Eco-eating: 5 Seasonal Soups

Tools

Story Updated: Jan 13, 2012

Blog

Eco-eating: 5 Seasonal Soups

By Sara Kramer for Green Goes Simple

Soup is an easy, quick and inexpensive way to bring the whole family together for dinner. The one-pot meal is also a great way to use up leftovers and stretch the family dining budget.

Stock or unseasoned broth is the cornerstone of a flavorful soup. You can make your own using bones from the butcher store (it freezes so you can use it whenever you need!) or buy some from the store. Water can also be substituted for most stocks.

Try these soup-er suggestions for easy family dinners:

1. Have a stockpile of onions in the pantry? French onion soup is a classic, and the stretchy melted cheese on top is a real crowd -- and kid! -- pleaser.

2. Craving beans, but don’t have the time to soak them? Lentil soup is a speedy alternative. Brown some sausage and set it aside. Add a little onion and garlic and simmer with your lentils until they’re tender. Return the meat to the soup and throw in a little chopped parsley to perk it up.

3. Root vegetables make luxurious pureed soups. Just cook until they’re soft, and add whatever flavorings you like. Think curried parsnip or butternut squash and sage. Simply puree until smooth, add a touch of butter or cream and you’ve got a hot and hearty meal that kids and adults will happily slurp up.

4. Looking for another option for those canned tomatoes in the cupboard? Pair grilled cheese with its ultimate partner: tomato soup. Keep a few types of cheese on hand so everyone can customize their own!

5. When in doubt, go classic. Stocked with noodles and veggies, chicken soup is about way more than curing the common cold. This soup is a perfect vessel for last night’s leftover poultry and it can also carry any vegetables that you have on hand. Get the kids involved -- the younger crew can help shred chicken, and the older ones can help with cutting veggies.

Sara Kramer is a chef and butcher in Brooklyn, N.Y., who attended NYU and the Natural Gourmet Institute. She believes we should all think more about where our food comes from. Her articles have previously appeared on Green Goes Simple.