The Soup Share Affair

Be Inspired Seasonally with Rita Calvert

A group of us who have taken Kundalini yoga together for years, pondered ideas for a get-together. Rather than holding a sugar-laden Cookie Share, our brilliant teacher, Nam-Hari, presented the idea of a Soup Share with each person going home loaded with containers of soup to see them through the winter. There were 6 of us which turns out to be the most manageable number for preparing the soup at home, packaging most of it and then taking a portion to serve at the Tasting party. Before anything else, organization is needed so each person  lists the kind of soup they will make.


Now, the big question – “How do I make that much soup?”  Typical recipes make enough for 6-8 servings, which would typically be for 2 quarts of soup (1 cup per person).  Click here for an online recipe calculator to help you adjust your recipes or just google online recipe calculators.

When throwing a soiree such as this, make sure to plan on the reheating process at the host’s home. We used small to medium size saucepans which were washed in between each soup selection. Also consider the serving vessels to use (we used mugs) and how to wash for each new tasting.

This week I give you the first 3 recipes of the 6 different soups. Check back in for the next 3 recipes and very fun dessert photos next week!

I could go on-and-on but that might just be too much info. If you want to chat more about it…contact me as a comment to this blog post. It is a ton of fun!

AH-Mazing Vegetarian Beet Borscht 

Serves 8-12 servings (makes 19 cups) 

From Nam-Hari: I’ve made this recipe twice and it is SO good – even for meat eaters because you don’t miss the meat.From: Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka

The soup is filled with healthy veggies and is so good for your liver. Beets are known to be a potent anti-cancerous food because of the high flavonoid content as well as being good blood builders due to their high iron content. Beets have also been shown to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, are high in B vitamins, magnesium and rejuvenating folic acid.

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 10 small or 7 to 8 medium beets trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds) with greens (if they look good), peeled, quartered and cut across into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut across into 1/4 inch thich rounds
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut across into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 1 very small or 1/2 large celery root (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds mashing potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick cubes
  • 1/2 small white cabbage (about 3/4 pounds), cored and shredded 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and very finely chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium bunch dill, fronds only, coarsely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt  and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • garnish: coarsely chopped dill and sour cream

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid, and squeeze out the excess liquid. Strain all soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve the liquid and the mushrooms separately.

In a stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.

Add the beets, carrots, parsnip, celery root, 8 cups water and the mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, cabbage, garlic, and if using, beet greens. Dissolve the tomato paste in 1/2 cup of the liquid and stir it back into the soup. Return to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the reconstituted dried mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes, or until all the veggies are tender.

Remove from heat. Stir in the dill, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Garnish ahead of time or pass bowls of chopped dill and sour cream at the table.


Frankie’s Favorite Black Bean Soup with Toppings

Serves 4 to 6

Francine says: I only use organic vegetables if i can’t use the ones I grow. Note:  An immersion blender is used once the soup cooks down so vegetable pieces don’t have to be precise.

  • 3 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 medium yellow onions sliced roughly
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of  organic celery, diced
  • 2 organic carrots cut into one-inch chunks.
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire roasted organic tomatoes
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans BPA free Organic black beans  
  • A little red wine if you like (the alcohol cooks off but wine warms the taste. I prefer the low sulfite wines of Italy or France.)
  • Kosher salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper
  • cayenne, a dash 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaf
  • Dry cilantro 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
  • Toppings to offer when serving:
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped 
  • Limes and lemons wedges
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Grated cheddar cheese 
  • Sour cream
  • Good quality salsa

Heat olive oil to medium heat. Sprinkle cumin into it and heat until the aroma comes up , about one minute. Add onions and sauté about two or three minutes. Add garlic and sauté about two minutes . Add celery and sauté about two minutes. Add carrots, tomatoes, black beans, and stir all together. Add vegetable stock and remaining spices and allow to simmer but not boil for an hour, stirring occasionally.  Do not let it stick.  Add wine if desired.  

Take off the heat and let soup rest for about fifteen minutes and then immerse blender into the pot directly and blend to desired consistency, moving blender around carefully,  add salt,  pepper and cilantro and put back on heat and continue to simmer about 45 minutes. You may add a little water if you think it gets too thick and add some fresh lemon juice and stir it all.  Preferably put in refrigerator when cool to flavor overnight.  

Serve with a splash of lime in each bowl and place lime round slice in center of bowl. Let each person select their options for toppings.  Yummy with corn bread or hearty rough type of bread.


Roasted Broccoli, Garlic and Cheddar Soup 

Serves 6

Roasting transforms the broccoli by caramelizing it and adding a touch of sweetness, and even the garlic mellows after some time in the oven.

  • 3/4 pound broccoli, washed and ends timed, cut into florets
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peels left on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded plus extra for garnish
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Add the broccoli florets and the garlic to a baking pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss and season with the salt and pepper.

Place in the oven to roast. The garlic will finish before the broccoli, so check on it at about 15 minutes into cooking. Remove the garlic when the peels pull away and they are golden in color.

Continue to roast the broccoli for about 25-30 minutes total, tossing once or twice as they cook. When finished, the florets will be dark in color where they have come in contact with the pan.

Bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the broccoli and garlic, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes with the lid partially on.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, flour and dried mustard until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the liquid mixture until well combined. Remove the pot from the heat.

Use an immersion blender to puree the broccoli and garlic in the soup, leaving it quite chunky. You can also use a blender to puree the soup, but wait until it has cooled and work in batches before returning the soup to the pot to warm it.

After pureeing the soup, add the cheese and stir until it has melted.

Serve the soup immediately, with extra cheese as garnish.