Tuesday 6 March 2012

Winter Vegetable Soup

Soup is one of my favourite forms of refrigerator Velcro.  It uses up leftover vegetables as no other dish can.  I make stock all the time, using things like the less-than-pretty outer leaves of lettuce, the tips and tails of tomatoes, carrots, and celery, the cores from our cabbage…You get the idea.  Then, once the stock is cooked and I’m making the actual soup, I can add in all those little bits of cooked veggies left over from our meals.

To be honest, my husband’s getting a little weary of soup these days.  Our budget is so tight that we eat it at least once a week and—no matter how much I try to vary it—there comes a time when soup is just soup.  We would both love to tuck into a steak.  Love it or not, though, we both eat our soup with gratitude, knowing that we’re blessed to have food of any sort.  There are many people within our community who don't have enough to eat.  They would be more than glad to have what we have.

When I checked the fridge while planning dinner on Monday, I found that we had some mashed carrots and rutabags, along with some cabbage, celery, and onions.  Clearly we were having soup again.

The soup's flavour profile was determined by what we had on hand but I still needed to make it as appealing as possible.

My guy prefers a creamy vegetable soup to a clear one, but this month’s food budget is tighter than usual so we’re trying to use fewer servings of milk and cheese.  The solution?  I cooked some potatoes, then made them into a purée, to which I added the rest of the vegetables.

The resulting soup was not as pretty as a cream soup.  It was more transclucent and took on a faint colour from the carrots, but it had a lovely silky texture and a pleasing flavour.   I’ll use this technique again.

To make Winter Vegetable Soup, you’ll need:

  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of finely chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed carrots and rutabaga (or chopped and cooked)
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped, cooked celery

Put the cabbage and onion in a pan and add about 4 cups of stock.  Bring these ingredients to a boil and cook them until the potatoes are fork tender.

Working in small quantities, ladle the potato/stock mixture into a blender and make a purée.  (Hot liquids expand so don’t fill the blender more than an third full.  It’s better to work in several batches than to wear hot soup!)

Wash out your soup pot and then return your purée to the pot.  Add stock until the purée is a thickness you’d like for your soup.  (I added about 2 more cups, brining the total to 6 cups.)  Reheat the soup.  Taste it and adjust the seasoning.  (I added salt and nutmeg.) 

Stir in the cooked vegetables and cook the soup just until it’s heated through.  Taste it again and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Serve immediately.

This soup will not freeze well and should be used up within a couple of days.  You can change it up by using the leftovers as a sauce in a casserole or a savoury pie.
This post is linked to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop hosted by Premeditated Leftovers, The 21st Century Housewife, Penniless Parenting, and Zesty South Indian Kitchen, to Frugal Food Thursdays hosted by Frugal Follies , to Delicious Dish Tuesday hosted by Coping With Frugality, and to the Ultimate Soup Recipe List hosted by Love Bakes Good Cakes.

 Hearth and Soul blog hop at Zesty South Indian Kitchen


Alea Milham said...

I love it! My oldest son cannot have dairy, but I love creamy soups. Plus it is frugal and healthy.

Aunt B said...

Glad I could help. :)

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

I just love these yummy, warm soup recipes when it's cold out! We got some rain yesterday and it's still cold, so this sounds so delicious right now!
Thanks for linking up to Delicious Dish Tuesday again! This week's DDT will be live soon! Come link up more yummy recipes!

Amanda said...

I am constantly impressed with your budget saving ideas. I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with Delicious Dish Tuesday.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Amanda, and thanks for hosting. It's a pleasure to participate in your link party. :)

Aunt B said...

Soup is a lovely comforting thing on a rainy day.

Thanks for hosting. I enjoy the links I find on Delicious Dish Tuesday.