Okay, we all know that goodness involved with seasonal veggies--especially if they are locally grown organics and collected from a farmers market--which by the way smells incredible. The fruits, veggies, flowers, bread--they all contribute to this extremely lovely fresh smell going around. It reminds me of India-- where a regular suburban market has sections allocated to vegetables, fish, meat, fruits but all of them are not under the same roof. So mostly we are talking of an open market--much, much like the farmers market here. And a part of the charm of me visiting a farmers market here is probably due to my nostalgic memory associated with the sense of this fresh smell of vegetables and fruits.
Anyway in this farmers's market, I ended up spending 30$ on a lovely assortment of seasonal vegetable and another 8$ on a great french crepe of spinach and tuna (what skill this guy had! in making that crepe). And the only thing on my mind since then was (drum rolls please)--a hearty seasonal vegetable soup! See I could totally have a vegetable soup by itself--but it might not go well with R at all. So I mixed in some chicken-cilantro wontons (from traders joe) and that went great.
But here is the vegetable soup recipe---but with a major twist...and a peek into how easily you can turn your regular 'seasonal veggie soup' into one which wows even the biggest meat lovers. Stay tuned :)
Seasonal vegetables (whatever you got--eggplants, bell peppers, cabbage, beans, celery, carrots etc). Just use one of each of the bigger ones and about 10-12 of the smaller ones (like beans, baby carrots). Go with 3-4 leaves of cabbage.
1 medium sized onion
2-3 cloves of garlic--minced
1/3 tsp of grated ginger
1 big tomato- chopped
1 green chili pepper
3-4 green onion chopped
1 medium sized potato--peeled and chopped into squarish bite sized chunks
2 cups of vegetable stock or water
That little something which will make people go.' hmmm..what is that?'-- you can use 1-2 cloves, cardamoms, even herbs ( rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon grass, dill etc). I used 2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground cumin-- goes well with cloves, cardamom.
Salt and black pepper and 3-4 tsp of lime juice to season
There is really nothing to this one
Chop up all the veggies. In a microwave heat your potatoes on high for ~ 3 minutes. You can even boil the potatoes and use the water instead of your regular veg-stock. This way when you stir in your potatoes into your soup it will quickly mix with the stock and act as a natural sweetener-thickener. Neat--ain't it?
In a pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, chili pepper. Wait for ~ 15-20 secs or till you smell the aroma. Add the onions and saute till they are translucent. Add the potatoes. And saute for a good 4-5 minutes. Add all the other veggies and the cumin and the clove ( or whatever you are using) and saute for ~ 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and saute ~ 2 mins. Add the water/veg stock/ potato boiled water. and put on low heat and allow to simmer. ~ 10 minutes. Give it an occasional shake and stir. When done, add the green onions and cilantro/ parsley. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Serve with bread or by itself...how hearty is that. And need I enumerate on the health benefits ?
Happy eating and healthy living!