I’ve named this “Many Vegetable Soup” because it seems I always buy too many vegetables at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market shopping on both Wednesday and Sunday. I’m just a girl who can’t say no to the glorious rainbow crowding the tables. I’m sure that’s how the first vegetable soup was made. “I’ve got too many vegetables!”
It certainly was my first thought when I looked at the bounty in my fridge: patty pan squash, Italian red onions, baby heirloom tomatoes, sugar snap peas and fresh herbs from Fresh Country herbs. Carrots from Frecker Farms. Red potatoes, celery, garlic, and yellow onion from Fernandez Market. Zucchini and cocozelle (striped) zucchini from JM Produce.
As it was gray and dreary on Sunday, how most of May has been, it seemed like the perfect day to use up the veggies for supper. I served it with a good crusty baguette from Jyan Isaac bread, smeared with the tomato garlic spread (heaven in a plastic tub) from Moms Products, Inc. Yes. It was perfect. And there were plenty of leftovers for another meal plus a batch that I froze. Cook once, eat 3 or 4 times. This makes a big pot of soup.
Please note that when it comes to vegetable soup, it’s pretty much an “everyone in the pool” kind of deal. Almost everyone. I wouldn’t invite cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, to the party. We don’t want a cabbage-y brew here, in aroma or taste. Leave those for their own soups.
Otherwise, use what I’ve suggested or use up what you have on hand. That includes fresh herbs. I added canned chickpeas to make it more of a meal. Kidney or cannellini beans would work well, too. I also used a homemade vegetable stock, which definitely added depth of flavor. You will still get a delicious soup using boxed vegetable stock.
Many Vegetable Soup:
3 T olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion (1/2 large onion)
1/2 cup diced red Italian onion (2 onions), reserving stalks
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced carrots, 1/2 inch slices
1 sliced celery, 1/4 inch slice
3 cups mixed chopped squash
6 red potatoes cut in wedges then cut in half
2 cups chopped fresh baby heirloom tomatoes
1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice (prefer San Marzano)
5 cups vegetable stock
Reserved red onion stalks
Bundled stalks of fresh herbs. I used Italian parsley and thyme
2 T dried oregano
1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp salt or to taste
fresh cracked black pepper
In a large stock pot heat oil on medium low heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not brown the onions. Add garlic, celery and carrots and cook until softening, about 5 or 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Add squashes and potatoes and cook until just softening another 5 or 10 minutes, stirring it all up to soak up the oil, adding a bit of oil if necessary. Add fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, stock, onion stalks and herb bundles.
Bring to a gentle boil, stir up soup, then immediately reduce to simmer, cooking covered for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of pot. Remove Italian onion stalks and herb bundles and add dried oregano, snap peas, salt and pepper, stirring up soup to incorporate. Simmer another 15 minutes or until snap peas are cooked but still a bit crisp. Taste for seasonings and add salt, pepper and/or dried herbs to taste.
Serve in bowls with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley.