Sunday, April 14, 2013

veggie soup

Soup is one of my favorites. I always choose soup over salad as a side when given the option. Earlier at lunch, I had the vegetable pesto soup at Panera for the first time (which was okay, but not great) and I'm not sure what came over me, but I wanted to start cooking. Everything. My soup was infront of me so naturally, I decided to try to make a veggie soup. That night, I made enough vegetable soup to feed a village and ate it every meal for the rest of the week.

Oh, and this was the first time I cooked with a whole cauliflower and it is possibly one of the strangest vegetables I have ever used (I guess I haven't used very many). It crumbles like feta cheese and it got all over the floor and smells kind of strange when it's raw but was really good in my soup.

I don't tend to be very precise when I'm cooking (where as baking is all about precision and accuracy) so I didn't really measure anything I put in. But here's the general recipe that I wrote down while I was making it. It seriously ended up making so much so I would cut the recipe in half but I'm not sure what you would do with half a zucchini and half of an onion (that's why I ended up using it all and making so much) but if you cook often, you could always save it for something else.

Jenn's vegetable barley soup

1 cup cauliflower (mine were ripped apart into tiny pieces)
1 small zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup beans (I used canned white beans)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup barley
1 1/3 cup noodles (I used whole wheat shells)
1 can diced tomatoes (I used zesty jalapeno)
4 cans (or 2 quarts) of chicken broth (I used 50% reduced sodium)
spices (bay, basil, garlic powder)
salt and pepper

Sautee vegetables with fresh minced garlic in a bigbigbig pot until soft (smells so good!). Add canned tomatoes, and 3 of the 4 cans* (or 1 1/2 quarts) of chicken broth and boil. Add beans. Add 4-5 bay leaves, a couple pinches of basil and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Gently boil for 20 minutes-ish and add barley and noodles. Continue to simmer until noodles and barley become soft and broth thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Serve while hot (you can add more broth and season again if serving right away and if it seems too vegetable-y and not enough soup-y) or let cool completely and store in the fridge. The soup tends to get absorbed by all the vegetables and noodles when stored so when reheating, add more of the remaining chicken broth and re-season to taste.

*After I turned off the heat and left it on the stove for a while, the vegetables, barley and noodles drank all the broth and it turned into a soup-less soup. I was going to add another can of broth but decided to wait until the next morning since I wasn't going to have any until the next day. This ended up being okay because it saved some room in the fridge. The next morning, I heated up a small portion and added some more broth and seasoned again with a tiny bit of basil, garlic, salt and pepper. I kept the leftover chicken broth in a jar in the fridge for every time I heated up some soup. This will help save room but if you'd rather put all the broth in together from the beginning so you don't have to re-season later, I'm sure that's fine but I can't promise that your barley and noodles won't drink up all the soup.

1 comment:

  1. "I'm not sure what you do with half a zucchini" lol Jenn you're too funny. I actually enjoy reading your posts as much as I do looking at the pictures.