02 February 2011

Veg Chowda or The Ugly Soup That Tastes Rad

Yeah, this is some ugly-ass soup. I know this. So keep the vomit/babypoo comments to yourself. Or whatever. Now, what you don't know is that it tastes excellent...especially with my genius addition of the garlic croutons*** I made from some ciabatta I bought at the bakery yesterday. And, aside from the sodium content, it is crazy healthy.

This soup started with a desperate desire to use up about 4 cups of cooked white beans (I had a mix of cannellini and great northern). My Twitter pal @vegdancer offered up this recipe. I thought it sounded good, but, as you know, I tend to add other foodstuffs, particularly spices, and change any recipe I get my paws on. I used that recipe as a very rough guide to get started and then let my brain go wild adding anything that sounded remotely tasty. Then, I thought it looked silly as a regular soup, so I started up the immersion blender (I rarely have occasion to use it as I typically HATE pureed foods), and went to town. I was a bit disappointed when I realized there were no chunks of bean or veg. So, I just added the last 1 cup of beans I had on hand and about another 1/2 cup of frozen corn. No biggie.

HAHA!! If only you'd known me about 18 months ago, you'd laugh your ass off because that one simple thing would have put me into meltdown mode. When I was just learning to cook, I always followed recipes to the letter, sad, I know. Anything that deviated from a printed recipe was cause for immediate alarm. No joke. No more, my friends! I have learned so much and continue to learn more every single time I cook. And, little things like that don't scare the hell out of me like they used to. I'm a big girl now or whatever.

***For the croutons, I just buttered 4 slices of a tasty ciabatta loaf. By buttered, I mean lightly covered with Earth Balance vegan butter. Slice into crouton sized bits. Place on a baking sheet buttered sides up and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt, not powder. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are browned to your liking. Then remove and set aside to cool while the soup is cooking. Don't cover or they will not be crunchy.

This following recipe is mine and it makes far more than I would have liked to end up with. I think it could easily make 4-6 large-ish bowls.

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Idaho potato, peeled and diced quite small
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups veg broth (you could use water, but that seems a bit boring to me)
  • 3 TB Braggs liquid aminos (shut up, I love it)
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/8 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 TB cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen lima beans
  • 3-4 cups cooked white beans (You could use 2 cans of white beans, drained, rinsed)
  • 1-2 TB mellow white miso
  1. In a large soup pot, heat your oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Then add in the carrot and onion. Saute about 6 minutes, stirring 2-3 times until the onion is translucent. 
  2. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook about 2 minutes, until the garlic is super fragrant. There is nothing better than the smell of sauteeing garlic in my house.
  3. Now add in the red pepper flakes, potato, broth and Braggs aminos. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
  4. Once boiling, add in all the spices, not the cornstarch. Put the lid on and turn down to medium heat. Cook at a rolling boil for about 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings, except salt since the miso you add later is very salty.
  5. Remove the lid and let the liquid reduce slightly. Maybe 3-4 minutes? I don't remember. Now, add in the frozen veg and the beans. If you want a soup with texture, reserve about 1 cup of the beans and 1/2 cup of the corn to add at the end. I let this cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Whisk in the cornstarch. Turn the burner down to low and whisk occasionally to keep anything from burning to the bottom of the pot. 
  7. I whipped out my immersion blender and went crazy with it. I pretty much pureed everything in the pot. So, then I added in the reserved beans and corn and let cook about 5 more minutes to heat them through. Carefully whisk in the miso. Now taste your seasoning and add more as necessary, duh!
Serve with the garlic croutons. I swear, you will not regret it. And, if you do, well, get lost. I don't want to hear about it!


    1. Hey I think it just looks green not...poopy. I love the recipe and am glad you are a big girl now and happy that the miso is mellow.

    2. Some of the ugliest dishes are still the best tasting. Thanks for your soup recipe, we have been on a soup kick lately and making lots of soups we have never tried before. How does yours freeze?

    3. I think it looks just like split pea soup, not gross at all!

    4. This sounds delicious! I absolutely believe that taste is more important than looks so it may not be a looker but I'm sure it tastes awesome.

    5. This sounds so delicious, I'll have to try it! Thanks for the recipe.