Bountiful Harvest Soup

Vegetables are yummy.

Vegetables are yummy.

I hesitate to make any sort of broth-based soup into a recipe–I find that with recipes in front of them, people lose their sense of creativity.  Some of my friends (who shall remain unnamed) follow their cookbooks so religiously that they will even add in spices they don’t like; they’re afraid that if they stray from the recipe, their soup pots will explode or something. It’s frustrating for me to share a kitchen with these types, since I’m the kind of rebellious gal who guesstimates even in baking (which is such a science that forgetting to measure any ingredient is a downright sin, at least according to the culinary gurus).

Anyway, I don’t know that I’ve ever used an actual recipe for a soup, save for the creamy types that are a little more finicky.  I’ll attempt to give you some estimates here, for the sake of those new to the kitchen, but keep in mind that I really just slice, dice, and toss produce haphazardly into the pot.  I won’t even try to give you measurements for the spices, because that’s just silly.  If you like sage, add sage for goodness’ sake!

Bountiful Harvest Soup

Perfect for late summer when the farmers’ markets are teeming with excitement and vibrant color, this soup will warm you up on a rainy afternoon.  Add or remove vegetables as you please according to what you have in your kitchen.

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 Tb extra virgin olive oil

4 stalks celery, sliced

Cracked black pepper (invest in a mill, you won’t regret it)

3 carrots, sliced

1 head broccoli (use florets with up to 1″ stems)

6-8 cups vegetable stock (I’m too lazy to make my own so I use water and add Better Than Bouillon)

1/2 cup red lentils

1 Tb agave nectar

3 Tb flaxseed meal

1 bunch kale, chopped

Seasonings to taste: salt, sage, chili/cayenne, parsley, thyme, cinnamon, etc.

Sesame seeds (garnish)

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium.  Add garlic and onion and sautee 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.  Add celery and cracked pepper.  Wait 3 minutes and add carrots and broccoli.  Saute 5 minutes or until carrots have become bright, then add stock (if using water, bring to a gentle boil and stir in bouillon).  Bring to a boil and add lentils.  When lentils have softened (6-8 minutes), add agave, flax, and seasonings.  Stir occasionally.  Heat over medium-high until carrots are soft and lentils have cooked (some will disintegrate and help thicken the broth).  Add kale and stir; cover and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes (up to 15 minutes depending on how hungry you are).  Pour into serving bowls, placing a mound of kale off-center, and garnish with sesame seeds.  Serve with soft bread such as pita, or with crackers.




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