Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ravioli & Sausage Soup

One night last week, when it was time to make dinner, I went to the freezer. I saw ravioli and frozen spinach. I remembered I had chicken sausage in the fridge as well as tofu and chicken stock. 20 minutes later, dinner was on the table.

I know some times it's hard to see dinner when you open a cabinet but keep soup at the top of the list. Sure, I like to make chicken soup from scratch once in a while but it's not realistic unless I plan it. To make life easy, I usually keep a few containers of organic chicken broth in the pantry.

Soup can be a great one-pot meal, too. I find that if I add the spinach or chard to the broth, my children just sort of eat it. I know for all of you, that's not an option; some children will pick it out. Do the best you can. They are bound to get a few residual nutrients even if they do.

Here are a few ideas to make that chicken broth just a little more exciting:
  • Boil pot stickers in broth and add mixed frozen vegetables at the end with a dash of sesame oil
  • If you have any leftover rice, pasta or potatoes, use that with veggies and protein
  • Look for leftover or need-to-use protein in the fridge; saute raw protein like sausage, chicken or ground meat but use the broth to cook seafood like shrimp
  • If cooking raw vegetables in a broth, add the hardest veggies first, like carrots, and then add the softer veggies, like zucchini, toward the end
  • I know I'm Italian but there's nothing like good quality olive oil and some freshly grated Italian cheese like Grana Padano or Peccorino Romano on top (except when making the potsticker version!)
Ravioli and Sausage Soup
Serves 4

1 or 2 Italian pork or chicken sausages (like pesto, mild Italian, or sun-dried tomato)
1 32 oz carton of organic chicken broth
about 1/2 pound cheese ravioli (I like the Genova brand mini ravioli the best; great flavor)
1 10 oz box or 1/2 bag of frozen, chopped organic spinach
4 oz firm tofu, cut into cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated cheese

1. In a large pot, cook sausage until brown. Remove and cool slightly. Slice and keep warm.
2. Place carton of broth in the pot along with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
3. Once broth is boiling, add ravioli and cook for 5 minutes, 1 or 2 minutes less than recommended time.
4. Add frozen spinach and tofu. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add sausage.
5. Serve in big bowls topped with olive oil and cheese.

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