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“Cheesy” Cauliflower Soup (Vegan-friendly)

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in 21-Day-Adventure Cleanse, Main Dishes, Soups, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-11-2011

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Although, I recently came out as a bona fide Chegan, there’s no need to go that route with this “cheesy” soup. Adapted from the Moosewood Low-fat Favorites cookbook, this soup was a hit with my family and even Chelsea at Roots Market!

What makes this soup so cheesy, I think, is the fresh lemon. It certainly wasn’t the intention of the recipe writers to make the soup cheesy, but in my version of the recipe, that’s how it turns out. The other reason this works so well is the fact that you puree the soup — this gives it the creamy “cheesy” smoothness without the cheese.

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped onions
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped (about five cups)
3 tsp. dried dill
1-2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dried mustard
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
5 cups vegetable broth (or 5 cups water with 2 tbsp. vegetable Better Than Bouillon)
Salt to taste

Optional: Green onions for garnish.

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot, saute onions, garlic, celery and carrots in about 1/2 cup of broth or water until all veggies are soft.
  2. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, except lemon juice, and bring to a boil. (Be careful not to use too much water. Water should be just below the top of all the ingredients in your pot.)
  3. Reduce to a simmer and simmer until veggies are tender, around 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Add about half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Stir the pureed mixture into the remaining soup.
  6. Serve topped with green onions.

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.