Saturday, March 31, 2012

130. Vegetable Soup with Bulgur

What the heck is bulgur?

Yes, I had the same question when I first heard this word.

Is it wheat? Is it a grain? Is it rice?

For a very long explanation you can go here and read all about the grain, but for the short and sweet definition.  This is it:

Bulgur wheat is a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked. As a whole grain, it is a naturally high-fiber, low-fat, low-calorie vegetarian and vegan food ingredient.

You can use it just like rice or couscous, or any other whole grain.

One cup of cooked bulgur wheat provides 151 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, 8.2 grams of dietary fiber (that's about 33% the recommended daily value), and a healthy 5.6 grams of protein. Bulgur wheat is naturally cholesterol-free food.

WOW.  Sounds like my family found a new grain to add to our diet.

I will tell you that 2 cups soaked in water goes a long way.  I was able to make this soup, one loaf of bread and still have about 1.5 cups left over.

The grain itself does not have a strong flavor when eaten on it's own (after being soaked of course).  The soup was filling (it reminded me of a barley soup) and the bread was nutty, fluffy and delicious.

I love trying new things in my kitchen and this year so far has been fun fun fun.


Recipe: Vegetable Soup with Bulgur

6 cups of broth, you can use canned or homemade OR chicken or vegetable
1/2 cup of carrots, I used shredded
3 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 cup of red onion, sliced or diced
1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes, whole
1 can of diced tomatoes with juice
6-8 medium sized fresh basil leaves
a dash of pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder or fresh, minced garlic
2 cups of prepared bulgur, see intructions

Parmesan cheese, for topping
avocado, for topping

Prepare your bulgur.  This may take a few hours depending on the type of bulgur you have purchased.  It can easily be done over night too or the day before and added to your soup at dinner time.

Saute the carrots, celery and onion in the olive oil.

In a large pot, add all of the ingredients.

Cook on medium heat.

Turn heat down low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.  This allows the basil to have a chance to meld with the soup.  It's not strong, so if you want more basil, please add more.

Taste your soup and add salt as needed.  I did not include this in the recipe because some broths are saltier than others and the cook needs to regulate this ingredient to meet your families needs.

I added fresh avocado to each bowl along with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Delicious, easy and healthy!


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