A Genuine Vegetarian Delight

Tis’ the season for warm, yummy soups.  (What? A post not about climbing?! Le gasp.) Lately, I cannot seem to get enough of two things: warmth and kale.  I think I’ve become slightly obsessed with kale and other leafy, dark greens.  I will tell you one thing though, they treat the body well.  Most of my ingredients for cooking are determined by three things:

1. What I’m craving.

2. What is in my fridge and needs to be used.

3. What smells good.

For this particular soup, I wanted pumpkin and tomato.  There’s just something about pumpkin that is absolutely enticing to me.  Lately, I’ve been wanting pumpkin in everything I cook.  Not only is it super nutritious, but it feels exotic to use as an ingredient.  While I was looking around at recipes online to get some ideas for my soup, I ran across one titled Coconut Milk Tomato Soup.  At that point, it was settled; my base was going to be tomatoes, pumpkin, and coconut milk.  Please note:  I was super concerned about how it was going to taste.  Let’s face it – combining those three ingredients seems skeptical at best.

Tomatoes, Coconut Milk, Pumpkin

Tomatoes, Coconut Milk, Pumpkin

Cut up the tomatoes and put them in a big pot.  Boil the tomatoes until you can separate the skin from the tomato.  You want to make sure to try to get all of the skins off of the tomatoes because they are not necessarily pleasant to eat.  Mash the tomatoes until they become mostly liquid.  A few imperfections in your base are unavoidable.  After removing all the skins, add the pumpkin and the coconut milk.

Greens, Greens, & More Greens

Greens, Greens, & More Greens

I added chopped up kale, spinach, parsley of the Italian nature, oregano, cilantro, chives, basil, sage, and green onions to the soup.

Before adding the veggies to the soup, I add all of the spices and sample and experiment until I’ve reached perfection.

My slew of spices: fresh grated nutmeg, cinnamon (be careful here.  Cinnamon is a lost art as far as spices go…but too much can ruin your meal.  #1 rule in cooking: you can ALWAYS add, but you can NEVER take away), turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, salt & pepper, ground ginger, thyme, and rosemary

Although, I never make the same meal twice.  I always pick a different variety of veggies and spices based on the colour I want in the meal and whatever smells good to me at the time.

My slew of veggies: 3 varieties of potato, onions, daikon, 2 varieties of pepper, 2 varieties of mushrooms, zuchini, hominy (because I love the texture), and carrots

Really though, you can add any sort of veggies you desire – or no veggies at all!  In other versions I have added lentils or beans or rice to give the soup a different texture.

Additions: chopped walnuts and maybe some pine nuts.  Why not?

The whole picture.  Note: discarded tomato skins.

The whole picture. Note: discarded tomato skins and the all necessary tasting spoon

Ingredients:
4-5 big tomatoes
1 can pumpkin
1 can coconut milk
A slew of veggies
A ever bigger slew of herbs

The bubbling close-up

The bubbling close-up

Feel free to ask me questions or give me input on your thoughts.  What is your favourite home-made soup that you’ve made?

In other news: I’ve started writing about Yosemite. Yay. (And you thought this was a climbing free post, eh?) Goal?  To finish it before the New Year.

© /skin/ /ˈpōətrē/

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