Monday, November 15, 2010

#1: Manna Soup

Exodus 16:13-16
"13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.   Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’"

Dear Tiff,
I decided to call this soup "Manna" Soup for two reasons.  First, "manna" means "what is it?" which I thought was appropriate because this soup is pretty random, and you might have to look carefully to identify all the ingredients!  The second reason, though, is that I first made this soup when money was really tight, and in my efforts not to buy anything new, I went for whatever was already in my kitchen.  It turned out great, and is one of my favorites now, but I was reminded of how God provides for our every need, just as he did for the Israelites.

I've always loved tomato soup, but it bothers me that your typical tomato soup is just liquid.  It always felt like no substance, and leaves you hungry later.  I like a soup that can stand on its own as a meal, not just an appetizer.  So I like to add leftovers to mine (one of my favorites is Turkey Tomato Noodle Soup with the Thanksgiving leftovers).  But recently, I was craving tomato soup but didn't have any leftovers to add to it.  I made some pasta, but my diet is sorely lacking in protein, so I decided to drop in a few eggs as well.  Total experiment, could have resulted in complete failure...but then I wouldn't be passing it on, would I?  I loved it!  This recipe was very cost effective, simple and quick to create, reasonably healthy, and made fantastic leftovers.  The only issue is that the sodium level is pretty high, so if you eat a lot of other salty food, you might want to opt for low- or no-sodium options on the canned food items.

The basics:
Prep time: 20 minutes or less (you can cut it down to about 5-10 minutes if you use leftover pasta :)
Good for leftovers: yes!
servings: 4-8, if you need more you can add more eggs and water it down a bit
cost: under $10 total

2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 can stewed tomatoes (I used "italian recipe" but original would work fine too)
1 can garbanzo beans
1 egg per serving (i.e. each individual serving should have an egg, so if you want to serve 6, you'll need 6 eggs)
2 cups cooked pasta
about 1/2 can pitted olives
Herbes de Provence to season (this is a blend of rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, etc so if you don't have the blend, any of these will complement this soup just as well)
Parmesan and pepper to season
optional: fresh tomatoes and/or avocados

The Process: Cook the pasta first (or use leftovers!).  Add 2 cans of water to your two cans of condensed soup in a medium to large pot.  Turn on the heat and stir.  You may want to use a whisk to get rid of any clumps of condensed soup, and make sure it's well blended.

Add the stewed tomatoes (do not drain) and the garbanzo beans and olives (drained), shake in several shakes of your herb blend, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  When the pot simmers, you want to crack each egg and dump them in one at a time (aim for different sides of your pot so they don't all cook together in one clump, you want a separate clump for each egg) and allow it to cook for another 4-5 minutes.  If done right, the yolk should be solid but not super hard like a hard-boiled egg- but if your egg is overdone or underdone it will be fine.  I've tried a few different ways and they were all good but the just barely boiled way turned out best. 

Remove from heat, stir in the cooked pasta, and serve.  Each serving should have an egg and a good deal of the rest of the soup as well. Top with some grated Parmesan and as much pepper as you like.  I also like to top mine with fresh chopped tomatoes and slices of avocado- if you do this, it will look better if you add them before the Parmesan and pepper.

Notes on pasta: any will do, but non-spaghetti types (shells, macaroni, bow-ties) will be easier to manage in your soup.  If you do use a long noodle such as spaghetti or fettuccine, you may want to cut the noodles into bite-sized pieces after cooking so they are better suited to using a spoon instead of a fork :)  I haven't tried it, but this might also taste really good with a cheese tortellini or ravioli, though that will bring your costs up a bit.

My dad would call this a "lycopene special" because of all the tomatoes.  Lycopene is supposed to help reduce the risk of cancer, but don't quote me on it because there's not a lot of research, and none of it conclusive.  Either way, it tastes pretty fantastic! I made this last night and I'm hoping to have the leftovers after my hike today, the idea being to avoid a major cooking/cleanup mess when I'm tired from the hike and have places to be afterward.  Let me know what you think!

I hope your Monday goes well, your students give you extra smiles, and you remember that you are a precious daughter of the King!

UPDATE 11/23:
I was visiting family and we didn't have any leftover pasta, but we did have a leftover blend of  brown rice and wild rice, and that worked great too.  I also added some canned mushrooms since I had them around.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this is super long. I will try to make them shorter in the future :P