With the coming of cooler weather, soup is an easy and comforting meal that nourishes both our bodies and spirit. Here are the components that can be mixed and matched in endless combinations to accommodate what you have on hand. These basic measurements generously serve 4 people.
Veggie Soup One Million Ways
Start with Broth – Veggie, Chicken, or Beef (if using beef as the protein) 4 Cups
Pick a grain – Barley, Quinoa, White or Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta 1/3 to 2/3 cups depending on how much it will swell with cooking
Choose your veggies – Almost anything goes here, fresh or frozen will work; Onion, carrots, zucchini, mushroom, celery, parsnips, sweet or white potato, chopped greens of choice, corn, peas, green beans, asparagus, squash, cabbage, etc. 2 to 3 cups (chopped) worth depending on how thick you like your soup.
Add a bit of acid – This really make the taste of the veggies shine. It can be done by either adding tomato while cooking – 1 large fresh, 8 oz sauce, or 2 TBS paste – or by squeezing a wedge of lemon over the soup after serving. Or try both!
Throw in a protein if wanted – Beans (kidney, garbanzo, or white beans), lentils, chicken, ground beef, pork sausage, tofu – about 1 cup of bite sized pieces of what you choose (except lentils – if using lentils add about 1/2 cup dried).
Last, choose seasoning – Any mix of garlic, paprika, salt free herb mix, oregano, basil will go well with most of these combinations. Salt/pepper to taste.
Basic directions (Note: read the instructions on any grains or proteins that need to be cooked and precook meats – or this is an excellent way to use up leftovers)
Start with your broth. Add in grains and long cooking veggies (and lentils if using them). Add in tomato if using it and seasoning. Let simmer until grains are almost cooked. Add in short cooking veggies/greens and protien. Simmer another 10 minutes or until everything is cooked – taste and adjust seasoning if needed.