Monday, December 23, 2013

Meatless Monday: Joining Hands for a Better World: 12.23.13

On December 3, I set out on a pre-Christmas challenge — to post a tip a day we can collectively follow with the goal of making the world a better place. 

In honor of Meatless Monday, today’s suggestion is 

Make Some Vegetable Soup…

…if not today, then after the holidays.

Here are some ideas to inspire you.

The Meatless Monday site has many vegetarian soup recipes. You may know the author of this original recipe for Pea Soup with Roasted Root Vegetables. One serving of this soup has 15 grams of protein in its 235 calories, only 8 of which are fat!

One of the Meatless Monday recipes of the day is Roasted Chestnut Soup. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all those chestnuts you roasted on an open fire, this one is for you.

With a good vegetable stock, you can make an infinite variety of soups. Here is a recipe from food writer Mark Bittman for “Very Flavorful Vegetable Stock in One Hour.”

Be on the lookout for great soup recipes as you flip through your cookbooks as you plan your holiday meals. I discovered some long-forgotten recipes for pasta e fagioli and minestrone in The New Italian Cooking by Margaret and G. Franco Romagnoli. [Published in 1980, so not quite so new anymore.] Keep in mind that just because the recipe calls for pancetta, you don't have to use it. A little extra olive oil will work just fine.

Making soup is a great way to use up leftover vegetables like celery. Don’t be afraid to improvise. If you don’t have time to make your own stock, try stock in a box or add an all-natural vegetable bouillon cube [I like Rapunzel.] to some hot water. If you have almost, but not quite, all the ingredients a recipe calls for, use what you have. 

Vegetable soup is the perfect antidote to rich holiday food.

That’s it for today. “See” you tomorrow.

“All together now,” as the Beatles once sang. Let’s see how much good we can do over the next few weeks.

I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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