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Especially now that I have more time and energy to cook, I’ve been working on eating less processed foods and making more stuff from scratch.

Recently I read an article (which I can now no longer locate) about how MSG is often not listed on labels and appears in many surprising and popular foods — even stuff like Campbell’s Soup. This led me to look at the label of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup that I had in my kitchen — turns out they throw some high fructose corn syrup in there for good measure. It’s like nothing is safe from that stuff.

This led me on a mission to learn more about making my own soup. What did I learn? That making soup is as easy as throwing a bunch of fresh junk into some broth. It doesn’t take a genius or a soup scientist.
And while heating up a can of soup only takes a few minutes, making your own doesn’t take that many more. For example, today I made a show-stopping beans ‘n’ greens soup in 20 minutes. Not only was it cheap to make, but I can eat it all week and freeze the other half for later. Even better, I don’t get the MSG or sugar and I can add or leave out any ingredients that I don’t like or don’t happen to have.

In a large soup pot, throw in

  • one cup of chopped onions
  • a half cup of food processed celery (I like the taste of celery but hate the texture, so I food process the hell of out it)
  • four chopped slices of bacon
  • two chopped carrots
  • diced garlic to your liking (I like a lot)

Cook these things for about ten minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through and the onions are see-through. Then add:

  • A 15-ounce can of white beans
  • Six cups of chicken broth
  • A cup of uncooked whole wheat pasta (I like the spirals)
  • Whichever spices your into (rosemary, thyme, and red pepper for me)

Let this stuff simmer for about ten minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Then turn off the heat and add in about 10 ounces of spinach (or your green of choice) until it wilts and turns bright green.

And for my veggie friends, this one is easy to turn vegan — just ditch the bacon and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

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