Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cathy's Summer Vegetable Soup

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These photos illustrate the stages of this particular pot of soup. Preparing a vegetable soup is not difficult. The challenge for me is to make it flavourful enough without adding any meat. The flavours of vegetables on their own do not give the richness to the broth that I love. In this case I added Yukon Gold Potatoes, and a can of rinsed garbanzo beans, and kept the aromatics extremely simple: A single Bay Leaf, and some salt and pepper.
I started off wanting to blend the soup to a chunky-smooth texture but when my blender sort of 'blew-up' half way through the process, I was left with a bowl of blended, and a bowl of chunky vegetable soup! Surprisingly, to me...they taste quite different...but equally delicious, filled with strong fresh earthy flavour, even a couple of days later.

Cathy's Summer Vegetable Soup.

Olive oil and butter- 1 tbsp of each
2 large leeks white and light green part only, sliced and washed thoroughly
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 2 inch chunks
2 medium carrots-sliced into 1 inch coins
1 large bunch of rainbow chard-stalks and leaves separated. Stalks chopped finely/leaves chopped coarsely
1 bay leaf
1 540 ml can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Soften leek over medium high heat in a large pot with oil and butter approximately 5 minutes. Add all the vegetables and Bay leaf except for the chard leaves, and stir until coated with the oil/leek mixture for 2 minutes. Add enough water to the veg mixture to cover, bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes uncovered, or until potatoes are cooked. Turn off heat and add garbanzo beans and chard greens, and stir until wilted. Let cool for 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings/add salt and pepper. Either blend, or serve as is.

If you decide to blend, a mixture of plain yogurt and fresh herbs of your choice as a garnish adds a nice tartness to the soup. (I used fresh Basil and Chives.)

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