Along with my new Quest for Girlyness, I’ve been trying to clean up my eating habits. It’s not like I don’t know what’s good for me and what I shouldn’t have, I just really like good tasting food. The problem with that is, the things I know that taste good, happen to be very bad for me. This means that I’ve really been putting an effort into finding food that’s good for me and tastes yummy. Turns out that it’s not as hard as I might have thought it would be.My mom knows that I’m eating a little strange these days, so when she saw a soup recipe on TV that looked good to her, she told me about it. On closer inspection, the recipe sounded good because it starts with bacon cooking in a dutch oven and ends with crumbled bacon over the top. Bacon happens to be one of those things that’s currently off my “Foods to Enjoy” list, but Canadian bacon isn’t. I have no idea why, but the book says it’s okay and I’m not going to question it.
So, Here’s the recipe that I started with. I went to the store to find all the key thing, Swiss Chard. They had none. Not knowing what Swiss Chard tastes like, or any other green leaf thing besides lettuce, I got some collard greens. I went on my happy way and set to work. I looked over the recipe gleamed the important bits, and then said screw it and made up my own.
Christa’s Mixed-up Soup
- 1 large onion
- 4-5 sweet peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 6 oz Canadian Bacon
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 2, 14oz cans of chicken broth
- 1 can chickpeas (drain and rinse, they can be slimy)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- grated cheddar cheese
I know it’s not too different at all, so props to the Neely’s and Food Network (I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Food Network).
-Chop up your onion, garlic, and sweet peppers. Saute in a pan with some olive oil. Chop up cauliflower and Canadian bacon before throwing them in your pot. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stem and strip collard greens and throw in pot. Saute until greens start to wilt. (A problem I had was that there was too much stuff in the pan to get the greens in enough contact with the pot. So be aware of that, and good luck.) Pour in broth, chickpeas, and tomatoes. I only used half a can of chickpeas because as I was pouring I was like, Wait, I’ve never had these. what if they’re gross? They totally weren’t so next time it’s the whole can going in. Check seasoning and re-balance if needed. After that, bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer until greens are tender (about 30 minutes). I had to cook mine for an hour because my mom insisted on interfering and turned the heat to one step above low. Serve with a bit of shredded cheddar on top.
Mom and I enjoyed this soup last night, and there was more than enough for us to have lunch for today as well. Believe me when I tell you, it was way better today. Part of it may be the fact that I just though of putting the cheddar on top, but the favors were far more integrated today. The greens were softer and less bitter; the broth had acquired a richer taste while keeping the mild heat of the red pepper flakes. It’s a very hardy soup while staying pretty healthy. I would have posted pictures, but it’s all gone.
If you chose to try this yourself, play with the recipe to suit your tastes. Maybe you want some nice herbs instead of the red pepper, or you hate cauliflower. I’m sure you’d rather have the bacon as well. Anyway, make it your own and make enough for the next day while you’re at it.