Soup's On! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Soup's On!

I have a huge appetite.

When I say huge, I don't mean huge for a girl my size (5'0").  I mean huge for anyone.  I went to a Street Food Festival last summer with my dad, my significant other, my sister and my sister's significant other.  Now, it wasn't a contest to see how much we could eat, but with so many things to try, it was hard not to stop and eat everything!  It was held at the Rose Bowl, and there were tons of restaurants and food trucks serving up goodies.  See below!

I can't remember how long we were there for, but my sister dropped out first, then my guy, and then my dad.  My sister's significant other who is over 6 feet tall and a well-built guy was the only one who hung in there with me.  Now, I'm not sure who would have won, but the rest of my family made us go home to soothe their aching bellies.

Now the only way to keep my monster appetite from pushing me into roly-poly territory is to have a strategy to my meals.  In a perfect world this is how I would eat every day, but at least I have a semi-plan.  I like to start my meals with a big salad and a bowl of homemade soup.  That way I've at least filled up somewhat before I get to the main event.  So every week I like to make a big pot of soup chock full of veggies.

Soup's On! on Diane's Vintage Zest

Well, the holidays, the flu, and career responsibilities must have really been piling up this year without me knowing it.  When I started to cook this week, I was completely out of the staples that I always have on hand!  I had no time to go grocery shopping, so I relied on my emergency supply of frozen veggies.  Different from my usual, but I had to make it work.

Soup #1 - Minestrone

Usually a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mirepoix, and diced tomatoes with cannellini beans.  I base my soup off of this recipe.  This week, I didn't have fresh broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots so I had to rely on the frozen stuff.  Also, I didn't have a single can of diced tomatoes, so I added some fresh ones from the garden plus some tomato sauce.  Cannellini beans were nowhere to be found, so I added in garbanzo beans. 

Soup's On! on Diane's Vintage Zest

The Verdict: I miss my kale and cannellini beans!  However, dumping in a bag of frozen veggies beats taking apart huge heads of the fresh stuff even if it is way cheaper.

Soup #2 - Mushroom, Beef & Barley Freekeh

Now most of you have heard of beef & barley soup, mushroom & barley soup, etc.  It usually consists of beef or mushrooms (both in my case), barley, mirepoix, and the spices.  Mine is based off of this one.  Then what the heck is freekeh?
I like to shop in international markets because the produce is cheaper, the wider variety of spices, and the possibility of trying something new.  I noticed the freekeh in the grain aisle one day, and figured I could attempt to use this somehow.

The box sat unopened in my stash for a year until yesterday when I realized I was out of barley.  Ugh!  So, in the freekeh went.

Soup's On! on Diane's Vintage Zest

The Verdict: All in all, not a bad swap!  I'm going back to my barley, but I'm going to figure out how to use this freekeh the way it's supposed to be used.  :)  Also, I had no carrots, so I picked through the frozen bag just to find a couple to throw into this soup.  Lame.


Lesson learned:  Don't wait until the weekend to go grocery shopping.  I just end up busier than I am on weeknights and then I end up with these freekeh-ing soups (pun!).

What's the strangest thing you've eaten when you're in need of a grocery run?


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