Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Soup's On

Jenny requested the recipe for my red lentil vegetable soup so I thought I would just toss out my general soup recipe to y'all. For the red lentil soup this past weekend, I used carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion, garlic, about a cup of dried red lentils, a can of white beans, a can of diced tomatoes, 2 vegetable stock cubes, a whole bunch of dried thyme and a bay leaf. But you can always mix it up for whatever you have in the house - that's what I love about soup! I almost always have the ingredients for soup on hand.


Always start with:
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2-5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 6-8 cups of vegetable stock (3-4 cubes dissolved in 6-8 cups of water; I often wait to add the stock until I see how much room my vegetables take up, this is totally variable)

Then add whatever you like from the following list:
• 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
• 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
• 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2-3 parsnips/turnips/rutabagas, peeled and cubed
• 1-2 16-oz. cans of beans (white, pinto, kidney, mixed chili beans…)
• 1-2 cups frozen corn
• 1-2 cups frozen peas
• 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
• 1-2 cups dried split peas
• a couple of tablespoons of barley
• 1 1/2 cups dried pasta*

If you want a tomato soup, add one or both of the following:
• 1 16-oz. or 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
• 1 small can tomato paste

• For a vegetable, non-tomato soup, add 1-2 tsp. dried thyme plus a bay leaf or two.
• For a tomato, “Italian” type soup, add about 1 tsp. each of oregano, basil and Italian seasonings (or more of one and none of another, I never measure...).
• Always add a little salt and a lot of pepper.

General directions:
• Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-low to medium heat.
• Add onion and garlic. Simmer until transparent, about 8-10 minutes.
• Add vegetable stock, vegetables, tomatoes, and spices.
• Bring to a boil.
• Reduce to a low simmer, cover slightly and let cook for about 20-40 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Cook longer if you've added lentils or split peas.

~ or ~

• Toss everything in the crockpot in the morning and set it to high for 6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Don't do this for a pasta soup.

* If adding pasta to your soup, cook the pasta separately in a small saucepan as package indicates. Drain and thoroughly rinse pasta in cold water. Then add to soup mix. (This helps to avoid the “monster pasta” syndrome of pasta that won’t stop cooking.)

Bon Appetit!


Jen said...

Catherine, you're JUST like Jo's aunt, whose first step in making soup is "clean out the crisper and see what you've got to throw in" - um, wilted lettuce? MMMM MMMM!!

Needless to say, I am full of envy as I must plan to actually create a soup like this...

Aunt Jenny said...

Sounds just wonderful!! Thanks so much for posting your recipe! It is supposed to get real cold this weekend if they are forecasting right, which is always iffy this time of year....if so I am SOOOO making soup! This is perfect!!!
I might do the crock pot version..cuz NO pasta for me!! The rest of my family would like it..but they can eat fresh bread with the soup INSTEAD of pasta right?
Have a great weekend!!!