Summer Solstice Warming Vegetable Soup

"Summer Solstice" vegetable soup with garlic cheese bread

I’ve recently found out that onions are generally a bad idea for me.  If I don’t want to end up having certain health issues that I won’t discuss here, I need to generally avoid them like the plague.

To say the least, this has really put a cramp in my cooking-style.

Almost every recipe out there involves onions of some description or another. Sliced, diced, chopped, minced, pureed… somehow, it’s present in everything from soups and stews to burgers and meatloaf. What’s an onion-avoiding girl to do??

With the recent rainstorms and cooler summer weather, I’ve found myself craving a good, hearty, warming soup. Yes, soup in the summer — I’m not crazy, I promise! But again: soup = onions. Right? Well, not exactly. I’ve found  that I have no adverse effects from onion powder. There’s hope yet! Based on this and wanting to get something equally tasty and nutritious into me, I went out to buy some veggies I haven’t had in recent days: cabbage  and sweet potatoes.

Sure, I’ve got potatoes in my pantry but the  sweet potatoes are generally so much better for you and they just have a different taste. So, today, after I had gotten up from a short afternoon nap, I started chopping and slicing and  whipped up this yummy little number. I’ve dubbed it Summer Solstice Warming Vegetable Soup because I created it on the Summer Solstice and the flavours are warming without being “spicy”. Feel free to play with the seasonings to make it more to your taste, but  I have to say that this turned out better than I originally imaged!

This also makes a huuuuuuuuuge pot of soup/stew, so feel free  to cut these measurements in half to make a dutch oven’s worth of soup. This one took my large stewing pot, just as a warning.  (See the end of this posting to see the “leftovers” after hubby and I both had two full bowlfuls!) Also, this was an instant hit with my hubby, though there was no meat in the soup. Woo! Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

List One

  • 3 Tbsp margarine or butter (unsalted is what I used)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 6-8 medium carrots, chopped into “coins”

Seasonings List

  • 3 Tbsp onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp Mrs Dash table blend
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of kosher salt

List Two

  • 1/4 C red wine, beer or Jack Daniels (I used JD)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed (small)
  • 1/3 large green (or red) cabbage, finely shredded – 1/3 reserved
  • 1 box Campbell’s reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 1/2 package sliced mushrooms, torn up into smaller pieces
  • 2 pots Knorr’s Homestyle beef stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp steak or barbecue sauce of your choosing
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 1 small can tomato paste

List Three

  • kernels from 2-3 fresh cobs of corn (raw)
  • 1 C frozen peas

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to  300F.
  2. In a large stewing pot over a medium heat, melt the margarine with the oil. Once the margarine is melted, add the carrots and celery and sautee until they begin to soften (all from List One). Add the flour and the Seasonings List. Stir to mix well and cook for a minute or so.
  3. List Two: Deglaze with the alcohol (or some broth), then add the sweet potatoes and cabbage. Pour in the beef broth at this point and give everything a good stir.
  4. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, beef stock pots, water, Worcestershire, steak sauce, canned tomatoes and tomato paste and stir everything to mix it well.
  5. Bring this to a low boil. Cover with a lid. Set the pot on a baking sheet (in case of spillage). Set into oven.
  6. Bake in the oven for 2 hours.
  7. Remove from the oven and add corn, peas (List Three) and the reserved cabbage (from List Two). Cover and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and serve.

"Summer Solstice" vegetable soup "leftovers"

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