Friday, August 4, 2006
EAT YOUR SUMMER VEGGIES IN A FAT-FREE CREAMY SOUP
This recipe is almost all veggies. As the "creme", I use a base of broth, onions, garlic (lots of garlic, but-- really-- it mellows out and just adds complexity to the flavor), and either cauliflower or peeled zucchini (or other summer squash), cooked very soft and then pureed. Then I add more vegetables, finely-chopped and cooked in broth, along with some herbs.
It sounds too simple to be good, but it is really delicious. I'm eating some as I type, made with a cauliflower base, and a little cabbage, a head of broccoli, some carrots, and some rapini, and flavored with dillweed.
BRYANNA'S FAT-FREE VEGETABLE CREME SOUP DU JOUR
Cooked pureed cauliflower or peeled summer squash makes this soup creamy, without potatoes, dairy or vegan milks or creams, or nuts.
1 large onion, minced (you could use leek or green onion instead, if you prefer)
4 cups vegetarian broth
1/2 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, then chopped
OR 1 lb. zucchini or other summer squash, PEELED and chopped
1 head garlic, separated and peeled (or about 12 cloves roasted garlic from a jar)
(Trust me-- this mellows out and adds flavor, but doesn't taste garlicky.)
7 cups finely-chopped raw vegetables of choice (see options below)
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, basil, oregano, or summer savory (or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped), or curry powder
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegan bacon bits
1 more cup of vegetarian broth if it's too thick for your taste
Add the onion to a medium pot with 1 cup of the broth and the cauliflower OR peeled summer squash. Add the raw garlic cloves, if using (if you used roasted garlic, add it later.) Cook, covered, over medium heat until the vegetables are very tender.
OR you can cook the mixture in a microwave-safe dish in the microwave, covered, for 6 minutes.
Now, add the roasted garlic, if that's what you are using instead of raw garlic. Puree the onion/broth/cauliflower or squash mixture in a food processor or with a hand immersion blender until VERY smooth, leaving the pusher out of the cover of the processor, so that hot air can escape.
Meanwhile, bring the remaining 3 cups of broth to a boil in a large pot and add the chopped vegetables of your choice. Simmer, covered, until just tender, but still holding their color. If you didn't chop them finely enough, you can use a hand immersion blender to chop them up a bit more, but you want some texture.
Add the pureed mixture from the food processor. If the soup looks too thick after stirring together, add the last, optional, cup of broth. Taste for salt and pepper, and add your herb or spice of choice, and the optional soy bacon chips, if you like. Simmer a few minutes, just to mix the flavors, then serve.
You can use any low-starch vegetable, really, but you might prefer to stick to the same color of veggies if using a mixture, just for the sake of aesthetics-- for instance, kale and broccoli together. (I didn't do that this time-- I added carrots to the green mixture-- but it still looked nice, I think.)
Other veggies you could consider are; carrots; chard, spinach, or other greens; green beans; asparagus; any kind of UN-peeled summer squash (if using cauliflower as the "cream" base); or cauliflower (if using peeled summer squash as the "cream" base); cabbage (savoy would be good); Brussels sprouts; celery or fennel (as part of a mixture-- the flavor would be too overwhelming if you used only these); tomatoes; etc.. So, you could mix carrots and tomatoes, maybe with some celery or fennel; or yellow summer squash and yellow beans; or any of the green veggies together.
Nutrition (per serving): 88.3 calories; 9% calories from fat; 1.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 88.7mg sodium; 750.9mg potassium; 17.1g carbohydrates; 2.8g fiber; 3.1g sugar; 14.4g net carbs; 6.6g protein; 1.3 points.