07 September 2010

Is it soup yet?

I made our first pot of soup for the season on Sunday evening, and it was so delicious. I miss soup during the hot months and it was certainly too warm this summer for soups! Don and I have a typical formula for making soups from almost any veggie in the fall/winter months. It usually involves squash. We also find it is a great way to stretch your CSA ingredients. For this soup, I whipped up a bit of a variation and it was a big hit with Mister Donald. I looked in the fridge and saw the following: kale, corn on the cob, green peppers, spicy peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, onions. And I started thinking about this terrific gazpacho I had in Michigan a couple weeks ago with great almost crisp chunks of veggies in it. We don't really use recipes, but the method is very flexible. So I thought I would share it, plus our typical method, for super simple, use-up-the-stuff-you-have soup.

Lentil Soup with fresh zucchini and green beans

1 big or 2 small yellow onions, diced
garlic if you've got it (I didn't)
2-3 cups lentils
bunch of water (4-ish cups)
box of broth (I used chicken)
2 small zucchinis, chopped into small pieces
couple handfuls of fresh green beans, ends trimmed
small bunch of chopped fresh basil
various seasonings - for this batch I used a yellow curry powder, garlic salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Saute the onions and or garlic in a pot with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once the onions start to change color, add in the lentils and curry powder. Cover with water and let simmer for a bit (depends how mushy you like your lentils). Pour in a bit of the broth, and your chopped zucchini and green beans. Once the green veggies start to soften a bit (this is also based on your preference - I wanted a partly crunchy soup), add the chopped basil and red pepper flakes, as well as additional broth if it's not liquid-y enough for you. Once the green veggies are softened to your liking, serve it up!

Our standard variation of soup is almost the same:

Saute onions and garlic in pan with olive oil. Season at will. Add in the veggie of your choice (we usually pre-steam some squash just to soften it a bit) and let it brown a little bit. Add in broth and simmer until everything is nice and soft. Blend together with hand blender. Red pepper flakes are almost always a must with this, too.

So that's my un-recipe-ish recipe for making super simple soup. Can you tell I'm enjoying this cooler weather and looking forward to fall? What's your favorite soup?