Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vegetarian Pepperpot

Bowl of Vegetarian Pepperpot
Colorful and Comforting

Recipe Adapted from Live Earth Farm

After a month in the UK, I’ve returned to California, where it’s suddenly autumn. Shorter days, yellow leaves, and pumpkins in the market are sure signs. Though I seriously miss the delicious UK foods, I’m jumping back into US cuisine with the compellingly named Pepperpot soup. Traditionally, Amish folk prepared Pepperpot with tripe. I’ve never prepared tripe, and most likely never will. Luckily, our CSA recipe maven Rebecca Mastoris sent us a vegan option in a recent newsletter. I’ve doubled the amount of veggies to make a thicker, heartier soup (and to use more of our CSA share veggies), and have adjusted the spicing. The result is a warming, well-spiced bowl filled with early fall veggies. What a delightful American way to welcome the new season!

Cup of Pepperpot Soup with Parsley Sprigs
Perky Lunch Leftovers
As is, this dish is moderately spicy and the signature cinnamon-clove flavor is noticeable. Feel free to adjust the amounts of paprika, pepper, salt, cinnamon, and clove to your liking, but use a light touch  if  adding more clove. The original recipe calls for more salt and pepper; add it to the pot or just let diners sprinkle on more to taste at the dinner table. Vary the quantities and proportions of veggies in any way that’s practical, but keep the sweet peppers as the dominant component. Meat eaters can add some cooked chicken or beef to the bottom of their bowls before ladling in the peppery goodness.

Vegetarian pepperpot can be eaten for supper or as a first course. Leftovers taste even better, as the flavors blend and mellow with time. It makes a hearty, homey lunch, perfect for cooler October weather.

Fresh Produce and Spices for Vegie Pepperpot
Healthful and Colorful Ingredients
Vegetarian Pepperpot
serves ~ 10 – 12

2 large or 4 small onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
~4 large stalks celery
~4 large or 8 small carrots
4 large sweet peppers
6 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika
1½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
6 cups veggie broth or stock
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups cooked rice
Fresh parsley (optional garnish)

Chop onions into chunks about ½” or slightly larger. You’ll have 3+ cups. Chop celery and carrots into pieces about the same size as the onions; you’ll have about 1½ cups of each. Chop peppers to about the same size to yield about 2½ cups.  Coarsely chop tomatoes; you’ll have about 2½ cups.

In soup pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add chopped celery, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes, along with paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir to distribute spices. Sauté until peppers start to soften, stirring almost constantly to cook evenly and prevent sticking, about 5 more minutes.

Add veggie broth or stock, wine, and cooked rice. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium to medium low. Simmer until veggies are tender and flavors are blended, about 25 minutes.

Serve in bowls garnished with fresh parsley. 

Closeup of Vegetarian Pepperpot Soup
Homemade Goodness
Soup Pot with Liquid Being Added
Adding the Broth and Wine

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