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C4T: mostly-vegetarian soup

February 4, 2010

I’m not very good at cooking for two.

I’ve tried, believe me, I’ve tried – but I always end up with either one and a half serves (leaving someone rather hungry), or enough to feed a family of six. Football players. While they’re in their carb & protein loading stage. Meaning I have enough food left over to feed me (a non-football playing carbo & protein loading person) for a week.

So I’ve decided to learn.

a dinner for two

And, if you’ll indulge me (just a little) maybe you and I could learn together.

Or, maybe I could do what I can to learn and you can sit at your computer and laugh at me while I end up with not-quite-enough food for the VTB & I… and then laugh a little more when I tell you that we supplemented our meal with ice-cream straight from the tub because we were hungry but didn’t want to let on to the other.

But not (and I repeat, NOT) after this meal.

all gone!

“Oh yes, it’s a soup. Big deal.” I hear you mutter at your screen (that’s right, I can seeee you!) “Plus, Shez, are you crazy? It’s the middle of Summer. Why on earth are you making soup?”

And the answers: “Yes, but you knew that already” and “Because I like it. And because it’s tasty. And because it was the only way I could get vegetables into the VTB and gosh-darn if I’m going to let him live on carbs and protein!”

So a soup, and a delicious soup at that. A little thick, a little acidic, and full of delicious slivers of surprising tastiness. A bit of mushroom here. A chewy bit of potato there.

And a perfect quantity for two.

secret thickening agent

(Speaking of things for two, the ever so wonderful Billy from A Table for Two has interviewed me for his tee-shirt project, and oh-gosh-look-at-that! There’s a onebitemore tee-shirt up there for sale too! So, if you ever wanted to know what I ate for breakfast or how I poach and egg, or even how I started blogging, check his site out. And if you like, pick up a onebitemore tee-shirt. That way, if I see you on the street, I’ll know to give you a big ol’ hug. Unless you’re not the hugging type. In which case I’ll just wave at you all friendly-like.)

oh-my-gosh-i-have-a-tee-shirt!

Almost-Vegetarian Soup (for two)

I thought it was a great vegetarian soup, until I realised it had bacon in it. Which is not vegetarian at all. The Bean gives it the following review, despite having not tried it: “Vegetarians are weak, so to make sure they don’t pass out at your birthday party, here’s a sneaky-deaky way to sneak some protein into ’em. They’ll thank you for it later.”

Apologies to any vegetarians out there.

You will need:

1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
2 rashers bacon
100g swiss brown mushrooms
600g tomatoes (I used 3 normal tomatoes + 2 roma tomatoes)
1 potato
250ml water
125ml vegetable stock
1/2 a bunch of basil

How to do it:

basil

0. Watch as the VTB waves a bunch of basil in your face. “I like basil!” he will say “Can we put basil in the soup?” “That is a lot of basil” I will respond “Perhaps not all of it”. Listen to the VTB. The soup will be wonderfully sweet and fragrant from the basil, and you will be glad you listened to his crazed waving and rambling.

chock full of veges – that’s what it is!

1. Cut up your onion, bacon, tomatoes & potato into a small dice. Slice your mushies up if they aren’t pre-sliced. Mince your garlic. Or smoosh it. Whichever tickles your fancy. Do the same with your basil. All of it – don’t skimp now. It has this crazy amazing flavour. True story.

2. Heat your oil in a heavy bottomed pot or saucepan. Throw the onion and garlic in and cook over a low heat until the onion goes translucent. We aren’t looking for colour here, just sweetness.

3. Now throw the bacon in and watch it sizzle. When it looks cooked (though not crisp) we’ll toss the mushrooms in and then the tomatoes. Stir, stir, stir. Cook, cook, cook!

a terrible picture, but look at those veges!

4. When the mushrooms look cooked, toss in the diced potato and the liquids. Also half of the basil. Because you can. (And because the VTB is insisting. He is right, of course, but at this point you may doubt his sanity).

5. Put the lid on and simmer for about 20 minutes. While you’re waiting, toast up some bread. We ate a small baguette with our meal.

immersion blender at work

6. Lift the lid, breathe in the basil! Now take the mix off the heat, throw in the rest of the basil and use an immersion blender to puree most of the mix into soup. You can also use a normal blender, but that involves transferring hot liquids around the place, and I’m scared of burns. You can puree it til smooth, but I like leaving some chunks in the bottom. There’s nothing like getting a slippery sliver of mushroom in a mouthful of soupy goodness. It’s fantastic!

7. Serve it up and eat! Delish!


  • #1
    February 5th, 2010

    I KNEW there was bacon it, call it women’s intuition … or something. Nice work on the tshirt too 🙂

  • #2
    February 5th, 2010

    Haha that’s great that there’s bacon hidden in there, life is so much better with bacon! Your t-shirt is awesome 🙂

  • #3
    February 5th, 2010

    Oh I know the feeling. I always make too much. Love the t-shirt and mmm bacon. I think it should be in everything 🙂

  • #4
    February 5th, 2010

    I’m looking forward to warming with soups!

  • #5
    February 7th, 2010

    I love the one bite more tshirt 🙂 Can’t wait til it’s soup weather again!

  • #6
    February 7th, 2010

    cooking for 2 is almost impossible. most of the time, i end up cooking enough to last for an entire week! love the t-shirt 🙂

  • #7
    February 14th, 2010

    I like the name of the soup. Almost Vegetarian. The bacon is the tasty bit amongst the other ingredients. Love the limited edition shirt Shez.

  • #8
    February 20th, 2010

    The soup looks like it would be pretty good, even without the bacon. Though, to be fair, bacon does makes it better 🙂

    Nice work with getting your own t-shirt deal!

  • #9
    bigbite
    March 6th, 2010

    love the t-shirt, especially the ‘more’ oozing out of the jacket…more like many bites more…LOL!

  • #10
    March 23rd, 2010

    @Howard: Your women’s intuition is a marvellous thing.

    @Steph: My sister was thrilled, despite not having any of the soup, she declared it a bacon-infused win.

    @Helen: Thanks and agreed. Chocolate included. MMmmmyarm.

    @Fiona: It’s so cold in the air-conditioning at work that I’ve started on them already. Brrr…

    @Y: Wheeee! Mee toooo! My BFF thinks it’s scary, but the VTB has taken to wearing it around the place like the wonderfully supportive boy he is.

    @panda: Oh I’m trying. As it is, we end up very (very) full with my current portioning. But I tryyy!

    @Katherine: Thanks 🙂 The other ingredients are tasty too (which is what I’ve been trying to tell the VTB). There would have been dramas if the soup had been meatless. Dramas I tells you.

    @Simon: Bacon makes everything better. If I had some bacon right now…

    @bigbite: You’re funny. I like it when you leave comments 🙂

  • #11
    jan
    June 1st, 2010

    Serving this to your vegetarian friends without telling them it’s not vegetarian is a great way to end the friendship.

  • June 1st, 2010

    Hi Jan,

    To clarify, I wouldn’t serve meat or meat products to any of my vegetarian or vegan friends (for whom I happily make dairy-free, egg-less, gelatin-less and meat-less treats). This was merely my attempt at getting my (non-vegetarian) boyfriend to eat something that had almost no meat in it. Which is a lot harder than one would think it.

Shez