|We started our Contiki tour at the Poas Volcano! |
It was a bit windy up there!
|One of my favorite places in Costa Rica was the COFFEE TOUR!|
(I also loved the Chocolate Tour....shocking, I know!)
|Here is my little buddy all ready for school asking,|
"Why do you take so many pictures, Embalee?"
The basic recipe for this soup came from another The Chew's Michael Symon....
THEN I TOOK THREE MONTHS OFF WRITING THIS TO HAVE A BLAST WITH LISA AND GET READY FOR MY NEW JOB....
September 6, 2015....
For real. I am back to it.
So this recipe is based on Michael Symon's Spring Vegetable Soup, but I switched up the veggies to make it simpler and based on what I could actually find at our beloved Trader Joe's!
You begin by creating a roux. This means you mix a fat and flour. I used whole wheat flour because that is what we had and it is delicious (and would not mess up this recipe!). We only buy salted butter because we love it with our popcorn, so I also used that instead of unsalted butter for my fat. To create the roux you begin by melting the butter in a large pot (I used a non-stick soup pot because it is slightly smaller than our pasta pot and we did not need that whole big pot!), then whisk in the flour until it looks like wet sand.
|The wet-sand texture of the roux. I used whole wheat flour, so it is darker than yours might look.|
After cooking this for a minute or two, you begin adding the stock. You do this slowly to ensure proper mixing of the roux and liquid. I add about three cups of stock while whisking, then when it has fully assimilated, I add another three cups while whisking, then finally the last two cups are incorporated into the mixture. Bring the soup up to a boil and add salt and a tablespoon of ground nutmeg (or grate it straight in if you have fresh nutmeg!). After it has boiled, turn the heat down to low and continue to cook while stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes.
|After the first third of stock is added you need to whisk it in to ensure the roux is incorporated into your soup base. (Otherwise you may end up eating lumps of flour instead of a smooth, velvety soup, which sounds kind of gross!)|
|My mixture of onions, asparagus, and English peas cooking in olive oil. |
To the back left you can see the onions cooking away for Jeffy's take on Daphne Oz's DELICIOUS Cauliflower Grilled Cheese!
Finally, I added shredded cabbage along with some more olive oil (another tablespoon or so) and some salt. Allow this to cook together until the cabbage is tender and delicious.
|Veggie mixture with cabbage cooking away!|
To assemble the soup, place a ladle-full or two of the liquid mixture (that has continued to simmer for about 30 minutes) into a bowl. Top it with the vegetables and some more fresh ground pepper. These two parts remain separate for the entire cooking process and even for storing so that they retain their own separate tastes even upon serving. The mix of the velvety-smooth liquid and the crunch of those fork-tender vegetables is amazing!
|Add some of the vegetable mixture on top of a ladle or two of the velvety-smooth soup and top with fresh ground pepper.|
Finally, serve an amazing bowl of this soup alone or along side a tasty sandwich like these that Jeffy made!
|Jeffy has mastered the art of creating a perfect panini using our Jorgé (George Foreman grill).|
Fresh Vegetable Soup
- 4 ounces of butter (we use salted because that is what we always buy, but either salted or unsalted works)
- 4 ounces of flour (we use whole wheat flour, but white works well, too)
- 8 cups of chicken stock (here we use low sodium because we add salt ourselves in various ways)
- 1 tablespoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- Your choice of vegetables, but I recommend the following
- 1 onion, chopped coarsely
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into one-inch pieces
- 12-16 (or more!) ounces peas (we use fresh English peas, but chopped sugar snap peas and frozen peas work well, too)
- 1 to 3 pounds shredded cabbage (we love it, so we add a lot!)
- olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Create a roux in a large soup pot by melting the butter and then whisking in the flour. Once the flour has fully assimilated and it becomes a wet-sand texture, add one-third of the stock and whisk together. When the flour is fully combined with the liquid, add another third of the chicken stock and whisk together. Add the final third of the stock and bring to a boil while adding the nutmeg and a pinch or more of salt. When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes while stirring occasionally.
2. While the soup cooks down, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. To this you will add your vegetables.* Add the onion and cook until it begins to become tender. To that add the asparagus and peas and cook for a few minutes until the asparagus begins to change color to a more vibrant green. Then add the shredded cabbage, another tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Cook this for several minutes until it becomes fork tender and delicious.
3. Serve by ladling some of the soup liquid into a bowl, then top with the vegetable mixture and fresh ground pepper. It goes great alongside a panini (we recommend these cauliflower grilled cheese sandwiches we make using our Jorgé/George Foreman Grill).
*Again, the vegetable choice is yours and depends on what you have available seasonally. I used what was available and what we know we like! I made this soup for my niece and they loved the veggies so much that they ate them separately from the soup, too! The vegetables are super simple, healthy, and delicious - just make sure to add salt and pepper!