Tube Soup to the Rescue!

When it's 4:30pm and you suddenly decide that soup would be good to serve with that leftover meatballs and spaghetti you found in the back of the freezer and the only other thing in the pantry is a tube of soup, suddenly, a flash of brilliance!

At least I thought it was a flash of brilliance. More like a lukewarm flash. But it seemed like a good idea at the time. Rather than just boil up some water and dump the bow-tie tube soup mix in, I thought it might be a great idea to jazz it up with some semi-fresh veggies left over from a week's worth of cooking real food.

Before I continue, I should explain what "tube soup" is. Instead of coming in a box, dried soup mix is instead sold in a cylindrical clear plastic wrap. It comes in many varieties, some of them close to natural. For example, barley and mushroom, or split pea. Even what they laughingly call minestrone is pretty much all split green and yellow peas, with a capful of rice-shaped pasta.

The only tube I had sitting in the pantry was bow-tie noodle soup. Not exactly wholesome, but to reconstitute it and serve takes only 20 minutes out of my life. But I wanted to make it more wholesome and healthy. So I took some cabbage and shredded it. I thinly sliced one small onion, then chopped up about 10 baby carrots and minced 2 garlic cloves. All of these were leftovers from making potstickers the other day. My darling son came home from school and told me he volunteered me to make potstickers for the whole class to help celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year. Wasn't that nice of him? I'll post that recipe later. But I digress.

Anyway, I boiled the water, then tossed in all the veggies. Gently simmered them for 10 minutes, then added the contents of the tube soup, plus a drained can of pink beans. I also dumped in a can of petit chopped tomatoes with the juice, then sprinkled some chopped parsley, ground pepper and oregano, on top. Tossed in a bay leaf for luck. Covering the pot, I let it simmer for another 20 minutes.

Aside from the chemical taste from the Tube of Soup, it wasn't bad. Well, what can you expect? Garbage in, garbage out. Next time I'll leave out the soup tube and add macaroni instead. If I'm serving it with a dairy entree I'll sprinkle Parmesan on top.


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