It’s Wednesday and I have a soup recipe for you!

“I got dressed to begin another day.  Over and over, we begin again.”  ~ Banana Yoshimoto
So it is yet another day in paradise.  Well, I hope it’s paradise where you are.  We are in the midst of one heck of a rain storm right now.  It’s crazy… wind & rain.  It doesn’t do good for the hair.
As I was looking for some sort of inspirational quote this morning, I found the one above.  I sort of had to laugh because, you see, I get ready for my day at the gym.  I think you know where I’m going with this one.  Yes, sometimes I forget pieces of my wardrobe at home.  So I think I should modify that quote to say something like, “I got dressed (all but my socks) to begin another day.”  Thankfully this time it was just my socks!
You know, maybe I should have found an old Irish poem to go with my soup recipe for today, as it is an Irish stew.  I made this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day to try to fill the lost flavors of corned beef and cabbage.  I really liked this one from Forks over Knives.

Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew
Makes 6 large servingsIngredients: 

• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 ribs celery, chopped
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ head cabbage, chopped
• 4 carrots, sliced
• 1 to 1-½ pounds potatoes, cut in large dice
• 13 cup pearled barley (optional or substitute with gluten-free grain)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
• ½ teaspoon rosemary, crushed
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 6-8 cups vegetable broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
• 3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)
• 1 14 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Crock Pot: Place the vegetables, seasonings, and barley into a large (at least 5 quart) slow cooker. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.  Add beans, tomatoes, parsley, and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary. Cover and cook for another hour.

Stovetop: Place vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth into a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

It’s pretty good.  Instead of putting all the spices directly in the pot, I had some pickling spices (which is what is used in the corned beef) and I wrapped a couple of tablespoons worth up in cheese cloth and tossed it in.  We’re eating the leftovers this week.  It’s very filling with the beans and potatoes.
On Monday I said I’d tell you what fun thing I did this weekend.  Now, this might not be too exciting for most people.  I joined a co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  So bright and early Saturday morning I arrive at a local elementary school with my bag in hand and pick up two laundry baskets full of fruits and veggies.  Next week I’ll take two bags!  For a little extra dough, you can get an organic basket.  There’s also the opportunity to add on different selections like a Thai basket or a juicing basket.  All of the produce we received was in great shape and good quality. I would compare it to that which you would buy at a higher-end market.  At this point, it is not local produce like a CSA would be, but it is purchased through the co-op, pooling the members’ money, from smaller farmers.  The bananas were still very green to the point I had to buy more at the store so we’d have some to enjoy for a few days before the BB ones ripened.
I want to remind you to post a comment over here for a chance to win a free download of the Vegan Delish recipe apps.  The giveaway will end Thursday night and I will announce the winner on Friday.  Good luck!
Vegan Delish sized for blog use
Well, it’s a short post today.  Friday I will also do a review of my new toy… a fitbit.  It’s a fun little device that helps me keep track of how much I’m moving.  So far so good with the daily goal of 10,000 steps.  I’ll let you know how it goes for a few days.

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