Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Beet-Vegetable Soup, Olive Lemon Bread

My daughter had new orthodontic braces put in yesterday and is preferring soft food. She likes soups, so I experimented with making a beet soup.

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly minced into 1/8" or 1/4" pieces
  • 2 medium beets, rinsed and scrubbed then peeled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (mine were organic so I didn't peel but I otherwise would have), also rinsed/scrubbed/cubed into 1/2" pieces
  • 3 medium carrots sliced into 3/4" lengths
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh edamame
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 4 stalks celery chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • Approx. 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • Stem of the cup of broccoli florets cut into 3/8" pieces
  • 1/2 cups onion cut into approximately 1/2" half moons slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot cut into 3/8" slices (3 small-medium carrots)
  • Seasonings: 1/2 t salt, 1 t ground cumin, 1 T dried rosemary needles, 1 t dried oregano, 1 t garlic powder, 1 t lemon pepper, 1/4 t smoked paprika; I'd add dried or fresh basil but I was out
  • (optional) 4 leaves kale, stems removed for compost, and roughly hand torn into approximately 1 1/2" pieces [I was in a rush so omitted]
  • (optional) Other vegetables that you favor [my daughter doesn't like asparagus but I put about 3" of the thick end of 3 stalks in for a touch of flavor]
  • (optional) Subtle hint of hot sauce of choice
  1. I cooked the garlic on a cast iron pan on medium to medium-high heat with no oil for about 5-7 minutes till I obtained a full aroma and light browning.
  2. I put all of the ingredients, including the garlic but excluding the celery, into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 20m.
  3. My wife doesn't like celery so I separately cooked the celery in about a cup of salted water; after it reached a boil, I simmered on low, covered. (Otherwise I would have just cooked the celery with the other ingredients.)
  4. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then served, mixing the celery into all but my wife's bowl.
NB: I ended up filling most of my 6-quart Instant Pot and wanted to remind folks to not overfill if you are cooking beans or other ingredients which expand. In this case I wasn't, so there was no problem - just plenty of soup including a significant amount to share with neighbors.

I am impressed with a product that I found this past weekend on sale, Divina brand green olive spread. It has no oil but only olives, capers, garlic powder, oregano, sea salt, and citric acid - and so has just 1 g of fat per tablespoon of serving (so low that I'm going to mark my dinner as no-added-fat)! I put a light smear on some specialty lemon rosemary bread and served with mixed slices of heirloom tomatoes.

We all enjoyed the soup. I made it purposefully soft for my daughter so cooked it for 20m.

Ideas for the future

Beets maintain more of their nutrition if cooked whole and then peeled and chopped, but I did want to make the soup quite soft for my daughter. I've never cooked beets with soup and should explore more - I'd love to steam them and add 3/4" or so chunks to a soup. The color of the soup was nice but having even more beets would make the soup even more pretty.

By the way, our next So Many Cooks event is this Saturday (live on facebook at 2p eastern US time this Saturday). I will be discussing nutritional yeast and jerk seasoning and demonstrating air fried tofu.

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