Comfort foods that are naturally filled with flavor and nutrition are exactly what we need as cold of fall and winter looms. Pleasant to the eyes and nose before the first spoon full lands on our tongue, and so economical and easy to prepare. I am going to share with you the keys to making a great soup.
I’m not going to recreate the wheel since there are hundreds of good soup recipes online. And I am going to be honest, I use those recipes for inspiration but do not follow any one recipe.
I purchase my arsenal of herbs and seasonings and keep them on hand. I always have frozen vegetables and odds and ends of fresh vegetables and canned beans here. That way I am always ready to cook up any soup that fits the mood and occasion. I cook up everything from pea soup to vegetable soup, bean soup, tomato soup, cream (vegan) of cauliflower with broccoli soup, to chili.
Have you priced healthier soups at the store these days? You will easily spen $3.00 to $5.00 for a can or store made small tub of soup. I do keep a few cans on hand but the last time I went to make use of a sale I saw advertised for Progresso soups, none of the healthier vegan ones were on sale.
I noticed there was a tremendous sale on good quality low sodium organic vegetable broth and stocked up. There was an equally good sale on frozen organic vegetables as well. Of course I loaded up. I purchased thyme, rosemary, fennel to properly season an array of soups.
At home I already had an ample supply of dried and frozen peas. Lots of cans of organic low sodium beans and lentils. Dried lentils are always a staple as well. There was a sweet potato waiting to be used in something. I had garlic and onion at home as well. Soup is great for using up these sorts of left overs.
So a couple days later, in my multi cooker (not a presser cooker), I sautéed some cubed sweet potato until they were semi cooked. I added 64 oz of the vegetable broth, 2 bags of mixed vegetables, a can of rinsed black beans and a can of rinsed chickpeas. Also added a cup of finely/pureed tomato with garlic, onion, chili powder, fennel and thyme, crushed red pepper.
Dont ask me how much of the seasonings I used, I never measure. I taste and adjust how much is in. Since you can easily add but can’t easily remove, I would suggest layering in small amounts of seasonings and add more as you taste.
You can use the stove top, slow cooker or multi cooker. Because I can’t stand for long due to my disability, I do the fast way and just chuck all the ingredients in my multi cooker. I bring it to a boil and then I reduce it immediately to slow cook. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a way to do that in the same cooking container, just start it off on your stove top and then pour it into the slow cooker once it has reached boiling.
A really well made soup is a soup made while the cook tastes it throughout its cooking and adjust seasonings. Forget recipes and season it with what you prefer and to taste.
Once the soup has been placed in bowls that is the time to add to each bowl your choice of greens. The temperature of the soup will allow you a hot enough cooking temperature even after it is in the bowl, to cook the spinach enough to release the vitamins you can only digest from spinach when slightly cooked.
I prefer adding the greens fresh just before serving it to who eats it, instead of to the whole batch in the pot. That way I can make the dish as fresh as possible each time the left overs are served.
- Add leftover barley, farro, quinoa or brown rice to the soup to get your serving of grains as part of the dish.
- Use bread such as a good german make of thinly sliced dense German rye bread, as croutons or for a side sandwich.
- Add a piece of fruit with the meal
Very little effort and you can fill your tummy with food that will nourish your body and soul.
Other Ideas For Whole Food Plant Based Meals