Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beet and Vegetable Soup

Apologies for the lack of Vegan Mofo post yesterday; I've had an Australian visitor for a few days, so I was in Koln yesterday. I'm exhausted; this is a short post, because the faster I write, the faster I can crawl into bed.

I only wish tomatoes like that were still available. They're a little lighter in colour, a little smaller than the tomatoes of mid-Summer, but compared to the tomatoes of today, they're a dream. Of course, the weather is only getting colder. I'm not terribly appreciative of that fact, as I'm sure you're aware, but I can only grin and bear it.

What that means is that I'm completely addicted to making soup. I love sauteeing some veg and simmering it long and slow, until my cold kitchen windows fog over and make the room into a steamy and tropical environment. Then I sit down at my table to mop up a huge bowl of rich and warm soup, using a hunk of crusty bread to clean the bowl.

This one is pretty easy to make, and is a great way to use whichever leftover vegetables you have sitting in your fridge. All that you really need is a beet or two and some tomatoes, plus a few other vegetables to balance it out. I usually add celery and carrots, and sometimes a potato or two to make it extra-filling. This batch had some leftover brussels sprouts, to add to the mix, and some red onion. A hint: add heaps of garlic. You'll thank yourself for it when you ward off colds in colder weather...!

So, soup aside for the moment, it's the 18th day of Vegan Mofo. It's been fun, but it really does tie me to my laptop, because I like to read my blog roll daily; it's somewhat unmanageable if I don't. I'll have a lot of catching up to do tomorrow evening, when my visiting Australian has gone off to Berlin... but most important will be catching up on my sleep. I think sometimes visitors forget that I still have to get up at 6:30am, even when they sleep in until 10. So, let's see if my tired and fried brain can remember what I put into this pot of sweet, earthy deliciousness...

Beetroot and Vegetable Soup

2 medium-sized beets, peeled and chopped (I used red)
6 tomatoes, chopped (or a can of tinned tomatoes)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large celery stalks, sliced
300g brussels sprouts, quartered
1/2 delicata squash or two carrots, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper
olive oil

Sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and turning transparent.
Add the celery, beets, sprouts and squash, and sautee for a few minutes longer, to bring out the flavour.
Add tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme and tomato paste. Add enough water to generously cover the vegetables and simmer slowly for as long as you can leave it. 40 minutes minimum for the beets to become tender, but honestly, make this at lunchtime so that you can eat it at dinner. You'll thank yourself for it!
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and eat with a generous amount of bread - I recommend ciabatta. ;)

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