I’m about to abandon my adult children in North Carolina and relocate to California. Sometimes a maudlin sentimentality overtakes me, as if I am about to die and will never see them again, in this world. I feel compelled to leave behind something that will enrich their lives and make them feel as if I am still with them, even if I’ve only “passed over” to the other side of the continent. And so, to my daughters, and to you, dear reader, I bequeath my Vegetarian Soup Recipes.
I’m leaving at least two dozen vegetarian cookbooks. My daughters could easily use those or lend them to my son. They could certainly do an Internet search and find oodles of options for vegetable soups. But I rarely use published recipes. I invent my own soups, from whatever is available.
Some few key ingredients should be on hand in every vegetarian kitchen. For sauteeing vegetables, have extra virgin olive oil, and for seasoning, a bit of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and some unsalted Spike seasoning, or an assortment of seasonings. I have found that a dash of Bragg Aminos and a tablespoon of Spike, thrown into a few cups of boiling water, makes an extra-delicious vegetable broth.
For a hasty, tasty soup, throw away the seasoning packets from Ramen soup. Use the Bragg/Spike combination in water. For nutritional value toss into the soup a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables– whatever you have on hand. Broccoli is wonderful, and maybe a button or two of carrot, celery, a handful of frozen peas and corn, or maybe some string beans or asparagus. Spinach and mushrooms, sliced leeks or scallions (thoroughly soaked and washed) are all tasty additions to this 3-minute meal.
Stock up on dried beans, lentils and grains– such as brown rice and whole-grain pastas, and barley, some cans of tomatoes. By adding any vegetables (celery, carrots, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, or other favorites), many vegetarian soup recipes can be created.
Yesterday I created mushroom, barley, lentil soup. I sauteed mushroom slices until they were barely tender, and then I dumped in many cups of water, some whole-grain barley and some lentils. I squirted in Bragg Aminos and dumped in Spike until the broth tasted delicious. I added lentils, equal to the amount of barley. I continued to boil the soup for 55 minutes. Knowing the soup might be improved by a bit of potato and carrot, I cut one of each into 1/ inch dice and threw them into the pot near the end of the cooking time.
For a bean soup, soak assorted beans overnight and boil them in the Bragg-and-Spike-seasoned water, until tender. Add desired vegetables.
For a vegetable soup, begin with cans of diced tomato. Add water, Bragg, Spike, ground pepper, brown rice or pasta, and assorted veggies. Experiment with seasonings. Add sauteed onion or garlic sometimes. A dash of tobasco make it zippy!
And while your soup is cooking, why not telephone your mother?