Last week, when the thermometer on our deck registered 90°F, I craved soup. It didn’t make any sense, but I wanted a warm tomato-based soup loaded with vegetables. The fact that I needed to use up some farmers’ market finds that were just a tiny bit past their prime was only a bonus. This Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup was the result.
How to Make Vegetable Soup
The vegetable soup recipe below is a specific instance of a more general soup-making technique:
- Sauté aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic and celery in olive oil.
- Add seasonings like salt and pepper.
- Add crushed tomatoes and vegetable or chicken stock.
- Add firm vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and/or root vegetables.
- Add softer vegetables such as yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers, string beans and leafy greens.
- Garnish with fresh herbs.
I’m trying to stay away from starchy vegetables and beans at the moment, but feel free to throw in peas, corn, or drained and rinsed canned beans when you add the softer vegetables to the soup.
I like my vegetables to be on the crunchy side; if you prefer yours to be softer, cook each stage for 5 or 10 minutes more than indicated below. You really can’t screw up this recipe.
The result will be a delicious, nutritious, satisfying bowl of soup. Even if it’s ridiculously hot outside.
Serve this soup with low-carb Parmesan Crisps instead of crackers for a healthy lunch.
Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- garlic pepper
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 small head cauliflower separated into bite-sized florets
- 2 large carrots sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped
- 2 yellow squash halved lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
- 4 stalks of kale stems removed and leaves finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to look translucent, about 5 minutes. Add salt and garlic pepper. Stir.
Add tomatoes and stock. Stir to incorporate well. Add the cauliflower and carrots, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the bell pepper, squash, and kale. Bring the mixture back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When vegetables are as soft as you like them, the soup is done. Spoon into bowls and garnish with basil.
Want a thinner soup? Add more stock.
Watching sodium? Reduce the amount of (or eliminate) the kosher salt and use low-sodium or homemade stock and fresh (peeled) tomatoes.