Thursday, January 04, 2007

The secret behind my legendary vegetable soup!

Yes, legendary. I used to make my vegetable soup in such an enormous pot that I just had to give it out to neighbors, since there was no way we could finish it. I have a neighbor who insists that it helped her get through some exhausting times. Others keep hinting that I should resume giving them containers of it.

I developed the recipe when I worked as a cook in a day care center. I must admit that my early attempts at cooking for the kids were rather disastrous. And one thing I kept insisting to my boss:

"I can't cook soup, so don't expect any!"
But I wasn't fired so quickly, and by the time I quit, since it was a difficult job, I had fans, lots of fans.

The technique I developed makes a great soup. I never make the same soup exactly. It's always different, and it's always good. It can be frozen.
my vegetable soup--basic guidelines--

I make it parve (neither meat, nor dairy) in an enormous pot
It's a two pot affair from the lady who doesn't believe in two bowl cakes
It has no set quantities; it stays good for a week and there are always neighbors,

parentheses means optional, and other things can be added

2 pots, because some foods need to be cooked in water and some in oil
I like a good pea soup, but you can use canned beans--then only one pot

1- check (for tiny stones or bugs) and cook split peas (and barley) in the smaller pot,

pour boiling water on it and keep it cooking for at least an hour. If you have a good pot, leave the flame off for some of it, but it must be covered. If you're low on fresh vegetables and have some dehydrated vegetables, cook the dehydrated with the peas
2- In your largest pot, saute in any simple cooking oil--I use plain soy--onions, (fennel, fresh garlic, celery root, parsnip-parsley root, whatever root vegetable except sweet potatoes, which are added later), carrots--cover and cook on low flame, no burning
3- (celery, squash, potatoes, cauliflower, almost any non-green vegetable) slice and add, when carrots begin to soften--(you can use frozen of same description but at a much later part of the process)
4- When the vegetables are cooking, add the peas or beans to them with the addition of boiling water. (Then add the sweet potatoes)
5- Season however you like; try cumin!
(6- when boiling well, add the matzaballs)
cook for about an hour

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