rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2012-12-02 03:16 pm

"Soup of the evening"

I spent a fair amount of yesterday looking up various soup recipes. They led me to conclude that you can make vegetable soup pretty much any way you want. So I improvised with what we had on hand, and I encourage you to likewise adjust this recipe to your own tastes and supplies. It's very flexible because you don't have to worry about different cooking times for different ingredients: it's all cooked into mush and then pureed.

You'll need a big pot for this. Our medium pot (5 quarts, I think?) barely handled it. Makes about nine 2-cup servings depending on how you adjust the quantities given.

The following are the ingredients I used, with suggestions for alternatives in parentheses.

1 onion, chopped
(could be two, plus a crushed clove of garlic or two; or add miso to taste at the "season to taste" step)
a few shakes/grinds each of ground cumin, powdered ginger, and black pepper
(you could also try curry powder, turmeric, mustard powder, ras al hanout, whole mustard or cumin seeds, paprika, cayenne, etc.)
1 enormous turnip, peeled and chopped--seriously, it was bigger than the onion!
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
.5 cup tomato puree
(could also include other root vegetables, zucchini, squash, peppers; for the tomato puree, you can substitute canned diced tomatoes or peeled and de-seeded fresh tomatoes if you have good ones on hand)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through (or beans, chickpeas, or raw nuts)
2 cups cooked white rice (or .5 cup uncooked rice and 1 additional cup water)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
(and/or any other fresh or dried herbs you like; parsley or cilantro would be particularly good, or dried bay leaves, or you could be adventurous and try marjoram or sage)
4 cups (one 32-oz. box) vegetable broth
3 to 4 cups water

In your big pot, heat oil and a few drops of water over medium heat until the water sizzles. Add a dash of salt. Sauté aromatics 10 minutes until softened. Add and sauté spices 1 minute or until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to keep things from sticking to the bottom. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed so the liquid just covers the solids.

Adjust seasonings to taste (I usually add a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, miso paste for extra umami, and/or salt and pepper) and simmer 15 more minutes or until all the solids are soft and mushy. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Remove thyme stems; if the leaves haven't already fallen off them, strip the leaves off and stir them into the soup, discarding the stems. (If using bay leaves, take those out too.) Puree the soup with a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender. At this point, if you're not eating it right away, you can distribute the soup into containers, let it cool to room temp, and store in fridge or freezer.

Before serving, return to pot and heat; add a splash of red wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon or lime if you like; serve garnished with fresh thyme or parsley.

Lentils + rice = complete protein, hooray! There's probably a ton of fiber in there too. This is definitely Good For You as well as being tasty. And it's easy.

Most of the flavor in the soup comes from the broth and the spices and herbs; don't expect the vegetables to flavor it much unless you want to go to the trouble of roasting them beforehand. If your soup isn't very flavorful, add some vegetable boullion, or increase the spices at the 30-minute flavor-adjusting mark. The vinegar or citrus juice will punch it up too. Enjoy!
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

[personal profile] ironed_orchid 2012-12-02 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)
That looks good.

I like that it's pureed, I grew up eating lots of chunky vegetable soups where everything was identifiable, and I find I prefer smooth and homogenous.
brooksmoses: (Default)

[personal profile] brooksmoses 2012-12-03 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
Oh! Two cups of cooked rice!

I tried making something based on this recipe for dinner tonight, which was a little tricky since I was doing it from memory and hadn't realized I would be making the soup from memory when I read your post, but hey, it's soup, how much could I mess it up? I remembered the eight cups of liquid, and cup of lentils, and two cups of rice, and a bunch of carroty things and oniony things and celeriacal things and herbs....

So it turns out that if you make this with about eight or nine carrots -- some of them taking the place of the turnip -- and a stalk of celery and three good-sized leeks, and two cups of uncooked rice and a cup of mung beans, it soaks up all the water, and then you have to add two more cups and it soaks up those, and then I realized that the mung beans were rather hidden by the rice so I added another cup of those (since there was plenty of time before dinner for the additional ones to get fully cooked), and that meant two more cups of water, and I think it still needed another cup or so at the end, and that was quite a lot of very thick soup.

With all that rice it needed a bit more salt and flavor at the end, so I salted it with several tablespoons of soy sauce, which worked well and I will have to remember that trick in the future.

(I didn't add tomato, not because I had forgotten it was in the recipe -- I had indeed forgotten it, but nonetheless it occurred to me that it would be a good addition -- but we didn't have any in useful form. And I didn't puree it because [ profile] suzanne doesn't like pureed soups at all, and also because it was thick enough that it would be pudding if we had.)

Anyway, the result was very tasty and warm and hearty. Even Morgan approved; [ profile] andres_s_p_b gave her a taste on the tip of his finger and she kept wanting more.