Grandfather’s Soup – A Pick-Me-Up Meal

Whenever I hear that a friend is under the weather, in a funk, or just kind of bummed out…this gives me the inspiration to crack open my cookbooks and search for the perfect pick-me-up. What is my first instinct when I think comfort? Soup, of course.

Soups are one of my favorite things to make because they can take you in all different directions. You can have chunky and hearty soups, smooth and creamy soups, spicy and fiery, or mild and flavorful! So I went on a search when I came across…

Grandfather’s Soup – named such because of it’s easily digestible ingredients. Grandfather’s soup, originating in Hungary, is usually composed of potatoes, onions and dumplings. Sounds good, right? I thought so. I decided to amp up this starchy recipe a little bit and make it a more veggie-packed as a nice balance, plus it makes the dish more colorful and who wouldn’t want that?

This one is adapted from my Complete Guide to Jewish Cooking cookbook and it is just the right pick-me-up for one of those Eeyore-blue kind of days:

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Grandfather’s Soup 

1 T. Olive oil
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 medium Leeks, crescent cut
4 – 5 Red Potatoes, diced
2 medium Carrots, heart-shaped cuts (or just rounds)
1 stalk of Celery, diced
2 c. loosely packed Baby Spinach
1 box of Vegetable Stock (approx. 4 c.)
1 c. Water
1/2 cannister of Pillsbury Grands! Jr. biscuits
3 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1-2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, I put the olive oil in a large soup pot and put it over medium-high heat. Then once the pot was hot, I put in my minced garlic and after a few minutes, I dropped in the leeks.

I let the leeks and garlic cook for about 4 – 5 minutes on medium heat until they had become soft; stirring occasionally. During this time, I finished cutting up my potatoes, carrots and celery. Next, I added the potatoes and let them cook for 2 minutes before adding the vegetable stock.

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Once the stock was added, I threw in my carrots and celery. Then I brought my soup to high heat to bring it to a boil. While the soup was cooking, I used this time to season my soup to taste with the basil, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Save the italian seasoning for the dumplings!

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Then I pulled out my Pillsbury Grands! Jr. and took three of the 5 biscuits. I placed a tsp of italian seasoning onto each one then mixed them in. After that, I ripped off small pieces from the biscuits to make the dumplings for the soup. Yes, this is a cheater method, but it’s also great if you are limited on time!

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Once the soup is boiling, bring it down to a simmer and slowly place in your dumplings. Cover the soup and let simmer for 10 minutes.

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Next, add the baby spinach and let it wilt into the soup before serving.

Serve with warm bread and a big spoon!

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This soup turned out absolutely delicious. It was rich, dough-y and warmed my heart right up! If I could make any adjustments, I might try kale instead of spinach! It was a wonderful meal to have right before Passover this week. Gotta pack in all of my grains before Friday night!

I hope that it will be the perfect pick-me-up for my friend during this blue day of hers! I highly recommend making this soup for yourself, a friend, or even your grandfather! It is relatively low maintenance and absolutely scrumptious!!

Smile, it’s contagious!

Love,
Mimi

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