Survivor Soup ♥ Beet, Potato & Cauliflower Soup

Survivor Soup (Beet, Potato & Cauliflower Soup), bright pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Weeknight Easy. Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly.
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a bright pink soup that delights the eyes and soothes the soul. The pink color comes from roasted beets, of course, but the soup's substance comes from baked potatoes plus cooked cauliflower, which makes the soup both lighter and creamier. This recipe dates back to 2005 but "breast cancer survival" resonates strongly with me this year.

Bright-Bright Pink Color. Easy Weeknight Supper. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Great for Meal Prep.


A Family of Breast Cancer Survivors

My mother was a survivor. Her mother was a survivor. My aunt, who lived well into her 80s, was a survivor too. And with any luck, five and ten years down the road, I shall join their ranks and be able to say, "I'm a breast cancer survivor."

It's Been Quite a Summer

It started with a call from my ob-gyn. "We see something in your mammogram. Someone will call to schedule an ultrasound."

After the ultrasound, a "care counselor" outlined the next steps for my husband and me. Nobody said and we didn't realize until later that our counselor's quiet demeanor meant that the doctors already knew: that something in my mammogram was a tumor. That night, an online report laid out the facts: "There is a tumor of xx size. There's a 95% chance it's cancer." Whew. Hard words to read.

From there? It all runs together.

Biopsy.Aweekendofwaiting,wondering,mentallypreparing.Confirmation.Along appointmentwiththesurgeon.Choosingbetweenalumpectomyandone/twomastectomies.Genetictesting.Lotsofbloodwork.Preppingforsurgery.Momentsoflevity.Ikidyounot,ourdogtangledwithaskunkthenightbeforesurgery.Insteadofgettingagoodnight'ssleepforadarkearlydeparture,wewerewipingthedogdowninsideandout,bathinghimintheshower.Asoliddistraction,that!Theblurofsurgery,thecloudofanasthesia,andblankofthedaysfollowing.Lotsofice,lotsofsleep.Mealsfromfamilyandfriends,themiracleofchocolatebudinofromfriendswhoownarestaurant.Mysister'stendercare,justtherightamountofencouragementandconcern.Aweekendofworrythatasecondsurgerywasneeded,thenthereliefthatitwasn't.Wordthatthecancerhadn'tmovedintothelymphnodes,thereliefthatithadn't.Anopenquestiononchemo,thereliefthatitwasn'tneeded.Sixweekstogetbacktostrength:mynephewandhisdarlingfamilycametokeepmecompany.Myfirsttattoos,tinydotstofocustheradiationtreatments.Increasingtiredness,unendingfatigue.Now,fiveoreventen yearsofhormonetreatments,thechemopilltheycallit.

A Family & a Circle of Survivors

Through it all, it was an assurance, knowing that mine is a family of survivors. And my two friends who, like me, were diagnosed early, are also survivors, they propped me up and coached me week in and week out.

The statistics are frightening. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. ONE IN EIGHT. I think of the thousands of readers of A Veggie Venture. One in eight of you, one in eight of us. And that thought makes me quake in a way my own situation does not. How are you, out there???

But 90% survive the five-year mark, thanks to early detection and treatment. I was long overdue for a mammogram, I'd put it off and put it off.

Frankly, I was lucky that the cancer hadn't far metastasized. And lucky for good doctors, nurses and technicians. And lucky for loving support from my husband, our families, our friends.

Survivor Soup: Itself a Survivor

Way back in 2005, I made a beet 'n' potato soup for a food blogging event marking Breast Cancer Awareness. Frankly, the soup was a mess, a "save" when a beet 'n potato casserole didn't work out. (I eventually nailed the combination, check out the ever-so-gorgeous scalloped beet and potato casserole I call Those Pink Potatoes. I always meant to come back and fix up the soup, but, well, you know, like my mammograms for the last five years, it just didn't happen.

I guess you could say, Survivor Soup is a survivor! Because here it is, in all its glorious breast-cancer awareness pinkness, thanks to a much-appreciated burst of energy ten days after completing radiation. And Survivor Soup definitely deserves a chance at life!

Survivor Soup: Beets + Baked Potato + Cauliflower

What a combination! Those Pink Potatoes are just beets, potatoes, cream and Parmesan.

For Survivor Soup, I wanted something something lighter. So I went with a mix of beets:potato:cauliflower, skipping the cream, skipping the cheese. The cauliflower is key, it adds creaminess in a vegan soup, no cream required.

We couldn't get enough of Survivor Soup, hot the first night and cold the next few days ...

Is Your Mammogram Overdue?

If not yours, what about your sister's mammogram? Your mom's? Your circle of friends. Call to check. Start a buddy system, checking on everybody, asking a few/someone to do it for you too. For me, it was a friend's suspicious mammogram last December that finally got me moving, that and my sister bugging me (thank goodness) until it finally happened in May.

LEARN MORE

Breast Cancer Statistics from BreastCancer.org
Breast Cancer Myths & Facts, this one's eye-opening




Just updated. First published way back in 2005.

RECIPE for SURVIVOR SOUP (Roasted Beet & Baked Potato Soup)

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes about 8 cups

Survivor Soup makes up in minutes because it's made from beets, potatoes and cauliflower that are already cooked. So roast a potful of beets, bake some potatoes and cook some cauliflower for dinner a couple of nights, then use the planned-overs to make soup. The amounts of beet, potato and cauliflower can easily vary but aim for about 26 oz/750g total of the three. If you have more/less than that, just use equivalently more/less water.

SKILLET
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped

BLENDER
1 large roasted beet (about 300g), roughly chopped
1 large baked potato (about 250g), skin still on, roughly chopped
1/2 a medium head (225g) roasted (or steamed of microwaved) cauliflower
4 cups water
Salt to taste (be generous, I used a full 2 teaspoons kosher salt)

TOPPING
Additional roasted beet, diced small
Sour cream, either plain or thinned slightly with dill pickle juice

DUTCH OVEN Heat a large, heavy pot such a Dutch oven, then add the oil and heat until it's shimmery. Add the onion and let sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden.

BLENDER Meanwhile, working in three or four batches, puré the beet, potato and cauliflower; I like to do each batch with a slightly different texture, one super-smooth, one less smooth, etc.

VARIATIONS A little carrot or even apple would make for a sweeter soup. No cauliflower? Use more potato or perhaps fennel or celery, even turnip.

ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
ONE-POT ROASTING I roasted three large beets, 2 large baked potatoes and the head of cauliflower in the same pot at the same time! It's an adaptation of My Favorite Way to Roast Beets. I rubbed the beets and potatoes with a little olive oil, then put the beets on the bottom, stacked the potatoes on top, then added big florets of cauliflower. At 375F/190C, the cauliflower took about 90 minutes, the beets and potato a full 2 hours. All hands off! Do let the beets and potatoes cool for about 30 minutes before making the soup.



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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005 & 2019 (repub)


Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. hooray for 'survivor soup' and for veggie venture. (i must admit my first thought was 'reality tv' -- and that's scary, since i don't even watch television). cheers. glad to know you're sharing your food ventures

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  2. Hi Alanna,

    Nice save! My much loved potato soup recipe orginated from a similar cooking mishap, and I've since decided that accidental discoveries make the best dishes. Your picture of the soup is wonderful...I love the little ribbon!

    Thanks for participating!

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  3. Great entry! The look sof it and the thought behind it! I definitely am trying this recipe!

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  4. Dear Alanna- sending you much love and hugs from Georgia. Good luck with surviving and thriving after all you have been through.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear friend ... you are missed!

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  5. My love potato soup recipe. originated from a similar cooking mishap. and the soup is wonderful...I love this.

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  6. Dear Alanna Wishes for a full recovery from Saskatchewan Canada, This fall my friends and I had our mammograms, one of us has a lump. We "circled the wagon" in support. Please know that your followers have a virtually circled the wagon around you in support. Jane

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    Replies
    1. Jane ~ Your kind support means the world and I’m warmed to hear that you/your friends are keep track of one another and “circling the wagons” ... that’s a term we use in my family as well. I feel the virtual wagon ...

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  7. Alanna, I have been with you so long in this amazing veggie experience that you are like family. I have learned so much from you! And since you have the tenacity to keep this project going, I believe you can accomplish anything. Blessings!

    Leonora(a long time ago you told me you liked my name and that meant a lot to me)

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna