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!