Sunday, December 28, 2008

What's for Dinner:::Gina

Okay, I know this is a resolution for 2009, but I've been working on the blog most of the day, and am eager to get started. Tonight I have an Italian potato soup simmering and a loaf of country bread in the oven. On Christmas Eve my grandmother took us to the Olive Garden (little did I know it might be my last meal out, lol) and I had the soup and salad. This is my best reconstruction of that soup, with a few modifications. It's simmering now and I just sampled it. I'd say so far, so good. I guess I'll commit and write a recipe here:

Italian Potato Soup

1# ground beef, buffalo, or sausage (I suspect sausage would be the best, but I didn't have any on hand)
1/2 a large onion, finely chopped
1 large baking potato, quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced
1 can white beans (dried, cooked, and frozen beans would be the most frugal choice)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Approx 2 teaspoons each dried basil and oregano
Approx 1 t dried fennel seeds
Approx 3 C milk
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Basically, I just browned the beef and onion, adding the garlic when it was almost done. I added spices while this was browning and then added the potato and beans. Cover with milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes, add kale, and simmer another 5 or so.

The bread is a variation of this recipe, with whole wheat (white wheat) flour instead, and a little cornmeal thrown in because I ran out of flour after last week's baking frenzy.

Wrap up analysis...

Kids factor: Accepted very well. Liam hemmed and hawed a bit, but that was because he had a snack about 5 minutes before dinner. Grrrr... I tried to get them to rate it, but Quinn was the only one who got the concept of that really, and he gave it a 9, which is probably an exaggeration. He can be very ingratiating.

Cost factor: Honestly, I don't know what a half-gallon of organic milk runs these days, but I used about 2/3 of one, so I'll guess that's in the neighborhood of $2. $2 on the beef, $1 for the kale and beans, $0.25 for the onion and probably $1 for bread fixin's and maybe another $0.50 worth of spices. So a grand total of $6.75 and it made about 10 servings.

Health factor: I'm not a huge fan of dairy, I used beef instead of buffalo, and potatoes are questionable at best. Still, it was 2% milk, no "extra" fats, and did contain kale. So, fairly healthy, but not extraordinarily.


  1. Ha! We're having soup and bread tonight also- Ham and Beans and Cornbread.

  2. Great! I look forward to the post. ;)