Gypsy Soup

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

GypsySoup2Fall always sneaks up like a ninja attack, and here in Minnesota, we never know how long it’s going to last. I’m hoping we’ll get to December before our first snowfall, but stranger things have never happened. At least there’s soup. I like to make a big pot on Sunday and eat it throughout the week. Hypothetically. In reality, Sunday’s soup is typically gone by Tuesday.

When we all got back from sailing a few weeks ago, Mary Jo’s mom reheated bowls of leftover soup for us, and I marked down the recipe to make again later. Another diamond from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, it was earthy and warm, spiked with cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne, and packed with silky chunks of vegetables and soft chickpeas. Diane’s copy of Moosewood is sauce-spattered and dog-eared, like it’s been a few places since it was first published in the seventies. So when I came across a lone copy at a used bookstore last week, I couldn’t leave without it.

If the list of spices below makes you want to run for the hills, don’t. Stay. Use what you have, leave out what you do not, and keep tasting and adding until your soup is good to you. Also, Mollie’s advice is to swap any same colored vegetables you have, so for example, if you don’t have green peppers, use peas or green beans. Or swap carrots for squash or sweet potatoes. “Any orange vegetable can be combined with green.” Annie and I used red peppers when we made this last night, throwing all caution to the wind. And as of ten minutes ago tonight, a Monday, the entire batch has disappeared.

GypsySoup Gypsy Soup (adapted from Moosewood Cookbook)

3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash (recipe calls for sweet potatoes or other winter squash)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 12 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes (recipe calls for 1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes)
3/4 cup red peppers
1 25 oz can chickpeas (recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, or water

Spices:

2 teaspoons hot paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of red pepper flakes (recipe calls for cayenne)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon soy sauce (recipe calls for Tamari)

In a large soup pot, saute onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and squash in olive oil for around 5 minutes. Add spices and bay leaf (leave out the soy sauce for now) and stock/water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Simmer for another 10 minutes until vegetables are tender, or as tender as you like them. Scatter chopped fresh parsley over the top.