Friday, January 9, 2015

I-Could-Be-A-Vegan Winter Soup - It's Cold Outside!

Did you ever wonder how little chickadees, no larger than my ring finger, (link) stay warm in single-digit temps with wind chill factors well below zero? They, along with the dozen or so other species at our feeders, are nothing short of intriguing in the wintertime. Summer birdsongs virtually disappear, as our feathered friends conserve energy to simply stay alive. The most important issue is food source. They need us to keep those feeders full of nutritious, vegan-gourmet seeds. A small price to pay for the amazing rewards we reap from Mother Nature's Wildlife Show.

Food. What's it gonna be - live to eat or eat to live? Kinda works both ways for humans, wouldn't you agree? Bringing me to my recipe for the day:

In a refrigerator clean-out and an attempt to make it seem warmer regardless of tundra temps, I decided on a hearty veggie soup. Out came onions, potatoes, carrots, hearts of celery and fresh garlic to be sautéed in my best EVVO. Roasted kale from the freezer looked enticing; in it went.
 Next up was a large can of Trader's Organic Whole Tomatoes and a box of their low-sodium chicken broth. Back to the freezer for two mason jars of my own chicken broth, to be added. Okay, okay, so it's not 100% vegan. A dash of balsamic, a lot of freshly ground pepper and some other Italian herbs and spices that my hand landed on. And last but clearly not least, the end piece with rind of Locatelli Romano cheese, tossed in whole. The aromas from that baby and the flavor it imparts will send you to the moon. The cheesy tip came straight from Rachel Ray. In spite of having quit the stuff on top of our pasta, we do keep it on hand for Miss Aubrey; she can't eat one without the other. I digress…

Bring it all to a simmer, cover and let it cook for a couple hours, or till vegetables are tender:
To serve it up, remove cheese rind. With immersion blender, purée veggies - OR remove to blender for a whir and then return to pot. Add a dollop of greek yogurt, if it suits your taste. And don't forget - as with all my recipes, anything goes!
Buon Appetito.