How beautiful the bowl of vegetable soup. And how like a poem the homemade soup is. We don't know what will go into the pot until we scour the fridge, add a little this, a little of that. . .
The maker of this soup tells us:
"I developed the recipe for this soup several years ago, and it has become a winter staple. I make it several times during the season. Even though the ingredients are quite ordinary, it packs a surprising flavor punch. I've never tasted a better home style vegetable soup. It takes about 30 minutes to assemble, and it cooks for about 1.5 hours, but it makes enough to enjoy for a few days. It is also vegan and vegetarian."
1 can chick peas, drained in a colander and rinsed well
1 can hominy, drained in a colander and rinsed well
1 can kidney beans, drained in a colander and rinsed well
2 cans of diced tomatoes, drained in a colander and rinsed well
½ cup frozen corn
¼ cup frozen peas
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 1½-2 cups)
4 large ribs of celery, chopped (about 1½-2 cups)
1 large onion, diced (about 1-1½ cups)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1½ tablespoons)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 Maggi vegetarian vegetable bouillon cubes
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 large bay leaf or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or tarragon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2½ quarts hot water (10 cups)
1. Add all ingredients (except salt and pepper) to a large 6 quart pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 1½ hours.
2. Check every ½ hour. If water level lowers, add a little more hot water to return soup to original level.
3. Taste and add salt if necessary. Add freshly ground pepper. Remove bay leaf and serve, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Cornbread is the perfect accompaniment.
1. I sometimes change the types of beans I use. Pintos, cannellini, and great northern all work well. I also rotate between bay leaves, thyme, or tarragon, but my preference is for the bay leaf.
2. A 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne doesn't really make the soup spicy, but it does add a pleasant bit of heat.
3. I often use the leafy core of celery to make the soup because I find it has more flavor. Use the volume amount specified if you want to use the core.
4. This soup is also wonderful with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
5. Before you begin chopping the ingredients, set a kettle of water to boil on the stove. If you start with boiling water, the soup will come together much faster--only about 5 minutes before you set it to simmer for 1½ hours.
6. I rarely add salt because the bouillon cubes provide the perfect level of saltiness for my taste. For other soups, I use homemade vegetable broth, but I don't find it necessary for this soup because the ingredients provide enough flavor.
7. I keep a bag of peas and corn in the freezer just for making this soup, and eventually I use them up over the course of the season.
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I've noticed that two of my blogs seem to overlap a bit. If you want to see more of the food side, please visit Nourishing Words, Beautiful Food. There you will find images of food and some recipes, and also poems about and centered around food.