Monday, November 4, 2013

Lessons in Soup Making

Good morning, Crushers!

Remember when I shared some delicious soup recipes back here? Well, last night I made the Slow Cooker Tomato Rotini Soup. However, we were packing up the house, and I forgot to start it earlier in the day. Instead, I'm going to give you a few tips on how to make it on the stove top in less than an hour. It's so delicious. Thanks again to Susan for sharing!

Here is a link to the original recipe. Here is what I did, and tips from Susan:
Tomato Rotini Soup

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups tomato juice
1 heaping tablespoon of Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle (basil, garlic and oregano)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1-ish cup sliced mushrooms
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 box uncooked rotini pasta (make in a separate sauce pan)

Gear you'll need: Big soup pot, smaller pot or sauce pan for the noodles, spoons, a sharp knife for chopping up veggies, and measuring cups/spoons.

Directions: In the large pot, heat the broth (I used chicken broth) and tomato juice to a boil and then turn down the heat. Stir in the spices. For a lower-sodium version of this soup, try and find the low-sodium juice and broth. It's going to be flavorful enough without adding more salt. Your heart with thank you.

Chop up all of the veggies and put them in the pot. Put the can of tomatoes in as well. I accidentally bought the Italian kind, but that worked really well. If you want, you could soften up the veggies by cooking them with a half tablespoon of olive oil before putting them in the pot. However, we like chunky veggies at our house! Cook the tomato base and veggies on medium for at least 25 minutes if not 30.

Tip from Susan: For a spicier soup, you can use the spicy tomato juice (sometimes called zesty in the store) or throw in a few red pepper flakes. If we had had the red pepper flakes, I'm sure we would have used them!
Soup bubbling away before I added the noodles.
When you have about 8 minutes left on the soup, cook the rotini in a separate pot. I tried a little experiment last night and found that the soup is better when you don't cook the noodles in the pot. I cooked half in and half out. The half out was better because it didn't soak up all the juices. By the time we were done with dinner, the half in noodles had become enormous and soaked up lots of juice. When I reheat it, I think I'll just add more juice or broth. It'll still taste good.

Here are more tips from Susan:
  • "I get enough to freeze a dinner size portion for Dave (her husband) and myself and then usually 2 lunch size portions for me to take to work.  More than likely we will have leftovers from the dinner size portion that turn into another lunch portion for myself bringing that total up to 3 (maybe 4 depending on how hungry we are the night we have the soup and what we have with it."
  • Grilled cheese is an EXCELLENT side to the tomato (we did this last night).
  • "I let the soup cool for close to 2 hours and then I freeze the dinner portions in gallon Ziploc bags and lay them flat in the freezer so they freeze nice and flat.  The lunch portions I do freeze in Tupperware so that all I have to do to take them for lunch is move it from the freeze to the fridge the night before and then transfer to my lunch bag in the morning." 
 Thanks to Susan for sharing this soup recipe and all her tips! Enjoy!


  1. AWWW your welcome!! So glad you guys loved it :) Thanks for sharing how to do it on the stove top...I always like having options with how i make soups.

    1. It was so easy to make and a perfect match for grilled cheese. I'm glad we didn't pack all our pots and pans yet!