Clean-Out-the-Fridge Soup

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

Hello again.  I have been working on eating more vegetables.  I bet you think I eat great all the time, but I work on it just like you do.  Cooking for one is always a challenge, and getting motivated to eat something other than avocado on toast is hard!  (just sprinkle with some salt and red pepper flakes…yum!) 

After work the other day I decided to make soup.  In Macrobiotics it is suggested that you eat soup once or twice a day.  It is a great way to eat vegetables, and get hydrated.  Adding some whole grain and legumes makes it a complete meal.  You can certainly have a salad or bread on the side but just soup was enough for me.  I made this soup out of a variety of random vegetables I had in the fridge and freezer. It is really more a technique than it is a recipe.  

I'll just tell you what I did and then you can do the same, using whatever vegetables you have. Don't be discouraged by the long list.  It is really simple and you can add as few or as many vegetables as you like. 

I started by sauting some chopped onion in olive oil.  I only had a 1/2 onion so that is how much I used.  I added two diced celery stalks, and three small diced carrots.  I had some daikon radish so I diced that and added it in, about 1/2 cup. I added one diced zucchini, and one diced yellow squash.  I stirred it all around and then added one box of vegetable stock and a little water, probably 40 ounces total.  While it got hot,  I drained and rinsed a can of garbanzo beans.  I added those along with some frozen corn and green peas, about 1/2 bag each, and about 1/3 cup of rice.  For seasoning I put in a bay leaf, some salt and pepper, a big sprinkle of thyme and oregano. (This is kind of like stone soup isn't it? A little of this, a little of that… )I brought it all to a boil, covered it, turned it down to a simmer, and cooked it until it all come together into soup, about 40 minutes.  Seems like a long time, but on very low heat all the vegetables get nice and tender and the flavors meld together.  Delicious!  I especially liked that I cut everything about the same size and I liked that kind of texture. 

Daikon radish

Daikon radish

You might be wondering what daikon radish is.  I must admit I had never eaten it until I came to cooking school.  It is a root vegetable that is primarily used in Asian cuisine.  It has a mild flavor compared to many radishes but it still has a kind of radish flavor.  When it is raw it is pretty pungent but cooked it loses the harshness and is kind of sweet.  It has many health benefits and in Macrobiotics is used to help cleanse the liver, as a digestive aid, to get rid of mucous and congestion, especially in the lungs and colon, and to get rid of excess fat in the body. You can read about the health benefits here.  You can it it cut up raw in salad, grate it into miso soup, or steam with other vegetables.  Or do what I did and just add it to soup, diced up like the other root vegetables.  I really like it cooked and am working on liking it raw!  I am told it is easy to grow.  It would be worth putting a few in your garden.  I actually never noticed it in the produce section but I saw it at HEB the other day.  I bet it is there if you look for it! 

This time of year makes me miss my little yard I had in Houston. I loved getting out in the dirt, pulling weeds, putting in new plants.  I miss the little bunny that watched over the backyard.  Hopefully this time next year I will be planning a garden somewhere in NC!  Fingers crossed!