Friday, December 3, 2010

De la Casa Cuisine

Mushroom Cabbage Soup

No one wants to come home on a cold rainy day and toss some greens in a vinaigrette for dinner. No matter how much I want to shed the weight I gained over Thanksgiving, I just can’t have cold food for dinner. So how else can you have a whole mess of vegetables without a lot of fat? Soup! It’s got to be creative because if you start dipping into the security blanket of butter and cream that always turns into something delicious, you can count on struggling to zip up that dress on New Year’s Eve. The key is good quality olive oil and lots of the freshest vegetables you can get your hands on. For inspiration, I turned to one of my favorite LA restaurants, the all vegetarian Follow your Heart best known for their amazing soups! When I was there last week I had a delectable delight of mushrooms, cabbage, tomatoes, and a ton of flavor. Below is my homage / attempt at their masterpiece:


1 small onion

2 celery stalks

1 carrot

1 box of baby bella mushrooms

1 cup of cabbage

1 garlic clove

1 jar of tomatoes (1 can, if you must!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

As with almost all soups, starting with diced onions is clutch. I think the key is to sweat them thoroughly without carmelizing. If they start to brown, throw them out because that sweetness will overpower the whole soup.

Dice ‘em up and toss them in with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Once they have sweat their little hearts out (they should look glassy) you can toss in the 2 celery stalks and 1 carrot you diced up while the onions were sautéing. Add a touch more salt, cover them up, and turn the stove on low. While those are working their magic, Cut up any of your abnormally large baby bellas so they cook evenly, mince your garlic, and slice your cabbage into ½ inch chunks. I’m not the most aesthetically inclined cook, so I just give it a rough chop. For tomatoes, I steer clear of any chemically ripened junk or environmentally negligent hot house grown garbage that you can get in the winter and go straight to my stock of jarred tomatoes I canned over the summer. Toss in that jar with the mushrooms, cabbage, and garlic and let those sauté for a while to mix up all of the flavors for 3 minutes before you pour in the vegetable stock.

Now you need to pour in your best vegetable stock (I like Harris Teeter's organic) sit back, put a lid on it and set your timer for 40 minutes (no one said it was fast food, people).

When that egg timer beeps, serve yourself up a steaming bowl of healthy low fat goodess. Enjoy!

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