Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vegetable "Veg-Out" Soup and Apartment Hunting

Although I am not looking forward to moving yet again, since my lease expires in August it is time to find another dwelling. I should probably get a trophy for most moves in the time period of 10-years, but then again, I am ready to retire the idea of such a trophy and settle in a place for a longer period of time. I guess I am not going back to NYC anytime soon. I have grown fond of Boston, and living here is just fine with me.

Apartment hunting is the only type of hunting I will ever engage in, and as much as I like seeing other apartments and having a front row seat view to how others live, I am in a sense over it. Instead, I would like a perfect apartment to come to me. I know! The audacity!

I feel the same way about food sometimes, meaning I want to eat something great, but I feel low in energy to execute that feeling into a dish. I made Vegetable "Veg-Out" Soup on a day like that, and I was pleased with the results.

Try it for yourself and be sure to let me know how it turned out.

Vegetable "Veg-Out" Soup
Vegetable "Veg-Out" Soup 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-oz) package mushroom of choice, sliced (use the stems!)
2 small/medium yellow squashes, ends trimmed, sliced into half-moons
3 cups fresh spinach, packed
1 (15-oz) can garbonzo beans/chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown rice or grain of choice
7 cups vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons sea salt (use more or less depending on preference)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
Looking good! 
In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, carrots and mushrooms over a medium heat in olive oil, for about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue sautéing for another two minutes. Add a splash of water if necessary to prevent from sticking to the pot. Stir often.

Add all the seasonings, brown rice, and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 35-45 minutes until the rice or grain of choosing is cooked.

Fifteen minutes before the soup is ready, add the squash and garbanzo beans to the soup pot, and finish cooking the soup until you reach the 35-45 minute mark.

Turn off the heat, add the spinach, and stir. The spinach will wilt on its own without the need for further cooking.

Taste for seasonings and add more salt or pepper or both depending on preference. Use an immersion blender to blend 1/3 of the soup in the soup pot to create thicker consistency. Alternatively, transfer 4 to 5 cups of soup to a blender and blend until smooth, and add it back to the soup pot.



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