I posted on FaceBook earlier today that we were having soup tonight, which led to at least one request for the recipe. Now this is one of those dishes that doesn't really have a recipe. I was actually surprised the first time I saw a recipe for vegetable soup. I mean, come on, you get out a pan and start adding. That's how my mom always made it and that's pretty much how I make it. So, this is, more or less, how I made veggie soup for dinner tonight. Next time it'll be different. That's the beauty of vegetable soup - some ingredients I always use but the rest is decided by how I feel and what I have on hand.
Ultimate Veggie Soup
1. Begin by getting out the largest soup pot you have. It still probably won't be big enough.
2. Brown beef in the pan. You don't need to do this, but it does give it more flavor. Oh, today I used maybe 1 pound of leftover grilled steak from dinner last night. My in-laws use ground beef.
3. Providing you haven't forgotten it, brown the onion as well. Yes, I forgot the onion this afternoon. We're going to add it in after dinner.
4. Start dumping in veggies. Tonight's dinner has a 28 oz of chopped tomatoes, a can of green beans, the rest of the green beans from dinner the other night, chopped potatoes (about 2 large), carrots (a couple), sweet potatoes (same as potatoes), chopped discard bits from celery stalks that I cleaned the other night, broccoli. We would have put in about a cup of corn, but didn't want to bother digging into the deep freezer.
The broccoli is from some fresh stalks I bought a few weeks ago. When I cleaned them for steaming, I also cut up the stalks and tossed them in a freezer bag. The celery is from where I cup some up from lunches. I took the bits of stalk that were good but not really celery stick material, as well as the leafy bits, and chopped them. Tossed them in the freezer in a bag as well.
The potatoes, sweet potatoes, and some of the carrots are from our garden, so amounts are estimated. I also like lima beans, but didn't have any. Okra is also good. Really, toss in veggies you think would taste good when cooked for a long time - peas get mushy, but keep their taste. Regular broccoli tops just get mushy.
Sometimes I toss in 2-3 beef boullion cubes for added flavor. We don't mind the extra saltyness, even if it isn't good for us.
5. Add water to cover. Add even more if you like more broth. We're more of a less is more household in that area. Also add in garlic, salt, pepper. I like to add barley (if I remember) and other seasonings closer to when we're going to eat. I really like to use summer savory - one of my favorite herbs to season with - and basil, but use what you like. I also added 4 tbsp of Beneful fiber. We'll never taste it and my blood sugar will be at a happier level with the addition.
Cook for at least an hour. I bring it to a boil and after about 15 minutes set it to simmer on the lowest setting for as long as I can. It's even better the next day.
We serve it in big bowls with a loaf of bakery bread. Fresh baked bread would be even better, but I never seem to be that coordinated.
That's it: how I make vegetable soup. Hope you're enjoying the Friday Fiction posts.