Everyone should know how to make a great soup with little planning, low cost, and with ingredients you have sitting in your fridge or pantry, or are easy to get. Almost all soups start the same way, with water, mirepoix (combination of carrots, onions, celery), other seasonal vegetables, and grain or protein if desired. When this is done right, you will end up with a wonderfully flavored seasonal soup which will yield a ton of servings, and not cost you a lot of money.
This is the ratio I almost always start with:
About 1 onion or 2 leeks, 4 celery stalks, 6 carrots, 1 bay leaf, couple pinches of salt, 1 clove garlic, and about 8 cups of water.
Dice your onion, celery, carrots all about the same size. I like to keep mine about 1/4 -1/2 inch dice. Heat a stock pot over medium-low heat with a couple tablespoon of butter or olive oil. I love the flavor butter gives to a vegetable soup! Add your Mirepoix and a good pinch of salt and sweat for a good 10 minutes until soft. Make sure you manage your heat because you do not want to burn any of your mirepoix. This steps makes all the difference in the flavor of your soup. Don’t skip the step, this step enables you to not use vegetable broth, nice cost savings as well. Add your minced garlic, bay leaf, water and bring to a simmer.
Thats it, a great start to your spring vegetable soup. From here the combination are endless and I will give you a couple ideas.
Wonderful Spring Vegetable Soup Ideas:
- russet potatoes, peas, cabbage(outer leaves only), rind of parmesan, ground pepper.
- peas, asparagus, orzo pasta
- white beans, kale, peas, top with parmesan
- peas, farro, bacon
- tortellini, peas, kale
- fresh tomatoes, diced, green beens, basil
Great items to add for wonderful flavor: tomato paste, pesto, lemon zest, parsley, seaweed, mushrooms, and parmesan rind.
Grains/Beans – I like to par cook grains/pasta. Remember not to over cook them during the par cooking so they do not fall apart when added at the end of cooking time. Canned beans are also a great addition at the end of cooking!
- 1 onion, diced or 2 leeks, white and light green partly only, thinly sliced
- 4 stalked celery, diced
- 6 carrots, diced
- 1½ cup peas
- ¼ head cabbage, outer leaves only, thinly sliced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane
- cracked pepper
- parmesan rind, optional
- Dice onion/leeks, carrots, celery, roughly the same size about ¼-1/2 inch. Heat a stock pot over medium low heat with a couple tablespoons butter. Sweat vegetables with a good pinch of salt for about 10 minutes until soft.
- Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add about 8 cups of water, bay leaf, a couple turns of cracked pepper, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the russet potato and continue to simmer until cooked. Add cabbage cook until soft. Then add peas. Once the peas are cooked, a couple minutes, check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. Using a large spoon break up some of the potatoes by pushing them against the edge of the pan. This will help thicken the soup.