This past weekend I participated in the Garrard County Arts Council’s first “Autumn Affair with the Arts.” The room where we all exhibited our work (I took my two books) was filled with color, creativity and good energy on a beautifully sunny fall day.
I took a pot of vegetable soup to feed the exhibiting artists and received top ratings on it. Here is the recipe. It looks long, but that’s just because I included a little commentary about it.
I created this soup at the end of winter when I realized we still had a lot of frozen vegetables from our garden. It’s easy, fast, cheap and healthy!
If we have a good gardening season (or I buy food from farmer’s markets to preserve), I need to buy few vegetables during the winter. The only vegetables I bought for this soup were the celery and onion. We also used our home-canned tomatoes and tomato juice. Since we freeze a lot of our vegetables (much faster than canning) soup is a great way to use them because they need to be soft, rather than crispy. This combination of vegetables gives you the colors of the rainbow, attesting to its multi-faceted nutritional benefits.
A few nutrition specifics:
Garlic contains allicin, which is a powerful anti-bacterial agent, that are released only when you crush or slice it, so always be sure to take that extra step. Studies have also shown that garlic consumption has reduced the risk of various cancers.
Kombu is seaweed that is dried, sold in sheets and used in many Asian dishes. It includes a lot of trace minerals and is high in potassium, iodine, calcium and vitamins A and C.
Quinoa is a high-energy protein that can ease digestion. It has more calcium than milk and is rich in minerals.
½ cup quinoa
2 cups water
dash of salt
Combine and cook until quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes. You can also substitute another grain of your choice.
2 TBSP olive oil
Chop into bite size pieces. Warm about olive oil in the soup pot. Add chopped veggies and sauté 5 – 7 minutes, until onions are nearly translucent.
½ cup chicken broth
1 pint tomato juice
2 cups water
1 small piece of dried kombu
Two cloves of garlic
Add liquids and kombu to pot. Smash and peel the garlic and throw them into the pot. Bring to boil then simmer lightly, covered, 10 minutes or so.
1 ½ cups frozen green beans
1 ½ cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen broccoli
1 ½ cups frozen greens
1 quart jar of tomatoes
If any of the vegetables are frozen together in a glob, put them in the microwave for a minute or two to separate. If any of them are not chopped, chop into bite-size pieces. Add vegetables to the pot. You can substitute whatever vegetables you have in the freezer or that you prefer. Depending on how much broth you like (I prefer a more stew-like consistency with less broth), you might find that you need to add more liquid.
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp Italian seasonings – such as basil, parley, oregano
Season the pot and simmer, covered, until all vegetables are done. You can substitute your favorite seasonings. You might also need to add salt, depending on how much was in the liquids and tomatoes you used. The kombu does add some salt, so wait until that has been in the pot 30 minutes or so until tasting.
When vegetables are finished, remove the garlic cloves and kombu then add your grain. If the grain isn’t soft, continue cooking until it is. Enjoy!