It is great to keep veggie broth on hand for when you don't have any homemade stock on hand.
This is simple, basically use what you have. Start cooking the onions and the hard veggies first, so they can start cooking while you finish peeling/washing and slicing the other veggies.
I always throw in a few bay leaves. They really add a lot of flavour and are great for seasoning soup, vegetable stock or dried beans.
Choices for Basic Ingredients (add some things from each category)
- vegetable broth (bouillon and water will do in a pinch)
- Any vegetables such as carrots, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, yams/sweet potatoes, golden beets, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, swiss chard, peas, corn, etc
- Beans or grains (if desired) white beans, lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, barley, rice, pasta, etc (make sure beans are pre cooked, or canned before adding)
- Fresh herbs/dried herbs like thyme, bay leaf, dill, basil, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, Italian herb seasonings, Herbs De Provence etc
- Base flavor enhancers like canned tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut milk or almond milk (depending whether you want a tomato-ey or creamy soup) *This is optional
- Seasonings like salt, pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, sweetener (to balance acidity from tomatoes or lemon if desired) cumin, chili pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, etc
- Fresh hard herbs like thyme or rosemary need to go in at the beginning of the soup.
- Dried or tender herbs like basil, cilantro or parsley can go in near the end of cooking to retain their flavour.
- Quick cooking veggies like greens, broccoli, asparagus or cauliflower should be added 3-5 minutes before your soup is done.
- Canned corn is very forgiving and can go in at the beginning of cooking and will hold it’s firmness.
- Canned beans should go in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking as they are fairly soft already and you don’t want them to be mushy and overcooked.
- Always salt and pepper your soup at the end. Don’t just keep adding salt every time you stir it.
- Always reserve taste testing for the end when everything’s cooked and you can doctor up the flavour from there. Start with a little salt, pepper, spice, or sweetener and keep tasting and adding until you get it right to your liking.
Fridge Veggie Soup
2 litres/quarts veggie broth,
1 large onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 bay leaves
1 tbsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 medium turnip, diced small (smaller is better)
1-2 cups of sliced mushrooms
1-2 cups green vegetable of choice
2 cups broccoli or broccolini florets
2 cups sliced green cabbage, or other greens
handful of parsley, chopped
juice of half a lemon
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1. Add 1 cup vegetable broth to a large soup pot and turn onto medium heat. Add bay leaves, thyme, onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes. (While this is cooking you can continue peeling/slicing your other veggies)
2. Add the mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery, cabbage and the rest of one carton of vegetable broth. Stir and let it keep cooking over medium-medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if needed from the other carton. You want your vegetables to be almost done before adding the broccoli and green veggie of choice.
3. Add the remaining vegetable broth and bring it up to a boil. When it’s boiling, turn it back down to medium-medium high and add the green veggie of choice, broccoli and parsley (and any spinach if using). Cook for 2-4 minutes (depending on the size you cut them) and test the broccoli for doneness. You don’t want them too wilted or mushy. When done immediately take off heat.
4. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and season to taste. Adjust seasonings if desired.