Nothing hits the spot on a cold winter day like a hot bowl of homemade soup. Soups are incredibly easy to make, and vegetable soup can be a great way to use up vegetables in storage.
Good vegetable soup begins with vegetable stock. You can make your own vegetable stock or use a store-bought brand. Chicken or beef stock can be substituted for vegetable stock, but keep in mind the soup will no longer be vegetarian if you use a meat stock. Honestly, you can even use water if you don’t have stock on hand; the flavors of the vegetables will leech into the water and season it.
What vegetables you add to the soup is all up to you. You can even make ethnic or themed soups when you use the right vegetables. Try spinach (or any other dark grean leaf veggie) in a spinach soup. Use lentils, chickpeas and mirepoix (that’s carrots, onions and celery) to make lentil soup. Or go the traditional route with potatoes, carrots, corn and green beans. Here’s a garden vegetable soup recipe from Alton Brown (of the Food Network); he’s never steered me wrong!
One thing to remember, is you can’t really mess up soup. If the flavor is weak, add salt and spices. If the consistency is thin, add more veggies or take away some broth. If it’s too hearty, add more water or stock. Give vegetable soup a try, then curl up in your favorite chair and enjoy!