Everyone needs a handful of solid soup recipes in their repertoire. Whether it’s a translucent broth, a hefty stew, a velvety puree, or even a chilled concoction, soups are a year-round comfort.
This is a basic vegetable soup that I make anytime I start getting sniffly, am short on time, or just need some warmth in my belly.
Most people have some version of this lying around; it relies on the flavours of a classic chicken noodle. It’s a great base to build on, or just perfectly satisfying on its own. Customize it to your tastes and needs: feel like some heat? Throw in some more ginger, or crushed red pepper. Don’t have chard lying around? Use another green, or just leave it out.
For this soup, I let the vegetables “sweat” before adding the liquid, which brings out their flavours and adds a touch of sweetness to the final product. I prefer this method to just throwing the veggies in the pot and adding the liquid straight away- that tends to result in bland, sometimes bitter tasting veggies.
For the kitchen ninjas out there, this soup might not challenge your skill set, but I think there’s a certain solace in preparing the most basic recipes. So here we go:
Easy Veggie Soup
What I’m listening to
Miles Davis- Kind of Blue (Side A for chopping, Side B for cooking & stirring)
½ T your preferred cooking oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 T garlic, minced (about 3 medium sized cloves)
1 T grated ginger
2 dry bay leaves
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried sage
6-7 cups Vegetable broth
2 cups swiss chard, chopped and packed
salt & fresh black pepper to taste
What I do
Add oil to a 6 quart stock pot/dutch oven (whatever you’ve got), and heat on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add onions, stirring often for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue to stir for 4-5 minutes. In this time you should see the vegetables develop a sheen, as they sweat out some of their water. The vegetables shouldn’t brown, so if they look like they are, just lower your heat a bit and continue stirring.
Add garlic, ginger, bay leaves, thyme & sage, and stir for a minute.
Add broth and turn up the heat to medium high. Once the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 6-8 minutes. It’s important to ensure your soup is on a simmer (as opposed to a rolling boil), otherwise you’ll end up with mushy vegetables. Add crumbled tofu, swiss chard, and let the chard melt in to the soup. At this point taste your soup and season with fresh black pepper and salt as needed. Turn off the heat once the chard has softened.
Eat right away or later. I had it for dinner the first night, ladled over fresh rice noodles….and then for breakfast two days in a row.