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Year of the Soup: Week 50

My soup making skills finally came in handy.  Last week John and I attended an Iron Chef Party at a friend’s house.  Basically two teams of four show up, learn the secret ingredient, and have 90 minutes to prepare an appetizer, entree and dessert that features that ingredient.  The secret ingredient was ginger: it was soup time.  You aren’t allowed to use the internet or get recipes, so I had to whip up a soup completely from scratch.  I sauteed onions and garlic, added mushrooms, fresh ginger, sliced carrots, cubed sweet potatoes, vegetable broth and some soy sauce to taste.  Viola, Sweet Potato and Mushroom Soup in Ginger Broth (or something like that.)  Of course John was on the opposing team, and he conjured up what he could remember of this soup from earlier this year.  So I suppose we both benefited from me making so many soups (although I think I win on creativity points.)  I’m quite proud that all of this soup making has paid off for something, even if it was only to get me a little praise at a cooking party :)

In addition to making up my own soup at that party, I also made gumbo this week (from a recipe.)  You never see gumbo made vegetarian at a restaurant, so I’ve never sampled a true version.  I imagine this soup only hints at the flavors of gumbo, seeing as traditional gumbo usually contains non veg-friendly ingredients like sausage and seafood, but it was still tasty.  I don’t care much for okra, but there is an interesting flavor to this recipe.  It’s hearty as is, but a little more rice might make it feel more like a meal.

I’ll be back with more posts next week – have a Happy Holiday everyone!

Vegetarian Gumbo

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 cups cubed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced okra
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Directions
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, celery and bell peppers; cook, stirring, until softened.  Stir in chili powder until absorbed.  Add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until softened.  Add the broth, water, bay leaves, oregano, Tabasco, basil and thyme; bring to a boil.
  2. Add rice.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Stir in okra and salt; return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes longer or until okra is tender.  Discard bay leaves.
Source: 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes
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