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Old 10-21-2010, 12:49 PM   #1
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Question Help me create a tasty veggie soup!

Ok, so in my case, I have too many ingredients on hand, not too few, and I'd like to enlist your help in culling out a decent recipe from what I have.

Things I don't have for the soup are: meat, cow's milk or cream

Things I have that need to get used up quickly:
  • wilted spinach
  • 8 med carrots
  • 2 purple bell peppers
  • about 5 small parsnips

Can the above items get put into the same soup successfully? What should I add to it? Here's what I have to use:

almost all common herbs & spices, incl. fresh sage, fresh oregano and a tiny bit of fresh basil (so, dried tarragon, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, basil, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, black pepper, etc.)

Kelp (Kombu)

veggie bouillon cubes (sea salt + herbs)

mustard greens (someone gave these to me, too spicy for me to eat straight, but maybe just a tiny bit in the soup? also serving this to a 3-yr old)

a handful of onions, shallots and garlic

1 whole zucchini, 3/4 cup shittake mushrooms

dried red lentils, black beans, navy beans, a tiny bit of mung beans, a tiny bit of kidney beans, also 2 cans of prepared garbanzo beans

quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, purple and red jasmine rice

quinoa-corn pasta, rice noodle pasta

a bag of red potatoes, 3 large gold sweet potatoes

most flours needed for gluten-free baking: cornstarch, tapioca, potato, brown rice, sorghum, almond, arrowroot, garfava bean

i do also have coconut milk, goat's milk (which is pasturized & I hate the taste of - it's from WIC), and a few cheeses on hand (australian cheddar, swiss, provalone, mozzarella, fontina and gruyere), but only a small amt of each.

anyhow, as you can see, I have PLENTY to work with, but I'm not sure how to use up those 4 ingredients in one soup.

i should note that i've been sick for over 2 mos now with sinusitis and bronchitis, with a near daily low-grade fever (99.5-100), (and yes, I'm working with a dr/just finished antibiotics, etc.) so working toward a soup with maximum nutrition, but also hearty and tasty. your help is much appreciated!!!

Thank you!

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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Saute the carrots, onions, mushrooms and peppers in some fat as a flavor base. Add the lentils, water and some veggie bouillon for a broth. Season with salt, pepper and some thyme. Simmer until the lentils are almost done. At this point you could add diced parsnips and simmer until done.

Add the wilted spinach and cook until it's all hot.

Now this is just one option. You could sub any of the other starches for the lentils. You could use other seasonings in place of the thyme. The combinations are practically endless. After all, that's what soups are for - to use up stuff you have that won't last much longer.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
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Thank you! That sounds simple enough, uses up what I need to, and I think the wilted spinach will play well against the lentils, and the parsnips will give it some sweetness. I think I will also add some kombu while cooking the lentils, and garlic when I add the parsnips. Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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FYI, if I were doing this, I'd cut up the carrots, bell peppers and parsnips and roast them in a 400F oven for about 20-25 minutes, spray some olive oil on them with a sprinkling of S & P. I'd also roast some of the zuke with the other veggies.
Then I'd saute the spinach along with some finely chopped onion, then add the roasted veggies plus a little oregano and thyme and the veggy broth.
When cooked to your liking, I'd let it cool and use an immersion blender on it, adjust the seasonings and reheat and serve.
Let us know what you wound up doing.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Wow! I think this one's a keeper! Perfect for fall too!

Wow. Really. This soup turned out amazing!!!

My short synopsis is that it tastes in soup-form what a really good wild rice pilaf tastes like at Thanksgiving - but creamy, not dry!

I only used 6 shiitake mushrooms, but the flavor really comes through! I followed Andy's suggested method, except I sauteed the carrots for 3 mins longer than the rest (which I only did for 5-6 mins). I also liked MSC's suggestion, except I don't have an immersion blender - so I pureed about 80% of it in the blender and then added it back to the rest. It's a bit nutty, earthy, sweet and creamy.

I don't have time right now, but I'm going to make some wild rice later and add it to the soup. I think with that addition it will be perfect.

All I added was a tiny bit of sea salt and black pepper (besides the thyme), and I'm so happy it turned out!

If I have time later, I'll write it up in recipe form if anyone's interested.

This would pair well as an appetizer to a turkey dinner and be eaten with some not-to-sweet pumpkin bread. I'm not a drinker, but I can even see this pairing nicely with a crisp fall golden ale! Nummy!
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:00 PM   #6
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I'm glad it worked out for you.

The great thing about soups is that you can do all kinds of different things and it's still soup and it's still tasty.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
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That's nice to know, I would like to try that recipe also. I also make some veges soup almost the sane as what Andy do, I would like to try his recipe and figure it out which is good. :)
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:41 PM   #8
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oh goodness, sorry i haven't had time to post my recipe yet, but i wanted to add a note. my picky 3 yr old gobbled up as much of this soup as I did! i call that a winner!
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