It’s winter and I love soup. I love it’s warmness, it’s comfort, and it’s ability to get several servings of veggies in my children in one meal.
We were on the road a lot in November, and in addition to the holiday meals and dining out at our favorite restaurants, we also had a lot of meals on the road, and for simplicity’s sake, that means a lot of fast food. I was ready for some veggies by the time we got home. So after a stop at a grocery store to re-stock our empty fridge, I decided to make a very veggie soup.
Gather your veggies!
Put in a pan. Sautee.
This is how most good soups start.
Then get choppin’!
Here’s what I had that I wanted to use:
This is what I used. I didn’t measure a single thing, but just eyeballed approximate amounts that I wanted to include. Yeah, that means that I made WAY too much soup, but hey, it was good. Use whatever veggies you like in soup. Play around with different combinations. But, start with your most-dense veggies. Basically, you want to put the veggies in first that take the longest to cook. (ex: Sweet potatoes cook faster than regular potatoes, so I add them after I’ve allowed the regular potatoes to cook). Oh, and use a good waxy potato- like reds or Yukon Gold, they won’t completely turn to much if you happen to overcook them.
But wait…you need a liquid. So, unless you have a sous chef that’s helping you out, after you sautee the onions and such, you’re going to need a liquid to cook your veggies in.I use chicken broth. It’s easy. I also use chicken boullion (not the cubes, I buy a container you scoop out w/ a spoon) and water with good success. You could also use veggie broth if you have some good stuff. I think I added 8 cups of water+ bouillon/broth combo and 2 cans of tomatoes.
If you want a more tomato-y soup, add in a can of crushed tomatoes. That also thickens it up a bit.
Finish adding you veggies, bring to a boil, and then turn down your heat and cover, letting it simmer for awhile.
So I simmered it awhile. Then I tasted it. Add salt and pepper, as needed. Cumin, chili powder, paprika, curry, tumeric- they are all good too. Play with different combinations, but start with small quantities until you’re familiar with their flavor profile.
Then I served it with some garlic cheese bread made from a nice crusty loaf from the bakery. Delish.
Changes you could make:
Change any of the veggies- take some out, add some, change quantities. It’s totally up to you.
Add rice or pasta with the veggies. Cook until everything is tender.
Add in some leftover cooked chicken at the end, heat through.
Add a can of beans or two.
Serve in bread bowls.
Serve with corn bread or grilled cheese.
And a nice touch? top with some shredded cheese and/or diced green onions. Yum!
dumplings! I haven’t added dumplings in a long time…
The moral of my soup story is that soup is a very forgiving, very beginner-friendly meal. You can make it as kid friendly as you like- a simple carrot, chicken, and pasta soup is a favorite in my house. You can also get adventurous! Don’t be afraid to try new combinations! Bacon! Sausage! Spinach! See what you can get away with!