Dilemma: You’ve got a fridge completely full of vegetables you bought at the farmers’ market last weekend, but you haven’t been able to use up everything and now it’s all going to go bad if you don’t do something fast. Like tonight. Oh, that’s not your problem, it’s mine.
I admit. When I go shopping at the farmers’ market – and even though I make a list based on my coming week’s menu – I still go crazy when I see all the freshly-grown goodies piled on table after table, stall after stall, and those sweet people there to sell their hard efforts and the fruits of their labor! I have no will-power and can’t walk away (seriously, I’ve tried) from kale, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash, whatever fruit is in season, and vendors wearing overalls. I rationalize, “I’ll add it to the menu this week; it’s not a problem. Besides, we need more kale!” Well, it’s true. Who doesn’t need more kale?
So back to my dilemma. I opened the fridge to discover I had this big problem on my hands. What can I possibly throw together that will accomplish the following:
- Save a large percentage of the vegetables in my fridge
- Take little to no prep time
- Provide great photo ops (I AM a food blogger, people)
- Taste phenomenal, thereby giving me
- One more post? Check.
I am a huge fan and supporter of Forks Over Knives. If you haven’t yet, please schedule 90 minutes to watch the educational and inspiring documentary, available on Netflix or for free on Hulu. Anywho, because of the documentary, and honestly, also because Isa Chandra Moskowitz (my all-time favorite guru on everything vegan) was affiliated with it, I purchased the companion cookbook to the documentary.
That was a lot to get through to tell you that I found a soup recipe (shocking that I was in the mood for soup on a blustery autumn day) on page 95 called – yup – Fall Harvest Vegetable Chowder. The same recipe is available here on the Forks Over Knives website. Note that my version had a couple of variations from the original: I used sweet potatoes, not yams, and kale instead of spinach. It’s what I had in the cupboard, and I don’t think it makes any difference what vegetables you use. This is a really filling and hearty soup, no extras required.
Putting it all together allowed me to use lots of the veggies on the brink of extinction in my fridge, took very little time, got me 66 photos (don’t worry, I won’t share them all with you), tastes phenomenal, and here we are nearing the end of another great post. Mission accomplished.
Need to use up vegetables before they spoil? Throw them in this pot. It all gets pulverized, so no one will be any the wiser if you forget to mention there are lima beans included. However, I'm not sure you need to blend it all together. The soup is beautiful as a broth-based option, and if your family can handle chewing the cooked veggies, I say let it be. Although biting into those scrumptious kernels of fresh corn in the midst of a puree is like getting a prize inside your box of chocolates!
- Yellow Onion - 1 medium, diced
- Celery - 2 stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
- Carrots - 2-3, peeled & chopped
- Vegtable Stock - 6 cups, divided
- Zucchini - 2 small, chopped
- Sweet Potatoes (or Yams) - 2, peeled and chopped
- Bay Leaves - 4
- Thyme - 2 T
- Fresh Corn - 3 to 4 ears, kernels removed (about 2 cups), divided
- Fresh Kale (or Spinach) - 4 cups, chopped
- Place the onion, celery, carrots and 1/2 cup vegetable stock in a large stock pot and saute over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the zucchini, sweet potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and remaining broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add half the corn and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender.
- Add the remaining corn and kale leaves. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the kale (or spinach) has wilted.
- Stir well and serve.