34 Days of Favorites: Lunch

This week is going to be very food-themed – yesterday we covered breakfast, and today we’re doing lunch!

If I had my choice, I would probably eat the same thing for lunch every single day: a baked potato slathered in butter, and a bowl of homemade chicken vegetable soup.

Oh, yum. I get hungry for it right now, just thinking about it.

I started making soup about a year ago. I mean, I made soup before that, but last summer was when I started going crazy with the soup.

There are a few reasons for this: Soup is delicious, you can pack in a ton of vegetables, and if you make a large batch, it is such a fast, convenient lunch option to grab out of the fridge.

There are a ton of fantastic soup recipes out there, but I’ve figured out exactly what I like for myself. I’ve never taken the time to measure anything when I’m cooking soup – I think it’s fun to keep dumping vegetables in the pot based on color. If the mixture is looking a little too green, I add some more carrots. If it’s looking kinda boring, I add a few more red and yellow peppers.

So without specific measurements, here is my favorite soup:

Vegetable Soup:

I start with a large pot of homemade chicken broth.

Then I add: carrots, broccoli, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, until it looks like a balanced combination of everything.

I use whatever kind of seasonings I’m in the mood for that day, usual salt, garlic powder, basil and parsley.

I bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for 1/2 an hour.

I add frozen peas, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Here are a few soup tricks to keep in mind:

1) My mom taught me to put soup into jars while it’s boiling hot, and leaving them on the counter until the lids snap. It’s the short-cut canning version. The soup only stays good if you keep it in the fridge, but it’s far simpler than the usual canning method. I don’t know how long it lasts in the fridge, because we eat it too fast to worry about that, anyway.

2) I usually keep my cooked chicken separate from the soup, so I can use it for other meals and recipes as well. I add it to my soup if I want a heartier meal, or leave it as just a veggie soup if I want a bit of a snack. (I eat a lot of soup, for breakfast, lunch, supper, or snack. It works any time of day!)

3) This soup tastes BY FAR the yummiest if you mix in 1/2 a mashed avocado. I realize that sounds weird. The first time I read about doing that, I thought it sounded gross. I love avocados in guacamole. But in soup? Ew. Until I tried it. It adds a wonderful flavor, healthy fat, and a creamy texture to a bowl of soup. I rarely eat a bowl of veggie soup without avocado in it.

And there’s not much to say about the baked potato part of my lunch. Except that I think potatoes are delicious with a crispy outside. Baked straight on the rack.

I’ve been told potatoes are not healthy. But I’ve also heard they’re so full of potassium, we should eat two a day. Since I love potatoes so much, I’ll go with the potassium theory!

And butter. Some people stay away from it, but I’ve done a lot of reading, and from what I gather, butter is a healthy fat. Margarine is actually bad for you. It has to do with all your omega 3’s and 6’s and stuff like that.

For me, the biggest thing is getting healthy fats and proteins to balance out all those vegetables, and adding some good calories to my diet. But I’m not a health expert. And there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there. (I get some of my health info from these blogs: The Wellness Warrior, Wellness Mama, and The Perfect Health Diet)

Alright, your turn! What do you like to eat for lunch?