Introduction: 'The Soup'

‘The soup’ is amazing, nowadays it is the food I cook most often. I like how it tastes, I like how it is nurturing and I like how cooking it is this stupid soup-cooking-activity where my brain can relax and I get a yummy meal from it without worry. Unlike most water-y soups, it is an actual meal.

Since it is a soup with little water, most people would call that a stew, but when I hear ‘stew’ it makes me think of a slow cook dish and ‘the soup’ is far away from that. Timing-wise it is organized in a way that you chop veggies, throw them in a pot, clean the work-space, and have food, no pre-cooking and no waiting, which leads to the relaxed-ness of the undertaking.

Making variations easily leads to enough variety that I cook it maybe tree times a week. I eat paleo, but you can easily adapt it for vegans or people with autoimmune protocol. And of course you can adapt it to your taste. Depending on how much carbohydrates you want to have in your food, you’ll have more or less potatoes (or sweet potatoes).

Step 1: Ingredients

  • frying fat, I use coconut oil
  • onions
  • ground meat, ca 150 grams per person (or miso for vegan version)
  • vegetables, about 1.5 cups per person. I like carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, potatoes, leek, cabbage, beet root, and I go for the veggies of the season. root vegetables are very practical because they don’t overcook (unlike for instance bell pepper)
  • spices, currently I like cumin, caraway and coriander seeds, but it is interesting trying new ones every now and then
  • if you like: hot pepper or garlic
  • salt, pepper

And a large pot with lid, a chef knife and a cutting board.

Step 2: Cooking

  • chop onions
  • heat oil in pot. use enough fat that you will be deep-frying your spices
  • add spiced that can take heat. cumin, caraway and coriander definitely can take heat, but if for instance you want to have basil in your food, that would be one of the last things to add
  • after a few seconds of spices-frying, add the onion
  • sort your veggies. which takes how long to cook? some veggies need to be cooked, like potatoes, with some that is much less critical, like carrots, some cook fast, like leek, and some just taste better when they have cooked thoroughly, like cabbage.
  • when the onions are somewhat fried/deep fried, add the ground meet and let it all fry into a delicious soup-base.
  • while it fries, chop your veggies in sizes that fit on a spoon. start with the ones that need longest to cook. amongst the vegetables I mentioned above I would do this order: cabbage, potatoes, celery, beet root, carrots, sweet potato, leek, though that is hypothetical, I don’t have dishes that have potatoes and sweet potatoes in them. If for instance I would add a bell pepper, I would do that between the sweet potato and the leek. sweet potatoes cook much faster than potatoes and they fall apart when overcooked. you’ll figure it out with your favorite vegetables. usually I have one or two bowls where I store cut veggies.
  • when the meat is fried to your satisfaction, add water about two centimeters high and some salt (you know how much salt you like in your food, right?) in the pot
  • if you are doing a vegan version and use miso, add that with the water and mix it so that the miso spreads well in your soup
  • start throwing your chopped veggies into the pot, starting with what needs most cooking
  • keep chopping all your veggies and throwing them into the pot and make sure that there is always a bit of water in the pot. we are doing steam cooking here, steam requires water .
  • hot pepper or garlic? you decide! I like both but only either hot pepper or garlic. what ever you choose, add it with your veggies. if I use garlic I usually add it by the end because then it tastes more garlic-y
  • if you make your soup with tomato, add herbs de provence with the tomatoes in the end

Step 3: Cleaning

When all your veggies are in the pot, mix it and turn the heat down a bit so it can settle. Clean your work-space, your knife, throw the peels into the bio bin and set the table.

Step 4: Eating

Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!