A guide for learning basics of making soup

BOOKMARK

Recipes include something for all

February 16, 2005|By Erin Mendell | Erin Mendell,SUN STAFF

Soup can be a simple one-pot meal, an elaborate side dish, even a dessert.

Soup for Every Body by Joanna Pruess (Lyons, 2004, $22.95) runs the gamut of possibilities. The contents are divided by type - among them: vegetable, bean and grain, fish and fruit. An index breaks it down further, with categories such as high protein, vegetarian or vegan and "smart fat."

Pruess modifies several of the recipes that include meat to make them vegetarian. The Split Green Pea Soup recipe, for example, includes an optional hambone or spicy Spanish sausage, but parsnips keep it flavorful without the meat. The result is nothing fancy: a tasty, basic split pea soup.

Tortellini Soup is one of the simplest recipes in the book and makes a light main dish or an appetizer. At the other end of the spectrum is Madras Red Lentil Soup, which requires a trip to an Asian grocery store for some of the spices.

The White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup was hearty and fairly simple to make, but two sprigs of rosemary made the flavor overpowering.

Each recipe includes nutritional information such as calories and fat. A "How to Use This Book" entry defines some of the health categories used in the index and discusses nutrition topics such as fiber.

Though each soup isn't going to fit everyone's dietary needs, tastes or tolerance for work in the kitchen, Soup for Every Body is a good primer for the basics, and everyone should be able to find a few favorites.

Tortellini Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for topping

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

4 ounces fresh kale or other leafy greens, coarse ribs removed and thinly shredded

7 cups chicken or vegetable stock

one 9-ounce package tortellini

basil-parmesan topping (recipe follows)

salt and freshly ground pepper

TOPPING:

3/4 cup freshly grated imported parmesan cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic, and saute until limp, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the kale and stock, and bring the liquid to a boil.

Stir in the tortellini, reduce the heat and gently boil until the tortellini are tender, about 8 minutes. Don't overcook.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by blending the parmesan, basil and pepper in a small bowl. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle into large soup bowls, drizzle on some olive oil, generously sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of the topping and serve.

Per serving: 210 calories; 10 grams protein; 6 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 5 milligrams cholesterol

- Analysis from "Soup for Every Body"

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