Is it bad when sunny and thirty-nine degrees feels balmy and wonderful? Maybe, but I’m not complaining. Charlottesville deserves some sunshine, and I’m grateful for it. I’m glad I didn’t have time to bring my lunch from home today – I’ll have an excuse to take a quick walk later. It’s actually supposed to be in the mid-40s for the next couple of days, believe that or not. I can’t wait. Is is Spring yet?
Despite my despair over all things chilly, the recent burst of snowstorms in central Virginia has given me an excuse to try my hand at a new challenge: soup-making. Nothing makes me warmer, happier, or more content than a big steamy bowl of soup when you can see your breath outside (and, let’s be honest, maybe in my apartment, too). But I’m picky, so soups are hard for me. Most recipes have at least a couple of things that I have to cut out or substitute. For one thing, I’m not a bean eater. I won’t name any names, but I have a vivid memory of being forced to sit at the table for hours as a stubborn young child until I had eaten a certain number of spoonfuls of horrifically beany stew. Torture, I tell you. Anyways, I don’t like beans. I also like a super hearty soup, which is often difficult without beans.
My quest began earlier this winter. I am a potato soup fanatic, and started out with what I knew I’d love. I made Allie’s cheesy potato soup and Pinch My Salt’s Potato Leek Soup (and love both!), but figured I should branch out. Before the last big snow, I bought all the ingredients to make two soups, and while I enjoyed the vegetable noodle one that I made, the tomato-based veggie was a huge hit. It’s a little spicy and super flavorful, and it looks pretty, too!
My faithful food tasters welcomed the warm addition to our snowy weekend, and the soup was a hit. I made it again earlier this week, and took a picture this time in honor of my long-awaited online space. :)
Though I don’t have a recipe, exactly, (I modified what I found here) I can at least tell you what I put in it and how I do the cooking. Here are the ingredients, by category:
Veggies: potatoes, onions, fresh garlic, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, celery, zucchini
Liquids: vegetable broth, water, tomato juice, tomato sauce and/or puree, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce (only a tiny bit of the last two)
Spices: black pepper, cayenne red pepper, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, fresh parsley
Basically, I just chop the veggies up, then sautee all of them but the potatoes in a giant pan. I boil the potatoes in water and vegetable broth, and then add the sauteed veggies and however much tomato stuff is necessary for preferred soup consistency. Adding more water is okay, too. After that’s all combined, add the spices (or whichever ones you like) to taste, and simmer for around two hours! And then eat a lot, and be happy. Cheers!