Almost Vegetarian, for those of us that are decreasing animal proteins in our diet. You don’t have to be a full-on Vegetarian in order to reduce meat in your diet and enjoy the health and environmental benefits of eating vegetarian meals. Whether you only eliminate meat one day a week (such as Meatless Mondays), or you rarely eat meat, find tips, recipes, and restaurant meal ideas here.
Friday, September 28, 2012
My Absolute Favorite Homemade Vegetable Soup
This vegetable soup is basically the
same soup my mom made each summer with fresh vegetables, then stored in the
freezer to eat throughout the winter. Mom always made it with tomatoes,
cabbage, corn, potatoes, okra, and butter beans. I add English peas, spinach,
broccoli, green beans, and pureed carrots.
It recently occurred to me that the
vegetable soup that I have always loved, is vegetarian and vegan friendly! Although
at times I have seasoned it with bacon drippings, or added ground beef, most
often I make it meatless, and season it with olive oil or coconut oil. It was
very exciting to me that my ‘old faithful’ soup fits in with my new-found
interest in vegetarian and vegan cooking.
Although I have discovered many new
foods that are vegetarian and vegan friendly that I enjoy, it is likely there
will never be a meatless meal I enjoy more than my long-time friend, homemade
vegetable soup. So here’s my recipe. To try it is to love it!
Bowl of my homemade Vegetable Soup
2 large cans tomato juice, about 1 qt
1 qt vegetable broth
1 bag raw shredded cabbage, or about
½ head shredded
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli
1 can carrots, pureed with juice
1 large can (38 oz) cut green beans,
or 1 bag of frozen
1 bag frozen cut okra
2 bags frozen Fordhook lima beans
2 cans Green Giant Niblets corn, or
2-3 cups frozen corn
2 cans Green Giant Llessur English
peas, or 2-3 cups frozen peas
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large
cubes, or if you are going to freeze some of the soup, 3 potatoes cubed
Seasoning is very subjective. This is
an approximation of what I use:
2 Tbsp oil oil
1 Tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 Tbsp Lawry’s garlic powder with
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
Sometimes I use Italian spices. Skip
the cumin, cardamom and coriander. Add 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp
rosemary, and 6 bay leaves.
1. Empty the tomato juice into a 15
to 20 quart stock pot. Add chicken broth.
2. Add cabbage, carrot puree, and
spices. Stir to combine. Cover stock pot. Heat to a low boil. Simmer for about
3. Add frozen chopped spinach and
broccoli, and green beans. It will take a little time to return to slow boil.
Once simmering again, cook for 30 minutes. As vegetables thaw, stir
4. Taste the broth to see if you need
to add more seasoning.
5. Add okra and vegetable oil to the
soup and continue cooking at a low boil for 30 more minutes.
6. Cook lima beans in separate pot
until they are tender. Salt the beans as needed. I put a peeled whole onion in
my limas. When the beans are tender, remove the onion, but do not drain.
Transfer cooked lima beans and juice to the soup mixture.
7. Again taste the soup broth. Add
additional salt or spices if needed.
8. Boil the potatoes in water until
tender. I use the same pot as I cooked the lima beans in.
9. Just before potatoes are ready,
add corn and English peas, with juice from both, to the soup mixture.
10. I usually freeze some of the
soup, and separate the soup into two portions at this time. I put potatoes in
the portion I am going to eat in the next few days. Frozen and thawed potatoes
change texture, and I don’t personally like the texture. When I thaw soup
later, I add cooked potatoes.
11. Pour potatoes with the cooking
water into soup mixture. Again test for seasonings.
12. Continue cooking, covered, at a
low simmer until all ingredients are hot and flavors have blended.
My dad always eats saltine crackers
with his soup. All I need for my soup is a spoon! When I was growing up, my mom
would make vegetable soup in the summertime, with garden-fresh vegetables.
She’d make it in this huge stockpot, and package it in quart and half gallon
containers for the freezer. I never ate breakfast when I was young, except
“vegetable soup season”, when I ate soup for breakfast.
I love this vegetable soup so much!
When I make it, I usually freeze some, but I keep out enough to eat everyday
for lunch for a week. It is definitely a family favorite. I hope that my vegan
friendly vegetable soup soon becomes one of your family’s favorites.
of Vegetarian Meals
I have read several articles in which
medical experts have sighted the health benefits of adopting a 75% vegetarian
diet. There are many reasons for this. For those with high cholesterol and
triglycerides, some would argue there may be dramatic decreases in these
crucial lab values from a diet sparse in animal protein.
Other benefits to a diet of limited
animal proteins may include decreased exposure to hormones and antibiotics
given to livestock. Benefits to the environment and the economy from money
saved in not processing and transporting meat are cited by some. Many
believe scores more humans would be fed by eating grains, rather than feeding
that same grain to cows.