Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I recently made some cream of broccoli soup to go with my chard tart, and I liked it well enough to use the same method for kabocha soup to go with some black sesame soba. This method can be easily modified to suit the vegetables you have around and want to use up, and flavored to suit the theme of your meal. For instance, I wanted my broccoli soup to taste sort of Mediterranean to go with the pine nuts and roasted peppers from the tart, so I added Aleppo pepper and a little ground cumin and coriander to the onion as it cooked. I wanted the squash soup to seem Japanese, so I added some shiro miso when I puréed the soup, and a handful of soaked wakame to the pan as it heated up post-puréeing. Here's a template you can modify according to your needs:
Creamy Veg Soup
makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts
1/4 brown rice, overcooked in 1 1/2 C water*
2T hemp seed and 1/4C blanched almonds, soaked for several hours in 1C water
1 smallish onion, chopped
1 lb your chosen vegetable, prepared and cut up
optional, a source of umami**
Sauteé the onion along with any spices you're using in a big soup pan with your oil. When it's turning golden add your vegetables and cook a little longer. Add the mushy brown rice, enough additional water to not-quite cover the vegetables, salt and pepper and nutritional yeast if you're using it, and cover and let simmer till the vegetables are soft.
If you want some bits of vegetable in your soup, pick out and hold in reserve a few of the most attractive pieces. Add the rest of the soup to your blender along with the hemp seeds and almonds and their soaking water. Blend thoroughly! If you don't have a really big blender you'll have to either do this in batches or use an immersion blender.
Once it's blended, pour it back into the pan and add anything (attractive vegetable bits, soaked seaweed pieces, etc.) that you wanted to remain whole. Bring back to a good temperature, then serve, adding any garnishes you think would be nice.
*You can cook it in your pressure cooker for 35 minutes, or in your fuzzy logic rice cooker on the porridge cycle
**I used 1T nutritional yeast with the broccoli soup, while the squash soup had the wakame, 2t of miso, and was garnished with fried mushroom slices.