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Hippie Soup Recipes?

I am being funny, but when I was coming up, there were a lot of hippie, back to nature, organic mom's, who always made these big yummy soups.
I had some the other day at my local, back to nature, hippie health food store. It was one of those kitchen sink soups, that has everything under the sun in it. I hate Lima beans, but there they were, all plump and absolutely delicious.
No meat, ever, just veggies.
Anyone else out there know the kind of soup I am talking about?
Any recipes?

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  1. I think that part of what defines a hippie soup is that it has some of most of what you have in your pantry, and doesn't use a recipe. It never turns out quite the same twice.

    I think the best way to go is learn to improvise soups, which is not all that hard. You can do it by trial and error (you will have to, to some degree), but there are also good guides out there. One place you might start is Mark Bittman's book <i>How to Cook Everything Vegetarian</i>, which has a good basic discussion of improvising soups (veggie ones, obviously). Bittman is no hippie, but he has sound advice for learning to create good soups out of what's available.

    Also, a bunch of cumin makes most things taste pretty good.

    1. The Hippy Gourmet has a few vegan recipes you can watch him prepare here.

      Scroll forward and see which ones you'd like to watch: Borscht, Artichoke, Potato, Minestrone, Butternut Squash, Tuscan Vegetable, and even Coconut soup.

      Soups -- > http://www.hippygourmet.com/blog/labe...

      1. Laurel's Kitchen and The Moosewood Cookbook were hippie soup bibles when my kids were small. Lots of fun recipes to check out.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bear

          The Russian Cabbage Borscht from Moosewood is still, 35 years after first making it, my favorite soup. I make it at least twice each winter. One caveat -- last time I looked up the recipe (which I never followed after the first couple of times) it called for something like 1/4 tsp. of dillweed. I add more like 2 Tbsp. and bump up all of the quantities of spices and herbs in all of their recipes many folds.

          1. re: pitterpatter

            I haven't cooked from the book in quite a while. This sounds perfect for the head of cabbage that I need to use up. My veggie son will be psyched, since he's trying to shed a few winter pounds and this will be satisfying and healthy.

            I'm assuming that's dried dill, given the small quantity called for? Thanks for the rec.

            I'll have to make that cauliflower cheese pie soon, too. It's been too long. Mmmm...that potato crust smells so good while baking...like latkes with a cheesy filling.


            1. re: bear

              Ach, you made me pull out the book. Yes, dried dill, absolutely, and more sprinkled on top of the sour cream, which is an absolute must.

              Looking over this recipe, I have to give you my own version, as it has quite changed over the years:

              Olive oil
              Red Cabbage
              Cider Vinegar
              Dried Dillweed
              Dried Basil
              Tons of Garlic
              1 or 2 large cans of Tomato Puree
              Lots of water
              salt and pepper

              From the original recipe I always left out the caraway seeds and celery -- I never seemed to have them on hand back in the day. As a former hippie, you can appreciate that I don't have quantities of anything here. Anything you use if you use these ingredients will still be fabulous.

              Thanks for the heads-up on the cauliflower pie. I don't remember if I've ever made that, but I am in a major cauliflower mood these days. Don't forget the mushroom strudel. I can't tell you how many times I've made that filling, then converted over into mushroom lasagna and phyllo triangles for aps in my catering biz.

              1. re: pitterpatter

                Hey, pitterpatter, thanks so much for the recipe. Sounds terrific, and I have everything in the house but the beets. I'll whip up a batch within the next couple of days. It will be a good way to ward off the temptation to get a high calorie take-out lunch at work.

          2. re: bear

            Ahhh, and I have both !!!! How could I have forgotten that??
            Every hippie kitchen had one.
            Thank You!!

          3. I start with whatever greens I have (collards, spinach, kale) and simmer them in water or low-sodium stock, adding various spices. I like to grate in fresh ginger. Lots of black pepper and garlic. Sometimes crushed red pepper or sriracha. Cumin. Basil. Cilantro. Anything that seems it will work together. As the greens get tender I add other veggies - whatever I've got. I keep frozen lima beans and sweet corn on hand. Sometimes I add carrots, brussel sprouts, green beans, etc. A squeeze of lemon or lime. It always turns out hearty and good.

            Also - I've found that green curry paste is a great addition to soups. I sometimes add pasta, rice, or even Trader Joe's frozen gyoza (not vegetarian).

            1. I was one of them. I still remember - with a certain amount of horror - a huge pot of soup I cooked for one of those hippie gatherings where everyone dresses in flowy embroidered clothing and builds log houses with no running water. Anyway there were NO recipes for these soups. If your mother used a recipe, she almost certainly did not follow it exactly. The soup invariably contained too many different kinds of beans, seasonings that clashed with each other and carrots and/or potatoes that were not peeled. I do remember that I always used the bean soaking liquid in the soup in order not to waste the valuable nutrients, but that the soup always ended up with that kind of beany mucky flavour. Of course there was no meat. Hippie cooking was based on the theory that "more is more" in terms of different ingredients - so whatever you had in the house, you put in the soup whether it belonged there or not.

              Needless to say, I don't cook like that anymore. Your fond memories of your mother's hippie soup are either a lucky accident - sometimes it turned out well - or clouded by time and nostalgia. Find a good recipe for a vegetarian minestrone or some other vegetable based bean soup and go from there. You want lima beans instead of cannelini - make the substitution. Use whole wheat pasta or unhulled barley or whatever else your heart desires. But honestly, start with a recipe.

              Here's one you might want to try:

              Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
              2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
              2 medium onions, chopped
              4 cloves garlic, squished
              4 cups water
              2 medium carrots, sliced
              2 stalks celery, sliced
              1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes
              3 3-inch pieces Parmesan cheese rind (if you have it)
              1 tsp. salt
              1/4 tsp. pepper
              1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
              1/2 cup smallish macaroni (uncooked) - like elbows or shells
              1 medium zucchini, sliced
              3 cups shredded raw spinach (about half of a 10-oz)
              1 can (19-oz) white or red kidney beans (2 cups home cooked)

              Heat the oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the water, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cheese rinds, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

              Add the green beans and macaroni and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, spinach, and beans and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

              Remove the cheese rinds and serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

              Makes 6 to 8 servings.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Nyleve

                Nyleve, your post truly made me laugh out loud, because I was a long-longtime vegetarian, and I've been exactly there more times than I can tell you.

                In addition to too many kinds of beans and unpeeled Russet potatoes with skins that never got past the texture of suede, they also always included cabbage or some other cruciferous vegetable that got increasingly sulfurous as it boiled (because we never really got the concept of a low simmer).

                I also found most of my friends had "learned to cook" by reading those horrible original Moosewood recipes, most of which were created by earnest but completely untrained cooks. Their biggest common characteristic is their totally random approach to using herbs. So remember to load your soup up with tons of dried oregano, sage and dill. Oh, and liberally douse with whichever soy product you have available -- or many, if there's a selection in the fridge. One friend put hoisin and miso (any type) in every soup.

                1. re: dmd_kc

                  I was very lucky to work with a hippie baker years ago. Not only did he make divine brownies ;) he also made excellent veggie soups. His lentil and bean soups were never too "beany" or mushy. In fact, his french onion and split pea were as good or better than any I've had made with meat stock. In a time when it was hard to find vegetarian options on menus (other than salads), our veggie customers knew that all our soups were truly veggie. And our meat-loving customers loved the soups too.

                  1. re: mojoeater

                    A good vegetarian French onion is truly impressive.

                  2. re: dmd_kc

                    Cabbage! How could I have forgotten?!? Or even better - pick up one of those sad broccolis from the reduced cart at the supermarket (you know the kind going yellowish) and add it early in the soup process. That way it will have PLENTY of time to cook - hours, even! And we all know how delicious broccoli can be when it's cooked for an hour or two.

                  3. re: Nyleve

                    Oh, my mother would have no part of hippie food. She cooked French and Italian, and turned her nose up at the "provincialism" of hippie food. I had to go elsewhere.
                    I grew up in Berkeley, home of some amazing, amazing cooks. So there were some really excellent soups to be had.

                    But I do remember the really horrible soups that you are talking about. really nasty stuff that was supposed to be healthy. God awful.

                    I make a good minestrone, but somehow it is not the same. I think I will just start adding to it, a tasty kitchen sink.

                  4. Food for Thought was another Hippy cookbook.

                    1. Dude ... ette, theres no recipe. Just toss in what you have, so long as it's organic. In those days you would toss in brown rice; now you have to use quinoa. Lots of knarly potatoes and carrots in chunks. Serve in gourd bowls using hand carved wooden spoons, along with brown bread the weight and texture of construction bricks. After that carob cake, herbal tea, jug wine, more dope, and lots and lots of sex.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Peace, brother. You speak the language.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            ROFL, yes I remember all of that.
                            Maybe it was the pot that made the soup taste so good!!!

                            I hated those stupid bowl, they never felt clean. Sometimes loved the bread, HATED carob cake. Oh the headaches from that wine !!!!!!!! Carlo and Rossi.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              I never did get the carob thing - under such circumstances it had to be chocolate!
                              I miss it - boohoo!

                            2. Just spent a few bitterly cold winter days in my hometown of Ithaca, NY, which is possibly the world's epicenter of hippie soups. My favorites were always the ones of the now-closed Cabbagetown Cafe (they had a cookbook, but it didn't focus on soups), but Moosewood also always has some sort of homey cauldron of soup that sounds better than it is. I agree that it wouldn't be totally true to the style to make anything as written from a recipe, and I love the comments above about the random hodgepodge Moosewood style- totally right on. :) The recipes always have a list of ingredients as long as your arm, inevitably including zucchini and green peppers whether they belong there or not, and some random assortment of spices that might be interesting or might be horrible. The Moosewood cookbooks do provide some inspiration if you don't want to be driven completely by what comes to hand when you open the fridge, though- I never like the recipes as written, but I have personal adaptations of many of them. I was recently given the 'Daily special' cookbook, which focuses on soups and salads and breads, and might be a good place to turn. The older ones might be better, though-my first few experiences with the 'Daily special' haven't been all that great, maybe they're just recombining things to keep generating new cookbooks?

                              I do like Jay Solomon's soup cookbook (Vegetarian soup cuisine, or something like that?), and also his beans cookbook. The key is usually lots of spices, and a mix of green veggies with some kind of starch (beans, rice, potatoes, etc) to make it thick and hearty!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: another_adam

                                Crescent Dragonwagon's "Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook" is just plain fantastic. Every single recipe in it that I've tried has been a huge hit, and she gives you lots of suggestions on improvisation. It also includes her not-a-diet "the soup" diet, which turns into a way of life for me when I gain a few pounds on accident.


                                1. re: another_adam

                                  I went to Ithaca last year and paid hippie homage at Moosewood. Had a really good meal.
                                  They always had great dessert recipes.

                                2. when I lived in Oxford, England, in 78 there was a hippy cafe near us where once a month a group of people could organize to cook on a Saturday. My housemates and I put ourselves down for one of the Saturdays and we cooked the Saturday meal. It was vegetarian and we just went in and cooked with whatever ingredients they had. I remember a huge soup, a huge stew with brown rice and a bean bake thingy probably aduki beans. Weren't aduki beans the big hippy thing?

                                  1. Recipes are antithetical to the spirit of this type of soup. I make 3 quarts of non-vegetarian soup every week, usually with beans and/or cabbage. If you have some sort of homemade or prepared stock, or base, onions, garlic, and beans, rice, pasta, or other grain (even oatmeal), you embellish from there, with various vegetables, herbs, and spices. Some form of canned tomato is often a nice option. Dicing and browning as little as 4-6 ounces of kielbasa or other flavorful sausage before adding other ingredients to the soup pot will add a lot of meaty taste. If you choose not to use meat, mushrooms and/or some form of soy will add umami to the pot.

                                    5 Replies
                                      1. re: mendogurl

                                        We all thank you for the good time and renewed memories.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          6 cups home made turkey stock
                                          1 large can diced tomoatoes
                                          6 chopped carrots
                                          6 chopped zukes
                                          3 chopped yukon gold's
                                          1 leek
                                          1/2 onion
                                          6 cloves garlic
                                          1 cup peas
                                          " corn
                                          " green beans
                                          1 can kidney beans
                                          1 can cannelini beans
                                          marjoram, thyme, sage, basil
                                          whole wheat pasta shells

                                          Bubbling away on the stove...we shall see.

                                          1. re: mendogurl

                                            eek surely not turkey stock - hippy food is meant to be vegetarian!

                                            1. re: smartie

                                              true, but one must adapt to the times.

                                    1. I will be naming my next hybrid soup experiment "Hippie Soup". Love it!

                                      1. I just bought Anna Thomas' "Love Soup". Doesn't get much more hippie than that. I made the pickle soup and the walnut bread for a vegan friend (the soup is vegan, and Ms. Thomas suggests serving it with farmer's cheese -- which we omitted). They were both awesome. I gave her the cookbook and bought another one for myself. The soup was great, but took forever. I made the stock with the "light vegetable stock" recipe in the front, which I simmered for twice as long as her suggested 45 minutes for a richer stock. Between the stock and the soup, I think I chopped about a million veggies. Very labor intensive, but great. The bread was interesting. I'm a pretty accomplished bread baker, and this was her take on no knead. It was very soft bread -- not the crusty, rustic bread I usually make -- but it was really great. I think I'll definitely make it again.

                                        Edited to add that I made the bread with honey (the instructions give a choice between honey or agave nectar) forgetting that most vegans don't eat honey. I fessed up when I gave her the bread, but she said she was ok with honey. So although Ms. Thomas DOES use dairy or honey in some of her recipes, most are vegan or offer vegan substitutes -- if you have vegan friends like I do and want to cook for them.

                                        1. it ain't hippie soup unless/until it's generously seasoned with SPIKE tm.

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