My new and improved (I hope you see it that way) website is taking a lot of my time. I am in the midst of reformatting all of my already published posts. At same time I am learning how to do it properly (thank you, Stephen) so that I don’t run into formatting issues -like text wiggling uncontrollably all over the place, font being and staying the wrong size and pictures refusing to be placed where I would like them to be. And that is just the tip of my computer related iceberg. But the beauty of life is that we can still learn new things and this is what I am doing now- a little (no, a lot) outside my comfort zone, but there you have it.
Last nite, I was retooling a recipe post and it occurred to me that I have not posted a delicious, delightful plant based recipe in quite some time. So, I am going to go out on a limb here and write about soup at the beginning of summertime. Ah yes, the summertime-those lazy, hazy days of summer. People are thinking about eating watermelon, popsicles, corn on the cob, tomatoes and burgers on the Barbie (Aussie speak for BBQ). Not too many people are getting up in the morning thinking that soup, hot, steamy soup would be a good thing to make and eat today.
Well, I am here to tell you not to knock it until you have tried it. Homemade soup can be nutritious, tasty and easy at any time of the year. It is a one pot meal. If you do what I do, it will be a big one pot meal with extras to freeze for a later date. My friends, it is a great way to use up ingredients, like fresh veggies that are sitting in your fridge .
I have read that one should not use older veggies in soup or any other food for that matter. Apparently, the nutritional value of the veg decreases with age (sounds a bit like me on some days LOL!) That makes sense to me. However, I am also a big believer in conservation and in making a smaller footprint in this world (this wasn’t always the case), so I am learning to buy less and to use up what I already have. I extend this philosophy to fresh produce.
So, one morning, I opened the fridge and decided that some of the veggies in it needed to be used up. This is what I did and this is the result.
Gather up your choice of veggies and place them on the counter in one place, ready to go. I chose onions, potatoes, white turnip, and broccoli. Add to that, some veggie broth (low sodium if possible), salt and pepper, and ground cardamom. I decided to use ground cardamom because it goes well with delicately flavored foods like pears and white turnip. For tips on how to dice an onion, check out Handy Tips, Options…
3 small or 2 medium onions
4 medium white turnips, peeled and diced
5-6 medium potatoes peeled and diced
3/4-1 tsp ground cardamom
1 liter(4 cups) veggie stock-organic and low salt, if possible
1/2-3/4 cup salsa
3 cups of nut and or lite coconut milk.
2 cups frozen corn
Salt & Pepper to taste
The How To:
Peel and dice onion, potato and white turnip. This can be a rough dice or chop since one is going to make a blended soup.
Pour about 1/4 cup of veggie broth into a stock pot and turn onto high.
Add veggies and stir fry for about ten minutes. Add veggie stock as needed.
If you do what I did and the bottom of your pot starts to look like this, there is no need to panic. Simply add a little stock and scrape the bottom of the pot gently until it looks like this.
Add 1/2 tsp cardamom along with 1/2 cup salsa and stir on medium high to help the veggies caramelize a bit-about five minutes.
Add the chopped broccoli, the stock and some water if needed, to cover the veggies.
Turn down to low and let simmer covered until veggies are tender, 20-25 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend to desired consistency.
Season with more salsa and cardamom if desired and salt and pepper to taste.
Add frozen corn and stir.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
I do not put any added oil or fat in my recipes (but, I still miss it, I have to say), so stir frying the veggies in veggie broth or water and then adding some salsa helps to give the look and taste of food stir fried in oil.
Cardamom is a wonderful and tasty spice, but it does pack a punch in the flavor department. So, use with caution. A little bit too much can be way too much. If cardamom is not your bag, use the herbs and spices that are.
Frozen corn and peas (organic if possible) and canned beans are wonderful food items to keep on hand. They are great add-ins when your recipe needs a little “Je ne sais quoi”.
Leftover soup freezes well. I put in it in 2 cup containers and thaw when I don’t feel like cooking. The soup may require a little extra water. Spices in foods can intensify in the freezer.
Broccoli stems can be kind of tough, especially if the broccoli is kind of old. I learned this trick from my mother. With a small paring knife, peel the outside part of the stem and it will become quite a bit less tough.
I love using an immersion blender for blending soup, but a food processor also works. In a pinch, so will a blender. Just remember to avoid blending hot soup in a closed container (like a blender) or your kitchen walls my end up being the same color as the soup-not that this ever happened to me-just sayin’ LOL!
Experiment with foods from the plant kingdom. There is so much variety out there to tickle your taste buds.
May all beings be happy and free.