Recipe File: Harvest Soups

Summer harvest soup: veg broth, yellow and zucchini squashes, corn, onion, spiral-cut butternut squash, and some beans been in the freezer too long, and at the end, some bok choi… goodly splash of Yoshida sauce… And added some firm tofu, too, and a dash of salt–not enough to overwhelm the fresh flavor of the veggies, just enough to ‘warm’ the flavor.

A key thing is not to over-cook the soft vegies. If I’ve misunderestimated the timing, I will take out the soft stuff so it doesn’t go mushy, and add it back in at serving time.

Sometimes I will toss in some frozen shu-mai, or pot-stickers and some ginger powder for a more asian flavor, and some bok choi gives it a flash of green, and tastes pretty good, too–a little more interesting than ordinary green cabbage which I might add if I had any today. Except I do have the bok-choi. (It was pretty wilty a couple of days home from the store, so last night I put it in a pot of cold water and this morning it appears much encouraged.) 

When I do an autumn harvest soup, when the days are chilly, I’ll add a can of Progresso’s butternut squash soup and spice it up with some cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of real maple syrup instead of the teriyaki sauce. It might also have some chunks of yellow sweet potato, but that cooks faster than you might think and can get mushy if added too early.

note: vegetable broth is just as tasty as chicken, and so much better for the chicken.

A winter harvest soup might begin with a cream of something base, and have chunks of root vegetables and hard yellow squash, and corn. I like the Yukon Gold potatoes, but the yellow sweet ones are good, too. 

Into any of these, if I’m in the mood, I will drop in an egg and let it poach gently, or whip up the egg with a bit of water to help break it up, and dribble it in for an egg-drop effect. 

This works very well for one of my most favorite soups: Greek Egg and Lemon soup

The quick way is to use a can of chicken/rice soup, but for vegetarian, you can always start with some veg broth and some pre-cooked rice, (like leftover rice from a Chinese dinner, or a pouch of that 90-second microwave rice).

To the basic can of soup, squeeze in the juice of a whole lemon, then, when the soup boils, slowly drop in the whipped egg, while stirring. Season with salt and whatever else you like, to taste. (For me, I love the Campbell’s chicken/rice base, but it has too much refined white rice for a diabetic, and it is cooked to delicious softness that is such a nice comfort food, but turns to sugar in the blood way too fast.)   (And, of course, there are the chickens to consider.)

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