RootVegetableSoup

 

Better Homes & Gardens probably isn’t the first place you’d think of looking for vegan recipes.  But I’m writing today to tell you to give them another look.  More and more, I’m finding that I’m pulling recipes from their monthly magazine, many of which don’t need adapting.

And actually, as the web was in it’s infancy back in the late 1990’s, BGH was one of the first to offer a menu planner, and they had a vegetarian planner that I used religiously.  I remember how disappointed I was when they dropped the feature.  I wrote in, and they replied that it wasn’t popular enough for them to continue to maintain it.   But even back then, someone on that magazine’s editorial team must be a veghead …

So I salute BHG , thrilled to find many plant-based recipes as I flipped through the pages of this month’s magazine.  Not only did I find today’s Root Vegetable Soup with Parsley Pesto, but I also found a lengthy segment entitled ‘Waves of Grain’, featuring recipes from Robin Asbell’s cookbook “The New Whole Grain Cookbook”.  Robin also just released a new cookbook “Sweet & Easy Vegan” featuring 60 recipes for treats made with whole grains and natural sweeteners :).

While many of the recipes in the article would need adapting from vegetarian to vegan, this tells me that plant based diets are entering the mainstream!  And I’ll be posting one of Robin’s adapted grain recipes tomorrow as a special bonus Mid-Week Lunchbox post.

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BHG-RootVegBHG’s photo of the soup looks quite a bit different from mine, as theirs called for beef broth.  Down here, it seems that Pacific brand has cornered the market on Veggie Broth.  And to be quite honest, I get a little tired of it.  Aside from the fact that it’s “cloudy”, it has a pretty strong flavor, don’t you agree ?!?  I think it’s the tomatoes.  Maybe it’s time to switch back to Swanson’s every now and again.  Anyhow, I would have preferred a consomme style – clear broth –  if I had it.  So if you have the time, maybe make your own broth for this soup, as it’ll pay off nicely.   Click here for the basic stock recipe I use.

It’s with this recipe on last week’s menu, that I got ready to head out the door last Tuesday to do my grocery shopping.  Earlier Spencer had mentioned that he was getting tired of breakfast.  Imagine that!  Music to this chef’s ears 🙂  This means that my first group of 30 breakfast recipes has likely run it’s course and is ready for publishing here as an eBook.  And it’s time to start another.  Yippie, new ingredients !!!

So with this intention in mind, I set off  for the market …. And came across a whole slew of root veggies, some of which I’ve never seen nor cooked with before.

CaribbeanTubers

 

I was particularly intrigued by the Eddos.  Eddo, also known as Taro root, Dasheen or Kalo, has a nutty like flavor.  I asked the clerk at the store what to do with it, and he said his friend used it in soup, cubed, like a potato.  He promised I’d love it, but he forgot to mention that it is poisonous in it’s raw state!  Glad I didn’t sample it before reading more about it this morning!!  It is recommended to use protective rubber gloves when handling this root, although the toxin is destroyed by cooking or can be removed by steeping taro roots in cold water overnight. Then the eddo can be fried, baked, roasted, boiled, or steamed.

For my soup, I used the Eddo, Turnip, Rutabaga, Yellow Beet, Parsnip and Carrot. The recipe called for 5 cups of root vegetables, but I peeled and chopped all of them.  I mixed up the leftovers in a large baggie, and simply tossed them in the freezer, to be used on another day as a breakfast scramble.

I have not yet cooked the kohlrabi, which can be used much like cabbage, eaten raw, boiled, fried, or made into soup.  A friend sent me over to The Blissful Chef to check out her Kohlrabi Fries with Vegan Cheese Sauce.  Looks yummy, and I might give that a try.

I also have not yet decided what to do with the Plantains.  I ended up with a big bag full, as they had a discount basket on sale for $5.  Unlike bananas, plantains are not particularly sweet, and are generally fried up to make plantain chips or cakes called Tostanos.  I want to try something different, and just this morning, came across a YouTube Video – Cooking with Papi.  Papi is from Puerto Rico, and he shows how to use the ripe plantain to make up a lasagna.  I think I’m going to try that for dinner tonight, and I’ll let you know how that goes next week.

The cassava root appears to be used mainly in breads and puddings, so it remains on my counter, still staring back at me 😉

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Now back to the soup!  What’s so ‘kickass’ about this root veggie soup is the addition of horseradish.  I was out of the jarred type, and it was a real adventure for me to actually pick up and buy the actual root for $6.63.  As I googled how to prepare my own, I’ll admit I got a little nervous!

One comment read:  “We tried to grate horseradish with a traditional hand grater and had about the same success we would expect in grating cardboard. We then cut the peeled root into small chunks and placed them in a mini-processor with a steel blade. The processor produced the desired result quickly with only one minor problem. Horseradish is so strong that it permanently etched the plastic bowl of the processor, leaving it with a slightly cloudy appearance.”   Rubber gloves again were suggested, and something about ice water.

Well I went for it!  I lightly sprayed down the insides of my food processor with cooking spray so it wouldn’t get etched.  Fitted it with the small grating disk, peeled the horseradish, keeping my hand inside a plastic bag while I held it, then simply pushed it through the food processor.  Be careful upon opening up the lid, because the whafting smell of the fresh horseradish could knock you over it was so strong!  But the fresh horseradish was delicious!  I froze what wasn’t used in the soup, probably enough to last me for the rest of the year.  I don’t think I’ll ever buy jarred again!!

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I hope this post has given you some courage to venture out the next time you are looking at root veggies in the supermarket.

And do yourself a favor, and go check out BHG.com the next time you are looking for something to eat, especially lunch salads.  There’s plenty there for us rabbits ….

Kickass Root Vegetable Soup w/ Parsley Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens, the subtle sweetness of lightly caramelized root veggies gets a healthy and pungent kick from horseradish.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Root Vegetable Soup:
  • 3 tablespoons earth balance or olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cups peeled and coarsely chopped root vegetables such as golden beets, Yukon gold potatoes, rutabagas, celery roots, parsnips, turnips and/or carrots
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled & quartered lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 32 oz container vegetable broth
  • 2-3+ teaspoon horseradish
  • --------
  • Parsley Pesto:
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf Italian Parsley, leaves only coursely chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • --------
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, split and toasted
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven melt earth balance over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the chopped root vegetables and garlic, plus the ½ tsp. each salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add broth; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in horseradish. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, spread a small spoonful of the Parsley Pesto on the cut sides of the toasted ciabatta roll halves. Place rolls on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat about 1 minute or until pesto is heated through.
  5. Drizzle any remaining pesto into the soup, along with more horseradish to taste.
 

 

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