…gee, I do like to make things hard for myself sometimes.
It’s a long weekend (thank you, Easter! you don’t mean nothing to me, despite my non-religiosity – you mean four days off work!!) and I’ve been meaning to make this soup for two days. I finally got around to cooking the beans and barley… when the evening was almost upon me… but even though today was shopping day, I forgot to buy either canned tomatoes or, better still, a jar of tomato pasta sauce. So I’m having to make my own pasta sauce from scratch i.e. using fresh tomatoes for the five tablespoons of sauce that the soup requires. Queue the rolled eyes.
And since I’m a fuss-pot about tomatoes, I couldn’t help but score, blanch, peel, deseed, core and finely chop the tomatoes first. Really, who’d want tomato seeds in their vegetable soup?! Not this little vegan.
I haven’t made this soup in, uh, over a year, I think. Why, I do not know, for it is delicious. Totally my kind of vegetable soup. I don’t believe in the bits-in-broth variety of soup of any sort. I might as well admit that I’m a fuss-pot about soup, too. For me, it must not be watery, but it must not be so chunky (ugh, I hate that word) that it could be classed as stew. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good stew! But don’t call it soup. If it has so many large, solid things in it that the toast has nothing to pick up / soak up, it ain’t soup. I like my soups smoooooth.
That being said, this soup is the best of both worlds in my book. It has some nice, pretty shredded vegetables and a thick, creamy, tasty base. Do try it. (A nod to Giorgio Locatelli for the inspiration – he even said the V word on his show! to paraphrase, his soup is vegan as long as you leave out the pancetta.)
On the side… the easiest mini tofu quiches ever, made with grated zucchini. Yay. Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches. Wow, am I ever glad I kept my jumbo muffin tray. It’s just perfect for this recipe.