19 May 2009

Spring Vegetable and Bean Soup

My brother-in-law brought home a big tray of cut vegetables from work a few days ago, which were good but beginning to dry out just enough that I didn't really want to eat them as they were. I thought that soup would be a good way to use up at least the carrots and celery - I don't eat raw celery anyway, I don't know if it's an allergen, but it makes my lips and tongue go numb if I eat it raw - and maybe the cauliflower as well.

Then, when I was reading Jamie's Food Revolution, I found the perfect recipe: Spring Vegetable and Bean Soup. It used some of all the vegetables I'd saved, except for green and red peppers (though probably I could have added some anyway) and really... just sounded interesting.

It's a very straightforward recipe, almost plain - the mirepoix cooked in a bit of oil, then chicken or vegetable stock added, then cauliflower, broccoli, white beans, and fresh tomatoes added and cooked through. At the end, you're meant to stir in spinach, but I had none so I skipped that. I did add parsley and some crumbled bacon bits for colour and a bit of saltiness, but it was a really nice, fresh soup. Hearty without being heavy.

It'd make a great vegetarian soup, had I skipped the bacon. (Hence my listing it as a vegetarian soup. I only used the bacon to add the saltiness because we've only got table salt right now and I've turned into a suck who prefers to use sea salt.)

In the background you can just see the burned edges of my cheese toast. The only way I eat processed cheese is broiled until it blackens, so that it's kind of oozy under the burned topping. I had a craving for that a while back - kind of like the boxed mac and cheese craving, it really doesn't happen often - and now I've got a package of processed cheese slices in the fridge that I feel too guilty to throw away. Occasionally I toast it up when I'm eating a light meal, and it's nearly gone (I'd bought the smallest possible package), which is a good thing.

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