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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vegetable Soup

Okay, so I posted this recipe at the beginning of November, before Tasty Tuesday was established, but it had no pictures. So here's a more descriptive version, WITH pictures.

Because this is my favorite soup, and I love it, and it's inexpensive, and it's healthy, and it's easy, and words don't do it justice...

You will need:

2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 large onion, 4-6 cloves of garlic, 2-3 sticks of celery, 2-3 carrots, 2-4 potatoes, 1 or 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, salt, pepper, and 5 cups of chicken broth (or 5 teaspoons of bullion and 5 cups of water).

You don't need flour. Ignore the flour.

Can you tell that this is a versatile recipe? You can basically put however much you want or have on hand of each ingredient, and feel free to add any other veggies that you want to get rid of and think might complement.

Start by chopping the onion.

And heating some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Saute the onion in the pot until translucent.

Meanwhile, peel the garlic. When the onion is ready, press the garlic into the saucepan. You might want to turn the heat down a little. You don't want the garlic to brown.

Now is the time to start chopping like mad! In fact, if you aren't a crazy-fast chopper, you might want to do this step before you start cooking the onion. The garlic only needs a couple minutes.

It took me awhile before I finally figured out how to chop things like carrots and celery quickly and efficiently. The trick is to rock the knife back and forth while working it up the vegetable in a zig-zag pattern. When you rock it forward, you move up for the next slice, and when you rock it back, you push your last slice out of the way. See?

Once everything is chopped, add the fresh vegetables to the pot and saute them for a couple more minutes. This helps "lock in" flavor, so that your vegetables will taste different from one another instead of the whole soup tasting uniformly boring.

Once you've got the veggies in there, add your thyme, and some salt and pepper "to taste," whatever that means.

Dump the veggies into your crockpot. Add your diced tomatoes. I had planned on using one can, because I prefer less tomatoes, but then Dan chimed in that he likes it really tomatoey, so now we have two cans! I'm so obliging!

Really, it's scrumptious either way.

Add your broth/water-and-bullion and give the soup a good stir.

Cover and cook it for however darn long you want. If you have time to cook it on low, cook it on low for 8-10 hours. If you don't have time, cook it on high for 4-6 hours. The longer you cook it, the yummier it will be! Try to make it at least 5 hours. That way the potatoes will be nice and tender.

This one only got 4 hours, but it was still wonderful. See?

And, of course, it's fabulously healthy! And did I mention it tastes good?

Put this stuff on the table and they will dig right in! Even Ariel's getting in on the action! I recommend serving this with garlic bread. Fred Meyer makes garlic bread with whole cloves baked into it, and it is to die for. Seriously. I might die.

And here it is! Anything that gets my daughter saying, "Mo' cel-ry? Mo' cel-ry?" has my stamp of approval!

The ADDED BONUS to this recipe is that you can fiddle with the leftovers! Check this out!

Put your leftover soup in a saucepan to heat up.

Add some black beans. Probably about 1/3 of a can per bowl of soup.

Slop some cumin in there. Maybe a half teaspoon per bowl?

And sprinkle a little chili powder on it.

Stir it up, heat it up, and eat it up! It's now a mexi-flavored soup! This is WONDERFUL served with grilled cheese quesadillas. Hello, no cooking tonight!

Copy and paste below if you would like to print this recipe.

Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
2-3 large carrots
2-3 celery stalks
2-4 small russet potatoes
Any other vegetables you want to use up
½ teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cans diced tomatoes – undrained
5 cups chicken broth (or 5 cups water and 5 teaspoons bullion)

Chop all the vegetables, keeping the onion separate. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion in oil until nearly translucent, then press the garlic and add it to the pot, sautéing another 2 minutes or so. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Add the other fresh vegetables, sautéing for just a few more minutes. During this time, add thyme, salt, and pepper.

Pour the sauted vegetables into your crockpot and add tomatoes and broth. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Longer means better flavor.

MIX IT UP: Put leftovers in a small saucepan to reheat over the stove. Add canned black beans, cumin, and chili powder to taste. Serve with grilled plain-cheese quesadillas. It’s like a new meal!

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dlyn said...

Looks pretty darned yummy to me!

Erin said...

Hey there! Thanks for commenting on my blog! Sorry the link isn't working "just right" yet...I'm probably doing something wrong! It's okay though...computer genius hubby will be home sometime soon...and he'll figure it out for me!

I will definitely let you know what I think of this recipe....and of my hopeful "swimsuit body renovation". Wish me luck!