Souped up!

Its snowing, gentle reader, and we're expecting three to five inches of lake effect snow tonight. At work, a couple days ago, a colleague expressed surprise that it had stopped snowing after a only light dusting. Hmmm, I thought to myself... readjusting my expectations for this winter... it looks like folks here are surprised when it stops snowing!!

On the bright side, its perfect weather for soup. So I rubbed my hands with glee at the Super Souper Challenge hosted by Tami of Running with Tweezers! I have been experimenting with vegetarian soups that have a reasonable amount of protein. And so here are the results!

The runner-up is Vegetarian Sausage with Navy Beans and Spinach Soup (see picture above). Here is what I did:
- Sliced sausage links and browned them in olive oil.
- Sauteed bay leaves, garlic and onion in olive oil. Added carrots, cauliflower and spinach. I suspect that bell pepper (capsicum) will also work well. Added browned links to veggies.
- Added about 2 cups cooked navy beans.
- Crushed caraway seeds, dried sage and black pepper and chucked it into the mixture.
- I let them simmer and get to know each other for 20 minutes.
- At this point, I could have thickened the soup with some stock / cream / flour but I didn't mess with it. To my palate, it needed a little more heat and so I chucked in a green chili.

The soup is gentle and hearty. To be honest, I'm not all that impressed with the veggie sausage links. I loved the bean and spinach combination. Also the caraway seeds and sage went a long way in adding flavor.

My number one favorite is Vegetarian Chili! Its ridiculously easy to make. The results are consistent and amazing, considering how little effort is called for.

Heres what I did:
- Sauteed garlic and onion in olive oil.
- Added two veggie burgers. I had Morningstar Farms Tomato Basil Pizza burgers handy so thats what I used.
- When the burgers brown a little, add a can of diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh chopped tomatoes) and beans of your choice. I had red kidneys begging to be used (!)
- Thats pretty much all you need to do. You can stir, add some crushed red pepper to spice it up a little. But really the chili cooks itself with very little tinkering.

The chili is hearty and filling. Corn Bread would be an appropriate consort for this chili. I served my chili with multi-grain bread and it made for a pretty good lunch.

Recipe Resources:
1. Joy of Cooking: All About Soups and Stews is the collaborative opus resulting from the combined talents of three generations of cooks/co-authors. This book was the first book I read about making soups, the rest were just recipes. True to the teaching tradition of the 'Joy' series, this book is informative in a completely non-snobbish way. Pictures and text live up to the content. The last time I read this book, I was in the middle of a barley spree! The mushroom barley soup turned out quite well.

2. Currently in love with the 'Book of Soups' by the Culinary Institute of America. Great value for money, this book includes techniques, specifics and very interesting sides. (On a tangent) I am intrigued by how our (collective) palates have expanded to include ethnic soups.

Don't miss the Super Souper Challenge round-up at Running with Tweezers!


Ched said...

Hmmmm, soup sounds good. I wish it would snow here.

ServesYouRight said...

Careful what you wish for! Btw I work in a gorgeous building that is home to the American Baptist Historical Society...

Asha said...

Great looking soup! We do need that now:)) Book looks interesting,will try and find in the library.

ServesYouRight said...

Asha - Thank you! Btw I found the The Essential Kodava Cookbook intriguing! Can't wait to hear about it :-)

Trupti said...

That Chili looks wonderful...I loved the idea of using the veggie burger in it...must try that version.


Sandhya said...

Smita...I am going to try making the vegetarian chilli...sounds simple and looks delicious; will let you know how it turned out :)

ServesYouRight said...

Sandhya - so happy to hear from the birthday girl :-D Hope you like the chili. I liked the version with black beans better than kidney beans but almost any combination of beans and corn will work.