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Rustic Fall Garden Vegetable Soup with Pistou (fancy way of saying basil pesto)

Posted By Aria Alpert On September 7, 2012 @ 12:50 am In Full Recipe List,Recipes / Soups & Salads,Recipes / Vegan | 2 Comments

Photographer: V Blak

I woke up this crisp September Sunday morning with the feeling of Fall. A slight chill in the air. Mist along the west coast. Mmmmm. I LOVE these morning’s. Especially here in Cali, where the weather of the season’s seem to always blend together. Finally, a change! YAY! Gonna embrace this new day in all it’s glory. Enjoy it while it lasts. Stay cozy for as long as I can. And that means, makin’ one of my most beloved dishes…SOUP! Woooooooo hooooooo. Yes, I am really THAT excited to make some yummy homemade soup! And, yes, I am the type of gal that fantasizes about makin’ it in the last long hot days of summer…just sayin’…

Soooooooo stay in your warm comfy PJ’s, put on some holiday music (I know it’s very early in the season for some holiday cheer but, I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve been know to rock out in the kitchen to those fab festive jams while makin’ me soup as soon as it gets chilly outside…:) ). And be sure to call some friends and invite them over for a delish homemade Sunday Soup Supper! Just ask them to bring a baguette and a bottle of wine and you got a wonderful din din…

Oh and I’m also gonna make a stock. It adds more flavor to your soup and is very easy to do. You can always tailor your homemade stock to enhance the soup you are making. For example, if you’re making a sweet vegetable soup, add sweet potato or squash for extra sweetness to your stock. You can also use your vegetable trimmings, such as leek tops, mushroom caps, squash skins and fennel tops. But avoid spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens, brussel sprouts, beets, onionskins and wilted vegetables. They will make your stock bitter.

For the Vegetable Soup

2 TB olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, scrubbed, halved and cut into half moons

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into half moons

6 fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed / thinly sliced

2 large celery stalks, sliced

1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tsp sea salt

Homemade veggie stock (recipe below)

1 ear corn, kernels only

1 box cherry tomatoes, halved

1 /2 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cups cooked quinoa or cooked pasta, 1/3 cup on top of soup when serving in individual bowls.

For the Pistou (basil pesto)

2 cups green basil

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp sea salt

2 TB pine nuts

2 TB fresh lemon juice

4 TB olive oil

To Make the Vegetable Stock Get a large pot and diced a large onion, throw in about 6 cloves of unpeeled garlic, a few stalks of chopped celery, a couple of carrots, parsnip if you got it, corn cob, a chopped seeded chili pepper, a couple of slices of fresh ginger, bag dried shitake mushrooms or a few fresh ones, a piece of kombu seaweed, handful of fresh parsley, a bay leaf, 1 TB mirin (Japanese rice wine) and a tsp of sea salt. Top it all off with some filtered water to cover, bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour. Strain and, boom, you got homemade veggie stock. It will last about 5 days in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.

Instructions For Soup:
1. In large pot heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, carrot, parsnip, celery, shitake mushrooms, chili pepper and 1 tsp sea salt.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turns golden, about 8 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and sauté about 5 minutes then add veggie stock to cover vegetable about an inch.
4. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer for about 25 minutes or until carrots and parsnips are soft.
5. Add corn kernels and cooked pasta or grain for a few minutes then add fresh chopped parsley and cilantro.
6. Taste, and then add more Tamari or seas salt if needed.

Instructions For Pistou:
1. Put everything in food processor and chopped until combine.

To serve
Ladle soup into bowl with fresh sliced basil leaves and large TB of pesto (bring pesto to the table so you can add more if desired). Oh and if you can eat dairy serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or you can always do a vegan option. Toast the  baguette and serve with the soup. Yum Yum!

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