Garden Vegetable Soup

Just when the garden goes bizerk, you now have a go-to recipe to use up the ingredients that start piling up in your fridge.  Don’t I know it.

I have made this soup a few times now.  My brother in law’s wife was out of town and he recently  came for dinner for a few evenings in a row.  I made this soup and heated it, then reheated it, then added more veggies and heated it again.  Grinning between spoonfuls (and seconds or thirds) night after night, he gave me the advice that it just keeps getting better and better.  My advice to you is use what is in your garden, in your fridge, the stuff you get for good deals at farmstands and that which your co-workers bestow on you, usually in form of zuchinni.  Use it all and use it here.  You won’t be disappointed AND, it’s great for Fall.  Freeze it for those late, cool evenings when you really don’t have the energy to make anything for dinner.   Serve it with bread that makes you happy and a great wine or hard cider.

Ingredients

There is a ton of stuff I pulled from my personal garden;  potatoes, broccoli, green and purple beans, tomatoes, rutabagas, onions, garlic, carrots, red peppers, peas, yellow crookneck squash and need-I-say-abundant zuchinni.  I also added sliced crimini mushrooms and corn cut from the cob that I received from my neighbor.  To complete your soup, you will also need:

Olive oil

5 C. water

3 T. beef consumme or beef broth

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 8 oz. can tomato paste

1 bay leaf

2 t. dried oregano

2 t. dried basil

1 T. salt

1 T. black pepper

*Optional – you can also add a pound of cooked ground beef to make Garden Vegetable Beef Soup which is amazing too.

Directions

Slice up all your veggies first.  Chop the onion small.  Mince the garlic, dice the red pepper.  Slice your carrots on the bias, quarter your potatoes, rutabagas, beans, zuchinni and squash into bite size pieces, etc.

Get out a huge pot and place it on your stove.  Turn the heat to medium high.  Add a few swirls of olive oil, then add the onion and saute for about three minutes.  Add the carrots, red pepper, mushrooms and broccoli and saute for two more minutes.  Add the minced garlic and stir gently while cooking.  At this point, put your salt and pepper in and continue to cook vegetables until soft.  Add the water and beef consumme, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir gently.  Add the remaining vegetables (potatoes, rutabagas, beans, zuchinni, squash etc.) except peas which go in last, and bring soup to a boil.  *If you are adding beef, add it here.  Once your soup is boiling, turn heat to low to simmer.  Add bay leaf, oregano and basil.  Test soup for salt content and add more if necessary.  Remember, the longer your soup sits, the saltier it will become because your vegetables absord the liquid, so go sparingly.  Simmer soup for about 20 minutes until potatoes are done cooking.  Turn off the heat. Now you can add the peas!  You can either serve it now or wait until the next day when it’s really great!

I have served this in soup bowls along side a salad or in ramekins along side a larger meal.  I have taken it to work and put it in the freezer.  It’s a very good soup to add veggies to night after night.  If you do this, remember to add more water, consumme, salt and pepper to taste.  Please let me know how much you enjoy it.  I just love it!

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