This soup is very tasty, with quite a unique twist of orange that you feel on the palate, but it is in no way overpowering or obvious so you don't need to tell your family or friends what's really in there. It's easy to adapt if you'd like to add some ginger (I find it goes well in carrot soups), mint or even garam masala, which I discovered thanks to my co-blogger and friend Caitlin! You can skip the OJ and put more stock if you'd like. Feel free to experiment.
Quick Ramen with Tofu, Kale, and Brussel Sprouts by Caitlin
Caramelized Red Onion Soup-with Port, Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs by Caitlin
This soup recipe has had a sticky attached to it for almost a year in my much used Rebar Vegetarian Cookbook. Now after making it, I know this flavourful soup is perfect for a grey winter day. Instead of the bright winter sunshine I expect from my home province, Alberta winter weather has recently been like I imagine Siberia’s to be: low cloudy skies, cold whistling winds and a grey snowy feeling. This soup is vegetarian (even vegan if you omit the melted cheese topping) and takes what I love most about vegetarian cooking- long, slow, flavour-adding cooking times- to produce a deeply satisfying very rich tasting soup.
Squash Garam Masala Soup by Caitlin
I decided to start with this recipe because it shows, in one word, how I often think about cooking. Improvisation is the word to remember when making this soup.
Soup is a perfect recipe to start improvising with your ingredients, because unlike a baking project where precise measurements are important, it is much more forgiving when you just make it with what you have on hand. I would never run out to the store before making this soup because I didn’t have one of the ingredients. The key to good soup making is understanding what substitutions you can make and I’ve given lots of different options, while also letting you know the way I usually make it.
First, you can change the type of aromatics you sauté at the start without any harm to the final taste of the soup. If you only have carrots, then the soup becomes a delicious Squash Carrot Soup. Have some leeks or shallots, but no onions- sounds like a good substitution. No olive oil? Use butter, or whatever neutral oil you have around. Only 2 cups of stock in a corner of your fridge that needs to be used? That’s fine, just add a splash more of your apple cider and make up the remainder with water, as long as you have a total of 5 ½- 6 cups liquid, this soup will taste great.
Second, as you change the amount of spice in the soup, the character of the soup will change as well. One teaspoon of Garam Malsala gives you a soup with a gentle warmness and only a hint of something exotic… a full on 1 tablespoon of Indian spice mix creates an assertive bold soup, telling in your mouth to add a big dollop of yogurt to your bowl and bring some samosas and chutney to the table.
Finally, you can be experimental with the garnishes. A dollop yogurt, white spirals swirled through bright orange soup is nice, but other additions, like cilantro, some nuts or pumpkin seeds or quick croutons (toss some bread in oil and toast in the oven at 350 for around 10 minutes) can be added, all changing the taste of the soup until it’s exactly right for you!