Sometimes I have one of those nights where I look in the fridge and determine I seriously have NOTHING to cook. Don't we all hit inspiration (or budget) "walls" like this sometimes?
Well, I've discovered desperation (or the lack of motivation to go back out in the rain to get groceries) can make a person pretty creative in the kitchen. Last week I threw this soup together out of bits of this and that, and kept adding things... (Yes, as always, I had more in my kitchen than I thought).
|Don't mock the quaint 1980's-era dishes!|
Because I'm a neurotic-blogger-recipe-creator at heart or because I'm tired of never having a recipe for something I've "thrown together", I DID write down the basic ingredients the first time, and when I recreated it again, I knew it was a keeper.
So here you go - a warm, tasty, vegetable-filled, cozy winter soup! Leave the pasta or beans out if you want, it's still good!
2 Tbs. vegan margarine or olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 ribs slightly limp, forgotten celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1 8 oz. package dried exotic mushrooms that have been in your cupboard forever, soaked in 1 cup boiling water to rehydrate/then drained (or 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh crimini, shiitake or whatever)
2 "handfuls" spaghetti noodles broken in 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups dry?)
1 quart vegetable, mushroom or faux-chicken broth
3 - 4 leaves of kale (I used dinosaur kale), medium-finely chopped (about 2 cups)
One 15-oz. can cannellini beans or white beans or any beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups UNsweetened, plain plant milk
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 a lemon
to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Heat margarine in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and just golden-brown, and mushrooms and celery are cooked - about 10 minutes - do NOT let garlic burn!
Add the broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any stuck-on bits. Simmer for about 15 minutes to bring flavor of mushrooms out in the broth.
Add 2 cups water and pasta. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until pasta is al-dente tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add beans, kale, paprika, rosemary, sage and plant milk, and continue to simmer until kale is tender and beans are warmed through.
Remove from heat, taste and season with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve with a baguette or whole-grain toast!