Filed under: Cooking, soup | Tags: almond, beetroot, cauliflower, green peas, soup, sweet potato
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.
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 l vegetable stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
grated zest of one organic orange
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 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 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.
150 g green peas
2 cloves garlic
a handful of mint
1/2 dl white wine
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.