For sometime, it seemed like Old Man Winter wasn't going to pull his usual tricks this season in eastern Massachusetts. A glance out the window today proves otherwise. Warm up your body and soul with this simple and quick tomato-based soup loaded with nutritious vegetables. It's also a great way to include any summer favorites you put up, whether canned, dried, or frozen.
Garden Vegetable Soup
Makes about 9 pints
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 cups chopped onion
• 2 tbsp minced garlic
• 2 scant cups carrots, chopped into rounds
• 2 scant cups diced potatoes (I used an unpeeled Russet)
• 2 cups green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
• 2 quarts (64 oz) chicken or vegetable stock
• 4 cups tomatoes, chopped or crushed
• 1 can tomato paste (no or low sodium)
• 2 scant cups corn kernels
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4+ tsp dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1-2 tsp lemon juice
• salt and herbs to taste (I used dried tarragon and basil)
Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, corn kernels, green beans*, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and herbs, if desired. Serve immediately or store in the fridge (about a week) or freezer (2-3 months) in pint or quart containers.
This soup can be as simple or complex as you would like. Consider additional or different veggies- whether fresh, frozen, or canned- and herbs for an individualized dish. Some particulars I had in mind were mushrooms, English peas, hearty greens like kale, collards, or even Swiss chard, reconstituted dry beans like cannellini or kidney, or winter squash.
*Unlike the original recipe, I recommend leaving out any tender green vegetables, like fresh green beans, peas, or chard, until the last five or so minutes of cooking for brighter colors and flavors.
This recipe is NOT intended for canning.
Image by Rebekah Carter (2012). Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats.