17 February 2012

Soup for Breakfast?

Dear Friend,

         That is the question people ask me after I tell them that I had homemade soup for breakfast.  They usually squint their eyes and scrunch their face when they repeat in question form what I had just told them. They look at me as if they heard incorrectly or I made in error in my meal schedule. But I reassure them that, yes, I do eat soup for breakfast at least four out of seven days and yes it has to be freshly made. I enjoy a nutritious start to my day because it gives me a boost of energy and carries me through until lunchtime.
         This morning I decided to make a mushroom vegetable, my favorite. First because I use a base made with my home grown frozen tomatoes. I can certainly see the value in all the hard work of planting, weeding, harvesting, washing, stemming and pureeing when I pull a container of heirlooms out of the freezer.
          I also have frozen corn and in my root cellar plenty of onions and garlic from the garden as well. The carrots I have in the ground covered with straw. The fresh added ingredients that I purchase are celery, kale, spinach, butter beans and of course a variety of mushrooms. I adore mushrooms but I will leave that for another blog.
         Now if you are looking for a recipe here, I apologize because I throw together my soups on a whim and a taste. I believe if you have on hand all the basics, then anything goes. It is a rare cooking day when I use measuring tools but I do have a few secrets that tend to improve any recipe.

         For this soup, I just start out chopping the celery, onion, garlic and carrots and sautéing them lightly in olive oil.   The secret here is to chop into small pieces. I stir often on low heat (secret), and patience and close proximity are necessary. This takes about 10 minutes. I remove the vegetable mix to a bowl and add to the pan my thinly (another secret) sliced mushrooms and cook those until they brown just slightly. Again I stir often (secret) and lightly salt them (secret).

         In a soup pot I pour in the tomatoes and then add a bit of water or vegetable stock. I toss in all the sautéed vegetables, add the butter beans,finely chopped kale and spinach along with a bit of basil, a couple of bay leaves, salt, pepper, a pinch of marjoram, a hint of thyme, and I top it off with vitamin A power packed parsley. I cook on low heat until carrots are soft and the herbs seep into the mix.

         It sounds like a lengthy process but the whole soup takes me about twenty minutes to prepare plus however long I want it to simmer or how long I want to wait to eat. So grab some veggies and choose a day or two or three or four to have soup for breakfast. Be aware of how awake it makes you feel and you will soon be joining me at the soup table in the morning.



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