Some things will never change, which is great because you can always count on them to stay the same. The sun will always rise in the morning, chocolate will always be my best friend, feet will always smell weird and I will always be cold. Little things like that keep the world going round and give us some sort of idea that we can control things around us. We can't. But it won’t stop us from trying!
Back to the always being cold thing before I get all deep and uncomfortable. Some people are always hot, and some people have a perfectly normal working internal thermostat and are just comfortable wherever. I'm one of those people who is perpetually freezing. It's one of those things I can always count on. You know when you going out and you say, "Should I bring a sweater? I probably won't need it and then I'll havta carry it around with me which is the most annoying thing on planet Earth." I say that too! But, I always need the sweater, and I always regret it later when I'm shivering and its about 75 degrees out. ( No, I'm not anemic BH and no I do not moonlight as Anna from the movie Frozen. Thanks for asking though!) You would think I would have learned by now. But no, I'm stubborn, and I hate carrying things around with me because I drop everything everywhere.
So, the only way to solve my perpetually frozen dilemma is either by never leaving my bed or by having soup. The whole reason restaurants even have soup on their menu in the summer time is for people like me who are always cold and forget to bring their sweaters. There! I just answered one of life's most perplexing questions for you! It's all right, no need to thank me; I'll come to you for favors later. So imagine being me on a day like today, or yesterday, where the high is about 30 degrees, any warmer and it would be freezing, as my father likes to say. Do I have your sympathy yet? All you want is the true soup experience. What is that, you ask? It goes something like this.
You get home cheeks red and numb and flex your frozen fingers to try to get some blood flowing. Then, you smell it. Soup! Hallelujah! You ladle the hot and hearty liquid into your bowl (whatever size that bowl may be- no judgment!) and shovel that first steamy bite into your mouth before anyone can say, "Careful, it's hot!” Your tongue is totally burnt, and you won't be able to taste anything for days, but it doesn't matter because you feel the warmth running through you and you think, "Ahh, this is love!" and also, "This could use some salt.” It's that hug that reaches all the way down to your bones and says, "I'm low in calories and fat so this is pretty much guilt free!" That is exactly what you want from soup. Whether it's winter time and your a normal person who needs to take the chill off your bones, or it's the summer time and you have an internal thermometer that's broken like me, soup is the fastest way to get that love and warmth straight to your heart. No wonder it’s the first suggestion we get when we are sick! (After Tylenol Cold, Nyquil and other knockout meds)
This recipe makes about 6-8 bowls of soup. I usually double it and keep half in the freezer for a rainy day. Literally though, I'm always freezing on rainy days! The seasoning mix makes a lot but I love to use it on fish, chicken, or even hash browns to add a savory OOMPH in a flash to my dishes. If you like a little spice in your life, go ahead and add a little cayenne to the mix. This recipe is very kid friendly. To aid in my research, my daughter downed two bowls last night and then went for my husband's bowl. Wasn't that nice of her?
Hearty Vegetable Soup
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
2 teaspoons seasoning mix (recipe above)
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 small can tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, and seasoning mix, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock, water, pepper, tomato paste and bay leaf.
Stir well and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Add croutons and/or noodles if desired.
Adapted from Alphabet Soup by Emeril Lagasse