Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois EhlertEarlier this week while shopping at Fiesta Farms, my kids declared themselves chefs and started gathering vegetables for their version of “Red Pepper Soup.” Nevermind that they have always disliked all bell peppers, which I have long suspected is actually a food intolerance to Solanaceae, or nightshade, family vegetables (peppers, tomato, potato, eggplant). Regardless, they began dumping a variety of vegetables in the cart and teaching me how to make their recipe. I confess I made a few adjustments. I wasn’t convinced that sardines were a good idea, although I reserve the right to be wrong. Maybe they would have made the soup extra delicious. Anyways, I present to you my version of K & E’s recipe. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. Dinner at our house is often both busy and delicious. Instead, I offer you the cover of the book that likely inspired it all: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert)

1 tsp coconut oil, butter, oil, or just water
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cauliflower, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
1 medium onion or 2-3 leeks, chopped
6-10 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
1 BPA-free can of cannellini, or other white, beans
1 tbsp each fresh dill, basil, and marjoram
salt & pepper to taste
sour cream or yogurt (optional as garnish)

In a stock pot or dutch oven, saute vegetables in oil or water (all those listed up to and including garlic) over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables in the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add kale, beans, herbs and spices and cook for another 5 minutes. In a blender, mix until smooth, adding water until desired consistency is reached. Serve, topped with sour cream or yogurt if desired.

You could easily switch up the root vegetables for others you have on hand like parsnips, turnip, celery root, jerusalem artichoke, rutabaga or burdock. Play around and have fun with the recipe. And definitely let me know if you try this soup with sardines.