More than Mushrooms: Eating Vegetarian - A Community Blog

After years of dealing with well-meaning relatives and restaurants with no veggie-friendly options but salad and gigantic Portobello mushrooms, Rebecca is excited to share her hard-won recipes, nutrition tips and restaurant dining advice with both fellow herbivorous and omnivorous Central PAers alike.

Eating vegetarian with Chinese cabbage

Written by Becky Cecala, Community blogger | May 24, 2013 11:09 AM

Well, our CSA pick-ups have begun for the season!  Our first pick-up this week is a gorgeous assortment of greens.  So many greens, in fact, that we're going to have to be creative in order to use them all up in time.

So, I'm turning to one of my favorite types of food as a solution: soups.  Although the 80-degree weather earlier this week was certainly not the kind to inspire dinners of hot soup, I do love soups and decided to give our Chinese cabbage a try in a creamy dill potato soup.  My mother's side of the family uses a lot of dill in soups and salads, and I associate the taste with summer.  This soup is a great way to use up some old potatoes, carrots, or cabbage.

I used one whole head of Chinese cabbage for the soup, so if you want to use less then I'd recommend adding more of some of the other ingredients, such as potatoes or carrots.

How to make it:

First I shredded the entire head of cabbage (breaking the leaves up into smaller chunks first) in my food processor.  You could pick any kind of texture you like - I chose a pretty fine consistency because I wanted a thick soup.  Then I processed three whole carrots that I had also first cut up into chunks.

I put the processed veggies into a 5-quart pan with one vegetable bouillon cube and about 3-4 cups of water on medium heat.  You could use a 3-quart pan instead, but I wanted some extra room for stirring.  While that was heating up I cut up three baking potatoes into 1-inch chunks and added them to the pot.  Lastly, I added 1 cup of edamame for protein.

For spice, I added a handful of chopped fresh dill, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (you could certainly add more if you like more heat), and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.  Turmeric is a spice that's gotten a lot of good press lately for its health benefits, and I like the complex spiciness it adds to soups.  I think a small pinch of it would also add nice flavor to this soup as long as you don't add enough to overpower the dill.

I simmered everything together for about 30 minutes and then added about 1/4 cup of half-and-half and a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch (dissolve in water first and then pour in slowly and stir).  I think the soup would taste quite good without these last two ingredients, but I have a fondness for creamy soups and my husband likes his soup to be thick.

Voila!  One head of cabbage down, three heads of lettuce and one bunch of kale to go.  I have a feeling my next post will again be about kale.

Happy eating!

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