Autumn is truly my favorite time of year. It doesn’t last very long in NYC, or at least, it doesn’t last long enough for me! Autumn means crisp blue skies, cool weather, light sweaters, tights and boots, and soup! I love soups and stews!
As an omnivore, I’ve been trying to make it a point to lean on the vegetarian side of the fence, partly because it’s just healthier and easier on the body, and partly because meat can be quite expensive if I happen to buy it when it’s not on sale. Don’t worry though, I will never give up animal products, I just want to eat a little less of them.
So I’ve been on the hunt for a nice veggie soup recipe and have been kind of frustrated by the number of recipes I found that included meat in some way. Bacon for smokiness and saltiness, ham hocks for depth, beef bones for richness, that sort of thing. Ordinarily I’d just toss in the meat and let it flavor the broth, but I really wanted a vegan-friendly soup, and I wanted it to be hearty.
I threw in sliced button mushrooms, kale, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, diced tomato, and cannellini beans. But what else could I add to make it hearty enough to be a meal on its own?
Enter Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend. It’s a mix of some of my favorite grains: Isreali couscous, split lentils, orzo, baby garbanzos, and red quinoa. Love this stuff!