Soup: Official Food of the Vegetarian
When you think of soup, it probably conjures visions of your mom bringing chicken noodle to your bedside when you were sick. There’s no more warm feeling than that. But for vegetarians, soup is one of the most versatile foods and is the heart of most cooking. Creating different soups gives the cook a wide range of flavors while still capturing all the nutrients in the stock. From nearly endless variations of vegetables and herbs, a vegetarian can create many hearty and filling meals and get much of the nutrition needed from soups.
So Easy to Prepare
Everyone, even vegetarians, has a busy lifestyle these days that make it more difficult to prepare extravagant meals. Soup is probably one of the easiest things to make when short on time. Just throw all your ingredients in a crock pot or stew pot and in a few hours you have a meal that tastes like you devoted half the day to making it. Soup is also easy to store for future use. You can refrigerate it for the next day or even freeze it for future meal planning. Soup can easily become a tool for a hectic schedule.
When making soups, you should continuously experiment with new flavor combinations. You and your family can tire of the same tastes so be creative with your soups. Sure, there will be many standards your family will love and continuously ask for, but surprise them at the dinner table with new choices. Who knows; maybe they will discover some new favorites! You can start with a basic stock and maybe the foundation of standards like onion, garlic and vegetables like carrots and celery. Then you can add potatoes, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes and anything else that comes to mind. And since you want your family to feel satisfied, feel free to add fillers like beans, tofu or rice to your soup. At times you may want to change the consistency of your soup to make something more like stew. You can add flour or cornstarch to the broth to thicken it up. Another great idea is to add instant potatoes to your soup. The potato flakes will soak up the liquid and you will add a wonderful potato flavor to your soup. Don’t be afraid to test out unconventional combinations. You may be very surprised yourself.
Know Your Spices
The real secret to great soup is the seasonings. Let’s face it, even the greatest combination of vegetables doesn’t leave much for flavor without the right herbs and spices. Seasoning your soup properly will bring the flavors out of the bowl. Different types of seasonings will change the personality of your soup. Adding some Mexican chili powder and cumin to tomato or bean soup will create vegetarian chili or taco soup. Adding sesame to a cabbage soup will transform it into an Asian delight. So, get comfortable with your spices. The only way to get to know them is to experiment with the different flavors and find out what works best for your family’s palette. Explore the Spices section of some of your favorite cookbooks to get a basic fundamental knowledge of how seasonings will work together.
Soups combine many flavors and foods together in a way that’s appealing to members of your family. Serving soup is a great way to get some stubborn family members to eat foods they may not choose to eat otherwise. There are many websites and blogs that cater to the vegetarian with many resources where you can check out some different ideas. So, for a nutritionally balanced, healthy, tasty and satisfying way to benefit most from your vegetarian lifestyle, creating a span of fabulous soups can add bowlfuls of color and flavor to your dinner table.