I’ve slacked off on eating as many vegetables as I know are good for me for so many reasons, like vitamins, minerals, other wonderful nutrients, and fiber, as well as tasty.
With the change in seasons, I haven’t been consuming green drinks or making salads like I do in summer. In Austin, where fall, winter, and spring are fleeting, it’s an in-between time, with some days warm and humid and others cool and dry. This fall in particular has alternated between drought and deluge and has been warmer than usual.
My nutritionist, Olivia Honeycutt, suggested cooking some vegetables and then running them through the blender or Vitamin. It’s like I would a make cooling green drink of veggies and typically one fruit in summer, only warmed.
Where I come from, that’s soup.
So that is what I am cooking, snug in my trailer on this rainy pre-Halloween night, after a day in which our airport received 14.5 inches of rain. I realize how blessed I am to be doing this while others in this area have been flooded out of their homes. I’m sure you share my compassion for their misfortune and wish them a quick recovery.
Once again, this is an improvised recipe, using what I had on hand. Needless to say, most of it is organic, especially important with celery, pepper, and greens. (See Dirty Dozen.)
Here’s what I put into a large stockpot (you can do a quick chop since everything will go through the blender):
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
1 large yellow onion
1/2 large red bell pepper
3 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 red beets
greens from the beets
1 cup red cabbage
2 small zucchinis
6 cups of filtered water (you can add more later to thin the soup, or substitute tomato juice or vegetable stock)
1 24-oz jar of strained tomatoes (no BPA)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
splash of lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
salt to taste
fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano)
Saute´ the onion, pepper, and celery in the avocado oil over medium head. Add the other veggies and stir well for a couple of minutes to start the cooking.
Add the liquids and seasonings. Stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the slowest-cooking veggies (the carrots and beets) are done, 20-40 minutes. Let cool a bit. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Once the taste is wonderful, cool to room temp and then blend a few cups at a time until pureed. Thin with more water, vegetable stock, or tomato juice if desired. I like it kind of thick.
Serve in a bowl or mug. You can garnish it with minced fresh herbs, chopped nuts, Parmesan, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, or whatever appeals to your diet, tastebuds, and convenience.
This recipe is improvised, so adapt it to meet your needs. What I personally would not add is legumes, grains, or potatoes because (1) they’re not included in my diet and (2) they don’t blend well in a soup. You could add other tasty veggies and herbs that you would eat cooked: spinach, kale, chard, collards, green beans, hot peppers, broccoli, okra, cilantro, parsley, dill, ginger, etc.
You could even vary ingredients and seasonings to make different ethnic versions, like Italian or Indian.
I have a cup with breakfast and then fill a quart jar that I can take with me on busy days and sip on for hours.
I kept this recipe vegan on purpose because I don’t want to encourage bacterial growth that could cause food poisoning, which is much more likely to happen with food from animal sources that is unrefrigerated.
Plus, it’s such a great reminder of the wonderful taste of blended veggies without meat. Warm thick V-8 soup, anyone?