Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Harvest Soup - Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan

This soup was truly and sincerely inspired by my trip to the Farmer's Market.  I had no idea what I was going to make before I left.  I wanted to just walk around and be inspired by the beautiful, in-season ingredients I was about to encounter.  Boy!  Was I ever inspired!!!!

I first came across the most beautiful beets.  You know what?  I have NEVER bought fresh beets before.  Never!  Mine have always come from a can.  Yup!  I'm telling the truth.  I love beets.  My grandma always made them warmed up with a little butter and salt on them.  I decided it was time to conquer them!

I came across a lot of other ingredients....beautiful carrots, leeks, TONS of butternut squash, huge sweet onions, green beans, wax beans, sweet peppers, pie pumpkins, red potatoes and giant zucchinis!  I brought them all home and decided to go with a vegetarian version of Borscht Soup!  Borscht Soup is a Ukranian soup with the main ingredients being beets, cabbage and potatoes.
My husband came home and asked where the bountiful harvest came from, LOL!!!!!!

What came of this was a sweet and tangy soup chock full of good-for-you things!  This soup will definitely warm you up this Fall/Winter and leave you feeling healthy and happy!

Servings: 6-8

1/2 cup Northern beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup Navy beans, soaked overnight
4-5 beets, peeled, washed and chopped
2 cups butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
3-4 carrots, cleaned, halved and chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. tomato paste
6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar in the raw
1 Tbsp. dill
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
3 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
5 low sodium vegetable stock cubes
10-12 cups water
(If you don't have vegetable stock cubes, use 10-12 cups vegetable stock and no water)

Directions (Use a 7 quart slow cooker for this recipe)
*Make sure you soak your beans overnight before beginning this recipe.
Before we begin, let me help you with a few ingredients you might be intimidated by in this recipe.
First, the butternut squash.  You will need a VERY large knife and a lot of strength,  LOL
Cut it in half.  Scoop the seeds out.
My advice, from here, put on a pair of disposable kitchen gloves.  Butternut squash tends to leave a film on your hands that is weird.  Trust me on this.
 Using a vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash.
Then, chop it up!
On to the beets.....
Cut off the greens, peel them and wash them.

 Cut off both ends.
 then, chop them up!

Oh leeks....these little guys are harmless.
Cut off the greens.
 Then, slice about a half an inch from the root end to the tips.
 Turn it a 1/4 turn clockwise and slice it again the same way.
 Fill a bowl with clean water and swish the ends of your leek around in the water vigorously.
Keep changing the water until you no longer see dirt in it.
 Then, chop it up!

Ok, on to the soup!
In your crock, place the butternut squash and beets.
Add in the leeks and carrots.
Add in the onions and minced garlic.
Now, add in the tomato paste, red wine vinegar, dill, parsley, salt, pepper and vegetable stock cubes.
Lastly, add in your beans and water and stir it up.

Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 5 hours.
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  1. This sounds really good. I just left Joe Randazzo's today with a cart full of goodness. (Including 5 leeks.)