Vegetable soup is an ageless tradition in virtually all tribes on earth. It was most certainly a standard fare in the galleys of the old paddle-wheeled steamboats that plied the rivers around the Puget Sound a century and a half ago. As the cargo from local farms varied throughout the season, so did the soup. Farm Boat Soup is about using what you have to create a melody of seasonal flavors. It’s really not the sort of thing you would find in a cookbook, but rather a philosophy–an expression of the moment. Farm Boat Soup can be thought of as a resourceful assembly of ingredients which embodies the pioneering spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
Here we have such a moment in time culminating with the final harvests of fall. The ingredients in this recipe below can be substituted for the vegetables you have available. My wife usually makes vegetable soup a couple of times a month — with whatever fresh vegetables we have on hand or find at the market. I asked her to make note of her last concoction:
(Makes 6-8 servings)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil,
• 1 head of chard – chopped coarsely
• 1 cup of green cabbage, chopped coarsely
• 1 cup of red cabbage, chopped coarsely
• a few carrots, peeled, and chopped
• 1 large onion chopped (I prefer Walla Walla if in season) any onion will do
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 1-2 garlic cloves chopped fine
• 2 cups green beans chopped (if available)
• baby bok choy
• herbs – Italian Seasoning (optional)
• 2 tablespoons Dr. Bragg Liquid Amino (similar to soy sauce)
• 6 cups vegetable broth
• 1 cup of white wine
• 1 cup of chopped tomatoes (or 1 8 ounce canned chopped tomatoes)
• 1 tablespoon of Organic Miso (white or red)
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
• Freshly ground pepper
In a large soup pot add the olive oil and chopped onions, cook until soft, add the garlic, celery, baby bok choy and stir frequently. Add the cabbage, chard, carrots, green beans and seasoning. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes and stir the vegetables often.
When the vegetables look softened, add the vegetable broth, white wine and tomatoes. Add the Dr. Bragg Liquid Amino and miso. Stir everything together. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, tasting for flavor — If you like add the red pepper flakes and– if you prefer you can add a pinch of salt (I don’t do this — as there is enough flavor from the Dr. Bragg Liquid Amino – but if you prefer a pinch more won’t hurt.
Serve with warm bread and a glass of wine! Viola! The key is to use whatever vegetables you have or find at the market and improvise till you find the right combination! Enjoy!