Friday, May 13, 2011

Any Kind of Vegetable Soup

This isn’t really a post about cauliflower soup. This is a post about any kind of soup you want. I have a somewhat strange work schedule, which happily allows me to cook and write blog posts. But, it also means that I often don’t eat dinner until 9:00 or later. For a while, I was subsisting on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (read almond butter and snobby orange marmalade) and raw veggies. But, here’s the thing. I don’t like cold food. I’d rather have cold food than nothing, but it doesn’t feel like a true meal to me unless it’s hot, sautéed, roasted, or otherwise. I like soups, pastas, stir frys more than salads and sandwiches, no matter how convenient.

Coming home late at night, though, I didn’t want a big thing of food just sitting in my stomach while I try to sleep. I needed something light, something filling, but nothing too heavy. Soup seemed the perfect choice. And even better, light, fresh, puréed vegetable soup. The recipe below is a base to which you can add any vegetable; carrots, broccoli, zucchini, peas, corn, and more would all be great additions to this base. And it’s the perfect thing to make at the beginning of the week, and live off of for the next few days.

Rice and Onion Soup Base
adapted from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook

1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons non dairy butter
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable of your choice
Salt and pepper

Add the onion and butter to a large pot, and heat over medium heat. Sauté the onions until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Add the vegetables, and simmer until tender. Purée using an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor. Add liquid if you would like a thinner soup, or add unsweetened, non-dairy milk for creaminess. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Top with toasted almond breadcrumbs.

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