This week I am happy to add my second savory recipe to the blog. I have been a “soup making fool” the last few weeks. I started my soup marathon with broccoli cheddar soup that I made a few weeks ago. The next week, I made vegetarian Lebanese style lentil soup. The following week, I made vegetarian vegetable, and then last week I made crock pot vegetarian minestrone. Last week Sunday when I was sick, I picked up some soup as I usually like to eat soup when I don’t feel good. I had minestone, and lentil quinoa, both from Trader Joe’s…YUM! Then on Monday, Dan stayed home from work to take Victoria to the orthodontist for me. On the way home, they stopped at Panera Bread and got me 2 more cups of soup…creamy tomato, and black bean…DOUBLE YUM! Well those soups were so good, that I was left wanting more. Since we live in the sticks, the closest Panera is 30 minutes away, and the closest Trader Joe’s is almost an hour away. So picking up some more soup wasn’t an option. Unfortunately, if I wanted more yummy soup, I was going to have to make it myself. Last week I still felt pretty crummy (note the cookie reference ☺), so I wanted to make a really simple recipe. I searched the internet for crock pot soup recipes, and found one that sounded good. I have only made soup in a crock pot a handful of times, I actually prefer to make it on the stove. That said, I am happy to report that the vegetarian minestrone was delicious. The recipe made a ton too. I literally ate it the rest of the week, and had enough left over to freeze a few servings too. Here is the link to that recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-vegetarian-minestrone-soup-395313#ixzz1jjfpQcZW I did make a few substitutions to the recipe I found. First, the recipe calls for 6 cups of veggie broth and I only used 4. The recipe also calls for fresh kale, but I used frozen spinach as I was out of kale. The recipe also calls for a can of crushed tomatoes, but I didn’t have any, so I used 26 oz. of my tomato sauce plus 1.5 cups of water, and a can of diced tomatoes. Lastly, I omitted the fresh parsley and the barley as I didn’t have any on hand, and I omitted the salt. I usually don’t add salt to savory recipes, I just feel that when the finished dish is done, if it needs salt I can always add it at the end…I usually don’t though.
After all that soup, you may think that I’d be “souped out”, but oddly I am not. Over the weekend, I picked up a couple of bunches of kale so I could make some more kale chips. Here comes a major digression, but rest assured I get back to the kale soup part of the blog…here goes. OMG I love love love kale chips, and I am totally addicted to them! I have been having some withdrawal symptoms as I can’t make kale chips every week anymore. Since I am unable to grow kale until next summer, I am at the mercy of Meijer or Whole Foods to have organic kale in stock. Usually they do, but on more than a few occasions they were out, and I had to go without my kale chips. If you know what’s good for you, DO NOT DENY THIS ADDICT HER KALE CHIPS… SERIOUSLY!! Over the summer I grew my own kale so running out was never an issue. Since the weather turned though, I’ve had to limit my consumption of my beloved kale chips, and it was more difficult than I thought. Thankfully I picked up some kale this weekend, and now I have plenty to last me for a bit. I just have to remain vigilant, and limit myself to only eating a little bit each day. I swear I cannot stop at just a few though. One night over the summer I was dehydrating some kale chips, and I was “jonesing” for them so bad, that I ate them right out of the dehydrator in the dark in my kitchen! They weren’t even completely crisp yet…seriously I think I may have a problem. Okay the kale chip digression is over. ☺
As I stated above, I picked up a couple of bunches of kale over the weekend fully intending to make kale chips. I did exercise some control however, and I saved a bunch to use in another recipe. I have to admit that until I became addicted to kale chips back on April 15, 2011, I had never eaten kale before… (I remember like it was yesterday…I was in Royal Oak at “The Cocoa Tree” with my friend and business associate Colleen. It was the afternoon of 4/15/11, and it only took one taste!!! OMG now I really feel like an addict …I mean I am telling you all the story of how I got hooked… “and it only took me one taste!!!”) I have been coming across recipes that include kale a lot lately, and it got me to thinking about trying to incorporate kale in other recipes. Then over the weekend, I watched an episode of “The Jazzy Vegetarian” on PBS. Laura Theodore, the jazzy vegetarian herself, prepared some kale as a side dish. You should thank your lucky stars that you weren’t at my house over the weekend. You see, I had the theme song to “The Jazzy Vegetarian” stuck in my head, and I tortured everyone with my rendition. I even added my own words, and truth be told, I added some serious “scatting.” Dan, my kids, my niece, my nephew, my Dad, my “brother from another mother” Jim, and my Kimmy were tortured enough for all of you…next time you see them give them an extra hug and say thanks…they deserve it. ☺ Since kale was “on the brain”, I decided to search for soup recipes that incorporated kale. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. It is ridiculously delicious! I swear it’s probably a sin for soup to taste this good. I cannot wait for Dan to try it tonight. Here is the link to the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetarian-kale-soup/ I did make a few substitutions though. First, I used a white onion and it was huge so I only used half. Second, I am still out of canned diced tomatoes so I used a few handfuls of sun-dried tomatoes that I chopped up. Third, the recipe doesn’t call for zucchini, but I added a whole zucchini that I diced. Lastly, I don’t use Knorr bouillon cubes, and the recipe calls for 6 of them. I use vegan bouillon cubes by either “Rapunzel” or “Edward & Sons.” I buy the “Not-Chick’n”, “Not-Beef”, or vegetable cubes, and I usually buy the “no salt added” cubes.
Despite my love of cooking, I don’t have a ton of experience with making soup. In fact there was a time in my life, not that long ago, that I hated soup. When I was pregnant with both of the kids, I had a really intense aversion to soup. I mean if you even said the word “soup” in my presence I ‘d start dry heaving…so weird! Needless to say I never ate soup when I was pregnant with the kids, and it took a long while for the aversion to go away. I am so happy that it did because I loved both of these soups, and I hope you will too. In closing, I’d like to share some of my vocal stylings and scatting that most of you missed this weekend…. “she’s jazzy…she’s snazzy…and to top it all off she’s a jazzy vegetarian..zoo bee de boop BOOP BOO!” It really is a crime that you can’t hear this! ☺