This orange soup has such a smattering of weird ingredients I wasn't sure if I wanted to post it. I debated back and forth, snapped a few pictures just in case and finally decided to just go with it. I've seen orange fall soups popping up everywhere on the blogosphere lately and decided this might not be way too wired after all. And even if it is, that's exactly what Weird Recipe Wednesday is all about. Since it's Halloween, it seems like as good a time as any for a slightly strange bowl or orange liquid. Annnnd now that I've hesitated and stalled a little longer I suppose we can get to the soup.
I hesitate because I don't really know how to describe this soup. It would be easier to just eat and enjoy it than tell you what's going on. My method isn't one I would necessarily repeat, but more of a "use what you have on hand, adding and tasting as you go until you get what your in the mood for". That works just fine if you're cooking for yourself, but not so much if you're trying to communicate with words on a page.
My last weird addition was apple cider vinegar. I was intrigued by the use of cider vinegar in the recipe linked above and had to try it for myself. But adding it to all these other ingredients? I was almost sure it would ruin the whole batch. Reminding myself it was Weird Recipe Wednesday, I added a teaspoon and then another. And then I had to add more peanut butter to get my sweet, nutty flavor back. I tasted and re-tasted trying to figure out what else, if anything, to add. A little orange juice? Some basil? If only I could take ingredients out and re-taste the original. I was so tired at this point I knew it was a dangerous time to be making decisions in the kitchen. So I called it quits and decided to see how it tasted the next day. With some sleep and a clean palate, I concluded the soup had enough crazy ingredients and needed no further tinkering.
Nutty Orange Harvest Soup
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups firmly packed shredded zucchini*
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided (or more as needed to achieve desired soup consistency)
2 Tbsp uncooked quinoa, toasted until golden brown then ground to a fine flour**
1-2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter, to taste
1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar, to taste
* I had shredded zucchini in the freezer that needed to be put to use. If your zucchini isn't already shredded, just cut 1 medium zucchini into pieces similar in size to the sweet potato and carrots.
** Toast quinoa in oven (or in skillet) as you would nuts or coconut. Use a coffee grinder to finely grind.
* In a large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots, saute 5-7 minutes or until onions are tender. Add sweet potato, apple and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Stir in zucchini, ginger, salt, pepper, paprika and 2 cups vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
* Let cool 10 minutes. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth, adding an additional cup or more of vegetable broth (or water) as needed to achieve desired consistency. Return all pureed soup to pot and stir in ground quinoa, peanut butter and vinegar. Heat and stir until peanut butter is melted and soup is heated through.
*Variation: For a more earthy, vegetable flavor soup omit the quinoa, peanut butter and cider vinegar. Including these ingredients will yield a creamier soup with a slightly nutty, sweet-savory balance.
Food for Thought: "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward." -Amelia Earhart