Anything Goes Vegetable Soup
Let the ingredients in your fridge be your guide for the recipe, not the other way around!
In the winter I like to make big batches of healthy, tasty soup to have on hand during the week for lunch and/or dinner. Each soup is different yet the process and the main ingredients are basically the same. For Christmas I received a dutch oven which is the perfect type of pot for hearty soups or stews. However, any large pot will do.
Go through your fridge for any vegetables you have on hand that can be added to your soup. I always do this before heading out to buy special ingredients for a recipe. Let the ingredients in your fridge be your guide for the recipe, not the other way around!
Next decide what grain, bean or carb you will add to your soup. Some examples are lentils, chickpeas, barley, rice, pasta and potatoes. Pick one or two and no more. Vegetables should make up the bulk of this soup. A protein can be added as well, which could also be whatever you have on hand. It could be simply a small amount of bacon or pancetta for added flavour or you could add some meatballs or shredded leftover chicken.
The last two ingredients you will need are a can of diced tomatoes and stock, preferably organic. Chicken broth goes with just about any type of soup, but beef or vegetable broths are also good. Now it is time to chop and set aside your ingredients and start cooking!
Step 1: Add a couple tablespoons of oil to the pot and saute chopped onions or leeks, and garlic. Also add bacon or pancetta if using. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Add vegetables that take longest to cook at this point. For example, coarsely chopped carrots, celery, kale, butternut squash, potatoes, etc. Season again with salt and pepper and whatever herbs you would like to use. Thyme is my favorite seasoning for soups.
Step 3: Sauté the vegetables until partially cooked,then add a can of diced tomatoes and some stock. Stir.
Step 4: Add the protein (if using) and the grains or carbs according to how long they will take to cook. For example, barley takes longer than pasta to cook so the barley would be added now while the pasta would not go in until vegetables are nearly done.
Step 6: Add vegetables that take the least amount of time to cook near the end:broccoli, peas, corn and green beans.
Step 5: Continue to season and simmer until perfect. Sprinke with Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread if desired.