Last night my wife and I hosted a small dinner party with a few close friends. I cooked, of course… 🙂 Below is the recipe for the Cream of Veggies Soup that I whipped up, and it turned out truly wonderfully! I simply couldn’t keep it off the site. Hopefully I’ll have more inspiring moments soon! No promises… It’s been quite a long time since I was in the habit of posting.
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes.
- 4 organic rainbow carrots, sliced
- 1 organic leek, sliced
- 1 bulb & stalks fennel, sliced (2 bulbs if trimmed with no stalks)
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large lime, squeezed (if limes are smaller, it’s fine to use 2; lemons work too)
- 1 heel of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons of sea salt, season to taste
And for serving:
- 1 cup chopped organic arugula per person
- ½ avocado per person
In your soup pan, put 1 sliced leek with 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Cook on high heat. Cover it until it reaches a rolling boil, and then uncover. It gets to boiling faster this way.
In your cast iron skillet:
Caramelize 4 sliced carrots
- Cook on high heat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a cup of water
- Cook until the water boils off
- Stir lightly until the carrots start to show a dark brown over at least 1/3 of the carrots (approximately)
- Add another cup of water
- Cook until the water boils off
- Turn off the heat
- Stir lightly for 60 seconds
Now check on the leeks. If the water in the leek pot is close to boiled off, leave the skillet on the heat; if the water in the leek pot is not close to boiling off, put the skillet onto a cool burner so you don’t have to worry about burning the carrots.
Cook the leeks until the water has boiled off. Stir as the last of the water is boiling off. Then stop stirring.
Keep cooking the leeks until they’re starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. You can usually tell by either the smell (the light onion smell switches to a sweet onion smell), or the sound (the sizzling reduces significantly to almost inaudible).
As soon as the leeks are ready, add the carrots on top, and add 4 cups of water. Stir very lightly to get the caramelized leeks up off the bottom of the pot so that the flavor can start to cook into the broth. Lower the heat to medium-low on the soup pot. You no longer want the rolling boil, now you want a mild simmer. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the pot at a mild simmer.
In the skillet, add 1 sliced fennel bulb (1 bulb with stalks chopped, 2 bulbs if you’re using trimmed bulbs without stalks). For comparison, it should be about the same volume, pre-cooked, as the 4 carrots.
Caramelize these in the skillet the same way as you did the carrots. High heat, coconut oil, 1 cup water, cook off the water, brown the fennel, add water, cook off the water, brown the fennel, stir for a minute, add to the soup.
Add 1 can of Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Cream (other brands will obviously work, I just like TJs for quality, price, and flavor).
Slice 3 stalks of celery, add to the soup.
Squeeze the lime into the soup.
- Alternately, if you’re looking for a lot more lime flavor, save the lime for later. Squeeze ½ lime over the arugula before serving the soup into the bowl; the lime flavor will be a lot stronger this way. Sometimes that’s the flavor you’re looking for that day.
Peel, crush and chop your garlic, add to the soup.
Bring soup to a simmer, stir slowly. Taste every 30 seconds until flavor is right. Should be a combination of slightly sweet, vegetable umami, and garlic. You’ll know when it’s right.
Serve the soup over the top of 1 cup of chopped arugula in your soup bowl. Add a half avocado on the base plate.
For mushroom eaters, you’ve got a few good options.
- Add a mix of wild mushrooms to the soup as soon as the 4 cups of water are added on top of the leeks and carrots.
- You could slice some white or crimini mushrooms and add them, again as soon as the water is added on top of the leeks and carrots.
- You can caramelize mushrooms in the same way as the carrots and fennel are caramelized, then add them to the soup once done.