Whenever I'm in doubt as to what to make for dinner, the answer is usually soup. Do you wonder why?
Image: oil painting of soup pot and vegetables, by Pat Meier-Johnson.
It's easy. All you have to do is chop up some vegetables and throw them into a pot - carrots, potatoes, onions, zucchini, whatever you have. I usually add a cup of red lentils for thick soup, or quinoa, or some pearl barley and the bony parts of a chicken (wings, back, neck).
It's economical. You get to use up all sorts of odds and ends you wouldn't know what to do with otherwise - a squishy tomato, the stem of a cauliflower, a slightly wilted sprig of celery, or, as I already mentioned, the bony parts of a chicken - and make a whole meal out of it. And usually you also get plenty of leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.
It's efficient. Once you throw everything into the pot, you put it on the stove and let it simmer, stirring occasionally - and that's it. Minimal work, great outcome.
It's versatile. You don't need to follow any recipe. For me, soup is always some veggies, hardly matters which, and something to make it thicker - lentils, oats, barley, quinoa, rice, noodles or couscous.
It makes for a cozy home. Soup cooking on the stove in winter makes the kitchen warmer and sends a delicious smell all over the house.
It's healthful. Homemade soup is one of the most digestible foods there is. It's great at a time of the flu (especially chicken soup), upset stomachs, upset spirits or upset minds.
So pull out a nice big pot and cook some healthy, delicious soup for all the family.