Making Athlete Food – Eat Your Veggies Soup


Lately I’ve been inspired to try to not just clean up my diet, but make some big changes in the kinds of food I eat.  Instead of just eating more of the same kinds of salads and such I’d been eating, I’m branching out into foods I haven’t tried much before, which in turn makes me be more adventurous in my cooking.  I’ve never really talked much about my cooking in the past on this blog, but it’s really one of my favorite non-exercise-related hobbies.  In fact, I even used to have a whole separate blog for it, though that featured food that generally wouldn’t be described as “athlete food.”  But now, armed with some skills learned through a BCAE class taught by The Skinny Beet’s Katie Chudy, I’ve started cooking all sorts of things I never thought would enter my saute pan, up to and including heretofore verboten mushrooms!  A big part of this new approach to cooking has been a lack of recipes and a corresponding attempt to just go to the grocery store armed only with what I know about cooking and flavor combinations, which I’d like to think is a reasonable amount of information, and then just shop for ingredients on the fly.  All this means that I often won’t have recipes, per se, to accompany these posts, but I will try to describe the ingredients to the best of my memory and the cooking techniques used.

With that intro out of the way, here’s my Eat Your Veggies Soup!

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Above, you have all the ingredients I used to make this soup after they’d been peeled.  The ingredients are:

Kale
Parsnip
Carrot
Rutabaga
Purple sweet potato
Onion
Apple

I chopped the rutabaga, carrots, parsnip and sweet potato into roughly equal-sized chunks and the onion into wedges, then threw them all into a pot before filling a Dutch oven with water to the point where the veggies were covered.

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Looking to make a soup that really evoked the flavors of fall, I added the following spices to the water:

Ground allspice
Ground cloves
Nutmeg
Cardamom

The next step?  Simmer the pot until the veggies are all cooked through, which, to me, means they break up easily with a fork.  As the cooking continues, be sure to taste the broth every now and then and adjust your seasoning as necessary.  You may also need to add more water as it boils down.

Once the veggies have reached this point, add the kale and apples, chopped up into pieces roughly the same size of the other veggies.  I added these two ingredients right at the end because they cook very quickly.

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Let both the kale and apples soften up, then you’re ready for the last step, which is blending everything together!  I used a stick blender for this step, which makes everything pretty simple and avoids having to transfer things into a blender, then back into another container.  If you don’t have a stick blender, just scoop the concoction into a blender, blend, and remove to a different container.  However you get there, when everything is finally blended together you’ll want to taste the soup, not just for seasoning, but consistency as well.  If it’s too thick, just add some water to thin it out.  This was my final, blended result.

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Too add a touch of creaminess and tang to the soup, I finished it off with some goat cheese before serving it…to myself.

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While the soup took some time to make, most of that time is attributable to the veggies cooking.  I’d say, all told, I probably took about an hour from the time I started unpacking the groceries to the time I sat down with a bowl of soup in front of me.  Really, my only regret about the soup is its brownish color, which I’d attribute to the purple sweet potato.  Still, it tasted pretty darn delicious and made for a lot of leftovers.  If you’re looking for a comforting way to eat your veggies, give this soup a shot!

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