December 19, 2009

Vegetable Soup from Scratch (without stock)

Yes, you can make your own vegetable soup from scratch without using stock or bouillon or whatnot. It's actually pretty simple. I would've just chucked everything into a pot and started boiling, but it turns out that you can get a lot more flavor out of the veggies if you saute them first. I think poaching would work fine too if you'd rather do that.

There are a lot of different options to work with here, which is the beauty of vegetable soup. Throw in leftover veggies, throw in whatever spices you want, add salt, and ba-da-bing! You're done. Enjoy.

Vegetable Soup from Scratch (without stock)

Total time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 2
  • 2-4 potatoes
  • 1-3 carrots
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2-1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed and chopped
  • water
  • salt and various seasonings to taste
  • examples: thyme, oregano, parsley, cumin, cajun, turmeric (will turn soup yellow), garlic powder, crushed red pepper, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, etc, etc, etc
  • optional: wine (add a splash or two right before adding the water so the wine can loosen the flavor that's stuck to the bottom of the pot)
  • optional: 1/2 cup rice
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large pot, grill/saute/poach onion, potatoes, and carrots - make sure the potatoes and carrots are cut small enough to cook quickly - until almost completely cooked.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding enough water to reach half way to 3/4 the top of the pot.
  3. Bring to a boil on high heat, then set to medium to low. Add salt and seasonings of your choice.
  4. When veggies are done, add any remaining veggies and test the broth. Does it need more salt or cumin or?
  5. When all veggies are done, test again, make final adjustments, turn heat off, and let sit for a minute.
  6. Serve as is or over rice if you wish.
Voila! As leftovers, the veggies soak up even more of the spices, creating an even more flavorful dish.

Note: If it turns out you added way way too much salt, cutting a raw potato in half and tossing it in the pot will soak up a decent amount of sodium. Give it about 10-15 minutes to accomplish its job.

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