Summer Harvest Soups

Soups are an easy way to use vegetables from the garden. Many soups can be prepared in advance and reheated for a quick light luncheon meal or as the beginning of a festive dinner. Other garden vegetables can be substituted in place of broccoli in the two recipes below.

Simple Cream of Mushroom Soup (6 servings)
1 cup shallots
4 T. butter or ghee or e.v. olive oil
5 T. whole wheat flour
4 cups rich vegetable stock or water
pound white button mushrooms
1 T. vegetable seasoning salt (e.g., Herbemare)
t. umeboshi vinegar
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Parsley sprigs for garnish

  1. Mince the shallots. In a 4-quart soup pot, heat the butter or oil and saut the shallots over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and continue to saut, stirring continuously, until the flour begins to give off a nutty aroma.
  3. Pour 1 cup of the hot stock or water over the flour-shallot mixture, beating rapidly with a whisk to incorporate all the flour. Add the remaining stock while you continue whisking, making sure no lumps of flour remain. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Chop the mushrooms and add to the soup pot, along with the vegetable seasoning salt. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Puree in a blender and return to the soup pot.
  5. Adjust the seasonings to you taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve hot with a parsley sprig for garnish.

Source: Annemarie Colbin, The Natural Gourmet

Easy Tomato Soup (4 servings)

2 T. butter, ghee, or coconut oil

1 large onion

1 carrot, peeled and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups cored, peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes (or canned in their juice)

1 t. fresh thyme or 1 T. fresh minced basil leaves

2-3 cups fresh chicken or vegetable stock

Minced parsley or basil leaves for garnish

  1. In a large, deep saucepan, heat oil and add onion, carrot, salt and pepper, stirring until onion softens.
  2. Add tomatoes and the herb until tomatoes break up, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of stock.
  3. Heat, and serve, topped with fresh herbs.

Variation: Cream of Tomato Soup: Increase the tomatoes to 4 cups and reduce the stock to 1 cup. Add 1 cup cream or half-and-half for the stock. Heat. When the soup is done, puree in a blender and serve, garnished with herbs and croutons if desired.

Source: Mark Bittman

Non-Dairy Cream of Broccoli Soup (10 one-cup servings)
8 cups water or stock
cup rolled oats, uncooked, blended in a blender
t. salt
t. celery seed
3 pound broccoli, florets trimmed and stems skinned and chopped
Garnish: chopped scallions

  1. In a pan, bring water to a boil and add oats, salt and celery seed.
  2. Add prepared diced broccoli stems and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Add finely diced broccoli florets and simmer 2 minutes, but do not boil.
  4. Serve garnished with chopped scallions.

Source: Jackson Blackmon

Broccoli Soup with Essence of Morels (serves 6)
1 head of fresh broccoli, about 2 pounds
1 onion diced, about 1 cup
2 T. e.v. olive oil
1 quart homemade chicken broth or water
4 dried morels, reconstituted in water
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

  1. Cut the large, bottom stalks off the broccoli, saving about 3 inches of the upper stalk and florets. Cut into smaller pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and saut onion for about five minutes, being sure not to brown. Add chicken broth and softened morels. Bring to a boil and add broccoli. Cook broccoli until just done (still bright green), about 2-3 minutes, depending on size of pieces. Do not overcook.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg. Puree completely in two batches, adding half the spinach to each batch and puree until smooth. Return to pan, heat gently and serve.

Source: Tina Miller, Vineyard Style, Fall, 2008.