Sunday, October 26, 2008

Comforting Vegetable Soup

This is a basic recipe - a soup for when you're sick, or the weather's chilly, or you just plain want soup. I was inspired to make the soup this week; because a co-worker was under the weather, and one of the things I miss most about living alone is having someone for whom I can cook. So the soup was good for both of us in its own way!

Optional: home made vegetable stock. One of the things I do is save vegetable scraps, like stumps from a bunch of celery, the centres of heads of cabbage, the hard ends of asparagus, onion bits, carrot ends, etc. I keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer, and when it gets full I either make soup and start another, or I simply discard them. What I do is put my scraps into my large pot and cover them with water (this is why I haven't written any amounts here. It will depend on what you have on hand or care to use.) I also like to add a bay leaf and a clove or two of garlic as well as a splash of olive oil. I then boil for at least 10 minutes, and as long as 20. Then I strain the pieces and throw them out, leaving myself with a stock to which I add water and salt to taste. Here's what it may look like, depending on what vegetables you've used:

At this point I add the vegetables and protein that I want to have in the soup. For this recipe I used:

4c stock, salted to taste
1 1/2c roughly chopped carrots
1 1/2c roughly chopped celery
2 slabs of Marjon Grilled Tofu, cubed

I know I've plugged this product before. I am not sure if it's available everywhere; but you may be able to find something like it if not. Here's a photo for those visual types:

Finally, I simmer the soup for a little while until the carrots are to the level of tenderness I like. This takes around 7-10 minutes. I prefer my vegetables to be on the firm side, so adjust this to as desired. This will be from 3 large servings to 5 or 6 small ones.

That's it. If you used a store-bought or bouillon for your broth, this can be ready with very little mess or work; but even if you make your own broth, it isn't so hard. Here's a picture of the soup still in the pan. (I got camera-happy this recipe.)

The main thing to remember about this recipe - as with most of my others - is that you can adjust them to your own taste. You could make this with chicken for example, and you can add rice or pasta if desired. I am not fond of how mushy the pasta gets when I leave it in over night; but I did make one serving of macaroni when I had this for dinner, and it worked well.

No comments: