THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
I’m not really one for making New Year’s resolutions. Too much pressure for my personality. I feel like resolutions are so concrete. It’s a black and white approach to “doing better” and one that just doesn’t add up in my world. If I don’t end up following them through fully (which is just about always), I end up feeling guilty and bad about myself. Not how I want to start the year, you know? I do, however, love the idea of a new anything, a clean slate if you will. Each year end, I reflect on the past year and how I’d like to make the new year better for myself and the people around me. I don’t do it through a deliberate act but rather by being more conscious of where I am in my life and how I can make me a better me to move through the new year. Corny, perhaps, but somehow it works for me.
When I asked on my Facebook page what people wanted to see on Mountain Mama Cooks for the New Year, I got a lot of requests for “skinny” recipes. I know that many of you have vowed to make this new year one of eating healthier and exercising more and while I tip my hat and commend what you are doing, my blog and the recipes will stay the same. I will focus on what I always have and that is giving you real food and a whole lot of moderation. You’ll always find a myriad of recipes on my blog that range from healthy to indulgent, gluten free to gluten laden, naturally low fat and naturally full of fat and just about everything in between. Like resolutions, I don’t adhere to the all or none philosophy. Eat consciously and exercise regularly as a lifestyle and come New Year’s, you can put your resolution focus on something more fun like reading more books or snowboarding more! (Forget what I said above about resolutions. Snowboarding more is SO my New Year’ resolution.)
Now that I’m off that bandwagon, let’s talk soup, shall we? I used to work in a small mom and pop restaurant that served 2-3 homemade soups daily. One of my all time favorites was one affectionately named, Ski Soup. Similar to a goulash it’s chocked full of ground beef and/or Italian sausage, lots of vegetables, a sweet and savory broth and some sort of pasta to give it some girth. It’s the most warming, filling soup and perfect for having on a cold night after you’ve spent a day on the mountain, trying to stay warm. Served with some crusty garlic bread and a glass of red wine, this would be just what I wanted to end my day with after a day of snowboarding.
The soup is super versatile and you could use whatever vegetables- fresh or canned- that you have on hand. I stock my pantry with Del Monte® veggies and tomatoes this time of year when fresh produce is slim pickings. The fruits and vegetables are picked and packed at their prime and most are canned almost immediately, locking in the nutrition and vitamin content. I appreciate that Del Monte offers so many no-salt and reduced sodium canned vegetables as I prefer to add my own salt especially when making something like a soup as I can control the sodium. The soup is super hearty thanks to browned Italian sausage and whole wheat elbow macaroni. The secret ingredient is apple cider vinegar that you stir in at the end. It might sound strange but I promise you it works!
On to the giveaway!!!!
Del Monte is giving away a $100 VISA gift certificate to (1) one lucky reader. All you have to do is answer below what your favorite fruits or vegetables are to stock in your pantry. You’ll win extra brownie points with me if you tell me what your favorite recipe to make is as well!
No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 1/6/2014-2/6/2014
- 1 lb Italian Sausage
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 14-oz can Del Monte petite diced tomatoes
- 1 14-oz can Del Monte cut green beans, drained
- 1 14-oz can Del Monte sweet yellow corn, drained
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
- In a large stock pan, brown sausage, breaking up any large pieces until fully cooked. Remove sausage from pan and drain on a plate lined with a few paper towels. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the stock pan and return to stove top.
- Add the diced onion, carrot and celery to the pan. Cook over medium-low heat until softened about 5-8 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more.
- Add chicken stock, tomatoes, green beans and corn. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and let simmer 10 minutes.
- Add apple cider vinegar, macaroni and cooked sausage. Cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve soup in bowls with parmesan cheese to garnish if desired.
Thank you for supporting my relationship with brands I trust and use in my home so that I can bring you unique and original content like this. I was compensated by Del Monte though all opinions and thoughts are my own. Be sure to visit the Del Monte brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!