In short order, I moved to the kitchen to begin the peeling and chopping for a somehow completely familiar and yet altogether new soup that is a Gypsy Pot. It's earthy peasant food and something sublimely sophisticated both at once.
The inspiration comes from The Traveler's Lunchbox, whose own inspiration comes from Anya von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table.
NUTRITION NOTES ...
NEXT TIME ... This isn't a soup to start when you're in a rush, instead one to savor the experience of cutting and chopping and cooking. It takes 20 minutes alone to peel a &^%&^^%$$ butternut squash. (I've seen the chunks at Trader Joe's but think they look nasty!) While the soup first simmered, I should have kept right on with the garlic/almond and onion/tomato mixtures which took longer than expected.
FROM THE ARCHIVES ... See the Recipe Box for other soup ideas.
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See The Traveler's Lunchbox version
Hands-on time: About 45 minutes
Time to table: About 90 minutes
Makes a lot -- my estimate is 20 cups
HEAT THE BROTH IN THE MICROWAVE
8 cups chicken stock
IN A LARGE POT (I had to use the stockpot, the Dutch oven wasn't big enough) BRING TO A BOIL, SIMMER 20 MINUTES TIL CARROTS, SQUASH ARE COOKED
2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup white miso (my addition)
2 carrots (about 1/4 pound) peeled and cut in chunks
1 butternut squash, peeled, cut into bite-size chunks
2 pears, peeled, cored, cut into bite-size chunks (recipe suggests slightly underripe, this helps them keep their form)
1/2 pound green beans, ends snipped, cut in one-inch lengths (the inspiring recipe suggests adding these here, I think they're better left til later to keep their bright green color)
Salt & pepper to taste
The hot chicken stock
IN A SKILLET, COOK THE GARLIC & ONION MIXTURES
3 tablespoons olive oil (yup, I used every drop ...)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup almonds
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika (the inspiring recipe says not to use pimenton, I think it would be good ...)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (the inspiring recipe says 2 diced tomatoes)
Saute the olive oil, garlic and almonds until golden. Leaving the oil in the pan, transfer the garlic and almonds to a mini food processor and process until smooth. Add to soup. Add the onion to the hot oil, stir in the paprika and saute until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook til soft. Add to soup.
1 package (I think 8 ounces) tofu "noodles" called shirataki (my addition, a good one, I'd recommend cutting them into pieces though, they're about a mile long! there's more info on shirataki here at Kalyn's Kitchen)
1 pinch saffron, crumbled and steeped in some hot broth for 15 minutes (as it turned out, I was out of saffron so didn't use this)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Fresh mint, chopped (don't skip this)
Add the shirataki, saffron and red wine vinegar. When noodles are hot, season to taste again. Serve in bowls with fresh mint stirred in. Enjoy!
Per Serving: 134 Cal (22% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 64% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 23 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; NetCarb 18; 54 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 519 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points (and tastes lots richer ...)
When you see this ◄ in the title and the Recipe Box, you know the recipe's a personal favorite. Tastes vary, of course, but the mark is one indication of another vegetable recipe that's worth paying attention to.