Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Food Post - Vegetable Soup for this single digit weather.

I thought it was a good day for a bowl of soup yesterday.   The temperature started out in the single digits.  We woke up to 4 deg. F. and it didn't get over 11 the whole day.  When I think that other areas in the country had to deal with a whole lot colder, minus 35 degrees F. in Northern Minnesota, I cannot imagine how bitter that must feel. I saw a video on YouTube where someone threw up a pan of boiling water into the air and it immediately turned into mist.  (DO NOT TRY THAT AT HOME FOLKS - I thought I had better add that because it's not something I would try unless I moved to Northern Minnesota - you can go here to see it.).    No I can't imagine!  The coldest it's been in 20 years was what I also heard.

There are a lot of great food blogs I enjoy looking through, and I love nothing better than to try the various veggie soups that are out there.  The one I am sharing today was found at 'Oh Ladycakes'  here.  (I think I came across it on Tastespotting originally, which if you don't know about yet, click on its name to take you to their site. There are pages and pages of photos of recipes you can choose from.)  It wasn't long before the aroma coming out of the kitchen made us long for dinnertime.  

Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
7 cups filtered water
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
7 ozs. tomato paste
3 cups diced tomatoes
16 ozs. frozen peas
16 ozs. frozen corn
8 ozs. frozen green beans
8 ozs. frozen lima beans
2 carrots, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1-2 russet potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup TVP (texture vegetable protein), optional

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  

Add the onion and stir until they become transparent; about 2-3 minutes.  

Add the water, bouillon cubes and tomato paste; bring to a boil.

Add the remaining ingredients.  Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 90 minutes.  

Remove lid, increase heat to medium and let cook for at least an additional 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If using the TVP add it during the last 30 minutes of cooking.  

Serve with salt and pepper and nutritional yeast.  

Soup can be stored in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to six weeks.

Yield: 8-10 servings

So, what did we think?  We'll be making this again most definitely, it was delicious.

I didn't use the textured vegetable protein because it's not a regular in my pantry.  I may be an old dog but I can learn new tricks, who knows the next time I make this recipe.   I just don't know anything about it and I need to do some research.  The same for nutritional yeast.   I am guessing that these may be used in Vegan dishes and if anyone out there can shed some light on this, I would enjoy learning.

I had a butternut squash I was going to use for another recipe, but I didn't get round to making it and decided to add it to the soup instead, after I had peeled and cubed it.  I did not have nearly a big enough pan as you can see from the top photo.  It was dangerously at the tippy top and the extra potato I was going to add might have been the last straw.  Fortunately nothing boiled over.  Mental note: need to find my larger pot or buy a new one.  Things have a tendency to be cleaned up into oblivion round here, or put away to make room and do you think I can remember where I put it?  

I also did not use the lima beans as neither of us are fans of this particular legume.  I did however, have some black-eyed peas left over from a New Year's dish and used them instead.

This soup is so filling it stands on its own.  All we did was sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top and added lots of pepper.  It would go great with a crusty bread or cornbread I'm thinking.

There are lots of left-overs and we also have company coming tomorrow.  Lunch - or dinner - is ready and waiting.