What makes this veggie soup my favorite? Memories of my favorite cookbook, the fifteenth anniversary (1992) edition of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. It was the first cookbook I bought with my own money. The first cookbook I read like a novel…the story got better with each turn of the page. Using the Moosewood Cookbook helped me learn how to cook new and delicious vegetarian dishes.
Over the years I added at least 100 cookbooks to my collection, but my battered Moosewood Cookbook still had a prominent place on the shelf. You can imagine my disappointment when I somehow lost the book in a move. Since my edition of the cookbook was long out of print, I was out of luck. That is until I found a used copy at Powell’s Books in Portland. You should have seen the smile on my face.
Anyway, I’ve been paging through the book again and came across a vegetable soup recipe I used to make. I always loved the name, Gypsy Soup. What I liked most about it was the combination of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tomato and paprika. (That was pretty exotic when I first started cooking.) So, today I cleaned out the vegetable drawer and made a pot of soup inspired by my trusty Moosewood Cookbook. I improvise when making soup, throwing a bit of this and that in the pot, so it’s not the same recipe as the one in the book. But, it reminds me enough of Gypsy Soup to make it my new favorite veggie soup.
Favorite Veggie Soup
1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
8 ounces white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups water
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
Juice from half of a fresh lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
In large pot (5-quart), heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and carrot; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes.
Add water, sweet potatoes, salt, curry powder, paprika and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes more.
Stir in lemon juice and soy sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
Makes about 11 cups soup
Serving Tip: Top each serving with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro.
Curried Squash, Mushroom and Orange Soup by Mollie Katzen