Sunday, January 3, 2010

From Cherie’s kitchen: A hearty vegetarian dish for a winter dinner

I advocate feminism – and also vegetarianism.

Some people aren’t ready to jump in and take the vegetarian plunge all at once. But, simply cutting down on the amount of meat you eat reduces the cruelty, objectification, and domination that pervades the meat industry and, by extension, affects other sectors of our society.

Going meatless one day a week is easy enough to do. It is simple to convert favorite recipes to vegetarian (or vegan) versions with just a few simple substitutions.

One example would be this recipe for “Hamburger” Soup. I found it in a cookbook from Strawbridge United Methodist Church in Kingwood, Texas. It was a gift from my cousin, Karen, when she lived there. The recipe was contributed by Melanie Johnston.

This soup is easy, nutritious, and economical. It quickly became a staple of our diet during the fall and winter. I substituted soy crumbles for the hamburger, vegetable broth for beef stock, and dry onion soup mix for the beef stock-based canned version.

So, here is my modified version – Soy Burger Soup. I hope you’ll give it a try.
(Note: This recipe makes a family-sized batch. It usually lasts Chris and me three dinners, plus a bowl for his lunch. If you don’t want this much soup, freeze some individual portions to heat up for a quick lunch or dinner later.)


2 12-oz. packages of meatless crumbles (Boca or Morningstar Farms)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can vegetarian vegetable broth (available in the soup aisle)
1 package dry onion soup mix (contains no animal products that I can see.)
1 package frozen vegetables for soup (I like Freshlike)
1 15-oz. can whole-kernel corn (use salt-free or low-sodium vegetables if salt is a problem)
1 15-oz. can peas
1 15-oz. can cut green beans
1 15-oz. can diced, stewed tomatoes
24 oz. V-8 vegetable juice
1 medium potato, diced
Salt, pepper, or other seasoning to taste.


In a non-stick frying pan, cook the meat crumbles according to package directions (add a little water, if necessary, to keep them moist.). Add the chopped onion and continue to cook until the onion is tender. Place the soy mixture in a stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the vegetable broth and onion soup mix. Mix in the frozen vegetables and all canned vegetables with their liquid. Add the tomatoes, the V-8, and the diced potato. Mix well, bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste.

Enjoy with crusty bread, rolls, or biscuits.

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