Soup Really Is Good Food!

Okay, so most of us grew up enjoying classic Campbell’s chicken noodle or tomato soup. It was the ultimate comfort food on a cold snowy day. As kids, we thought it was the best thing ever. But let’s be realistic, how many of us still enjoy it as adults? What once seemed great doesn’t seem so great anymore. The broth is high in sodium and the chicken and noodles are quite mushy and don’t have the appeal it once did. You may have even tried other newer, “premium” soups and have been left unimpressed. This often leads to the common perception that soup isn’t such a great meal. This is so far from the truth! Fine restaurants have always made excellent soup, generally as an appetizer, but occasionally as a main course. Locally, cream of crab soup has been a popular staple ever since crabs were harvested from the Chesapeake Bay.

Many Gourmet Your Way clients have been reticent to try our homemade soups because of their strong association with mediocre canned soup, and don’t realize soup can be so much more flavorful, exciting, and completely satisfying as a meal on its own. Many Gourmet Your Way clients have been “reawakened” to the wonders of soups, running the gamut from light and delicate to thick and hearty. There’s truly nothing like homemade soup, and Gourmet Your Way uses only fresh ingredients in the preparation of all our soups. We believe we can make a convert out of any customer – really! Here’s a recipe of one of my most popular soups. Enjoy!

White Bean Soup with Veal Meatballs

(serves 4)

1 cup white beans, dried
4 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, medium, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, medium, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
1/2 teaspoon basil, dried
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 ham hock, medium
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 green pepper, diced

Meatball Recipe

3/4 pound ground veal (or ground turkey)
1 green onion, medium, sliced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, soft
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

In medium saucepan, bring beans and water to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes then remove from heat, cover, and let soak 1 hour.

In butter, saute onions, 1 clove garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, and basil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add to beans and add pepper, ham hock, and chicken stock. Simmer partially covered for 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

While beans are cooking, make meatballs by combining ground veal, green onion, egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Shape into walnut-sized balls and add them later to the finished soup and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove ham hock. Take half of cooked bean mixture and puree with 1 clove garlic and parsley. Return to soup with meatballs and enjoy!

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