Hearty meal-y vegetable heavy soups/stews: difficulty: I am picky
December 29, 2017 6:32 PM   Subscribe

Now that winter has arrived, I'm craving warm hearty things to eat. I want to make more tasty soup and stew-y things for a complete lunch. The difficulty is that I want a large proportion to veggies to other stuff but I don't like some of the common vegetables in soup, mainly celery and carrots.

I also don't like mushrooms, broccoli, kale, scallions or squashy things. I'm not a vegetarian. I would prefer things to be filling on their own but not carb heavy (i.e. potato-y) since I'm trying to lose weight. I don't know if this is accomplishable but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Suggestions for modifying recipes in ways that won't change the flavor too much are welcome too.
posted by starlybri to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I never put celery or carrot in chili. I don’t have a particular recipe but there are a million variations and it’s certainly hearty.
posted by kapers at 6:49 PM on December 29, 2017

Do you eat beans? It seems to me that a chili con carne, maybe made with ground turkey instead of beef, would meet your requirements. It does have tomato, tho'.

I just saw a Jacques Pepin segment where he served chili con carne in lettuce leaves. You can see it here, about 5 minutes into the video.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:56 PM on December 29, 2017

Cabbage, chopped fine as for coleslaw and added late enough in the process that it simmers for just 10 or 12 minutes before serving, adds significant body but not overwhelmingly strong taste.

Frozen peas, added late enough that they are just heated all the way through before serving are a bright but hearty touch.

Caramelized onions.

Here are two previous Asks about things to add to soup.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:00 PM on December 29, 2017

I often make a veggie soup with a base of jarred spaghetti sauce thinned out a bit with chicken broth. Add whatever veggies you like—I use peas, corn, onion, green beans, shredded cabbage, dark kidney beans. I also add celery and fresh mushrooms but you can easily leave those out. Season with some garlic, oregano and basil, add some pasta of your choice, simmer until pasta is cooked, and you’ve got delicious, hearty soup!

Sorry for not including exact amounts—this soup is very forgiving and I pretty much just keep adding stuff to my stockpot until it’s full. I’ve been making this for years and have never ended up with a bad batch.
posted by bookmammal at 7:03 PM on December 29, 2017

Tonight I am eating a soup of last of a Costco chicken, and some sweet Italian chicken sausage, with organic potatoes, fresh spinach, sweet Vidalia onion, a chopped clove of garlic, basil, soy sauce, cabernet, olive oil to sautee, the spices and onions first, a large can of white hominy, (drained and rinsed,) water, and the juice of a lemon, then later heavy cream to creamyfy. A few shakes of Tabasco also, and mostly it is just absolutely tart, warming, and delicious. Chicken and lemon soup is a fave in the Middle East, this has some of that quality, and also some cumin, because life requires cumin. The meat part of the soup is far less than the body of the soup and the hominy.

I always start soup by sauteeing the spices, onions and garlic first, then adding the meat part to the sautee, then the rest of the things.
posted by Oyéah at 7:06 PM on December 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just made a big pot of awesome soup. Here's what I put in it:

white beans, about 1.25 c., soaked overnight, rinsed, and cooked separately
red beans, about 1/2 c., as above
small green lentils, about 1/2 c., as above

-- soaking and cooking the different kinds of beans separately means that none of them turn to mush while the largest ones are finishing cooking. The different kinds, sizes, and colors of beans make the soup really wonderful --

soup base: a bunch of roma tomatoes, cut up into chunks and cooked with some olive oil for 20-30 minutes

green onions, maybe 3 (leeks are great too)

small _brown_ mushrooms - these are way better than the white button mushrooms, plus they cook down so you hardly notice them, but leave them out if you want

Once all that's going and I've added the mostly-cooked beans, I added:

red lentils (they cook in about 15 minutes)

quinoa (it cooks even if you add it and then turn off the heat)

*** an entire head of Napa cabbage *** cut up but excluding some of the white thick part. You can use the white thick part if you want, but I wasn't sure other people would be that into the cabbage

- fresh green beans, ends cut off and cut into ~ 3/4" long pieces, added near the end of cooking so they were not too soft

- fresh parsley (added after the soup is removed from the heat)

I've also used:

- frozen green petite peas (not a whole bag, just a little so that it doesn't dominate the soup)

- frozen spinach

- Swiss chard

- just the _leaves_ from the center of a bunch of celery

for seasoning:

- salt

- pepper

- coriander

- a dash of vinegar (not balsamic, that's too sweet)

and finally, to make the flavors come out and the whole thing a little more substantial:

- a dash or two more of olive oil

You can leave out any of this. It's still fine. Wonderful, in fact.
posted by amtho at 7:11 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

A tomato-based cabbage stew with sausage would work. I put carrots in but you could leave them out (I might put a few potatoes in to make up for that though.) I dump sliced cabbage (almost as much as will fit in the crock pot before you add any liquid), onions, garlic, canned pulverized tomatoes, black pepper, bouillon powder, and Tofurkey Italian sausages in the crockpot and let that cook for a good while. Sometimes I add barley towards the end of the cooking period. This doesn't taste particularly cabbage-y to me when it's done - the sausage and tomato dominate the flavor.

Cauliflower could be a good option too. I'm generally too lazy to do this but there are recipes where you roast cauliflower and then make soup and blend it with an immersion blender.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:51 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is kind of rude / obvious, but... what DO you like? Make a soup out of that.

Creamy soup.
Tomatoey soup.
Eggy soup.
Other types of eggy soups.
Beany soup.
Monastery soups.

I myself love corn and beets and so am partial to corn chowder (canned corn is fine in winter, made with milk not cream) and borscht with beef in it, of course YMMV.
posted by athirstforsalt at 7:53 PM on December 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

*some of these soups do ask you to make a mirepoix, but if you chop the carrots and celery fine, they should just taste like "vegetable stock" and not "carrots and celery". If the taste still bothers you, just leave it out and use a good quality stock that you like.
posted by athirstforsalt at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

This Mexican veggie soup is delicious, and would be fine without the carrots and celery (though I would use broth instead of plain water in that case.) Add more chayote than the recipe indicates. It was surprisingly good as a soup ingredient, and not "squash-like" at all. Other nice additions would be snow pea pods and/or frozen green peas (added right before serving.)

The soup recipe as written is vegetarian but stew beef or chicken would make a nice addition if you want.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:10 PM on December 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

How do you feel about peppers and corn? Tortilla soup can be more or less tortilla-y depending on your taste and texture needs, is otherwise very flexible in terms of ingredients and has a flavor profile that's a bit of something different.

I like chicken tortilla soup with shredded chicken added at the end and a mix of half vegetable stock, half chicken stock to start with. For the peppers I do a combination of colorful bell peppers and poblanos. You can do it a bunch of different ways but one way I like is to roast the chicken in a pan and about ten minutes before it's cooked add the peppers with some red onion and garlic cloves. Set it aside to cool to the touch and meanwhile toast some spices in your soup pot - cumin, a chile blend you love. Add in some tomato paste and a bit of oil, and mix to combine and toast a bit more, then add your stock. Take a couple corn tortillas and drop them in the stock, simmer for a while and then blend them up so it's all thick and delicious looking. (You can choose not to blend and they'll sort of dissolve into the soup eventually anyway but it'll be a bit lumpier.) Chop up your peppers, onions, garlic and shred your chicken. Add your peppers and other aromatics, maybe some fresh tomato. If you want beans add in a can of them here (I like black beans and they're classic), and some frozen corn. Simmer until the beans have got yummy flavor in them and add the chicken. You can also add some shredded cabbage at the last few minutes for a lot of body (and nutrition), and swap out proteins. Shrimp is great and will cook in the soup in about five minutes. Serve with some fresh lime juice squeezed on top and some extra tortillas or chips if you wish. Also good with a bit of cheese melted on top.
posted by Mizu at 11:53 PM on December 29, 2017

I am making this today: https://www.thekitchn.com/slow-cooker-recipe-curried-vegetable-and-chickpea-stew-67520

Hearty, with no carrots or celery or your other hard-no's. It does have a couple of potatoes, but you can leave those out or substitute something else; I'm using a sweet potato instead, and someone in the comments used a winter squash.

(I'm also halving the recipe, and making it on the stovetop instead of the slow cooker--oven or stovetop instructions are at the end.)
posted by theatro at 5:12 AM on December 30, 2017

Beefy stews are good for this time of the year, and when I thought about who makes oxtail stew with a lot of vegs, I remembered Jamaican oxtail stew — it's seriously good. Traditional goulash doesn't have carrots or celery in it, but it also doesn't have a lot of vegetables, just bell peppers, onions and a bit of tomato. I often put a lot of vegs in my goulash regardless and it works very well. Do you like parsley roots or parsnips? They would be good. And so would sweet corn, peas, salsify, Jerusalem artichokes, yellow beets, string beans and probably lots of other stuff.
Something I find really delicious, but don't make often enough, is this Afghani stew with lamb and spinach. It's spicy but not too spicy.
posted by mumimor at 5:48 AM on December 30, 2017

Another Mexican soup is pozole. We make a simple version with pork and/or chicken and canned whole hominy in a garlicky stock. Add fresh squeezed lime juice and top with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, sliced radishes and chili pepper to taste.
posted by Botanizer at 5:52 AM on December 30, 2017

This sweet potato red lentil stew is one of my favorite winter treats.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:54 AM on December 30, 2017

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