Monday, August 5, 2013

Vegetable Soup for a Fall Evening (and to clean out the veggie drawer)

One of the things I love most to make is soup. I'm not sure what it is I like about it, but I like being so present in the process. As with all my endeavors, the most difficult part is deciding where to begin. I've solved that problem with a lovely little recipe from Alton Brown. In reality, it's probably exactly the same steps as I'd take if I'd never seen it, but its simplicity was inspirational.
On a side note, I hate those reviews where the reviewer writes, "This is an awesome recipe! I used vermouth instead of vegetable broth and my grandmother's organic marigolds to replace the broccoli. But this is completely my family's favorite recipe!" So I'm not posting his recipe here, or even a link to it.
For the curious, it's his "Garden Vegetable Soup" recipe and you should goog it because it's a great recipe. But here is mine:

2 Tbl. EVOO heated in the bottom of a dutch oven over medium heat.

Add to the hot oil approximately 1 c. scallions, white onion, or leeks (white part mostly) or even a combination of these. The goal is to use what's in the fridge. Plus a couple of garlic cloves, minced, or pre-minced garlic to equal about a tablespoon. Add a bit of salt (AB uses kosher and so do I) and cook for 7-8 minutes until they gain some transparency and soften.

Add a total of 3 cups of vegetables in a combination of ones that get a bit mushy and ones that don't. I used
1 very large russet potato, diced with a few bits of skin left on here and there
1 cup of fresh sugar snap peas
2 large carrots, sliced in rounds
Cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add 1 quart of organic vegetable broth, increase the heat to high and simmer.  Then add 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped and 1 cup of cauliflower diced to the size of a kidney bean, season with pepper (red, black or white) and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Reduce heat to low and cook until the veggies are fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Add fresh herbs, dried herbs to your taste. I like tarragon, sage, or parsley. I prefer just one at a time, but you may find a blend you like- go for it. And then do not miss this bit of AB genius, add one really good squeeze from half a lemon. Salt to taste and enjoy!

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