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EnviroMom Meatless Supper Club: Week 5

I had a colossal meatless meal disaster earlier in the week -- there was much swearing, a bloody finger, bean patties that simply would not patt-ify and some very unhappy customers. So I started thinking about what I could do with broccoli, one of the only veggies that my kids like cooked. From the deep recesses of my brain I remembered a Victory Garden episode I'd seen on PBS some 15 years ago, back when Russell and Marian Morash were on the program (and how I miss them). Marian made a broccoli soup that cleverly used pureed rice and broccoli stalks as the creamy base, and I'm sure it was this soup that prompted me to buy the Victory Garden Cookbook way back then. I don't think I ever actually made the soup until this week. Did the kids love it? Absolutely not. But hub and I did, and that's all the matters (this is my new motto).


Broccoli Soup from the Victory Garden Cookbook

It's vegan! Unless you choose to grate in some parmigiano reggiano, as I did.

1.5 lbs of broccoli

1/4 cup olive oil

1.5 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 cup rice (uncooked)

4 cups chicken broth (I used veggie broth, because, you know.)

Salt and pepper

grated Parmesan, optional

Separate broccoli florets from stems, cut into very small buds, and blanch for 3 minutes. Plunge into cold water, drain and set aside. Peel remaining broccoli stalks and chop into 1/2 inch chunks. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds (don't let it brown!). (If you like your soup a little spicy, add some hot pepper flakes with the garlic.) Add chunked broccoli stalks and rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until broccoli and rice is tender. Lift out the broccoli and some of the cooked rice and puree in a processor or blender (add some broth if you're using a blender). Return the puree to the soup base and mix well. When ready to serve, add the florets and cook long enough to heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan.

The kids thought it smelled amazing, but they just didn't like it. I love that you use all of the broccoli, and that the pureed rice and stalks provide the creamy factor. It's pretty thick, but I like a thick soup. I served cheese quesadillas on the side, which they always gobble up. (And just so you know, spellcheck informed me that I originally misspelled 'broccoli' throughout this entire post. Let's hear it for consistency!)

So let's see what our partners in meatless shenanigans cooked up this week:

Nancy of Nano's Kitchen cooked up a Veggie Cobbler. Oh, heavens. I think that is the way to sell vegetables to your family -- bake them into a cobbler! Who doesn't love cobbler? This sounds savory and cozy and makes me excited about the leftovers!

Jen from Life on Bean Road made Short and Sweet Sweet Potato Burritos. OK, how come I never put vegetables in my bean burritos? Corn! Lettuce! Sweet potatoes! This is a no brainer, and the kids would dig it. Easy, tasty, healthy -- it's all here wrapped in a tortilla.

Minimonosvietnameseroll Andrea from MiniMonos is on a DIY roll, literally, with her build-it-yourself Vietnamese Rolls. Forehead slap. My son loves salad rolls from a local Pho restaurant, and they are very similar to these. I've never bought rice paper -- could we really try this at home? Yes! I can see dipping these into the peanut sauce recipe, which has become a staple in my house, shared by Mary Beth in week 1. (Photo credit: MiniMonos.)

Speaking of Mary Beth from Salt & Chocolate, this week she smuggled some veggies into her Zucchini Crusted Pizza! The recipe is from that tried and true favorite, the Moosewood Cookbook. Two cups of shredded zucchini goes into this crust, unbeknownst to those picky eaters. Wah ha ha ha. Top it off as you wish!

Heather from Production Not Reproduction served up Stuffed Acorn Squash, much to the delight of her 4-year old. This is a very pretty dish, which might be part of the kid-allure. And as Heather says, Hello? It has maple syrup in it, so it must be good. She also got sneaky and used fake sausage, which I may need to investigate. Squash, apples, cranberries, pecans...sounds like autumn.

WalkinghighwiresquashsoupIt's a Squash Smackdown! Marleen from Walking on a Highwire channeled her inner Alice Waters and made a lovely White Bean and Butternut Squash Soup. The recipe came from Waters' cookbook, Art of Simple Food, which is exactly what this soup is -- simple, yet you can see how the beans, squash and sage would make a perfect, flavorful marriage. And this is a new idea: Marleen can often get her kids to eat a pureed soup if they use a straw (but not this time, unfortunately)! (Photo credit: Walking on a High Wire)

Beth from The Cummings Clan got into the cool weather spirit with some Lucky Chili. And lucky for her, she got a big thumbs up from hubby and one child. I love a good, spicy bowl of chili, and this recipe uses a new-to-me ingredient -- fresh-brewed coffee! And bonus points for the crock pot!

Industrious Emily has perfected the art of the Veggie Pizza, making everyone at home very happy. Hasta la vista Papa Murphy's and hello homemade. This looks really, really good. I am in search of a no-fail pizza dough recipe -- I've made some inedible ones in the past. Any suggestions?

Just added! -- Melanie from Recipe Journal made Corn Chowder, another great-looking, yummy-sounding soup. Melanie takes the most gorgeous food photos...why else would I be craving soup at 8:30am? These few, simple ingredients get rave reviews from Melanie and her husband. Excellent.

Thanks, everyone, for your continued inspiration! And like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Meatless Lives.


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