Tahoe recipe: Vegetable soup – good for the soul, good with the snow
Man oh man! Just when you are breaking out the salad fixings and fruit (watermelon is very good right now) we get our snow. Now, I am still skeptical, given the “storm of the century” bust, so the Crock Pot remains off limits – but soup’s on!
I understand we all have our vegetable soup recipes, but this guy remains the best because of the addition of Kabocha. It is Japanese squash, but really more like a pumpkin.
The first mistake I made was just putting it in my soup without roasting it, so it just dissolved. The second mistake was I served it. Now I’ve got it down. And you will too. Super easy, and the best addition to your vegetable soup. No potatoes allowed.
3 cups V-8 juice
2 cups chicken broth (I prefer Better Than Bouillon®)
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
1 half of a cabbage (They sell them in halves. If not available, ask your grocer to half it, or you will be stuck with a bunch of cabbage.)
3 stalks bok choy cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces
2 cups mini carrots
1 large can (28 ounce) of whole, peeled tomatoes
3 stalks celery, chopped into one-inch pieces
1 Kabocha squash
sprinkling of garlic powder
2 tbls. olive oil
pepper to taste
The first thing you are going to do is roast the Kambucha. This is the ingredient that makes this soup so amazing. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. While it is pre-heating, cut the Kambucha in half and remove the seeds, do not remove the skin. Take each half and slice them into thirds. Take those thirds and cut them again into thirds, so you now have big chunks of squash – really, it is more like pumpkin. Remove to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and garlic powder.
Now comes the baking, and this sounds weird, but it is true. Get out your cookie sheet and then, before you line it with foil, crinkle the foil. This just makes for a great heat reflection from all angles. I should have thought of this when I used my tanning bed. If I had, I bet my thighs would look really thin. Or, they may look like a Kabocha squash. (Don’t do it.) Cook the pumpkin/squash for 15 minutes, remove and set aside.
The rest is easy. Get out a very large pot, put in your V-8 and chicken broth. Let it warm up, over medium heat, then put in all your vegetables, but not the pumpkin. Lower your heat, to a medium low. Let your soup simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Add Kabocha chunks and cook for an additional ten minutes. Serve with a loaf of fresh bread.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at firstname.lastname@example.org.