Tag Archives: vegetarian

Garden Vegetable Soup

I hate wasting food. HATE it! It’s hard when you are first learning how to cook because unless you take the time to painstakingly meal plan, you end up with miss-matched food that you don’t know what to do with. So you just ignore it until it turns some unnatural color and you eventually throw it away. Sound familiar? It’s worse when your a vegetarian too because vegetables go bad so quickly. I always felt guilty buying broccoli and kale because I felt like I was throwing away half of what I bought due to the stalks. Until I learned this fun little trick during my Whole Foods challenge. Our instructor (if that is what you would call her…) said to chop up the stems and save them in a reserve baggie in your freezer. They actually have tons of nutritional value. When you don’t have anything planned for dinner one night you can whip up a fabulous vegetable soup!  And to think, all these years I was throwing away all that vitamin-packed goodness! Oh, the horror!

Anyways, the other night, when we had nothing planned for dinner and our fridge was looking exceptionally bare, I decided it was veggie soup time! It turned out SOOOO much better than I expected! You can certainly substitute different veggies depending on what you like or what you have on hand – another big plus to this recipe! Enjoy!

Garden Vegetable Soup (Adapted from Alton Brown)

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: 45 minutes. Yields 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 C chopped leeks, white part only
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • kosher salt
  • 2 C carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans of diced peeled, tomatoes (14.5 oz cans)
  • 2 C frozen corn kernels
  • 2 C frozen green beans (instead I used the bag of frozen stalks I mentioned)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until softened.

2. Add carrots and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. (mine were a bit crunchier than I would have liked so I suggest maybe boiling them first)

3. Add the stock, increasing heat to high. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add tomatoes, corn, green beans, and pepper.

4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.

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Mini Veggie Pot Pies with a Sweet Potato Biscuit Top

I love the idea of individual sized meals. I think they add so much character, not to mention, they help tremendously with portion control. I saw this adorable (can food be adorable?) recipe for individual pot pies on the blog 5 and Spice!

Individual Vegetable Pot Pies (serves 8 ) adapted 5 And Spice, originally from a recipe in a 2007 Food & Wine magazine

Ingredients (measure veggies so they are equal parts – measurements below are flexible)

  • 3-5 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces (depending on size)
  • 3-4 stalks of celery or turnip, peeled and cut into half inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup of frozen beans
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I also added some green onions too, just for fun)
  • (NOTE: you can use whatever combination of seasonal vegetables you please, as long as you have about 8 cups, chopped, total)
  • A whole lot of olive oil (around ¼ or 1/3 cup)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A couple tsp. of thyme
  • A tsp. of sage
  • 4 Tbs. of butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups milk (I used almond milk, which turned out great!)
  • A tsp. of thyme and a pinch each of sage and nutmeg
  • Optional: You can add a cup of cooked and cubed chicken

Directions

Heat your oven to 425F.  Toss all of the chopped vegetables and half of the chopped onion with the olive oil a couple tsp. of thyme, one tsp. of sage, and several big shakes of salt and pepper.  Spread them in a large roasting pan, put them into the oven and roast – stirring once or twice during the process – until they are soft and have gotten brown cooked spots on them, around 45 minutes, or so.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  (But leave the oven on.)

In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat, until it’s melted and starting to bubble.  Stir in the remaining half of the chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until softened and translucent.  Stir in the flour until it is all mixed in with the butter and onion and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then, whisk in the milk a little bit at a time, stirring vigorously to avoid lumps. Then stir in the remaining smaller amounts of thyme and sage and the nutmeg along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Turn heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about ten minutes.  At this point, add more salt and pepper to taste.  Then, stir sauce and roasted vegetables together.  Either spoon the vegetables into 8 individual pot pie dishes (large ramekins) or into a large baking dish.  Put an unbaked sweet potato biscuit on top of each dish – or if using a large baking dish, arrange the biscuits on top to cover it, slightly overlapping one another.**  Pop the pot pies into the oven and bake until they are bubbling and the biscuits are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.  (You can also make the vegetables with sauce ahead of time and refrigerate them, then just warm them up to room temp and spoon them into your baking dishes when you’re ready to bake).

** My biscuits didn’t cook all the way through because the sauce and veggies was keeping the moisture in on the bottom so I might suggest making the biscuits separately or cook them for a little bit then put them on top.

Sweet potato biscuits (makes 8)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-small sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 ¾ cups regular flour
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbs. cold regular butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

In a pot, cover the sweet potato with water,  bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook until soft, about 20 minutes.  Drain the potato well, then smash it up with a fork.  Reserve ¾ cup of it and let it cool (you can use the rest of it for something else, for example eating it for a snack as you cook).  In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like a coarse sand.  Alternatively you can just pulse all these ingredients together in a food processor.  Stir in the buttermilk and ¾ cup sweet potato mash until all the ingredients are just combined.  Scoop the dough out into a ball, and knead it a couple of times on a well floured surface.  Then, roll it to about ¼ inch thick and cut it into 8 biscuits – you can make squares or use a 4 inch circle cutter.  Put the unbaked biscuits on top of your pot pies before baking.  Or, if you just want biscuits, bake them in a 425F oven for 15 minutes, until golden.