Canned or packet soups are freely available it every supermarket and popular with busy housewives or those who want a quick, hot meal on a cold day. While most of them taste good, the list of ingredients include many things such as flavouring and colourings that would not be in a home-cooked soup. These ingredients are added to make the soup more palatable and attractive.
Bought soup comes in handy at times, but it does not have a great many healthy ingredients in it. You might find a few tiny pieces of carrot or other vegetables that you may or may not be able to identify, but when you make main meal soup for the family it will be filled with many nutritious vegetables and grains that are missing from bought soup.
Main meal soup will ‘keep you going’ for much longer that packaged soup, because the nutritional value is there. It’s not full of artificial flavour, colouring or sugar. It has no corn starch or flour to thicken it. You can serve it up for a main meal and it will be enough on its own or with some toast to keep you feeling happy for the night. Or you can heat it up for a midday meal and you will not feel the need to snack on high fat goodies afterwards.
This old-fashioned recipe for main meal soup can be cooked in a stockpot. To use a slow cooker, see note below.
Main Meal Soup
- Two lamb shinbones
- One large onion
- Two large carrots
- Two or three potatoes
- Two stalks of celery
- One or two parsnips – don’t leave these out; they give it a lovely flavour
- One cup of red lentils
- Half a cup of soup mix or barley
- One third to half a cup of brown rice
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Two tablespoons of Worstershire sauce
- One tablespoon of tomato sauce – optional
- Water to cover
Optional ingredients: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, peas, beans or anything else you have at hand.
Place shinbones in stock pot and cover with water. Place on the stove on high. Add the grains and seasonings. Chop and add the vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 hours. Taste to ensure you used enough salt. Sea salt without any added sodium is a healthy choice. You may need to add a little more water if the mix is too thick. Break up the meat from the shins and stir it through. This should be enough for two meals. Sometimes it goes thicker overnight so when reheating you may need to add more water. You can freeze the leftovers for later or keep them in the fridge to use up in the next day or two.
Note: To use a slow cooker, choose smaller pieces of lamb rather than shin bones. Cook for 6-8 hours.