With the recent transformation of my daughter from carnivore to vegetarian, my cooking challenges have suddenly become a whole lot more interesting. My skirt steak loving and lovely daughter Sofia is now a vegetarian and there’s no stopping her. She took one look at “the cutest pig in the world” on our vacation to Portugal this summer and she instantly refused to eat her once favorite pork kebobs with ginger sauce. I guess I shouldn’t have let the kids wander to the back of the restaurant to look at the farm raised animals! This news, combined with the fact that my other two children have completely different eating preferences, makes cooking quite remarkable. Short order cook doesn’t even do the scope of my work justice. It’s crazy around here!
But here’s the good news. I have cooking with friends, especially cooking and freezing with friends to save the day. And it certainly does! So, while I might make a vegetarian meal such as chili one night, I can reach in the freezer for some meatballs for my eldest teen and a burrito for the little guy — both which were made in advance with a friend. Everyone is happy, including me, since I am mostly herbivore anyway and will happily eat all veggies. So as of late, my cooking dates have been busy with this challenge in mind, as we cook a wide variety of meals which can be served on demand to the varied eaters in my house.
And you won’t believe this! My vegetarian daughter is so strict with her diet that she wouldn’t even eat the vegetable soup I made with Jackie (just for her no less!) because I mistakenly put some chicken flavored “better than bouillon” in the soup. So this soups for you Sofia and since it’s quite delicious, I thought I’d share the recipe with you, my loyal readers.
All Vegetable Soup for Sofia
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 pieces of celery, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
2 good sized zucchinis, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 cups white cabbage, chopped roughly
2 medium sized potatoes (Yukon’s are good), peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable stock (I like Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes)
3 cups water
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1 cup white beans, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh herbs (if desired)
In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion. Sauté and keep adding the vegetables in order of the ingredient list withholding the spinach leaves and white beans which will be added at the end. Cover the vegetables with stock and water. Bring to a boil and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove four ladles of soup from the pot and puree what’s left either with an immersion or upright blender. Put the reserved soup back in the pot and bring to another boil. Add the spinach leaves and white beans and turn soup to a low simmer. Serve when ready to eat.