(1) Vegan and
(2) A Meal-In-One With Protein
Vegan Vegetable Soup
Jazz Cooking: Let the Wild Cook inside you loose in the kitchen, unleash your culinary instinct and enjoy this exercise in creative freedom. All that’s required is that you buy the freshest organic ingredients, and combine whatever you feel works well together into an energizing powerhouse.
Important Veggies to include: At least three cruciferous veggies (such as broccoli or baby broccoli, cauliflower and red cabbage), dark leafy veggie (i.e. dino-kale, spinach), colorful nutrients (carrots, red or orange pepper); fiber (celery stalks), and above all, plenty of virus-fighting fresh garlic and red onion.
Optional but good addition to flavor: Fennel bulb, rutabaga, potato, baby bok-choi.
Feel free to choose from this list of vegetables, assemble them in quantities and proportions you prefer—and while it is best to use all the herbs and spices listed separately below, the quantities of each are yours to decide.
Good way to engage both your thinking and your body’s instinctive choices, is to close your eyes, place your palms on stomach and belly, breathe deeply four or five times, relax and wait a minute or two. As soon as you open your eyes and notice a sense of slight craving (or at least of “like”) for certain veggies, add them to the pot.
Herbs and Spices—For Essential Flavors: Plenty of fresh or dry parsley, basil and tarragon; dash of smoked paprika; generous amount of sweet red paprika; powdered ginger; generous amount of powdered turmeric; (a pinch of) cayenne pepper; rosemary; a fair splash of Worcestershire sauce. (These approximations of quantities leave precise measures to you—more herbs and spices give soup a richer punch.)
Big Pot or Two Preferred—since soup keeps well for at least 10-14 days—and this soup in particular acquires richer and stronger flavors with time. Don’t worry if the quantity surpasses your expectations; just freeze some of it in smaller glass bowls (well-covered) so each can be defrosted when needed. Make sure vegetables and broth are equally distributed among the bowls. Soup keeps well in the freezer for at least 3-5 months.
Preparation: Chop veggies to bite-size—onion and garlic smaller—mix and sprinkle the herbs and spices on top and drown it all in spring water, adding about two inches more than needed to cover all the ingredients to make up for evaporation during cooking and leave plenty of broth when soup is served.
Start cooking at high heat, but as soon as it begins to roil, turn heat down, cover the pot(s) and simmer soup until vegetables are as soft or al dente as you prefer.
Winter Energy Soup As A Whole Meal In One—With Turkey Or Chicken Balls
In big bowl, thoroughly hand-mix the ground turkey or ground chicken with a big splash (your judgment) of organic, extra-virgin olive oil; a handful of brown or wild rice; a slice or two of bread soaked and well-wrung; two or more whole eggs and a fair splash of egg-whites (depending on the quantity of the ground fowl); generous amounts of dry parsley, basil, tarragon, onion chips, powdered garlic and the appropriate quantities of turmeric, paprika, rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper, powdered ginger and Worcestershire sauce. Note: rice, bread, eggs and egg-whites provide the ‘mortar’ that keeps the turkey or chicken meatballs whole and prevent them from falling apart during cooking.
Form meatballs; lay them out on a pre-wetted tray to prevent sticking. Start boiling the vegetable soup and as soon at it roils, carefully lower the meatballs into the soup, one by one; gently nudge them into the broth and veggie mix; after about five minutes (when they start to harden), lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the veggies and meatballs are fully cooked—occasionally mixing the contents with a long spoon to make sure nothing sticks or falls apart.
Meatballs can be removed from soup after it cools and stored separately in the refrigerator, to be reheated stovetop with soup and veggies, or with pasta and tomato sauce in microwave.
For a simplified version, replace the meatballs with cubed chicken thighs, to make a perfect chicken and vegetable soup to prevent or treat a cold.