Written by Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer
Soup is an excellent way to get a frugal and nutritious supper on the table without much effort.
Often relegated to the fall and winter months, soup is still a wonderful choice for spring and summer, where it can offer a hearty meal using in-season produce.
The following recipe makes good use of the vegetables available at your local Farmer’s Market or CSA. It could be served as is, or act as a base for something more complicated. Adjust to suit your taste or use what you have on hand.
This soup involves four basic steps: chop, saute, simmer, and blend. If you plan to puree the soup, just chop the vegetables roughly since there is no need to waste time cutting them into bite-sized pieces!
- 1 onion, chopped (sweet onion, like Vidalia is best, if available)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 cups of roughly chopped new or fingerling potatoes, or Jerusalem artichokes (which are not artichokes, but root vegetables)
- 4-6 cups [url href=”http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2008/01/homemade-soup-broth-an-essential-element-in-any-healthy-frugal-kitchen.html” target=”_blank”]chicken broth[/url]
- 2-3 tomatoes, quartered
- 1 leek, chopped
- 3/4 – 2 cups fresh basil leaves, to your taste (reserve a little for garnish)
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp dried
- [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SWTKV0/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000SWTKV0&linkCode=as2&tag=keeofthehom-20&linkId=2NFTZ4CEKPYPWTQW” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]Sea salt[/url]
- [url href=”https://secure.ttpurchase.com/F574EDF0-1E0B-90B3-0E8185B8A116425E” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]Coconut oil[/url] or butter for sauteing
- [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B16IAAY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00B16IAAY&linkCode=as2&tag=keeofthehom-20&linkId=YC57KQDDRYBEZMKE” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]Olive oil[/url], optional
- Melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil or butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, and Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes. Saute for about 5 minutes. [b]([url href=”http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/03/how-to-make-fabulous-soup-from-scratch-without-a-recipe.html” target=”_blank”]Sauteing vegetables before adding stock or broth[/url] is a great way to increase the flavor to any soup.)[/b]
- Once the vegetables are beginning to soften, add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and leek and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes can be easily mashed.
- [b]At this point you may choose to eat the soup as is, or puree (either completely or partially).[/b] An immersion blender works well for pureeing soup that is still warm.
- Once blended, add the salt, basil, parsley, and thyme to taste, blending briefly to distribute throughout. Add a drizzle of olive oil for a touch of extra flavor.
- If you wish to use a regular blender, wait until the soup has cooled a little, then blend in batches adding the herbs as you go. Once you are satisfied with the consistency of the soup, salt to taste and add the olive oil if desired. [b]Don’t fill the blender all the way to the top. . . the lid may pop off and soup could fly everywhere (ask me how I know)![/b][br][br][url href=”http://www.keeperofthehome.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/IMG_54341-300×225.jpg”][img src=”http://www.keeperofthehome.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/IMG_54341-300×225.jpg” width=”300″ height=”225″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”IMG_5434″][/url]
- [b]If you have little ones who are able to eat soft vegetables by themselves, be sure to set some aside before blending.[/b] My 1 year old loves to eat soup veggies (she likes the pureed soup too, but needs more help with that)!
- If you desire a more chunky soup (and don’t wish to puree it at all), chop the herbs finely and stir to distribute evenly.
- Season with pepper and add a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs as a garnish.
Do you enjoy soup during the Spring or Summer? If so, what vegetables do you like to use?