Goddess of Cake

Soup Kitchen
January 15, 2010, 20:46
Filed under: Cooking, soup | Tags: , , , , ,

For a while, I  worked at the Office. The Office is a place where many creative, clever and friendly people make the gears of capitalist society turn smoothly. At the Office, people eat carefully, but enjoying their food as much as anybody. Often they ask: Is it organic? Is it low fat? Is it low carb? They are concerned about their weight and the health aspects of their diet.

I always made a nice big pot of soup every Friday for the people at the Office. The soups were generally well liked, though several men promptly refused to even touch them, since well – the soups were vegetarian. To no avail was the praise the other people lavished on my soups, and also I must admit it: after tasting the food restaurants in Helsinki have to offer I’m quite proud of my soup – making skills.  But the guys had their principles: no vegetarian food shall ever cross their lips. I have my principles too:  I did not give in, and neither did they. Though I told one of them that if he brings me a living chicken, and slaughters it in front of my eyes,  at counter of  the Office kitchen, I shall indeed cook it for him. But he never did, and I continued to make a vegetarian soup every Friday.

I do happen to know many males that are indeed vegetarian, even vegan, so the fierce resistance my soups met with the guys at the Office left me puzzled: what is going on, I asked my girlfriends. We did some really hard thinking, but who could understand, what goes on in a mans’ handsome head? The mystery remains unsolved to this day.

Here are four soups that I made for them. All of these soups are prepared in the same way:

First peel and chop all the veggies, then heat some oil in a cooking pot, then add the chopped onion, and garlic and ginger, if there’s any on the recipe. Then add the rest of the vegetables, turn a couple of times and add water or vegetable stock, enough to cover everything. Cook until done, purée using a hand-held blender, add salt, and other mentioned spices, as well as cream/wine . Soups should always be left to stand  for some minutes before serving, to make the flavours “open”.

Pink Soup – with Beetroot and Orange

This is a nice winter season soup, originally by Saara Törmä. The orange zest lifts the flavour of beetroot to a totally new dimension.

1 onion

5 beetroot

4 carrots

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 l vegetable stock

2 tbsp lemon juice

grated zest of one organic orange

black pepper


soy yogurt for serving

White Soup – with Almond and Cauliflower

This is a late summer – autumn seasonal soup. Almond meal can also be used in curries etc. to thicken and bring a creamy flavour.

300 g cauliflower (one head)

150 g almond meal

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

2 tsp sherry vinegar

1/2 dl oat cream etc.

salt to taste


Orange Soup – with Sweet Potato,  Lime and Chili

Well, this is a no – season soup in Finland, but very nice and warming in the winter. I quite enjoy the very subtle heat cooking the chillies whole brings to the soup, but you might as well chop them if you like a bit more intense spiciness.

1 red onion

oil for frying

2 carrots

2 sweet potatoes

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 can coconut milk

4 red chillies

juice of two limes


fresh coriander for serving

Green Soup – with Green Peas and Mint

Fresh mint and fresh peas – this is certainly a summer seasonal soup, but can easily be made with frozen peas and dried mint as well. Remember to use spearmint, not peppermint! Also, if you don’t like the taste of mint, it can be substituted with estragon.

4 potatoes

150 g green peas

2 cloves garlic

1 onion

a handful of mint

1/2 dl white wine

vegetable stock


1 dl oat cream

home made croutons for serving

Oh.. and there is also a Red Soup – with Bell Pepper and Smoke Flavour. The recipe is here.

12 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I am not a big soup person,but your soups look and sound lovely. I honestly cannot understand those men that refused to enjoy them!

Comment by Yaelian

I definitely am a soup-person (a soup and a salad -person actually) and would be so grateful if someone would enlighten my Fridays with these divine soups. What’s wrong with those guys?

Comment by Okriina

I love love love your photos! And I want soups no 1 and 3. Now. Maybe I’m hungry 🙂 the combinations sound so perfect.

Comment by Hanna

Wow, that ares some super-delicious sounding flavour combinations. Those men in that office are crazy.

Comment by mihl

Thank you for including me on your list of food groups. Soup has always been an important part of many of our meals in our Canadian Finnish family! I haven’t made it to Helsinki so I learn about my mother’s family motherland through you! By the way… Finland sounds old fashioned? Those short sighted guys at the office! I have my macho neighbour friends now eating tofu and vegetarian dishes…. they did joke at first though… oh, they still do!

Comment by Nancy Guppy

Thanks everyone! I think there must have been some other reason for the fact that the men didn’t eat my soups than the taste… somebody suggested it is the fact that they are afraid to symbolically loose their manhood if they eat vegetarian food 😉

Comment by goddessofcake

your photos of your food are amazing! these all look so yummy. don’t you worry about those silly men. it’s funny to me the hang up some have about having to have meat for it to be a meal. hmmm…

Comment by rae

Wow! These soups look incredible!
Your colorful photos are lovely, I really love the first photo of the orange zest and beetroot. We are a vegetarian family, I look forward to trying your creations!

Comment by gardenmama

Rae and gardenmama, thank you! I’ve had a bit of time to experiment with photography recently, and my pictures are definetely getting better.

Comment by Salla@Goddess of Cake

I had exactly the same experience! My last office job had its own lunch club, and we’d all take turns making meal for the whole group. Inevitably, there were a few men who complained about the lack of meat etc. etc. To their credit, they did eat it, but since when was only meat real food? Hmph!

On a completely different note (and in response to a comment you left on my blog), may I ask where you pick your elderflowers? I didn’t know they grew in Finland at all, except for on the southern archipelagos, and I’d love to try to pick some this year. Thanks in advance!

And your soups look gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the recipes. 🙂

Comment by Michele at A House Called Nut

Unfortunately I have same thing, even more unfortunately at my own home. My boyfriend is a carnivore to the bone. I must say that through 4 years I managed to make some progress – now he can’t imagine a meal without veggies and from time to time eats something vegetarian (soups mostly). I’m not vegetarian myself but I find it very important to decrease the general amount of meat we consume (this way we can also save money and spend it on organic meat when we would buy some). I proposed that we should cook vege meals during the weekdays and eat meat only in the weekend (anyway he eats lunch at work that includes meat so I thought it won’t be a problem for him). Well I think you can guess what the answer was… Anyway, now because of work we are forced to live in different towns and see each other only in the weekend, but once we will move back together I hope I’ll manage to put it into life. At least on those days I’m alone I’m eating vegetarian and I’m really happy about it. Let’s see how will it go, keep fingers crossed for me 😉

I believe what was said above its true – it’s all about man’s ego…

BTW I really like your blog, I’ll be visiting you more often. It was really great to read your post about veggie patch community. My grandpa had his own patch and I used to help him when I was small, now it would be so great to come back to gardening and get one’s own produce. Once I’ll move back to Helsinki I’ll search for my own spot 🙂

Comment by No Onion Please

Hmm Yummy..
Thanks alot mate, this is a really nice Green Peas and Mint recipes 🙂 I’m bookmarking this page!!

Comment by Low Calorie Soups

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