I blew my monthly grocery money gallivanting around Peru. The food there was fantastic and cheap. I now have dreams of perfectly marinated chicken, soups, and chica morada. Girding for lean times ahead, I replenished staples – flour, oil, butter, sugar – and went on a cooking frenzy this past weekend. I made pumpkin bread and roasted seeds, bagels, and vegetable soup.
The soup was a blessing from the gods. A volunteer gig left me with a veggie platter worth of leftovers. Coupling its remains with a few ingredients I had on hand, soup now serves as sustenance for several days.
This basic “kitchen sink” vegetable soup is so named because I like to think myself witty sometimes (it’s an everything but the kitchen sink type soup), nearly any veggie combo will work. My ingredient list recounts what I had on hand that went into this rendition of vegetable soup. Since I did not have any stock on hand, I slowly simmered the veggies so that they would create a flavorful broth.
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 1 head roasted garlic
- carrots, hand full, chopped
- celery, several stalks, chopped
- 1 parsnip, chopped
- 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- bell pepper, hand full, diced
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- corn kernels, hand full
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- several shakes red pepper flakes
- dried basil
- fresh ground pepper
I am a big fan of doing food prep as I start cooking to speed the process along. I yank everything out and turn on the pan before I bother to chop anything. Then I start chopping on a “who’s needed first” basis, chopping and adding to the pot as I go to conserve counter space, dishes used, and time required until food reaches my belly.
- Heat on low the 1 tbsp olive oil in the bottom of the soup pan. Dice the onion and add to the pot. Begin cutting the potatoes and other veggies as the onions cook.
- Once onions are translucent, add the potatoes and the roasted garlic cloves. Continue chopping and adding the vegetables, beginning with those that need the longest cook time (parsnips, carrots, celery). Do not add the quick cooking veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and corn at this time. Add the chickpeas and cover the vegetables with water, adding 1″ or more over the tops of the veggies.
- Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Cook on a low simmer for about 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Add the remaining veggies and basil flakes and continue to cook another 10-20 minutes until zucchini and peppers have the desired bite.
- For a thicker soup, strain out a cup or two of the veggies and puree in a blender or food processor and then add back to the soup.
- Taste, adjust seasoning as needed and enjoy.