Food Kitchen Soup with Greens Galore

I’m about to lose any foodie cred I might have established in 3…2…1…

Food kitchen soup!  This soup is a long standing tradition in my family.  It’s fast, it’s cheap, it makes a huge batch that freezes very well.  The story of food kitchen soup is that when I was a kid, my father was in charge of the missions and outreach for our church.  Once a month, the church served the lunch at the Argentine Food Kitchen, a local food pantry.  Dad had to get people to volunteer to make the things that were on the pre-set menu.  It was always easy to get someone to buy salad or fruit or bread.  The easy things were always taken quickly, and the most complicated item – the soup – was always left for my dad to take care of.  More often than not, the day before the church served at the kitchen, you’d find my mom standing over the enormous pot she used for canning, stirring the food kitchen soup.  Not wanting to make a separate meal for us, she’d ladle out a few bowls for us to eat that night.  We loved the stuff and a couple decades later, it is still an autumn staple in my house.

This time around, I decided to incorporate all the random greens that come attached to the root vegetables in our box.  It seemed such a waste to toss perfectly good (and extremely healthy) beet greens, turnip greens, and kohlrabi greens.  So I chopped them up and blanched them for a moment in boiling water.  Just long enough for them to turn bright green (2 minutes).  Then I shocked them in ice water, rinsed them, and set to work on the rest of the soup.

The rest of the soup doesn’t get any easier.  One large bottle of V-8 juice or equivalent.  The spicy version is really good for this soup.  Three cans of low-sodium mixed veggies, and whatever other spices you want to toss in.  Originally the recipe called for a pound of ground beef to be cooked and added to the heating soup along with some cubes of beef bouillon.  I leave that out to create a completely vegan soup.  I mixed the juice and undrained vegetables in a large dutch oven and heated it over medium heat.  Then I chopped up the blanched greens until they were small and spoonable and added them to the hot soup.  Simmer lightly for another 10-15 minutes, or until the greens are softened to your preference.  And that’s it.  Soup out of a can and using the throw-away parts of vegetables.  A family classic!

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