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Halloween =TOO MUCH SUGAR! Vegetarian Curry Warming Soup, Veggie Stock tutorial, and Whole Wheat Soda Bread

7:55 AM

" Mommy, it's raining leaves!"  exclaimed my 3-year-old as we were rushing out the door to preschool this morning.  And she is right.  The last stubborn yellow-brown remainder of  Autumn is falling rapidly this morning.  Soon the trees will all be bare, transfering vital energy to their roots. Resting until Springtime comes once again to wake them up.  My daughter likes my stories, and likes to think of the trees "napping like bears" all Winter long.

Sometimes I wish I could nap like a bear, or a tree.  But humans know about winter and how to stay warm and awake.  And besides, trees can't iceskate and build snowmen. ;-)

This was the first year that my kids celebrated Halloween. We got together with friends, ate A LOT and went trick-or-treating.

Candy, sugar, cider donuts, pie (mmm, pie). Resulting in 2 little kids running around like screaming maniacs...

Put these circumstances together with the decrease in daylight hours and temperature, and my preschooler's never-ending viruses:  we need some real, hardcore nutrition!

Alongside the tricks and treats I chose to make this amazing immune boosting vegetarian soup and will share a dairy-free whole grain bread recipe to go with it:

Autumnal Warming Soup
6 cups veggie stock * 
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 head white cabbage, shredded
6 carrots, scrubbed and cut into "coins"
6 small red potatoes, cut into bitesized pieces
1 package (4oz) fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen baby peas
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch (or more) fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp (or more) curry powder
fresh ground black pepper
1tbsp oregano
1tbsp basil
Seasalt to taste
red pepper flakes if desired

There is a lot of cutting and preparatory work involved in this soup, but it is well worth it and can be viewed as a sort of meditation while you are putting together something wonderful for your family.

Put the veggie broth, diced tomatoes and red wine in a large soup pot.  Prepare and add ALL the other ingredients.  Bring to a boil on medium high, and then reduce to a simmer.  Will be ready in about 2 hours. 

One of the ingredients called for in this recipe, and so many of my other soups and winter recipes, is veggie stock.  I make my own.  It's super cheap and easy and you should be do it too!

Step one:  Save ALL your (organic/scrubbed) veggie peels, onion skins, leftover raw/unneeded veggies from other recipes in a ziploc gallon bag in the freezer.  A hint:  Stuff like lettuce doesn't work... stuff like alliums, brassica, cruciferae, squash (flesh, not peel), peppers, legumes, celery, and most root veggies, do.

* Homemade Veggie Stock
8 cups water
1 gallon bag frozen veggie "trimmings"
celery seed
bay leaf (if you're feeling feisty)
and Seasalt to taste

In a large soup pot bring salted water to a boil.  Add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil at medium high heat.  Reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 3+ hours.  Strain veggies out of stock and seperate into containers (2 to 4 cups per container b/c that's usually what recipes call for).  either use immediately, or freeze for later use.  Compost those used up trimmings for your garden!

Whole Wheat Honey Soda Bread
4 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 cup veggie oil (light olive or canola)
2c Water
3tbsp raw local honey
2 tbsp oil (reserved for pan)

Preheat Oven to 350f.  Oil and flour a bread pan.  Sift together dry ingredients Mix in oil and set aside.  Dissolve honey in water in a seperate bowl. Combine ingredients. Bake one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

This bread is a gorgeous accompaniment to soups and stews and is also lovely with (dairy free) butter and local honey for breakfast.

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