Broke-ass January Broccoli Slaw Soup

2 02 2012

It’s still January and I’m still a little broke.  Broccoli slaw was on sale at Loblaws and I thought it would make for great stir fries for a lazy girl.

I was mistaken.

When I use the broccoli stalk, I normally cut the tough outer edges off but apparently when prepared commercially, they don’t always take all the tough edges off.

My remedy was to cook the slaw into soup.

I was uncertain about whether it worked until I tested it on my neighbours who thought the soup was delicious.  Normally I’d be a little hesitant to accept their feedback at face value, but they’re pretty honest with me.

Broccoli Slaw Soup

1 bag broccoli slaw

6 cups of water – at least

2 vegetable stock cubes

1/4 to 1/2 cup soy cream

salt and pepper

In a large pot or dutch oven, empty your bag of broccoli slaw and add 6 cups of water and soup stock cubes – this should cover the broccoli bits.  Turn heat to medium-high and allow to simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.

I’m not joking about that length of time.  With all the really tough bits in the bag, you want to let it simmer, giving the tough bits a chance to break down.

Transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender, and whiz it around until it’s really smooth.  Return to pot and heat to serving temperature but not to boiling.  Stir in soy cream, season with salt and pepper and voila!

NOTE: Soy milk and soy cream are not huge fans of being boiled, so avoid using high heat to reheat your creamy, delicious, cost effective soup that’ll feed an army.

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I’m sick and I want soup

1 01 2012

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At first I thought it was just muscle soreness but then my bones started aching, that’s when I realized I was actually getting ill.  Honestly, I should have clued in when I wasn’t interested in eating – I’m ALWAYS interested in eating.

Too much water, dosing up on vitamin C, oil of oregano, and echinachea, along with lots of rest, and soup: That’s my wellness action plan.

Operation: STOP BEING A LAZY BABY is underway and it’s starting with soup.

The only upside to all of this is that the next time I play Pandemic I’ll get to go first.

Green Vegetable Soup

3 – 4 cups vegetable stock

2 Tbsp chopped onion

1 cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1/2 cup tofu

1/2 cup chopped broccoli

1/2 cup chopped zucchini

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped baby bok choy

1 – 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 – 2 Tbsp Braggs or tamari soy sauce (depending on how salty your broth is)

Did I mention I was feeling ill when I made this soup?  Well, the cooking process was the lazy bones way of making soup because I wasn’t interested in faffing about in the kitchen when I could have been curled up on the couch, wallowing in self pity.

So, I guess that means step one is to put your lazy pants on.

In a medium to large soup pot, bring broth, onion, and ginger to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer (medium heat).  If you don’t like eating ginger, this is the time to fish out your ginger slices, otherwise you can leave them in there to let the magic ginger heal your head cold.

Stir tofu into soup broth, wait a minute.  Stir broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and baby bok choy into soup, wait 2 – 4 minutes, until the green veggies are luminous green.  Now is the time to stir in rice wine vinegar and Braggs.

Done!

Divide soup into 2 – 4 bowls, depending on how what kind of soup greed has taken hold of you in your feverish state, return to couch to wallow in self pity with a piping hot bowl of soup.





Broccoli and Celery soup

18 12 2011

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I buy celery.

I see it in the store and I think about celery with almond butter, celery in vegan Waldorf salads, and stirfrys.  So I buy a big load of celery.

Five days later I’m wondering what possessed me to buy two big bundles of celery when I’m the only one in the house who will eat it.  Then I wonder what other food items I buy while completely delusional.

Aside from bad drivers and bad customer service, I really hate to see food wasted but there’s only so much celery with almond butter a girl can eat.

*enter THE MIRACLE OF SOUP, stage left*

So, I used the food processor I borrowed from my neighbor and I made soup.

By the way I gotta give some props to Jamie Oliver for suggesting the use of a food processor for chopping.  I was watching some episodes of 30-Minute Meals and he constantly uses his food processor.  I knew it could chop.  I knew it could save time.  I knew it could make my life easier.  But for some reason I felt that cutting food by hand is character building stuff and should never be done by a machine.  Don’t get me wrong, when time permits, I like to get to know the carrots I’m chopping but sometimes time does not permit.

*enter FOOD PROCESSOR, stage right, walk to centre of stage and hold hands with soup*

Broccoli and Celery Soup

1 Tbsp cooking oil of your choice (optional)

1/4 cup diced onion

2 cups chopped broccoli

3 – 4 cups chopped celery, depending on how much you committed yourself to consuming this week

1 medium sized potato

1 tsp ground cumin

4 – 6 cups vegetable broth or water

salt and pepper to taste

Begin by getting everything chopped up and ready to roll.  This is where I saved time by using a food processor.  Don’t worry about mixing up the onion, broccoli, celery and potato; they’re all getting in the pot together at the same time, so they can get mixed up during the chopping process.

Place a large soup pot on medium high heat with oil, if using.  If you’re not using oil, add a touch of water to the bottom of the pot to prevent everything from sticking.  Sauté onion, celery, broccoli, and potato for 3 – 6 minutes, until the veggies begin get fragrant and the broccoli is bright green.  Stir in ground cumin and sauté for another minute.

Stir in 4 cups of vegetable broth or water, preferably hot.  Depending on how long you cook your soup and how thick you like it, 4 cups may be enough broth or you may need to add a little extra.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow soup to simmer for at least 30 minutes, although it can rest on low heat for an hour or more if you’d like to take your time preparing this soup.

Purée soup in a blender or food processor before serving.  You can either purée your soup right before eating or do in advance – honestly, this soup is very forgiving.

The flavors are really simple and clean, but you can feel free to change up the spices or add herbs.  You can also substitute peas (fresh or frozen) for the broccoli.  If you like your soup more creamy you can add a splash of non-dairy milk or an extra potato in the first step.

Enjoy!





Curried Squash Soup

15 09 2011

You made a big batch of green paste and now you’re wondering what in the world you’re going to do with all this spicy business.

Welcome to September, it’s time to make some soup.

This mighty soup is individual sized for all you single folk.  Or folk who’s significant other’s don’t like to eat anything that isn’t charred and smothered in ketchup.  What?  I’m not judging, I’m not judging.

Grab a squash, any squash – not zucchini… okay, maybe zucchini, but I’m not making any promises.

First, you’re gonna have to turn on your oven or BBQ and roast your squash.  By roast, I mean cook it with dry heat in a hot spot.  Times vary, but you’re basically looking at 30 – 45 minutes in a 350ºF oven.  Allow your squash to cool to room temperature and you’re ready to rock and roll!

I made this soup twice.  The first bowl was hotter than the pits of hell and spicier than a spicy something-or-another.  I know you wanna use up your green paste but, and I know this from personal experience, your tummy will not be happy if you jam too much green paste in your soup.

Curried Squash Soup

3/4 cup roasted squash of your choice

1 to 1 – 1/2 cups water or broth

1 tsp green curry paste

splash of soy or almond milk

pinch of salt

Ok, this is where it gets tricky.

Jam everything into a blender and turn it on.

Blend it until everything is as smooth as silk.

Warm up your soup.  I use a microwave because I’m a lazy bones but you can feel free to warm your soup the old fashioned way: in a pot on a stove, stirring it lovingly.

Whatever method you use to conduct heat into your soup, this soup is going to conduct spice into your person.

Enjoy!





Creamy Cauliflower Soup

6 09 2011

Last fall the chef at the restaurant where I was working made a creamy cauliflower soup.  I decided to recreate his recipe with the cauliflower I bought for $1.50.  (I have a huge pot of soup that only cost $1.50, I feel like I’m some kind of scam artist with my grocery bill this week.)

This soup is creamy and satisfying, while still being light and delicious.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp oil (this is optional if you’re using a non-stick pan)

1 head of cauliflower

1 cube vegan soup stock

salt & pepper to taste

water

In a large soup pot, slowly caramelize the onions and garlic over med-low heat.

Chop cauliflower into small pieces, this will help it cook and make it easier to purrée once the soup is cooked.  Stir chopped cauliflower to the pot and stir.

Add enough water to cover cauliflower and the vegan soup stock cube.  Reduce heat to medium and allow cauliflower to cook, approximately 15-minutes.  Taste soup and season appropriately with salt and pepper.

Transfer soup to a blender or food processor.  You want to completely blend this soup in order to get it really creamy.  If you’re like me, you may have to blend the soup in several batches because I was only using a little Magic Bullet.

Done!  How easy was that?





Hot and Sour Soup

5 07 2011

It’s been hot.  Really hot.  Fortunately I’m part lizard and I love the heat.  I thrive in the heat.  Which is possibly why I made hot and sour soup on a scorching hot day.

That and I suddenly got excited about using the fake meat products I bought at a festival.  This is the “meat” that is served served at Padmanadi – my favorite restaurant.  I assumed it was all gluten, but it’s got a lot of mushrooms in it, which is probably why it tastes so good.

In the recipe below I suggest using tofu if you don’t have or don’t like fake meat.  The end result is just as delicious.

If you’re looking for the fake meat I used – mushroom chicken – check out Paradis Vegetarien.

Hot and Sour Soup

3 cups vegetable broth

1 package/2 cups medium-firm tofu, cubed (or veggie-meat replacement)

1 can (227 mL) sliced bamboo shoots

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

1/3 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar

3 Tbsp soy sauce or Braggs

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup snow peas

1 – 2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp sesame oil

In a large pan, bring broth and 2 cups of water to boil.

While your broth and water are busy getting hot, prepare your other ingredients.  Cube your tofu.  Slice your mushrooms.  (I generally use cremini mushrooms because I have them and I like them.  Sometimes I’m a rebel, and I use portobello mushrooms, other times I’m fancy and I use shiitake or wood ear mushrooms.  If you have a mushroom preference, go for it!)  Chop your onions.  Trim the ends and de-string your snow peas. And drain your bamboo shoots.

Add tofu, mushrooms, onions, and bamboo to the broth; return to boil.

Stir in rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper, snow peas, chili flakes, and sesame oil.  This is the final step, if you don’t want your snow peas overcooked, turn off the heat now and allow the peas to cook in the hot soup.

Grab your bowls and serve immediately!  This should serve 4 people, but if you like this soup and are a voracious eater like me, it will probably serve 2 people.





Single Serving Borscht

4 06 2011

If you’re not familiar, borscht comes from Russian and Ukrainian cooking – actually, you’ll probably find borscht in any region populated by hardy people, who’s land grows an abundance of root crops… this is based on nothing but my own supposition.

Recipes vary, but your basic borscht is broth with onions, dill, beets, beet greens, potatoes, and sometimes carrots. Growing up, my mom would serve borscht with a scoop of sour cream on top, while cold borscht would be served with the sour cream mixed in.

Last fall my neighbour gave me two jars of pickled beets. I like pickled beets but, aside from eating them straight out of the jar, I have no idea what to do with them. As a result I still have one and a half jars of pickled beets left. Then, a few weeks ago, while flipping through canning books at Chapters, I spotted some recipes that called for pickled beets! I didn’t buy the book, but I read the recipe and decided to use it as a jumping off point.

The recipe stayed in the back of my head until I spotted a new brand of soy yogurt. (It’s probably not a new brand, it’s just new to me and my grocery store.) Now was the time for making creamy, cold borscht! I erred on the side of caution, making one bowl to prevent wasting beets if the soup turned out to be awful. Fortunately it was good and easy enough that making it a single serving isn’t tedious.

Single Serving Borscht

1 Tbsp red onion, finely diced

1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped – feel free to add more dill

1/4 cup soy yogurt

1/2 cup pickled beets, diced

splash of pickling liquid

water

salt & pepper to taste

In a soup bowl, mash red onion and fresh dill together until dill is bruised and fragrant. Add soy yogurt, diced pickled beets, and a splash (1 tsp – 1 Tbsp) of pickling liquid from the jar, stir and enjoy watching your white yogurt turn a glorious pink.

This soup should be about the consistency of chowder, although you could enjoy it thicker, add water accordingly. I would recommend adding water 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time; it’s easier to add more water, it’s a pain in the rear to figure out what to do when you’ve added too much.

Taste your soup and adjust the flavour with salt and pepper.

This can be enjoyed immediately or can be refrigerated for up to 2-days before enjoying. If you would like to be fancy, garnish the soup with a sprig of dill.