Serving Size: 1
Preparation Time: 0:30
All quantities can be changed to suit availability and your preference.
Wash, peel and dice or slice all veg. Put all clean peelings and trimmings in a pot as you work, add any frozen veg trimmings you may have, cover with water and boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve this vegetable stock.
In a large pot, add the oil, and sauté the cut up vegetables except for the potatoes. You may want to do the mushrooms first, if you like to see them take color. At the end of the sauté process, add the garlic, so as not to brown it. You may want to add some tomato purée now if you like a red color for your soup. Go easy, tomato can dominate too much.
Add the diced tomatoes and their juice. Add any vegetable stock you made, and add the thyme. Add the diced potatoes, and add enough water to cover, so that the veg are about 50% of the content of the soup. Add water during the cooking period to maintain this ratio. Add uncooked rice or pasta or dried mushrooms at this point if you choose. If the dried mushrooms are the sandy kind, soak and rinse them first.
Bring to a boil and simmer thirty minutes until all veg are tender.
If you want to add legumes like barley, split peas or beans, soak them overnight and cook them tender by themselves, adding some onion and/or garlic to flavor them. Add the precooked beans when you add the potatoes. Allow for this extra half hour of cooking when you make them.
Add the peas, corn kernels, herbs and any other veg or greens that have a short cooking time and simmer another 5 minutes. At this same time you can add precooked pasta or rice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sometimes a pinch of sugar is just what is needed if the veg are not young.
Please note that you need not use all the ingredients mentioned. This is a generalized recipe, and you should individualize it to taste. If you like broccoli or Brussels sprouts...use them, if not, don't. You can make one or two vegetables predominate and use the others as background.
You can add milk, cream or yogurt as part of the stock.
Sometimes I run out of broth and have too much cooked veg. after eating the soup a while. OK. Sauté some onions, add some spinach shredded to the onions, add the leftover veg mix. Add mashed potatoes to bind, roll in bread crumbs and pan fry the veg patties. Melt some good cheese over them. Now don't you wish you made a bigger pot of soup?
© 1995, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.
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