March 26th 2013
We've all done it....I was basically raised on the stuff, you might still have a can or two in the pantry right now...(horror movie suspense music..dun dun dun!) Canned soup! Those chubby lil' Campbell's soup kids staring at you...so cute, nothing unsavory could be lurking in that aluminium can...right? Wrong. In September 2012 a cancer advocacy group released a study that found Campbell's soup cans to have the highest levels of BPA's then any other soup brand. BPA (bisphenol A), a commonly used additive in food packaging, mimics human estrogen and is thought by some health advocates to be harmful to health, after a great deal of consumer backlash, Campbell's never admitting any wrong doing, begrudgingly took BPA out of the can linings. Now if that isn't enough for you let's consider the sodium and quality issues....if you buy your own ingredients, you control what you and your family eat. Less processing means healthier and more nutrient dense product. Now if you know how to can at home this would be a great recipe to do that with...keep in your pantry and heat and eat your own soup anytime! The pan I made was so popular with my family that I didn't have any left to store, kids love this soup! This recipe can also be altered for all diets with a change up in proteins or vegetables, I was chatting with a vegan mom on the playground the other day and we were discussing how in other cultures meat is condiment not the focus of a meal, this recipe is a great example of that concept. Shall we begin? I think we shall.
Mise en Place:
I will use frozen vegetables for some things...they are harvested at their peak and if you buy the organic variety they are full of nutrients.
add these in when your beef has browned 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 large potato (I like the starchiness of russet for this)next in the mix goes your frozen veggies and a quart of good beef stock, or veggie, as long as its a good quality most varieties should work. Add your pre-cooked pearl barley (put 1 cup of barley in a rice cooker with 3 cups of water, I also like to add a few tablespoons of dried porcini mushrooms to add depth and flavor, also you could use porcini as your "meat" flavor if you wanna make this vegetarian) simmer soup for twenty minutes or so. Turn off the heat and add the "toppins"
Makes about 10 servings and as always use this technique to create your own favorites! This was the classic I wanted to upcycle and I'm sure if you try this you will have great results! Kick them Campbell's kids to the curb!