Monday, July 7, 2008

Earth Soup

Cullen wanted my jambalaya recipe and I was too lazy to write it down in detail, but then I also haven't made it in a while. When I do, I'll write out the recipe and post it here with the exact measurements that I use at the time. That way, I won't have to write out "Family Guy" measurements like a "hammock of rice" because when I cook, I just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and season until it tastes good.

Yesterday, I decided to make myself some veggie soup. Yes, it was 105 degrees out, but I wanted soup. I had to open the door to let out the heat if you can believe that. Anyway, here is my recipe for veggie soup. I call it earth soup because I find vegetables have an earthy flavor and when I make this soup I like to use more earthy flavored spices.

First, note that I cook in a 16 quart big ass pot, so when I cook something like this I make enough to feed a family of 12 with some leftovers for Papa, so you may want to halve the ingredients that I list here.

Start with a big pot adding about 2.5 quarts of water. I'll start to heat this slowly so that I don't have to wait so long later when I want to bring things to a boil. If you're halving things this is not necessary. Also, if you want to add chicken to make this a chicken veggie soup then you may also want to replace some of the liquid with some canned chicken broth. Now honestly, how many of you have made homemade chicken stock? I've done it, but not often since I just don't cook enough. Try it if you ever get the time, I felt it was worth the effort.

Anyway, Dice up the following and dump it into your cooking pot:

8 scallions
2 oz. of fresh cilantro
2 oz. of garlic (minced is preferable to dicing)
1 large yellow onion
1 green pepper
10 large carrots
1 bunch of celery
1/4 pound of string beans
3 medium potatoes

It's important to note that I don't like tomatoes, so I didn't add any. Feel free to add them even though they are a fruit and not a vegetable. And please, no comments about peppers being a fruit. I know, but I like those.

Also note that I don't put a lot of potatoes in the soup even though I like them. As a lazy fat man I know my body does not play nicely with carbs, so I keep them to a minimum. Feel free to double the number of potatoes.

As far as spicing goes, add whatever you like, but I like garlic so I prefer to add more in the form of garlic powder, NOT garlic salt! You can also add more minced garlic, but it increases the number of random little floaties in the soup, some days I don't care, other days I do. My minced garlic in a jar was running low, so I used the powder to supplement.

As long as I mentioned salt, a good soup has plenty of it. Personally, I rarely add salt to my cookings directly. I tend to replace it with some form of mixed spice that contains salt. For this soup, I add a Creole Spice that I picked up at the dollar store in Hannaford plaza. It's main ingredient is salt, but you also get the benefit of a handful of other spices. Unfortunately, I used my last of it and threw out the bottle so I cannot clue you into the individual spices that it contained. Anyway, I recommend this as a fine salt replacement and use it to salt to taste.

The final spices that I consider "earthy flavored" are rosemary and thyme. These are more "dull earthy" to me as opposed to the cilantro which is a bit more "sweet earthy". I used these two to even out the cilantro, so maybe an ounce each. I used less because they were dry as opposed to the cilantro which was fresh. If you can get them all fresh then all the better.

Bring this concoction to a boil and then let it simmer for an hour. At the half hour point, check the broth and add any spices you feel it is lacking. Do the same at the one hour mark, but also try a potato. If you add more spices, cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. When the potatoes are done, the soup is done. The total cooking time will vary dependingon the size you cut your potatoes.

Please note, I prefer my soup to be much more solids than liquids. This will make a soup with less broth than what comes in a can. If you like more broth, add more liquid at some point, but there's no need to add it at the beginning. Feel free to add it at any time throughout the cooking process.

I also like noodles, so when I heated up some more for lunch today, I added a packet of ramen noodles to my bowl. This, of course, can be done during the original cooking process, but I don't usually add them until I am ready to eat.



yess said...

I like celery. I will try it definitely. Thank you. But I need it to get cooler for that. It is too humid here to be able to stand in front of a steaming pot.

Doc Brown said...

Alas, it wasn't as good without my special creole seasoning.

You'll have to adjust the spices or it may be a bit bland.