"I made your Choco/Cherry granola bars except that I substituted: hemp hearts for the millet, chopped pecans for the pistachio nuts, peanut butter for the tahini, coconut oil for the olive oil, omitted salt, and added flax seeds and pumpkin seeds."--email from my mom
Although altering recipes when cooking goes with the territory, I think my family takes the art of substituting to some notable heights. Playing with ingredients is something of a family tradition, my earliest memory of which goes back to my grandparents' kitchen in Idaho. My grandma had a dish she called Never Again Soup, which was basically a soup made out of whatever she had at the time and hence never made exactly the same way twice. I remember loving the soup as a child. It was always delicious and also kind of magic, each batch being a unique experience to savor. This fall soup lends itself well to the never again model. And, true to my roots, I've made the soup a tad different each time depending on supplies on hand. Though I've written out a specific recipe, please think of this more as a loose framework on which to elaborate.
Now, about the parsley pesto...
Parsley pesto is perhaps my favorite recipe discovery of the year! For so long, I've shied away from purchasing parsley as most recipes call for a tiny amount and the rest of the bunch always seemed to go bad before I could get to it. But now I just throw the whole bundle in for the pesto! No more parsley waste guilt! Also, apparently parsley is super good for you! But on top of the health benefits, this here pesto is big-time delicious and can be used in a multitude of ways, including on toast and in omelets.
Lastly, the pesto is another opportunity for some substituting! I've most often made it with almonds but have also tried pecans, which was super great. Hmm, I think I just might try making it with walnuts next time!
Super Fall Veggie Soup
5 cloves garlic
12 oz diced tomato
2 C potato
2 Tblsp Italian seasoning (oregano, sage, thime, )
2 bay leaves
1/4 C wine
about 5 cups water*
salt and pepper to taste
*you can also use veggie broth but I find water works fine (and has less sodium!)
Sautee onions in a large pot on medium heat until translucent. Add garlic, potatoes, carrots, and spices and cook for a few minutes before adding tomato and kale. Let simmer for about 5 minutes and then add water (or veggie broth), bay leaves, and barley. After barley has cooked, add the goat cheese, wine, and salt and pepper to taste.
1 bunch parsley
1 C roasted almonds (or pecans! or walnuts!)
3 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 C olive oil
salt to taste
2 Tblsp water (depending on consistency)
First roast the nuts and garlics (or you can also use raw nuts and garlic if you prefer) then transfer to food processor and chop. Add the parsley, olive oil, water, and salt and again blend until smooth(ish).