Soup reigns supreme when seasons change


POSTED: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

With the fall season here, the weather's just a bit cooler and the days are just a bit shorter - ideal conditions for a hot bowl of soup after a long day. Hearty homemade soups can be a busy cook's best friend.

These recipes are perfect examples - fast and easy to prepare and hearty enough to make a one-pot meal that would satisfy even biggest appetites.

Serve some warm crusty bread with the Italian or the Black Bean soup, or rice with the Kim Chee soup and you have a complete dinner. And speaking of fall, these soups would be a welcome addition to any football tailgate party.


Italian Soup

8 to 10 uncooked Italian sausage links
4 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 package (1 pound) baby carrots
1 zucchini, sliced (optional)
2 cans (14 to 16 ounces each) stewed or diced tomatoes
1 can (14 to 16 ounces) navy beans
10 cups beef or chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound small pasta, uncooked (such as orzo)
1/2 large bag baby spinach (about 10 cups or 1-1/4 pounds), chopped, OR 1 to 2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen, chopped spinach (see note)

Remove skin from sausage and saute sausage in large soup pot, breaking into bite-size pieces.

When sausage is almost cooked through, add garlic, onions, carrots and zucchini. Stir occasionally and cook until onions are tender (about 5 minutes).

Add canned tomatoes, beans and stock; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add more stock or water if soup is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once soup is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente (firm, not mushy); remove from heat. Before serving, stir in spinach. Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including salt to taste): 450 calories, 25 g total fat, 9 g saturated total fat, 55 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,500 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 21 g protein.

Note: Kale can be used in place of spinach. Rinse and chop into bite-sized pieces, add to soup; cook until tender.


Kim Chee Soup

2 pounds pork butt OR 2-1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt
6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bottle (12 ounces) won bok kim chee
Salt, pepper and/or soy sauce, to taste
1 bunch watercress, chopped into 2-inch pieces

Place pork or chicken into large soup pot; add water to cover. Stir in Hawaiian salt and garlic; cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender.

Remove meat from broth and cut into bite-sized pieces or shred.

Strain broth and return broth and meat to pot. Add additional broth or water if necessary. Bring to boil.

Add kim chee with kim chee liquid (if desired, chop kim chee into bite-size pieces before adding); stir. Season to taste with salt, pepper and/or soy sauce. Add watercress and remove from heat; serve immediately. Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including salt or soy sauce to taste): 210 calories, 14 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 18 g protein.

Note: Mandoo (Korean dumplings filled with meat and vegetables) can be added to soup with kim chee.


Black Bean Soup

1 medium onion, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
1 can (15 ounces) black beans
4 lemon wedges

In a 2-quart saucepan, saute onions and garlic in vegetable oil until onion is tender.

Stir in vegetable broth. Add celery, carrot, parsley, oregano and red peppers. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Rinse beans in cool water; drain. Mash

cup of beans in bowl. Add both whole and mashed beans to soup. Cook 1 minute or until beans are heated. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 2.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 320 calories, 9 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, greater than 1,500 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 15 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 13 g protein.


Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com.