Letting Life Lead
I am excited to share this recipe because it is super easy and tasty just the way it is and once you have the base of the soup you can change it into other soups! The base can be made vegetarian/vegan and is naturally low fat and low calorie and low sodium. Depending on what vegetables you choose it can be a low GI soup. However, you can add meats, beans, and salt to your taste. You can bake meatballs separately, place in a bowl, then ladle the soup on top, that way a vegetarian and meat eater can eat out of the same pot. Feel like Manhattan Clam Chowder? Toss in some canned clams. Add pasta, barley, corn, posole/hominy, or rice or other grains to change up the texture. Wilt in some baby spinach or try some cheese.
You will need a big pot. And do please remember this recipe is not an exact science.
Magic Vegetable Soup
1 8 oz can of Tomato Sauce (16 oz is fine too)
1 16 oz can of Canned Tomatoes (I recommend diced plum tomatoes)
1 6 oz can of Tomato Paste
4 (or more) cups of water or stock/broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 large *celery root diced (mild in flavor, nicer texture than potato, won’t fall apart)
1/2 to 1 bunch of fresh celery diced (tops and stalks)
3 bell peppers diced (any or all colors. a 10 oz frozen bag okay too)
1/2 a bag (or more) of petite Brussels sprouts
1 large onion diced
1-2 cups of green beans cut/diced (fresh or frozen. I used French cut frozen this time)
1 large clove of garlic (or more if desired)
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp (or more) salt and pepper
2 tsp of Aleppo pepper (optional)
1 tsp cayenne pepper and/or chili powder (optional)
1 tsp cumin (optional)
1 squeeze of a half lemon (optional)
(adjust dry or fresh spices to your taste)
*instead of celeriac/celery root – you may use cabbage, parsnips, turnips, or potatoes.
**modify the vegetables as you see fit. If you don’t like sprouts or green beans pick something else!
Saute diced onion, celery, and bell peppers. If using frozen peppers no need to saute them, but you may want to dice them. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Add broth (or water or bouillon or stock) of your choosing. Add paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. From here, you can vary the contents as long as your base is tasty.
Frozen French cut green beans work very well if you don’t care for firmer fresh green beans, petite frozen Brussels sprouts are more delicate than large ones. Celery root is mild and very flavorful with a nicer texture than potato. For a heat kick, add chili powder or add it to individual bowls. For a chili flavor without the heat try Aleppo pepper. You may need to add more water depending on how many vegetables you use and how soupy you like your soup. Cook on simmer about 40 minutes to an hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add any leafy greens or fresh herbs at the last few minutes.
This round I only used aleppo pepper in the main base. When in my bowl, however, I added a different flavor each time I had the soup: soy sauce, green onion, and mirin; chili powder; green onion and sriracha ; green onion and gochujang ; mini Chinese style pork meat balls; brown rice; baby spinach.
Experiment and enjoy!
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Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.
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