetable juice. Put the bowl in the microwave and nuked it for a total of 6 minutes, taking it out every 2 minutes and giving it a good whisking. The last time I took it out, I whisked in a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Poured it in the soup bowl (it's a perfect one-portion amount), topped it with some crumbled feta cheese and -- oh my -- it was wicked good. The bread beside the soup bowl consists of a couple chunks of Yorkie pudding. Went great with the soup.

Now, see ... I was able to satisfy my soup urge without going to a lot of trouble or ending up with so much I had to freeze leftovers. And I VERY much like the idea that I can control the ingredients, leaving out the crappy stuff we're stuck with when we buy off the shelf. Nor should we ignore the economy of the homemade mix. And the news is even good about calorie content. (I'm not going to bother with figuring fat and fiber and carbs and all that because a quick scan seems to indicate more good news in that direction.)

So -- if we think of the soup mix as consisting of just the dry milk, corn starch and seasoning (leave out the bouillon), we have approximately 840 calories total. There are roughly 8 one-third cup portions therein so each one should run about 105 calories. I used chicken bouillon in my mix so I have to add 60 more calories to the total, making the individual portion come in at about 112 calories. Since I used a full can of V-8 vegetable juice in making the soup, I add another 70 calories. Therefore, without resorting to rocket science or calling up the spirit of Einstein, I would compute the final bowl of soup to weigh in at 182 calories.

No, wait. There was something like 133 calories worth of cheddar cheese in there. Okay. Now we have a total of 315 calories.

Uhmm ... not counting the crumbled feta cheese or the two Yorkies I ate with it. Don't know about the feta and I'm getting tired of looking stuff up but the Yorkies (which I made in the muffin tin this time) come to about 75 calories each. And they're so rich-tasting I didn't add any butter or anything.

Okay. How am I doing? Lunch for 465 calories, plus a few feta thingies, and I only ate half the soup because I got full. Aha! Subtract 150 calories -- now we're down to 315 for lunch. And it was healthy. And good. And fast. I'll eat the rest of the soup and another Yorkie later. So it's hugely economical.

Seems to me, this basic little soup mix is also hugely versatile. Think of all the flavor combinations one could achieve with various spices and seasoning mixes and dehydrated veggie bits. Plus the flavor from whatever liquid you choose to add, whether it be a broth or a juice. Not to mention the addition of noodles and rice and beans and the kitchen sink. And let's not forget it works well as a sauce for assorted casseroles and pastas. Yeah!

Okay. I think I'm going to wander into the kitchen and finish up that soup. I will leave you with the following chuckle from the lolcat site. But you have to hunt down your own biscotti recipe.


Anonymous said...

Ok... it's yorkies for dinner tonight. Don't know what I'm going to put in or on or beside them, but it's going to be yorkies for dinner tonight... :-)

John B.

bonnie said...

I sure hope that frog in the cup is fake. lol

We are having summer weather already. Please send rain.

Dee said...

I'm grinning here, John, because you're the one who hooked me good and proper on the Yorkies. I've put them in the category of Sacred Food.

Bonnie, I will happily share some of this drizzle. Don't know if I want to share the froggie, though. Do you need frogs, too, or is your supply sufficient?

Mage And George said...

........and, if you are on Weight Watchers, that's 4.5 points. It's even dietary.