August 13, 2011

Spiced Vegetable Soup

The temperature dipped below 90 for about the first time in two months, so naturally my thoughts turned to soup! Honestly, I just wanted to use up some of the vegetables from my CSA.

I found this recipe for Curried Potato and Vegetable Soup on Simply Recipes and figured I had most of the ingredients, so could easily adapt it to work for me.

Unfortunately, I had a couple disappointing moments with the vegetables. When I cut into the fennel (from week 9), it had spoiled, so into the trash it went. Then, all three ears of corn had worms in them! Imagine my surprise when I was shucking them (luckily over the trash can) and a big fat nasty worm is staring at me! I screamed and dropped the corn into the trash. Poor Patton thought I was being attacked. So, no corn for my soup. And one of the potatoes (also from week 9) was a mushy mess. Ultimately, this soup turned out really well, especially with the addition of my Italian secret ingredient! See my recipe below to find out what it is!

One note on turmeric - be careful with it! It turns everything porous yellow: wooden spoons, countertops, skin, you name it!

Spiced Vegetable Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes a ton!


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, diced
2 small green bell peppers, diced (one of the lighter green peppers from this week's bag was all nasty on the inside)
4 carrots (each about 6 inches long), peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (I would be tempted to try a full teaspoon next time)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 small potatoes, peeled and diced (if I had had more potatoes, I definitely would have used more)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 yellow summer squash, diced
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz mascarpone (the secret ingredient!)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (it turns out I received cilantro in week 9's bag; I originally incorrectly identified it as parsley)

1. In a large pot (I used my 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset), melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion, pepper, carrot and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is soft. Add the turmeric, garam masala and mustard seeds. Cook for one minute. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously.

2. Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, water and salt. Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the summer squash, cook for 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Taste a couple of the vegetables to make sure they are all cooked through. Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree half or 3/4 of the soup. Stir in the mascarpone and taste to adjust seasoning. Garnish with the cilantro.

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