Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ravioli Vegetable Soup

There's been a clear chill in the air lately... a very familiar Fall crispness has arrived.  It's time to pull out the down comforters, throw open the windows and park your butt on the couch on Sundays.  It's also time to dig out the crock pots and start making some seriously warm and hearty meals.  As I planned out a weeks worth of menus this past weekend, I saw a glaring trend - most everything was very fall feeling - squash, apples, pumpkin, soups.  Subconsciously, I must be ready for a change in season.

I bring to you:

Ravioli Vegetable Soup
1 bag of frozen peppers, thawed and chopped
2 cloves minced garlic (or crushed)
1 Tbsn Olive Oil
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups of water
20 oz of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 package of ravioli of your choosing (anywhere from 6 to 14 ounces is fine)
1 zucchini
1 Tbsp of dried basil
Salt/Pepper to taste

Heat a little EVOO in a saucepan and when heated, add in peppers, garlic and red pepper.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, constantly stirring as to not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Let the flavors heat together as you saute.  Take a deep breath..... this is one of my favorite smells.  Peppers and garlic... OH MY!

Add in your tomatoes, broth, water and basil.  Allow to come to a boil. Again, keep stirring.  You don't want to burn any to the bottom of your pan.

Once boiling, add in your raviolis.  According to the recipe I followed, you're supposed to cook them three minutes less than directed on the package.  I imagine this is so they don't get mushy.  Don't sweat this... I didn't time mine.... I was doing dishes and I turned around and they had floated to the top.  This was a clear sign to hurry up and move on to the next step. Typically, when raviolis float, they are done cooking.

Attention!  We've got floaters!

Reduce heat a bit and add zucchini's.  Cook on medium heat until they are firm/tender/soft.  Not too soft... not too firm.  Fine balance.  (As you can see here, I clearly need a BIGGER saucepan.)  (And someone to clean up this splattery disaster on my stove.)

Add fresh ground pepper to the soup and serve.  Ta-da!

This homemade soup was wicked easy to make... and what I love most about it is that you can tailor to your tastes.  Love Zucchini?  Add more, add less.  If the soup feels to thick, add more broth.  Mix up your herbs to add different flavor.  Go nuts kids, it's your show.  It was a perfect creation for a leisurely Sunday.

I got five separate servings of this.  I separated into tupperwares and froze two of them for a later date.  If you decide to freeze, fill up to the top of the tupperware, leaving about a cm or half inch free.  This will allow the soup to expand a bit (which it will), but not so much that it forces itself out of the tupperware.  But it also reduces the space for freezer burn, so you can keep it frozen longer.

Total calories:  Approximately 1,200 - five servings: 240 each.

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