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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beautiful Autumn and Very Veggie Soup

It's gloriously beautiful here in Ohio today....the sun is out, wind has died down, rain has stopped and the temps are rising today.  The sun is making longer shadows across the land these days, giving early morning and late afternoon a brilliant shine to the leaves, which haven't all given up their grasp on the trees just yet....but it's coming.....the dreaded "W" word and soon I'll have to dig out the Carharts and gloves and long underwear and wonder once again why we live this far north of the equator.

But for today, it's beautiful.


Our beautiful mare, Dani, enjoying the sun.


Lovely Laura

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I started out the day harvesting some kale (the few plants that survived the onslaught of the cabbage moths) beet greens and spinach for my morning smoothie.  There is something so wonderfully simple and grounding about going out to your own garden, snipping a few leaves and preparing a meal with the yield. 

I'm really looking forward to expanding our very successful raised beds next year - I'm hoping to add two more, one for sweet potatoes and early/late quick crops, like lettuce, and one that I'd love to have strictly for flowers, possibly growing some edible flower varieties as well as my favorites like daisies and pansies, dahlias, cosmos, etc.

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I had a craving for some vegetable soup yesterday and thought it would be a great opportunity to use up some odds and ends in the frig before they become Science experiments.  (Another great thing about being vegan is the much greater window of time before the stuff in the frig morphs into something truly nasty....). 

I've been in the habit this summer of stashing leftover bits of veggies from my food prep into large freezer bags and storing in the freezer - then I just add to them as I go along.  I mark the bags with ye ole Sharpie "Veg Stock", and now have quite the collection of these bags.  It is amazing how quickly you can fill one up with the ends of onions, carrots, tops of tomatoes, ugly butt end of celery, celery leaves, etc., etc. 

Every so often when cooking, I just empty the contents of a bag into a large pot and add water, probably 4 - 6 cups, cover and let it simmer.  An hour or more later and there is this lovely veggie stock.....strain and toss the spent veg parts onto the compost pile.  Usually I'll go ahead and freeze that veggie stock too, unless I am going to use it up in the next day or two.  It's a very simple process and I refuse to buy the high sodium stuff that is available in the store --- even if I find a brand that is low in sodium, it still just seems like a waste of money, when I can create my own with literally stuff I was going to toss out!

Very Veggie Soup

Homemade veggie stock (really try to make your own---I know not everyone can, but I really think it
      makes a huge difference in the taste)
Onions (I used some small ones I picked up at the farm market - a variety, red, yellow, white -
     about 8 of these)
Garlic - 2 cloves
Carrots (I used two from my garden - yum)
Potatoes - 4 medium
Corn - approx 1 C - (Trader Joe's roasted corn has a sweetness that is really nice in this soup)
Peas - approx 1 C
Edamame - approx 1 C
Red beans - 1 can, rinsed and drained
Anything else you would like!
Tomato sauce - approx 1 C - (I made from tomatoes from the garden - lots of flavor but could use
   canned or even a small can of tomato paste which would thicken the broth up more)
Pinch salt

In large soup pot, saute chopped onions and minced garlic in small amount of water.  Let cook about 5 mins or so until onions almost start to carmelize.  In the meantime, chop your carrots and potatoes and prep other items.  Add veg stock and carrots and potatoes.  Cook on low heat (I partially cover....lid not closed tightly) for 30 - 40 mins or so until potatoes are done.  Add in corn, peas, edamame, beans and tomato sauce and simmer til heated through.  Salt lightly if desired....I used just a pinch.

I was kind of going for something like Campbell's Chunky Vegetable with this recipe and I think this is fairly close.  The addition of the tomato sauce really gives the broth more body and flavor and it just really hit the spot for me.  I think it would be great with a combination of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.  Cannellini beans would also be great in place of the red beans or even a combination of several types of beans/lentils and you could morph this into a stew.  I'm sure my soup recipes will be getting a good workout in the cold months to come....but it'll be one more reason to be thankful for winter....an excuse to have a great, hearty soup!



Sue, greedily holding onto the warm temps, in Ohio

One of my favorite herbivores.....they know how to eat!

4 comments:

  1. Your soup recipe looks awesome...might be the perfect solution for supper tonight!

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  2. Yummie soups are going to be in our future a lot this winter I think!

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  3. I agree, there is nothing like harvesting and preparing your own food! I am new to the healthy eating way of life, so i will follow you and see what I can learn!

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  4. Welcome, Sissy....very glad to have you here. I have some really good recipes coming up soon; need to catch up here on the blog.
    Healthy eating, and learning more about what that means, is an on-going process I think....I know I am still very much a student.

    The whole-foods, plant-based way of eating has made a remarkable difference in my life. If you go back and look at my earliest posts, you'll see where I started. It's been, and continues to be, an amazing journey. If I can help, let me know!

    Best of luck to you,
    Sue in Ohio

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