Sunday, March 23, 2008
well, i had a somewhat overwhelming experience today when shopping for groceries (on top of the fact that it was a zoo there because tomorrow is easter and i forgot this fact)...how does one make the transition to a basic vegan except for pork allowance, without the soy option & a gluten-free starting point?? in all honesty, i know that i can have my low-reactive foods on a rotating schedule, but i have to eliminate and then reintroduce them first - which is a real pain. so i became inspired by leeks and baby vidalia onions in the produce aisle and warmed up on this windy day by making a soup that was YUM to the last drop. (perhaps it would have been extra delicious with a cup and a half of heavy cream mixed in, but i'll try NOT to think about it!)
DISCLAIMER: i am NOT a chef, i do NOT measure and my palette is NOT trained, i'm just regular & love food...proceed with caution & enjoy! (also, i decided to document this after i started cooking - apologies for the cell phone pics, i'll try harder next time to be prepared)...
3 medium leeks, halved & thinly sliced (rinse thoroughly!)
3 baby vidalia onions, halved & thinly sliced (i had never seen these before at my market - think large scallion looking small onions at base and long green shoots, if not available use any sweet onion or shallots)
bell peppers, chopped small to match size of above items (mixed colors: red, orange, yellow, i had mini-sized peppers, but any work that you like)
6 large to medium garlic cloves, minced...YES that many!
add ingredients to a large skillet along with 3 tbl. butter, 2 tbl. olive oil, & salt & pepper. saute ingredients until they soften and let off their own juices, add 1 cup of chicken stock and continue to cook until veggies cook up soft as you like.
spice up this mixture (to taste) with: tarragon, curry powder, ginger, celery seed (just a pinch), cumin now
pour skillet-full-o-yum into a large soup pot (i guess you could also just start this in a large pot...i apparently enjoy extra dishes!) and add more chicken stock & about a cup of rice milk (or substitute whatever you like), chicken stock amount is to your liking (less if you like a stew, more if you like it brothy!) then for fun, i added about a cup to a cup and a half of quinoa (keen-waH!) for texture & protein. at this point let the contents get back to a rolling simmer and allow quinoa to cook up.
THEN, taste...assess...add more spices because the veggies are spiced up so yummy, but the broth waters down the taste, so add more as needed (& remember a little dried spice goes a long way BUT if you have fresh, for pete's sake use that instead!). i poured my finished hot soup over some cooked shrimp from the market and think it would have been extra yummy with an avocado garnish atop the wonder-ness (along with some cilantro infused creme fraiche, if you are so inclined/allowed...RAR!) it has a lil kick and made my evening comforting.