your best hearty winter vegetable soup
Lately I've been using just about what ever veggies I have on hand (which is usually a lot!). The latest version included homemade turkey broth (always have chicken or turkey broth in the freezer but the shelf stable types are fine), onion, celery, carrot, parsnips, turnips, garlic, tomatoes, kabocha squash (peel and all; it's edible) barley, split peas, garbonzas and zucchini!
I don't measure, I just cut the veggies in fairly similar size pieces and sweat the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a small amount of olive oil (less than a Tbs).
Then I add the rest of the veggies, beans, barley, squashes, and the broth. I bring it to a low boil, turn it down to a nice lively simmer and cook until the beans, peas, barley, etc. are done to my taste. By the way, I use dried beans and cook them quickly in the pressure cooker rather than canned beans. To our taste, they have more flavor and better texture than canned. In this latest batch, the kabocha squash partially disintegrated which gave the soup a lovely golden-orange color.
After the first day, I decided to punch it up so I cut up a couple of brats that were in the freezer into smallish pieces, sauteed them in a PAMed pan and thru them in and also had about a half a bag of baby spinach so threw that in too!
Very Yummy & Good in cold weather...
The next day I added some ground cumin and chili powder and cut some corn tortillas into nice thin strips then sprayed a baking sheet with PAM, threw the tortilla strips on, sprayed them with PAM and put the sheet into a 375 oven until they got nice and crispy. Served it up garnished with the crispy tortilla strips and some shredded cheddar. Lemon wedges and hot sauce on the side. Could have used some cilantro but just didn't want to go to the store and it was fine without... Got a lot of mileage out of this one pot of soup and it never got boring!
I LOVE white bean and kale soup- though bean soups taste better as they age, I certainly don't mind eating it the first day!
I start with 3-4 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 cup chopped onion slowly sauteed in olive oil until fragrant and softened. Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper because I like things spicy :). Add 2 cups pre-soaked white beans or canned ones, enough veggie broth to cover a few inches (my homemade ones never taste right, so I use Imagine no-chicken broth) and let it simmer for a few minutes. You chould throw in a diced potato if you want, some tomato- variations are pretty forgiving.
Then, I throw in some trimmed, chopped fresh kale (probably about 4 cups) and let it wilt down and cook until the tougher stem pieces are tender. Finish with a little chopped fresh rosemary, sage, thyme- whatever fresh herbs you have that look good. Dried herbs are OK too- a little Italian seasoning might be nice.
To finish, season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. A nice finish is a drizzle of good olive oil and some fresh-grated parmesan (in which case you might want to initially go easy on the salt). If you like a thicker soup, mash some of the beans (and potatoes if you threw them in) until creamier.
When the school in northern NY state and the school I attended did not have a lunchroom we all went home for lunch. They did not have busses either so it could make for a cold walk each way unless my mother or father picked us up. One of my favorite cold weather soups as a little kid was her homemade cream of potato. I thought is was amazing. I have no memory of her making it prior to moving there. We did not have as many really cold blustery days in the deep south so I guess it never occured to her to make it then and also she was teaching school too.
Onions cooked in butter and diced cooked potatoes added and milk and the potatoes becme half mashed in the soup. It was pretty simple and oh so good. I'd also recommend any hearty bean soup. Somedays she would just cook up a pot of frijoles (pinto beans) with a ham bone (I'm sure you could do a vegetarian version, maybe add a bit of minced chipotle for a smoky flavor) and get them really soupy and serve with a slab of hot corn bread and some sharp cheese. That was a treat too. Sometimes she would get motivated and make a simple salsa to go on the soup beans. Salsa was not available in grocery stores or the base comissary in the early 60's and she had to get her mother to send canned roasted green chilis in care packages so salsa was an occasional thing.
I think making a hearty veggie soup is as about as easy as cleaning out your fiidge. You have onions, carrots, celery, maybe a leek, some squash, maybe a potato or two around. Leftover chichen, roast beef, pork roast. A quart or two of stock, homemade or low sodium canned and have at it.
Last night I made an Asian soup. Quart carton of chicken broth, added a couple of star anise and some smashed slices of fresh ginger. Simmered this for about 40 minutes and added just a pinch of 5-spice powder. When my wife got home add some shreadded leftover roast chicken, big handfull of fresh bean sprout, fresh baby spinach and let simmer just until everything was nice and wam. Finished with some cilantro and thinly sliced scallons.
It was excellent and OH so easy.
This will satisfy you
COLL'S MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 whole garlic cloves
2 stalk celery, chopped
4 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
4 cups beef broth (or more mushroom or veg if you want)
3/4 cup barley
1 small head of escarole
1 or 2 chopped tomato (or small can diced or whatever)
2 carrots, sliced
1 lb sliced mushrooms
to season: parmesan, worcestshire, dill, parsley, good amount of Spice Island fines herbs if you can find
Brown onions 5 to 10 minutes.
Add celery 3 minutes.
Add everything else except mushrooms, bring to boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.
Add mushrooms and simmer another 30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper as needed.
This is really filling but low cal at the same time.
I just made this soup last night, and even though the recipe calls for pork and chicken stock, I think it would still be delicious without the pork and with vegetable stock. I also added a few chili flakes at the end. I just loved the subtle tangy flavor the Granny Smith apples added to the sweetness of the butternut squash. I omitted the green pepper b/c I didn't have any and I don't really like it. My roommate and I both loved it.
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
2 pounds lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored and coarsely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, drained
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, tarragon, or as desired)
2 quarts (or more as needed) chicken stock or canned chicken broth.
1. Season pork with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside. Place a large, wide casserole over medium-low heat, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until softened but not browned. Add bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan and raise heat to medium-high. Working in batches (do not overcrowd pan), sauté pork until browned on all sides. Return onions, garlic and peppers to pan with pork, and add apples, squash, beans and herbs. Stir well and add stock to cover.
3. Raise heat to bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 4 servings.