Spicy Tomato, Carrot, Celery, and Apple Soup
This nutritious soup takes just over an hour to prepare (excluding the chore of washing up!). If you have a blender, it saves a lot of time if you pulp the vegetables first so that they cook quicker.
- 1.5 pounds (0.7kg) Tomatoes, Halved
- 16 ounces (0.45 kg) Celery, Broken into 3 to 4 inch pieces
- Medium sized onion, Cut into 4 pieces
- Several cups Water, Add water as you blend and to the mix in the pot to reach the desired consistency
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Hot chili powder
- 1 teaspoon or 1/2 clove Dried garlic or fresh garlic
- 20 leaves or 4 heaped teaspoons Fresh or dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon Whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 small cup Soup mix (lentils, chick peas, rice, barley etc)., Add water and soak overnight
- 3 or 4 Sweet or cooking apples, Optional
- 6 sprigs Oregano, Optional
- 5 Whole black peppercorns
- 4 medium sized Carrots, Cut into lumps
- Fill a small mug half full with soup mix, and top up almost to the brim with water. Soak overnight, and the next day drain off the water. Rinse by filling the cup again with water and then drain. You can also add rolled oats or dessicated coconut as a thickening for the soup.
- Wash all vegetable ingredients in cold water.
- Remove all blemishes, spots, yellowed leaves etc from the vegetables by peeling, and cut or break into 2 inch lumps. Tomatoes can be halved without removing the seeds, the onion can be cut into a few pieces and the celery stalks broken into sections several inches long. My blender has a 550 watt rating and I throw tomatoes and celery into it whole, however if your blender has a lower power rating, there is no harm chopping the vegetables into smaller pieces to avoid stressing and overloading the motor.
- Add a cup of water to the blender. This makes everything more slushy. If you don't do this, sometimes what happens is that everything gets stuck to the walls of the blender and the blades just spin in air. While blending, there should be a "whirlpool" effect at the surface of the contents of the blender and everything should be spiraling downwards towards the blades. If the mixture seems to be stagnating on top and the blender motor sounds as if it is struggling, simply add more water.
- Drop the tomato chunks one by one into the blender, while its powered on. Repeat for the celery, onion, soup mix, apples and oatmeal. You wont be able to fit all the ingredients into the blender, so blend portions at a time. Blend to the desired consistency, i.e. lumpy or smooth.
- Add the garlic, chili power and herbs to the mix and continue to blend
- Empty the contents of the blender jug into a saucepan. Add water to bring the soup up to the desired volume. (i.e. runny or thick). You can make really thick soup, sort of like a concentrate, and then add water when heating up before eating. Stir thoroughly, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. It's important to stir constantly otherwise the soup will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, spoiling the flavor. Soup will also boil over once it reaches boiling point, so turn down the heat when it starts bubbling.
- Allow to cool, stirring every so often to avoid a skin forming on the surface.
- Stir before serving or storage to distribute any fibrous material from the vegetables through the mix.
Using Up Leftovers and Saving Money
Soup is a great way of using up leftovers. You know that dusty stuff at the end of the cereal or muesli bag which no one likes? This can go into the blender to thicken the soup. You can also use vegetables such as carrots which have become somewhat rubbery and other other odds and ends which are insufficient to make a dinner out of. If you have any wind fall apples, they can be sliced, cored and added to the soup. This produces a nice sweet and savory effect.
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© 2013 Eugene Brennan