Posted by: vegevores | July 12, 2012

Soup du jour, avec collard greens

by Liz

 

Hi friends!

Do you ever just have random foods around the house and wonder to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if I could make this into a good soup?”?  Well, I am here to tell you that you probably can.  Stay with me here for a little while and I promise to get to the soup part.

I’m currently growing a variety of vegetables in a small garden and the collard greens have been growing like mad!    

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If you’re anything like me, you don’t know what to do with a collard green.  I made them once on their own, cooked in veggie broth with some toasted sunflower seeds on top, and while they were ok, I wasn’t crazy about them.  Collard greens are a tough green – not as tough as kale, but they definitely need to be cooked down somehow to be most versatile in any dish, though I haven’t tried to snack on them raw yet.

Last week, I steamed some collard greens and added them to a pasta and veggie dish, which worked well.  They didn’t add much flavor, but getting greens into my diet in a new creative way?  I’ll take it.

This week – and this is where the soup part comes in – I steamed some collard greens and put them into a soup.  This soup has no real recipe, because I simple looked around at the odds and ends of food that I had in my cupboards and fridge on the day before pay day and whipped up this concoction:

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Is it minestrone?  Veggie pasta soup?  Something else?  Honestly, it’s little bit of all of those things.  I don’t know what to call this soup, so let’s just say it’s Liz’s Summer Vegetable Soup.  This soup contains:

  • Collard greens, chopped and steamed (not sure on the amount – let’s say 2 cups)
  • 1 can of Campbell’s Minestrone Soup
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta (measured dry)
  • 1/2 cup rice (measured dry)
  • 1/2 cup green lentils (measured dry)
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 can of cut green beans
  • Fresh spinach, chopped – about 1 cup
  • 1 packed of onion soup mix
  • Water for broth (not sure how much I added here – at least 8 cups, I’d say)
  • Salt and spices to taste

First, I cooked the rice, lentils, garlic, and collard greens for about 20 minutes then added them together into one big pot.  I added all of the remaining ingredients except the spinach and spices, letting everything cook together for at least another 20 minutes to fully blend the flavors and cook the pasta and grains.  Lastly, I added the spinach and assorted spices to taste and let everything cook together for another 5 minutes.  

I know that this recipe is kind of a mess, but it worked out pretty well!  The soup tasted great and I have a lot left over to freeze for future meals.  In general, I think that making a homemade vegetable soup without a recipe is pretty simple as long as you have a few ingredients that lend themselves well to a soup, which lots of vegetables do, and also a few spices that will give you some flavor if you don’t have any broth on hand.

I read somewhere that it’s good to eat warm and/or spicy foods in the summer – something about how it heats your body up on the inside so that the outdoor warmth doesn’t take such a toll.  Maybe I’ve just tricked myself into believing it, but I think it works.

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