Pot of Vegetable Happiness

by Chance on November 10, 2013

**No, that’s not a picture of soup! Just wanted to show you the view of the sky in the mountains of Hiawassee where I’ve spent the last few lovely days.

The credit for this soup goes mostly to my mom. She always made vegetable soup, but it was never really my favorite thing. Dear partner and I have dramatically different food tastes. Hers tends to beef and pizza and mine has migrated even more to veggies. She has always really loved my mom’s vegetable soup, so many years ago, I wrote down the recipe while my mom made it so that I could duplicate it for her. A lot of our recipes are created and reproduced like that. They also evolve with time to become quite different, but with a shared past. I’ve come to love the soup. It’s quick, delicious, easily customizable and perhaps best, it’s a great thing to find in the fridge on a day when you don’t feel like cooking.

Personalized Veggie Soup
Yield: as much as you put in, 8-10 servings as written
Selection of veggies including but not limited to: onion, garlic, carrot, potato, parsnip, cauliflower, lima beans, celery, sweet potato, spinach, zucchini, butternut squash, mushrooms
In the winter, I tend to use more root vegetables and in the summer, I might add some watery veggies like zucchini (but they are no one’s favorite here!).

Add to your pot:
4 chopped potatoes. I like russet for their grainy texture, but you can use baby potatoes or waxy potatoes as well. They just won’t break down as much

1-2 carrots, coarsely chopped (I specify coarsely chopped here because I don’t like mushy veggies. Serving the soup the first day, the veggies can be a little more al dente and then when you reheat the soup, they don’t go all to mush.)

1-2 ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
1 onion, sliced into slivers
6-8 (or as much as you like) cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

If you are using other root veggies, add them to this simmering phase. I also used parsnip (peeled because it was conventional) and sweet potato for the batch in the photos.







1 bag frozen baby lima beans (you could easily use homemade beans here as well as any variety you love, but I am partial to baby lima beans. Not having found organic ones, I’m content to use Kroger brand which are very dainty and cook quickly.)

Just barely cover the veggies with water and salt heavily, at least 1 teaspoon, perhaps more. Cover the pot and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

¬†Once the potatoes are tender, add your favorite form of tomatoes. I am partial to the fire roasted tomatoes pictured in the can because they add a ton of flavor. I also like the Italian tomato sauce in glass (also pictured) which has a very fresh flavor. Both are available at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market. Because my minions are weird, if I use the canned tomatoes, I have to first puree them due to their aversion to “tomato chunks”. Trust me when I say that you still want to buy the crushed tomatoes, even if you or yours suffer from the same aversion. They taste much better.

Once you’ve added the tomatoes, taste for salt. Give the soup five minutes to come together and… EAT! Growing up we ate this kind of soup with a sleeve of Saltine crackers. Those were the days! Now even saltines have soy in them. But I digress… The soup is great with warm bread, biscuits and salad.

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