Monday, December 10, 2012

Refreshing zucchini and mushroom soup

The holidays are coming, and it's always a challenge to ignore the plethora of cookie recipes coming our way. Everything is about food this time of year. But the problem is, the advertised food is not of the nourishing variety. It's the kind that makes you feel lethargic, that gives you digestive problems, that prevents you in so many ways from being active. It's not the food I yearn to prepare or consume, and certainly not the food I'd like to recommend to others. And for the last time, I don't want to cook my way to "vegan holidays" with a mountain of soy! Generally speaking, soy sucks. To read why you too should stay away from soy, read Kimberly's article. And if you're a Tofu fan, make sure you're sitting down.

This being said, I still enjoy making vegetable soups even now when the weather is getting colder and the said vegetables are not so readily available. Soon we'll have to get creative with roots and mushrooms, the stuff of winter. But for now, as a last adieu to gloriously green zucchini, here is a delicious and versatile blended soup. You can tweak the quantities for any ingredient and the taste will be slightly different, but the duet of zucchini and mushroom is golden every time. You don't need a Vitamix to make this. Any kind of blender will do, and personally I prefer this a little chunky so I don't blend it completely smooth. This will take your mind off cookies and other evils for a little while, I promise.

Zucchini and mushroom soup
~ serves 4

4 zucchini, cut lengthwise and sliced in 1/2 inch half-moons
1 package (12 oz) crimini mushrooms
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
water or vegetable broth
fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the zucchini, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. 

Add water or broth just to cover the vegetables, and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Add cauliflower and simmer until the florets soften, about 10 minutes. 

Turn off the heat and blend the soup until you get the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro when you serve.

Recipe adapted from Clean by Alejandro Junger.

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