Tuesday, November 26, 2013

4 Ingredients to Put in Your Homemade Vegetable Soup

In the winter, I cook a lot of soup. I've literally eaten a gallon of my last batch over the last three days. The great thing about soup is that you can throw in practically anything and it tastes good. Here are some ingredients I frequently use in vegetable soups:

1. Worcestershire. This is sometimes used in soups involving beef but I haven't heard of people using it in vegetable soups. Do it. You don't need vegetable stock or chicken broth. If I have chicken bones, as I did for this recent soup, I'll boil them with the Worcestershire, but if I don't have them, the Worcestershire is fine.

2. Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Put a little flavor in your soup. I used about a half cup of it in my giant soup pot, which contributes to the nice kick (though not too spicy) in the soup. Frank's is one of the staples in much of what I cook.

3. Jalepeno peppers. Yes, jalepenos, not green peppers. They'll lose some of their heat during cooking while adding to the flavor of the soup. You wouldn't think about throwing jalepenos in with broccoli, green beans, cabbage, onions, carrots, and garlic as I have, would you? Well, start thinking about it.

4. Ground coriander. Sure, you may have heard of lentil and coriander soup or lemon and coriander, but to add to veggie soups? It provides a sweet compliment to the heat-adding ingredients listed above. Sometimes I'll add it with ginger or cumin (or both.) I've just recently discovered the pleasure that is coriander and how it can change an entire dish.

Here are the ingredients of my latest batch of vegetable soup:

1 large head of broccoli
2 cups chopped green beans
Half a cabbage
Half a large white onion, chopped
Whole garlic, chopped
1 carrot (I would have added more, but I only had one carrot)
2 jalepenos
1 cup white rice
1 cup red lentils
17 Black peppercorns, whole
Half cup of Frank's
Curry powder
Kashmiri chili powder
Half cup fresh basil

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