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California Motley Soup

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in Meal Ideas, Soups | Posted on 25-07-2011

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I worked as a waitress throughout high school and college in a variety of different restaurants. Nearly all of them served a soup called California Medley. It was a creamy soup (sometimes cheesy, sometimes not) with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. I’m sure it came from Martin Brothers or some other food service place, so it was OK. I wasn’t in love with it, but I always liked the idea of it.

Flash forward to the present, where I have turned into a soup-making machine and even have a blog with the word “soup” in it. And yet, I’ve never tried to remake California Medley and make it awesome. Until now.

I’m calling my version of this soup California Motley because it’s much more of a mishmash than your regular old medley. It has yummy fresh herbs and fresh farmer’s market veggies  (as opposed to veggies that came from god-knows-where, guar gum and who knows what else). And it rhymes with Motley Crew. Who isn’t at least intrigued by that?

Oh, and did I mention that kids LOVE it? Mine gobbled it up and then stood by with spoons trying to steal more when I put away the leftovers. The other great thing about this soup is that it smells simply amazing while it cooks.

For those of you who want to run out to your nearest farmer’s market so you can get your fresh veggies and herbs, I have listed those that are in season and available in Iowa below.

Ingredients:

1 tsp. butter or buttery spread
1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, chopped
1 medium-sized head of broccoli, chopped (florets only, no stems) — Farmer’s Market Item
1 tbsp. garlic scapes, diced — Farmer’s Market Item
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 small carrots, chopped
3 medium-sized potatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced — Farmer’s Market Item
1 tsp. fennel seed — You can add fresh fennel from the Farmer’s Market
1-2 tbsp. fresh basil– Farmer’s Market Item
1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced– Farmer’s Market Item
1 tbsp. fresh celery leaf– Farmer’s Market Item
6 tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
6 cups water
1-2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Saute onion and celery in buttery spread until clear and soft. (Add liquid aminos a tablespoon at a time to avoid sticking.)
  2. Add garlic scapes and fennel seed. Saute until fragrant, about two minutes.
  3. Add carrots, potatoes and cauliflower, then pour in water and remaining aminos. (For a thicker soup, pour water until barely covering veggies.)
  4. Bring to a boil and boil until veggies are tender (around 10 minutes).
  5. Turn heat down to low. Add the broccoli. (This will cook while you follow steps 5 through 8.)
  6. Using a ladle, dish out about half of the broth and veggies into a blender.
  7. Add cheese and pepper to the blender.
  8. Blend under “liquify” until smooth.
  9. Pour the blended mixture into the remaining soup in the pot. NOTE: This method helps us get a creamy texture without added butter, flour and cream (so this recipe is gluten-free).
  10. Add the basil, celery leaf and dill. NOTE: These herbs will MAKE the soup, but are optional for kids. Pickier kids may like the soup better without.

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