Sunday, January 22, 2012

Swamp Soup

This soup tastes a lot better than it looks, I promise. I found it on a website listing it as a detox soup. I don't know how detoxifying it was, but it was very simple to make, tasted good, and is very healthy. You'll only be able to stomach this if you like cilantro. I absolutely love the stuff, and I put it in everything from quinoa to homemade tomato sauce. When my dad announced he didn't like it and thought it tasted like dirt, I was shocked. Not only because I've never heard him say he didn't like anything, but because who doesn't like cilantro? I just recently came across an article listing the 10 most polarizing foods,with cilantro topping the list. Apparently dad isn't the only cilantro hater. So if you're like my dad, steer clear of this recipe. If you are a fan of the leafy weed and are looking for a quick and healthy way to warm up this winter, go for it.

The ingredients are few and basic. Once you scoop the solids out of the pot and into the blender, the leftover broth can be saved, and reused later. Every time I steam veggies, I save the liquid left over underneath the steamer and freeze it in a large, glass container. I add vegetable scraps to it to, like the ends of carrot sticks and the skin from squash. When the container is full I throw in some fresh herbs like basil and thyme and put it back in the freezer. This is all used later as a vegetable stock. It tastes different each time so it adds an unpredictable variety to my cooking. The taste can always be adjusted when it's being thawed to your liking with other herbs and spices. Best of all, this helps me keep a New Year's resolution I made about reducing food waste. 

Swamp Soup
Makes about 3 servings

  • 1 quart veggie stock
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (leaves only)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add the swiss chard stalks and simmer covered for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the swiss chard leaves, zucchini and salt and simmer covered for 4 minutes. 
  4. Add the cilantro, lemon and cayenne, and cook for another minute.
  5. Remove the solid veggies from the pot and into a blender with a slotted spoon.
  6. Blend until everything is thoroughly mixed, and enjoy right away.

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